Good morning, dear readers and welcome to the blog tour for Anngela Schroeder’s latest book, “A Lie Universally Hidden.” Today it’s my pleasure to share an excerpt from this story, which I believe highlights another delectable moment from this story!
Before I share this excerpt, please allow me to share this blurb about this story:
“The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind. From their infancy, they have been intended for each other. It was the favorite wish of his mother…” —Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Fitzwilliam Darcy was raised to never stray from the path set before him: ensure the continued prosperity of his estate, Pemberley, protect and educate his sister to become an accomplished woman, and marry the woman his mother chose for him—his cousin Anne de Bourgh. With a letter bearing his late mother’s signature, Darcy presumes his fate is sealed and prepares to wed one he does not love. However, his destiny begins to unravel when he glimpses a pair of fine eyes on a quiet, country road.
Elizabeth Bennet is the second daughter of a respectable though insignificant gentleman. She is flattered to have captured the attention of a local squire, a childhood friend, and everyone believes her path is secure—until a handsome, rich gentleman arrives at a neighboring estate. Happenstance begets the unlikely pair together, bridging a forbidden love long past a mere friendship.
In “A Lie Universally Hidden”, two of literature’s most beloved romance characters are destined to marry for fortune and obligation rather than love. How will Darcy and Elizabeth fulfill their true destiny under such circumstances? Shall honor, decorum, prudence—nay, a signed letter from the grave—forbid it?
“A Lie Universally Hidden” is a Regency Romance suitable for most audiences, teen and up.
The following excerpt finds Darcy and Elizabeth stranded at the estate of James Hamilton, Ashby Park, due to circumstances beyond their control.
Miss Elizabeth nodded. She woke her maid and took Darcy’s arm. He gently held her hand before he bowed before her at the bottom of the staircase then slowly trailed behind her.
Upon reaching her door, she faced him and said, “I thank you, sir. Such a lovely and unexpected evening.”
“It was my pleasure, Miss Elizabeth. Goodnight.” He gently raised her hand to his lips. “Pleasant dreams,” he quietly whispered.
“Good night, Mr. Darcy.” Her voice faltered slightly as she turned to enter her room. He strode down the corridor to escape the maddening feelings welling up in his heart when he heard her jiggle the handle violently. “Mr. Darcy, I must impose upon you a little longer. It appears my door is locked.”
“Locked?” He walked back the few steps before reaching for the handle and jiggling it himself. “How did that happen?” he asked looking at her and then at her maid.
“Sarah often locks our rooms from the inside while she is lighting the fire and preparing our night clothes.” He raised his eyebrows. “Sir—” she laughed “—in a house with four other sisters, it is often when one’s door is unlocked, our most prized bonnets and baubles go missing. Sarah will often lock our door when she is inside so she does not have to face the wrath of our youngest sister when she refuses to hand over our items.”
A deep chuckle rumbled from his throat. “I will bow to your knowledge of thieving sisters, Miss Bennet. Georgiana has never attempted to steal any of my effects. But, if you would be so kind as to extract one of your hair pins, I will have this door open in less than a minute.”
“My cousin Richard Fitzwilliam and I used to play hide and seek at Pemberley when we were boys. Richard’s favorite place to hide was the tack room in the stable. He would take the key and lock himself inside. I eventually figured out that if I had a pin, I could pry it open from the outside and find him. After that, it was more evenly matched.”
“You would ask me to let my hair down, sir, solely for the use of a pin? Scandalous, Sarah, just scandalous.” She winked at her shocked maid.
Darcy laughed. “I hope you know, madam, I would never do anything to damage your reputation nor your chances for future felicity.”
Grinning, she carefully removed a pin. “One pin will not question my decency, sir. Two, however, might leave me to censure and ridicule.”
He took the pin from her, bending it straight before inserting it in the lock.
He turned at Miss Elizabeth’s exclamation and did a quick intake of breath. Her silky, dark curls cascaded down around her shoulders.
“Pray, excuse me. It seems as if that hairpin was to be my undoing after all.” She could barely meet his eyes while struggling with her remaining pins.
“Beautiful.” He sighed looking into her eyes as her gaze tentatively met his. The surprise on her face could only mean he had shared his thought…aloud! He lowered his own eyes and silently chastised himself. “I beg your pardon.”
A smile appeared before she answered him back. “Sir, you need never apologize for a compliment.”
“Mr. Darcy, it is rare that a lady hears such praise while she is in disarray.” She lowered her lashes and looked back up through them shyly. “I thank you for your sentiment. It is not often that I hear them.”
“I cannot believe that, Miss Elizabeth. But, I thank you for your forgiveness.”
“Shall Sarah get you a candle?”
“No, no,” Darcy said, turning back to the door. “I only need to manipulate the pin around until I can feel the lock catch and release. Then I will have your door… there!” He turned the handle and flung open the door, bowing gallantly. The maid quickly slipped inside the door, leaving them alone in the hallway. His eyes caught hers as he stood to his full height. “And now, Miss Bennet,” he said with all amiability, “I will return your hairpin to you with which you can tame your unruly mane.”
“I thank you, Mr. Darcy for restoring me to my chambers. I will see you in the morning. Goodnight.”
She walked past him and gently locked the door behind her, leaving him alone in the hallway with his thoughts and her lingering scent to carry him off to sleep.
Oh, isn’t this excerpt just oh so romantic?
Meet Anngela Schroeder:
I have a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. I love to travel, bake, and watch college football with my husband of 16 years and 3 rambunctious sons. My goal in life is to make not only my children, but also my students feel that they are loved, and to bring magic into everyone’s world. My weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, French bread with real butter, and my father’s Arabic food, namely grape leaves, and falafel. I live in California where I dream of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.
Readers can connect with Anngela at the following places:
January 16/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
January 17/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 18/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post
January 19/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
January 20/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 21/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review
January 22/ Just Jane 1813/ Excerpt Post
January 23/Austenesque Reviews/ Author Spotlight & Giveaway
January 24/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 25/ Every Savage Can Dance/Book Review & Giveaway
January 26 / Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
January 27 / Austenesque Reviews/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 28/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Excerpt & Giveaway
January 29/ Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway
“A Lie Universally Hidden” can be added to your bookshelf at Amazon. This book is also available through KindleUnlimited.
Visit Goodreads to see what your friends are saying about this story.
I want to thank all of the terrific bloggers who have supported this tour and all of the wonderful readers who have followed this tour. I hope you’re enjoying these posts and please feel free to have your share of the conversation in the comments section below this post. Your comments always brighten my day!