Mistaking Her Character Giveaway

Lady Catherine will do anything to stop Darcy from marrying her – even if it means Elizabeth will lose everything she loves.

Comment on this post for a chance to win an ebook. 


Mistaking Her Character

Dr. Bennet owes his livelihood to his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but his headstrong daughter Elizabeth thwarts the great lady at every turn. For the sake of his patient Anne de Bourgh, Elizabeth is forgiven–until she refuses to turn her back on Mr. Darcy.


Lady Catherine loomed in the parlor doorway, her features gathering into her darkest, most menacing scowl. “A word, if you please.” She turned on her heel and disappeared into her lair.

Elizabeth dropped a small curtsey and rushed into the parlor to brave the dragon in all her fury. If only she had remembered to bring her sword in her workbag.

Lady Catherine ascended her throne, a stony mask of creases, gnarls and shadow firmly in place.

Was that the scent of burning sulfur in the air?

“Your ladyship?”

“You think I am ignorant of what you are about, young woman?”

“I have not the pleasure of your meaning, madam.”

“None of your cheek here, girl. I know. Oh, I know.” She shook her finger toward Elizabeth. “You have ambitions beyond your station, beyond all propriety and decency.”

“Excuse me?” Elizabeth grabbed the back of the nearest chair to shore up her liquid knees.

“It is written upon your face—clear in that indecent display I just walked in upon.”

“Mr. Darcy?” She gasped. “You assume far too much. I only met him yesterday.”

“Entirely long enough to form designs upon his person and fortune. You spurned Mr. Collins—I am sure—in the hopes of someone of greater consequence whom you have now found in the person of my nephew.”

The upholstery tore a tiny bit beneath her fingernails. “I assure you, madam, I never considered such a thing. Mr. Collins and I … our temperaments are so different, we could never have made a good match. I am convinced he has a much happier situation with—”

“Are you suggesting happiness may be found in disobeying me?”

“By no means.”

“Then turn your attentions to Mr. Wickham. He studies at the Inn of Courts—.”

“He does not, nor is he likely to, having offended a very influential member.”

She flushed puce.

That could not be healthy.

“Where do you come by this information?”

“Mr. Darcy—”

Lady Catherine slapped the arms of her chair and heaved to her feet. “What were you doing talking to my nephew?”

“We met on the road this morning.”

“While you were driving, unchaperoned, as I have expressly forbidden.”

Her shoulders drew up and she tucked her elbows close into her sides. “Yes, your ladyship.”

One, two, three steps. Lady Catherine stood so close their skirt hems touched. She waved her bony finger under Elizabeth’s nose. “I will make this very plain to you, young woman, so that even you, in all your cleverness, cannot pretend to misunderstand me. Darcy is for Anne. From their cradles, they have been promised to one another. It was the fondest wish of his mother and me. No upstart like you is going to interfere with those plans.”

“What am I compared to Miss de Bourgh?”

“What are you—exactly! Exactly! But do not play coy with me.” She circled Elizabeth, a hungry cat stalking a bird. “We both know you have arts and allurements to distract him from his duty to his family. You have no delicacy, exposed to the basest things of life—of men.”

How did one respond to such raving? Perhaps best not.

“Have you considered why I have been trying to find you a match? Even with your connection to me, few decent men will ally themselves with a woman like you. Despite your youthful airs and arrogance, I have had—and will continue to have—your best interests in mind—unless—” She stabbed her sharp finger into Elizabeth’s chest.

Elizabeth jumped back.

“—unless you insist on preying upon Darcy. You are not his equal and would bring shame upon his name and all his family.”

“Shall I leave Rosings?”

“No, Anne requires your presence. I will not deny her any comfort, no matter how little I fathom it.”

“Then shall I ignore him? Turn my back as the servants do when he approaches?”

“You are not … not … a servant.”

“How am I to behave?”

“With every civility, but nothing more.”

“As you wish, your ladyship.”

 “I will be watching you, Miss Elizabeth. Do not think you can escape my notice if you disobey. Now leave me.”

She curtsied and strode away, fists balled so tightly her arms shook.

Two steps into the corridor, Mr. Darcy blocked her path. She stopped short and barely held back a tiny shriek. How tall he was, towering—or was that, hovering over her.

“I hardly know what to say, my aunt—”

She raised an open hand. “Pray forgive me, sir, but I am truly in no state for conversation at the moment.”

“Will you speak with me later?”

“I do not know, sir. Excuse me.” She curtsied and hurried away.

 



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19 comments

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    • Eva Edmonds on February 3, 2018 at 6:13 am
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    Goodness. This is quite a variation. Lady Catherine sounds so unpleasant. How will Elizabeth cope? Thank you for the chance of winning this novel.

    • AnitaP on February 3, 2018 at 6:37 am
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    Love this series. Lady C is especially evil which is so much fun.

    • J. W. Garrett on February 3, 2018 at 8:04 am
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    This was so off, off canon… how could someone not love this. Man… the above scene was so powerful. Dr. Bennet was horrid and I shall never forgive him. Man… I read it ages ago and I’m still mad at some of the characters. However, I love, Love, LOVE Mr. Darcy. Swoon–Sigh!! I already have the book and just wanted to comment. Thanks for the excerpt. It makes me want to re-read it again.

    • Priscilla Teh on February 3, 2018 at 10:20 am
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    Oh what a disastrous beginning! Thank you for the giveaway, I look forward to finding out what happens after!

    • DarcyBennett on February 3, 2018 at 11:14 am
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    Poor Elizabeth, I felt so badly for her. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win a copy.

    • Suzannah Clark on February 3, 2018 at 12:07 pm
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    Ha! I loved the feel of Lady Catherine’s room being the home of a Dragon…the smell of sulphur. Wow very powerful excerpt. thanks for sharing.

  1. I loooove this book!! It’s in my top five favorite JAFF of all time!! I already have a copy, so you don’t need to add me to the giveaway. But I just had to comment on how much I ADORE this book!!!! Books Two and Three of this series are wonderful, but Book One is AMAZING.

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    • Suzanne on February 3, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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    Elizabeth is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. I hope Darcy steps in and protects her from Lady Catherine’s wrath.

    • Leslie on February 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm
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    Sounds quite different! Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.

    • Kzthryn Schultz on February 3, 2018 at 10:47 pm
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    Will be interesting to see how this works out!

    • Anji on February 4, 2018 at 2:13 am
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    U

      • Anji on February 4, 2018 at 2:18 am
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      Not sure what happened there! The virtual keyboard on this iPad was playing up and responding verrrry slowly!

      No need to enter me in the giveaway. Just wanted to pop in and say how much I loved this variation when you first posted it at Austen Variations and the published version was even better! In fact, the series as a whole is just brilliant.

    • Kari on February 5, 2018 at 12:17 am
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    I’m really loving your writing. I always look forward to reading something new from you.

    • Glynis on February 5, 2018 at 9:47 am
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    Great excerpt! Lady Catherine being her usual self! I loved all three of these books but I must admit this was my favourite. (Darcy and Elizabeth being the main characters!)
    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway as I got this book ages ago and waited for the other two so I could read them all together 📚😍

    • Sharon Legg on February 5, 2018 at 11:48 am
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    ALL of these look fantastic. I LOVE it when an author in this genre really mixes up the story and character of the “regulars. Oh! Such a generous giveaway!! Good luck everyone!!

    • Lori Orcena on February 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm
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    Really enjoyed the excerpt! I wanted to scream at Lady Catherine in just that short part!!

    • Robin Ramirez on February 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm
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    Lady Catherine is hard to take at the next of times. Can you imagine having to be submissive to heart so your father doesn’t lose his position? I want to read more!!

  2. I immensely dislike Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She is such a horrible and extremely snobbish woman. Thank you for sharing this scene with us, Maria.

    • Sophie on February 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm
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    I love this book and I’ve just re read it on Kindle Unlimited. 🙂

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