Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review, Tour and Giveaway: Bargain With the Devil by Enid Wilson



Title: Bargain With the Devil
Author: Enid Wilson
Pages: 106, size is 5.5" x 8.5"
Publisher: Steamy D Publishing (August 4, 2009)
Genre: Fiction / Romance / Austen Sequel
Edition: Paperback - many thanks to the author and publisher for sending me a review copy, as well as a copy to give away with some wonderful goodies!

Special Note: The publisher and author have rated this book NC-17, and it is NOT intended for young adults under the age of 17 due to content of a suggestive nature. If you are under 18 in the United States, please do not enter the giveaway or visit www.Steamydarcy.com

Perfect for : Personal reading, Great gift for that Pride and Prejudice fan who thinks they've got all the sequels!

In a nutshell: Bargain With the Devil by Enid Wilson was a very enjoyable twist/interlude to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I chose the word interlude instead of sequel, because this story actually takes place a few months after Elizabeth originally refuses Darcy's proposal, but before Pride and Prejudice ends. I found the book to be very refreshing - giving an altogether new twist to the story of Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship. What if. . . what if Darcy's feelings and pride were still stinging from Elizabeth's rejection. . . what if she turned to him for help when Lydia ran off with Wickham. . . and what if he requested a reward to be named at a later date in exchange for helping find Wickham and Lydia and get them married? The story is more complicated than that, but that is how it all starts. Add to that the joy of getting to see the thoughts of Elizabeth and Darcy (shown in italics) as they deal with uncertainties surrounding their feelings for each other, a VERY unexpected turn of events surrounding Wickham and Lydia, and a little black magic among other things and you've got a fun afternoon read! Disclaimer - while I don't know if this would be considered erotica, it certainly is steamy and has a few scenes of a sexual nature in it. There are no vulgar words, but rather, some use of bosoms and members,etc.

Extended Review:
Characters: I loved what Enid Wilson did with both Elizabeth and Darcy - while keeping the integrity of the original Austen characters, she made Darcy a little more believable with the lightening of his mood (a bit) and with the reader's ability to see his thoughts throughout the story, and gave Elizabeth some independence and adventure. I've got to laugh a little bit here - I was never a huge fan of Lydia or Wickham, so I was happy that the story did not center around them, and let me just say that Miss Bingley was unforgettable in this story!

Story-Line: An original story-line! The author was able to maintain some of the original qualities that people loved about Pride and Prejudice while managing to spice things up a bit. It was fun to read a book that was so different from other Austen sequels.

Readability: This was a fun and easy read - I think it took me about two hours, start to finish.

Overall: If you aren't offended by a few steamy bedroom scenes, this is a great twist to a favorite story! See Elizabeth and Darcy in an all-new light, along with a few other well-known characters.

From Amazon:
In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy learns of the debacle involving Elizabeth Bennet's sister several months after he was rejected by Elizabeth, and volunteers to help find her sister, of his own accord. But what if Miss Elizabeth had requested Mr. Darcy's aid in just a few days after the disastrous proposal at Hunsford, and he was still very angry with her refusal? What if he decided to be ungentlemanly, and demanded a very particular reward from her in exchange for his assistance? This steamy, funny Pride and Prejudice what-if short story explores that scenario with wit, emotion and intriguing plot twists that take this perennial favorite to another direction.

Short Excerpt from www.SteamyDarcy.com: (for the complete excerpt, you must be 18 or more years old. Visit http://www.steamydarcy.com/)


CHAPTER ONE

Elizabeth Bennet strolled slowly past a line of elegant townhouses in a fashionable area in London for the second day in a row, a maid following a few steps behind her. She knew that, unlike her normal joyful countenance, her face must look pale and agitated. Then, suddenly, her spirits brightened. Increasing her pace, she walked almost directly into the path of a tall gentleman.

“Mr. Darcy!”

“Miss Bennet!”

“Pray forgive me! I was not looking where I was heading. It was a lovely day and I was hoping to shop at Bond Street but I could not resist taking a walk to admire the lovely townhouses in the area.”

“How long have you been in London, Miss Bennet?”

“But two days, sir.”

“Where are you staying?”

“At my aunt and uncle’s.”

“But of course. I … am walking to my club. Is your family in good health?”

Elizabeth walked closer to him and lowered her voice. “I fear we are very ill indeed, Mr. Darcy. May I interrupt your day and request a more private meeting with you, in the park around the corner?”

She saw his eyes widened. He nodded his head and said, for the benefit of the footman and maid who looked on, “Miss Bennet, it was a pleasure to meet you in London again. May I escort you to Bond Street through the park?” He then offered her his arm.

“My pleasure,” she replied and gave him a small smile. When she put her hand on his arm, she could feel the strength and the warmth of his arm, even through the thick coat. She shivered.

“Are you cold, Miss Bennet?”

“No,” she declared stubbornly, “I am well.”

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy cast her a look. They walked on silently while her maid followed.

“Should we take a rest over there?” He asked at last.

His deep voice startled Elizabeth from her dark thoughts. With a sigh, she took a seat at a bench under a large Chestnut tree. He sat down, as well, at

the far end of the bench, while her maid wandered farther.

The park was small, and there were few people present, due no doubt to the early morning hour.

Elizabeth gathered her thoughts. “Mr. Darcy, pray excuse my impertinence for requesting this private meeting with you.”

He did not reply but turned slightly to glance at her.

Bracing herself, Elizabeth began. “I would like to apologise for abusing you so abominably to your face in Hunsford, all the more so because my behaviour was based on untrue facts. I am truly ashamed of myself. My actions were blind, partial, prejudiced and absurd.”

“Miss Bennet…”

“Pray allow me to continue, Mr. Darcy. Vanity has been my folly. From the very outset of our acquaintance, I was pleased with the preference of Mr. Wickham, and offended by your seeming neglect. I have courted prepossession and ignorance, driving reason away where either of you were concerned. Till the moment I read your letter, I never knew myself.”

“Pray do not ... ”

“And now, the most dreadful circumstance has overtaken our family.” Tears sprang to her eyes despite her determined efforts to compose herself. “My younger sister, Lydia, has left all her friends, and has eloped, throwing herself into the power of…of Mr. Wickham.”

For a terrible instant, Darcy appeared fixed in astonishment. Then he stood up and paced before her. “How did it happen?” he prompted tersely.

Elizabeth drew a steadying breath, determined to respond in as controlled a manner as possible. “The militia left Meryton about the same time as I left for Hunsford. My sister Lydia was invited by Colonel Forster's wife to stay with her for a few weeks. Lydia left Brighton together with Mr. Wickham on Sunday night, and they were traced almost to London, but not beyond.”

“What has been done? What has been attempted, to recover her?”

“My father is here in London. He has been trying to find her for the past three days, with my uncle’s assistance. He sent for me from Kent at the same time. That was the reason I requested this meeting. You have known Mr. Wickham since your youth. I beg for intelligence to help us in our search.”

Mr. Darcy made no answer. He continued to pace for a while, then stopped and looked sharply at her.

Elizabeth returned his gaze through teary eyes.

“And what would be my reward for helping you?” He asked at last.

It was Elizabeth’s turn to widen her eyes. “Reward? I am appealing to your gentleman’s nature to help a family in distress.”

He laughed coolly. “As I recall, you stated yourself that I had a selfish disdain for the feelings of others, and that I was no gentleman. Why would such a man help a family in distress without some reward in view?”

“But you are a man of fortune. What more…?” Elizabeth's trembling voice faded. Standing abruptly, she said to him coldly, “It was a mistake for me to beg you for intelligence. Mr. Darcy, pray forgive me for interrupting your day.”

She began to walk away, but he grabbed her arm and prevented her retreat. “Sit down, Miss Bennet. You can ill afford to be missish when I can help you recover Miss Lydia and force Wickham to marry her.”

She stared at him in disbelief. “You cannot seriously suggest that I would trade my virtue for it. How can you believe that I would corrupt the reputation of our family just to save it from another form of ruination?”

“You are so certain that I demand you to sell your soul?”

Elizabeth faltered. “But … if you are not asking me to be your … your mistress, pray tell what other reward were you hoping for?”

Maddeningly, he spread his hands. “In truth, I did not have a specific goal in mind when I asked. I was simply inquiring. But since you are already thinking in that direction…”

“Mr. Darcy! Pray do not toy with me,” she protested, her throat aching with distress. “My family is in ruin. I have no heart for playing such games with you.”

“So, you admit that you were always playing games with me, in the past? Was that why you thought that the pain of your rejection would be of only short duration? You thought I was devoid of true feelings in the matter?”

“I have apologised for hurting you …”

“No, you have only apologised for abusing me to my face. You did not take my feelings seriously when you refused my offer, nor have you indicated that you do so even now, with your apology.”

“Sir, if you want me to apologise for hurting your feelings…”

“There is no point in an apology if the need for issuing one did not even occur to you before I mentioned it.”

“What do you want then? I cannot conceive that you would want me as your wife now, even if you should offer your support to us, for you must realise that I would be a sister to Mr. Wickham. Moreover, you have just stated that you do not want me as your mistress – not that I would agree to such a situation in any event. So tell me, please, what kind of reward you could possibly have in mind, considering that you know my family not to be in any way capable of offering financial recompense to you."

His shoulders lifted fractionally and fell. “I do not know yet. Can we not simply agree that you will owe me some reward if I succeed in finding your sister? I can promise that I shall not offer you the arrangement of a mistress. Other than that, I would consider myself at liberty to ask you to do whatever I wish, as reward.”

“But that is the vaguest term of agreement! What if you should request that I do something immoral?”

His face was stern with offended pride. “Is your opinion of me so low that you believe me capable of asking you to do something immoral? If so, I am grieved indeed.”

Cheeks aflame, she protested, “No, sir, I am not saying that I believe you would. But surely we should not enter a bargain without the clearest terms in mind.”

“You are a worthy opponent in negotiation. How, then, does this suit you? I shall bring my sister to walk in the park tomorrow, at the same hour as today. At that time, I shall introduce her to you so that I may contact you through her, thereafter, without raising undue suspicion.” He raised a single brow. “And I shall wait to name my reward until after I have succeeded in arranging for Wickham to marry your sister.”

“What, then, if I refuse to grant your reward?”

His expression hardened. “Then I will simply undo the arrangements.”

Elizabeth gasped. “But that is no negotiation at all, if I do not have the right to refuse!”

“You cannot refuse. You can, however, negotiate.” Darcy’s dark gaze challenged her. “So then, do we have an agreement?”
Returning his glare, she nodded reluctantly.

***

The following day, true to his agreement, Mr. Darcy and his sister encountered Elizabeth. "Miss Bennet, what a coincidence! Are you walking to Bond Street again?”

“Why, Mr. Darcy, you have caught me once again. Some ladies just cannot stay away from the shops.”

“May I introduce my sister?”

“My pleasure.”

“Miss Bennet, this is my sister, Georgiana, and her companion, Mrs. Annesley. Georgiana, this is Miss Bennet from Hertfordshire. I made her acquaintance when I last stayed with Bingley at Netherfield.”

“Miss Darcy and Mrs. Annesley, it is a pleasure to meet you. Miss Darcy, I have heard that you sing and play the pianoforte very well.”

Elizabeth conversed with Miss Darcy for some moments before her brother invited his sister to take a rest with Mrs. Annesley on the bench under the Chestnut tree while he strolled on with Elizabeth.

“I have intelligence on where they are,” he said without prologue, as soon as they were relatively alone.

“So soon?” Her pulse quickened. “Can we arrange for my father or uncle to be with you when you confront them?"

“It is not advisable. I do not want your family to call Wickham out. They may be hurt.”

“But surely they can help in some way.”

“Once I reach the couple and have negotiated with Wickham, I will talk to your uncle and ask him to take the credit for their discovery, so long as he does not raise the matter with your father.”

“But why? Why must there be secrecy with my father?”

Mr. Darcy gave her a long-suffering look. “Would you be eager to explain to your father how you begged for my assistance? Or how you settled upon some future reward with me? If so, I am certain that he will be calling me out, instead.”

“Then how do you propose to explain all of this to my uncle?"

“You will have to trust me, and arrange a time for me to call upon your uncle at his warehouse. From there, I will do my part.”

“How did you know that my uncle has a warehouse?”

“I make it my business to know about those with whom I am dealing, especially when it comes to any kind of business venture."

*All materials are Copyright 2009 by Enid Wilson


About the Author: (from the author's blog site)
Author of Bargain with the Devil and In Quest of Theta Magic, writer of sexy and erotic romance, be it modern, historical, paranormal or science fiction. I love food, Pride and Prejudice, sexy romance, travel and tennis. I work in advertising and live in beautiful Sydney. Sounds too tame? You can read my wild stories at
steamydarcy.com

Giveaway Details: You MUST be at least 18 years old to participate in this giveaway.

Win a brand new copy of Bargain with the Devil by Enid Wilson, as well as a pretty little notebook and a pair of beautiful earrings!



To Enter:

1. Visit http://www.steamydarcy.com/ (Rated NC-17, so you must be 18+ to visit this site) and register to receive news and updates. Then come back here and leave a comment with your SteamyDarcy screen name so that Enid can verify your registry (if it helps, you can hold the Ctrl key down and click on the link and it will open in another window). If you don't have your email in your blogger profile, please also include your email so I've got a way to contact you!

2. For two extra entries, once registered, stop by The Cool Room (PG-Rated) or the Hot Room (NC-17) and take a peek at the short stories Enid has written surrounding Jane Austen's characters. Then let me know what your favorite is!

3. For two extra entries, share this giveaway/review with others via your blog/Facebook/Twitter and leave a link to your post here!

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada, 18+. The winner will be drawn on September 30th. I will post the winner and send an email.

Good luck everyone ~ Wendi

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!

25 Comments:

Jenn said...

Darcy and Elizabeth are one of my favourite fictional couples - this sounds interesting (and steamy!) ;-)

I love the butterflies in you header and background!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Stacie said...

I registered as simplystacie.

simplystacieblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Mari said...

sounds like a good one! I registered as Mari.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Dixie said...

I registered as southrngal

southrngal(at)gmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

I registered as prairiebelle


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

tweeted 1

http://twitter.com/Prairiebelle/status/3949598867


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

tweeted 2

http://twitter.com/Prairiebelle/status/3949598867


Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

For 1 Entry: I've GOT to be entered here. I have a shelf in my den dedicated to Pride and Prejudice sequels, and I haven't seen this one yet. It sounds great.

I registered as Angelz, and my email is angelz_ (at) hotmail.com

Thank you for the entry, Cynthia

Anonymous said...

For 2 extra entries I read quite a few of both the Hot and Cool room stories, and one favorite was A Hussy Offer. What woman wouldn't love to design a lingerie line and get a marriage proposal?

Cynthia

mindy said...

another fabulous book thanks

Enid Wilson said...

Thanks Wendi for hosting me and everyone for commenting. I tried several times comment here but with no luck. But I've been following. Hope some of you like the book.

Bargain with the Devil

Anonymous said...

Please count me in!!!

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

tatertot374 said...

I registered with the user name taterot374
Thank you
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

kerri69 said...

I registered and my user name is kerri69
Thanks ! kerrisixtynine at gmaildotcom

wantsandwishes said...

My screen name is wantsandwishes.

Melanie said...

I registered!
My name is clarkmurdock

Amy said...

hi! my screen name there amywill5918
`amywill5918 at gmail dot com

carol said...

I registered under the name carolp8

FDP 4 Life said...

my screen name is susansmoaks

csue said...

I registered as csue

cherdon said...

I registered to receive news and update with the username - cherdon

cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

I choose Nosy Parker from Hot Room (NC-17). I just enjoy these kinds of books. They intrigue me

cherdon@sympatico.ca

cherdon said...

tweeted

http://twitter.com/iamcherdon/status/4515230133

entry #2

cherdon said...

I posted this giveaway on facebook

username is cheryl hodgkins

url to post

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?


cherdon@sympatico.ca

entry #1

Enid Wilson said...

Many thanks for registering at my site and promoting the book. At one time, it was among top 100 bestsellers at Amazon USA and reached No. 8 best selling Regency Romance at Amazon Canada!

Big hug from Down Under

Enid Wilson
http://steamydarcy.com

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