From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
I am happy to feature bestselling author Jennifer Joy on Austenprose today to share her next Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, Forget Me Not, Elizabeth.
Now, can you guess from the title what this novel might be about? If you thought memory loss, then, you are absolutely correct. It’s While You Were Sleeping meets Pride & Prejudice in a second chance romance!
Second chance romances are one of my favorite tropes—Jane Austen’s Persuasion topping the list. Other enjoyable historical romances containing this plot device are Bath Tangle, by Georgette Heyer, and recently, Someone to Remember, by Mary Balogh. Since everyone loves a do-over, especially in love, the combination of these hooks in Jennifer Joy’s capable hands is sure to be a winner.
Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th novel in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels and releases on February 28th, 2021.
Can the heart remember what the mind cannot recall?
Elizabeth Bennet’s Happily-Ever-After is shattered when calamity strikes on her wedding day. Unable to remember the man she promised to marry, Elizabeth soon comes to appreciate that Mr. Darcy is the best ally she could have when a series of disasters put her life in peril.
After one failed proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally confident that Elizabeth returns his love … until she shows up for their marriage ceremony with no memory of him. Proving his constancy, Darcy sets about courting his betrothed, determined to win her heart — again — but his wooing is interrupted when a mysterious malefactor conspires to keep them apart for good.
Working together, the amnesia-struck bride and her disgruntled groom discover an attachment more profound than the love stolen from them. But will they catch the murderous thief before it is too late?
If you can’t get enough of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth, then you’ll love this thrilling post-canon, sweet romance based on Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.
Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th book in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels.
Mr. Darcy held out his arm. “May I walk with you to Longbourn?”
Elizabeth arched an eyebrow. “Without a chaperone?” He did not have the flash or flirtatious manner of a rake, nor could she imagine herself agreeing to marry one.
“We are engaged … if you wish to remain so.” His dark eyes captured hers, and she sucked in a breath when they flickered to her lips. She caught herself leaning into him, acting on her earlier, brazen thoughts of Mr. Darcy’s kiss awakening her and leaving Elizabeth uncertain as to the perspicacity of them walking alone. It was one thing to spin fantasies in the confines of one’s mind; quite another to act upon them.
She regained her balance. “I do … I think.”
Would a kiss restore her memory? She shook her head. Information first, then … maybe … a kiss. As a last resort.
Mr. Darcy smelled pleasant. She would wager he tasted pleasant.
His velvety voice broke the ensuing silence. “You look lovely.”
Elizabeth blushed furiously. Mr. Darcy could not have known the topic of her musings, but she felt as though he had caught her. As though he could read her mind.
She looked around, shocked to see they were already half-way to Longbourn. How long had she been pondering inappropriate displays of affection with the same man with whom she walked? Her ears burned.
He watched her, expecting a reply.
Right. Lovely. She looked down. The front of her wedding gown was wrinkled, the hem dirty. She knew grass stains smudged the back. The silk roses matching the ribbon tied around her waist — blue like Mr. Darcy’s waistcoat — were crushed and coated in dust. She did not feel lovely; and the evidence she wore proved she did not look it either.
“Are you too vain for spectacles, Mr. Darcy?” she teased.
He had a brilliant smile. It reached his eyes. “No, although my vision will always cast you in a favorable light.”
“You do me more favor than you do yourself. I recall you admitting to giving a poor first impression at our first meeting.”
He groaned, such a wince of displeasure twisting his features as to spur Elizabeth’s compassion and humor.
“You could tell me a more favorable account, and I would not know it,” she said, smiling up at him.
He did not smile. Clutching her arm more firmly to his side, he stopped, his eyes not once wavering from hers. “I could never take advantage of your ignorance. Disguise of every sort is my abhorrence.”
Elizabeth believed him. They resumed walking.
She felt his chest expand, then his deep exhale before he began. “I had much to learn before I could even attempt to deserve you, and I pray you see my continued efforts to improve myself for your benefit as I relate those events which are now my most painful memories.”
“Events? There have been more than one?” She bit her tongue, chastising herself for speaking before giving her words proper thought. He had mentioned her refusing. That certainly qualified as a painful event.
Another wince and groan. “Regrettably, there have been several.”
Elizabeth frowned. She did not like being the source of his discomfort when he had done so much to comfort her that morning. “Then I must insist that for every difficult memory, you also share a pleasant one. I would very much like to know how we met. Perhaps, it will jog my own recollections.”
He sighed. “I insulted your vanity to your face, then refused to dance with anyone not in my party … at the public assembly.”
Swallowing her shock, Elizabeth listened as he described that evening from his perspective. His posture stiffened and his tone sharpened with every insult he confessed. Then, to her surprise, he gave the version she had previously told him from her point of view, until the disappointment of reliving these past events moved Elizabeth to intervene.
“Pray, speak not another word of the matter. I have heard quite enough for the present and am wondering what pleasantness could possibly have proceeded from such a beginning.”
His shoulders relaxed, and the corners of his lips curled upward. “When I did finally condescend to ask you for a dance, you refused me.”
Elizabeth gasped. “And that gave you pleasure?” It was a wonder they had agreed to marry at all with such a dreadful start.
His smile spread. Gracious, he was handsome.
Chapter 13, pages 87-91
- “I loved this Jane Bingley who takes no guff, no-how, no-way!… Jennifer Joy has provided a well-crafted mystery with evil-doers aplenty and evil that is not always what it appears to be. I loved it!”— Rose Drew, Goodreads
- “I found this to be one of those stories which draw you in and keep you turning pages. I recommend this: romance and mystery = a favorite.”— Sheila Majczan, Goodreads
- “This sequel to Pride and Prejudice is an exceptionally well-wrought mixture of romance, escapes from life-threatening situations, and mystery…And the romance — ooh, la, la!…It’s a clever plot that seamlessly weaves all the storylines…Storytelling at its best!”— Debbie Brown, Goodreads
- “There are definite surprises in store as you fly through this novel…I could not put it down!… Ms. Joy’s ability to write an intriguing mystery will always have me coming back. And I can highly recommend this latest one!”— Carole (in Canada), Goodreads
Jennifer Joy is the bestselling author of twenty Pride and Prejudice variations inspired by Jane Austen’s classic characters and endearing love story. She also writes cozy mysteries and contemporary romances for those who enjoy curling up with a good book filled with sweet romances, happy endings, and a touch of humor.
When she isn’t busy dreaming up new adventures for her favorite characters, she is learning Sign language, reading, baking (Cake is her one weakness!), or chasing her twins around the park (because … cake). She believes in happy endings, sweet romance, and plenty of mystery. She also believes there’s enough angst on the news, so she keeps her stories lighthearted and full of hope. While she claims Oregon as her home, she currently lives high in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador with her husband and two kids.
ADDITIONAL BOOKS IN THE MYSTERIES & MATRIMONY SERIES
When working together to solve a mystery is the surest path to love. Each Mysteries & Matrimony features a standalone novel with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet as the main targets — for Cupid and crime.
- Forget Me Not, Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Joy
- Self-published (February 28, 2021)
- Trade paperback & eBook (326) pages
- ISBN: 978-1944795382
- Genre: Austenesque, Regency Romance
Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, book description, excerpt, & author bio compliments of Jennifer Joy; text Laurel Ann Nattress, austenprose.com.