Written by: Jayne Bamber
Series: Friends and Relations #2
Published by: Self Published
Publication Date: 20th April 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance, Regency, Fiction
Following their marriage and a cozy Christmas at Pemberley, Elizabeth & Fitzwilliam Darcy return to London with their family. As new dilemmas arise, the story shifts its focus to three of Austen’s beloved secondary characters, one of her less exalted heroines, a familiar villainess, and the fan-favorite original character Lady Rebecca.
Georgiana Darcy continues to suffer the consequences of her folly at Ramsgate, as well as the peril of following some well-intended but ill-advised counsel that jeopardizes her chance at true love.
Caroline Bingley, now unhappily married and desperate to salvage her position in society, takes on the arduous task of reforming her wild and willful young ward, though it’s anybody’s guess which of the two of them is in greater need of transformation.
Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam travels to Surrey on a mission of mercy, but she and her cousin Emma embroil one another, and many familiar faces in in area, in a web of romantic entanglements from which not everyone will escape unscathed.
Mary Bennet struggles with matters of morality and self-discovery, attempting to find good in the world, as well as her own place in it, but must do so on her own terms, always tip-toeing around the dramas and difficulties of those she loves.
Amidst the complex maneuverings of a diverse and demanding family, an unexpected heiress emerges, and with her rise in station come all the glittering delights of the fashionable world, as wells as the challenge of navigating the uncharted territories of high society, extended family, and even her own heart.
After attaining a Happily Ever After, the Darcys retreat into the background as their friends and relations purse destinies of their own. Equal measures of mishap and miracle result in several alternately paired couples, while some stories are left to be resolved in Book Three, and a wide array of Austen characters will make an appearance in this tale of six unlikely heroines.
Author Guest Spot
Hi! I’d like to introduce my new release, Unexpected Friends & Relations, which is the second of a three-book Austen-based series. The premise of the series is that the characters from all of Jane Austen’s novels live in the same world, and that their lives are intertwined through the bonds of family and friendship.
The first volume of the series, Happier in Her Friends Than Relations, is definitely a must-read before embarking on Book Two. Happier focuses primarily on the romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy; the two meet under more pleasant circumstances, but each will face their share of struggles before coming together. The two have parallel conflicts, facing trouble with their sisters, and death in their respective families. Both Darcy and Elizabeth also share a common bond with Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s cousin and Elizabeth’s indomitable friend and defender. Set over the course of twelve months, the story begins with a falling out between Elizabeth and her sister Jane, who is not the angel everyone thinks she is. This rift, as well as complications in Darcy’s personal life, spark a chain reaction that ripples through the lives of the other characters in the novel.
Charles Bingley never comes to Netherfield, and meets Elizabeth in London, leading Elizabeth to later visit Jane – a.k.a. Mrs. Collins – in Kent, just as Rosings is plunged into mourning. Disaster strikes at Longbourn soon afterward, and the Bennets are comforted by their new neighbors – Edward & Elinor Ferrars. Marianne Brandon and Mrs. Jennings have larger roles to play as they whisk Elizabeth away to Somerset, and here a wider cast of characters come together, including Sidney Parker of Sanditon. Before Elizabeth and Darcy, and one other surprising couple can reach their HEA, there are some villainous Wickham shenanigans, and a few familiar faces from Highbury appear before the story is over.
The newly-released second volume, Unexpected Friends & Relations, opens about four months after the conclusion of Happier, with all the main characters gathered in London for Georgiana Darcy and Mary Bennet’s debut season. Trouble is on the horizon for several of the heroines that the story follows. Amidst mounting tension on several fronts, the assembled friends and relations go their separate ways.
Lady Rebecca makes good on her word to Mr. Knightley, and visits her cousin Emma in Highbury, bringing Mary Bennet along with her on a mission of mercy. Sidney Parker of Sanditon makes an unexpected reappearance just as Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax also return to the area. Cousins Rebecca and Emma, and their friend Mrs. Weston, each play a role in embroiling the village in a series of romantic entanglements, with surprising results all around.
Meanwhile, newly-married Lady Catherine holds court in Kent, where Georgiana Darcy, Lydia Bennet, and several other familiar Austen characters converge for a house party at Rosings. From riding to play-acting to reading novels, romance and intrigue abound as characters from four other Austen novels gallop into the area. By the time the extended Fitzwilliam family converges again at the end, more than one wedding will be anticipated.
The third volume will be released later this year to complete the series, and will pick up where Book Two leaves off. Sidney Parker will be granted his wish of bringing a large entourage of Austen’s beloved characters to Sanditon, and that village will be brought to life by a great many quirky natives. Like the second volume, Book Three will follow multiple heroines, continuing stories carried over from volume two and introducing a few more Austen heroines: Anne Elliot, Catherine Morland, Susan Price, and Lady Susan.
I will be doing more blog posts over the next few weeks, sharing details about Unexpected as wells as excerpts, and will be drawing winners May 20th for an e-book giveaway! For more info, follow me on Facebook!