Special guest Jayne Fresina dropped by to share a post with us this morning. See what she has to say!
Meet Darius Wainwright, Gentleman
Darius had negotiated with some of the most uncompromising traders in the world; he’d sailed for weeks on ships that were barely seaworthy; he’d managed a team of mercenary, work-shy, and bone-idle step-relatives without so far murdering any; and he’d served dutifully as his niece’s guardian since he was nineteen and she only four. He should long since have left that socially awkward boyhood behind.
But for Darius, women remained a terrifying entity. They so seldom made sense, rarely thought in practical terms, and often seemed to prefer a quarrel to a reasoned debate.
In my new release ONCE UPON A KISS, Darius Wainwright is a man of many sides, but only one face. He is teased by his friend — “Contempt and hauteur you do very well, Wainwright. But anything else must demand too much effort from your stern features.” As such he comes across to most people as haughty, proud and arrogant.
Until they get to know him well—and being an unsociable fellow he doesn’t make that easy!
To the young ladies of the Book Club Belles, when he arrives in the village of Hawcombe Prior to oversee the sale of his great-uncle’s manor house, he appears to be the very embodiment of a character they are currently reading about – “Mr. Darcy”. Darius, of course, has no idea why he is suddenly surrounded by so many heaving bosoms, but he finds it terrifying.
When he first encounters all the ladies of the local book society clustered on the path before him, he thinks “a murder of crows hovering in the stark branches of wintering trees would have less sinister appearance.”
Darius takes life very seriously. With all his responsibilities to manage he can’t afford to take it any other way. He is wary of those who try to befriend him— particularly women. In his experience they are usually fortune hunters. After all, what else could they want him for but the money?
As a younger man he suffered a nervous stammer and was often teased about the size of his ears (his elder brother called him “Handles”), which has not helped his confidence around females. He finds the idea of courtship horrifying and so has avoided the marriage mart.
But when he meets Justina Penny a very strange thing happens. He feels no urgency to avoid her company. In fact, the opposite occurs and he’s soon finding ways to keep her within his eyesight.
She has the gumption to stand up to him— even when he gives her his fiercest scowl— and she doesn’t seem to care in the least about his fortune. She certainly shows her disdain for his costly clothes when she manages to get them stained or torn at every opportunity. If he’s not careful she’ll soon have him entirely unbuttoned.
Curiously enough, she claims that the only thing she wants from him is a safe home for her pig. Oh, and his silence about certain indiscretions already committed in his presence.
As a very successful businessman he really ought to be able to handle her. But there are many things he “ought” to do, and in her presence he keeps forgetting them all.
He had never felt so confused in his life as he was by Miss Justina Penny. At his age it was a remarkable development and not at all cheering…. Animal husbandry and wayward women had not been part of his plan.
But someone has to put a stop to her wayward behavior and since Darius has discovered a complete and utter intolerance to the idea of any other man taking up that task, it might as well be him. As a very proper gentleman, what else can he do?
~ Jayne Fresina
ONCE UPON A KISS
Author: Jayne Fresina
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
These Book Club Belles are ready to put down their novels and find some real-life leading men!
In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, five young ladies of the local book society are reading a salacious romance called Pride and Prejudice. Upon finishing the book, the ladies race to find their own Mr. Darcy, and the handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright is the perfect mark.
Justina Penny can’t understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer’s arrogant presence. But if the town’s only eligible bachelor marries anyone, it should be her sweet, beautiful sister. And it’s up to Justina to make it happen. How could this plan possibly go wrong?
Amazon – http://amzn.to/QJcPhw
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iTunes – http://bit.ly/QJcUSr
Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England, the youngest in a family of four daughters. Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters – all with far more exciting lives than hers – she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines.
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