Sometimes my brain wants nothing but fluff, and during these times of brain vacation I frequently turn to terrible Pride & Prejudice variations. Actually, it’s such an addiction that I have a separate book blog just for ranting about them. :-D I went through a whole batch of them at the end of May/beginning of June. If you want the full reviews (which include a spoiler section with extra ?!?!?!), feel free to click through on the title to the P&P blog. Below, I’ve just listed titles, authors, star-rating, and what makes this variation different from the original…
Unequal Affections by Lara Ormiston – 4.5*
Instead of giving Darcy what-for during the Hunsford proposal, Elizabeth keeps her temper in check and, eventually, decides to accept Darcy. Lots of good conversations and interesting interactions.
An Unpleasant Walk by C. Rafe – 3.5*
If you consider a stroll where you are assaulted and almost raped to be merely “unpleasant”, your life may have some serious issues. Anyway, instead of proposing at Hunsford, Darcy ends up extricating Elizabeth from a difficult situation. Turns out he isn’t as bad of a guy as she thought, especially compared to a potential rapist.
Rain & Retribution by L.L. Diamond – 3.5*
Mr. Bennet decides Elizabeth actually should marry Mr. Collins when he proposes. Elizabeth skips town and ends up trapped at an inn with Mr. Darcy, who turns out to not be as terrible as she originally thought.
Bluebells in the Mourning by KaraLynne Mackaroy – 4*
If Lydia is the main reason you don’t like P&P, this is the variation for you, as she gets killed off in the first chapter. Elizabeth receives this news while at Hunsford, so instead of proposing, Darcy helps Elizabeth to get back to her family, where everyone rallies ’round and they all become better people as they work through their tragedy.
Remembrance of the Past by Lory Lilian – 2.5*
Have you ever wished that you could read Pride and Prejudice, except there would be this other random character who was super, super obnoxious and interfered in everyone’s lives but was viewed as a paragon by all who met her? Then this is the variation for you!
Mr. Darcy & Mr. Collins’s Widow by Timothy Underwood – 3*
When Elizabeth is but 15, her father dies and she marries Mr. Collins. When he dies less than a year later, everyone feels only relief. Several years later, Darcy and Bingley arrive at Netherfield, and Elizabeth strikes up a friendship with the intelligent and handsome Mr. Darcy. Both of them struggle against falling in love for different reasons, but who can resist fate?!
Alone With Mr. Darcy by Abigail Reynolds – 3*
Darcy and Elizabeth get trapped in a cottage together during a blizzard, which gives them a chance to talk things out. But thanks to Mr. Bennet being an annoying brat in this version, they’re still kept apart through a bunch of miscommunications that I thought were never going to get ironed out. Bonus: Darcy has a stepmother, and that whole side-plot makes zero sense!
Mr. Darcy’s Letter by Abigail Reynolds – 3.5*
Elizabeth refuses to read Darcy’s letter of explanation at Hunsford, and returns to Meryton still believing that Darcy is a jerk and Wickham is a darling. Good concept, but Bingley was even more obnoxiously indecisive in this version than ever.
An Unwavering Trust by L.L. Diamond – 3.5*
If you’re going to ruthlessly slaughter most of the characters from the original, is it really a P&P variation??
I’m a sucker for these too…
I can’t figure out why they are so addictive! But I definitely recommend Unequal Affections if you enjoy this type of story. Bluebells in Mourning was a little more cheesy but still a decent little story as well.
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I’ll add these to the list. I’ve just finished one called The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A Flynn which was very good.
For me they’re addictive because I want the connection, no matter how loose, to Jane Austen and other readers or writers who love her work too. Other times, it’s all about the romance!
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