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I’m thrilled to have Laura Hile here today on the release day for her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, As Only Mr. Darcy Can. Before I turn it over to Laura, can we just admire the gorgeous cover for a minute? I absolutely adore it!

Laura is here to share a little about the novel, as well as an excerpt and giveaway. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did! Please give her a warm welcome!

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Today’s the Day. It’s release day for As Only Mr. Darcy Can. Excited any? You bet! Thank you, Anna, for hosting me.

As for As Only Mr. Darcy Can, what can I say? It’s a lighthearted romp, a happy return to Jane Austen’s Regency world.

It’s also a reminder that one cannot escape one’s childhood. For me, this means hundreds of after-school hours spent watching reruns of the television sitcom Gilligan’s Island.

You laugh, but it’s true! Look, we already know how each episode will end, right? Nobody’s getting off the island. So why do we watch? Simply because we enjoy the antics of the characters.

It’s the same with As Only Mr. Darcy Can. This is an Elizabeth and Darcy romance, so we already know that a happy ending is coming. And Jane Austen’s delightful characters are like old friends. We smile, we sigh, we shake our heads …

Mr. Collins pours out compliments (such as ladies enjoy), and Lady Catherine pontificates. Darcy fights against his growing love for Elizabeth, while she is determined to dislike him. Lydia giggles and flirts with officers, and Wickham works to feather his financial nest.  If he can enact revenge against Darcy, so much the better.

As Only Mr. Darcy Can is that kind of book: a feel-good escape from the workaday world. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Excerpt from Chapter 18

In which Elizabeth has agreed to teach Georgiana Darcy how to knit a scarf, much to Lady Catherine’s irritation.

“Could you tell me again how to hold the yarn?” whispered Georgiana.

“I don’t wonder at your discomfort, with so many pairs of watching eyes,” Elizabeth whispered back. For even as she described her accident, Lady Lavinia continued to study Georgiana.

Again Elizabeth found her gaze drawn to Mr. Darcy. His eyes were kind. He was obviously very fond of his sister.

“The gardens,” said Lady Lavinia, “are quite marvelous on this estate; yes, quite extraordinary. Do you enjoy flowers, Miss Darcy? We must have a little stroll here at Rosings, so that you can show me all your favorites.” There was a pause. “With Miss Lucas and Miss de Bourgh, of course.”

Lady Catherine again took command of the conversation. Lady Lavinia had many questions about Rosings Park—and it seemed she agreed with every one of Lady Catherine’s opinions. Elizabeth was left to continue the lesson in peace.

“I do apologize. I am so very awkward,” whispered Georgiana.

“Your fingers are simply unused to the task. You’ll learn quickly enough. In fact—”

Elizabeth bit back a smile. Here was an audacious idea, but it just might work. She lifted the knitting from Georgiana’s resistless grasp and shot a look at Mr. Darcy. “Do you mind exchanging seats with your sister?”

He did so at once, and Elizabeth passed him the yarn and needles. “Let me show you how to hold these, sir,” she said. “It takes a bit of getting used to.”

His blank surprise was comical. “But I—”

Georgiana gave a gurgle of laughter. Here was a genuine smile, complete with dimples. The change in her demeanor was striking.

Elizabeth gave Darcy a significant look and a tiny nod. Comprehension dawned in his eyes. “Am I to have a lesson?”

“You are. Shall we begin?”

He drew a long breath and, after a glance in Colonel Fitzwilliam’s direction, manfully took up the needles.

Just a minute, was Mr. Darcy holding back a grin?  “I was not attending earlier,” he said solemnly. “How do I hold these?” He made a pathetic attempt to move the yarn.

Georgiana gave another giggle. “No, Fitzwilliam, like this,” she said. “That’s right, isn’t it, Eliz—Miss Bennet?”

“Indeed it is.”

“Here,” said Georgiana “Let me show you how.”

“I am a very poor student,” he said humbly. “I am all thumbs.”

Elizabeth saw at once what Mr. Darcy was about. In order to encourage his sister, he was deliberately clumsy. What kindness! How could she have thought him proud and unfeeling?

“You bring the yarn around this way,” she told him, “and then slide it from the needle.”

In the end, Elizabeth had to assist him, guiding his fingers to move the needles properly. Never in a million years had she thought to touch hands with Mr. Darcy! She dipped her head so that he could not see her blushes.

“There,” she said at last. “You have made your first stitch. Well done.”

“Now you must make another like it, Fitzwilliam,” said Georgiana cheerfully.

“Again?” There was no disguising his dismay.

“Yes, for the entire row.”

“You don’t say. This is—more work than I realized. I’ve a long way to go before I race along like Mrs. Jenkinson.”

“Two more stitches, sir, and then your sister can finish the remainder.”

“Thank goodness,” he murmured.

He managed to complete the assigned task and surrendered the needles to Georgiana. She began to knit with more confidence.

Again Mr. Darcy’s eyes met Elizabeth’s. Was there admiration in his gaze? No, that could not be. What she was seeing was gratitude, nothing more.

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About As Only Mr. Darcy Can

What a tangled web!

Mr. Darcy’s departure has solved nothing. He loves Elizabeth Bennet as much as ever—and he has left her vulnerable to Wickham’s lies. Why not send her a warning? Anonymously, of course. He must conquer his obsession, yet he must also do something to protect her.

But when Darcy is dunned for a bill of Wickham’s—an old trick—he sends the magistrate’s men with a warrant. Wickham, however, is nowhere to be found. At the same time, a titled lady appears in Hunsford. Why does she look so familiar? What of her pointed interest in Darcy’s sister? Is there anyone who will believe what Darcy suspects?

Elizabeth has her hands full when she comes to Hunsford. Her army-mad youngest sister causes trouble everywhere! What is more, those cryptic Valentines keep arriving. And then there is Mr. Darcy, a man she is determined to dislike. Why must his suspicions about the unknown lady match hers? Sparks fly as she joins forces with him to discover a truth that is both laughable and treacherous.

As for being at odds with Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s heart has other ideas. Will a nonsensical demand ruin what has grown up between them?

As Only Mr. Darcy Can is a feel-good Regency romp, featuring all your friends from Pride and Prejudice. Intrigue, romance, and laughter are waiting for you.

Amazon | Goodreads | BookBub

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About the Author

Laura Hile

By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!

She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.

Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.

Other books by Laura Hile: Darcy By Any Other Name, So This Is Love, and the Mercy’s Embrace trilogy. She is a regular contributor to the A Very Austen anthology series.

Connect with Laura: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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Giveaway

Laura is generously offering a Kindle version of As Only Mr. Darcy Can to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, October 18, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Laura, for being my guest today. Happy release day!!

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