Oct 242018

Fighter Pilots and Prejudice

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

SETTING: Modern-day Meryton, Texas

SERIES: Pride in Flight Book 1

SYNOPSIS: Captain Darcy receives a new assignment to train pilots on T-38s at the Meryton Air Force Base in Texas. While he isn’t a fan of the heat and the small-town atmosphere of Meryton, Darcy is happy to be a little closer to Georgiana and to also have the company of his friend Captain Charles Bingley at this new base.

Meanwhile, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, born and raised near the Meryton Air Force Base and an ardent lover of planes and flying, is getting read to begin her pilot training. She has known this is her future since she was eight and is eager to see her dreams come to fruition.

Both Darcy and Lizzy are devoted to flying and their careers and do not rate dating high on their list of priorities. But what happens when something unexpected starts to develop…


  • Air Force/Military Atmosphere:  I thoroughly enjoyed this unique setting and atmosphere of this story, and I think the author did a marvelous job of capturing and representing various aspects of military life. Whether it was a pilot’s day-to-day activities, the special traditions and events they celebrate, or their experiences in the cockpit – the descriptions all felt authentic and meticulously researched.
  • A Heroic Heroine: A Lizzy Bennet pursuing a career as a pilot in the US Air Force is pretty badass! Especially since women in this particular field are still a rarity. I loved this interpretation of Lizzy so much – she was intently focused, perhaps a little more serious than her natural wont, and passionate about her goals. I loved that she still had her lively spirit, wry sense of humor, loyalty to her loved ones, and yet at the same time, was a tenacious student pilot in training. Lieutenant Bennet is my hero!
  • New Twists: I really enjoyed are the new conflicts and twists Ms. Dreyer has added to her story. Some of these twists include the future of Meryton Air Force Base, the complications of military relationships, and an alluded to past secret… I loved all these new developments and cannot wait to see how they all play out in the next book of these series!
  • Captain Darcy: Fitzwilliam Darcy as a USAF pilot? *swoon* I enjoyed how Ms. Dreyer’s portrayal of Darcy didn’t focus on his haughtiness or prejudiced opinions, but instead accentuated other Darcy characteristics such as his serious reserve, fastidiousness, and as Colonel Fitzwilliam puts it his “lack of game when it comes to women.” Even though I thought Darcy’s feelings might have progressed a little too rapidly and wished for some more time in his head, I really enjoyed the background given about his character – I am hoping we see his character fleshed out more in the next book. 🙂
  • The Little Touches: I greatly appreciated the endnotes and glossary (although in the print version there were no superscripts in the text.) These definitions and notes gave pertinent details to help readers not familiar with military/air force/pilot terminology, and I found it super helpful! I also loved the literary allusions hidden in the titles of each book! Such a clever idea!


  • Sometimes Forced: There were several instances where the Pride and Prejudice updates and parallels felt forced in this story. Sometimes it was small references like Mrs. Bennet mentioning twenty-four families, Caroline always wearing orange, and Senator Catherine de Bourgh being referred to as “Lady Catherine.” And sometimes it was larger parallels that maybe didn’t quite fit right with modern times, such as Georgiana’s history with Wickham and Darcy’s first proposal. I don’t think all these point-by-point parallels and tie-ins were needed. The characters and overall story arc gave enough of a Pride and Prejudice vibe to make it enjoyable for Jane Austen fans. And I personally preferred the author’s unique twists and developments of this tale over the Pride and Prejudice updates.


Even though this book ends with some loose threads hanging, I am thrilled that it is part of a series because I want to see more of these pilots and spend more time in their world! What a brilliant setting for a modern-day Pride and Prejudice! I cannot wait to see what happens between Lizzy and Darcy! And what about Meryton?!? And what did Mrs. Bennet mean about… 🤔 I am sure there is more turbulence ahead! 😀

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  19 Responses to “The Best Laid Flight Plans – Leigh Dreyer”


    Wonderful review! I think this was a clever book. They say “write what you know” and I think this is an excellent debut novel by an author who really knows military life and Pride & Prejudice.


      Thank you, Christina! So true about this being a clever book and I am so glad that Leigh Dreyer decided to take our Pride and Prejudice characters to this new setting!!!


    Meredith, thanks for your review. I also read Leigh’s book and look forward to the sequel. Jen Red


    Thank you Meredith. I enjoyed your review. I haven’t read this yet as I like to wait until I can get all the books in a seties before starting but I do like the idea. My dad was a flight engineer on Lancaster bombers during WW2 so I like Air Force stories.


      That is smart, Glynis! I know after reading this book, readers will be like me and feel very eager to continue the story.

      That is lovely that you have someone in your family has connections to this field. I can only imagine how much more enjoyable a story like this will be for you.


    I am one who has also read and reviewed this book. I am hoping to read the sequel soon. I did enjoy it and have more than one family member who served or is serving in the Air Force. Thanks for sharing.


      That’s lovely! No one in my family has any times with the Air Force, so it was fascinating for me to learn more about that branch of the military and their experiences serving. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this story!


    I’ve heard quite a lot about this book already. Your review makes me even more curious, Meredith. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. Sounds like another one to add to the TBR list!


    I liked this one, too. Lately, I’ve been into modern books – we need more of them! Your review read my mind and I’m looking forward to the sequel. My favorite parts of the book were the non P&P parts, so I have high expectations for the original second book!


    I grew up as an Air Force brat so I love that this one is set at an AFB. I will get to it eventually. Neat how you describe the characterizations of the main characters, too.


    Yours is the first review of this book I’ve read and as usual I think it was a very good review. Fair, honest, and enough info that I am now interested in reading it, when before I just didn’t click with the front cover or the modern adaptation idea. (Sorry Elizabeth Adams!) I’m such a stick in the mud when it comes to modern. It takes Meredith’s enthusiasm and gentle nudging to get me to try something out of my comfort zone. Adding this to the ‘Wish List.’


      Thank you, Michelle! I know moderns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes they can be a bit disappointing. But I really enjoy the ones that pay homage to Jane Austen characters and story, but also give readers a new reading experience- like with a new setting or new set of twists and obstacles. It would be boring to read P&P set in modern times and have it be all the same just updated.

      Glad to hear you are thinking about giving this one a try!


    Thank you for writing this review. I will be adding this book in my to read pile.


    Fabulous review Meredith. I own this and look forward to reading it. Say hello to your Mr. Bingley.

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