Not in want of a wife

by Amanda Kai

Hello and welcome back to everyone! This is the first blog of 2023! Imagine that! I feel like the year just turned to 2022, and now we are already in 2023! Happy New Year!

Today I am proud to welcome a new authoress, namely; Amanda Kai, who has a new book on the market. The new book is part I of a new series, so do not worry, more books will come. Amanda has also written “Marriage and Ministry”, “Unconventional” and others within the historical genre.


Mr. Darcy is not in want of a wife. At least, not one that only loves him for his money. Ever since he came of age, Darcy’s been an object of prey to fortune hunters– greedy ladies and their scheming mamas who would do anything to get their hands on his ten-thousand a year and his luxurious estate. Tired of being the most eligible man in any room he walks into, Darcy decides the only way to stave off the fortune hunters is to make himself unavailable to them.

Elizabeth Bennet is convinced that only the deepest love could persuade her into matrimony, and since that has yet to appear, she would do anything rather than marry without affection. Unfortunately, all her mother’s thoughts are bent on finding rich husbands for her and her sisters. With the arrival of Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy causing a stir among all the mothers of Meryton, Elizabeth knows it is only a matter of time before her own mother pushes her to try to capture one of these rich gentlemen for herself at all costs.

Seeing themselves in virtually the same predicament, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth come up with a convenient arrangement: they will pretend to court while Mr. Darcy is staying at Netherfield. Mr. Darcy will get a reprieve from the relentless husband hunters, and Elizabeth can satisfy her mother with the notion that she has landed a suitor.

But when the time comes for their partnership to end, the feelings that were merely an act have started to become a reality. Will Darcy and Elizabeth find a way to express the feelings that are in their hearts, or will they part ways for good?


Darcy could hardly hear his friend’s comment over the din in the Meryton Assembly Hall. The floor was crowded with couples, grinning and clapping, their feet stamping to the rhythm of the sprightly country dance coming from the string quartet in the gallery above. 

“What’s that, you say, Bingley?” Darcy asked his friend over the roar of conversation and laughter adding to the noise of the dancing and the music.

“I said, I have never seen so many beautiful women in all my life!” The cheerful, ruddy-faced man exclaimed, coming closer to Darcy.

Darcy held back a smile. It was the same thing Bingley said wherever they went. He always found the women to be exceedingly beautiful, and Darcy knew it would not be long before Bingley found one in particular that would charm him completely. 

“Come Darcy, I must have you dance,” his friend urged. “I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner.”

“There is not a girl in the room with whom it would not be a punishment to stand up with,” he said bitterly.

Darcy hated these sorts of events. They were all the same. As soon as word got around that Mr-Ten-Thousand-A-Year-Darcy had graced them with his presence, the young ladies and their eager mamas began circling like vultures. Shortly after their arrival, the master of ceremonies had tried his best to persuade Darcy to be introduced to several of them, but Darcy had adamantly refused. Nevertheless, a number of them had flocked around him for several minutes, batting their eyes coyly, flirtatious smiles on their faces, each hoping to be asked by him to dance, until one by one they had been claimed by other partners. 

Bingley laughed. “Upon my word! I would not be so fastidious for a kingdom! They are all extremely pleasant, and several of them uncommonly pretty.”

“You are dancing with the only pretty girl in the room. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles. You are wasting your time with me.”

Bingley laughed, and went back to the pretty blonde he had been dancing with. 

Darcy continued to watch from a distance. What was the girl’s name again? Miss Beckett? No, Bennet, he corrected himself. The one with all the sisters. 

Just after the first set, Bingley had asked the master of ceremonies for an introduction. Apparently, Bingley had seen Miss Bennet during the first dance while he was paired with Miss Lucas and had been quite taken with her. Miss Jane Bennet. Yes, that’s her name, Darcy recalled. He had been standing beside Bingley when they were introduced to her and her family. She had four sisters, but Darcy could not seem to recall their names. He looked around the room for them. The two youngest girls, both of whom were nearly the spitting image of their mother, albeit younger and thinner, were dancing gleefully with a pair of fellows. Darcy imagined that Mrs. Bennet might have once been pretty herself at their age. Another sister had taken out a book from her reticule and sat down on a bench, where, despite her mother’s urging that she put it away at once lest she make herself appear unavailable to any men who might ask her to dance, continued on reading, deaf to her mother’s anxious pleas. Darcy’s eyes searched the room for the last sister. He finally spotted her hiding in the back of the room on the side opposite him. She appeared to be avoiding anyone asking her to dance, having deliberately positioned herself where it was unlikely that she would be sought out. What a strange family, Darcy thought. He studied the girl’s expression as she watched the dancing and clapped along in time for amusement. There was a brightness to her deep, dark eyes that made the corner of Darcy’s mouth turn up. She is tolerable enough, I suppose, Darcy thought to himself, but not handsome enough to tempt me. 

“Hiding away in the corner already, are we?” A voice whispered in his ear. Darcy bristled. It was Bingley’s youngest sister, Caroline. “Are you not going to dance tonight, Mr. Darcy? I thought you had promised to at least dance with me.” 

“I do not recall making such a promise.”

“I thought you had said as much during dinner. And anyhow, it would be such a shame if you did not! We are friends after all, are we not?”

Darcy could not claim such. He saw her as nothing more than the sister of his good friend. But ever since they had been introduced a few years past, she had set her cap towards him. She was a prime example of the type of girl he wished most to avoid; a girl who never cared to know him personally, but always had her eye on his fortune. Still, he knew it would be bad manners to deny her, and that she would persist until she had her way. Best to get it over with, Darcy decided.

Wordlessly, he offered her his hand and led her to join the dance. Caroline’s look of glee made Darcy instantly regret that he had capitulated so easily. Luckily, the second half of the set was already under way, so it would not be more than ten minutes and his obligation to her would be over. He would not, under any circumstances, give her the satisfaction of a second dance. Doing so would only encourage her obsession with him.

As they promenaded down the polished wooden floor of the assembly hall, Caroline attempted to make conversation with Darcy. But he hardly listened. His eyes kept being drawn, not to the matchmaking mamas or their bloodsucker daughters, all of whom were eyeing them with envy, but to that pair of dark eyes, watching him from the back of the crowd. That second-oldest Bennet girl. Elizabeth, was it? Why was she not among the girls vying for his attention?

As soon as that set had ended, Darcy broke free from Caroline and tried to make his way towards Miss Elizabeth. He was pressed in on all sides by a group of young ladies, no doubt pressured by their mothers to make themselves readily available in hopes they would be graced next. Caroline attempted to follow him, but was cut off by the other ladies and could not get close.

Darcy knew that the moment he set foot in the county, that every mother with a single daughter between the ages of sixteen and thirty would be desperate to marry her off to him. It was the same everywhere he went. A person’s fortune was all that anybody seemed to care about. Darcy shuddered, still remembering a time a few years back when an overzealous mother tried to trap him into marrying her daughter. And then there was the incident over the summer with his dear sister and that blackguard. No, I will not submit my thoughts to that horror any longer, Darcy told himself. Georgiana is safe now. If only I could say the same for myself.

Darcy looked at the eager faces around him and began to panic. Some were prettier than others, but none worthy of any notice. He glanced around for help. Bingley had apparently asked Jane Bennet to dance a second set. He was already lining up with her on the dance floor, looking like an adoring puppy dog. There would be no help from his quarter.

“Why Mr. Darcy, have you not chosen a dance partner for this set yet?” Caroline Bingley had caught up with him. “I am still available, as you can see.”

Now Darcy was trapped between her and the gaggle of giggling geese surrounding him.

He realized it had been a mistake to dance with Caroline. Now that he had been seen dancing, he would be expected to dance the rest of the evening. There would be no escaping it. Failure to do so would put him in social jeopardy, ostracize him in the eyes of the neighborhood. But he could not bring himself to ask Caroline a second time, nor to give any other greedy mothers their satisfaction. What could he do? 

Through the crowds, Darcy spied Caroline and Charles Bingley’s elder sister Mrs. Hurst. Early on, she had secured a seat near the punchbowl, where she intended to remain the whole night unless asked to dance by one of the men in her party. Her husband had already disappeared to the card room and would likely not reappear until it was time to leave or until his pockets ran empty. There was a small gap between the giggling group of women, and he took it. 

“Louisa,” Darcy said, startling Mrs. Hurst and causing her to drip punch down her dress. “Dance with me,” he insisted, grabbing her arm before she could say no.

“Well, I suppose,” she slurred.

They found their places just as the music began again. Louisa staggered through the steps. Twice, Darcy had to take her arm to ensure she did not crash into another dancer.

His eyes returned to that dark beauty who had kept him so entranced. He detected a smile on her face as she watched the dancing. Was she amused by him? He tried to keep his composure, but it was difficult, since he had to steer a drunken Louisa Hurst around the room. 

He caught Caroline’s eye as they went down the set. She looked visibly disappointed with her current partner, a gangly buck-toothed fellow with two left feet.

There was a break after that set so the musicians could take a rest. Some of the dancers left to see what was happening in the card room. Others mingled near the punchbowl or went to the tea room for a hot beverage and something to eat.

Mrs. Hurst staggered off to the card room to chastise her husband for leaving her alone all evening, slurping from her punch glass the whole way. Darcy saw Caroline looking for him again. He ducked into the crowd that was headed for the tea room, hoping she did not see him. 

The tea room was smaller and therefore even more crowded than the assembly room had been, since now most of the throng was gathered there.

Darcy selected a savory bacon-wrapped oyster off of the tray and took a cup of tea from a servant that offered it to him. Finding his way to the corner of the room, he hoped Caroline could not find him. He inched his way backwards to the wall until he came upon something soft and squishy.

“Careful there!” a voice cried.

The voice came from none other than the dark-haired Bennet girl, who had herself sequestered in that very corner, trying to enjoy some tea and a few nibbles. 

“Miss Elizabeth, please excuse me,” Darcy apologized, hoping he had her name right.

“You have the right idea,” she said, “trying to hide out in the corner. It’s dreadfully crowded this evening, isn’t it?” A beguiling smile spread across her face and made Darcy’s heart thump. “Don’t worry, I won’t give away your position if I see her.”


“The one you’re hiding from. Mr. Bingley’s sister. Miss Bingley, I should say. Not the older one,” she clarified.

“You saw that, then?”

“Oh yes. It was quite amusing, really.” Miss Elizabeth took a sip of her tea, a twinkle in her eyes.

Darcy seized the chance to ask her the question that had been burning in his mind all evening. “I noticed you have not danced at all this whole evening.”

“An astute observation.” Elizabeth cocked her head to one side.

“And you have positioned yourself so as to be unapproachable by any young men who might be inclined to ask you to dance.”

She nodded. “Also correct.”

“If it is not too bold, might I ask why? On a night like this, why would a young lady such as yourself not want to dance?”

Elizabeth glanced up at him. “I am doing the very same thing you are doing, Mr. Darcy.” The amusement on her lips drove him to distraction.

“And what is that, pray tell?”

“Trying to avoid being maneuvered into the matchmaking frenzy by an overzealous mother.”

The surprise on Darcy’s face made her laugh, so she continued. “I have watched you, this evening. You are not eager to be set upon by any of the eligible ladies here. And I, as you might have seen,” she gestured to Mrs. Bennet on the other side of the room, who was chatting up Mr. Bingley with a blushing Jane standing beside, “I have an overzealous mama who will do anything to make a good match for her daughters. It has been some time since any wealthy men passed through Meryton. My mother has behaved like a starved vulture from the moment she learned that Mr. Bingley was to lease Netherfield Park. You were not in the room for five minutes before it became known that your fortune is double that of your friend’s. I have no doubt that my mother is only biding her time before she throws me at you.”

“Yes, I am sure my ten-thousand a year holds no draw for you,” Darcy chuckled. 

“Were I the mercenary sort, I am certain it would!” Elizabeth joined his laugh. “Do not mistake me, Mr. Darcy. I am sure you are a good sort of person who will make your wife very happy one day. But I would never marry a rich man whom I didn’t love, and I shall not make a fool of myself by allowing my mother to push me into such a match for her sake. Only the deepest love could persuade me into matrimony. Which is why I shall probably end up an old maid.” There was a twinkle in her eyes as she said this.

“Surely you don’t mean that,” Darcy let out a small chuckle.

“Oh, I do.”

“I mean, there will come a time when someone or other will capture your heart.”

“Well, best of luck to any man who wishes to try!” Elizabeth smiled, raising a small cheer with her tea cup. “But what of you, Mr. Darcy? Have you no wish to settle down and find a suitable wife to make mistress of your grand estate?”

Darcy shook his head. “So far, the only women I have met are interested in nothing more than my sizable estate. Until I can find a woman who loves me for me, and not my wealth, I would rather remain a carefree bachelor. So I suppose you and I are alike in some ways, Miss Bennet.”

“Indeed we are.” 

Darcy found Miss Elizabeth to be singular. Certainly, she differed from the women who usually associated with him, who all made it clear they desired his money more than getting to know who he was as a person. Caroline was a model in that respect, a prime example of the sort of woman who looked at Darcy and saw a fortune, a prestigious family line, and a vast estate, rather than a man.

An idea flew into Darcy’s brain. A crazy thought, if he ever had one. And why not? What had he to lose?

“I have a proposition for you, Miss Elizabeth.”

“A proposition? How shocking!” she teased, her eyebrows raising in mirth.

Darcy felt his cheeks pink. “Nothing of that sort, I assure you. Everything will be entirely proper. What I am suggesting is, you and I be each other’s cover. A way to throw off all the matchmaking mamas, including your own.”

Elizabeth’s eyebrow went up and a grin spread across her pink lips. “I am intrigued.”

“We shall pretend to court,” Darcy said. “If I am paying exclusive attention to you, then all the other mothers in the village and thereabouts will have no choice but to desist in throwing their daughters at me.”

“And my own mama will be satisfied with the notion that I have captured a rich man!” Elizabeth laughed in glee. Then she stopped short. “But what about as time goes on? If you pay me too much attention, you will be honor-bound to make me an offer. My father would see to it, I am sure, as would my mother. I would not have you trapped so, sir.”

Pleased to hear her say such a thing, Darcy pondered a moment. He snapped his fingers. “When things begin to get too heated, I shall simply leave town, go to another place. It happens all the time, you know, when a young man is seen paying too much attention to a woman he does not plan to marry. He goes away from that area, and after a while, the talk dies down and nobody expects him to come back and propose. And that puts an end to it all.”

Elizabeth thought for a moment. “Hmm. The idea does have merit. When would this proposed departure take place?”

“I do not know. At the moment, I have no pressing business concerns. I am Bingley’s guest, and I am here to help him establish his own household at Netherfield. I always supposed I would stay until the Season, but there is nothing that would prevent me from going to London early, especially as I will likely be making short journeys there from time to time to attend to my business.”

Elizabeth nodded. “It is but a half-day’s ride.”

“Indeed,” Darcy agreed. Their plan seemed to be shaping up nicely. But Elizabeth had a few questions.

“How will we arrange our meetings? It is too risky to send a message.”

“No,” Darcy agreed. “But I am sure we shall meet often enough. No doubt your mother will issue us an invitation soon, if she is anything like you have described. And I can certainly persuade Bingley to invite your family over to Netherfield for a visit. He has even talked of giving a ball this autumn.”

“And there are sure to be other engagements with our mutual acquaintances in the neighborhood during which we may meet,” Elizabeth added.

“All I need to do is ensure that at every opportunity, I single you out when we are together in company,” Darcy said. “If people see us talking together, dancing together, then they will naturally make assumptions about us. It is quite simple, really!”

“Well then! To that point, why not begin this evening?” Elizabeth linked her arm in his. “I hear the musicians tuning their instruments for the next set.”

Darcy smiled. “May I have this dance, then, Miss Elizabeth?”

“You may!” She beamed.

The crowd followed the faint strains of violin, viola, and cello back into the assembly room. To the astonishment of everyone in the room, and the envy of nearly every woman there, Mr. Darcy took his place beside Elizabeth at the front of the line. The scowl on Caroline’s face nearly matched the green of her dress, and Darcy thought he saw one poor girl weeping into her mother’s shoulder. Mrs. Bennet, however, was full of glee. Seeing her next- eldest daughter dancing with the richest man in the room– and in all of Derbyshire– was enough to make her forget her displeasure at the fact that Mr. Bingley had asked Mary King to dance with him on this set.

“Our plan seems to be working,” Elizabeth whispered as the Polonaise began.

“Quite so.” A grin like a Cheshire cat spread across Mr. Darcy’s face.


Dear readers, we are so lucky that Amanda have gracefully offered 1 ebook of her new book, “Not in want of a wife” as a giveaway! So leave a comment and we will get in touch about the winner.



Amanda Kai’s love of period dramas and classic literature inspires her historical romances and other romances.  She is the author of several stories inspired by Jane Austen, including Not In Want of a Wife, Elizabeth’s Secret Admirer, and Marriage and Ministry. Prior to becoming an author, Amanda enjoyed a successful career as a professional harpist, and danced ballet for twenty years. When she’s not diving into the realm of her imagination, Amanda lives out her own happily ever after in Texas with her husband and three children. 

For now dear readers, I will leave you to your comments, and wish all good luck in the giveaway. Again, happy new year and I hope we will see you here again, soon.


3 thoughts on “Not in want of a wife

  1. I’m loving the planned distraction between Darcy and Elizabeth! They are so obviously alike in their desires and hopefully will realise it at some point! It seems Louisa takes after her husband and I imagine that Caroline will be less than pleased to see her ‘friend’ paying attention to Elizabeth! This is definitely on my list!


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