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The Best Pride & Prejudice Indie Spin-offs

Alternate Austens

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a beach-goer on a fine summer day must be in want of a good Pride and Prejudice spin-off book...

Obligatory Pride and Prejudice joke aside, below you will find some of the best indie Pride and Prejudice books the IP staff has seen in the past several years. From intelligent new perspectives to guilty-pleasures, these books are truely ideal for a summer read. Let us know your favorite Austen spin-offs in the comments below!

 

Dearest Friends: A Jane Austen Inspired Novel, by Pamela Lynne (Vanity and Pride Press)

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.

 

The Abominable Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by J. Dawn King (Quiet Mountain Press)

Mr. Darcy was an enigma... until he spoke. Then, he was the enemy.

Miss Elizabeth Bennet's eyes are instantly drawn towards a handsome, mysterious guest who arrives at the Meryton Assembly with the Bingley party. The gentleman destroys her illusions by delivering an insult that turns him from Mr. Divinely Attractive to the Abominable Mr. Darcy.

While Elizabeth sets in motion her strategy for retaliation, Darcy plans to win the campaign being waged in the genteel drawing rooms of Hertfordshire. As more players from Jane Austen's beloved cast of characters enter the fray, complications arise--some with irreversible consequences. Can a truce be called before their hearts become casualties as well? How many times can two people go from enemies to friends and back again before it's too late?  

 

Sketching Character, by Pamela Lynne (CreateSpace)

What if a tragic event involving a beloved sister shatters Elizabeth Bennet‘s confidence in her ability to accurately judge a person’s character? When she leaves Longbourn for Kent, Elizabeth’s heart is full of worry for those she left behind. She carries a secret that would ruin her family if exposed and she must deceive the ones closest to her to conceal the truth.

She unexpectedly encounters Mr. Darcy on her journey and his gentlemanly behavior confuses, yet comforts her. Their daily encounters in the woods surrounding Rosings soothes Elizabeth’s weathered conscience and she soon falls in love. Her doubts, along with the well-placed words of another, threaten to destroy the peace she finds in Darcy’s company and she wonders if she has again failed to correctly sketch his character.

When the truth behind her deception is uncovered, will Darcy shun her as Elizabeth fears, or will his actions prove that he is the very best of men? 

 

Longbourn's Songbird, by Beau North (Meryton Press)

"For Pride and Prejudice devotees willing to step outside their comfort zone of Regency England, Longbourn's Songbird offers an unexpectedly poignant retelling. Post-World War II South Carolina seems about as far from the Lake District as one could get, but North weaves a story with all the elements fans of the original novel love- misunderstood intentions, an unusually strong woman in Elizabeth, a brooding and quietly deep Darcy.

"This isn't entirely the same genteel tale though. North uses the 20th century setting to breath a more realistic tone into the beloved story. All the characters are reeling from a war that changed the landscape of their lives. The values and norms of their worlds are shifting and each character deals with all this in distinctively different ways. Mr. Collins, silly as he is in the original, is a fundamentalist "true" man of God here. Elizabeth is a very independent woman in every sense. Characters like Charlotte and Anne are given a lot more development and agency as well. The depth added to these characters does manage to feel like a natural extension of their original counterparts though.

"Longbourn's Songbird is not a variation for the purists. It is wonderfully refreshing, captivating, and even a bit edgy. Despite the more modern sensibilities though, it is at its heart the classic romance fans of the original novel love."

-Amy Shamroe

 

A Searing Acquaintance, by J.L. Ashton (Meryton Press)

"The famed meeting of Darcy and Elizabeth takes place at a college football game in this thoroughly modernized remake, with Darcy insulting Lizzy’s choice of fan apparel and dismissing her as a “frumpy” football fanatic. Darcy’s snobby behavior goes over about as well as you’d imagine, and Lizzy’s merciless mocking continues as Jane and Charles’ romance necessitates encounter after encounter between the two. Raunchy and fun, A Searing Acquaintance is a perfect beach read."

-Lauren White

 

 

Passages: A Pemberley Tale, by Brenda J. Webb (Darcy and Lizzy Publications)

Years after her ruin at the hands of George Wickham, Georgiana Darcy is a virtual prisoner at Pemberley as a result of her brother’s good intentions. Drastic changes have taken their toll, leaving brother and sister adrift from polite society.

Faithful to his vow to prevent further harm to his sister, Fitzwilliam Darcy has retreated from the few friends and acquaintances who still acknowledge him. Lonelier than ever, Darcy’s life is swallowed up by darkness until the day a young woman is discovered close to death on the estate grounds.

Unaware of her identity, Elizabeth Bennet finds herself the recipient of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s benevolence whilst she recovers from her own encounter with Wickham. Elizabeth’s presence breathes life back into Pemberley and its occupants, until Wickham returns with a nefarious plan to regain control of both Elizabeth and Georgiana.

Will Elizabeth fulfill her destiny and rescue Darcy from a desolate life or will the mystery of her parentage take her in another direction, leaving him alone once more? 

 

The Best Part of Love, by Amy D'Orazio (Meryton Press)

When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a simple country girl from a humble estate, he has no idea that she—and indeed, the entire town of Meryton—harbors a secret. Before she meets Darcy, Elizabeth has spent two years hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, and certainly not the haughty man who can do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.

In time, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. As the newlyweds are just beginning to settle into their happily-ever-after, a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her—including Darcy—Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But the truth could destroy them both.

 

Pride & Regicide (Mary Bennet Mystery #1), by Cathy Bryant (Smashwords)

"The King? Dead? Here? Murdered? Regicide! Oh, heaven preserve us! Was it the French? Are they here? They will kill us all, and make us eat strange sauces."

So says Mrs Bennet, but the king is not dead - Miss King is dead, and it looks like murder.

Three years after the events of Pride and Prejudice, and having long been considering the role of single women in society, Mary Bennet puts her formidable mind to work to solve the case. Armed only with philosophy, her best friend, Cassandra Lucas, and some nifty detective techniques involving embroidery, Mary discovers secrets and scandals that may make her the murderer's next victim...

 

Boots and Backpacks: Pride & Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, Roughly, by K.C. Kahler (Meryton Press)

"Pride and Prejudice gets a modern update in this hilarious Appalachian version. Bingley and Darcy are known for their staggering volume of romantic exploits in law school - but who can blame two young heirs tracked by every hot-blooded female on Twitter? When the stipulations of his parents will force Darcy into marrying by a set date, he escapes the media frenzy (and hordes of hopeful women) on the Appalachian trail with an unlikely companion, our dear Lizzy. Could this rustic down-to-earth gal be the bride Darcy is looking for?"

-Lauren White

 

Villa Fortuna - Pride, Prejudice, and a Haircut, by Cat Gardiner (Vanity & Pride Press)

Dr. Elizabeth Fairchild lived an orderly and focused life in Los Angeles until …

... an unexpected death, a questionable inheritance, and an eighty-year-old Mafia vendetta required a trip home to New York City's Little Italy neighborhood in the Bronx. After thirteen years of running from her Italian-American upbringing, Elizabeth dreaded returning to the ethnic world of colorful hand gestures, passionate arguments, and living with her two stereotypical sisters in their rundown apartment above a bakery.

Her plan: get in, take care of business, celebrate Christmas, and then escape as quickly as possible. However, returning to the Bronx assailed the senses like her mother's lasagna. She didn't count on Italian pastry, homemade wine, a beauty parlor, and the enticement of a dashing plastic surgeon known as Michelangelo.

 

Mr. Darcy's Mail-Order Bride: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by J. Dawn King (CreateSpace)

"The Wild West of America is a more fitting setting for a Pride and Prejudice variation than one might think at first. Despite the untamed frontier (and Hollywood movies), it was still a time of social norms that more closely resembled Regency England than 2017 America. Defined etiquette for courting, the idea of a proper wife, and even marriages of convenience were all commonplace.

"In this novel, Mr. Darcy is a burgeoning lumber baron looking for a wife in remote Oregon. His best friend, Charles Bingley, convinces him a mail order bride is the best solution. At his friend's urging, he makes an offer to Jane Bennet via letter. It is early on in these letters that this telling throws in the misunderstandings that come with any version of the story- and there are plenty. Letters written using other's names and a hasty double marriage soon after the Bennet sisters arrive out West set up this telling of the timeless battle of wills. King gives readers of variations what they often seem to be looking for- what comes after the vows. In this case, including the "getting to know you" phase that would have been common for newlyweds of Regency times, as well as this era in America, who did not have the advantage of more informal time spent together before marriage.

"More traditional fans will appreciate the focus on the courtship and growth of mutual love this story offers for Darcy and Elizabeth. The wild, natural setting will also evoke scenes from some of the better movie adaptations of the original. King stays true to the original characters, but gives them a setting that allows more of their characteristics, like independence and resourcefulness, to shine through."

 

Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras (Bennet Sisters, #1), by Mary Strand (Triple Berry Press)

College freshman Liz Bennet refuses to let her name—or Jane Austen, for that matter—define her. Even though she’s one of five teenage sisters named after the Bennet sisters in “The Book,” as Liz not-so-fondly calls it, she can’t afford to let her life parallel The Book in any way. Period. Liz has big plans for her future, and they don't exactly mesh with the life laid out for a fictional young woman 200 years ago. When two gorgeous guys, Charlie Bingham and Alex Darcy, arrive in Liz’s Minnesota town, her whole world is turned upside down. Her sister Jane starts acting like a lunatic with Charlie. Alex is tempting but also a jerk. Seeing too many uncanny connections to The Book, Liz is afraid she can’t win. Is this fate’s little joke on her modern Bennet family? What’s a girl to do? Fight? Or ... surrender?

 

The Muse, by Jessica Evans (Meryton Press)

"Another excellent modern take on the classic story, The Muse follows strict ballet choreographer Darcy as he tries to revamp his ballet career. His lead dancer may be Caroline Bingley, but Elizabeth catches his eye from the background - ultimately setting in motion the chain of events that retell P&P in the ballet world. The story’s well known tensions and frustrations play out in rehearsals as William learns to appreciate Lizzy’s dancing and gets to know her. Equally enjoyable are the new manifestations of the rest of the characters; Charles Bingley as the head of the prestigious NYC ballet company was a personal favorite."

-Lauren White


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