Mendacity & Mourning by J.L. Ashton

Mendacity & Mourning by J.L. Ashton

Mendacity & Mourning by J.L. AshtonMendacity & Mourning by J.L.Ashton
Also by this author: A Searing Acquaintance
Genres: Austenesque, Historical Romance, Romance
Buy the BookGoodreads

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gossip in possession of misheard tales and desirous of both a good wife and an eager audience need only descend upon the sitting rooms of a small country town in order to find satisfaction. And with a push from Lady Catherine,  Mr. Collins sets alight a series of misunderstandings, rumours, and lies that create obstacles to a romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. This slightly unhinged romantic comedy follows Darcy as he sets off to find himself a wife and instead finds himself pulled into the mire of his aunt’s machinations and his own fascination with Elizabeth, whom he believes betrothed to another.

As Meryton judges him the grieving groom of Anne de Bourgh and a caddish dallier with the hearts of others, Darcy must ferret out the truth behind his cousin’s disappearance, protect his sister from the fretful fate of all Fitzwilliam females, and most importantly, win Elizabeth’s heart.

I am so excited to have Jana here today!! I love to host Janeites on my blog because THEY ARE THE BEST!! J.L’s first book A Searing Acquaintance (read my review here)  was one of my favrotie JAFF’s in 2016. I am so excited to read her new one!!  Thank you Ms. Ashton for joining us today!!

#JaneitesForever #MrDarcyForever


Huge thanks to Margie and Margie’s Must Reads for hosting me and Mendacity & Mourning here today. I’ve written a little something about summer daydreaming and our favorite man, Mr. Darcy.

Darcy’s Perfect Woman (Or, If Darcy Appeared on The Bachelor…)

Even if his perfect woman would be small and dark with fine, laughing eyes and an impertinent spirit. She would smell like wildflowers, autumn leaves, and sunshine. She would push him to think more deeply and talk of subjects he had long thought uninteresting to anyone else. She would tease him until he quieted her with a kiss. And she would taste of all that was good and be soft and lush and receptive to his words, to his lips and hands. To all of him. There was no woman like her.
–Mendacity & Mourning, Chapter Eight

Is there anything more interesting to do after you finish reading a Pride & Prejudice variation, or while driving or folding laundry, or sorting through paperwork or paying bills, than to imagine scenes and conversations that do not appear on the page, or in the mini-series or in the movies? Or even to ponder missing scenes or open-ended HEAs in a JAFF, which can launch the reader into a “What If” reverie.
Sometimes I like to think about Fitzwilliam Darcy and what kind of woman he envisioned for himself before he met Elizabeth Bennet.
What is his ideal of a woman? There is little to glean from reading Jane Austen’s original text; not even by reading between the lines will you have a full sense of Mr. Darcy’s feelings on ladies. We learn in Chapter Four that “Darcy was clever. He was at the same time haughty, reserved, and fastidious, and his manners, though well-bred, were not inviting.” Well, that’s not too dreamy, though he is rich, clever and—apparently—clean.
We already know from Chapter Three that Bingley also finds his friend fastidious, and probably a tad snooty. ‘“You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.’
And when he espies her sister, Elizabeth? We all know what he said. “She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me…”
But by Chapter Six, we know as much as we will ever know on how Darcy admires a woman. “My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”
Aha! He thinks Elizabeth is pretty and has fine eyes. But, in modern parlance, that is all she wrote.
In Mendacity & Mourning, the Colonel proudly describes the game he and his soldiers engage in, describing their “perfect woman.”
“It begins with a conversation. Hair, eyes, smile…everyone has the time to think and be specific. Is she a woman who loves to sing or loves to laugh? What are her favourite foods, her best recipes, her arts and allurements? What children would she bear you, and what would be their names?”
“This, I agree, would fill an idle hour.”
“And the men compare these women, debate over attributes. Why, one might ask, would a loud man favour a quiet girl? Why would a fat soldier prefer a plump woman? It would appear to make certain…um, positions more difficult.”
“Well, a woman’s disposition for such activities is of course a major share of the conversation. Everyone has a preference.” Richard took a long drink and stared at his reddening cousin. “Do they not?”
So what is his preference? It is Elizabeth Bennet, who has—among other attributes—fine eyes and a light and pleasing figure, has been tanned by the sun, enjoys walking, and does not shy from a challenging conversation.
And the story of how he wins her love and respect, and conquers his own prideful assumptions, certainly creates a winning formula for a classic story to be read, and re-interpreted in variations, over and over again.

I would like to give one reader an eBook copy of Mendacity and Mourning via Amazon! Enter to win by commenting here why you love MR. DARCY!!

Thank you and GOOD LUCK!!














  1. Oh Lord! I love the excerpt from Chapter 8. I wonder if he is speaking from experience or imagination and really hope it is the former 😍
    Who could not love Darcy? Tall, dark and handsome. Intelligent, shy maybe a little critical but willing to change for love. Protective and caring to those he loves, what more could you ask??? I wouldn’t even mind if he wasn’t rich but that is the cherry on top 😍😍😍.
    Love this post and would love to win this book. I already have it on my wishlist but am waiting to see if I can get lucky 😂.
    Thanks for this wonderful post.

  2. Kerri Spennicchia says

    Why we love (Elizabeth) and Mr. Darcy: both are flawed, yet both grow. Each make mistakes, recognize their own errors (and the fairness of the criticism), and mend their conduct. It is that maturation and self-reflection, their character redemption, that we love so well.

  3. Sheila L. Majczan says

    I read and loved this story. Now: about that photo…drooling here…really, in fact, drooling. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sheila got it right, your Darcy, drooling and swooning. 😉 Thanks for the fun post.

  5. Vesper Meikle says

    Unfortunately, or not, I don’t love Mr. Darcy, I find him just tolerable.But if you had asked about the Colonel, well that is a different matter.

  6. Jan Ashton says

    This was great fun, Margie, Thanks for hosting me, and for sharing that delicious photo of Mr. HC. Glad it’s inspired some feelings with the commenters too! 🙂

  7. DarcyBennett says

    This book sounds great. I love Mr. Darcy because how he always strives to do the right thing and how he learns from his mistakes bettering himself in the process.

  8. I love your Mr. Darcy! It always helps to imagine him in this role when i need a little “inspiration!”

    Thanks for sharing this post ladies!

  9. Count me as another drooling idiot over that photo!

    What appeals to me about Darcy? Tall, handsome and rich certainly help but it’s the non-physical characteristics that are the primary ones for me. He’s willing to change for the woman he loves and “to please a woman worthy of being pleased”. He’s loyal to a fault; even his interference between Jane and Bingley was partly because he thought Bingley was in danger of marrying a woman who was only after his money. He’s prepared to do just about anything to protect a young woman in danger, without expecting or seeking any thanks. What’s not to love about all of that?

  10. Meredith Miller says

    He seems to be the perfect man, yet has his vulnerabilities.

  11. Although Mr Darcy is hurt by Elizabeth’s harsh words, he seeks to understand her point-of-view and genuinely change himself for the better. He doesn’t put on an act just to get her to say yes to his marriage proposal.

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