Today I am so excited to be hosting an extract from Cassandra by Linda O’Byrne. Thank you to Zoe-Lee from https://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/zooloos-blog-tours and SpellBound Books for organising this tour.
Many years have passed since the dramatic events of Pride and Prejudice.
In The Cousins of Pemberley series we follow a new generation of heroines – cousins with
lives as different and interesting as those enjoyed by their mothers.
Cassandra Wickham, daughter of a flirt and a scoundrel, an innocent abroad in a world where money can buy you anything, even a bride.
When danger threatens and the man she thought she could rely on fails her, there is only one place she can turn to for help –
Surely the Darcy’s will protect her, no matter what happened in the past to divide the two families?
Coming March 2022: Miriam – Book 2 in The Cousins of Pemberley series.
Extract from Cassandra
Grace felt a little uncomfortable under his piercing gaze. But he obviously knew of the family and if he was a coachman to one of Mr Darcy’s guests, then no one could fault her for talking to him. “Why yes, Sir, indeed it is. I am her maid while she stays here, but I hear that she is soon to travel down to Hertfordshire to stay with another of Madam’s sisters.”
“Hertfordshire!” The man sounded immensely weary. “I’m so tired! Can the child not stay in one place for two minutes,” he muttered under his breath.
“Of course, rumour has it that she has made a conquest of a certain doctor who lives locally. Dr Richard Courtney.”
The man was shaken with another fit of coughing and Grace wondered if he was very ill. At last he turned back to her and said, “Is this doctor a good man?”
Grace hesitated. Surely if he worked for a local family, he would know of Dr Courtney? She was beginning to feel uneasy. Why did he stay in the shadows? Why was he so interested in Cassandra Wickham?
“I believe so. Yes. Everyone speaks well of him. And now I must return to the house. I will be in sore trouble if I am missed. I will bid you goodnight, Sir.”
The man watched her go, his gaze lingering on the shawl as a shaft of light from a lantern flashed, lighting up the blue into an exotic blaze of colour. He remembered buying the garment in a market square and sending it home to a little girl, the only person he had ever truly loved. Now his time on this earth was running out fast and he needed to see her, one more time. Richard Courtney, yes, he had discovered all he could about the man and had heard nothing to worry him. She would be safe here in Derbyshire, a long way from her mother and the rotten influence of Allerton and his like.
He had no desire to speak to her; that would only distress her, but he would stay close to Pemberley for a while longer, while he could. He would surely see her once more.
Author Bio – Linda O ‘Byrne
Fiction has always been my go-to world, a place of entertainment, excitement and imagination – I am told that I wrote my first story when I was four about a lady who had twenty children! Sadly it has been lost for posterity.
I have been writing all my life in the time I could spare from having a “proper job”, mostly for children under the name of Linda Blake, stories of ballet dancers, pony riding and talking animals! Not all in the same book!
But my love of romance, a great tendency to say “What if..?” and the endearing characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have now resulted in a series of books that will take the reader forward to the next generation of heroines.
I am retired, live in Kent and am a keen member of my local drama group. Directing and acting take up a lot of my time – I have been given the onerous task of writing the Christmas pantomimes – but I still need to cope with a large garden, doing daily battle with the heron who thinks my pond is his own breakfast buffet and keeping in touch with friends and family scattered all over the world.
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