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“The Trouble with Friends” is Kelly Miller’s most recent Pride and Prejudice variation.

Kelly Miller's The Trouble with Friends Book Review by The Joyous Living

Official Description of “The Trouble with Friends”

A country miss from a modest estate may destroy Fitzwilliam Darcy’s closest friendship!

Darcy and his good friend Simon Lockhart are guests of Charles Bingley at Netherfield Park in Hertfordshire. When the otherwise sensible Lockhart becomes infatuated with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, who has neither wealth nor a renowned family name, Darcy attempts to make his friend see reason. But there is a complication—Darcy’s growing attraction for Miss Elizabeth.

Elizabeth has an instant liking for the amiable Mr. Lockhart, whilst she deems the arrogant Mr. Darcy to be an undesirable entity. In time, though, she is coaxed into judging Mr. Darcy anew. But when an unexpected predicament forces her to make an undesirable choice, it seems all hope of a happy outcome is lost.

In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Darcy faces a dilemma: Will he heed the yearnings of his heart—even at the expense of his principles?

Buy “The Trouble with Friends” on Amazon

My Thoughts on Kelly Miller’s “The Trouble with Friends”

In “The Trouble with Friends,” Kelly Miller presents a playful regency reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice,” introducing Mr. Simon Lockhart, a wealthy and amiable newcomer whose arrival at Netherfield Park promises new twists and developments in the lives of familiar characters.

Set against the backdrop of Regency England, Miller skillfully weaves a narrative where Mr. Lockhart’s presence complicates the dynamics between Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and their social circle. From the outset, Mr. Lockhart’s appreciation for Elizabeth’s wit and charms adds layers of intrigue, setting the stage for romantic entanglements and rivalries that captivate from start to finish.

The novel diverges from Austen’s original plot in a couple refreshing ways related to Jane Bennet and Mr. Collins. Absences and altered circumstances, such as Jane Bennet’s absence in London and Mr. Collins’s non-appearance at Longbourn, steer the story into intriguing new waters. This narrative choice allows Miller to explore early attractions and evolving relationships, particularly between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with a delightful mix of humor and emotional depth.

However, while Mr. Lockhart brings a breath of fresh air to the familiar tale, his characterization occasionally falters. As Darcy’s foil, his impulsiveness and fluctuating affections sometimes undermine the potential tension and depth that could have enriched the story. This inconsistency in Mr. Lockhart’s portrayal, along with similar fluctuations in the behaviors of Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, may leave readers wishing for more solidity in character motivations and developments.

Moreover, the handling of the Wickham subplot and its repercussions on Elizabeth’s perception feel somewhat strained. The plausibility of certain events, including Lydia’s swift actions, tests the boundaries of credulity even within the realm of Austen-inspired fiction.

Despite these shortcomings, “The Trouble with Friends” remains an engaging read for fans of Austen’s work and Regency romance enthusiasts alike. Miller’s writing is accessible and infused with wit, offering a lighthearted yet insightful exploration of love, friendship, and societal expectations.

In conclusion, “The Trouble with Friends” is a charming reinterpretation of a beloved classic, enriched by Miller’s inventive storytelling and her ability to capture the essence of Austen’s characters while introducing new dynamics. The novel’s humor and entertaining twists ensure it remains a delightful addition to the genre.

Who is Kelly Miller?

Kelly Miller (Amazon Homepage) in an award winning author of Austenesque Regency romances. She resides in Silicon Valley with her husband and their many pets.

Her other books include: The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr. Darcy: A Darcy & Elizabeth Pride & Prejudice Variation and The Darcy Secret: A Pride and Prejudice Variation: A Darcy and Elizabeth Regency Mystery Romance.

As of publication of this review, Kelly Miller’s books can be read with Amazon kindleunlimited.

To learn more about Kelly check out her blog and Goodreads author page.

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Jane Austen Variations - Book review for The Trouble with Friends by Kelly Miller