Mr. Darcy is determined to find a wife he can love and respect. He is fascinated by the lively Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but is determined to forget her due to her low connections. Until an act of jealously puts her life at risk. Faced with the bleak reality of living without her forever, Mr. Darcy must examine what he really wants. With the assistance of Colonel Fitzwilliam, his sister, and Elizabeth’s father, Mr. Darcy works to save Elizabeth’s life. If he is lucky, he will then be able to win her heart.
Dana R. Lynn grew up near Chicago, but now lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and enough animals to fill a small petting zoo. She is an avid reader, and enjoys a wide variety of genres and authors, although her favorite will always be Jane Austen. She loves writing inspirational stories, both contemporary and regency.
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What was the matter with him?
Darcy scowled as he paced back and forth across the length of the library. He could barely believe his actions of the past few days. To allow his control to slip so badly! And all because of a mere country girl, who was far beneath him. No money, no connections, and that family of hers!
But in spite of these objections, Darcy continued to find Miss Elizabeth Bennet everything that was fascinating and lovely. Not that he had always thought so. No, indeed. When he had first spied her several weeks ago at a dance, he had barely noticed her. His mood had been too dark. He even allowed himself to make a disparaging remark about her to his persistent best friend, Charles Bingley. He had come to Hertfordshire to help Bingley get his new estate in order, not to socialize with the local beauties. Yet, he found his interest in Miss Elizabeth growing with every meeting. Still, he was able to squelch this unseemly fascination with the second of the five Bennet sisters. Or so he had thought. Then, several days ago, the eldest Bennet sister, Miss Jane Bennet, had become ill while visiting Bingley’s sisters. Of course, she had to stay as their guest until she was healthy enough for travel.
Although Darcy thought of Bingley as a brother, he didn’t much care for Bingley’s sisters. Miss Caroline Bingley had travelled to Hertfordshire to act as Mr. Bingley’s hostess, for it was one of the unwritten rules of the gentry that a single man could not entertain guests at his house without a hostess. Darcy would have been fine with Miss Bingley if she would leave him alone. But Miss Bingley had decided she wanted to marry Darcy. For his estate, no doubt. She was constantly batting her eyes and complimenting him. Louisa Hurst, Bingley’s married sister, was slightly better. Still a snob, but less obvious about it. She had dragged her husband to Hertfordshire so she could keep Miss Bingley company.
Darcy chuckled as he remembered the expressions on the faces of Bingley’s sisters when Miss Elizabeth had been shown into the breakfast room the next day. They were appalled to learn she had walked three miles to visit her sister. Three muddy miles, judging by the state of her skirt. Darcy admitted that he had enjoyed the past few days in her presence. She was unlike any woman he had ever known. Her conversation was witty and clever, and her playful manner challenged him. She paid him none of the compliments he was used to receiving from young women desiring his attentions. He had even allowed himself to forget his objections against her. Until her mother and younger sisters paid a visit, that is.
Darcy grimaced as he thought of Mrs. Bennet and her three youngest daughters. Their behavior was thoroughly shocking. It was the first time he could ever recall being in accord with Miss Bingley. She had openly disparaged the family to her brother, trying to point out the disadvantages of the connection. Bingley, however, stood firm in his defense of Miss Bennet, whom he declared an angel. But even Bingley could not defend Mrs. Bennet. He remembered Mrs. Bennet’s taunts as she and her youngest daughters visited Netherfield Park under the guise of checking on “Dear Jane”. She had apparently decided that Darcy was the enemy and aimed poorly veiled barbs his way throughout the visit.
Miss Elizabeth, however, had tried to defend him, her cheeks scarlet with mortification. Darcy came to a stop as he remembered the agonized, apologetic glance she had shot him with her spectacular eyes. Those gorgeous, sparkling hazel eyes with dark lashes made for flirting…
Flirting? Good heavens. What was wrong with him? Darcy strode to the window and stared out, not seeing the breathtaking view as dawn softly crept over the landscape. Instead of the trees and the vast array of flora, his mind was wholly absorbed with a beautiful face, its eyebrows arched provocatively as she teased him.
Today she would be leaving, going home where she belonged. He should be grateful. He could put distance between them. Then he would be able to regain his control and focus on more appropriate things. Even as he told himself he would forget her and move on, he felt a strange ache inside his breast at the thought of never seeing Miss Elizabeth’s beautiful eyes again.