Darcy and Fitzwilliam – Synopsis, Excerpt

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Synopsis

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer. A sequel to Jane Austen’s magnificent ‘Pride and Prejudice’ this humorous story is of two romances, one involving the handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy, the other his cousin, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. Darcy is handsome, elegant, proud and a besotted newlywed to his beloved Elizabeth Bennet. Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam is his older cousin, a veteran of Waterloo, fun loving, charismatic, and about to fall head over heels with a beautiful American widow. A charming tale of love, of great friendship, of children and of an irritable old aunt, Lady Catherine deBourgh.

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Excerpt

VOLUME TWO, CHAPTER FOUR

It was when they approached the footman who would announce them that he saw her, her simple presence outstand¬ing amidst a multitude of inbred and odd-looking individuals gushing and fawning over each other. Wearing an outmoded, drab gown meant for someone much larger and much, much older, she was tenderly patting stray locks of a young girl’s hair, adjusting the bow on the back of the girl’s dress, in short, fussing about the girl like a mother hen with her lone chick. He was thunderstruck. Even without the feathers, paint, lace, and jewelry, she far outshone the posturing aristocratic ladies surrounding her, who competed in vain for attention.

At this distance, the youth she tended to appeared to Fitzwilliam as little more than an infant—small, frightened, and frail. However, it was not the anxious-looking girl who was causing him concern, drawing his offense. It was the activity surrounding the two that began to fuel his indignation, the admiration of the many men milling about ogling his Beauty, commenting upon her shimmering blonde hair. Fellow soldiers gaping and drooling over his Beauty’s eyes as they sparkled with amusement within a perfect, heart-shaped face, long, dark lashes lowered now to her task and shadowing his Beauty’s cheeks.

It was a testament to her good looks that those who circled overlooked the other grander, more-opulently gowned women, to be drawn instead by a loveliness that appeared both alien and delicate at once.

The young girl nervously whispered something, and the Brown-Eyed Beauty laughed gently, her face softening as it tilted to the side, lighting up with open joy, her eyes twinkling in devilish delight. Deadly dimples suddenly appeared.

Instead of being charmed, Fitzwilliam was furious.

“Why do you look as if you’ve just gotten your foot caught in your stirrups?” As he followed Richard’s rapt gaze, looking across the ballroom in the same general direction, Darcy discovered the object of his interest. “Ah. Well, well, well…” he muttered.

“What?” Fitzwilliam turned momentarily toward his cousin.

“I take it that is the woman about whom all your fuss has been?”

After one or two tense moments, Richard responded. “Yes, Darcy,” he bit back icily. “That is the woman about whom, as you so haughtily say, all my fuss has been. What of it?!”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Still he hesitated, staring.

Seeing Darcy’s reaction, Fitzwilliam bristled. “You wish to make some sort of observation, brat? Yes, that is the woman, and please do not stare at her like some sort of bedlamite.”

“Well, pardon me, Your Worship. She’s just not what I had expected.”

“What do you mean by that?” Fitzwilliam glared. “She is the most beautiful woman in this room, if not the whole city.”

“Jesu, calm yourself, Richard. I didn’t say she wasn’t. It’s just that she’s so… so…”

“So… what?”

“Well…” Darcy’s eyes made a quick appraisal of the woman in the distance. “Well, for one thing, she is rather plainly dressed for such a grand assembly, and she does appear rather foreign-looking with those cheekbones. Here’s an aside. Whatever happened to your dream of a deathly pale, full-bodied, and terminally ill English Rose due to inherit an estate the size of Kent? Hmm? In case you had not noticed, this young woman is very healthy and quite slender and apparently poor. At the very least, you must admit that she doesn’t have the usual voluptuousness of which you are known to be so fond.” Without even looking at his cousin, he could feel his eyes boring into him. He sighed.

“She is not that slender,” Fitzwilliam said coolly. “And you are still staring at her. I don’t like it, I tell you.”

Darcy rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Please try and behave as an adult. I’m sure you’ve seen them about—emulate.” The air crackled between them. “All I am saying is that she has a leaner frame than the average woman you prefer. She is tall and slim and, well, frankly, she appears small-busted.” Darcy eyed her critically and then turned to look at a furious Fitzwilliam. “Maybe it is just that the dress is so huge. Stop scowling at me!”

He sipped calmly from a glass of wine he had just been handed by a footman. “Merciful heaven, aren’t you suddenly the sensitive one! I have nothing against the woman at all. She is quite as lovely as you say, perhaps more so.” Fitzwilliam’s green-eyed rage was turning boiling red from his struggle for control. “And she is definitely not your type.”

Fitzwilliam stiffened. “Aside from your previous gibberish, what is it about her, exactly, that you do not consider my type?”

Darcy hesitated for a few tension-filled moments before proceeding at his peril. “Truthfully? All right. Well, she’s not at all fussy or overly made-up. She’s naïve-looking, soft, elegant, and pleasant. None of those are your usual requirements—in fact, quite the opposite.” Darcy and Fitzwilliam stood glaring at each other before Darcy finally broke rank and turned back. He then gestured toward the woman under discussion. “I mean, she really is quite beautiful, to be sure. Oh, and my goodness, what an exquisite smile she has, such luscious, full lips. And dimples, too? Good God!” He chuckled and shook his head. “No, she’s definitely not your type at all.”

“All right, that does it. I should call you out.”

“Well, think about it. You could actually grow to love this woman, then where would you be?”

“Never mind about all that. I don’t care for the way you are looking at her, brat, with your insolent eyes. And how dare you comment upon her lips, goddamn it. You’re almost drooling.”

Darcy turned to coolly assess his cousin. “You should be medicated.”

“You were leering at her.”

“I was not leering, you apelike menace! I was asked my opinion.”

“Aha! Well…you are the demented one—you were never asked for your opinion, and I, above all people, know a leer when I see one, and I certainly don’t need your approval. I was merely pointing her out to you.”

“What’s going on, gentlemen?” Georgiana returned to their side after freshening herself. The carriage ride had been long and blustery, a frigid winter storm approaching with snow and sleet threatening to descend upon London at any moment.

“Oh, Fitzwilliam has finally lost what little was left of his mind. He is annoyed with me for glancing at his newest obses¬sion,” Darcy whispered loudly. “He is also exceedingly upset because I have been pointing out to him the many ways in which she would not suit him at all.”

“Really? What fun! May I take a stab? Where is she?” Darcy indicated the far corner where the beauty was standing.

Fitzwilliam threw up his hands and turned his back on them. “I am leaving you both. I know neither of you. Good-bye.”

“Oh, how charming she is and how different are her features! Truly a paragon!” Georgiana gushed. A slightly mol¬lified Fitzwilliam waited. “And not your type at all, Richard. Definitely not!” Georgiana’s clear assessing gaze darted from the beauty to Fitzwilliam and then back to the beauty. He turned slowly around and faced her.

“Et tu, Judas?” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“Heavens, Richard, just look at the color in your face! Are you feeling all right?” She regarded him with great concern.

 

ORDER DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM ON:

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Darcy and Fitzwilliam Book Reviews

“Laugh until your sides ache and then laugh some more…Delicious…” – Linda Banche Reviews

“It is absorbing. It is intoxicating. It is excellent.” – Jane Austen’s World

 

Orange County Register

This sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” focuses on the friendship between Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Wasylowski delves deeper into why Caroline Bingley continues to pursue Darcy and how Lady Catherine de Bourgh grows to accept Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage …

 

Booklist

Married life is bliss. At least that is what Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam’s cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy would have him believe. But Richard has no intention of stepping into the parson’s mousetrap until he encounters America widow Amanda Penrod at one of London’s innumerous balls …

 

Historical Novel Reviews – Feb. 2011

Karen V. Wasylowski has turned out one of the former, a charming and believable rendering that offers the reader a look at the men in Pride and Prejudice. Austen would no doubt welcome Darcy and Fitzwilliam, an amusing and witty interpretation …

 

Jane Austen’s World and Jane Austen Today

A soldier stands in the background, far away from the shaded beauty of the stairs directly below you. You can barely see the red-backed, leather-booted militia man but you can tell he walks with purpose, conviction. He’s looking to the right as if he’s about to turn into the lane and boldly move off into the next phase of life with his head held high, confident in his poise and precise in his footfalls…

Kelly Yalke Deltener – Jane Austen Sequel Examiner

Karen Wasylowski’s first novel, Darcy and Fitzwilliam, is a foray into the Austen adaptation world that focuses on what could be considered the world’s first modern bromance….

Jessica Hastings – suite101.com

Completely unique and never seen before, Karen V. Wasylowski has continued the Pride and Prejudice tale Jane Austen began, but with a focused look at Mr. Darcy and his cousin, best friend and confidant; Colonel Fitzwilliam. This intriguing novel had me guessing right from the cover, as to the contents of its literary prose, and I was quickly assured…

 

Austen Sequels

Darcy and Fitzwilliam, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, chronicles the lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, cousins and best friends. At 481 pages, Wasylowski isn’t playing around. She divides the novel into three parts: one focuses on Darcy, the second on Fitzwilliam, and the third on “family.” Darcy and Lizzy are happily married, and expecting their first child. Darcy is the proud, tall…

 

Calico Critic

From Goodreads: A gentleman cannot survive without his best friend…Fitzwilliam Darcy and colonel Fitzwilliam couldn’t be more different. Darcy is quiet and reserved, and carries the weight of his responsibilities on his shoulders. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a confirmed bachelor whose military feats have made him a hero…

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: Shelley DeWees Review

Imagine, if you dare…

A soldier stands in the background, far away from the shaded beauty of the stairs directly below you. You can barely see the red-backed, leather-booted militia man but you can tell he walks with purpose, conviction. He’s looking to the right as if he’s about to turn into the lane and boldly move off into the next phase of life with his head held high, confident in his poise and precise in his footfalls. The beautiful spring day is made better by the vision of sun dappled ferns and leaves scattered haphazardly on the stones, billowing around as if they’ve just been disturbed by something….a man….a cloaked man, running after the soldier with a clear demeanor of distress. He runs as if he’s got something to say, something important.

Mysterious. Intriguing, you might say. Gracing the cover of Darcy and Fitzwilliam, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, the scene seems to speak, “Yes. Open me. Read me. It will prove interesting.” My senses were tingling, but guardedly. It was going to be a compelling tale of male bonding and growth, perhaps interspersed with a few allegories of debauchery and decadence. Was I about to stumble into a literary man cave? A wordy representation of a place where no female ought to poke her nose? Though the contemptible word “bromance” was used in the author’s own description of her work, her “baby” as she called it, I was moved to give the whole liking it thing a real shot, a good ‘ol college try. With such a lovely cover, it had to be better than a bromance, right? Would a sneaky look into a man cave be that bad?

Well, no. This story is amazing. It’s not just a glimpse into the idle lives of the extremely rich and entitled, and certainly not a flippant narrative of a life unbridled by the constraints of the middle class. It’s not just drinking and billiards, gambling and shooting, and it’s certainly not what I thought it would be (the man cave analogy is officially rebuked). This is a visceral tale that positively drips with social commentary, tackling problems that few Austenesque writers would attempt to undertake.

Ms. Wasylowski weaves a brilliant account of two separate lives, those of a married, measured, quiet man whose strength is in the details, and another loud, energetic, sometimes irksome chronic bachelor who uses his charisma to get what he needs out of life. I’m sure you know which is which, but I bet you’ll be surprised at just how engaging these two characters are. The book itself is divided into two volumes, the first of which deals with Mr. Darcy and his new bride. They’re happy but not irritatingly so (how refreshing), and in fact they engage in a knock-down-drag-out brawl within the first seven chapters! Elizabeth and Darcy slowly figure out their new life together, discovering flaws, faults, one giant secret, and stirring up all kinds of interesting social issues in the meantime. Sexual disparities show up, and Elizabeth marvels at her ignorance and jealously while Darcy is forced to deal with the formidable Lady Catherine DeBourgh (who, in this representation, is a feisty and delicious character). Later on in volume two, the life of Fitzwilliam “Richard” Darcy is explored more thoroughly, and the reader watches helplessly as his greed and foolishness finally catch up with him. What is he to do? Searching for answers at the bottom of a hip flask hasn’t been working out. He’s looking to find someone to spend his life with, but is forced to sift through piles of societal restrictions once he’s found her. England’s position on women, marriage, homosexuality, alcohol, even America’s treachery come into the picture, not tiptoeing over but literally smashing his dreams. What’s a guy to do?

There is little else anyone can say to you, clever reader, except this: Read this book. A cutesy romance of love and lace it is not. Darcy and Fitzwilliam is a gripping interpretation of life in Regency England, bravely attempting to bring issues of tension to the table. Domestic violence, alcoholism, harsh words, sex, royalism, and loathsome small-mindedness abound, and all through the vision of Jane Austen’s characters.

It’s intoxicating. It’s absorbing. It’s excellent.

Shelley DeWees