Meryton Press is happy to be releasing the sixth novella in the “Skirmish & Scandal” Series. As you will discover, this story definitely fits the theme. Brigid Huey’s Spies of Our Acquaintance has both skirmish and scandal. Would you like to know more about the story? Take a look at the blurb.
Spies of Our Acquaintance Blurb
French spies in Meryton!
Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?
After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.
Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!
When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?
Hmm…sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Reputations at risk? Oh my! If Darcy and Lizzy are alone with each other— after being captured— yes, that would create some scandal! Delicious, don’t you think? I can’t wait to find out more. (Hint: Brigid shares an excerpt)
From the Author
I have always loved adventure stories. Robin Hood was my favorite Disney movie, and I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe series more times than I can count. When I was a child my Barbies would go on incredible adventures to the top of mountains (the couch) and have all sorts of trouble. But then, of course, they would make it home safely.
When I started to dream up my latest Darcy and Elizabeth story, I was certain that they, too, would arrive home safe and sound, if not a little tousled by their adventure. I love a good romp of a story, but only if success is assured. I have strict rules about the stories I read, (e.g. they must end happily) and I apply those rules to my writing as well!
I started to daydream about why and how Darcy and Elizabeth might have an adventure together. How would they encounter intrigue in Longbourn? Who might their enemy be? And how would it affect their relationship?
Spies of Our Acquaintance is full of dashing heroes, daring escapes, and even a sprint across the fields of Longbourn. Old and new rogues cause trouble for our dear couple, but never more than they can bear. I hope you enjoy the story!
It was clear that Denny was in charge. Wickham gestured to the ladder. “Miss Elizabeth, after you.”
Elizabeth glared at Wickham but moved towards the ladder all the same. She glanced at Darcy, who tried to give her a reassuring look. No doubt the ropes around his wrists detracted from any comfort he might impart.
She climbed up the ladder nimbly, and Wickham gestured for Darcy to follow. How he was to manage with his wrists bound, he knew not. No doubt they wished to see him fall, but Darcy would not give them the satisfaction. Using his elbows to steady himself, he climbed the ladder. He flopped inelegantly on his belly once he was at the loft so as not to fall backwards. Elizabeth came forward and took his shoulders in her small hands, guiding him forward.
“Can they escape out the window?” Denny asked Wickham.
“Not likely. Not those two. It’s too far off the ground,” Wickham replied dismissively.
“You try to escape, we shoot you. Understand?” Denny called from below. Darcy did not respond. Wickham and Denny commenced a tense conversation in hushed voices, and Darcy took the opportunity to scoot closer to Elizabeth.
“Are you unharmed?” he whispered.
“I am well enough,” she replied. “What are you doing here?”
“I was on my way to the village when I saw you being pushed along by that blackguard. I left my horse and meant to apprehend them, but Denny caught me unawares. A rather poor job of rescue,” he said with chagrin.
“I thank you for the effort, nonetheless. We are in real danger here, sir. I do not believe Denny has much restraint. He will harm us both if given the opportunity.”
“I agree. We must be cautious.”
“Be quiet up there!” Denny barked.
They fell silent. Darcy feared for Miss Elizabeth. She was a gentle-born lady. She must be absolutely terrified. Although, Darcy had to admit to himself that he was worried for more than just Miss Elizabeth. Denny had made it pellucidly clear that he would have no qualms about shooting Darcy.
There was nothing for them to do now but wait. He tried as best he could to look around without attracting the attention of the men below. There was a window in the loft, but it was small and nearly twenty feet above the ground. Wickham and Denny had stationed themselves below the ladder. It would be impossible to climb down without them noticing. Their only chance for escape was if Denny or Wickham left the barn. Darcy was certain he could take one of them on, if only he could release his hands.
“Jane will send help,” Elizabeth said, so quietly that Darcy could barely hear.
“Bingley also,” he mouthed, and she nodded her understanding.
The afternoon dragged on, and neither of the men left. They argued occasionally about what to do with their captives, and Darcy only hoped that they would delay their decision for as long as possible. The longer he and Elizabeth were gone, the more likely it was that they would be rescued. Together.
A thought occurred to Darcy and he looked across the loft at Elizabeth. She was staring out the window as if studying the sky. They were together in a hay loft and had been for hours. It would matter not that it was through no fault of their own. Their reputations would be compromised. The consequence was either marriage or disgrace. Darcy would be able to survive the scandal, of course. Elizabeth, however, would be followed by the shadow of this event her whole life—unless, of course, he married her.
He stared at her. Her face was still turned away from him. Her profile was absolutely beautiful. From the hay in her hair to the shape of her fingers as they clasped together around her knees, she was altogether bewitching. He thought of their conversation in the library. Was that really just a few days ago? Her intelligence, her wit, and the very quality of her soul called out to him. Even now, he knew he wished to protect her, not only because she was vulnerable but also because he…because he…
She turned away from the window and caught him staring. Rather than look away, however, she stared back. He knew not what emotions were displayed upon his face. Shock, perhaps? Shock at finding himself the captive of a French spy in a hayloft with the woman he loved.
With French spies and espionage, Darcy and Lizzy are in for quite an adventure. It sounds delightful, doesn’t it! I love that last sentence in the blurb! What about you! When Darcy begins to realize he is in love, it makes for wonderful reading! Thank you, Brigid, for painting this scene for us. You brought it to life, and I felt I was there experiencing it with them.
The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, 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 Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.
We have two giveaways for this post. One giveaway is by the author, Brigid Huey. The other giveaway is by Meryton Press. Both are international and will end Thursday, August 26th at midnight central time.
Brigid Huey Giveaway:
One pair of Pride & Prejudice socks; one Pride & Poetry Magnetic Poetry Kit
Meryton Press Giveaway:
Two eBooks of Spies of Our Acquaintance
To enter the giveaways, leave us a comment. What did you think of the excerpt? Do you like spy stories, especially when they have Darcy and Lizzy in them? We are eager to hear your thoughts.
Remember, only comments here on the Meryton Press Blog for this post, Spies of Our Acquaintance, will be entered in the giveaway.
Brigid will be visiting a few other blogs this week, and there will be more chances to win eBooks. The blog stops will be listed each day on the Meryton Press Facebook page and other social media.