Saturday, February 7, 2009

Romance in the Regency

Valentine’s Day and the celebration of lovers inherent within has been in existence in some form or another since the mid-1300s. I wrote an extensive research essay on the Saint and his ‘holiday’ on my website and here is the link if interested in dazzling someone with your superior intelligence: Who was St. Valentine? Valentine’s Day is so popular now that it is hard to imagine it wasn’t always around, but the truth is that the Victorians of the mid-1800s deserve the credit for launching a full-fledged card holiday. Therefore, since I write in the Regency Era, I didn’t make a big deal out of special romance between Darcy and Lizzy in February – at least not as reference to an obscure Catholic saint! But, since romance is fairly rampant throughout my historical novel, it wasn’t difficult to find a passage that was appropriately sentimental for the occasion. So, here is a small sample of how I approach the relationship between the Darcys……

Two days later Lizzy was awoken by the sensation of something velvety with a lovely aroma brushing across her face. She opened her eyes to see her husband’s handsome face hovering over her. His jubilantly dimpled smile, sparkling blue eyes, and disheveled hair were enough to instantly set her heart racing. It took her a moment to realize that he held a pink rose in his hands and it was this with which he was gently tickling her face.

“Happy anniversary, my precious wife,” he declared in his rich, musical voice. “Elizabeth my love … my light … my heart … my pearl … my lover … my Lizzy.” He unceasingly grazed her face, neck, and shoulders with the rose, sprinkling kisses between his endearments. “One week ago today, you made me the happiest of men, Mrs. Darcy, my beloved.” He kissed her deeply then, pulling her body onto his, caressing her back with his hand and the flower.

“My husband, I note you are wearing your trousers. Under the present circumstances, is this not a ludicrous encumbrance?” she tantalized, planting nibbles to his neck.

“Nothing that cannot be easily rectified, my love.” He laughed. “I did not think it wise of me to traipse to the conservatory unclothed. The staff has been shocked enough lately at my lack of modesty and propriety.”

“You went to the conservatory this morning?” she asked with slight alarm.

“I needed to pick this for you,” he touched her adorable nose with the rose, “and those as well.” He waved his hand about the room and the five vases of varied flowers scattered about the chamber.

Lizzy sat up in bed, unconscious of the heavenly sight she presented to her husband, and smiled radiantly at the array of blooms. She turned her smile onto Darcy, devastating him further with love and desire, and teased, “You are doing it again, Mr. Darcy. Being entirely too fabulous, spoiling me beyond endurance, and setting the standard so high that you may exhaust yourself in an effort to reach higher than the previous pinnacle!”

He rose and kissed her quickly on the cheek. “Let me worry about that,” he responded, and then left the bed before her beguiling charms drove further thought away. He returned from his dressing room swiftly with an enormous box, which he placed on the bed in front of her.

“William, you must cease buying me gifts! I do not require such gestures.”

“Whether you require them or not is irrelevant, Mrs. Darcy. I will shower you with presents because I am entirely egocentric and I extract pleasure from admiring your happy face! Humor me, if nothing else.”

She pretended a scowl, but could not maintain it for long. She opened the box and gasped in shock. She pulled out an ankle-length pelisse of russet wool, lined and edged with sable. It was by far the most exquisite garment she had ever owned. With a squeal of glee, she robustly hugged her husband and then stood up on the bed, wrapping herself in the lush softness of the coat. The luxuriant contact of the fur on her bare skin was positively vivifying. She pranced seductively about the bed, making Darcy smile and laugh aloud.

“You see,” he gushed, “the pleasure is wholly mine. I am selfishly overcome with joy.” He clutched her legs and drew her onto his lap. “Now let me see what other self-serving indulgences I can secure.”

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  1. Very cute scene, Sharon. Looking forward to reading the book. My Mr. Darcy just brought me coffee in bed. We'll keep him.

  2. I love exhuberantly happy scenes like that.

    What a terrific "feel-good" moment to start the day with!

  3. Ah, Lizzy and Darcy! Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day better than that! Looking forward to reading the rest.

  4. I'm a P & P fanatic. It's on my list, Sharon. Thanks for the sneak peek!

    Robin :)

  5. This is great, Sharon!

    And an excellent read for Valentine's Day too.


  6. Thank you ladies. Dead Zone Saturday strikes again! At least I hope that is the case. I appreciate the encouragement, and hopefully smiles were instigated here and there.

    Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

  7. Can't wait to get it, Sharon! I checked for it at B&N tonight. They had 4 copies of Cheryl's, 4 copies of Linda's, (which both dwindled down to 3 of each by the time I left the store) none of yours and one of mine. :) I'd like to say that they sold out of all yours and mine had only one left. :)

  8. I'm hearing "Love is in the Air" as I read this!