Hope for Mr Darcy
Character interview with Elizabeth Bennet
Ceri: Thank you for coming, Miss Elizabeth, but nay, you shall not carry that title for long!
Elizabeth: No, I will not. Mr. Darcy and I are to be married tomorrow. There was a time I thought it would never happen.
Ceri: That is an understatement. Two months ago, you were sure it was never going to happen. Am I correct?
Elizabeth: (laughs) Oh yes, I was a bit premature to say he was the last man in the world I could be prevailed upon to marry.
Ceri: What changed?
Elizabeth: Well, I was brought to my knees.
Ceri: You were humbled?
Elizabeth: Let us just say that someone intervened and allowed me a perspective of the man he actually is. May I share part of Hope for Mr. Darcy?
Ceri: I would be delighted!
Elizabeth: This scene in Hope for Mr. Darcy is while I was unaware of where I was or how sick I was. You could say I was in a dreamlike state. I had found myself with someone in a magnificent garden, but not just anyone, Mr. Darcy, the man I had refused the very day before!
There was something different about him. She couldn’t quite say what it was. It tickled her brain, and she tried to remember what was so altered. She glanced at him. He was still handsome even though he hadn’t shaved. She had the strongest urge to touch his face. She stopped walking towards the sun for a moment, and so did he. She paused in hesitation. It certainly wasn’t proper to touch a man’s face, but this paradise had a different set of rules. For some reason, she knew he wouldn’t mind. There was some sort of unspoken language between them. She reached out her free hand and murmured, “May I touch your face?”
In a very hoarse voice, he replied, “You may.”
Her arm felt heavy in its attempt, and he seemed to know it, so he reached for her hand and placed it on his jaw. She could feel the strength of his constitution. She could feel his integrity. She could feel his compassion and devotion. And she could feel his love.
Ceri: Hundreds of ladies across the world would have loved to be in your shoes. I mean, to touch Mr. Darcy’s face? Incredible. But this dreamlike state was a turning point for you. May I ask why, once the filters of pride and prejudice were stripped, that you did not resolve your misunderstandings at once?
Elizabeth: (chuckling, then clears her throat) I did say that I was brought to my knees; I do not own the market on pride.
Ceri: Oh dear. That sounds like a story.
Elizabeth: Yes, one particular scene comes to mind, but it is not mine to share. You will have to read the book for that one. Although Colonel Fitzwilliam, who did the humbling, is a reliable source, I do not like to pass on gossip. So, instead of sharing the scene where Mr. Darcy is humbled, I will instead share a delightful moment between him and I. Shall I?
Ceri: Well if you are waiting for me to give you permission, you have it!
Elizabeth: I shall share two parts. The first part is after we reconnect and a large party returns to Kent because of the death of . . . well I had better not give away too much. Anyway Mr. Darcy challenges me unknowingly. The second scene is when I meet that challenge.
Ceri: I can only imagine how this will end with your stubbornness and commitment to win.
He chuckled slightly and said, “Gentlemen do not blush.”
“I assure you, if I desired to, I could make you blush.”
“Is that a challenge?”
She raised her eyebrow in the way that he adored, and his heart started to speed up as he looked at her full lips that were turned up so temptingly. “You, sir, will blush within a week. I assure you.”
“Even though I know you will not succeed, I look forward to your attempt with my entire being.” She then squeezed his hand right before dropping it to allow him to open the front door for her. He quickly took the ledgers and imagined the moment when she made good on her promise. He would dearly love to see Elizabeth try to make him blush.
Part 2Mr. Darcy said, “Thank you again for the birthday present. I hope you know I have never received flowers from a lady before. The lavender was quite beautiful.”
Elizabeth turned her face to him, and he couldn’t resist looking into her eyes, which seemed to be full of mirth.
“Is that so? And how many ladies have you given flowers to?”
He felt his face flush slightly. “I did not mean to imply . . . I have never given flowers, nor have I received them . . . unless you count my mother or Georgiana. I suppose I gave Mrs. Reynolds a handful of wildflowers once when I was ten, but what young boy does not have an infatuation with the only lady in his life besides his mother? Not that I have an improper relationship with my housekeeper. Certainly not.” He felt the embarrassment reach his ears. “I treat her with the utmost respect. She is more of a mother to me. In which case, perhaps I should be giving flowers to her—”
He paused briefly. “Good God! You did it!”
She grinned and put the back of her hand against his face. “Yes, sir, you blushed in less than two days.”
He watched her walk away and wrap her arm around Charlotte, who had grown tearful again while speaking with Colonel Fitzwilliam. Elizabeth glanced back at him and smiled genuinely with a smug look on her face.
Oh, how I am going to love these next few weeks with her.
Elizabeth: That most definitely goes both ways.
Ceri: We have time for one more excerpt. Do you have one that that could explain that far away look you have in your eyes?
Elizabeth: Well, often others are able to make sense of our feelings better than we can. It is all about perspective. After a nap, I found myself sleepily remembering the time during my illness when Darcy was so solicitous to my needs. He really was so tender. At this time in the book, I clearly was not being honest with myself, because I was smitten like a lovesick mooncalf. Enjoy!
She marveled that there had been no contention or animosity whatsoever in the garden. As if unkind feelings were simply not allowed. And the only feeling she had felt from him was companionship and kindness, not the distain and judgment she usually associated with his intense looks. In fact, his presence amplified the peace and love that existed in the garden. He had been so attentive and caring and deeply passionate. She found herself pondering those last words she used to describe him. Attentive. Caring. Deeply passionate.
The entire thing left her quite confused. And whether or not she wanted to admit it, the experience had changed her feelings for the man quite drastically. She knew now that she had misunderstood him. Each touch and each kind word testified what a pure, honest, and loving man he was. He was exactly the kind of man she could fall in love with.
Elizabeth: So you see, I had already begun to Hope for Mr. Darcy.
Ceri: What a clever spin on the title. So many think it is about Darcy having hope. But you had to do some hoping as well!
Still shaken from his horrible proposal, Elizabeth Bennet falls ill at the Rosings Parsonage upon reading Fitzwilliam Darcy’s letter. In her increasingly delirious state, unfathomable influences inspire her to write an impulsive response. The letter gives Mr. Darcy hope in a way that nothing else could.
As her illness progresses, Darcy is there at her side, crossing boundaries he has never crossed, declaring things he has never declared. A unique experience bridges them over their earlier misunderstandings, and they start to work out their differences. That is, until Elizabeth begins to recover.
Suddenly, Elizabeth is left alone to wonder what exactly occurred between the two of them in her dreamlike state. And for the first time since meeting the man from Pemberley, she finds herself hoping for Mr. Darcy to return and rekindle what once was.
Jeanna Ellsworth Lake entered a new era in her life in December 2015. Through all her single years, she kept searching for a Mr. Darcy, but didn’t realize that what she needed was a Colonel Fitzwilliam! And she found him: a second son with a passionate heart, who never fails to make her laugh. She is so proud of her three daughters, who have supported her through her writing, and have always been her inspiration.
She also proudly states she is the eighth of thirteen children. When she isn’t writing, blogging, gardening, cooking, or raising chickens, she is thoroughly ignoring her house for a few hours at a time in order to read yet another romance novel, and does not feel the least bit guilty in doing so. She absolutely loves her chance to influence lives as a Registered Nurse in a Neurological ICU. She finds great joy in her many roles she juggles, but writing especially has been her therapy. She claims she has never been happier.
Jeanna fell in love again with Jane Austen when she was introduced to the incredible world of Jane Austen-inspired fiction. She can never adequately thank the fellow authors who mentored her and encouraged her to write her first novel.
She is a member of Austen Authors and regularly blogs at www.austenauthors.net. She loves hearing from her readers and cherishes the chance to interact with them. For more information on her books and writing, please visit her website: www.HeyLadyPublications.com.
Jeanna has brought a giveaway with her of a kindle version (international) or paperback copy (US) of 'Hope for Mr Darcy' to a commenter on this post. This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, just comment on this post before the end of the day on Thursday 7 July. Make sure you leave some way for me to contact you in case you are the winner. Thank you so much to Jeanna for the character interview, excerpts and giveaway!