A new week has dawned with a new snippet from my last release: In Essentials. Glad you joined me today.

Here, in Canada, my family celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend. What a joy - even with all the extra work. Since Covid, this is the first time our little family was all together in one space. With six grandchildren, ranging in age from 10 months to 15 years, the cacophony of noise was wonderful, and at times overwhelming.

Full confession. I was grateful for the silence when everybody left for their own home. Does this make me a bad grandma? Even so, I would not trade the chaos for anything. We ate food, played cards, soothed bumped knees, and cleaned the floor from multiple spills. Our poor cats hid the entire time. Yup - it was a good time.

Onto this week's snippet. I am sharing from In Essentials. This book was released in March 2022. Here is the blurb, followed by my excerpt for this week.


His mistress, rewarded with a substantial allowance, jewelry, and clothing was in all essentials Mrs. Darcy, except by name.

His wife, with low connections and vulgar relations, is Mrs. Darcy by name, but in essentials, she is nothing more than a necessary evil to thwart the plans of his uncle the earl, as well as provide a legitimate heir to Pemberley.

All too soon, Darcy realizes there are hidden depths to his petite wife, and finds himself completely fascinated by not only her beauty but intelligence and wit.

Elizabeth, fully aware of why Mr. Darcy chose her as his wife, fights her growing attraction to the taciturn gentleman from Derbyshire, failing miserably. She is finally forced to acknowledge, that, in essentials, he is the only man who can make her happy.


A tall gentleman stalked the edges of the assembly room, hating every minute he was forced to remain in the presence of complete strangers. The room stank of cheap tallow candles, unwashed bodies, and bad breath. More than that, it stank of desperation. Frantic mothers and fathers seeking to have their children wed. Male or female, it did not matter. The goal was to find a warm body to ensure a continued heritage and hopefully bring ready cash into the family coffers. In this regard, they were not too dissimilar to him, as he too, was on the hunt. But not for the same reasons.


Last week, his uncle had once again lambasted him for not marrying one of the many pedigreed debutantes paraded past him at endless balls and soirees, going so far as to challenge the guardianship of his younger sister if he did not comply with his demands. Tired of his mother’s brother trying to force him into marrying his choice of wife, and his mother’s sister demanding he marry her daughter, he decided he would find his own wife. And not just any wife. She would be vile, though not in looks. If he had to bed the wench, he wanted some form of beauty and a pleasing body. No, she would be someone who teetered on the edges of polite society. Preferably a gentleman’s daughter with vulgar connections. The more vulgar the better.

He had no need for more money or love. His mistress filled the latter of those requirements in more ways than one. His lips briefly curved as he remembered how she’d bid him farewell last night, knowing she would not see him until the new year. Straddled across his lower torso, she had raised and lowered herself, allowing him free reign with his mouth and hands. There was not a crack or crevice on her delectable body he was not familiar with, and after two years, still had not tired of her.

If he truly wished to have his uncle expire from an apoplectic fit, he’d marry her, but knew such a rash act would materially damage his sister’s chance of making a good marriage when she finally came out in society. He could never do that to sweet, innocent Georgiana, and after a near disaster this past summer, where he’d nearly lost her to his father’s loathsome godson, he had vowed to protect her until she married a good man.

A high-pitched shriek followed by giggles brought him back to his quest – finding a gentleman’s daughter who would horrify his mother’s family. Two females barreled past him. His gaze followed the pair of ladies, girls really, far too young to be out in society even in a backwater town like this. They skidded to a stop in front of a woman to whom he had avoided introductions. He’d caught the calculating gleam in her eye the minute he and his friend had entered the room and knew she had decided on the both of them as future sons-in-law.

At first, he’d dismissed her, but now, watching how her daughters behaved, his interest was piqued. His uncle would be devastated if he showed up with one of those empty-headed twits on his arm. Lost in thoughts of how to facilitate a belated introduction, his friend approached.

“Come, Darcy. I must have you dance.”

“Before we left Netherfield, I told you I would be poor company tonight.”

“Then let us acquaint you with someone pleasant who can drag you out of the doldrums. There are some very pretty girls here.”

“You are dancing with the only handsome woman in the room.”

His gaze fell on his friend’s partner, who remained on the dance floor, waiting for their turn to go down the line. She was not only handsome; she was divine. He surmised even a dead man would have felt stirrings of desire in the presence of her beauty. However, he was not here to find a beautiful woman to grace his bed, he had the delectable Daphne for that. What he needed was someone who was not perfect. Someone his uncle would loathe on sight.

“Yes, Miss Bennet is so very beautiful, but you will not distract me in this. I will find someone for you to dance with who is not my sister.”

“I thank you, but you should make your way back onto the dance floor and enjoy your partner’s smiles. You are wasting your time with me.”

“I say, there is a pleasant-looking lady just yonder. I could ask my partner to introduce us.”

Darcy looked over his shoulder and spotted a petite woman seated by herself, her foot tapping in time to the music. He caught her eye and paused. She was pretty, but not handsome enough to tempt him from his mission of finding an uncouth bride. About to decline Bingley’s offer of introduction, his attention was caught by the loud chit he’d noticed earlier. She plopped down in the empty chair next to the intriguing woman and huffed out a huge sigh.

“La, Lizzy! I am quite fagged. I need to catch my breath before the next dance.”

The young girl hadn’t lowered her voice nor did she seem to care about the fact she slouched in her chair like a drunken sailor. The woman, Lizzy, obviously did because she hissed something under her breath and the girl straightened, but not before a pout appeared on her face.

“Oh, who cares what they think. They mean nothing to me.”

The young woman grabbed the girl’s arm and hauled her to her feet before marching toward the vulgar woman, whom he assumed was their mother. Even from across the room it was obvious the matron berated the young lady, allowing the spoilt child to prance off, head held high without batting an eye at her coarse behavior. He smiled. This ‘Lizzy’ was perfect.

He turned to his friend.

“After your dance has ended, I would be pleased to meet the young lady.”


Rules of engagement for Weekend Writing Warriors:

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun blog hop where authors share eight to ten lines from a Work in Progress. If you'd like to check out some of the other author's writing, please click on this link: WeWriWa


  1. An interesting take on the story. You've given Darcy a reason to actually pursue Lizzy, but left him the need to fight his actual feelings for her. I dislike his mistress already, on principal. She can't have him. He belongs to Lizzy! :)

    1. You will find the mistress is as loathsome as him. I had fun writing this story.

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  3. Enjoying the vastly different take on the classic here, but I do feel sorry for his mistress. This was a great snippet though!

    1. Trust me on this. Do NOT feel sorry for the mistress. You will have to read the whole story to find out why... (insert evil author laugh)

  4. I have to admit that I've never read the original book. Your story makes me curious about it. If our hero wanted someone to annoy others, the loud young lady would probably do it.

    1. There are some fans of Jane Austen who become very annoyed when you twist the characters too far from their original story line. However, I had very good reviews for this story because I kept Darcy very proud and haughty, and Elizabeth very spunky and independent.

  5. I read this through KU recently, and I loved it so much I bought the paperback! The blurb was both intriguing and a bit horrifying. But having read and loved Compromise & Consequence, I took a chance on this book, and I was not disappointed! I recommend it highly!

    1. Thank you. I am so glad you popped in for a visit!

  6. I'm curious how this first meeting will go. Enjoyed this excerpt!

    1. It is safe to say Darcy is as pompous as you would expect.

  7. Love your books especially the series about Caroline, Catherine and Georgiana. Is Mary coming soon?

    1. I'd love to say 'yes', but that would be an egregious lie. Mary is only half finished. I found the story stalled and I became embroiled in other storylines. However, I have not given up hope for her, and beg you not to either. When (please note I did not say 'if'), when I publish Mary, I will herald it from all the rooftops. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello.

  8. I always enjoy Pride & Prejudice retellings! Great snippet...

    1. I found my niche when I stumbled across this fan fiction. Some day, I will write a 'normal' regency, but not today. :)


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