by Erin Knightley
Ok so, yes, it’s the Scottish accent that sends shivers down my spine every time, I’ll admit. But it was the British accent, courtesy of the drool-worthy Colin Firth as he brought Mr. Darcy to life, who first captured my heart. My, oh my—who could ever forget all those soulful glances and haughty speeches?
So when I met Colin Firth two years ago (again—how could I not work that in to every conversation?), I had an entire speech planned about how his portrayal of Mr. Darcy had inspired me like no other, how he was partially responsible for me being a romance novelist, and how much I appreciated his body (ahem) of work. But the very moment he laid those velvety brown eyes on me, my entire mind went blank. Literally. The only words that came out of my mouth were these: ““Er, uh, you’re… you’re wonderful!”
*palm to forehead* Really? Really? A good half million words under my belt as a writer and that’s what I say in that crucial moment? He smiled, nodded, and patiently posed for a picture. Then just like that, he was gone.
I’ll always have that picture (and the unwashed shirt ;)), and I later realized that I was lucky. Though I didn’t say my speech, at least I didn’t put my foot in my mouth. My heroine, Beatrice, from Flirting With Fortune, wasn’t always that lucky. Here, she is about to part ways with the sexy half-Scot who discovered her in a room she wasn’t supposed to be in. Luckily, they agree not to reveal their names, so she hopes her reputation will be safe…
With a reluctance that surprised her, she started to turn.
“Perhaps,” he said, drawing her attention to him once more, “you’d save a dance for me.”
She lifted her brow. “Ah, but that would require an introduction, would it not?” Even so, the offer was absurdly tempting. The idea of being pulled into his arms was almost enough to make her forget that dancing wasn’t her forte.
“An excellent point, to which I offer this solution: If by the end of the night, you wish to take me up on my offer, then I leave it to you to seek an introduction to me. Seeing how I now have assurance of your mercy, of course.”
Beatrice drew back in surprise. “Seek an introduction to you? I do hate to disabuse you of whatever opinion you have formed of me in these past few minutes, but I am not a desperate woman. I assure you, I will be seeking an introduction to no one.”
He didn’t look the least bit disappointed, or the slightest bit offended. Instead, the corners of his eyes crinkled in an almost imperceptible smile. Dipping his head in the approximation of a bow, he said, “Your prerogative. However, I do feel it prudent to clarify that I was giving you the option of not being introduced, should you wish to remain anonymous. I assure you it was not meant to disparage your prospects. I, of course, shall respect your decision.”
He certainly had a way with words. Was it the accent or his sentiment that muddled her brain and had her leaning the slightest bit forward? “Er, thank you.” Already she was feeling like a ninny for having reacted as she did.
“You’re welcome. And just so you know,” he said, slipping a gloved hand beneath hers and lifting her fingers to his lips for a feather-soft kiss that had her holding her breath all over again. “I’ll be keeping the last dance free.”
Do you tend to be a ‘mind goes blank’ or ‘foot in mouth’ kind of person in these sorts of situations?
One lucky commentor will win this “I (heart) Mr. Darcy” shirt (your choice of size and color), and a signed copy of Flirting With Fortune!
Contest open US residents only, ages 18+. Winners will be randomly selected from the comments received. The winners will be announced on the Discover a New Love blog on Thursday, September 5 and will have five business days to claim their prizes or an alternate winner may be selected.
Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science. It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all. Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina.
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