A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of In Plain Sight: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Don Jacobson

In Plain Sight by Don Jacobson 2020I am happy to welcome Austenesque author Don Jacobson to Austenprose today to celebrate the release of his latest novel, In Plain Sight. Don is a prolific writer publishing seven novels in his Bennet Wardrobe series and additional Jane Austen-inspired variations. He has also contributed to the North and South Anthology, Falling for Mr. Thornton.   

In Plain Sight is a Pride and Prejudice variation that might surprise you. When I first read the book description my eyebrows shot up—and then I read that Nicole Clarkston was the editor and that explained a lot. She is also a popular writer who can push the envelope of the norm, so it seemed like an author and editor match made in P&P variation heaven.

Meryton Press has kindly supplied an exclusive excerpt selected by the author to pique your interest. In Plain Sight is now available to purchase. You will find the links to the different retailers at the bottom of this post. Please leave a comment and share what you think of this creative premise.

When Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father slides into an early grave, his son is forced to take on Pemberley’s mantle. Brandy numbs his pain, but Darcy’s worst inclinations run wild. After tragedy rips everything away, he spends years finding his way back: a man redeemed by a woman’s loving understanding.

Elizabeth Bennet is afflicted with a common Regency ailment: observing the world about her but not seeing those beneath her notice. Then a clarifying act shatters the propriety that has denied her heart the transcendent love she craves.

In Plain Sight explores Jane Austen’s eternal love story by flipping social roles on their heads. From their first encounter, Elizabeth Bennet and the convict known as “Smith” must overcome their prejudices and breakthrough their pride. Only then can they share the treasure hidden in plain sight.

Darcy had the lead as he flew between Pemberley’s gateposts. Wickham’s nags were lagging as Darcy’s matched grays, nostrils flared, spun onto the Derby Turnpike and pointed the curricle toward Lambton.

The wind nipped Darcy’s nose and ears, cutting through the alcoholic haze that had wrapped him in its warming arms. He realized how foolhardy it had been to succumb to Wickham’s taunts and accept his wager. After two bottles of brandy, it had seemed a reasonable proposition. For him, twenty-five pounds was barely pocket change, but for Wickham…well, George all but broke a leg racing out to the stables to set the boys to harnessing.

A small corner of Darcy’s mind, a part not involved in managing the ribbons, contemplated why he had acted so rashly. Four months ago…before Papa…he never would have behaved like this. His barriers were gone. In shyness, Darcy had fallen back on the familiar: George Wickham.

Darcy had rationalized compromising his integrity—my good regard, once lost, is lost forever—by arguing that, as long as Wickham was imbibing brandy in Pemberley’s parlor, he could not be victimizing Lambton. Darcy had also applied Wickham’s favorite lubricant, guineas, to purchase a congenial drinking partner.

At no point in the past three months had Darcy altered his behavior, not even when the earl and countess appeared at Pemberley’s door demanding to take Georgiana to “visit her cousins.” He realized that he could not manage a girl-child, not in his state. Thus, her removal struck him as wise, doing that which he could not and admitting that the family was broken by his father’s death. He had found a way, though, to pull himself together, and to bid his sister a happy farewell. Ten-year-old Georgie, filled with innocent excitement at a sojourn in Matlock, was none the wiser. Once the door closed, Darcy crawled deeper into the green bottle.

There was a part of him that wished to destroy a world that had taken his father before his time and, failing that, himself.

Now, in the dark of a Derbyshire night, Darcy was in the middle of his most foolhardy effort to throw off responsibility’s heavy yoke.

Wickham’s curricle responded agilely to its master’s experienced driving. Since leaving Cambridge, Wickham had been lining his pockets with the ready so easily gambled away by the ton’s dissolute sons. His edge over Darcy sprouted from dozens of races just like this.

As the two curricles approached the bottleneck where Lambton’s High Street looped off the turnpike, Wickham began to draw even. Darcy over-steered on the hard-left turn, which allowed George to slide by on the right and gain a full length. However, the master of Pemberley was not to be outdone by his old playmate. Once the road straightened between the shops and stores, Darcy whipped the grays into a final burst of speed.

He pulled up to Wickham. At that moment, George looked over and flashed a toothy grin before throwing his head back and laughing at Darcy.

That was a fatal error.

As he turned his attention once again to the dirt fairway before him, a look of horror reshaped Wickham’s features.

There in the byway was the solitary figure of a man struggling to get out of the way of the speeding vehicles.

Tomkins did not have a chance.

Neither did Darcy nor Wickham.

Wickham instinctively hauled his team hard left. However, the die had been cast. The most Wickham could do was spare Tomkins death beneath iron-shod hooves. However, the metal rim of the right wheel was sure to catch the one-legged man who lay sprawled in the dirt, clawing hand-over-hand, trying to escape.

He screamed as the wheel slashed across his living leg.

George’s turn, however, also doomed the two curricles.

In a flash—and before Darcy could react—Wickham’s swerving carriage veered into his lane.

Wheels clashed and locked together. Spokes splintered. Nearly two tons of equine flesh slammed into one another. Neither driver could protect himself from the impact or the oaken javelins that broke free as the curricles disintegrated.

Darcy climbed out of the darkness into a world through which the faces of a milling crowd flickered. At some level, he became aware of an angry murmuring, but the dampness that seeped into his eyes prevented any deeper understanding. What remained were the shrieks of sheer agony that would haunt him to the end of his days.

All he knew was that the vacant eyes staring back at him from a face that rested upon bleeding torso bent at an impossible angle had lately belonged to George Wickham. What Darcy did not apprehend at this moment was that Wickham had, through the expedient of breaking his neck, escaped the fate awaiting Darcy.

Chapter 2, pages 17-20

  • “Don Jacobson has created a moving tale that reimagines one of the most beloved romances ever! He carries the themes of pride, prejudice, and forgiveness through the text beautifully. An original tale laced with historical details. You’ll love it!” —Elaine Owen, author of Duty Demands
  • “…a revelation and a shock to the system at certain points!…I can only say a huge congratulations on this new book, Don!” —Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
  • “…Don Jacobson is a natural storyteller.” —From Pemberley to Milton

Don Jacobson is an Emmy nominated writer in news and features for advertising, television, and radio. He has published seven novels in The Bennet Wardrobe Series along with Of Fortune’s Reversal” (2016), The Maid and The Footman (2016), Lessers and Betters (2018), and contributed a short story in the anthology, Falling for Mr. Thornton: Tales of North and South (2019).

Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization, and Research Writing. He is a member of the Austen Authors Collective and JASNA. He lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife, Pam.


In Plain Sight: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Don Jacobson
Meryton Press (June 12, 2020)
Trade paperback & eBook (412) pages
ISBN: 978-1681310381


Cover image, book description, & exclusive excerpt complements of Meryton Press © 2020, text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2020, Austenprose.com

A Preview & Blog Tour with A Dash of Romance (Romantic Encounters: An Anthology Book 1), by Paullett Golden

A Dash of Romance by Paullett Golden 2020Hey-ho Janeites! Please help me welcome historical romance author Paullett Golden to Austenprose today in celebration of the release of her new anthology, A Dash of Romance, the first book in her new Romantic Encounters series.

The anthology contains a novella set in 1795 Devonshire, England, the love story of Percival Randal and Abigail Walsley, two dreamers who enter into a marriage of inconvenience for both of them. Also included is a special bonus collection of flash and short fiction—all stand-alone stories. This is a series that the author intends to produce annually.

If you are in the mood for short and sweet romances for light summer reading, look no further. In addition to a book description, we are happy to share an exclusive excerpt selected by the author to whet your appetite.

This is the last stop on the official blog tour, so please visit the previous blogs for additional excerpts, interviews, and reviews. Enjoy!

With quills and fantasies, they write their future.

Percival Randall lives an uncomplicated life of luxury, as he likes it. Not even an ultimatum requiring marriage can tip the scales. A conniving young lady who compromises his name to force a betrothal, however, is an impediment to happiness Percival must confront.

Abigail Walsley dreams of publishing novels rather than marrying dashing heroes. An unexpected proposal and a subsequent Banbury tale tumble her into a betrothal with a man she has never met. Following her dreams proves a challenge with a marriage of inconvenience on the horizon.

This is the love story of Percival and Abigail, two dreamers who write their love story one scene at a time.

From second chance romances to mistaken identities, experience A Dash of Romance in this collection of one short novel and fourteen bonus flash fiction pieces.

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A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women Book 1), by Vanessa Riley

A Duke, The Lady, and A Baby by Vanessa Riley 2020Diversity within historical romance has been a heated topic lately covered in major media. The controversy with RWA has stirred up a lot of emotional discussions, and hopefully positive change toward including a wider range of authors and characters of ethnic and sexual orientation in the romance genre.

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is a big step in the right direction and I am happy to shine a spotlight on it and its author Vanessa Riley today. She is a very talented novelist who has been writing historical romance with diverse characters for several years. Her research is impressive, and her plots and characters are compelling and “swoothy” (swoon-worthy).

Here is an exclusive excerpt from A Duke, the Lady, and A Baby, the first book in her Rogues and Remarkable Women series which is receiving rave reviews and prominent media coverage. I am thrilled to share that the book lives up to the hype. Enjoy!

Created by a shrewd countess, The Widow’s Grace is a secret society with a mission: to help ill-treated widows regain their status, their families, and even find true love again—or perhaps for the very first time . . .

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .

A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

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A Preview of Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance, by Jennieke Cohen

Dangerous Alliance, by Jennieke Cohen (2019)Did you know that contemporary fiction outnumbers historical fiction by tenfold in the young adult genre? I have never understood this trend. I have been told that teens prefer to read about heroes and heroines their own age and set in their own time. When I was younger, I read many historical novels and adored period dramas, and still do, so when a special historical romance in this genre arrives I am doubly pleased. Dangerous Alliance, by Jennieke Cohen is being touted as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen. For those of you who have not read Mackenzi Lee’s bestselling 2017 novel, I highly recommend it. Most of you landing on this blog have read a Jane Austen book or seen a movie or two, so I am sure that you will understand the comparison to Ms. Cohen’s new novel.

Dangerous Alliance is not only a witty historical romance, it has some mystery elements in it to keep you guessing. Here is the description from the publisher and an exclusive excerpt from the author.


Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home. But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility. Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Continue reading