Darcy is more deeply in love with his wife than ever
As the golden summer draws to a close and the Darcys look ahead to the end of their first year of marriage, Mr. Darcy could never have imagined his love could grow even deeper with the passage of time...
Lizzy is full of surprises...
Elizabeth is unpredictable and lively, pulling Darcy out of his stern and serious demeanor with her teasing and temptation. Looking ahead and planning for celebrations and life events large and small, Lizzy can still catch Darcy unawares when he least expects it... But surprising events force the Darcys to weather absence and illness, and to discover whether they can find a way to build a bond of everlasting love and desire...
About the Author
Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter One
June 23, 1817
Darcy House, London
Imagine my surprise to realize it has been over a month since last jotting my musings in this fine book. Of course, writing while at sea is inconceivable. Egad, I abhor being at sea! Luckily the remedies for seasickness liberally doused down my gullet by the ever faithful Dr. Raul Penaflor staved off the worst of the hideous symptoms. I even managed to walk about a bit on deck. Bracing sea air, my derriere! Nonetheless, I was abed for the bulk of the trip, wallowing too far in my personal hellish misery to complain about the narrow confines of our cabin and odiferous mattress. East India trading ships cater to the needs of cargo far above passengers. We disembarked at Ramsgate. I was quite happy to embrace the rigors of overland travel rather than proceeding up the Thames, but several days of subsequent immobility were required to restore my equilibrium ere we moved beyond that lovely seacoast town. Raul, bless his Spanish heart, rather delighted in my incapacitation as it allotted him the opportunity to ramble through the streets and relish the sights. Poor man has never seen England. How does one live? I ask arrogantly.
Eventually we set off. I did manage to post a letter warning William of my arrival. I hoped it would arrive well enough in advance, although that did not prove to be true. Apparently the mail service of my great country has not improved. Not all can be perfect. Oh well, that is the way of family! I flattered myself that his astounding joy would be profound enough to overwhelm any irritation at my besieging of the newlyweds. This did prove to be true as well as fortuitous, as William had hurt himself, again, and I am sure it was only my timely arrival that saved him from a life of handicap! Ha! However, I am getting ahead of myself, as you know, dear Jharna, I am wont to do.
This trip home has been so anticipated, sea travel notwithstanding. Naturally I was thrilled that Raul wished to accompany me, but even without his companionship I would have had to come. How many hours did I bore you with memories of my homeland, Jharna? Always wishing and praying that you would agree to travel with me. Perhaps I should have prayed to your gods rather than my own. Ah well, here I now am, and never has the green English countryside and crowded London streets filled me with such joy. It is almost impossible to recollect how anxious I was to leave all those decades ago. Perhaps I am getting old, as you would tease. Darcy House stood shining in the afternoon sun, undiminished in her grandeur and loveliness. Moderate chaos reigned, much to my delight, when I crossed the threshold. It was a scene evocative of my youth when all us rowdy children would be tearing about the foyer: Alex sliding down the banister to Mother's dismay, Estella hiding in order to frighten delicate Mary, and James doubled over in mirth while I performed some feat of acrobatic skill. Yes, I must be aging if the frequent jaunts down the ancient paths of my memories are any indication. If the obvious affection between William and his bride are evidentiary of their marital relations, then Darcy House will yet again display such a scene. In fact, they are already on the way as Mrs. Darcy is with child. How can I describe Elizabeth Darcy? Clinically, emotionally, or both?
Physically she is a tiny slip of a girl, although actually of moderate height. Strangely, considering the stature of William, she on the one hand is dwarfed by his bulk while simultaneously looming larger than life. Sheer force of personality and presence overcomes her physicality. With chestnut hair, enormous brown eyes, dainty features, and delicate bone structure, she is a picturesque counterpart for my nephew. They complement each other well on numerous levels. However, it is the aforementioned presence that I know has captured William, as I imagine it does all who know her. She is witty, intelligent, sparkling, kind, courageous, and loving. I can readily find no faults, and you know, Jharna, what a penchant I have for divining deficiencies!
I will confess that I assumed William, like the vast majority of men in his class, had acquired a wife from the leeches of proper British society. Someone poised, of excellent family, and acceptable, but likely dull, vapid, and shallow. My years away from my favored nephew, his character largely gleaned through James's letters and later his own, fostered the theory that he would take the safe and acceptable road. I cannot claim to have an overly intimate relationship with him, but could have stated with absolute certainty that taking such a path would have rendered him miserable within a year. James always told me that his son's intelligence and restrained intensity mildly intimidated him, William possessing a nature far too zealous and exacting to comfortably fit within the confines of stifling English society. Yet, he would lament, William seemed determined to do so even to the point of suppressing his inclinations.
As I recall musing in previous journal entries while visiting home, my impressions concurred with James's. William as an adult and Master of Pemberley appeared to be fulfilling the best of James's predictions and the worst of his fears. That he was brilliant as the estate manager and guardian to Georgie was evident, but there was a sadness and stoic quality to him that even I could not crack significantly. A mere smile or laugh was a rare event, and I think he was frankly relieved when I returned to India.
Estella's letter after the wedding filled me with some hope, her impression of the new Mrs. Darcy and William's emotions all favorable. She also related that Elizabeth was neither of society nor even the best family. Lady Catherine flatly refused to acknowledge the union, shockingly, I write with towering sarcasm! Anyway, I am repeating myself. I guess it is just the surprise of the development that still staggers me. James, of course, had married for love, but I know how rare that is. Would even my dear brother have done so if Lady Anne Fitzwilliam were not of the highest caliber and breeding? I do not know. Regardless, William has found his match in every way in Elizabeth. Theirs appears to be the deepest of loves. I cannot be happier for them.
Ah, Jharna, how amazing it is to be in the bosom of my family! For too many years I have been adrift with only you to really turn to. Now you are gone and I have longed for the reestablishment of roots. Who would have thought it? And I know you are laughing from wherever you now reside! Be that as it may, I must attempt to smother my sentimental tendencies and write of my days here clinically, or I will fill the remaining pages with nonsense.
My dearest Georgiana has evolved into a woman in my absence. She is more beautiful and graceful then I would have imagined her awkward and skinny little-girl shape to grow into. So like Anne in every way. William's personality was always more of a melding of James and Anne, his humor and playfulness there, but reserved. More like my sister Mary or brother Phillip. Actually, as I think on it, he receives that trait from my mother! Interesting. Or, with further staring into space recollections, very like the old Lord Matlock, Anne's father. There was an intimidating man! I doubt he ever cracked a smile, as the world is yet in one piece.
Table of ContentsChapter 1 Snippets of a Physician's Memoirs
Chapter 2 Correspondence
Chapter 3 A Game of Riddles
Chapter 4 Toes in the Sand
Chapter 5 Magic Lantern
Chapter 6 Up, Up, and Away
Chapter 7 Just Deserts
Chapter 8 Home
Chapter 9 With This Ring I Thee Wed
Chapter 10 A Time Apart
Chapter 11 November
Chapter 12 Bundle of Joy
Chapter 13 Alexander
Chapter 14 Relative Invasion
Chapter 15 The Second Noel
Chapter 16 The Master of Pemberley
Chapter 17 Shrieks in the Night
Chapter 18 Catharsis
Chapter 19 Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
Chapter 20 Christening
Chapter 21 Encourage Affection
Chapter 22 Nocturnal Diversions
Chapter 23 Snippets of a Physician's Memoirs