Blog Tour,  Book Reviews,  Jane Austen Fan Fiction

The Predisposition of Elizabeth Bennet

An insulting proposal without an explanatory letter…how can they possibly reconcile?

When her sister Lydia elopes without a trace, Elizabeth Bennet must put aside her predisposition against Mr. Darcy—the man whose hand she refused months earlier—and plead for his assistance in locating the wayward couple. As a result, they face daunting hurdles with help from well-loved friends and interference from old rivals. Will their struggles result in permanent estrangement or a love match?

The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet is delightful, suspenseful and overall a completely enjoyable Pride and Prejudice variation. I was happy to read Hunter Quinn’s debut novel. I found the story to be varied enough from the original but close enough for me to truly enjoy Elizabeth and Darcy with all their witty banter.

I really appreciated the fact that this book was pretty low angst. There is plenty of suspense and drama but I felt pretty confident that Darcy and Elizabeth would easily find their way to each other. I especially appreciated the way Quinn gave some heat to the story but I would say still left it mild enough for those that enjoy a more proper romance. It was quite well done!

I would highly recommend this book to all my fellow JAFF readers. This one will not disappoint! And just when most books are starting to wrap things up, The Predisposition of Miss Bennet will leave you wanting to burn the candle at both ends. Will you be grabbing a copy of this delightful P & P variation? Make sure you leave a comment so that you will be entered into the drawing to win your own copy. (ending 4/26/21) Keep reading for a greeting from Hunter Quinn and an excerpt from TPOMEB.

Thank you, Melissa, for hosting me here at Probably at the Library. I am delighted to be here!

This is the second stop in my first book blog tour for my debut novel, which was released a few days ago – and what an amazing experience so far!

 I am here today to share another excerpt with you all.  In this next passage we continue on from the first two. Here we discover how a bruised and smarting Darcy will react when finding himself unexpectedly in Elizabeth’s company. Can he maintain his usual disinterested and aloof mien? And how will Elizabeth respond when faced with this new side of Mr. Darcy? Will she be able to see past her own insecurities…?

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this next installment.

Excerpt

“Mr Wickham?”

Darcy had not expected to hear that accursed name from her lips, and every muscle in his body tensed almost painfully. He reacted instantly, pulling his chair closer to Elizabeth as he sat down. “Has he hurt you in any way?” he asked, gazing at her intently.

“No, he has not hurt me—at least not directly.” She took a deep breath and continued. “He has eloped with my youngest sister, Lydia, and we cannot find them. I have come in the hope of any insights or information you can provide about Mr Wickham to assist us in locating them: his habits, where he lodges in town…”

It took several seconds for her words to register in his mind, and after a long pause, a burst of sardonic laughter was the only sound in the room. This was beyond belief. Wickham truly was a scourge upon the earth. He should have listened to his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam and put a bullet between Wickham’s eyes. But Elizabeth was unharmed! He could not describe the relief he felt at her words.

My God, how mercurial he was! Before she had entered his study, he had told himself he would have nothing further to do with her. However, the instant he thought she might have been hurt, he was ready to move heaven and earth to right the wrong.

Elizabeth, unfortunately, seemed to misinterpret his laughter as a direct insult towards her and her family. She was on her feet so quickly that he had no time to stand, storming towards him until her face was only inches above his.

“How dare you?” she raged. “What gives you the right to judge?” Her hands were clenched into fists by her side. “I knew coming here was a mistake. You are just as proud and disagreeable as you ever were! Perhaps if you had treated Mr Wickham better, he might not have become a man with such dishonourable tendencies.”

Her words cut him to the quick, not because he felt any guilt over the way he treated Wickham, but because she still thought better of the rake’s character than his own. Darcy pushed himself upright, towering over her once more. Elizabeth retreated a few steps as his expression darkened.

“I see that you have found a way to make this my fault and, furthermore, to besmirch my character. How original,” he commented sardonically. “And yet you are known in Meryton for your quick wit and intelligence. In truth, you are just like every other silly girl with her head buried in a novel, having succumbed to a scoundrel’s charms!”

“You are despicable! What happened to you to make you so hard and cruel?” she hissed.

“I believe that would be you, madam.”

He immediately regretted his choice of words when he perceived the rage and hurt in her eyes. Elizabeth retreated to the other side of the room, breathing heavily and seeming to draw into herself. After a few moments, Darcy broke her reverie.

“Contemplating your sins?” he mocked from across the room, still smarting from her earlier comments. He placed his glass on the mantle; the brandy was not helping him keep his emotions in check.

“Well then, what is it you require of me? Will you be appallingly predictable and ask me for money? If so, what will you offer in return?” He instantly regretted his words once more, and he knew the drink was not to blame. No other person alive could cause him to lose control of his emotions like the fierce creature before him.

“I knew coming here was a mistake! But I had hoped that you might not be the offensive and unfeeling man you were in Hertfordshire and Kent.” Then she declared under her breath, “Hateful man.”

“Hate me all you want,” he said with a bitter laugh. “What did you expect me to think—hmm? You come here in the dark, unchaperoned.” He looked away then, shoulders tense, trying to hide the emotions warring within. Darcy knew she would never offer herself, but he wanted to insult her—just a little—as she had humiliated him.

“I came here because I have no other choice. I did not think you were one of those men who would take advantage of a situation for his personal gain.”

“Whatever you may think of my character, you know that is not the case. You insulted me, and I responded in a like manner. You may stop pretending to feel affronted by my comments. There is nothing to prevent your leaving.” He inclined his head towards the door.

“I do not know what to think of you. I have tried many times to sketch your character, and I still cannot make you out. I ask myself whether you seek to exact some vengeance upon my person and my family—that you deem so decidedly below your own—for refusing your hand. Or are you simply trying to amuse yourself at my expense?”

Darcy seethed as he strode around the room. “You are quick to call me out for my pride, my prejudice against your family, and for all the flaws you perceive in my character. Yet you come to me full of spite, tearing me down with your words whilst twisting the affection I declared five months ago for your own advantage. Tell me, madam: What does that say of your character?”

History Highlight

Early on in TPOMEB, we see Elizabeth making the scandalous decision of whether or not she should go alone to ask Mr. Darcy for assistance in a family matter. She does not make this choice lightly. Let us stop and look at just how delicate was a woman’s reputation in the Regency era? Click here to check out an article on the high stakes of maintaining proper etiquette for a pure reputation.

“With a shake of her head, she focused her gaze once more on the large ornate doors before her, looking every bit as tall and intimidating as their master.”

A U T H O R   B I O:

Hunter Quinn is a British writer, residing in the southwest of England. She is an avid reader, no doubt due to the influence of her mother, an English classics’ professor and lecturer. 

Having grown up a stone’s throw from Bath and always surrounded by the words of literary greats, Hunter first discovered Jane Austen at a young age. But it was the ubiquitous scene where Mr. Darcy—portrayed by Colin Firth (a moment of silence and applause)—first emerged from the lake in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that cemented her love for Jane Austen and the regency romance genre of spirited damsels, dashing gentleman, and glittering ballrooms. Afterwards, Hunter walked through life daydreaming and writing ‘what if’ scenarios between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy but never had the courage to share them. 

Once the lockdown went into effect, Hunter took the plunge and began sharing her first novel on well-known JAFF sites. The praise and interest of readers gave her the confidence to submit The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to Meryton Press Publishing…and the rest is history!

April 19th From Pemberley to Milton

April 20th Probably at the Library

April 21st My Jane Austen Book Club

April 22nd Diary of an Eccentric

April 23rd My Vices and Weaknesses

April 24th Donadee’s CornerApril 26thAustenesque Reviews

Thank you to Meryton Press Publishing for allowing me to be a part of this tour. All opinions expressed are my own. You can purchase a copy of The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet here

Afflilate links are used in this blog post.

Melissa has been in love with books since she was a child. As a young girl, in her Holly Hobby decorated room, she would sit and tape scraps of paper to her books so that she could organize them by the Dewey Decimal System. She is a huge advocate for helping children learn to love reading. Along with hosting an online Regency based book club and a book club at her home, she started a book club for kids at her son’s school. These days, Melissa can be found at the library writing a book review or tucked in some quiet corner having a love affair with a newly discovered romance novel.

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