Suzan Lauder has a new novel, and we are going to be talking about it today! We will also be revealing its cover and sharing an excerpt! Doesn’t that sound like fun? We are excited about this book, and hope everyone else is too! Before going any further, let’s read the blurb. Several have asked about it, so here it is!
A pact that will change their lives forever…
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a successful young barrister with a bright future. His late uncle has guided his career, made him his heir, and even selected a bride for him—sight unseen—whom he’ll meet and marry upon her majority. Who could have predicted that making the acquaintance of Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Meryton would throw those careful plans into disarray?
Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t know what to make of “Fitz” Darcy, who intrigues and draws her notice like no other. Despite Fitzwilliam’s warnings, she allows Mr. George Darcy, Fitzwilliam’s older brother and master of Pemberley, to charm her. Little does she know that she, too, has been promised in marriage by her late father—to an unknown barrister, no less. What is she to do when her hopes to marry for love disappear in the blink of an eye?
Is George Darcy’s suit in earnest? Can this mysterious bridegroom of her father’s choosing become the husband of her dreams? With the danger of duels and deceit, what will come of the initial attraction between her and Fitzwilliam? Will she become the barrister’s bride?
Note: contains scenes with adult content.
Fitzwilliam is not only a second son, but a barrister, and already betrothed! Oh, the intrigue! What about George, Fitz’s older brother? Is he in earnest in his dealings with Elizabeth?
It has been a long time since Suzan has had a full-length novel! Shall we let her tell you more about this one?
From the Author
When asked what was the idea that sparked The Barrister’s Bride, I find it difficult to answer, since it was so long ago that I had the story idea. The plot bunny sat in my file of such ideas for four years before I found myself museless in the middle of writing a novella and decided that if I started something completely different, I would probably be able to complete the Regency romance I’d been working on. I thought I’d go back to my writing roots, and JAFF story line was just the thing.
I’m sure the plot bunny was one that came to me while writing The Mist of Her Memory and I quickly recorded the idea so I wouldn’t forget it—I keep Word documents of such short drafts. The content of this particular idea file was that Darcy was a second son and a barrister who had been promised in marriage to an unknown lady by his uncle, a judge. Mr. Bennet had passed away, but he had also made a provision for Elizabeth to marry an unknown gentleman at the time of her majority. I had written those few notes and drafts of the two pivotal letters in the novel, but no more. The entire start of The Barrister’s Bride, then titled “FMS Darcy as a Barrister,” was six pages long.
I wrote the 120k book in eight months, which is fast for me. I renamed it “A Union of a Different Tendency” while I wrote it, but became less enamoured of the clever title as time wore on. By the time Leigh Stewart was assigned as my editor, the novel was called The Barrister’s Bride. Leigh’s a stickler for perfection in detail, something I didn’t mind. Ellen Pickels had very little to proofread in the end.
My cover idea was to show Elizabeth with the two Darcy men since George Darcy, the older brother, figures prominently in the story. I sent Janet Taylor some artwork that I thought could be used and left it up to her magic to create the look. Cover lover that I am, I checked my email regularly for what seemed like ages hoping for my cover until finally, Janet offered not one, but several great covers showing what could be done with this idea. She showed the three with Hyde Park in the background using full height artwork of the men behind a close-up of Elizabeth, a similar arrangement using the original background that came with the painting of Elizabeth, and the one you see today, with the larger unframed portrait of Elizabeth and the two miniatures of George and Fitzwilliam. We agreed the latter uncluttered effect was the best front cover. I love the cover of The Barrister’s Bride, as I always do with Janet’s covers.
Janet tells me that the back cover art required only minor changes to make it into the scene where Darcy and Elizabeth find out who they are marrying. As usual, Janet Taylor’s back covers are as good as the ones on the front.
I’m confident you’ll find this cover reveal as pleasing as I did.
Are you ready to see the final front cover?
What do you think? Isn’t Elizabeth pretty and doesn’t she have gorgeous hair? I love her shawl too. It is fun to see the miniatures of the Darcy brothers beside her. Which one do you think is Fitzwilliam? Maybe I should ask which one you hope is Fitzwilliam. 😊
Since Suzan mentioned the back cover, we will look at it next.
What more do you think this painting might represent? Suzan gave us a hint, but do you think Lizzy and Darcy are happy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts.
I always love reading excerpts and getting a taste for a book. Would you like to read one now? Let’s do!
This excerpt takes place the morning after the Meryton Assembly. Mr. Bennet passed away six months ago, so Mrs. Bennet did not attend. We hear the story from Elizabeth’s point of view.
“Mr. Darcy is certainly a man blessed in his looks—so tall and handsome. He danced with our Lizzy for two sets,” said Charlotte.
Mama straightened in her chair, puffing up her chest. “Did he now? That is interesting!” A slight heat overcame Elizabeth’s cheeks. Her dances with Mr. Darcy had been a high point. The gentleman had recalled their first meeting and enquired of the Donne tome she had purchased. Later, he asked many pertinent questions about Meryton society. His steadfast attention signalled his interest in the topic, not to mention his refreshing respect for her knowledge and opinions. Even so, an unfamiliar and unknown awareness filled her senses during the dances—he had been more than a pleasant partner. They were synchronous, like the parts of a clock, and despite the barrier of their gloves, every time their hands touched, they moved as if they were a matched pair that had found their way home. She shook her head. What was she doing? This entire train of thought was foolish.
Her cousin’s head jerked up, and he swallowed loudly. “Mr. Darcy? Mr. Darcy of Pemberley?”
Elizabeth frowned and stared. Why would Mr. Collins ask? Indeed, those in attendance gaped or drew their brows together. No one seemed to have any idea of his reference. As a result, Charlotte enquired of what he was speaking.
“Mr. Darcy of Pemberley is Lady Catherine’s nephew. He is worth ten thousand a year.”
“This is another Mr. Darcy,” Elizabeth said, “A barrister. His name is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.”
Mr. Collins held up his fork. “Ah, he is the younger brother. Mr. George Darcy is the master of Pemberley. I have met Mr. Fitzwilliam before. He would visit Rosings Park with Mr. David Darcy, the judge, following the quarter sessions of the assizes in Kent. He is a quiet, serious young man.”
“He does seem to enjoy dancing,” Elizabeth replied, “as he stood up for several sets.”
Her mother leaned closer. “Did you find yourself partial to him, Lizzy?”
The heat that had already suffused her face intensified and spread. “He is interesting enough. He speaks of books in a ballroom.”
“Books—oh, good gracious.” Mama rolled her eyes and waved in a dismissive fashion. “Such a discussion would suit you; nevertheless, ’tis not the sort of conversation that would impress most ladies!”
Charlotte could not have said anything better to get Mrs. Bennet’s attention, could she? I love how she “puffed up her chest.” I could visualize this scene as I read. I also enjoyed Lizzy telling her mother that Fitzwilliam Darcy spoke of books in the ballroom! Mrs. Bennet’s reaction was priceless!
It won’t be long until we can read more of this delicious story. The blog tour begins May 9th and the book will be released the same day. There will be a post here and on the Meryton Press Facebook page with links to all the stops of the blog tour. We hope to see you there.
Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of Suzan Lauder’s The Barrister’s Bride. The giveaway is international and will end on the 9th of May at midnight central time. To be entered in the giveaway, be sure to leave a comment below. Tell us what you think about the blurb, about the excerpt, about the cover, or all three. Good luck to everyone.
Other books by Suzan Lauder
These books are available at Amazon in eBook, paperback, audiobook, and Kindle Unlimited: Alias Thomas Bennet, Letter From Ramsgate, A Most Handsome Gentleman, The Mist of Her Memory, Schemes of Felicity.