Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer

by Karen Wasylowski

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Overview

Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer by Karen Wasylowski

A gentleman in love cannot survive without his best friend...

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam couldn't be more different, and that goes for the way each one woos and pursues the woman of his dreams. Darcy is quiet and reserved, careful and dutiful, and his qualms and hesitations are going to torpedo his courtship of Elizabeth. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a military hero whose devil-may-care personality hides the torments within, until he finds himself in a passionate, whirlwind affair with a beautiful widow who won't hear of his honorable intentions.


Cousins, best friends, and sparring partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam have always been there for each other. So it's no surprise when the only one who can help Darcy fix his botched marriage proposals is Fitzwilliam, and the only one who can pull Fitzwilliam out of an increasingly dangerous entanglement is Darcy...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402245961
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 288,603
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Karen Wasylowski is a retired CPA. She and her husband spend their free time volunteering with charitable organizations that assist the poor. They also are actively involved with Project Light of Manatee, providing literacy instruction to immigrants and to members of the community. Karen and her husband live in Bradenton, Florida.

Read an Excerpt

1813

The two men stared off in different directions, making their awkward final good-byes to each other. They were, in appearance and comportment, as dissimilar as two men could be. Though both were exceedingly tall, Fitzwilliam Darcy, the younger by nearly two years and a gentleman, was dark and handsome, elegantly dressed in the finest coat and neck cloth, breeches, and boots. His air was one of a man of elegance and breeding, his demeanor of a man three times his age: heavy, solemn, serious, and levelheaded. He was also shy to the point of seemingly rude indifference. The owner of one of the largest and wealthiest estates in England, inherited by him at the grand old age of twenty-one and then doubled, he had achieved his great success at the expense of his youth.

The elder of the two men, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, was bulkier, barrel-chested, and slightly rougher looking, dressed in his unkempt colonel's uniform. An uninhibited joy of life exuded from him. He was like a large, gangly puppy, a happy, wild spirit trapped within a respectable soldier's body. What he lacked in physical beauty he more than made up for in character, the magnetic center of anywhere he went and of everyone he knew. A second son, he had bought his commission into the army near the beginnings of the crusade to rid Europe of Napoleon. The past nine years of that devastating war had made him snatch life and laughter wildly, wherever and whenever he could.

Where the younger cousin was cautious to the point of being a recluse, the elder cousin was exuberant to the point of indiscretion. Each had adapted to his circumstances, impelled by an unconscious and very human bid for survival.

"Darcy, I cannot tell you how badly I feel about this business with Miss Bennet. If you had but told me of the depth of your feeling for her, I would have backed off. I would not have flirted half so much, and I wouldn't have wagged my tongue so carelessly." Feeling a bit guilty now for his actions Fitzwilliam leaned against the bureau in his cousin's room watching as that man packed the remainder of his clothes. It was evident that his dearest friend and cousin was devastated over Miss Elizabeth Bennet's refusal of his marriage proposal. Worse yet for the colonel's conscience, her refusal had been in part based on his own gossipy revelations regarding the destruction of her beloved sister's romance through Darcy's intervention.

Darcy looked out through his bedroom window, across his aunt Catherine's immense estate, Rosings Park, his intense gaze cast in the direction of the vicarage where Miss Bennet was visiting; reluctantly he returned his attention to his packing. Her emotional reaction haunted his thoughts. In her judgment, his very character was wanting to such a degree that she could never marry him, and worse, he was no gentleman. Her words stung his pride and his honor; her rejection caused him to question values he had regarded as inviolate.

"It's done and over, Fitz." The solemn young man sighed as he snapped his valise shut and then dragged it from the bed. "I'm sure I shall survive." But his eyes were hooded and hollow, his shoulders drooping a little too low for the light weight of his bag.

"This was a bleak Easter visit, though, I must confess."

"Let me go over there one more time and speak with her; she may have returned by now. I can't help but think that if you were willing to confide in her about Georgiana and Wickham, she must mean a great deal to you."

"Leave it, Richard. It just wasn't meant to be." Darcy placed his bag on the floor and checked his pocket watch. "Besides, I think you have more important worries than my love life at the moment." He looked at his cousin, his hands clasped behind him, his weight casually resting on his back leg.

The two were like brothers, closer really, and had been each other's best friend and archrival their entire lives. One was returning to his solitary existence in the country, the other to war.

"You're going straight to it, then?" Darcy searched his cousin's eyes, frightened for him, amazed at the man's calm. Nine years of campaigns, and he was still alive with all his limbs, a monumental accomplishment in this never-ending battle with France.

"Yes, I go immediately to join my regiment in Spain, but I believe the decider will be farther north. I'll see Wellington upon my return, and then I'll know better what's to come." He smiled brightly at his cousin, but the cloud of an unknown future for both men had already begun to overshadow their eyes.

"How do you get through it, Fitz?" Darcy asked as he stepped forward to take Fitzwilliam's hand to shake.

"Prodigious amounts of liquor, brat." Fitzwilliam pulled his cousin to him and, ignoring any reticence he might encounter, proceeded to give him a great manly hug, and although Darcy was not normally a demonstrative man, he returned the hug unashamedly, steeling himself once again to the possibility that his cousin might not return from this fight.

Pushing away, suddenly somewhat embarrassed by his emotions, he grinned. "Oh, that reminds me. Aunt Catherine told me to discreetly remonstrate with you on exactly that point.

Seems she feels you drink far too much, and I'm to explain the evils of overindulgence to you."

Fitzwilliam let out a loud hoot of laughter. "Poor old soul would faint if she knew the half of what I do in excess."

"Well, consider yourself told." Darcy smiled warmly at him.

"But for my part, whatever gets you through this safely and in one piece, I say go ahead."

The servants came for their luggage as the two men headed down the staircase, waiting a moment as they watched the odious clergyman, Mr. Collins, run from the house, his face contorted in a silent scream, his daily interview with their aunt Catherine evidently over.

"Actually, Darcy, I have a good feeling about you and Miss Bennet. I think she and you will eventually suit perfectly." Fitzwilliam chuckled at his cousin's groan.

"You just will not let this lie, will you?" Darcy said, his voice showing his exasperation.

"Well, no. Not now that I have the satisfaction of knowing it will annoy you so much." Fitzwilliam grinned mischievously. "Surely after all we've been through together, you know me by now."

Darcy's shoulder was leaning on the closed door, his hand grasping the doorknob to their aunt's sitting room, as they hesitated for a moment to rally their courage for one last bout with the Grande Dame of their family before they left.

"In that case, I'm afraid I will have to tell Catherine about your sudden and sad addiction to opium."

"Why, you lying bastard. You know I'd never touch that horrid stuff; she'll attack me like a mad ferret!"

Darcy smiled wickedly as he opened the door, calling out, "Aunt Catherine, I have shocking news for you!"

Fitzwilliam slapped the back of his little cousin's head as he entered the room behind him.

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Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
NCF More than 1 year ago
I must find fault with Wasylowski's take on the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. Generally speaking I felt the novel's rendition of "marital bliss" for the Darcys left much to be desired. P&P fans, I believe, will be disappointed her portrayal of a ditsy, weepy, temper-tantrum-vase-throwing, jealous-without-a-cause Elizabeth. While it was fun reading about Colonel Fitzwilliam's foray into the marriage state, I have to agree with another reviewer that the author's set up of his intended, Amanda Penrod, and her antagonistic mother-in-law, came off a bit muddled and hard to believe. In both story lines it seemed to me that Wasylowski's primary plot device was a propensity for all the characters to refuse to act rationally or speak plainly to each other. She excused their ridiculously over melodramatic fights to the passions of true love. Seems to me if any of the characters at any point had thought with their heads and not their groins then there wouldn't have been much of a plot at all. On the upside, Wayslowski's treatment of Lady Catherine is very amusing to me, and that alone made it worth the read. If you are a hard core Jane Austen fan, don't expect much from this novel. If you are less discriminating, or new to the genre of Austen Fan Novels, you may enjoy it. It is a light, fluffy read that has a ending which nicely ties up all loose ends and leaves everyone warm and fuzzy.
sdcamp More than 1 year ago
I had two problems with this book. First, the story could not have been very well thought out because of the contradictions. Lady Penrod sends her son to America to select a bride that is too stupid (being American I took offense at that) to realize he is gay. Yet Lady Penrod is described as an undeterred social climber. Such a woman would find her son a wife among the ton who wanted his money and title and care not about his lifestyle. Then Darcy hides a letter that is suppose to be from Charles because he doesn't want to alarm Elizabeth, yet he later kicks in her dressing room door and yells that he has had it and is leaving her? Second, the characters of Darcy, Elizabeth and Miss Bingley are not at all consistant with the ones we have grown to love. When I read a Pride and Prejudice based story, I don't mind if the time, place, plot or tone of the story changes as long as the characters stay true to their original. In this story Caroline Bingley is depicted as the ton's "party girl". Yet, Austen's Caroline would never damage her reputation in a way that would lessen her chances of advancing in social rank. In this story she has an intimate relationship with Darcy before he marries Elizabeth. Austen's Caroline would have run screaming that she had been compromised and force Darcy into marriage. Darcy is presented in this story to be a hot-headed and gullible. The original Darcy would might argue with Elizabeth behind closed doors but would never allow the servents to hear any of it and he was too cautious to have ever fallen for Caroline's schemes. This book makes Elizabeth out to be a spoilt, whiney, nagging wife who lacks self-conficence. I can conced that Elizabeth would get a little self-conscious during pregnancy but I could not ever regognize the Elizabeth in this story. The only thing that saved this book at all for me was the character depictions of Col. Fitzwilliam and Lady Catherine. I would not recommend this book until it hits the bargin price list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are in no way true to Austen-this is more cheap romance than an homage to hee wit and humor.
LambVa More than 1 year ago
made me laugh out loud more than a couple of times.
threezcharming More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I've read it three times, and it never fails to delight me! Colonel Fitzwilliam finally gets his chance at life and love, all the while managing to keep Darcy on his toes. I share Jane Austen's birthday (Dec 16) and it's enjoyable to see universal characters (i.e. Darcy and Fitzwilliam) in a different light.
Pat62PD More than 1 year ago
This is such a different take on the Pride and Prejudice story and it makes perfect sense. Jane Austen hinted at the realationship between these two men, Darcy & Fitzwilliam and I found it perfectly plausible that it might have been something like what is depicted in this story. It is wonderful to see Darcy finally settled and married to the lovely Elizabeth (Bennett), but it is also refreshing to see and go through their disagreements, naturally even though they are so passionately in love, that same passion would create very fiery fights! Without giving anything away, the final standoff between these two is epic! But at the same time lovely, showing us once again the depths of the feelings they have for each other. As far as Fitzwilliam's story, it is quite interesting, this man who has seen and lived through so much at war for years on end, is scarred and not the same person he used to be. Similarly to his cousin, he wears a mask of joviality that fools everyone, except the people closest to him. He is a man in want of a family and stability after years of womanizing and drinking. Then he meets the lovely american Amanda, whom he has seen at a distance for many years. That's it! This meeting changes his life forever and though stormy, their romance finally gives him something to live for. Another interesting character is Lady Catherine, a very different Aunt that what Jane Austen presented us with. That's all I will say about that. You will laugh out loud reading these two characters' conversations, fights and arguments. The humor in this story is outstanding and makes it very entertaining. One of the best Pride and Prejudice fiction novels I have read!
AAR More than 1 year ago
DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer by Karen V. Wasylowski is a intriguing historical romance set in 1813 London. It is well written with details and depth. It has romance, love, family, friends,blood relatives,misunderstandings, witty banter, heartbreak and responsibilities. This is another Jane Austen story continued.This is the relationship between Darcy and Fitzwilliam(cousins who are like brothers) who are not only united by family,friendship and allies,but are also united by blood. It is more the story of them than of their love story with their true loves. If you have wondered what happens to the Darcy's,Fitzwilliam's and the Bennet's this story tells of the Darcy's and the Fitzwilliam's.This is an interesting take on an old Jane Austen story. It is fast paced. If you enjoy Jane Austen you will enjoy this book. It is sure to be a new classic of an old tale. This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Sourcebooks Landmark and My Book Addiction and More.
SweetSouthernSaint More than 1 year ago
Do Not Waste Your Money! Horrible book, Darcy would never have "relations" with Caroline Bingley!!! If there was a way to get a refund on ebooks, I would.
BookLuvr61 More than 1 year ago
Where can I find such a Col. Fitzwilliam? It is not very often when a P and P fan will say that they would prefer the coloniel to Mr.Darcy but I must say that I fell absolutely in love with the second son of an earl. I found myself laughing so hard that I could not catch my breath more than once. Imagine Lady Catherine as a hero? I highly recommend this book for anyone and all.
ladytwells More than 1 year ago
Great book. Great sequel to the first book. I love the humor between the two cousins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I completely enjoyed this book. Yes the characters were only vaguely similar to Pride and Prejudice but I found myself caught up in the enjoyment of examining certain characters in a different light. Would recommend this to a friend
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Caressesn777 More than 1 year ago
I am confused, is this a story about how cousins become close or is it a twist and they are lovers? Someone who's read this, please help.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book! It was a good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting perspective.
Kimberly_Book_Addict More than 1 year ago
Divided into two volumes, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and An Officer tells the story of our beloved characters after the marriage of Darcy to Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. Col. Fitzwilliam, just back from the Peninsular war, returns to rejoin his boyhood friend (and biological cousin) Darcy and his new bride. Although their reunion is lighthearted and filled with jokes from their past, some unfinished business lurks beneath the laughter as Darcy and Fitzwilliam grow apart over time. Enter volume two, where Col. Fitzwilliam enjoys pseudo-rock star status as a veteran of the war returning to his homeland. Enjoying his new-found celebrity, Fitzwilliam comes across Lady Amanda Sayles, with whom he falls head over heels in love. Sayles returns his affections, but worries that engaging in a relationship with Fitzwilliam would jeopardize her relationship with her son. What will become of Fitzwilliam in this matter? Will Fitzwilliam and Darcy ever reconcile their growing resentment? I know from other reviews I read that reviewers either liked or hated this book. Many of the “hate” reviews seemed to be centered around their dislike of the liberties taken with the characters. Personally I’m not an Austen purist; I tend to get bored with reading the same thing over and over and over again. I really enjoy reading the new personality traits that authors come up with and give to each character. It’s this trait that helped in guiding my enjoyment in this novel. I was able to take it for what it was at face value: laugh when I was supposed to, be sad when I was supposed to, and just enjoy the overall story lines that Wasylowski came up with. Just from following Wasylowski’s twitter, I knew I was in for lots of laughter when I decided to read Darcy and Fitzwilliam. Wasylowski’s take on Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet were absolutely hysterical; taking the most ridiculous elements in both of them and blowing them way out of proportion. The end result are two uproarious women who were utterly ridiculous (in a good way). For those of you Janeites out there, that can withstand liberties taken with Jane’s original masterpieces, then I’d tell you to give this novel a try. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will certainly make you joyful for deciding to revisit Darcy, Elizabeth, Fitzwilliam, and the rest of the Pride and Prejudice gang. Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the plot of this continuation needed more historical realism for me to connect. Small pet peeve but it never stopped: Colonel Fitzwilliam continually calls Darcy "brat" jarring me out of Regency England every time. A few great imaginative scenes and I laughed on occasion. But overall, too many conveniences are thrown in without a previous buildup. Also, Elizabeth and Darcy feel like an afterthought.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Jessica Lai More than 1 year ago
I couldn?t even finish reading this book. Aside from the character?s names and general descriptions, they were nothing like the original characters. The story lines were not believable. If you in anyway enjoy the original P&P you will hate this book. The relationships between the characters were so farfetched that a true JA lover would be almost angry. This book doesn't even deserve the one star rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciated the different spin on these well-loved characters. Fun read.