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

Sons and Daughters – Synopsis, Excerpt

Sons and Daughters: Synopsis

JANE AUSTEN’S ‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’ CONTINUES…

SONS AND DAUGHTERS, a sequel to Karen V. Wasylowski’s ‘DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM’ (which was itself a continuation of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), again follows the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Now we see the two battling best friends as loving husbands and doting fathers, older and a bit wiser, making the sacrifices, the difficult (and frequently unpopular) decisions that men must make for the good of their families and we see their large brood of offspring – the ‘Fitzwilliam Mob’ – grow from childhood to adolescence then on into adulthood. Along the way, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are viewed by their children first as heroes, then as the enemy, but eventually as mortal human beings and the children’s adored champions once again.

 

Sons and Daughters: Excerpt

Have you come up with any reasonable story yet?” Hands in his pockets Fitzwilliam glared down at his sons.

Amanda shook her head in doubt. “Tell me again what sort of punishment this is meant to be.” The two little fellows sat side by side on the bottom step of the front staircase, scratching elbows and knees, looking anywhere but at their father.

“Well, since neither will tell me which one dropped the flour bag I am making them sit here until they come up with any plausible explanation.”

“I’m still a bit vague on this. How will that help you determine which one to punish?”

“They’ll have to decide together. If they‘re able to come up with one convincing tale I’ll accept it. But they cannot leave that step until they do agree on one.”

“And you are certain this is the position you wish to take?”

“It is.”

“I will never understand you.”

“It was me, Papa.” Mark winced when his brother’s sharp elbow dug into his side. “Well, it was.”

“No, Papa, it was me,” countered Matthew.

“See, not good enough. You still don’t agree. Now, give it another go.” The little faces leaned toward each other.

“I’ll share a secret with you both – if you tell me the truth the punishment will be less severe.”

“It was me,” whispered Matthew.

Mark nodded. “Yeah, it was him. But he’s very young.”

Fitzwilliam tried not to chuckle as he took a glum faced Matthew by the hand. The two walked silently into the library and when they reappeared a few moments later Matthew was rubbing his bottom, but evidently was not overly upset since he hopped up onto his chair and immediately began reaching for food.

“Before either of you eat, I want you to apologize to your cousins for that unprovoked attack at our front door.” With the wives fussing over baby Luke elsewhere, and the Fitzwilliam day maid hiding in a cupboard, the two fathers were the only functioning adults in the room.

“But it was though, Papa – provoked, I mean. First, to be clear on this, what exactly does provoke mean?” Precise to his core and always good natured Mark was duty bound to explain the twins’ abysmal behavior. However, he was also a detail man and, as usual, becoming bogged down with them.

“It means you are nasty boys and it means that you are wicked.” Kathy crowed, taunting with her little sing song voice, smiling cheerily at her older brothers because anytime they were in trouble was a cause for celebration. “It means you cannot have cake ever again and crows will peck out your eyes.”

Anne Marie cheered at that, she even clapped.

“Anne Marie Darcy, do not encourage your cousins.” Darcy reprimanded. “They seldom require it,” he muttered as he brought his daughter’s plate closer to her.

“Kathy, where do you learn such nonsense?” Fitzwilliam grasped her little cup of milk before it toppled from the table but failed to save her silverware.

“They’ll peck your eyes out, Beef!” shouted Matthew and Georgie, retaliating as always in unison. “And eat your brains – if they can find any! Yeah they will!” Matthew expanded on their previous comment and stuck out his tongue.

“Enough. All of you. Anyone who is shorter than I will henceforth cease to speak.” Darcy’s commanding voice sounded severe as he cut into edible pieces the small ham slice that had been sitting, untouched, before his daughter for nearly twenty minutes. “Eat something, Anne Marie – anything. I beg of you. At least one bite. How does your mother succeed with this and I do not?”

“Mama sings to me.”

“Yes, she sings to me also. How lucky we both are. Now eat at least the little bit that is on this fork. Please.” He turned to Mark. “And, ‘unprovoked’, my charming young hooligan, means that there was no just cause for the attack, neither upon your Aunt Lillibet nor upon your uncle – old what’s his name.”

Mark Fitzwilliam laughed heartily at what Darcy had just said, as if Darcy were the wittiest man alive.
Actually, hunger had overtaken his senses and he wanted done with all questions. He reached for his fork. Darcy’s arched eyebrow stopped him cold.

“No, Mark, you must answer the question first. Explain why you are tossing flour from the windows.”

“The salt is locked away.”

There was momentary silence.

“Darcy, you’re getting nowhere with this vague line of questioning. When it comes to my children you must attack with precision, leave nothing ambiguous. Watch carefully and learn. Matthew, what provocation – close your mouth, Mark – what purpose was there for your attack upon Uncle Wills and Auntie Lillibet?”

“It wasn’t meant for Uncle Wills. We love him and Auntie Lillibet.” Matthew reached for a jar of preserves but could not get them without unsettling the pitcher of milk; his father immediately righted the pitcher and brought the jar nearer. “Thank you, Papa. Put the strawberries on my scone?”

“Please…?” Prompted his father.

“I already said you could, Papa.”

“No, no, no, that is not what I meant, son. You should say…never mind. Now, these are not strawberries, Matthew. These are raspberries. Do you understand me, boy?” Fitzwilliam placed a large dollop of the raspberry preserves onto his son’s scone and then sliced the scone into several smaller pieces. He pushed the plate over to Mathew.

“Well, never mind then.”

“Whatever is keeping your mother so long?” Fitzwilliam mumbled as he stretched to look over his shoulder.

 

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Sons and Daughters: Amazon Reviews

By S.C.Mema (5 Stars)

I love this book. The story follows Fitzwilliam and Darcy, cousins and best friends, through their early lives as young married men and fathers. Fitzwilliam marries the American woman he adores, much to the chagrin of his family, as Elizabeth and Darcy establish their lives at Pemberley.

It’s all of the typical up’s and down’s of married life, but told with sparkling wit and banter. Of course, the Bingleys are there, too, and we see the interactions between the three families, and the friendships that develop and thrive between the children.

All of the plot threads were wonderfully developed and woven within the context of the story. My favorite involved Alice, the youngest Darcy daughter. She was always in trouble with her mama, and usually as a result of something the older siblings and cousins had done. Of course, that endeared her all the more to her papa and uncles and aunts. And to see her at the end of the story with — (you didn’t think I would actually tell you that, did you?)

I have not read the first book in this series, but this book stood alone as a story, and I had no problem following it. I now have the first book and look forward to spending many hours enjoying the part of the story I missed.

I loved, loved this Fitzwilliam and Darcy.

 

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Sons and Daughters: Linda Banche Reviews

Karen V. Wasylowski has done it again with Sons and Daughters, an often hilarious, sometimes soul-wrenching, but always engaging tale as she continues the saga begun in the delicious Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer.

True to the title, Darcy’s and Fitzwilliam’s children dominate the story. Darcy has three and Fitzwilliam nine. (Nine, you say? The man has worked overtime.) The book spans twenty years and we laugh and cry along with both clans as the parents age and their children grow and navigate the always difficult transition to adulthood.

Ms. Wasylowski’s flowing prose keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. With so many characters, something new, perhaps funny and perhaps heartbreaking, always happens. Like the time when the children, mostly preadolescent, find some erotic prints Fitzwilliam saved and aren’t sure what to make of them, although they’re certain they must be scandalous, to when Fitz’s wife, Amanda, has her ninth child in a very difficult birth.

Ms. Wasylowski’s is a master at writing the emotion of both adults and children, especially as she shows how the children’s feelings change as they mature. She also has a good ear for realistic dialog, whether the character is child or adult, male or female. At times, the boys are disgustingly boys, and the girls, while perhaps a little nicer, are the boys’ matches in every way. And the parents, as parents do, yell and threaten as well as love their children to distraction.

I only wish the book was longer. With so many characters, Ms. Wasylowski by necessity had to skim over some stories. I’d like to know more about George and Kathy, and Anne Marie and Mr. Wentworth. Maybe a few novellas?

But if you want more fun with Darcy and Fitzwilliam, read Sons and Daughters.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche

Sons and Daughters: Stephanie Reviews

This story follows Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitwillaim and their family. You see their children grow to young adults in this story and their struggles with relationships (even with each other) and their parents. Darcy and Fitzwilliam have to make difficult decisions regarding their family but at the same time you see their love, sacrifices and understanding….

I enjoyed this story immensely. Son’s and Daughters is delightfully crafted and different from any continuation of Pride & Prejudice that I have read thus far. There are humorous, witty- as well as- serious dialogue aspects to this story. The plot is engaging,well written and Karen shows strong emotions in her characters. I found myself reading late into the night, not wanting to put the book down. I look forward to reading more of Karen’s stories! I highly recommend this book to Jane Austen fans! You’ll love it!

I rated this book four stars!

Stephanie
Layered Pages

Wives and Lovers – Synopsis, Excerpt

Book Three of ‘DARCY & FITZWILLIAM’ – a continuing ‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE FAMILY SAGA’.

In “Wives and Lovers” the forever brilliant, beautiful and brave Fitzwilliam Darcy is approaching his older years as fit and elegant as always. With his beloved Lizzy by his side he has become a powerful voice in political circles, as well as being regarded eminent among the highest and best of society. His children, George, Anne Marie and Alice are all happily married with children of their own, their lives idyllic – until… tragedy strikes all families, rich or poor.

Richard Fitzwilliam, a year and more older than his famous cousin, has always had a rather turbulent life, owing mostly to his mercurial moods, and his ‘bull among the china’ thirst for life. He is wildly in love with his wife, Amanda, but they argue about everything! He is devoted to his children, yet they drive him insane! His first born son is expected to marry and produce an heir – but what can be done when the boy has come to dislike the woman he married so much? And then there are his twin daughters, Mary Margaret and Mary Elizabeth, hovering around him, treating him like a delicate flower! Or his youngest, Edward drifting through life, chumming with friends, chasing girls! Or, his son Mark, traveling the world, and never home! Or his son Luke, regarded as the most handsome man in London…. oh, well; Fitzwilliam’s aggravations know no bounds.

 

WIVES AND LOVERS
1848
PROLOGUE

Brooks Gentlemen’s Club, the society of men begun in 1762 with the ouster of two free thinking individuals from the very conservative White’s Gentlemen’s Club, had over the years evolved into a Whig, or liberal leaning, enclave. Here impeccably attired gentlemen could settle into their armchairs for the sole purpose of discussing Business and Politics. Here gentlemen could thrash out Strategy while evaluating Unconfirmed Reports. Here, in other words, gentlemen could Gossip. Forward thinking was how they saw themselves – powerful men convening amidst lesser men who aspired to take their power.

And within this often treacherous, yet oddly successful, lot, there was one particular gentleman who was quite the celebrity as well.

“There he is, in the flesh. Do you see him? Don’t turn around!”

“Really, uncle? How in heaven’s name can I know of whom you speak if I do not turn around?”

“It’s Darcy! I’d sensed he would be here today, damned if I didn’t. Such an elegant looking fellow. Dudley, did you ever see the like?”

“Not looking at you, no. Are you going to eat that bread?”

“Yes, I am; get your hands away from there. You know, of course, that he is currently the implicit Whig leader.”

“So that’s why you dragged me here. Well, all right, let’s have a look at this citadel of ‘liberalism.’ Where is he?”

“I said don’t turn around!”

“Calm yourself. I wasn’t going to stand and shout out his name for goodness sake. What would you have me do?”

“Let me see, let me see… I know, when I give the signal slide something off the table to the floor, and then you may turn and look – unobtrusively as is possible mind you – as you pick whatever it is up. Perhaps you could throw down your… no, not your knife, something quiet. Gad, you’re hopeless at times.”

“Really, uncle! If you kick me again and I shall stomp on your foot!”

“Stomp on my foot, nephew, and I shall remind you that your mention in my will is not chiseled in stone. Ooh, here’s your chance, he’s looking toward the door and motioning at someone – turn around! Hurry!”

“Yes, all right. Where is he? I don’t see anyone in particular – oh, over there! Huh. So that is Derbyshire’s renowned ‘Fitzwilliam Darcy’. Well, well, well. Rather hard to miss the fellow since he seems the center of everyone’s attention in this room. Curious, I thought he’d look a much older man.”

“What are you on about? He’s the same age as I.”

“Precisely. Well, if we’ve satisfied your curiosity about the gentleman, may we at last return to our meal?”

“No we may not. Dudley, there are huge political matters in play here. My concern with Mr. Darcy goes far deeper than food.”

“Aha, now I am intrigued. Will we need to have anyone roughed up?”

“No, but listen to me carefully. When you looked at him just now…”

“Yes?”

“Did you see any tassels?”

“I beg pardon.”

“On his boots – did you see tassels?”

“No.”

“Neither did I. Why, oh why, do I ever listen to Monsieur Rene? Well, that decides it. I shall have to have mine removed immediately.”

“Your boots?”

“No, Dudley, my tassels. Move a bit to your left would you, you’re in my way. Excellent. Gad, how I envy the man, still young and virile looking at his age. Amazing.”

“Uh-huh. If you’re not going to finish your lamb I’d be willing to help you out there – wouldn’t turn away that remaining boiled egg either. Ooh, will you look at the time? We’d better get a move on here; Mama’s waiting tea for us. Waiter, are these the only puddings you have? I thought not. And, I need more hot chocolate. So why does this man fascinate you so? He seems very like any other toff in their later years. Exceedingly better looking than most I’ll grant you, slimmer in the hips, broader in the shoulders I suppose, but still he’s just another posh gent. Pass me the butter, there’s a good chap. What’s wrong now?”

“I wonder that we are even remotely related.”

“Odd. I wonder that often enough m’self.”

“Listen to me, and learn – and please, close your mouth when you chew. Thank you. The reason I brought us here today is that man. I must make his acquaintance. He is a legend, a genius. Why, Fitzwilliam Darcy has the ear of the most influential people in the realm, including the Prince! More impressive even that that – his aunt is Lady Catherine de Bourgh.”

“Yikes! Poor fellow.”

“Everyone who is anyone vies for his attention these days. Especially the ladies; they simply adore him.”

“Now that is something to envy. I’ve often dreamt of becoming a rich nabob, nothing to do with my life but tempt nubile young beauties into my bed. Do you know the name of his current mistress? Is it someone scandalous? She must be very chic, perhaps an opera dancer, or bored countess? I have it! It’s Henry Arnold’s young widow, is it not? Ha! Hear the doxie’s just arrived in town and already cutting a wide swath through the more powerful gentry.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! Hardly his type at all… oh, I see – you’re being facetious. Dudley, don’t play the fool with me, I’ve had years more experience. The fact is Fitzwilliam Darcy’s a revoltingly moral man; devoted to his wife and children, in spite of the fact that his wife’s family is far beneath his own. Then again, most are. Oh, now I’ve made myself depressed again. Signal the waiter for more wine, there’s a good fellow. My word, to be counted among his circle of acquaintances; I tell you, I would die a happy man.”

“Seems a bit counterproductive at that point – here you, waiter! Where are my strawberry scones?”
“Allow me to explain this in terms simple enough that even you may understand. Darcy has made millions for himself, for his relations, his friends – millions! Reputedly, he is very generous with sharing his expertise… ”

“One moment, uncle, if you please.”

“Yes?”

“Millions?”

“Yes, millions.”

“As in, money?”

“No, Dudley, teapots. Of course money! Everything the man touches turns golden! In fact – come closer – no, not that close – I learned just yesterday that he’s investing, and quite heavily I might add, in some type of Vast International Textile Consortium.”

“Which?”

“Don’t know, do I? No one seems to know, unfortunately. That’s why we’re here.”

“Yes, I understand you now. Say no more. Well, well, well, quite an interesting fellow, this Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Certainly turns himself out in the finest of fashion, too, doesn’t he?”

“Always – maintains the very highest of standards in all things; a gentleman through and through. And, I do love that new, sweet little phaeton of his. Have you seen the thing? From America, don’t you know. I’ll warrant that cost him a small fortune, not that he has a care for money. The man must bathe in it. Money, I mean, not the phaeton…”

“Ahem. Do you suppose he’s found a new man to represent Derbyshire in Commons seeing as his son-in-law died last year? Dreadful business, that – a tragic loss. John Wentworth was a luminary, a beacon of hope, a natural leader, an extraordinarily gifted man, taken from us much too young – you know I really would appreciate it if you would stop rolling your eyes at me.”

“Everyone knows you hated Wentworth.”

“What of it?”

“You’re a horrible human being.”

“That’s neither here nor there. I warrant I could stand as Darcy’s man in Derbyshire as well as anyone else. ‘Why’ you ask? ‘Why not,’ I say. After all, I thoroughly detest my present constituency. How do I look? Anything in my teeth?”

“Has it slipped your feeble brain that you’re a Tory?”

“Uncle, just as St. Paul did on the road to Emmaus, I Have Seen the Light. Think I’ll go and introduce myself, extend my belated condolences to the gentleman.”

“You can’t just walk up to Fitzwilliam Darcy without an introduction! Begin pushing yourself on him!”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“Allow me to do it.”

“I should have known. You just want to snag an introduction for yourself.”

“Well, at least I won’t fawn over him like some Covent Garden whore; it’s positively off putting the way you behave at times, not to say pathetic. These things have to be handled delicately. What we really need to find is a mutual acquaintance to introduce us, now that would be invaluable. I say, your wife’s cousin’s uncle’s in-law’s sister’s husband is in trade, is he not? Perhaps he might be acquainted with the man seated beside Darcy.”

“Know of him, of course. Any man of commerce knows Charles Bingley – one of the wealthiest coal and steel merchants alive today; and, I say, isn’t he the aforementioned Widow Arnold’s uncle as well? You see, I may be right about the mistress thingy after all.”

“You’re thick as a plank, aren’t you?”

“Not a plank, exactly, more like a…”

“Yes, yes, yes; cease your prattling. What I need to know is if any of your wife’s relations have actually ever met the man?”

“I should be so lucky; they’re a useless lot. I say, more brandy here, waiter. These idiots grow lazier by the day. What’s this? Now who’s that big fellow just entering the room? Why, he’s nothing but a common ruffian, bold as brass! Look at him – not there, over by the door – the fellow with the ferocious expression and the scandalously out of fashion topcoat! Appears more cutpurse than gentleman; if you ask me, one isn’t safe anywhere these days. Well, by God, did you just see the rude gesture he made at Mr. Darcy? Disgusting! If he means to harm him someone should step in – not either of us, of course, but someone. Server! Oy, you, yes you! Dash over and toss out that filthy beggar… Oh. Dear. Me. The brigand seems to have heard me and turned this way.”
“Good god, man, that’s Fitzwilliam!”

“What are you saying? I thought Darcy was Fitzwilliam! Fitzwilliam Darcy you said. You’re confusing me!”

“Don’t you ever read the papers? That’s his cousin, Richard Fitzwilliam, formerly Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, currently the bloody Earl of bloody Somerton!”

“That’s Somerton? You can’t be serious. Are they friends?”

“Worse than that – they’re family! Close as brothers and complete opposites in temperament. I once saw Somerton box two huge brutes at once, and win – he never even broke a sweat. You don’t suppose he really heard your comment, do you? Well, that settles it – he’s glaring at us. I’m leaving; and… Dudley? Dudley, where are you going? Wait for me!”

 

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Wives and Lovers

Georgiana’s Story – An Excerpt

When I spent those four or five years writing “Darcy and Fitzwilliam” I was just a happy little person, jotting down fantasies that had popped into my head. Fanatsies about Pride and Prejudice and how I never seemed to want the story to end, after the mini-series, or after the movie. I had no idea what I was doing, I still don’t know what I am doing, and that is not modesty talking, just fact. Anyway, I rambled on and on, in the writing sense, with various scenes jumping into the book like Republicans into a primary.

By the time I had over 200,000 words crammed into my computer I submitted the book – two thirds of it was accepted. I was forced to cut out about 65,000 words. Not an easy task when you thought you had written the Regency’s answer to Gone With the Wind. They forced me to cut the last part, Georgiana’s Story.

I was bitter and brooding, like a law firm commercial, until I discovered Kindle and Nook self-publishing. I took my cut up little end section about Georgiana and made a short story. It is on sale now on Kindle and Nook for only $.99.

 

Here is an excerpt from Georgiana’s Story:

Darcy had slipped out the back door of his home moments before his Aunt Catherine had barged through the front, feeling only a slight twinge of guilt over his abandonment. He needed a few moments of tranquility in his life and there was one place in London he knew with a certainty could make him feel better again. Whistling, he turned west and leisurely strolled the five blocks to the newly purchased Fitzwilliam town home. Gingerly threading his way among gardeners and landscapers, he jogged down to the lower servant’s door and entered, all the while sidestepping boxes and rolled carpeting, masons and plumbers. He quickly came upon his cousin who had settled into the kitchen to discuss with the obdurate cook his wife’s lunch in detail.

“Our house is in chaos so I thought I might come here for sanctuary.” Darcy ducked just before a ladder carried by two men swung around behind him.

“It always saddens me that you are desperate enough to consider this is an improvement.”

“Catherine just arrived.”

“Say no more.”

“Feed me.”

“Good God, you are pathetic.” Turning to the cook he requested an early tea be brought up to the family room. He then turned to his cousin again. “Let us go through the library before we are killed by a loose hammer.” Fitzwilliam glanced over his shoulder as he heard part of a wall being destroyed. “I will never understand women. We purchased this house because Amanda deemed it absolutely perfect, and then she set upon changing it completely.”

“This must be costing you a fortune, Fitz.”

“Not me. Amanda. She has finally obtained the inheritance she received from her father. It had gone to her first husband and that idiot tied the money up with enough loopholes to make any solicitor salivate; it’s taken them the entire five years to untangle the unholy mess. And then, instead of putting it aside as I recommended, she begged me to let her spend all of it on this damnable house. Seems my father has finally condescended to meet her and she is very anxious to make a good impression, believes he will more readily accept her if the curtains are new. Poor dear, she’s bound to be disappointed. He promises to be here in August for her confinement but I have my doubts. He’s been coming into town regularly for months and has never bothered to contact us.”

“I thought your father hated town.”

“So did I. Evidently, from the rumors I’ve heard, he’s discovered opera dancers.”

 

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Georgiana's Story (Darcy and Fitzwilliam)