Elizabeth in the New World by Maggie Mooha
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NO GREATER LOVE
Darcy’s sudden, passionate kiss sweeps Elizabeth into a bliss she has never known...but their love is short-lived. On a field of honor, Wickham, once again, engages in an irresponsible act, which leaves Darcy mortally wounded and Elizabeth broken. Refusing to leave Darcy’s side, the last vestiges of her reputation are shattered, and when Elizabeth sees Darcy in his coffin, she is ruined in more ways than one. Devastated and without hope, reluctantly she agrees to accompany friends to Grenada, a Caribbean island on the brink of revolution.
Things are not what they seem. Darcy hasn’t died, but Elizabeth is gone and he fears it is too late to recapture what he has lost. As he struggles to recuperate, he must put aside his pride and his heritage in order to find the only woman he will ever love. Never before has Darcy sacrificed so much for a passion he fought against so vehemently. And never before has Elizabeth’s strength of character been stronger - it is the only thing standing between her and an end that doesn’t include Darcy.
“Papa, are you in there? I would like to speak to you before you go,” Elizabeth called through the study door.
Mr. Bennet was already at the door, opening it. Elizabeth entered and began to speak but stopped short when she saw Darcy. For a moment, she was speechless.
Mr. Bennet looked from one to the other. It was Darcy who spoke first.
He cleared his throat. “Good morning, Miss Bennet. I am sorry that we are not meeting under happier circumstances. I will take my leave, so that you may speak to your father alone.” He made his way toward her to the door.
As if awakened from a dream, she suddenly cried, “No,” before he reached the door. He stopped, a surprised look on his face. They both looked at Mr. Bennet.
“Lizzy,” Mr. Bennet offered. “I think perhaps you might want to have a word with Mr. Darcy. I will go and have my breakfast.” He tried to sound lighthearted, but Elizabeth knew he was hiding his dread from her.
As soon as they were alone, Elizabeth went to the window. She could not look in Darcy’s face. She was afraid her countenance would reveal all the tumult of emotions she was feeling.
“Mr. Darcy, why are you here?” she asked finally.
“Your father asked me to be his second in his duel with Mr. Wickham. He felt that I, being a gentleman, would possess the necessary knowledge and…” he groped for the word, “authority, to see that all proceeded fairly with adherence to the rules.”
“Rules?” she cried and turned upon him. “Rules. Mr. Darcy, what good can come of this? Can you not do something to stop it? My father—” Her voice broke and she turned away from him once more, burying her face in her handkerchief. “My father is an elderly man, a country gentleman. What does he know of dueling?” The tears welled in her eyes, and then broke free and ran down her cheeks. She wished he would rush to her and throw his arms around her and hold her to his breast. Instead, he stood apart and spoke calmly.
“I do think that some accord can be reached without resorting to violence,” he said.
Most of my career, I’ve been a music teacher. I’ve found music such a help when crafting a story. I actually see the structure of a book as if it was a musical composition. As for the nuts and bolts of my life, I grew up in the Chicago area and was a teacher there for quite a few years. I had a chance to teach at an international school in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, and I spent two years there. After adopting my son, we spent four years at an international school in the Philippines. During that time, I began writing. Now I live in the western U.S.
Most of my work has been screenplays. Over the years, I’ve won or placed well in competitions. I’m telling you this so you don’t think I sat down one day and wrote a novel out of the blue. I’ve spent many years working and learning.
A long time ago someone called me “an insatiable romantic.” I hope that's still true.
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