Monica is a longtime admirer of Jane
Austen and likes to write down her fantasies about living in the Regency
period. Her first novel was AN IMPROPER
SUITOR, a humorous Regency romance. Since then, she has written two
traditional Jane Austen sequels: THE
OTHER MR. DARCY and THE DARCY COUSINS
(both published by Sourcebooks) and contributed a sequel to Emma in Laurel Ann Nattress's anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT (Ballantine). STEAMPUNK DARCY is a post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek
Jane Austen spin-off. Her new series, THE DARCY NOVELS, are traditional Pride and Prejudice ‘what-if’ variations.
The first, MR. DARCY’S PLEDGE, reached number one in Kindle Classics Romance.
MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE is the second in the series.
Monica is part of the blog Austen
Variations along with a baker’s dozen of authors who also write Jane
Austen adaptations and was a member of the team writing the popular Reader’s
Choice serial THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy.
Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame
is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager,
when it was faded and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH
& SOUTH in her blood. After that, Monica lived in the USA for many years,
where she taught literature to captive victims (not necessarily captivated).
She now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area and loves visiting
historical properties when it isn’t raining.
Bringing you Pride & Prejudice Variations, Mr. Darcy, and Regency novels
My first novel ever was An Improper Suitor -- published by Robert Hale in the UK. It is a sweet Traditional Regency. An Improper Suitor has now been re-released in a boxset with four other Bestselling Regency Authors Amanda Grange, Melinda Hammond, Liz Bailey and Fenella Miller.
Regency Quintet SummerEdition is
EReader News Book of the Day!!
Woohoo! Better still, it is selling at the amazing discounted rate of $.99c or £.99p!! Time limited offer!!
The few riders at this
unfashionable hour in Hyde Park moved out of their way and watched as they
galloped by. Fashionable society did not approve of the Ladies’ Cavalry Charge,
as Lady Bullfinch jokingly called it, but that had never stopped her.
She spurred Hamlet on.
This was as close to flying that any mortal could reach. Certainly with the
whoosh of air past her ears and the sensation of hovering above her side-saddle
she could imagine herself a swallow in flight, or even a sparrow hawk swooping
down on its prey.
A high pitched scream
brought her down to earth.
Julia checked her horse.
Colours resolved themselves into shapes. Hyde Park settled back into green
grass, Rotten Row, South Carriage Drive, and lines of oak.
From the corner of her
eye she glimpsed a lady fighting to control her mount. It reared, then suddenly
broke into a fierce gallop. The rider pulled at the reins, and for a moment it
looked like the horse had slowed down. But it was only objecting to her clumsy
handling. It tossed its head then bolted, running as if pursued by a colony of
There was no time to
think. Julia veered off the path and chased after the renegade horse, urging
Hamlet onwards. Delighted to show the racing skills for which he had been bred,
Hamlet lengthened his stride and accepted the challenge.
So far the girl was still
on the horse, hanging on precariously. Julia willed her to remain seated for a
few minutes longer, until she could reach her.
They departed the avenue
of tree and headed into an area that was more thickly wooded. Julia redoubled
her efforts. She did not want the girl to be felled by a low hanging branch.
Not far behind her, the
beating of hoofs showed that she was not the only rider who had witnessed the
event. She did not look back. Her gaze stayed fixed on the unfortunate girl, as
though her eyes themselves could pin the girl to her saddle.
Then something large
hurtled into Julia, emerging from behind a copse of trees to her right. The
impact jolted her. She slid down in her side saddle, dangerously close to
losing her seat. An iron arm wrapped itself round her throat. A hand reached
out and gripped the reins of her horse, pulling them from her.
In a daze, her mind
registered that someone was abducting her. She recalled horrible tales she had
heard about foolish debutantes who rode in the park without a chaperon or
groom. Tales of kidnappings and ransoms. Only this time, she was in the
She glanced desperately
around her, but there was no-one else in sight. The trees hid her from the main
path and apart from the endangered rider some way ahead of her, there was not a
single person who could help. Perhaps someone was around, out of view but not out of earshot. She opened her
mouth to scream.
The iron arm clamped
down on her mouth. “Don’t be bird-witted,” said a man’s voice close to her ear.
The voice did not sound uncouth. His accents were refined, clearly those of a
gentleman. But gentlemen of the ton, too, could be villains. “If you scream,”
he continued. “We’ll have everyone within earshot descending on us.”
Why exactly did he think
she was going to scream? To frighten the magpies?
She sank her teeth into
the flesh of his palm and bit down hard. She could feel her teeth cut the skin.
He yelped. “Damnation,
woman! What did you do that for?” But to her utter surprise, he did not take
his hand away. He kept it firmly in place. A grudging respect for his
resilience passed through her.
“If you give me your
word not to start shrieking, I’ll remove my hand.” She nodded as well as she
could. How did he expect her to give him her word when his palm was smothering
even the tiniest squeak?
He removed his hand and
examined it. She noted with satisfaction the red marks she had made. An impulse
to scream as loudly as she could rose up in her, but she restrained it. She
would not act dishonourably. There would be opportunities to escape him, she
was certain. It was possible, of course, that he was a bedlamite. The idea gave
her more confidence. She was used to dealing with unreasonable people. Her
grandmother was one of them, as was her aunt Viola.
“You may wish to
reconsider what you are doing, sir,” she said in a firm, no nonsense tone. “I
do believe you have mistaken me for someone else.”
He did not answer. Her
words had no effect at all. She tried to pry his fingers off the reins, but he
held onto them fast. All his effort was concentrated on keeping hold of the
Julia realized that he
would soon be running into difficulties, trying to control not only his own
horse, but Hamlet and her all at once. So far, he seemed to be managing, and a
tiny traitorous part of her admired his skill. However, she was certain that if
she kept thrashing about, he would sooner or later be forced to let go of one
of the three. So she wrestled with his arm and thrashed around as much as she
could, waiting for him to tire and lose his grip.
A vigorous twist brought
her assailant’s face to view. He was exactly the kind of figure they warned
young girls about – a ruthless-looking man with a pronounced jaw, thunderous
brows and piercing black eyes. What made matters worse, he was gnashing his
teeth, which made him seem like a villain straight out of a gothic story.
Then Hamlet reared. My worthy horse. He came to her rescue, attempting
to throw off her assailant and escape his clutches.
“Well done, Hamlet!” she
But instead of releasing
the reins, the man tightened them, forcing Hamlet down. Hamlet succumbed with
an angry snort. The reins pressed into her right shoulder cutting into
“Let go at once, sir,”
she said, mustering as much arrogance as she could, but growing worried now
that she would not be able to get away. “And let go of my horse. You’re
injuring his mouth.”
“If you weren’t so
hen-witted and just stopped struggling, I’d be able to let go,” said the
villain. “I’m only trying to protect you from injury.”
Definitely a bedlamite.
“I…do … not … need …
protection,” she said, very slowly, articulating each word clearly.
He did not react. He
held on grimly with that iron grip, refusing to let go.
A different strategy was
called for, clearly. Julia went limp. It was worth a try. Perhaps he would
relax his hold if she pretended to give up.
She had not realized
that going limp would imply leaning into him. Her position on the side-saddle
meant that now her whole back moulded into his chest. His breath tickled her
ear. The musky scent of his shaving cream filled her nostrils.
Julia felt a strange
sensation go through her – a warmth and a yearning she had never experienced before. She closed her eyes, driven by the temptation to give in to that
The man shifted away and
let go of the reins abruptly. “Your horse appears to have settled down.”
“Of course he’s settled
down.” she said, angry at herself for letting down her guard. “I’m sure he’s a
great deal more comfortable now that you aren’t mangling his mouth."