The historical romance Dearest Friends retells Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a sensual adventure that will delight a modern audience. Fitzwilliam Darcy left Hertfordshire following a friend’s betrayal, but his heart remained with Elizabeth Bennet, the impertinent beauty who captured his attention in ways no woman ever had before. When he encounters her unexpectedly in London, he realizes he can no longer live without her and begins his pursuit for her hand. When he finds that Elizabeth is not free to marry, will he again walk away or will he fight for the lady he loves?
While Darcy and Elizabeth pursue their own happiness, around them friendships progress to love and infatuation leads to disappointment. Join a group of unlikely friends as they support our dear couple on their journey, each treading unique paths along the way.
**Contains Mature Content
|File size:||496 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O'Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who seeped into her being. She often describes her developing years as "Longbourn, The White Trash Version," and credits Jane Austen for what little sense she brought away from that time. She has met her share of Willoughbys and Wickhams, Bingleys and Tilneys, and writes about them all. Pamela currently lives among the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Curiosity always takes me when I open each new variation tale based on one of Jane Austen's books. Authors can be so creative with the storyline, the characters or both and I like to see what unfolds as a result. In this case it was both as this tale was based on the story, but took liberties with the plot early on and very much so with the characters. I suppose that can be taken as a warning to those who don't care for that sort of thing. Personally, I'm rather flexible and enjoying pursuing lots of vague possibilities for the story. This one did some amazing things. I loved most of it as it brought characters and their story to life, but I confess that my eyes nearly popped out of my head at a few of the liberties taken with the characters that made for a much more interesting story let me tell you. In this case the story asks the question of what if Mr. Bennet for his own purposes doesn't support Lizzy and insists on the match with Collins and what if Jane too demands it forcing Elizabeth to flee to her Gardiner relations for sanctuary. It also wonders what would happen if a startling event drives a wedge between Darcy and Bingley so that Darcy is startled out of his complacency. This sets a whole new chain of events in motion that really upsets the apple cart. After the Netherfield Ball, Darcy flees Hertfordshire to London confused and concerned about his undesired feelings about the vivacious and beautiful Miss Elizabeth Bennet, concerned about the sister who nearly ran off with a scoundrel, and disillusioned with a man he thought of as friend. He is under pressure to marry well and he knows there are expectations from his upper class family and from all of London society, but he can't stop thinking about the woman he secretly loves. She was his chance at love and he threw it away. He is feeling lonely and very low until the day he unexpectedly encounters Elizabeth in London. Darcy takes this as his second chance to pursue the woman that he should have never left in the first place particularly after he discovers what a hard time she experienced after his departure. Elizabeth knows she needs to rouse her spirits from the despondence she has felt since her family hurt her so deeply when they all pushed for her to marry the odious Mr. Collins just to secure their future. Elizabeth loves her family and would make many sacrifices for them, but that is not one of them. Her sweet sister and best friend, Jane's horrid attack of words was the biggest blow and she would have given in if the Gardiners had not come and taken her away. Now she is surprised at her own warm welcome of Mr. Darcy like he is an old friend since she hadn't especially liked him when he was visiting Hertfordshire. It is with amazement that she observes a wholly different man it seems who is solicitous and kind and not only to her, but also her merchant class relations. His courtship is welcome and makes her the most happy she has ever been in spite of the machinations of her relations and the oddities of his. And so the courtship and love affair begins that must battle class differences, thwarted matchmakers, conniving and dangerous relations, duty to family and other unforeseen circumstances. Surrounding Darcy and Elizabeth, their relations get their own story lines with some triumphant and hopeful, others to disappointment and still others to heartbreak. Through it all, Darcy and Lizzy fight for their own happiness. Alright, so as I have stated, this story was all its own. It's focus is mainly on Darcy and Lizzy, but also has many other narrators and story lines. I enjoyed experiencing each character reveal to see what the author had done with them. The Gardners, Georgiana Darcy, the Fitzwilliams, the DeBourghs, the Bennets and a few more original characters all get much more page time than in the original. The story was engaging from page one and trotted along at a nice pace. I loved the tender heartwarming moments, the tense moments, and the humor that was tucked in for good measure. The plot seemed to be two parts in its focus. The first half focuses almost exclusively on Darcy and Elizabeth and then the second half opens it up to pursue several directions that are all tied together around Darcy and Lizzy. There is a tremendous amount going on and I had to stay on my toes to follow each switch to a new narrator and story thread. I was startled a few times when it would switch over from thread to thread because I was caught up in one so deeply. I don't want to spoil any of the surprises for anyone so I won't share about these threads because the best part for me was some of the big character changes and where these changes took these people's stories. However, some of the things I loved was this new Darcy, Georgiana's stronger less timid presence, a more powerful and less congenial Mr. Gardiner and the intrepid 'come into her own' Mary Bennet. And that last one, Mary? Yep, the Mary of sermons and bad solos was my favorite character in the story nudging out even Darcy and Lizzy for me (gasp, I know). This girl's story left me tearing up. She was like a rock with her compassion, concern and adherence to duty in the face of all that was against her. I totally wanted a different ending for her and have made up a whole sequel just for my gal, Mary, in my head. The author did a little something different with Darcy's relations. I cracked up a few times over their antics. The Fitzwilliams are a family of rogues and they have oh so many vices. A family reunion is a chancy thing with their volatile behavior. I had a good time every time the group of them were together. The romance- or should I say romances- in this book are warmer and spicier than the original. Darcy might put on a cold, haughty face toward society, but the Darcy with his Lizzy is playful, passionate and protective. His love is strong and sure. I loved seeing him so steady and solicitous. Lizzy was less blinded by prejudice so early on she was very much in love. Their barriers were all exterior ones so there was thankfully very little angst. Others come together in this story and I was shocked out of my socks with who ended up running away to Gretna Green, who paired off and courted, who had the marriages of convenience and well- it was like impish cupids were busy with their bows and arrows mixing and matching. I will admit to wanting to see a bit more of where the side romances went and checking in with our main pair in the future. All in all, I enjoyed this one and look forward to more from the author in future. Austenesque lovers who don't mind a lot of liberty taken with the original tale and like their romance on the slightly spicy side will probably want to give this one a try.
Good story, very different Jane and Bingly. ENJOYED it, but glad there is a sequal.
I LOVED THE WAY THE STORY ENVELOED ME. There was conflick of characters and plot but not so much angst. A bad Jane? Who knew. And I've always liked to see a good side to Lady Catherine. A really good read.
This story is very well written! The re-invention of events from one of my favorite Jane Austen novels is very intriguing and I found the interactions between Elizabeth and Darcy very sweet. Elizabeth Bennet is in London. She is living with her Aunt and Uncle, the Gardiners. Having, basically, run for her life from Longbourne and the demands from her father and her once dear sister Jane, to marry Mr. Collins and save the family. Heartbroken over the situation, Elizabeth never expects to run into Mr. Darcy in a bookshop. Mr. Darcy sees Elizabeth Bennet and is stunned. He has thought of her day and night (especially night LOL) since he abruptly left Hertfordshire after the Bingley's ball. Both Bingley and his sister Caroline behaved abominably causing him to cut off the relationship entirely. When Darcy sees Elizabeth, he must talk to her. He follows her into the bookshop. All of the feelings he has been trying to repress come to the surface and he can not help but love her. He sees the sadness in her eyes though she tries to hide it. He resolves to do whatever he can to take that sadness away. Through madness, addiction hurt feelings and financial issues, Mr. Darcy, and Elizabeth are bound. They know they want to be together but must wait. While they wait, all sorts of intrigues go on with other members of the family. I loved the way the author portrays the secondary characters to the story. They are all basically the same people, but more somehow. She has taken the basic characteristics of each person and pushed them to the limits of what they were in the original book. I really liked that. I, also, really loved Mary in this book! Not just a sermon quoting miss in every situation! She even gets to dance! This was a wonderful read and a great "visit" with my favorite people. Pamela Lynne brings out the best and the worst in some of these people and makes the story so much more. I highly recommend this title to any JAFF lover. It is different from any other I've read, but familiar in some ways. It's hard to explain, but I think you will truly love this one! I know I will read it again and again over the years.