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An Unlikely Friendship

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Elizabeth Bennet has always possessed pride in her powers of discernment. Her discovery that that her impressions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham are wrong is made worse by the fact that she learns she was mistaken about the character of yet another person. When her sister marries the affable Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to stay with the man’s newly married sis Elizabeth Bennet has always possessed pride in her powers of discernment. Her discovery that that her impressions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham are wrong is made worse by the fact that she learns she was mistaken about the character of yet another person. When her sister marries the affable Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to stay with the man’s newly married sister, Caroline Powell. In coming to know the woman better, Elizabeth realizes that Caroline is actually someone she wishes to call “friend.” Amid the machinations of a young man not unlike Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth discovers not only true friendship, but also true love. But to ensure the longevity of any possible happiness, Elizabeth must reach out and grasp it with both hands before it slips away.


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Elizabeth Bennet has always possessed pride in her powers of discernment. Her discovery that that her impressions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham are wrong is made worse by the fact that she learns she was mistaken about the character of yet another person. When her sister marries the affable Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to stay with the man’s newly married sis Elizabeth Bennet has always possessed pride in her powers of discernment. Her discovery that that her impressions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham are wrong is made worse by the fact that she learns she was mistaken about the character of yet another person. When her sister marries the affable Mr. Bingley, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to stay with the man’s newly married sister, Caroline Powell. In coming to know the woman better, Elizabeth realizes that Caroline is actually someone she wishes to call “friend.” Amid the machinations of a young man not unlike Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth discovers not only true friendship, but also true love. But to ensure the longevity of any possible happiness, Elizabeth must reach out and grasp it with both hands before it slips away.

30 review for An Unlikely Friendship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carole (in Canada)

    This was an enjoyable take on Miss Bingley! Since the loss of both parents, the Bingley children were raised alongside Darcy and Georgiana at Pemberley which would have an impact on her personality to some degree. Being so close, as they grew older, Caroline was very protective of her 'family'. Unfortunately, Louisa didn't listen when they tried to persuade her not to marry Mr. Hurst. The book starts when the Netherfield Ball is over and Mr. Collins has proposed to Elizabeth and has been flatly This was an enjoyable take on Miss Bingley! Since the loss of both parents, the Bingley children were raised alongside Darcy and Georgiana at Pemberley which would have an impact on her personality to some degree. Being so close, as they grew older, Caroline was very protective of her 'family'. Unfortunately, Louisa didn't listen when they tried to persuade her not to marry Mr. Hurst. The book starts when the Netherfield Ball is over and Mr. Collins has proposed to Elizabeth and has been flatly refused. Mrs. Bennet's nerves have made such an appearance that Elizabeth finds a quiet room to hide in. That is when Miss Bingley makes her appearance and a 'unlikely friendship' begins. Caroline is still manipulative but in a 'softer' way. Her comments to Mr. Collins as she leaves the house are a good example. Mrs. Bennet could learn from her! In this story as well, Caroline marries and she is deeply in love with her husband and is equally adored. I loved their relationship. Elizabeth's beliefs in her ability to sketch a person's character and her decided opinions are completely overturned. I found Darcy as arrogant and rude as ever as he fights tooth and nail his attraction to Elizabeth. Caroline's subtle manipulation goes into play. Wickham does have a small role but is quickly dispatched to be replaced by another ingratiating character who seems relatively harmless but annoying... I thoroughly enjoyed this plausible variation. I enjoyed watching the deep friendship that grew between two very intelligent women. This is not an angst filled story as some of the stories Mr. Rowland has written. It is very much a story of friendship and what happens when someone only wants the best for those they love. My only complaint is that this book could have been proofread and edited a bit better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James S

    Caroline is a different person. SPOILERS —————- this review is full of spoilers. You will enjoy this book more if you don’t read further. SPOILERS What a fun story. Caroline is still a little bit severe and a little bit superior but mostly she is kind and a good friend. Caroline helps out all sorts of characters and matchmakers for Lizzy and Darcy. How she does it is very entertaining. By the end of the book, she is a valued friend, almost a sister I recommend this book highly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J. W. Garrett

    “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus In what universe are Caroline Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet friends? Well, I’ll tell you… in a Jann Rowland universe, for one. So, once you can accept that, you can now read an adorable story, about two of Jane Austen’s most polar opposite characters. Jann Rowland likes to create stories outside the box, thus stretching the realities of canon, that we are so ingra “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus In what universe are Caroline Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet friends? Well, I’ll tell you… in a Jann Rowland universe, for one. So, once you can accept that, you can now read an adorable story, about two of Jane Austen’s most polar opposite characters. Jann Rowland likes to create stories outside the box, thus stretching the realities of canon, that we are so ingrained with. For those not accustomed to that, it can be rather jolting and disconcerting. However, I just accepted that this was a strange hybrid of our dear Caroline and went with it. Once I stopped fighting what I was reading, it became enjoyable. I had just finished Rowland’s book, Cassandra, where Caroline was gawd-awful and was looking forward to one where she was supposed to be nice. I was not disappointed. This was not the first time I have read a JAFF where the elder Darcy and the elder Bingley were acquainted, and or, were friends. We now have the foundation for this story. Only, in this case, the elder Bingley was dying and asked his friend to take and raise his children, due to the brutish and controlling nature of his brother, their only relation. Thus, the Bingley siblings grew up with the Darcy siblings and they considered each other as brothers and sisters. This creates a completely different dynamic between these characters. “A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” William Penn We join the story after the Netherfield Ball and Caroline has come to Longbourn to seek an audience with Elizabeth. She wants to determine her intentions regarding Darcy. Yeah, wild, isn’t it? When Caroline arrived, the house was in chaos, Mrs. Bennet was screeching and Elizabeth had hidden in a back parlor to escape her mother’s ire. Caroline didn’t have herself announced to the rest of the house and asked to be directed to the back parlor. How creative. “Friendships unfold gradually as women share intimacies with one another – this takes time. You need to be willing to let your friends know the real you, but you don’t want to spill your guts out the first time you’re out to lunch.” Irene S. Levine This meeting with Caroline changed EVERYTHING. We are only in the first couple of chapters and Caroline was asking to know Eliza’s intentions regarding Mr. Darcy? Attentions? Eliza hated him; he hated her, disdained her family and all their connections, was haughty with her neighbors, refused a living to Mr. Wickham and… and… well, he looked at her as if to find fault. “My definition of a friend is somebody who adores you even though they know the things you’re most ashamed of.” Jodie Foster Caroline then explained it all… including the fact that Mr. Darcy admired Elizabeth Bennet. There were so many surprises in this tête-à-tête, that it became the springboard for the rest of the story. It gave hope to Jane, revealed a villain, absolved a good man, set in motion feelings and emotions never experienced before, and established a friendship that was never thought possible. OMG! This was so cute. We still had to deal with Lydia and Wickham but it was so different that I could not believe how it came about. Way to go Colonel Fitzwilliam. Even Mr. Bennet was involved with this one. Rowland did something very different that I’ve ever seen in JAFF. He took an innocuous comment made by Mrs. Bennet regarding the militia having been in the area before, and used it to allow Mr. Bennet to do something really noble. I liked it and thought it was really smart to do such a gesture. Really cool Rowland… nice going. There were heroes and zeros. One zero was really bad, he could give lessons to Wickham. However, he was unable to mask his true intentions and soon gave over to his needs and greed. It was pretty smarmy and awful for more than one lady. I cannot explain much without giving away the most excellent twist. My only problem was the headstrong refusal to yield to emotions. We watched as that hard wall of obstinacy sort of fell away on one or two pages… that got on my nerves. From the crumbled debris sprang forth true love…really??? I have whiplash due to the sudden jerk in the change of attitude and emotions. Yeah, I need to see a chiropractor. The end was so nice, the epilogue was delightful and the future looked bright. I can wake up from my dream now and to the reality that Caro does not change her stripes. However, it was a nice dream seeing her in this light. I really liked her.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I've yet to come across any other JAFF book that actually paints Caroline Bingley in a favorable light. Here, she starts out much the same as in Pride and Prejudice, but her motivation is eventually understood NOT to be mercenary; rather, she is protective of Mr. Darcy's feelings and recognizes that Elizabeth doesn't like him. Aside from Caroline, the other characters were very well developed in accordance with what I would expect their reactions to be in the different circumstances Mr. Rowland I've yet to come across any other JAFF book that actually paints Caroline Bingley in a favorable light. Here, she starts out much the same as in Pride and Prejudice, but her motivation is eventually understood NOT to be mercenary; rather, she is protective of Mr. Darcy's feelings and recognizes that Elizabeth doesn't like him. Aside from Caroline, the other characters were very well developed in accordance with what I would expect their reactions to be in the different circumstances Mr. Rowland places them in.The story diverges at the point where Mr Collins proposes and moves forward at a steady pace from there to a satisfactory conclusion. I rather thought Wickham was dispatched too easily and therefore expected that he would make a reappearance, but another antagonist emerged instead - interesting twist! I have read all of Mr. Rowland's previous contributions to JAFF, and I felt this was by far the best execution of his plotline. While he still shifted the book's point of view from character to character, he also allowed more of the characters' motivations to be presented through their actions instead of their thoughts. I never felt like the story stopped in its paces when a character's thoughts were presented. However, it clearly needed better proofreading, as other reviewers have already mentioned. All seemed to be of a typographical nature rather than from ignorance: "Benet" (only once) instead of "Bennet," "and" instead of "an," "in" instead of "it," "Georgian" instead of "Georgiana," and a period that should have been a comma, resulting in a rare sentence fragment. It was occasionally a mild distraction, but didn't obscure the fact that this was otherwise nicely written.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    This is a Pride & Prejudice with less angst variation. Beginning at the Netherfield ball we see Caroline Bingley presented very differently. She is not hunting Mr. Darcy; as it turns out that they were raised together. In this version the Bingleys are wards(for lack of better word) of the Darcy family while their Uncle continues building the Bingley fortune. This is a wonderful Caroline. She is snarky; it is in her nature, but her purposes are different. She is matchmaking, all the time. What th This is a Pride & Prejudice with less angst variation. Beginning at the Netherfield ball we see Caroline Bingley presented very differently. She is not hunting Mr. Darcy; as it turns out that they were raised together. In this version the Bingleys are wards(for lack of better word) of the Darcy family while their Uncle continues building the Bingley fortune. This is a wonderful Caroline. She is snarky; it is in her nature, but her purposes are different. She is matchmaking, all the time. What this book doesn't have is Lady Catherine or a trip to Rosings or a failed proposal or Jane and Bingley separated and plotted against. Lizzy learns the truth of Wickham earlier and (view spoiler)[ Mr. Wickham & the Militia in its entirety is quickly suspect (hide spoiler)] . The time Lizzy and Darcy are forced into each others company takes place and Caroline's estate. There is one annoying character who is a Wickham type with a better pedigree and his intentions are tedious.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol Perrin

    An Unlikely Friendship What a delightful variation. The Bingleys were raised by the Darcys when their father died because Mr. Bingley Senior was friends with Mr. Darcy Senior. Caroline had no romantic relationship with William, because she felt they were too much alike and he was too stern and joyless. The Hursts were not in Caroline and Charles company much since Louisa was unhappy with her husband and Caroline was to marry a gentleman with greater consequence and wealth. Caroline was also happy An Unlikely Friendship What a delightful variation. The Bingleys were raised by the Darcys when their father died because Mr. Bingley Senior was friends with Mr. Darcy Senior. Caroline had no romantic relationship with William, because she felt they were too much alike and he was too stern and joyless. The Hursts were not in Caroline and Charles company much since Louisa was unhappy with her husband and Caroline was to marry a gentleman with greater consequence and wealth. Caroline was also happy for her brother when she saw he loved Jane Bennet. She also made friends with Elizabeth. She recognized Darcy's feelings for Elizabeth and has her come for a visit at her husband's estate knowing that Darcy, Georgiana, and Fitzwilliam will be arriving within a week. Darcy is angry with Caroline for machinations to put Elizabeth in his path. Elizabeth is sure he dislikes her so much that he doesn't want his sister to be in her company even though she drew out his sister in a short amount of time. Caroline chastised him, and the next morning Elizabeth plans to leave for Longbourn. By morning, Darcy has recalled words from his father. He apologizes to Elizabeth and eventually they work through their differences. The couple's and their children remain friends throughout their lives. Great story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cohen

    I was most delightfully pleased I wasn't sure about the premise of this story, Caroline being a good friend to our Lizzy, quite unusual indeed. Caroline was presented as a most charming lady, a good friend and sister. At first it was hard to swallow because no one has ever written her character this way. She is always portrayed as cruel and vengeful. Not this time ladies. I would have liked to see Jamison developed more a totally sweet villain. I won't give up too much, suffice it to say if you a I was most delightfully pleased I wasn't sure about the premise of this story, Caroline being a good friend to our Lizzy, quite unusual indeed. Caroline was presented as a most charming lady, a good friend and sister. At first it was hard to swallow because no one has ever written her character this way. She is always portrayed as cruel and vengeful. Not this time ladies. I would have liked to see Jamison developed more a totally sweet villain. I won't give up too much, suffice it to say if you are looking for a light romance, with some angst (not a lot) and a totally different Caroline I recommend Mr. Rowlands book. I've read all his books including the Echo series, and I am never disappointed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I had some reservations before I started this book. That's why it took me like a week or so to actually start it. But I'm glad I did. The author did a really good job making Caroline less of a Darcy hunting bitch and more like a protective sister. Hell, she even does Elizabeth a solid at the beginning of the book and gets Mr. Collins to look as Mary as a bride instead of her. Mr. Darcy through about almost two-thirds of the book is just an asshole. Of course it's to protect himself from Elizabet I had some reservations before I started this book. That's why it took me like a week or so to actually start it. But I'm glad I did. The author did a really good job making Caroline less of a Darcy hunting bitch and more like a protective sister. Hell, she even does Elizabeth a solid at the beginning of the book and gets Mr. Collins to look as Mary as a bride instead of her. Mr. Darcy through about almost two-thirds of the book is just an asshole. Of course it's to protect himself from Elizabeth. But at least he gets a clue and begins to be nicer to her which proceeds to them getting marriage. I will admit that I enjoyed this book and I will recommend it to any JAFF fan who wants to see Caroline be something other than a woman intent on marrying Darcy. Rating: 4½ stars out of 5

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    With this Pride and Prejudice tale, events begin after the Netherfield Ball when Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Just after this Caroline Bingley arrives at Longbourn, and for Elizabeth to be startled by her revelations. How could Elizabeth get so many people's characters wrong But her life changes when several months later Elizabeth begins a visit to Caroline. My first read of a friendship between Caroline and Elizabeth - certainly different. With this Pride and Prejudice tale, events begin after the Netherfield Ball when Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Just after this Caroline Bingley arrives at Longbourn, and for Elizabeth to be startled by her revelations. How could Elizabeth get so many people's characters wrong But her life changes when several months later Elizabeth begins a visit to Caroline. My first read of a friendship between Caroline and Elizabeth - certainly different.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Teresita

    Different, but lovely A VERY different twist to a beloved story, yet completely plausible and interesting. Give it a try, you won't regret it. Different, but lovely A VERY different twist to a beloved story, yet completely plausible and interesting. Give it a try, you won't regret it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elmo

    Please hire an editor! Lots of mistakes, which even I could see, while English is not my first language. Even a decent proofreader would have eliminated a lot of mistakes. Caroline was great in this story, but if you're looking for romance you better pick something else. It's all really dry and the actual proposal is skipped over. Darcy is supposed to be violently in love, but I never saw or felt it. I think I'll skip books from this author from now on, because this is not the first book with th Please hire an editor! Lots of mistakes, which even I could see, while English is not my first language. Even a decent proofreader would have eliminated a lot of mistakes. Caroline was great in this story, but if you're looking for romance you better pick something else. It's all really dry and the actual proposal is skipped over. Darcy is supposed to be violently in love, but I never saw or felt it. I think I'll skip books from this author from now on, because this is not the first book with this kind of problems. The general ideas are good, but the execution is not my style.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa E

    Ok story, typical bad editing I have read a lot of Jann Rowland books. Most are good stories with quality writing and vey poor editing. This one made me wonder if the author wrote it in a rush. Some of the writing felt distracted. And there were far too many editing errors than I had the patience to report, including referring to Mrs. Bingley where Caroline should have been meant. While overall it was a nice story, if hard to believe, it was a little weak.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Madenna U

    A Caroline Bingley who is NOT trying to capture Fitzwilliam Darcy and seeks a friendship with Elizabeth Bennet - that is something different. This story was unique and I enjoyed it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Lovely Another lovely alternative retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Jann Rowland. I would never have thought I could like Caroline Bingley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ann Smith

    I very much enjoy Jann Rowland's P&P variations - this particular title is one of my favourites to the extent that I actually paid for it (I don't steal books, you understand, but it takes a lot for me to pay more than 99p/£1.99 for a title if not available on kindle Unlimited). The sample I downloaded was so intriguing that I could not resist and I have to say it was well worth the money. Caroline Bingley is usually depicted as the rival of Elizabeth and she varies from out-and-out villain to co I very much enjoy Jann Rowland's P&P variations - this particular title is one of my favourites to the extent that I actually paid for it (I don't steal books, you understand, but it takes a lot for me to pay more than 99p/£1.99 for a title if not available on kindle Unlimited). The sample I downloaded was so intriguing that I could not resist and I have to say it was well worth the money. Caroline Bingley is usually depicted as the rival of Elizabeth and she varies from out-and-out villain to complete joke in most variations. Mr Rowland, though, gives us a completely different take on her and the book is so absorbing and well-written that it is completely convincing. Without giving too much away, this Caroline has no interest in marrying Darcy and becomes a good friend to Elizabeth. How this unfolds and how it changes the story is why it is fascinating to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barb

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sherin

  18. 4 out of 5

    julia cook

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Van der koon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Wilkosz

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 5 out of 5

    Berta Garcia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tomh111earthlink.net

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allison Johnson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tlotem

  30. 5 out of 5

    christine hopkins

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