Starcrossed at Longbourn: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
by Nora Kipling
Elizabeth Bennet is only a child when she meets Fitzwilliam Darcy under the most inauspicious of circumstances. Outside the constraints of adult society, they form a fast friendship that is severed almost immediately by Mr. Bennet and his anger at the death of his son, John Bennet.
Thirteen years later, it is love-at-second-sight, at a masquerade in Meryton...
No longer a girl, but a young woman out in society, Elizabeth attends a masquerade in Meryton, only to dance two sets with a gentleman that she does not recognize but feels uncommonly drawn to. There are newcomers to Hertfordshire, letting out Netherfield Park, and this quiet, tall gentleman with an aristocratic mien must be one of them, for she does not know his voice and his face is hidden by his mask, but his eyes...
Elizabeth Bennet, who has sworn off of love for herself so that she may never feel the touch of grief again, falls deeply and irrevocably in love with those dark eyes that follow her across the assembly hall each time she looks up.
The last time he saw her, she was but a wisp of a thing, in need of a kind word and a friend...
Elizabeth Bennet has grown into the kind of beauty that would break hearts were she to stay any length of time in London, with a cleverness and wit that catches Mr. Darcy by surprise. He had not wanted to attend the masquerade, and now he both deeply regrets and rejoices all at once at his decision to go. But the woman who has caught his eye, and his heart, is the daughter of a man who cursed him and barred the Darcys from the Longbourn estate and forbade any kinship with the Bennets, forever.
Darcy regrets ever coming back to Hertfordshire, for he knows that after one dance with Elizabeth Bennet, his heart is forsworn to her, and after two dances, his mind is set: he will marry her, or live the rest of his life alone. But he cannot court her as himself; no Darcy would ever be permitted to marry a Bennet, never-mind how desperate the situations at Longbourn might be. And so Mr. Darcy must become someone else, in order to be with the woman of his dreams, and hope that his deception will not be discovered.
But with a familial patriarch barring the way, and skeletons amongst the ton waiting to descend with outstretched claws, will Mr. Darcy finally find his happiness? And if Elizabeth Bennet discovers his secret, will she still accept him?
This is a sweet, clean romance suitable for all lovers of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
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