How to woo a gentleman-and weaponize dessert.
Romance novel junkie Eliza Pepper always thought she was born too late, but now she really is stuck in the wrong time.
Tasked with mending a tear in the timeline, she's trying desperately to fit into 1873 London. But dang it, mucking out a fireplace while looking like the lunch lady from hell is hard. If she can just keep from setting the floor on fire and somehow resist her growing attraction to the master of the house, she'll be fine.
All she has to do is repeat her mantra: "He's nothing like Darcy. He's nothing like Darcy."
William Brown has always taken pride in his mastery of English decorum, but his new maid is a complete disaster, has thrown his household into chaos...and he finds her utterly captivating. Though he's willing to endure extreme physical discomfort to keep their relationship in proper perspective, her arrival has brought out a side of him he never knew existed.
And Eliza has an innocently erotic knack for coaxing that decidedly ungentlemanly facet of himself out to play...
“Oh, yes!” William plucked a slim red volume from the shelf. “Library is a bit poetry-heavy, I’ll confess. I adore the writings of Elizabeth Browning. She wrote a poem about George Sand, actually. Are you familiar with Browning?"
This poetry fanboy version of him was such a long walk from the stuffy Englishman that she giggled. The effect was devastating. Upon hearing her laughter, the warmth on his face evaporated in an instant. He snapped the mask of properly repressed English gentleman into its usual place and nodded curtly.
“Oh!” Eliza stammered, awkwardly. How could he have gotten her response so wrong? She hadn’t been mocking him. “No, I wasn’t laughing about Elizabeth Browning. I was just unfamiliar with her, to be honest. My education about poets is pretty uneven. I was never the best student.”
Silence spun out. William’s fingers drummed against the spine of the Browning book.
“I like poetry,” Eliza lied.READ MORE
After a moment, he cleared his throat, but said nothing more. He simply stood there with his eyes downcast, waiting for her to leave.
“I have quite a few favorite poets myself,” she added, trying desperately to subdue the proper Englishman and sneak another glimpse of the stranger who’d just begun to emerge. If her mission here centered around William, getting to know him would be a priority, after all.
“Who do you favor, Bessie?” His blue eyes gazed from behind his spectacles. He looked…shy. Vulnerable, even.
“Who do I favor?” she repeated.
“Which poets do you enjoy?”
Her mind was a blank page. Just white nothingness. A poet, Eliza. A name of a poet. Anybody here. Just name someone. Anyone. Desperate, she glommed onto the only poetlike person she could quote with any kind of reliability. “Kurt Cobain,” she heard herself say. Oh brilliant. Fucking brilliant, Eliza. The only remnant from her short-lived retro-grunge phase was Nirvana lyrics.
“I must admit, I’m quite unfamiliar with Mr. Cobain,” William replied.
“Oh, he’s terrific. Not big with the thees and thous, but gets to the heart of it all the same.”
He looked at her, a slight smile tugging up the corners of his mouth as he watched her.
“Would you do me the favor of a recitation? Have you a line or two from Mr. Cobain?”
She met his eyes. He wasn’t testing her. He was actually warming to her a bit, relaxing his guard.
“Certainly. Love to share one of his poems with you. Let me just think here.” She ran through a litany of Nirvana lyrics. Smells Like Teen Spirit was definitely going to be out. Ditto: Rape Me.
Coming up with precious little, she had no choice. Staring at the carpet for courage, she launched into the lyrics of About a Girl.
It wasn’t Victorian poetry, but talked about needing an easy friend. When she got to the line about him fitting the shoe and asking if he had a clue, she dared to look up.
William simply stared at her—a stunned expression on his face.
She stopped quoting lyrics and smiled at him. “I’m afraid I don’t remember the rest.”
He smiled weakly. “Very uh, striking. Extremely unusual use of language. Is he an American poet, then?”
“Oh, yes. From Seattle.”
A wide grin broke out on his face. “Seattle has poets? What a charming surprise. I had envisioned nothing but fish and lumber.”
“That’s America for you. Full of surprises.” She edged past him, making her way toward the door before her mouth could land her into any deeper trouble.COLLAPSE
Lisa Medley on Goodreads wrote:
NOT QUITE DARCY by Terri Meeker is now on my list of favourite books ever! The storyline has hilarious moments, adventure, love, and I found myself laughing aloud so many times I lost count.
So many hilarious details and awkward situations, I found myself laughing out loud several times. Definitely a don’t miss.
Originally released by Samhain Publishing