Jun 112014

A Father's SinsWhat if Mr. Bennet and George Darcy were Unreasonable, Irresponsible, and Blind?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation

TIME FRAME: November 1811, Jane Bennet is ill at Netherfield Park

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Bennet, George Wickham, Colonel Fitzwilliam

THE SCENARIO: What if George Wickham was not only a favorite of George Darcy, but his natural-born son, robbed of being heir due to the illegitimacy of his birth? What if five years ago Elizabeth, inexperienced as a nurse, failed to save her three younger sisters and younger brother from smallpox? What if Mr. Bennet, distraught and enraged over the death of his heir, disowned Elizabeth and banished her from Longbourn?


  • The Uniqueness of This Premise: Forget what you know about Mr. Bennet and George Darcy – for they are to be the villains of the piece (and their flaws and foibles are altered and accentuated to help them fit into these roles). Mr. Bennet is an unforgiving, unfair, and irrational man and George Darcy is guilty of favoring and spoiling his illegitimate child and being blind to his flaws. Because of the past mistakes of these men, Darcy and Elizabeth meet in very different circumstance and develop a relationship that isn’t filled with pride or prejudice. I enjoyed these new twists to this beloved story and I especially find the premise of George Wickham being a natural son of George Darcy to be probable and very interesting to explore.
  • Elizabeth Bennet, Even More to Admire: Not that she needs to be any more awesome or delightful, but, in this story besides being charming, witty, and beautiful, Elizabeth is also skilled with healing, knowledgable about medicine, and worldly. She has spent time in several different countries, and has learned a lot. Her travels and experiences have given her a sense of self-assurance, independence, and open-mindedness that you just can’t get unless you leave your hometown. Elizabeth won my heart with her caring and concern for the Darcy family, her confidence and maturity, and her beautiful, generous nature. She is flawless and everyone loves her!
  • A House Party at Netherfield: When Darcy is seriously injured, the Fitzwilliam family makes their way to his side. And of course, Lady Catherine finds out (even though no one invited her) and decides she must decamp for Netherfield with Anne to lend her expertise and direction. With the Bingleys, Hursts, Darcys, and Elizabeth Bennet all in residence at Netherfield there is much hullabaloo! I enjoyed seeing Lady C go head-to-head with Lord Matlock, the power struggles between Miss Bingley, Elizabeth, and Lady Catherine over Darcy, and the surprise visits from Mr. Bennet that sent everyone into an uproar!


  • More Romance, Please: There were some lovely and sweet scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, but because they both fell in love quickly and with little interference, I found myself wanting more romance, more longing, more ardent love and admiration. 😉 (You know me, I’m a hopeless romantic!)
  • Outlandish Schemes: I didn’t mind that Mr. Bennet was portrayed as an antagonist or that George Wickham, Miss Bingley, and Lady Catherine had their usual foils, but I felt all four had schemes or ambitions that were a little too extreme and at times, foolish. Marriage traps, kidnapping attempts, false representation, forced marriages – all in one novel felt a little melodramatic.


An inventive and inspiring Pride and Prejudice variation that illustrates how your past can be filled with pain and heartache, but the future can exude light and love. Filled with surprising twists, strong characters, and satisfying outcomes, Joy Dawn King makes a splendid debut with her new release, A Father’s Sins! I’m definitely looking forward to Ms. King’s next novel (which I hear is about Jane and Mr. Bingley!) 😉

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Author Joy Dawn King is generously giving away 2 eBook copies of A Father’s Sins AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card to 3 randomly selected winners!  WOW!  You know what to say…can I get a WOOT WOOT?!?

 A Father's Sins  A Father's Sins  amazon

To enter this giveaway, tell me what you think of A Father’s Sins!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Joy!
  • This giveaway ends June 16th!
  • The prizes will be drawn at random and requests to win a specific prize will not be accepted.

**To receive an extra entry for this giveaway comment on Joy’s post from Monday

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  89 Responses to “A Father’s Sins – J. Dawn King”


    Hi Meredith, This does sound very good and I have put it on my very long TBR list. I am like you however and do like lots and lots of “ardent love and admiration”. At the moment I am reading Sharon Lathan’s new Book “Darcy and Elizabeth – A Season of Courtship”.


      Michelle, thank you adding my story to you pile. Mine is so high that it toppled during the night. Scared me! Isn’t the cover of Sharon’s book beautiful? Best wishes for the giveaway.


      Greetings, Michelle! 🙂 Yes! Another hopeless romantic! I hope you are enjoying Darcy and Elizabeth – A Season of Courtship!

      Oh dear, Joy! That would scare me witless!


    Nice review Meredith! I have this book, so please don’t enter me for the giveaway, hope to read it soon 🙂


      Ceri, please remember that there is also a gift card. If you win a book you can always gift it to someone else. The review is nice isn’t it. Very, very fair. While I am proud of my first effort, I know it is not perfect. Does that mean that I have neither pride nor prejudice? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) thanks for taking the time to comment.


      Thank you, Ceri and Joy for your kind praise! Ceri, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and Joy, thank you for gifting us with such a lovely variation of P&P – I can never get enough!!!


    I really like the premise of this story! I’ll have to add it to my list. I’m curious, since you mentioned Lizzy was a nurse I’m sure she was by Darcy’s side during his recovery? I bet those scenes were very sweet 🙂 I look forward to reading this one.


    I have put this on my to be read list. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


    As you know, I have read this. But I wanted to compliment you on your review. You never miss a thing!


      That is the exact reason that I always check Meredith’s reviews, Sheila. She is usually spot on, kind, and fair. Thanks for stopping by.


      Thank you, ladies! *blushes* I appreciate your kind words about my reviews! 🙂 I thought your review was spot on too, Sheila!


    I love love love how unique this premise is! As soon as I get a hold of this book, I might have to skip ahead to the part with so many characters butting heads at Netherfield house party.

    Thank you, Meredith, for your review and thanks to the author for the giveaway opportunity.


      Thank you, Heather, for your kind words. Hope you are successful with the giveaway so you can read it soon.


      That’s what drew me too, Heather! I like the fact that is wasn’t just Mr. Bennet or George Darcy that purported these new changes in the plot, but that is was both of them combined! 🙂 Definitely hasn’t been done before!


    Hi Meredith and J Dawn King! Good review Meredith. I have the book (a gift on the author) and I enjoyed it very much. I liked the premise of Wickham being the illegitimate and first son of George Darcy. I think JA hints at this. I hate that Mr Bennett is so bad, but he is somewhat selfish and cruel in P&P, so this portrayal is very believable (especially since he did sire a son who died). I hope you finish your new book soon!!!
    PS I’m re-reading “Sins of the Fathers” now, as we speak or I should say write!!
    I would like to be included in the gift certificate giveaway. Ooooouu! More book buying!


      Thank you so much, Catherine. I am thrilled that you are enjoying the book. You certainly will be entered for the gift card and if, by chance, you win one of the eBooks you can always gift it to someone else. Glad you commented.


      Hi Catherine! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this lovely tale! I think Jane Austen’s hints at it too! Joy, I think you are onto something… 😉 Happy rereading, Catherine!!


    Great premise and great review!
    I’m so looking forward to reading this story!
    Thanks, Meredith and Joy, for the lovely post.
    I too think that it’s extremely credible to have Wickham as old Mr Darcy’s natural son. Working only on the original story and without having read Joy’s additional scenes, all the blind partiality shown by George Darcy to Wickham ties in beautifully with such a premise. Also, I can easily see George Darcy as a villain! Might struggle a bit with Mr Bennet, Ben Whitrow”s benign face might get in the way, but great plotline, Joy! Congrats for the release and I can’t wait to read it!


      Joana, I pictured Donald Sutherland with those bushy eyebrows as my Mr. Bennet. I have watched him in movie rolls where he is NOT such a nice guy so it was easier to write with him in mind.

      It would not surprise me to find out that almost everyone knows at least one child who has risen above the actions and attitudes of their parents misdeeds. That is what I wanted for Darcy and Elizabeth.

      I do hope you get to read it soon. Best wishes for the giveaway and thank you for your comments. Meredith does a wonderful job with her blog and her reviews. I always read them. (I do mean ALWAYS!)


      Thank you for such kind words, ladies! I’ve read another book or two where Wickham’s paternity is questioned and hinted about, but I never felt that it was possibly what Jane Austen intended until your novel, Joy. I never realized how plausible it was, how peculiar it was for Mr. Darcy senior to be so invested and interested in the son of his steward, or how the shared given name may be a telling sign. What do you think? Is our Jane hinting something here?


        I have read other books which do the same, as did you, Meredith. Don’t know what was in JA’s mind but it always a possibility. Especially since we know how good he was to Wickham, the shared name and the fact that none of the other “staff/servants” had this done for their children.


          To me it just seemed uncommon to the time period for a person of consequence to take that much interest in a servants son, especially when he had a son and heir of his own. That’s where my thoughts were when I wrote the storyline.


    So intriguing! I can just imagine everyone making a huge fuss at Netherfield. What happened to Darcy??


      Ok, Monica, I’ve always wanted to say this, “you have to read the book”. There I did it so I can scratch it off my bucket list.

      The one constant that I have received about this book was how easy it was to fall in love with the Matlock family. Please picture Gerard Butler with slightly long hair and a five o’clock shadow, no jacket, white linen shirt open at the neck, black leather pants… oh wait, that’s Richard Armitage in Robin Hood not our beloved Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. So sorry, Monica. The Netherfield scenes were my favorite to write. I even loved the elderly butler, Mr. Burton.

      I do hope you get to read it soon so best wishes in the giveaway. I may have to quit typing Mr. Bingley and reread the Netherfield parts in AFS.


      LOL! Joy said it best, Mon! (Happy to witness that big moment for you, Joy!) I’m itching to give you a hint, Monica, but I better be on my best behavior!


    Forgive me Ms King for renaming your book! Getting the gist of a name and changing the order, etc.is a common mistake for me! I know your book is A Father’s Sins!! As soon as I hit Post Comment, I knew my mistake. Sorry!


      Chuckle! I wrote the book and thought up the title and yet I typed it wrong on a letter that I wrote. Ding-dong!!! “Sins of the Father” was my original title but after checking out the MANY other books by that same name it got changed. No worries, Catherine.


        Oh, and Catherine, I am just plain Joy. Only my mother calls me Joy Dawn and that’s only when she is angry with me. As Georgiana and Elizabeth do shortly after their acquaintance, you may feel free to call me by my Christian name as I shall call you by yours. I felt very Regency-minded as I just typed that.


    I own an ebook copy of A Father’s Sins and thoroughly enjoyed it! I liked the different variation that Joy used with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bennett. Thank you for the giveaway of the gift card to Amazon!


    Thanks Meredith for the review – I love to read new variations of the Pride and Prejudice characters and this one sounds very intriguing! I look forward to reading this story. Thanks for the give away Ms. King. –Leslie


      Why thank you, Leslie. I hope you get the chance as well. It is a great review as she didn’t give away any of the key events in my story. Very clever! Wishing you the best and thank you for commenting.


      Aren’t variations the best? Definitely my favorite! I can’t believe all the creative possibilities these authors dream up! Amazing!


    A very good review as usual, Meredith. I would like to get to know Joy’s version of Elizabeth as she is so different from Jane Austen’s creation. I feel that this is the first time I read that Elizabeth gets to travel the world and acquire medicinal knowledge in the process.


      You are right, my Elizabeth is a much more independent woman who is knowledgable of a bigger world than Hertfordshire. She is still kind and considerate of others. I really liked her character as it developed. Thanks for your comment and I hope you read it soon.


      Thank you, Sylvia! Yes Elizabeth’s experiences are definitely unique in this novel.


    I love the idea of seeing how their relationship can evolve without the pride/prejudice factor. I’m looking forward to seeing how that works with feeling like Darcy and Elizabeth are still true to their innate character. I also LOVE a smart, well-educated Elizabeth. So i’m looking forward to seeing how she develops her independence and whether that is something she would want to protect in the face of a suitor.


      What a great comment, Joanna. Yes, I like those qualities in Lizzy as well. To me, it was a relief to have the problems in the Darcy/Elizabeth relationship come from outside the relationship rather than between the two of them. They banded together in adversity rather than pull apart. I hope you get to read it soon. Hope you do well in the giveaway.


      The dynamic was different between them right from the start. No insult, no barely civil conversations…they were both meeting on different ground.


    Great review Meredith sounds very interesting! I don’t like it when I have to get mad at Mr Bennet, but I do like it when Elizabeth is made more kind and caring. I already have the book just haven’t had time to read it yet 🙂 So no need to enter me in for the giveaway


      Please, please enter the giveaway. Who could not use a gift card and the book can be gifted to a friend. Hope you enjoy my story. Be wary though because Mr. Bennet is a problem.


      Yes, be prepared Tamara, you will probably find yourself “most seriously displeased” with Mr. Bennet! Hope you enjoy it when you do get to read it!


    Interesting idea that Wickham is not only Darcy’s older brother but truly Mr Darcy’s favorite son. That added to the idea that Elizabeth is blamed for her father’s bad decisions makes for an intriguing plot! I too have added this to my TBR pile. Thanks for the review and giveaway.


      Theresa, I thought that this was an interesting avenue to travel down myself. It was not such a stretch for me to imagine because I felt that Jane Austen was not complementary in her opinions of the fathers and it was easy to see neglect on their parts toward their children. From there it grew. Thank you so much for your comment and I hope you get an opportunity to read A Father’s Sins soon.


      I thought it was a very plausible scenario, as Joy says, Jane Austen doesn’t sing their praises. I just love original ideas like this!


    I love coming by Meredith’s place on a daily basis to see what books are out. It is so much more efficient than the hunting and random googling of my pre-Austenesquereviews life. LOL

    I will have to add this to my TBR. I concur that it is a very plausible storyline. Very intriguing. Joy, congrats on your book! I hope it does well! Thanks for the giveaway too! Thanks for the review Meredith, as always, it gives me so much to ponder.


      So glad you stopped by, Stephanie. Thanks for saying that you think my storyline is plausible. I love it when others agree with me. Chuckle! I do hope you are are able to read my book and that you will let me know what you think. Thanks for entering the giveaway!


      *hugs* Stephanie! Thank you for such the lovely words! 🙂


    Oh the tangled webs some fathers end up weaving…Can’t wait to read!


    There has always been the suspicion that Wickham might have been born on the wrong side of the sheets. Then, just to add more angst to the story, you throw in Elizabeth being disowned and homeless. Interesting!


    Wendy, I am certainly not the first to think that, am I? It kind of was lurking in the background of my mind when I read Pride and Prejudice. Thank you for taking time to comment and wish success for the giveaway.


    hello Meredith
    You have quite a lot people commenting on your articles, it took me some time to scroll down.
    This P&P has a very different tone, it darker, sadder and turning Wickham into a illigitimate son and Mr Bennet being so upset with lizzy, resenting her for his children’s death and disowning her….This is a very big game changer! I am quite atonished it’s the first time I see a variation so different yet quite a challenge for an author , I’ll have to had it to my list ^__^


      I just finished reading for a second time Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honorable Man by Brenda Webb. It also has some very dark goings-on. I won’t mention who or why but you can read the reviews and the sample. I loved it!


      Mariam, thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, there have been many comments and I do like to have my share in the conversation (I do feel a bit like Lady Catherine when I type that). While there are some dark moments in A Father’s Sins, it doesn’t consume the whole story. In fact, in a review from Janet Taylor, she says, “I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even though I hated for it to end, I felt really good inside- very satisfied.” It was that good feeling that I was going for, the moment when you finish a book, close the cover, and sigh with a smile. Hopefully you will be able to read it soon and see for yourself. Best wishes with the giveaway.

      Thank you Sheila for two reason. 1) That you feel free to join in the discussions. I absolutely love that!!! 2). That you shared a recommendation for a book that I have on my TBR pile that crashed down on me in the middle of the night a few nights ago. I keep rotating them as I get recommendations or read reviews. I may just have to move it up in the pile. (Smile!)

      Brenda Webb is currently featured on Janet Taylor’s blog “More Agreeably Engaged”. It is a great interview with a preview of Brenda’s next book and a giveaway. Hope you and Mariam stop by. I did!


        I can’t seem to find all these blogs – just got on DarcyandLizzie.com but then forget to check each day. I will have to find that one. Thanks for the news.


          Ok, Sheila. This is my first time trying to cut and paste into a comment box. If it works here is the link.



            Oh, thanks for the link but I did find it and left a comment which I erased accidentally and had to re-enter. I see Brenda has a book I didn’t read – more for my wish list. I read 2 of hers.


          So happy you found it, Sheila. Janet is very, very special to me. She hosted me for my first blog and kept me from quitting writing after my first negative review. I have memory loss from strokes and I wondered if the struggle to continue was worth it. I am on chapter 10 of Mr. Bingley and have an outline for Colonel Fitzwilliam. All because of Janet.

          Individuals like her, Meredith, and others that care about writers and readers have powerful venues that they use for much good. Comments such as the ones you read here and honest reviews such as yours and Meredith’s are truly food for the soul.

          Sorry to get carried away, but you and the others that participate make a difference. Is it worth a gift card and a few books? It’s priceless!


      It definitely takes bravery and skill to pull off such changes, Mariam! Both of which, Joy has plenty of! 🙂 I’m sorry if I made it sound darker than it is, there is definitely some lovely happy endings! I especially like what Elizabeth did at the very end – warm fuzzies all over!


    Loved your review, Meredith! This book sounds so engrossing! I must admit the idea of Wickham being George Darcy’s son is very intriguing and unique I think. I might be wrong but I don’t remember another story like this one. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂 I’m a hopeless romantic, too, and I discovered that thanks to Jane Austen and Austenesque novels!


      Maria, isn’t she accurate? I hope you get a chance to read it soon. There is a line in the movie ‘Romancing the Stone’ where the heroine is called a hopeless romantic and she replies, “no, a HOPEFUL romantic”. Isn’t that sweet? Wishing you well in the giveaway.


      🙂 We are kindred spirits, Maria! I think I know of at least one other work where George Wickham’s paternity is found out to be George Darcy, but it wasn’t a big part of the plot.

      That’s a lovely quote, Joy! I’ll have to remember it!


    Hi! I’ve just finished reading the book (and the review). I love very very much the Prologue, it was a fresh news!! Can’t wait to know more about the new story about Jane and Mr Bingley (I like the couple very much, they both are so sweet and good!).
    Thank you Joy for the variation and Meredith for the review! Hugs!


      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Carmen! I am working on Mr. Bingley and Jane and am halfway done. I deeply appreciate your stopping by. Best of wishes to you, Carmen, for the giveaway.


      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Carmen! I second your wishes about Jane and Bingley! I love when stories focus on them! They aren’t just serene and perfect! 😉


    Thanks for such an interesting review, Meredith. Very even handed. As I’ve said before, your book is already on my TBR list, Joy, having read the free sample on the Kindle store and the excerpt on your interview with Meredith.

    The premise of Wickham being Darcy’s illegitimate brother is interesting and I’ve often wondered why Jane Austen made him such a favourite of Darcy’s father, even as far as having the same first name. As others have said, this would explain everything.

    Ben Whitrow is MY Mr. Bennet, so I would have to NOT imagine him in character for this story. I wasn’t keen on Donald Sutherland in the role as I thought him too old and too genial, rather than the acerbic, dry witted man I’ve always imagined. What about Peter Capaldi? We’ve yet to see very much of his Doctor in Doctor Who, but having seen his Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, maybe that would work (minus the bad language of course). Or, just crossed my mind, Bill Nighy? Very versatile in good or bad roles.

    So, two new books in the pipeline? Including one about Gerard Butler? Oops, I meant the good Colonel there. Can’t get that image out of my mind now, Joy, ever since you first mentioned that particular piece of fantasy casting. Who is your Bingley going to be? Crispin Bonham-Carter (1995), Simon Woods (2005) or someone else?

    Sorry, waffled on a lot again.


      Wonderful, wonderful comments, Anji. Because I have seen Donald Sutherland in ‘bad guy’ roles he became the perfect Mr. Bennet in my imagination as I wrote this story. Ben Withrow just plain has no malice in him that I could play upon. Your suggestions are good and something to keep in mind.

      My Bingley is an amalgam of a young Carey Elwes, a young David Beckham, Prince Harry, and an actor named Sam Heughan. Col. Fitzwilliam is pure Mr. Butler (with longer wavy hair). Sigh! Can’t wait to get them done and see them in print.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you get a chance to read A Father’s Sins soon.


      Anji, I will make this short as I typed a long comment and for some reason it didn’t post. Maybe later it will show up. I will just say thank you for commenting and wish you success for the giveaway.


      Wow! I love this discussion! Thank you, Anji, for such kind praise! I love the idea or Bill Nighy being Mr. Bennet – I think it could definitely work. And yes, Sam Heughan is lovely to look at! Don’t think I’ve ever seen him in anything. 🙂 Must fix that!


    What an interesting premise. I have this book on my TBR list! Thank you for the giveaway!


      Carole, I sure do hope you get to read it soon. This has been a wild ride for me and I deeply appreciate reading the thoughts and comments from other Jane Austen fans. When I started reading Regency two years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was. Now, it fills my day just trying to keep up. Thank you for stopping by and best of wishes for the giveaway.


      I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, Carole!!


    Thank you so much Meredith for being a wonderful hostess. If you and Mr. Bingley ever overshoot his homeland and end up in Ecuador I would love to serve you tea with cream scones and homemade strawberry preserves.

    The opportunity for the giveaway is winding down and so I thank all who participated. I wish everyone could win.

    If you get an opportunity to read A Father’s Sins please let me know what you think. I’m easy to find on Facebook (J Dawn King) and Twitter (@jdawnking). Best wishes and sweet dreams. Nighty night!


      Thank you, Joy, for such a lovely visit! Your enticing post and engaging conversation have been thoroughly enjoyed this week! Please feel free to pay us a visit any time! 🙂

Your conversation and participation are always welcome; please feel free to "have your share."