Home  |  Reviews  |  Vlogs  |  Interviews  |  Guest Posts  |  Fairy Tales  |  Jane Austen  |  Memes  |  Policies

Friday, August 6, 2021

A Gentleman's Honor Excerpt & GIVEAWAY from Melanie Rachel

The following is an excerpt from Melanie Rachel's A Gentleman's Honor, which you can win a copy of following the sneak peek, so make sure to click through to enter!
A Gentleman's Honor, Melanie Rachel, pride and prejudice retelling, jane austen retelling, austen in august, the book rat, book excerpt, book giveaway

A Gentleman’s Honor   
Someone wants Elizabeth Bennet dead. It’s all Fitzwilliam Darcy’s fault.

Elizabeth Bennet wants the truth from Mr. Darcy. When she follows him from the ballroom to insist upon it, she becomes an unwilling witness to a scandalous scene. And for once, she cannot blame Mr. Darcy for disdaining his company. Not even when he departs Netherfield in the middle of the ball.

When Darcy returns to London, he leaves both Miss Elizabeth Bennet and his growing infatuation for her behind. Or so he believes. For soon, their paths cross again under the most painful of circumstances. 

Elizabeth suddenly finds herself dependent upon Mr. Darcy. With the gradual unveiling of his character, she is surprised by a burgeoning affection for him. Will her heart survive their inevitable parting?

Thrust together out of necessity, Elizabeth and Darcy must discover the culprit responsible for their predicament. But whoever has harmed Elizabeth is still looking for her, and Darcy cannot hide her forever.                                                                        

Chapter One

Fitzwilliam Darcy stared down into the upturned face of Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Her fine dark eyes flashed with anger, and she had risen to the balls of her feet in an indignant fury. His heart did a strange, tender whirl in his chest when he realized that she was attempting to look him in the eye. He swallowed. It was damned unfair that she could not be his, although at this moment it was certain that Miss Elizabeth did not return the sentiment.

He glanced down the hall to the ballroom to be certain they were alone before addressing her. 
“My history with Mr. Wickham is private, madam,” he said flatly. “I do not see what right you have to know it. Even were you entitled to the knowledge, no gentleman would reveal such things to a lady.”

She paused at that, but her expression remained skeptical. Her eyebrows pinched together as her heels returned to the floor. After a moment’s hesitation, she said, “He claims you denied him a living that was left to him in your father’s will.” 

        Darcy glanced down the hall. There were a few people milling about the doorway back to the ballroom, but at least for the moment, they had a bit of privacy. What could it matter? She must already believe him a scoundrel. At least she would know the truth. It would give him some comfort, to know that he had at least made an attempt to protect her from Wickham’s lies. He met her gaze as her eyes searched for an answer in his.

        “May I inquire how many times you have met Mr. Wickham in company, for him to be so explicit?” he asked. Despite the affront, he was genuinely curious.

        He saw the moment she admitted Wickham’s impropriety to herself and was gratified.

        “Not often at all, sir,” she told him plainly. 

        She had not backed away from him or lost her composure, though her expression was . . . uncertain. He was reminded that for all her wit and intelligence, she had seen little of the world beyond her home. 

        It was painful, to recall how he and George Wickham had once been friends. You have so much, Darcy, Wickham had said. You have a hard heart indeed if you will not share a little of it with your friends. Darcy had helped Wickham many, many times, but it had never been enough.

        “I did deny him the second time we spoke of it,” he told Elizabeth quietly. “The first time we spoke, Mr. Wickham resigned any claim to assistance in the church, should he ever find himself eligible to receive it, and accepted three thousand pounds in lieu of the living.” He heard a small gasp from Miss Elizabeth. 

        It was always this way. Wickham’s good looks were all the proof required of his integrity. Indeed, Darcy himself had been George Wickham’s friend until he learned how despicable the man truly was. Darcy’s own father had brushed his concerns about Wickham’s debauchery aside. “It would not harm you to engage in a few frivolities as George has done,” he had said sternly. “You are a young man, but once you take on the management of the estate, you will not enjoy such freedoms.” 

        Unlike his father, Miss Elizabeth seemed inclined to accept that she might have been mistaken. That was encouraging. Usually, people had to experience Wickham’s treachery personally before they believed the truth. 

        “This was in addition to the one-thousand-pound legacy left to him outright by my father,” Darcy added. “When Mr. Wickham had spent it all, he returned to demand the living he had willingly and legally relinquished and for which he had been compensated. I hope you will pardon me for refusing such a petition,” he said gruffly.
    Her cheeks pinked, giving him yet another vision to haunt him in his sleep. 

        “Will you tell me more of his habits, sir?” she asked. “If Mr. Wickham has been bold enough to slander you to me in such a way, if his habits are so extravagant, I must wonder whether this is the extent of his transgressions.” Miss Elizabeth was embarrassed, but she was no wilting flower—he admired that. 

        The music down the hall started up again, which meant that the supper dance would soon follow.
Bingley had asked to meet in the library before supper, and Darcy knew it was important that his friend not be absent for long. Darcy could not comprehend what could be so urgent as to pull Bingley away from his own ball, but Darcy was loyal to the few friends he had. 

        As he gazed at Miss Elizabeth, it occurred to him that Bingley must wish to discuss proposing to Miss Jane Bennet, her elder sister. Bingley had thus far maintained all propriety with his attentions—but as Sir William’s proclamation earlier that evening revealed, only just. If Bingley did not remove himself from Netherfield for a time, he would surely find himself obliged to make an offer of marriage. 
Darcy had no objections to Jane Bennet. She seemed a kind young woman, not unintelligent, with a sweet sort of fair-haired beauty. Her family, though—Miss Elizabeth excepted—would be a terrible embarrassment, and the sincerity of Miss Bennet’s feelings for Bingley was difficult to determine. Bingley really ought to take time to seriously consider whether the lady was truly in love with him, for the consequences of such an alliance would make his life more complicated. Perhaps his trip to London would help him decide what to do before returning to Hertfordshire. 

        Darcy knew he was overdue in the library. He decided he would offer his advice and then return to the ballroom. Or perhaps he would just go to bed. This night had turned into a disaster. That Miss Elizabeth would defend Wickham and that he himself would lay open his private business to her! 
He was expected elsewhere, but before he could take his leave, he was again distracted by Miss Elizabeth’s countenance, which gradually transformed from skepticism to bemusement. 

        He could watch her face forever and it would never become tedious. What was it she had said? “People themselves alter so much that there is something new to be observed in them for ever.” She was the proof of her own argument, and he almost allowed himself a fond smile. But he could not. Bingley had called for him and was perhaps even now waiting in the library. “Good evening, madam.” Darcy turned away before he realized he had not answered her query.

Well. That had been rude. But it could not be helped now. He strode down the hall and, in an agitation of spirits, tossed the doors to the library wide open before stepping through.

        He was startled to detect the soft whisper of slippers on the floor behind him. A trace of jasmine tickled his nose. Judging by that tantalizing scent, the owner of those slippers had stepped inside and to his right, out of the doorway. Without changing his position, he opened his mouth to protest. He had said everything he was inclined to reveal to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, far more than he ought. He would allow her to have her say and then insist she return to the ballroom at once. He would not have his honor questioned, especially not by the indolent Mr. Bennet.

        Before he could turn and utter a single syllable, however, another woman entirely was in his arms, the force of her assault knocking him back two full steps, almost back out into the hall. 

Melanie has kindly offered up an ebook copy of A Gentleman's Honor, or one of her other novels, to one lucky Austen in August reader!
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Open internationally, full terms located in the Rafflecopter terms section. 
Please do not leave email addresses or sensitive info in the comments. 
Good luck!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


  1. Well that's a great first chapter!

  2. Well, that sure whetted my appetite!

  3. Loved it! Such a great book and a beautiful cover

  4. Oh goodness, what a great beginning!

  5. Thanks so much for a chance to win this! I love all of your books. So well written! And, as a writer and English teacher, I don't say that last very often!

  6. I love some mystery in my jaff stories and this one sounds very interesting as I wonder who could be after Elizabeth.

  7. I got the book, stayed up way too late reading it, and finished it today. Absolutely delightful. Thank you for the Darcy/Lizzie feels and I love Henry and Fitz.

  8. Thanks for the excerpt. now am eager to know what heppanes next....

    Thank you for this giveaway

  9. I've read this book and couldn't put itdown. Excellent story. Congratulations Rachel.

  10. This is exciting, Melanie. Please don't stop there. Who is the woman in his arms? Surely it's not Elizabeth, right?


Tell me all your thoughts.
Let's be best friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...