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Can the Darcy’s marriage (and Pemberley) survive after they spend their first Christmas together with both of their families?
Victoria Kincaid invites readers to join the Darcys this season, along with their numerous unanticipated guests, for a story that serves up its own endearing holiday recipe for love and laughter, while celebrating the holiday spirit.
Settling into life at Pemberley can be easily imagined as one of the most luxurious retreats possibly known to man; the sweeping landscapes, the lush furnishings, and the ever-solicitous staff members ready to serve and please at all times of the day and night. The fact that it’s their first Christmas season as a newly married couple only adds to Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s anticipation about the upcoming season. After all, doesn’t every newlywed couple dream of spending their first holidays secluded and alone to enjoy their wedded bliss?
Well, we know what they say about the best-laid plans, and for Darcy and Elizabeth, this statement couldn’t have a truer meaning, as nearly every one of their unwanted, I mean uninvited relations decides to show up unexpectedly at Pemberley and is seeking to join them in celebrating the upcoming holiday season. Certainly, the master and mistress of Pemberley can’t throw them all out into the cold to journey back to their respective homes? Or can they?
Guest after guest arrives, each with his or her own agenda, and as each one appears it becomes clear that his/her agenda is sharply in contrast to the agenda that the Darcys had in mind for their own holiday celebrations. Will this holiday season serve to demonstrate the imprudence of their love match or will Darcy and Elizabeth weather the storms of family and friends with admirable aplomb and humor?
Cloistered at Pemberley with this unusual mixture of guests, Darcy and Elizabeth learn that two heads are better than one when it comes to enjoying the holidays with their relatives. It will take more than just a few well-conceived schemes to maintain peace and harmony at Pemberley this season, and thankfully, Ms. Kincaid knows just how to wrap enough mischief, mayhem, and romance into her holiday story!
It’s a challenge to write JAFF that has a more humorous than serious bent without losing some credibility, but Victoria Kincaid handles this challenge with her uncanny ability to combine Austen’s storyline and characters with a variety of different forms of humor so that her jokes stayed funny throughout the story, while at the same time, the characters felt true to their original personalities. Mrs. Kincaid is also an author who has a knack for moving a story along without getting caught up in descriptive language or other superfluous details that could slow down the pacing of her story, and in “A Very Darcy Christmas,” she demonstrates this skill throughout her story.
As I read this story, I was also reminded of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at times. While Darcy is certainly no Clark Griswold, he does suffer in similar ways when he’s around Elizabeth’s family. He tries his best to remain in control of his feelings, even when Pemberley itself suffers at the hands of Elizabeth’s careless sister. He tries to maintain his sanity when another one of her family members attempts to blackmail him. He even tries to help Mr. Bennet deal with Mrs. Bennet, who is so hysterical with her fears that the French will invade them, but eventually, similar to Clark Griswold, Darcy succumbs to the blackest of moods possible. Can Elizabeth’s witty schemes help them regain their equilibrium at Pemberley and rekindle the passion and love that she hopes still remains between them?
I highly recommend this story for readers who enjoyed “Chaos Comes to Longbourn,” as well as for readers who want some really good laughs as they get into the holiday spirit with Darcy and Elizabeth.
You can connect with Victoria Kincaid at:
Her blog, Victoria Kincaid, where she has a different excerpt from “A Very Darcy Christmas” posted on her blog.
Her Facebook Page, where she also shares frequent updates about her stories.
Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two children who love to read, a cute (but clumsy) puppy, and an overly affectionate cat. A lifelong Jane Austen fan, Victoria confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.
Victoria Kincaid has dropped by with an excerpt from “A Very Darcy Christmas.” Enjoy!
Could they possibly have guests? Darcy wondered. No one was expected, but a neighbor might have stopped for a visit. Or his aunt and uncle? Matlock was not too far away. But that would not explain all the activity.
The saloon, a large oval room behind the marble hall, was comfortably appointed with chairs and settees and decorated in the latest fashion. As he entered the room, Darcy was treated to the sight—and sound—of Mrs. Bennet’s shrieks.
“It’s the French! They here!” She was pointing to Richard on the other side of the room. What was his cousin doing at Pemberley?
Richard actually looked to see if some spy had crept into the room behind him. Then his eyes widened as he realized Mrs. Bennet was accusing him.
“That is my nephew, you ninny,” a voice Darcy recognized all too well rang out. His aunt Catherine glared disdainfully at Mrs. Bennet. Aunt Catherine and Mrs. Bennet in the same room? Surely fate could not be so cruel.
“He doesn’t have a mustache, Mama,” chimed in Lydia Wickham. Oh, Good Lord, it got worse and worse. “All Frenchmen have mustaches. Everyone knows that.”
If Lydia was here, that meant…
“Yes, by all means, Fitzwilliam, I think you should prove you are not a French spy,” drawled Wickham from the sideboard where he was helping himself to some of Darcy’s best brandy.
Richard advanced menacingly on Wickham, who shrank back against the wall. “I do not need to prove anything to you or anyone,” he snarled to the other man.
“He does not sound French,” Mrs. Bennet admitted. “Perhaps he is Irish.”
Mr. Bennet handed his wife a glass. “My dear, here is some of that sherry you like.”
A skinny red-haired man was the first one to notice Darcy standing in the shadow of the doorway. “Mr. Darcy?” He bounced enthusiastically from his chair. “I must talk with you, sir! You have a most interesting blight!” The man waved a piece of wheat in Darcy’s face, forcing him to take a step back.
“Not now, you fool!” hissed Lady Catherine.
The man blinked at her. “Oh, should we talk about blights over port after dinner?”
Good Lord, has the whole world gone mad?
Elizabeth appeared in the doorway, a little more careworn than when he had left her that morning. Some of her hair had escaped and fell over her face. Dark smudges shadowed her eyes. Even so, she was a rock of sanity amidst all of the unexpected chaos—and a balm to his weary soul. He took both of her hands in his and pulled her toward him, giving her a hearty kiss on the lips. When he released her, a faint blush stained her cheeks.
“Really, William!” Aunt Catherine said in her most scandalized voice.
Darcy found it remarkably easy to ignore her. “Did you open a boarding house while I was gone for the day?” he asked Elizabeth with a smile.
Richard chuckled. “I cannot speak for your other guests, but I have no intention of paying for my room and board.”
Elizabeth laughed, too. “I apologize that I was not here to welcome you! I wanted to explain the sudden onslaught of guests.”
She took him by the arm and walked him out into the marble hall as she explained how they had become inundated with visitors. Darcy did not understand at first why she chose to lead him away from their guests, but by the end of the recitation he did. “…And my parents are here because my mother fears the French will invade Meryton; she thinks being further north will be safer.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. Darcy managed not to laugh.
“I see,” he said.
“I apologize that my family took it upon themselves to visit without an invitation,” Elizabeth murmured.
“’Tis not your fault.” He shook his head, although he could not help but mourn the demise of their quiet Christmas together. None of the guests could be easily persuaded to leave before Twelfth Night, except perhaps Richard—and he was the only one Darcy would keep. It would be rude and inhospitable to invite the others to leave during the Christmas season.
They would weather it with no difficulties, he was sure. Although it was a close call who had the more irritating laugh, Lydia or Mrs. Bennet. And then Wickham on top of that… Darcy’s hands clenched into fists.
“We must discover a way to remove Mr. Wickham from the premises,” Elizabeth said firmly. “Particularly because Georgiana was among the first of the arrivals. She found Rosings to be overwhelming.”
“Or rather Aunt Catherine.” Darcy ground his back teeth. “Does Georgiana know of Wickham?”
“I warned her. She claimed to be equal to meeting him, but I could see that it bothered her.” She sighed. “I do not believe we can do anything about the man, however. We must feed him and give him a room for the night.”
Darcy nodded despite his misgivings. “Very well. I will require him to remove to the Lambton Inn tomorrow.”
“Dinner will be served whenever you are ready,” Elizabeth said.
He sighed. “Very well, I will go upstairs and change my clothes.” But he did not move; instead he stared at the saloon door. “I was only away for a few hours…” he murmured in amazement.
Elizabeth patted his arm. “I know how you feel, my dear.”
I love this scene at the beginning of the story! I don’t know who I felt worse for; was it Darcy or Elizabeth? What do you think?
Ms. Kincaid would like to offer Just Jane 1813 readers an opportunity to win an ebook or a paperback copy of “A Very Darcy Christmas.” The winner can select either version of this story and this giveaway is open to international readers too!
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog by midnight ET on December 10th. The winner will be announced on this blog on December 11, 2016. I’d love to hear from my readers your thoughts about this new story and/or your thoughts about another book you’ve loved by Victoria Kincaid.
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