What can I tell you about John Ward, the hero of Angelica: Mr. Darcy’s Daughter?
Did you miss the other posts about the Mr. Darcy’s Impertinent Daughters universe? Check them out here:
He’s a classmate of George Darcy’s from Cambridge. He knows Malachi, too, but is closer to George. For the past several years, George has been invited to John’s house. However, this is the first time John has been able to come to Pemberley. As such, it’s his first time meeting the whole Darcy clan. Or rather, the Darcy Gang as he dubs the younger ones after a particular incident.
John is the younger son of a wealthy banker. His brother is at Pemberley too. Daniel has orders to marry into the nobility, John is expected to marry an heiress. Unlike the norm for most families, John will inherit 50% of the bank upon his father’s death. His father insists that John learn about banking and says that two heads are better than one. However, Patrick Ward is used to issuing commands and being obeyed. He has a plan for his sons and for his family name to be among the ones that shape Britain’s future.
John has hidden depths, though. Although he gets off on the wrong foot with Angelica and her youngest siblings, he is soon reminded of his twin sister who died years ago in tragic circumstances. He doesn’t take too kindly to his father’s demands and has a passion that lays outside of banking and wants to see the world rather than the inside of an office.
And marriage? That’s the last thing on his mind. However, he is far from the master of his own fate at the beginning of the book.
Are you ready to meet him? Here is our man!
John looks very much like his older brother, something Angelica’s younger sister Raphaela learns first hand.
And here is their father, Patrick Ward.
Would you like an excerpt of when we first meet John? Hold on to your hats!
Angelica had just folded up her blanket and set her bonnet to rights when she heard a loud yowl some distance behind her in the woods.
“Tommy?” Angelica cried to herself.
What was he doing this far from the house by himself? Dropping her effects, she hitched up her skirt and darted in the direction she had heard her not-so-baby-anymore-brother howling in pain. Branches slapped at her cheeks and one tore her bonnet off, pulling her hair into disarray but she did not care.
Before she could see Tommy through the thick bushes, she heard the decided whacking sound of fists hitting a body.
“I told you Rafe would avenge me!” Tommy yelled before cheering on the aggressor.
“Raphaela Grace Darcy, I do not know who you are striking, but cease at once!” Angelica called from the other side of a group of bushes.
“Angie?” Angelica’s younger sister, Christiane asked, her voice full of fright. Whether it was from the scene she had witnessed or from fear of Angelica tattling, was uncertain.
Finally, Angelica reached her siblings and gasped at what she saw. Twelve-year-old Raphaela appeared to have tackled a young man and sat on his chest, pummelling him with her small fists.
“That is for my brother!” She hit the man, who had began to rise at the presence of Angelica, in the jaw. He grunted.
“Rafie, no!” Angelica pulled at her sister’s shoulder. “You are setting a horrid example for the little ones!”
“I am not!” she cried in anger. “They should defend themselves. Papa said so!”
“But not like this!” Angelica struggled but wrapped her arms around her sister’s waist. She dragged Raphaela off the gentleman and pushed her sister to sit on the dirt path. “Now, behave!”
Next, Angelica turned her attention to the man, startling when he was already standing just behind her. “Are you well, sir?”
“I believe I can withstand the beating of a little girl, miss.”
Behind her, Raphaela made a noise. The man answered back with a snarl.
“What is your name, sir? I should like to know who is such a mighty man that he must make faces at my little sister.”
“John Ward, at your service.”
Angelica gave him a once over. Beyond his dusty and dirty clothing, hopelessly disarrayed by Raphaela’s pummelling, he was a handsome and tall man with dark hair and darker eyes. “You were at my parents’ ball last night. I danced with your elder brother.”
“I believe we may as well call it your ball. I have seldom seen the likes. So much attention showered on one privileged miss.”
“You must not spend much time in company, sir. There is nothing out of the ordinary about balls being held in honour of a lady’s come-out.”
He perused her from head to toe. Angelica’s cheeks burned in embarrassment. Her usual impeccable attire and coiffure were destroyed. “A lady, is it?”
“That is Miss Darcy of Pemberley!” Tommy said while rushing to her side. “I think me and Chris can take him now that Rafe has injured him.”
“Injured?” Mr. Ward laughed. “Call off your guard dogs, madam.”
Angelica’s brows flew to her hairline. “They are not guard dogs, sir, but I assure you that my father has several and when he hears how you have treated his children you will be chased off his property by the very best hounds Pemberley has. I would be surprised if you were accepted into any polite society after this display.”
“This display? Should I thank them for attacking me? I have heard much from George Darcy about the great Darcy hospitality and beauties of Pemberley.” He paused a moment and assessed Angelica once more before flicking his eyes over her youngest siblings. “All I see is a motley gang of rapscallions left to roam the countryside like gypsy bandits and prey upon the unsuspecting. There is also an arrogant harridan who does not know she is destined to be on the shelf lest some man overcomes the natural disgust for her face enough to inquire after her fortune.”
Faintly, Angelica registered the cries of anger and disagreement from her siblings before her fist connected with Mr. Ward’s nose. “There is your injury, sir!” She spun on her heel and commanded her siblings. “Come along, children. Papa will want to know about this riffraff.”
She marched back to Pemberley with Tommy and Chris’s hands in hers while Rafe announced their coming to any and all with a victory song she invented.
Hail to our victory!
Hail to our Angie!
She best the giant,
Now he’s compliant
Hail to our Angie!
What do you think of Mr. John Ward? He didn’t make a very good first impression did he?