Monday, December 3, 2012

Under the Mistletoe Day 3: One Thread Pulled by Diana J. Oaks

I have recently read One Thread Pulled by Diana Oaks. You can read my review here. As I read these mistletoe scenes, I enjoyed seeing Charles Bingley so jubilant and besotted and Mr. Darcy teasing. I hope you enjoy these scenes and get a few ideas of where you might place some mistletoe! 

Excerpt from One Thread Pulled by Diana J. Oaks

“Charles, I must go to Elizabeth.” Jane giggled slightly as she pulled herself from his embrace.
“You are an angel of mercy to your sister,” Bingley replied with a cheerful smile as he released her, “and an instrument of torment to me now that we are engaged.”
“Do not say it! Can I cause you to be in torment when I am so very happy?” Jane sighed. “I am glad Papa agreed to a short engagement, although Mama was certainly wishing for more time to prepare. In all honesty, dearest, she began planning our wedding the day you obtained Papa’s consent to court me, although I told her it was too soon.” Jane let out an involuntary squeal. “Oh, Charles! I shall be Mrs. Bingley for Christmas!”
“Yes, you shall.” Bingley raised her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. “Never have I seen you so joyous, Jane! We are fortunate, indeed, for a Christmas engagement brings great opportunities, my angel. I shall trim the halls of Netherfield with mistletoe in every doorway!” Charles declared.
“You shall not need it,” Jane blushed, “when we are wed.”
“I will not wait for Christmas Eve, Jane. We deck the halls tomorrow!” Bingley declared, his eyes dancing at the genius of his idea.
“That is too soon.” Jane laughed merrily, even as she attempted to scold him.
“Negotiations are in order, I suppose. I will settle for one early sprig of mistletoe, strategically placed.” Bingley smiled mischievously.
“I will not be here at Netherfield for you to use it! Have you forgotten? I return to Longbourn as soon as Elizabeth is well enough to go,” Jane reminded him.
“Then I shall place it at Longbourn,” Bingley whispered the sly threat victoriously.
“Oh dear!” Jane cried, “You must not tease Mama so! If she were to see us kissing beneath the mistletoe, she will expect that you want to ... um, hmmm, she will expect that you intend to marry me.” Jane trailed off with a delighted giggle. “You are determined?” Jane bestowed a shy smile on him, and he was undone.
      “Very,” Bingley said with a cheeky grin as he stole another kiss from sweet Jane, whose reluctance decreased ever so slightly with each romantic encounter with the amorous Mr. Bingley.


Elizabeth raised her eyes to meet his directly and found that they shone with that same kindness and tenderness that she had known before his departure for London. “Thank you,” she replied to his expectant gaze and added, “I enjoyed your letters very much, Mr. Darcy.”
Darcy's hand fell away from Elizabeth's face, and with a disappointed sort of smile, he removed the gloves from his hands, and handed them to Hill, who had stood quietly by while holding Mr. Darcy's greatcoat and hat. Hill hung them and disappeared, leaving Elizabeth and Darcy alone in the entryway.
“Miss Bennet,” Darcy said, one eye squinting slightly. “Would you be so kind as to show me to the parlor?”
“The parlor?” Elizabeth quizzed.
“Yes, I am informed that Longbourn has a parlor.”
“Why, yes. It does.” Elizabeth blinked and waved her upturned palm toward a doorway. “It is right here.”
Darcy looked at her expectantly, so she led the way through the door. The room had been freshly decorated in preparation for the wedding day guests, and Darcy nodded appreciatively as he looked around the room. “This is a fine parlor,” He finally said, his eyes scanning the ceiling.
“Mama would be pleased to hear your praise, Mr. Darcy.” Elizabeth said, adding, “I am, however, certain it does not rival even the smallest rooms, nay, not even the closets of Pemberley.”
“You are wrong,” Darcy replied. “Quite wrong.”
Elizabeth muttered something unintelligible as she ran her hand along the back of a chair, and Darcy continued. “Bingley personally informed me of the splendors of the Longbourn parlor. Indeed, he was in raptures over it and insisted that I experience the beauty of this room first hand as soon as possible.”
Elizabeth looked around her in some disbelief. “The furnishings, sir, are older than I am.”
“That well may be, but it has a certain country charm about it. The architecture is sound and versatile too. Look here,” he waved toward a recessed area. “Bingley suggested that I would find this part of the room particularly exceptional.”
“What? This?” Elizabeth walked to the place Darcy had indicated. “You have been sadly misinformed. There is nothing here but shelves with a few trinkets on them, sir, nothing exceptional to impress or entertain.”
“Ahem, I pray you will forgive me, but I beg to differ on that count,” Darcy said with a grin.
“Upon my word, you are teasing me!” Elizabeth frowned slightly and folded her arms across her chest.
“I promise you, madam, I am not. The very spot upon which you stand shall prove to be a great source of delight.” Darcy took a step toward her.
“How so, when you vex me with riddles?” Elizabeth's hands shifted to her hips.
“Well, this is a new Elizabeth! Your color has half-returned already!” Darcy observed. “But I do not intend to vex you, not at all.”
“Then tell me what it is you find so compelling about this room that to see it, of all the other possibilities, was the first thing you desired on your return to Longbourn!” Elizabeth cried out in frustration.
“It is not exactly the room I desired, my love, but rather the excuse.” Darcy said, glancing upward with a sideways tip of his head.
Elizabeth's eyes naturally followed, tipping her head backward to observe, with a small gasp, the mistletoe, hung with a red ribbon directly above her head. Her eyes widened, and then, looking directly at Darcy, she declared with a saucy grin, “Why, Fitzwilliam, you have resorted to trickery!”
“Perhaps.” Darcy's face grew serious, and he took another step toward Elizabeth. “Does this trouble you? I do not wish to frighten you…”
“I am not frightened of you.” Elizabeth raised her chin and laughed nervously. “I am merely impatient now for you to carry out your scheme, for now we are to the stuff of my dreams.”
“Truly? Tell me of your dreams, Elizabeth.” Having closed the distance between them, his face was near enough that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her cheek.
“Oh, they are clouded, hazy dreams, inspired, I think, by a sweet interlude on the road some two weeks past. In my dreams, there are a horse, and a dog, and you, of course…,” Sudden color rushed to her cheeks. “Am I wanton to you now, dreaming of your kisses as though that is all there is in the world? One cannot help what one dreams….”
Darcy stopped her with a fingertip pressed to her lips. “My dearest, loveliest Elizabeth, I am delighted to discover that you have such dreams, although I assure you they cannot compare to mine. It occurs to me that this is most opportune, for I ascertain that it is now within my power to fulfill your dreams. Shall I do so?”
Elizabeth hesitated. “We are once again upon the very precipice of propriety, Fitzwilliam.”
“True. However, we are engaged now, and that cheery sprig above you grants the gods of propriety some leniency. Will you indulge me this once?
Elizabeth nodded sweetly, which small encouragement led Darcy to capture her lips with his own. He held them as though they were a succulent fruit and he was a man parched. Lost in emotions he had grappled with but never faced, it was not until he felt her exhale and draw a new breath that he awoke from the spell cast in that moment. This ignited his passions anew, and he wrapped his arms around her, embracing her with all the longing and desire that had surged from the day he had fallen in love with her. His lips caressed her mouth tenderly and ardently before he reluctantly released her.
She stood before him serenely, eyes closed, head tipped to one side, a faint smile on her lips. Eventually, her eyes fluttered open and she looked at him with shining eyes. “You astonish me!” She said bluntly and added with great urgency, “We must convince my father that six months is far too long. We must!”
“Agreed, but we will do so after Jane's wedding when peace has been restored to the household.” Darcy said. “I have brought a present for you, a token.” He reached into the pocket of his waistcoat and retrieved a tiny, shining object. “This was my mother's ring, given to her by my grandfather upon her entrance into society.” He held out the ring for Elizabeth to see. It was simple, with a few small gemstones set in a pattern of intertwining ivy. “I had it engraved for you.” Darcy caught Elizabeth's hand and placed the ring into her palm.
“Oh, oh, oh!” Elizabeth cried out. “It is so beautiful! But I cannot take your mother's ring!”
“It is yours now.” Darcy stated. “She would have wanted you to have it.”
“But Georgiana!” Elizabeth protested.
“Shall have pieces of her own. Besides, the engraving would be highly inappropriate for a brother to present to a sister.”
Elizabeth carefully inspected the inside of the ring, searching for the engraving, which she read aloud. “'Mon cœur est a vous' That is French! Give me a moment...,” she pondered briefly and said. “My heart is yours?”
Darcy nodded, took the ring from Elizabeth, and slid it onto her finger. “If we are to endure a season in London before we wed, I wish you to always have this token with you, my sentiments wrapped around your finger to assure you of my love at every moment. My heart is indeed yours, Elizabeth.”

I am curious. Do you hang mistletoe in your home? If so, where do you hang it? After all reading these posts, I am thinking of investing in quite a few sprigs and balls and strategically placing them throughout my own home!

*Excerpt provided by the author and used with author's permission

From the Publisher:
When the wealthy and handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy encounters the beautiful and lively Elizabeth Bennet at a small country ball, he loudly refuses to dance with her, declaring her to be merely tolerable. Fortunately for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth has walked away and does not overhear his insult, thus snagging the thread that would have sealed her prejudice against the prideful stranger. Unexpectedly, circumstances thrust Elizabeth into the same household as Mr. Darcy, and her proximity unwittingly proves tempting, as her tantalizing wit and playfulness evoke desires that threaten to unravel his resolve against her. In this delightful re-imagining of Jane Austen's beloved classic, Pride and Prejudice, the players are the same, but the rules have changed as the dance between Darcy and Lizzy unfolds.

Author Bio:
Diana Oaks is the third of eight children. She grew up in a large and loving home with all of the hi-jinx one would expect with six brothers in the house. She has been known to bemoan the lack of any serious childhood angst to draw upon when writing. She graduated in 1981 from Ricks College in Rexburg Idaho, with an emphasis on Interior Design. She considered changing her major to English, but was told by her English professor that it was a dead-end degree. She has been known to bemoan the lack of any serious sentence diagramming drills to draw upon when writing. Diana has been married to her husband Adam since 1982, and is a mother of three adult children, who are now making her a happy "Nana." 

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  1. This IS romantic! Very happy for Jane and Bing.

    I have this very goofy half-bath next to the kitchen. I painted 2 walls with blackboard paint and two emerald green. I have old, large, empty picture frames in it that I place my kids artwork. People leave me messages when they pee - I love it. This year, I put lighted garland around the mirror and hung my Wizard of Oz ornaments on them with a big sequined green ribbon & mistletoe hanging from the middle. My cat knocked down the mistletoe. Must be a sign that bathrooms aren't to be used for stolen kisses during the holidays!

    1. Angie, I guess your cat might be correct. I wouldn't want to know what else people are doing in my bathroom, let alone with the mistletoe encouraging it. ;)
      I LOVE that you have a blackboard in your bathroom! What fun! Friends in college had a wall by the bathroom that one could write on while waiting in line to use it. The things people wrote were hilarious!

  2. Ooh, that is romantic!! I love it! I can't wait to read this book!

    Sadly, we never hang mistletoe.

    1. Candy, I am going to start a tradition this year of hanging mistletoe! How fun! :D
      Hope you enjoy OTP!

  3. Good Morning Jakki! I love this mistletoe series you have been doing! Of all the devices used to get around those strict Regency rules, I do think that mistletoe is one of my favorites!

    1. Thanks, Diana! Yes, one must adhere to the rule of the mistletoe! ;) I love when couples skirt the rules of propriety in Regency pieces. You are correct; the mistletoe is one way to do this! :) Thanks for the excerpt! :)

  4. Love these! Especially Darcy's playfulness and Lizzy's confusion. I really want to read this book again.

    No mistletoe hanging for me, either.

    1. I thought you were going to start carrying it in your reticule? ;) There are so many books I want to reread, Monica, I wonder if I will ever get to them all.

    2. Well yes, I do have some to carry around with me, but none hanging at home. It'd be kind of pointless.

  5. Very romantic! Adding this book to my TBR. I haven't hung it in the past, but I think that I just might have to now!!

    1. I hear ya, June. I have never hung it in the past, but after doing this series, I am really tempted to go find some! :) My mom always had a fake bunch we hung up year after year when I was a little girl, but I want the real stuff!