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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Darcy's Honour by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog to celebrate the recent release of her latest book, 'Darcy's Honor'. She has brought with her a guest post about the concept of honour in relation to Mr Darcy, an excerpt of the book, and she is offering an international giveaway, paperback or ebook, for one lucky commenter here. Read on for more details!

Blurb:

Elizabeth Bennet is relieved when the difficult Mr. Darcy leaves the area after the Netherfield Ball. But she soon runs afoul of Lord Henry, a Viscount who thinks to force her into marrying him by slandering her name and ruining her reputation.  An outcast in Meryton, and even within her own family, Elizabeth has nobody to turn to and nowhere to go.

Darcy successfully resisted Elizabeth’s charms during his visit to Hertfordshire, but when he learns of her imminent ruin, he decides he must propose to save her from disaster.  However, Elizabeth is reluctant to tarnish Darcy’s name by association…and the viscount still wants her…

Can Darcy save his honor while also marrying the woman he loves?

Guest Post:

Darcy’s Honor didn’t actually acquire that title until relatively late in the writing process.  As sometimes happens with my novels, I didn’t have a good title in mind as I was writing it and just hoped something would come to me.  (I actually called it “Desperate Elizabeth” on my computer – which is not a very appealing title, nor is it particularly accurate.)

But honor is a theme in the book, and I was happy when I thought to incorporate it into the title.  As I was doing final revisions with this title in mind, I mused about the idea of honor in Pride and Prejudice itself—and I realized it plays a fairly significant role.

In Darcy’s Honor, Darcy makes a distinction to Elizabeth (based on something his father said to him):  “Honor is what you know about yourself. Reputation is what others know about you, or believe they know.”  So what role do honor and reputation (and the difference between them) play in P&P?
Darcy starts out the book as someone who is very concerned about reputation.  He cannot contemplate marrying Elizabeth because he believes her family’s position and their behavior would damage his reputation.  Even when he bends enough to propose to Elizabeth, he makes it quite clear that he regrets the harm their marriage will do to his family name.

However, Elizabeth’s words to Darcy about being ungentlemanly make him reevaluate his assumptions, and he realizes he has not been true to his own principles.  In other words, he has not been honorable.   He later tells Elizabeth he was ashamed of his behavior.

So Pride and Prejudice can be seen (among many other themes) as a journey from concern about reputation to an understanding of the value of honor.  I wish I could claim that I had recognized all of this when I set out to write Darcy’s Honor, and that my novel was born out of my great insights into Austen’s masterpiece.  But, in fact, I figured this out as I wrote.  That is one of the things I love about writing Jane Austen variations:  each time I put pen to paper, I gain deeper insights into the brilliance of her work.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this guest post as much as I did. Honour is something that is so integral to Darcy's character; it's one of the things that makes a man a gentleman. The quote on the difference between honour and reputation is an interesting distinction, as it highlights one main difference between Darcy and Wickham, but it's also relevant to Darcy's character. Some of the changes he makes following Hunsford relate to gaining the good opinion of others, but other actions, such as his actions for Lydia, are supposed to be kept secret. The benefit Darcy gets is the benefit to his honour, and the peace of mind and preserving the good reputation of the Bennet family. There is so much in P&P. Every angle you look at you see another facet to enjoy!

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Book cover: Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid
Excerpt from 'Darcy's Honor'

But Darcy was not the only one regarding Elizabeth with intense interest; Lord Henry’s eyes were fixed on Elizabeth’s face, and he stood closer to her than was seemly. He murmured something to her that evinced a brief smile, but she immediately turned her attention back to Mrs. Hurst’s conversation.

Lord Henry shifted his weight so that the sleeve of his coat brushed against her bare arm. She shivered noticeably without turning toward the viscount. Darcy’s heart raced, and he dug his fingernails into his palms. I came to observe; I do not want to draw attention. The lord’s sleeve brushed her arm again—clearly no accident. Darcy was aware of a most ungentlemanlike desire to strike the man. Elizabeth shot Lord Henry a sidelong glance, and he smirked at her; but she did not acknowledge his flirtation, let alone return it. Rather, Elizabeth resumed her attention to the conversation, edging a little closer to her sister.

A small part of Darcy rejoiced at her disinterest and harbored dark thoughts about the viscount. He had never experienced jealousy before but suspected that was the troubling sensation he now felt. At least Elizabeth shows no interest in Lord Henry, but how long can I expect that to continue? A viscount would be a brilliant match for a woman like Elizabeth—far higher than anything she might aspire to. Darcy desperately wanted to march onto the balcony, grab Elizabeth by the hand, and take her off to an isolated corner of the house—demonstrating to everyone that she was not available for other men’s interest.

What if the lord fell in love with her and made her an offer? There was no hope Elizabeth would decline such a magnificent offer and the accompanying opportunity to become a viscountess. Darcy shuddered, easily picturing Elizabeth married to that man, forever beyond his reach.

A cold shiver traveled down his spine. I cannot allow it. I must propose to Elizabeth myself. Darcy envisioned her reaction. She would be so surprised and pleased. He could imagine the arch smile and the fire in those fine eyes—sparkling just for him. He would take her to Pemberley; he could not wait to show her the house—his favorite rooms and secret haunts. She would be a spectacular mistress for Pemberley. Georgiana would adore her.

And he would bring her to his bed. Darcy allowed himself a moment to fantasize about their wedding night—how her lips would taste, how her silky tresses would feel in his fingers…

These images led inevitably to the thought of her body swollen with his child and then to the picture of her holding a baby while a small toddler clung to her skirts. It was a sweet picture indeed…

“I daresay you are as thoroughly disgusted by that display as I am.” The sharp voice cut into Darcy’s reverie like a knife. Jerking his head to the side, he found Miss Bingley standing next to him, staring out at the balcony. The sudden return to reality was quite abrupt and unwelcome.

Miss Bingley watched her brother and Miss Jane Bennet with narrowed eyes. “Really, she is entirely unsuitable. She is a sweet girl, but that family of hers…” Miss Bingley gave a dramatic shudder. “I had hoped that by now Charles would have lost interest. She is not that handsome after all.” She rolled her eyes. “But now I worry that she has ensnared him thoroughly, and she does not even appear very happy about it.”

Indeed, Jane Bennet’s features were serene. The smiles she bestowed on Bingley were no different from those she gave to her sister or Mrs. Hurst.

“I would wager,” Miss Bingley continued through gritted teeth, “that she cares nothing for him. Her mother has simply instructed her to find a wealthy husband.”

Darcy had no difficulty picturing Mrs. Bennet in that role. And if Jane had received such instructions, surely Elizabeth had as well. Although she had not behaved as if she sought a wealthy husband, the thought diminished her in his eyes. Darcy released his hold on the fantasy of a life with Elizabeth. It was just a silly fantasy after all. And it quickly dissolved.

“Do you wish to take action?” Darcy asked Miss Bingley, gesturing toward Bingley.

She smiled triumphantly. “Indeed. We must separate Charles from Hertfordshire immediately.”

Of course! That would solve more than Bingley’s problem. If Darcy were no longer near Elizabeth Bennet, surely this foolish yearning would dissipate. “Very well,” he said. “We must speak with him tomorrow.”

Miss Bingley’s mouth curved in a slow smile. “I knew I could depend upon your good judgment.” 

She paused for a moment. “It really is quite warm in the ballroom; I think I shall have some punch.” 

Another pause. She obviously hoped Darcy would take the opportunity to join her, but he did not want anyone’s company—least of all Miss Bingley’s. After a moment, she turned on her heel and walked briskly back into the ballroom.

Now that he knew this likely was the last time he would ever gaze upon Elizabeth, Darcy found it even more difficult to tear his eyes from her. Why did she have to look so beautiful tonight? Although he had banished the marital fantasy, pieces of it intruded upon his thoughts.

The viscount continued to move closer to her, his hand brushing her elbow. Darcy clutched the edge of the doorway, wishing he could rush out to the balcony and stop the man. I am not jealous. I do not wish it were my hand touching her skin. I am simply disgusted that she would allow such liberties. If she tolerates such attentions, she must be a fortune hunter after all.

At that moment, however, Elizabeth gave the viscount a sharp look and stepped out of his reach. Darcy silently cheered, his faith in Elizabeth’s character restored. She paid the viscount no heed as she conversed with her sister and Bingley; however, the viscount was regarding her intently under his dark brows with a smirk on his face, showing no sign that he was chagrined at Elizabeth’s obvious disinterest. Darcy wanted to give the man a lesson in manners, but it was not his place. In fact, he should leave the vicinity entirely.

Without another glance in Lord Henry’s direction, Elizabeth took her sister’s arm, and they strolled toward the edge of the balcony with Bingley trailing behind. The move appeared completely natural, and yet Darcy had no doubt it was intended to get Elizabeth beyond the range of the viscount’s wandering hands. Darcy wanted to applaud Elizabeth’s maneuver; then he wanted to enfold her in his arms.

Lord Henry did not follow the Bennet sisters but watched Elizabeth as a cat watches a mouse. Darcy had some idea of Elizabeth’s stubbornness; the viscount would not find it easy to change her opinion of him. No doubt he would soon quit the field in search of a woman who was more easily charmed. 

Yes. The thought filled Darcy with relief.

Resolutely, he turned away from the delicious sight of her figure outlined against the sky. He must shut the door on that fantasy and forget it had ever existed. If Jane Bennet was unsuitable for Bingley, her sister was doubly so for Darcy.

He must forget her fine eyes and anything they promised.

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'Darcy's Honor' is available to buy now:
Amazon UKAmazon USNook

If you'd like to know more about Victoria Kincaid, or her other works, check out the links below:

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Giveaway Time

Victoria is very kindly offering a giveaway to one of you - winner's choice of either an e-book or paperback of 'Darcy's Honor'. To enter, just leave a comment on this post, ensuring that you leave a way for me to contact you. This giveaway is open to international entrants who comment on this post by the end of the day on Tuesday 2 May 2017. 

Thank you so much to Victoria for this guest post, excerpt and giveaway!

42 comments:

  1. I love this excerpt and look forward to reading this. Oh, Darcy... bless your heart. JWG

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    1. Hi JW, I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. Glad you enjoyed it Jeanne :)

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  2. Oh my goodness. Another fabulous excerpt. I am definitely going to read this book and sooner rather than later! I am still hoping I might win a copy but I'm getting more impatient. Hopefully I can last out until 3rd May ��. Great post Ceri and thanks so much to you and Victoria for the chance to win.

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    1. Hi Glynis, Sorry to tempt you with all these excerpts! :) I hope you win. Good luck!

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    2. Hi Glynis, I am often a bit slow to post the winner, but I am going to try and do this one promptly so you'll know sooner rather than later if you're the winner :)

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  3. I loved this book so much. It was one of the best and most intriguing I have read in a very long time. And it helped me get through a difficult time. Life is bright again thanks to this book. I can honestly say that every Jane Austen fan will find "Darcys Honor" thoroughly enjoyable! I laughed and I cried and cringed and I cheered while reading. Thank you, Victoria, for sharing this story with us.

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    1. Wow! Olivia, you made me tear up. Thank you for sharing your reaction. I'm so glad you felt the book touched your life. Stories like that make writing worthwhile.

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    2. What wonderful praise, Olivia! Thank you for posting :)

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  4. That quote about the difference between Reputation and Honor was really good and makes a great point and your insight into the book was really interesting to read.

    This was the third great excerpt fomr this book that I have read so far and I am really enjoying them so far. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book, it looks like it will be a really fun book.

    crystal_dark [at] att [dot] net

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    1. Hi Chelsea, I'm so glad you're enjoying the excerpts! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Chelsea. I really enjoyed reading Victoria's insights too.

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  5. Can't wait to read this book!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Leah!

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  6. Darcy will have to do something soon

    meikleblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Let's hope so Vesper! Good luck in the giveaway.

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  7. Been following the book tour and have enjoyed reading about this book. Would love to win it. Thanks again for the giveaway.

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    1. Thanks Priscilla. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  8. I'll keep trying to win this book :) Thanks for all the giveaways!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Arjanne. Good luck :)

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  9. Wonderful excerpt. I am loving this blog tour!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Becky!

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  10. Congratulations on your new book, Victoria, and thanks for the giveaway! :)
    danielaquadros(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Daniela, and good luck in the giveaway.

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  11. The quote Victoria mentions above about the difference between honour and reputation "Honor is what you know about yourself. Reputation is what others know about you, or believe they know.” is, I think, my favourite from the entire book. Of course, there's lots of other wonderful quotes in there too and the entire tale is one you'll want to re-read more than once. As I've already got a copy, please don't out my name in the hat, Ceri.

    Good luck to everyone in the giveaway.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Anji. It's good to know this is one you'd like to reread :)

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  12. I read this and enjoyed it. I still have to add my review but have been trying to organize my thoughts.

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    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Sheila.

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  13. Great excerpt. I look forward to reading!

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    1. Thanks Darcybennett. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  14. I enjoyed the excerpts. Thanks for the giveaway. I would enjoy reading this book.

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    1. Thanks Shelley. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  15. Really enjoyed this excerpt! Poor Darcy!! Does he really think he can stand idly by and watch the dastrous Viscount 'pawing' Lizxy!!
    Impossible!!!
    Looking forward to reading this book! Hope it's received well,Victoria.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Mary! Poor Darcy indeed :)

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  16. Oh Darcy! Love the excerpt. Can't wait to read this one too!

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    1. Thanks Dung! I hope you enjoy the book :)

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  17. Iam a big fan of Victoria Kincaid's work and am looking forward to adding this to my collection. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
    rcmsilvia@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Regina. Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  18. Enticing excerpt ... definitely on my Must-Read list! teaguide.net at gmail.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  19. Looking forward to reading this book. Love the excerpts.

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    1. I'm glad you've been enjoying the excerpts, Alp. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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