Hello, my friends! Today I'm delighted to be part of the Kiss Me Good Night Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy the excerpt, and make sure to enter the giveaway! Details are on the bottom of the page!
Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy
by Georgina Young-Ellis
The wind ruffled Darcy’s hair. “You’re beautiful.”
Happiness surged through Elizabeth's body like electricity. This moment was as close to perfection as she had ever known.
1943. World War II has torn the continent since 1939 and tested families, the Bennets included. Elizabeth and Jane nurse wounded soldiers and civilians in a London hospital. The other sisters volunteer as best suits their inclinations. Mr. Bennet rattles about Longbourn. Wickham sniffs about the edges of the estate—and the Bennet daughters.
Even the ever-present threat of death from the skies cannot prepare Jane and Lizzy for the most devastating news. The words one never wishes to hear are delivered by two officers, each scarred by years on the front lines. In the dark days that follow, devotion is tested, and affection blooms.
Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy drops Jane Austen’s timeless characters into the midst of the most horrific conflict in human history. Their trail twists and encounters those who would turn sacrifice to their profit. Follow the women of Longbourn as they navigate the rocks and shoals of wartime Great Britain to endure misunderstandings and discover lasting love.
Hi Candy, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog! Today, I want to talk about one reason I chose to set my novel, Kiss Me Good Night Major Darcy in World War II England, and that is the clothes. It’s not the main reason, but it’s definitely one of them. Let me just say it: I love the styles of the 1940s.
Never the less, I had to scale back my imagination a little because new clothes were almost impossible to find due to all resources being dedicated to the war effort. Therefore, in this book, the Bennet sisters are nearly always dressed in clothes they’ve had since before the war started, things they repurposed out of old garments, items they borrowed, or treasures they happened upon in a second-hand shop. It was a make and mend world, and everyone had to make do.
I felt I could take a little more license with Major Darcy. While I love the thought of him in proper Regency attire just as much as the next person, there’s something about imagining him in the dapper men’s fashions of the war era that really appealed to me.
Most of the time he’s dressed in his officer’s uniform, but on the few occasions that he’s in civilian clothes, they are definitely not “make and mend.” I reasoned that, wealthy as he is, his clothes are either of such good quality that they seem new, or perhaps his tailor has some fine fabrics stashed away, available only for the use of his best customers. I don’t really go into detail about it because it’s not key to the plot but, suffice it to say, Major Darcy always looks fine.
In the following excerpt, Lizzy is borrowing clothes from a friend of Charlotte’s so she can go to a formal dinner at Rosings. At last, I found an opportunity to dress her in real style. I hope you have fun imagining Darcy and Elizabeth looking like movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood!
Lizzy and Charlotte laughed and walked on toward the drive, at the end of which was a fine home of a newer style. As they approached the door, it opened, and a lady of about forty years of age, very attractive with her light-blonde hair swept into an up-do. Her bright-green eyes shined as she welcomed them.
“Hullo! I’m Clare.”
Lizzy stepped forward and shook her hand. Charlotte had neglected to mention that Clare was American, but Lizzy could tell from her accent. She liked her open manner and engaging smile.
Clare led them inside. The entire place was abuzz with activity: nurses hurrying here and there, men in wheelchairs bent over game boards, playing cards, or reading books. Lizzy looked at it all with interest. With more time, she might have jumped in to help, but, as it was, there was not even much time for chit-chat. Clare took them upstairs to her bedchamber and opened a large wardrobe. Scrutinizing Lizzy, who was indeed around her size, she began to pull out dresses and gowns. They were not of the latest fashions, but they were beautiful. Lizzy was drawn toward a long black velvet gown, with sleeves draped into folds that extended almost to the elbow. It had a deep v-neckline. The waist was accentuated with ruching and cinched by a belt with a covered buckle.
Charlotte nodded her approval. When Lizzy tried it on, the fit was perfect. Yes, it was low-cut, not immodest, but it accentuated her best features. She went into the hallway to model it for the others.
“Oh, it’s perfect!” cried Clare. “I’m so glad you can use it. You need a couple of accessories, though.” They went back into the room, and from a dresser drawer, Clare extracted a pair of elbow-length white gloves. These she passed to Lizzy before asking, “Do you have shoes?”
“None that will go with a gown like this.”
“If they fit”—Clare went back to the wardrobe and drew forth a pair of high-heeled black pumps—“these would do perfectly.”
As if in a tale by the Brothers Grimm, Clare’s shoes slid on as if they had been made for Elizabeth.
Then Charlotte said to Lizzy, “I have a short pearl necklace and pearl drop earrings that will go perfectly with it too. My father brought them for me from Jamaica the last time he went. You’ll look like a movie star!”
Clare tapped her chin with a well-manicured finger. “Too bad I don’t have any stockings to spare for you.” Lizzy and Charlotte glanced at each other and guffawed. Clare had the grace not to scold them after they had explained.
Indeed, Lizzy did feel like a movie star when they entered the Rosings’ drawing room that evening. The expression on Major Darcy’s face when he saw her reflected that he thought so too. He was wearing a tuxedo and could have put Cary Grant to shame, a dark curl dangerously dangling onto his forehead. Charlotte also looked beautiful in dark red satin, although Mr. Collins in a dinner jacket reminded Elizabeth of a sack of potatoes—lumps and all.
Anne, wearing a long, gown of dark blue velvet, floated across the room, and greeted them cordially. She looked like a whole new person from the one Lizzy had met the other night. She had color in her face and a sparkle in her eye that was not there before.
“Come. Sit,” Lady Catherine commanded from her chair. She was wearing a dressier version of the other evening’s black and white ensemble. “We’ll enjoy an aperitif before we go in to dine.”
A servant was at the ready to serve them glasses of dark liquid.
“Miss Bennet, you look very well,” she said to Lizzy. “Mrs. Collins, I don’t like that color on you. It does not fit with your complexion.”
Charlotte opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. Lizzy was mortified. She looked at Mr. Collins, who smiled mindlessly at his hostess. Not a word crossed his lips in his wife’s defense.
Darcy rose to the occasion. “On the contrary, Mrs. Collins, you look absolutely stunning. I think that color suits you perfectly.”
“I agree!” stated Anne firmly.
Lady Catherine looked at her daughter, astonished. “Well, I only meant—”
“All the ladies look splendid.” Darcy smiled at Elizabeth.
“Thank you, Nephew,” said Lady Catherine, taking the compliment for herself.
The group settled down into the usual small talk. Shortly afterward, dinner was announced.
“Nephew,” Rosings’s mistress said to Darcy, “will you accompany me and Anne?”
Darcy held out arms to Lady Catherine and Anne. He walked them into the gigantic dining room where a long table sparkled with the finest crystal, flatware, and china. He was followed by the Collinses, then Elizabeth, bringing up the rear. The party was small for the table, so they were grouped around one end. The footman served the soup, and they fell to eating while talking amongst themselves. It was hard to make anything like meaningful conversation though, with Lady Catherine constantly interrupting to find out what had been said and to offer her opinion on it.
They were halfway into the main course when the butler appeared abruptly in the doorway.
“What is it, Smith?” Lady Catherine said to him, her brow creased.
“There is news from London,” he stated.
Elizabeth and Darcy both straightened.
“Well, can’t it wait?” the lady demanded.
“I’m afraid not. The message comes directly from Army headquarters.”
Darcy stood. “What is it?”
“All I have is what the caller said. London has been bombed again,” Smith said shakily. “They don’t know the casualties yet. You have been recalled, Major Darcy.”
Lizzy leapt from her chair. “I must get to town!”
Darcy’s face froze, and his voice assumed a commanding tone. “Smith, tell my valet to ready my bags. Elizabeth, go to the parsonage and pack your things. I will pick you up in half an hour. We’ll travel together.”
“But dinner,” Mr. Collins whined.
“William, please,” Charlotte said. “Come, Lizzy, let’s go.”
“I’ll stay here with Lady Catherine and Anne,” said Mr. Collins. “The ladies will want a calming influence.”
“There’s something else,” Smith interjected. “A ‘Mr. Freddy’ just phoned from the parsonage. He says a telegram was delivered there for Mr. Collins.”
“For me?” said Mr. Collins.
“Did Freddy say what it said?”
“Yes. You have been called up to serve as chaplain to troops in Burma.”
Mr. Collins collapsed back into his seat, his mouth opening and closing like a gaffed fish flopping around an angler’s feet.
“Congratulations, Mr. Collins,” said Darcy. “But we must go.”
“Oh, Charlie,” Lizzy said to her with concern.
“We’ll talk it over at home, William,” said Charlotte. “I’ll see you there soon.”
“Is there anything I can do?” Anne asked Charlotte.
“I’m sure there will be,” Charlotte said to her. “I’ll let you know.”
And with that, Lizzy, Charlotte, and Darcy were gone.
FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!
About the Author
is an artist and professor of Media Arts. In 2015, they moved from New York City, where they lived for eighteen years, to Portland Oregon. Their son, a professional musician and sound engineer, still lives in Brooklyn. Georgina is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She’s also a language professor and, of course, a writer, recently graduating from Portland State University with a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. In 2022 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to identify and connect with emerging female writers in Mexico and support them to free their literary voices.
Connect with Georgina
Blog Tour Schedule
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June 27 From Pemberley to Milton
June 27 From Pemberley to Milton
June 28 My Jane Austen Book Club
June 29 So little time… - You're here!
June 30 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
July 1 Babblings of a Bookworm
July 2 My Vices and Weaknesses
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It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away six eBooks of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis. Enter through the Rafflecopter below.
Congratulations to Georgina Young-Ellis on the release of her new book, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy!
Many thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing and including me in this blog tour!
Wow! I really enjoyed that excerpt! I love to read about that time period. This looks like a book I would really like to read! What about you?