A Consuming Love

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, A Consuming Love by Kelly Miller, the fifth in the “Skirmish & Scandal” series of novellas, could not be more fitting for this holiday. When I first read it last year, I knew immediately that it had to be our February novella. Kelly was in agreement, even though hers was one of the first three finished. To give you an idea of what it is about, let me share the back cover copy with you.

A Consuming Love Blurb

The methodical world of rich, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy is in chaos: a country lady of modest origins has utterly captivated him.

The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet is an unsuitable match fails to diminish Darcy’s fascination for her, nor does his self-imposed distance from the lady hinder her ability to intrude upon his thoughts at all hours of the day. What can solve his dilemma?

When circumstances compel Darcy’s return to Hertfordshire in assistance of his friend Mr. Bingley, he must confront his unfathomable attraction to Miss Elizabeth.

In this Pride and Prejudice Regency novella, one afternoon spent in company with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is enough to make an indelible and life-altering impression upon Darcy, setting him on a rocky course towards the fulfillment of his desires. Will Darcy attain happiness, or will his ingrained pride be his downfall?

I certainly hope that Darcy will attain happiness, don’t you? Yes, I have read it, but I will not give any spoilers! 😊 You must read it for yourself to get the answer.

Let’s see what Kelly has to tell us, then we can read an exclusive excerpt from A Consuming Love. Kelly Miller, you have the floor.

From the Author

Last year, Janet Taylor contacted me, along with other Meryton Press authors, to inquire if I wanted to contribute to an anthology of short stories. At that time, I had never written a short story. While the idea intrigued me, I did not want to agree without first having an idea in mind.

There is an often-used plotline that involves a writer who signed a contract and accepted an advance for a new unwritten novel and then gets writer’s block. I would not ever want to be in that position! However, I gave the matter thought, and an idea for a Pride & Prejudice variation came to me, so I said “Yes.”

Janet had specified a word limit, and soon after I started writing my story, I saw a potential problem: I wondered whether I could complete the story and stay within the word restriction. By the time I learned the theme of the anthology, most of my story had been written. At first, I worried that my story did not fit the “Skirmish and Scandal” theme. Author Suzan Lauder mentioned having the same concern for her novella, Schemes of Felicity.

However, the word “skirmish” can be used to describe anything from a military battle to a vigorous argument. Likewise, the word “scandal,” can refer to malicious gossip, an offense caused by a fault or misdeed or even a “person whose conduct is a disgrace.” So, all considered, it would be difficult to write a JAFF variation that did not fit this theme.

Then Janet made the brilliant decision to publish a number of novellas separately, but as part of a series, retaining the “Skirmish and Scandal” theme. Not only had she devised a fantastic and original idea, but my word count limit went up, making it easier for me to complete my story.

This story, told entirely from Darcy’s point of view, begins in Hertfordshire in autumn 1811, but Darcy’s first glimpse of Miss Elizabeth Bennet does not occur at the Meryton Assembly. Instead, he meets her earlier at Netherfield Park. Elizabeth makes such a profound impression upon Darcy in one encounter, that he is impelled to take cogent action.

In case anyone wonders if Darcy experiences instant love in my story. My answer is: not exactly. I will delve into the notion of “love at first sight” in a future blog post.

I had originally named this tale A Momentous Meeting, referring to Darcy’s introduction to Elizabeth Bennet. But the very savvy Suzan Lauder suggested a name change, and after considering a number of choices, I picked A Consuming Love, for the sentiment that inspires much of Darcy’s actions in my novella.

I hope readers will enjoy my first-ever novella and find it a fitting read for Valentine’s Day or anytime!

Excerpt

This excerpt is in Darcy’s point of view and takes place at Netherfield Park:

Five feet from the office door, a sound halted Darcy’s movement. The musical tones—unexpected and out of place—disrupted his serenity. A woman’s laugh, sweet and melodious, penetrated the closed door. Another man—Bingley, for example—might describe the pleasant sound as the laughter of an angel. But Darcy had lived in the world several years longer than his friend had. In his experience, voices often did not match the people to whom they belonged. Many a stout, old dowager retained the light, silvery tones of a young girl.

Bingley appeared at his side, his forehead crimped. “Is aught amiss?”

He shook his head and rocked back on his heels. It was naught but a laugh—no doubt that of a middle-aged housekeeper. “Not at all. I was waiting for you.”

His friend accepted Darcy’s answer as befitted the younger man’s nature. They stepped forward, and Bingley knocked on the door.

The door opened to reveal a gray-haired man, rather well dressed for a steward, who peered through his spectacles at them. “May I be of service, gentlemen?”

“Yes, indeed. You must be Mr. Stone. We, um, or I anyway, have an appointment to meet with you today.” A cheerful tone pervaded Bingley’s response.

“I am afraid Mr. Stone could not attend this meeting due to his wife’s delicate condition. He is expected to become a father today and wished to remain at home. I agreed to meet with you in his stead to show you the house and answer your questions as best I can. I have a degree of familiarity with the property. My name is Bennet, and I own the neighbouring estate to the south, Longbourn.”

A warm smile overspread Bingley’s face. “I am delighted to make the acquaintance of a neighbour. It is most generous of you to meet with me. My name is Bingley, and this is my good friend, Mr. Darcy. He has accompanied me to lend his expertise today. His estate, Pemberley, is one of the largest in all of Derbyshire.”

Darcy mashed his lips together to suppress a sigh. Mr. Bennet may have denoted him as a gentleman of means from his attire—might even have recognized his name—but his friend’s well-meaning commentary advertised his status in a way that left little doubt of his wealth. Bingley could only have done worse by blurting Darcy’s yearly income, a frequent topic of speculation in London. He tensed in anticipation of the usual response to such tidings: the increased show of interest and deference toward him—often to the point of ignoring Bingley altogether—an all too common occurrence in town.

An astute glint shone in Mr. Bennet’s eyes. “It is a pleasure to meet you, gentlemen.” He beckoned them inside and reached his hand out to someone waiting within. “Lizzy, come meet our prospective neighbour and his friend.”

The lady who appeared beside the older gentleman bore no resemblance to a housekeeper. She had to be the gentleman’s daughter. At first glance, the lady presented a pleasing, yet unremarkable, appearance—well, except for her eyes. Those exquisite orbs of greenish-chestnut, so singular and compelling, seized his notice. She must have been a few years older than Georgiana and rather shorter, though not too short. Her figure, light and pleasing, possessed an uncommon grace that drew his eyes to her every movement. Her smile, neither practiced nor affected, appeared natural and easy—no doubt, a frequent display. Her posture and facial expression conveyed an amicable curiosity towards them, but—he had to admit—none of the avidity and avarice he met with in most social situations. In fact, neither father nor daughter, thus far, offered him more notice than Bingley—a rare circumstance.

After Mr. Bennet made the introductions, Miss Bennet engaged Bingley in conversation, inquiring about the neighbourhood where he grew up. Darcy never ceased to marvel at people like her—or like Bingley for that matter. How did they summon up such apparent genuine interest in strangers, appearing natural and at ease in the exact situations that most discomfited him? Mr. Bennet observed his daughter and Bingley with a slight smile. The gentleman seemed to share his daughter’s appreciation and interest in other people but projected a more seasoned, laconic, and cynical perspective.

From the first sound of Elizabeth’s laugh, Darcy is captivated, but will he admit it? He did get quite a surprise when neither Lizzy nor her father paid him more attention than Bingley. Do you think that adds to his intrigue? He certainly does take in everything about the lady’s appearance and demeanor. Cupid’s arrow is fast approaching!

The novella, A Consuming Love, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Harry Frost, should be released in eight to ten weeks.

Giveaway

There are two giveaways for this release. Kelly Miller is giving away two $25 Amazon Gift cards. The giveaway is worldwide, but limited to countries that have an Amazon store. There will be two winners for this giveaway. Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of A Consuming Love, and the giveaway is international. To enter leave a comment, tell us what you think of the excerpt, or share your plans for Valentine’s Day, even if you cannot go anywhere. We want to hear from you.

Remember, only comments here on the Meryton Press Blog for this post, A Consuming Love, will be entered in the giveaway.

Both giveaways will end Tuesday, the 16th of February, at midnight, Central Time. Good luck!

Kelly will be visiting a few blogs next week, and there will be more chances to win an eBook.

Other Books by Kelly Miller

85 Responses

  1. Glynis
    | Reply

    This sounds really good! Darcy immediately attracted to Elizabeth! I hope she’s similarly attracted?
    I’ve added this to my list and look forward to reading it.
    I can’t spend a $ gift card as I shop on U.K. but I can enter the book giveaway.
    Thank you for sharing this excerpt and for another lovely short story.

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Hi Glynis, thanks for your comment. I’m so glad the story piqued your interest! If you won, I would give you a UK Amazon gift card, so no worries about that! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Glynis, I’m happy you stopped by. I’m hoping that Elizabeth is similarly attracted, as well! 😉 Good luck in the giveaways!

      • DarcyBennett
        | Reply

        Great excerpt. Look forward to reading more.

        • Meryton Press
          | Reply

          Hope you get to read it soon.

  2. Shelley Hoisington
    | Reply

    Love the excerpt! 🥰. Congratulations on publishing another book 🍾🎉
    For Valentines Day my husband is making a wonderful breakfast. I am making lunch and our 16 year old is making us dinner!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Oh, I like your Valentine’s Day plans, Shelley. It sounds like a wonderful day and a special one. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Shelley! I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt and appreciate your well wishes! It sounds like you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day planned! 🙂

  3. ForeverHis
    | Reply

    The excerpt leaves me wanting more. No rude Meryton Assembly remark?? I’m looking forward to this new offering by an author that I respect. Thank you for entering me in the drawing.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Maybe you can read more soon! There will be more excerpts next week. It’s great to hear your thoughts on this author! You are entered in the giveaways. Good luck.

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you, ForeverHis! It’s great to hear you want more, and I really appreciate your lovely comment! 🙂

  4. A.C. Merkel
    | Reply

    I love Kelly’s books! Off to get this one now!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thanks! We’re happy to hear it!

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you, AC! I appreciate that very much! 🙂

      • Betsy Jung
        | Reply

        Looking forward to reading this! Sounds like fun!

        • Kelly R. Miller
          | Reply

          Thank you, Betsy! I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

        • Meryton Press
          | Reply

          Hi Betsy. Glad you stopped by.

  5. travis funderburk
    | Reply

    i am a huge fan of pride and prejudice! will i buy this book? yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I am too, Travis! You will love Kelly’s novella.

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Travis! Your support is appreciated! 🙂

  6. Caron Pescatore
    | Reply

    Love the excerpt! I always enjoy getting the hero’s perspective in my romance novels, and to have this one exclusively from Darcy’s perspective is very unique. Looking forward to reading the book in its entirety. 😊😊

    • Kelly R. Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Caron! I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and want to read more! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      It is fun to get the hero’s perspective. Hope you get to read the book soon.

  7. Beatrice
    | Reply

    Exciting! I’m looking forward to this new novella; have just put it on my TBR KU list.
    Note to Kelly Miller: stop commenting, so you can write us more books, please. We love your work!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Haha! Your note to Kelly is neat! Always great to hear you love an author’s work! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much for your support, Beatrice! I truly appreciate it! I’m a multi-tasker, so I shall try to do both! 🙂

  8. Barb Fiksdal
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for writing a new book! The excerpt is intriguing and the novella will be read with relish, I’m sure! I greatly appreciate the heads-up for the new release. All the best wishes for your success!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We appreciate your comments, Barb. Good luck in the giveaway.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Barb, for your lovely comment and well wishes! I’m glad you found the excerpt intriguing. I hope you like where it goes! 🙂

  9. Buturot
    | Reply

    Congratulations on your new book!

    The title is perfect Kelly!!! It really summarizes Mr. D’s feelings. Love the way you described Lizzy’s eyes, such a shade is so captivating you cannot miss it. .
    Love your other stories and so looking forward to this new one.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Buturot! I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Happy Valentines day! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Isn’t the title perfect! I love it too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We love hearing them. Good luck in the giveaway.

  10. Patty Edmisson
    | Reply

    Enjoyed the excerpt. I am also wondering if the assembly will occur with Darcy putting his foot in it. Looking forward to reading this book.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Patty! Darcy manages to avoid the Meryton assembly blunder in this story! Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We hope you get to read this one soon and get your question answered. Thanks, Patty, and good luck.

  11. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    Congratulations on another novel shared with your readership, Kelly! I know they’ll snap this one up quickly as it has all the right signals of being a great novella. Best of luck with your release and congratulations on your recent awards for Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Suzan! I appreciate your support, and hope your writing is going well for your next book! Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Isn’t it a great novella, Suzan! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  12. Jan Hahn
    | Reply

    Love the excerpt, Kelly! Darcy is already feeling either slighted or impressed by the Bennets’ lack of falling at his feet over the largest estate in Derbyshire remark. It will be interesting to see what happens when he meets Mrs. Bennet. Congratulations, Kelly!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you very much, Jan! I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt! I wish you a Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Wasn’t it a good excerpt, Jan! I loved your comment about Darcy. Thanks for dropping by.

  13. Grace Gibson
    | Reply

    This one sounds terribly romantic, Kelly! Congratulations and best wishes on your new release.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Grace! I appreciate your comment, and wish you a wonderful Valentines Day! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Grace. It is romantic! 🙂

  14. Linda
    | Reply

    Have read Death takes a Holiday. Think anything written by this artist would be great. Will be planning to look into this book. Ahhhhh….

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much for reading “Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley,” Linda! I appreciate your lovely comment! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      That’s fantastic to hear, Linda. Thanks for stopping by and hope you get to read this one soon.

  15. Jennifer Redlarczyk
    | Reply

    Love the excerpts and thanks so much for sharing here. Awesome giveaway!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Jennifer! I appreciate your support very much, and wish you luck in the giveaway! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Jen. Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to see you here. Good luck.

  16. KateB
    | Reply

    Lovely excerpt, I enjoy stories with instant attraction of either Darcy or Elizabeth. I’m looking forward to reading reading it.
    My hubby got me a beautiful bucket of roses for Valentine and we got Chinese take out, not going out anywhere yet.
    Congratulations on the release.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Kate! It sounds like you have had a lovely Valentine’s Day! I appreciate your well wishes very much! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Kate. We’re happy you stopped by. How lovely that your hubby got you a beautiful bucket of roses, plus Chinese take out! Thanks for sharing your plans with us. That’s so neat!

      Hope you get to read Kelly’s book soon.

  17. Michelle David
    | Reply

    Sounds good. Congratulations on the new book

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you, Michelle! I’m glad you liked the excerpt and appreciate the comment! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thanks for commenting, Michelle.

  18. Judy Ferrell
    | Reply

    I like the sound of this book! I loved Kelly’s other books!! I am thrilled to be allowed to review this one.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Judy! I value your opinion! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Glad to hear you loved Kelly’s other books. This novella is excellent too.

  19. Joanna Randall
    | Reply

    There’s nothing better than a great P&P variation and I’ve really enjoyed Kelly Miller’s. I look forward to enjoying this new one! Congratulations and thanks for giving us more to love about our favorite literary couple!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Joanna! I appreciate your kind comment and hope you will enjoy my first ever novella-length release featuring the romantic travails of Darcy and Elizabeth! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I agree with you 100%. Kelly’s book are good, no doubt about it! Good luck in the giveaway.

  20. DarcyBennett
    | Reply

    Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      I am glad you enjoyed the excerpt, DarcyBennett! I appreciate you stopping by and wish you luck in the giveaway!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Good to hear.

  21. tgruy
    | Reply

    It sounds great! I want a chance to win!
    Thank you for it!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you for your comment, tgruy! Best of luck to you in the giveaway! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      You are entered Teresita! Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Doni Turiace
    | Reply

    Congratulations! 🎈📚
    I am excited to read A Consuming Love. I love by Kelly Miller books.
    She is a new to me as an author.
    I have been addicted to P & P
    variation story this pass year.
    I always happy when there is a
    new release.
    Thank you for the chance!

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment, Doni! I appreciate your support and your well wishes! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We’re so happy you found Kelly, and we hope you get to read A Consuming Love soon. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck.

  23. Jeanna Massman
    | Reply

    Jane Austen created amazing characters! I’m excited that this book reintroduces these wonderful people and reimagines their story.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Jeanna. We’re glad to have you visit our blog and share your thoughts.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thanks so much, Jeanna! I appreciate your comment! 🙂

  24. Lois
    | Reply

    I enjoyed the excerpt and have added it to my Amazon wishlist. Between an ice storm and the pandemic, we stayed in and made crepes for Valentine’s Day.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Lois! 🙂 Crepes for Valentine’s Day sounds great! There will be more chances to win e-books as I visit a few blogs in the next few days. You can find me today at: savvyverseandwit.com

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Lois! That sounds wonderful! I love crepes. Now I’m curious as to what kind you made. I used to make them, but it has been a long time since I did. Thank you for sharing your plans with us. We’re happy you stopped by.

  25. Wendy luther
    | Reply

    Love it

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Great to hear, Wendy. Thanks for commenting.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Wendy! I appreciate your support! 🙂

  26. Betty Campbell Madden
    | Reply

    Wow! Lots of comments! I hope there are lots of sales. The story seems enticing. Thanks.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Betty! I appreciate your kind comment! 🙂

  27. Joan Rye
    | Reply

    So looking forward to reading this!!!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      That’s great to hear, Joan. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Kelly Miller
      | Reply

      Thank you for the kind comment, Joan! I hope you get to read it soon! 🙂

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