Mar 092015

Dearest FriendsCareful, Your “Inner Fitzwilliam” is Showing!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

What if after the Netherfield Ball, both Darcy and Elizabeth were hurt by people very close to them?

What if Mr. Bennet’s insistence for Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins and Jane’s support of his decision caused Elizabeth to cut ties with her relations and escape to London and live with the Gardiners? And what if Caroline Bingley’s failed attempt to compromise Darcy and Bingley’s selfish demands that he marry his sister forced him end his relationship with his closest friend?

What if, a chance encounter in London brings these two lonely, burdened, and betrayed characters together, and allows them the opportunity to find friendship, happiness, and love…

Similar to several other Austenesque authors, Pamela Lynne has altered a few personality traits of several of Jane Austen’s characters to instigate a change in course – Mr. Bennet is forceful and scheming, Jane is jealous and resentful, and Mr. Bingley is selfish and lazy. There is a reason for these surprising alterations though, and as the story unfolds, the reader will understand the changes made and find them more believable. Even though I adore Mr. Bennet, Jane Bennet, and Mr. Bingley (you know I do!), it is interesting to explore a variation where they are the antagonists instead of the usuals – Wickham, Caroline Bingley, and Lady Catherine.

The first third of this story is very Darcy-and-Elizabeth centric. Their reunion procures an understanding rather early on, but the plot grows with intensity and drama as the story branches out encompass more story-lines for their families. Stepping into the spotlight and fleshed out are the Fitzwilliams, de Bourghs, and Mary Bennet. I loved the story-lines for ALL these characters, each one was well-written, unique, and captivating. In addition, I greatly enjoyed how the story often changed point-of-view, giving readers a chance to understand and observe what was going on in many of the characters’ heads!

While I greatly enjoyed my time with Darcy and Elizabeth – their playful banters, their fervent devotion and need for each other, and their stolen sensual moments, I found myself equally enjoying the time spent with other characters, especially the Fitzwilliam family. In this variation, nearly all members of the Fitzwilliam family are debauched, derelict, and often…drunk! But for the sake of Darcy and supporting his decision to marry Elizabeth, they pull it together and reform some of their habits. It is believed that these negative impulses, baser instincts, and lack of self-control come with being a Fitzwilliam – something all Fitzwilliam descendants have and pass on to their offspring. I found this genetically flawed family so very entertaining, I loved learning about the dreaded and uncontrollable “inner Fitzwilliam” they all possess!

One story-line I was completely riveted to was Mary Bennet’s story-line. The difficulties at home with her parents force her to make some realizations and while she is very prim and proper, she loses her self-importance and sermonizing ways. I loved her development – her simplicity, openness, and kindness greatly endeared her to me. I especially loved her unconventional friendship with Viscount Hedley, I eagerly awaited each of their scenes together and found myself wanting many more! Besides Mary, I loved seeing a different side to Mr. Gardiner, Lady Catherine, and Anne de Bourgh. Lots of hidden secrets to be discovered about these characters!

Dearest Friends is an “excessively diverting” and enthralling Pride and Prejudice variation! I recommend this story to readers who love sensual romances and don’t mind seeing some of Jane Austen’s characters slightly altered. I can hardly wait to read more thoughtful and inventive tales by Pamela Lynne!

Warning: Due to the several intimate and romantic scenes that take place in this novel, I’d recommend this novel for Mature Audiences only.


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  24 Responses to “Dearest Friends – Pamela Lynne”


    Hi Meredith

    This sounds fabulous – just my kind of book. Another one of the TBR list. Brilliant review. Thank you X


    I enjoyed it as well


    I’m very eager to read this one! I’m pretty sure I will love it. I love when Jane’s character is expanded, either in a positive or negative direction. It’s fun, too, when the Fitzwilliams are a bit dysfunctional!


      Me too, Monica! This might be the third book I’ve read that has portrayed her less serene and with less goodness. It’s definitely an interesting twist. These guys are dysfunctional with a capital D! 😀


    I got to read this one last month and I chuckled over the same elements you pulled out of the story. Those Fitzwilliams…oys! Hilarious! And Mary…sigh. I said in my review that she was my favorite part of this story. I really want a sequel for her.


      Yes! They were quite a group! And Lady C and her secrets were both very sweet and very startling! Glad you loved Mary just as much! I think I’ve heard that there is a sequel in the works! Can’t wait! I want to see more of Mary, Sebastian, Georgiana, Jane and Bingley, Mr. Porter, and Remy! LOL!


    I own it and, coincidentally, had started to red it again today. I love it. It is a very different piece of JAFF, but well done.


    This is up next on my TBL list once I’ve finished Green Card. Looking forward to it.


    I agree with Sophia Rose. I read this story and enjoyed it but would really like to see a sequel due to many loose ends – in my opinion.


    Meredith, thank you so much for the lovely review. The characters in DF are very precious to me and I am always happy to hear they have made an impact. I am also thrilled that you mentioned Remy in the comments. He was a big hit on the forums but no one has said anything about him in the published version. I am working on the sequel, Family Portraits, and it will hopefully be out this summer. I am writing it in sections that show “portraits” of their lives at two, five and ten years down the line. Thanks everyone!


      Very grateful for the opportunity to read such an engaging and unique variation, Pamela! Thank YOU! I couldn’t find a way to bring up Remy in the review or else I would have! He was definitely a character I’d love to see more of! The sequel sounds very interesting! I can’t wait to read and learn more about it!


    I have read this one and agree with you on a lot of points. Mary’s story was just so sad and I wanted to shake Jane until her little perfect teeth rattled. I really liked this Darcy. There was a good deal of humor in this book as well. The family fighting was hysterically funny at times.

    Ms. Lynne, I will watch for the sequel, the original was great. Remy was a very integral part of the story!


      I know how you feel about Jane! She definitely was a character you couldn’t help but be frustrated with. But at the same time, her feelings of jealousy and resentment made sense. Yes, Darcy was so adorable wasn’t he?!?


    I really enjoyed this novel, though at the end I wanted Mary and the Viscount to acknowledge their feelings. You could feel it churning under the surface. Darcy was just too cold to his cousin in this circumstance. Anyway, little Miss Perfect (Jane) shows her true shallowness. (I always felt something was a little odd about Jane…..) Mrs. B really brought her up in her own image, except for the histrionics.


      Very true. Julia! Their ending just wrenches your heart, doesn’t it? Being constantly told how beautiful and perfect you are can definitely do that to a person! I can understand Darcy’s avoidance of Anne and how his concern about his own future and happiness blinded him to considering hers. Was very happy with her development and outcome!


    I was privileged to read a PG-rated version of the story. Yes, someone went through and told me ahead of time the pages that I needed to skip. (Kind of like the commercial airline version of an R-rated movie) I loved this story. Absolutely loved it. The characters were so fully developed that I loved them, was angered by them, rolled my eyes at them, and wanted to whip some of their behinds. Mary and Sebastian’s portion of the tale made complete sense. However, I still feel bad for them both as it so clearly showed the results of putting duty and honor before love.

    Your review, Meredith, was just as I wish I had written it.


      So happy you enjoyed this variation, Joy! It was full of so many engaging characters and story-lines, wasn’t it? Thank you for the kind compliments on my review! 🙂


    Love the idea of the story so much!


    Actually, Meredith, I did not like the way Darcy “forced” his cousin away from Mary. I felt as though it was all right for him to have the “unequal” financial love match but that his cousin was to be forced to suffer for his “sins”, though he finally has grown up and would be slowly reinstating the family situation. There was that meanness in Darcy which really rubbed me raw.

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