Friday, January 11, 2019

Happier in Her Friends Than Relations Blog Tour ~ Guest Post with Jayne Bamber & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm excited to share this post with you! I have a new-to-me author visiting today, Jayne Bamber. She's here with her new book, Happier in Her Friends Than Relations.

Be sure to read to the bottom of the page. There's a link to Rafflecopter for a chance to win an ecopy of Happier in Her Friends Than Relations!

Sisters & Misters

By Jayne Bamber, Author of Happier in Her Friends Than Relations

I’m excited to be here and share a little bit of background on my new release, Happier in Her Friends Than Relations. The novel is a mash-up of two of my favorite Jane Austen novels, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. Both of these classics are built not only on romance, but on the theme of sisterhood, and it is no different in my re-telling. The story focuses primarily on Elizabeth Bennet and Marianne Dashwood, now Marianne Brandon, but their sisters, as well as the sisters of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, and Richard Fitzwilliam play a pivotal role in driving this story. 

This post will contain a few vague spoilers to acquaint you with the characters, for those of you that haven’t read the books or seen the movies in a while. A lot of the storyline are different, and a few of the characters are too!

The Sisters…

The Bennet sisters are portrayed by Jane Austen as fairly diverse amongst themselves. Jane, the eldest, is perfection personified, Elizabeth is almost as pretty and far more clever, Mary is bookish and moral, Kitty is thoughtless, and Lydia is spoiled and man-crazy. In Happier in Her Friends Than Relations, Elizabeth remains the same witty heroine we all love, though her sisters are portrayed somewhat differently.

Two of the more frequently ignored younger sisters are given a larger role to play: Mary and Kitty both remain much as they have always been, but are finally paid more attention and provided a chance to grow, while Lydia’s role is diminished (until the sequel!). 

Jane is the most drastically altered sister, and it’s a change I am especially proud of. I show a side of her that has never been seen before: after years of constant praise from her mother, and her inability to wed a rich gentleman, Jane has become a bitter narcissist bent on sabotaging her sisters. 

The Dashwood sisters are more true to their original portrayal in my variation. Sensible Elinor – now Mrs. Ferrars – and bold young Margaret take a back seat to Marianne, who, three years after her marriage, is very much the same emotional drama queen, though perhaps a little wiser. 

Just as in the original, Mr. Darcy’s ingenue sister Georgiana plays a role, first with the outcome of her folly in Ramsgate affecting her brother’s relationship with Elizabeth, and next with her own desire to help the situation. Of course, I put on my twist on things in Happier, with surprising results.

Mr. Bingley’s social-climbing sister Caroline, presented in this variation as his twin (his evil twin!), sets off a chain of events beginning with dissuading her brother from renting Netherfield, leading to a very different first meeting for Mr. Bingley and the Bennets.

I have also given Colonel Fitzwilliam – elevated, in my tale, to the role of viscount – a sister, Lady Rebecca (fan-casted in my head as the fabulous Jenna Coleman). Lady Rebecca is a brash, outspoken, and fearless socialite who befriends both Elizabeth and Marianne, and helps them both achieve their Happily Ever After, though her methods may be a bit unconventional.

The Misters…

It would be an Austen fanfic without some single gentlemen in possession of large fortunes! Though there’s lots of angst along the way, there’s more than one HEA. 

Mr. Darcy is more brooding than ever in Happier. The fallout of Georgiana’s folly in Ramsgate has led to shocking consequences for their family, and a series of tragedies in both his life and Elizabeth’s make it seem as though fate is determined to keep them apart.

Charles Bingley is likewise even more spineless in Happier. Easily manipulated by his sister, he first abandons his plan to lease Netherfield, and then abandons Elizabeth after a short-lived romance between the two.

I’ve upgraded Richard Fitzwilliam from Colonel to Viscount, but he’s still Mr. Darcy’s fiercest ally and number one wingman, when he’s not being wonderfully snarky. He’s a bit more helpful in Happier then in Pride & Prejudice, and he also finds a love interest of his own!

One of Austen’s most charming villains, George Wickham, makes an appearance in Happier in Her Friends Than Relations. This time he has more up his sleeve than just seduction – what could possibly go wrong?

Mr. Collins isn’t exactly a villain, per se, but he’s not Prince Charming either. In Pride & Prejudice he wants to marry one of the Bennet sisters, and in Happier there are fewer obstacles to keep him from getting what he wants….

I’ve written in several original characters to keep things interesting, and characters from Emma, Mansfield Park, and Sanditon make appearances as well. 

Happier in Her Friends Than Relations
By Jayne Bamber

In this angsty fusion of two of Jane Austen’s most beloved novels, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, the actions of their sisters cause challenging chain reactions for one of literature’s most celebrated couples....  

Fitzwilliam Darcy is faced with a family crisis of epic proportions after the fallout of his sister Georgiana’s ill-fated elopement in Ramsgate, while his friend Charles Bingley is persuaded to abandon his scheme of renting Netherfield Park.  

Elizabeth Bennet journeys to London to recover her spirits, after Jane’s unexpected marriage changes the sisters’ relationship forever, and the consolation of the Gardiners proves insufficient.  

The bonds of friendship offer Elizabeth a lifeline after a series of tragic events causes her to fear for her future. The support she receives from her new neighbor Marianne Brandon, and snarky socialite Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam prove she is truly happier in her friends than relations.

Find out the rest of the story by purchasing your copy of Happier in Her Friends Than Relations, available on Kindle now!

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FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!


In the excerpt below, we catch a glimpse of Lizzy’s ill-fated romance with Mr. Bingley, the cumulative result of Caroline and Georgiana’s actions prior to the opening of the story. In this scene, Elizabeth has had her second first glimpse of Mr. Darcy, having forgotten her first one, and can’t resist flirting from afar….

     Lady Helen and Mrs. Gardiner turned their attention to obtaining refreshments. Elizabeth looked around and caught Mr. Bingley’s eye; he smiled brightly, clearly eager to join her. She began to wonder if her uncle had perversely distracted the young man for the amusement of seeing him squirm a bit.  
     Just then, Lord Hartley took advantage of her aunt’s distraction to lean in close to Elizabeth, and teasingly whispered, “I daresay my friend will be wildly jealous at seeing me address you thus, Miss Bennet, but I felt obliged to do what I can to discomfit him a little, since he seemed rather oblivious to your apparent interest in another of our party.” 
     Though his comment was made in good humor, Elizabeth was utterly mortified, and felt herself blushing a deep shade of pink. Lady Rebecca, sensing her friend’s embarrassment, hissed at her brother, “Richard, really!” 
     The viscount appeared chagrined, smiling ruefully at Elizabeth as he addressed his sister, “Truly, Rebecca, I am quite put out. I had hoped that once cousin Darcy married, I would get my fair share of attention from the ladies, and it breaks my heart to see that it is not so. Handsome devil, I cannot see how Bingley regards him so very well.” 
     Though Rebecca rolled her eyes and gave a great huff of exaggerated indignation, Elizabeth schooled her countenance and offered the viscount what she hoped was a serene smile. He kindly meant to put her on her guard—the attractive gentleman was a married man, hence his dismay at her flirtatious gesture. Moreover, he was an intimate friend of Mr. Bingley, making her momentary interest in him even more inappropriate. It was clever and generous of the viscount to disguise his admonishment so playfully, and Elizabeth felt all the gentility of his effort. “I certainly understand your sentiments, sir,” she replied. 

     Lady Rebecca sighed. “Poor Darcy!” 

     Darcy, Elizabeth furrowed her brow at hearing the name repeated. It was vaguely familiar, just as his face had seemed. 

     “Miss Bennet!” Elizabeth turned to find Mr. Bingley approaching, just as Mrs. Gardiner and Lady Helen rejoined the conversation. “How are you ladies enjoying the performance this evening?” Mr. Bingley’s eyes never left Elizabeth’s as he took his place at her side.  

     Elizabeth flushed with pleasure as she watched him take in her appearance. It was clear he liked her very much. Is he in love with me? Is this what it is like to fall in love? She returned Mr. Bingley’s amorous gaze, trying to sort out what she was feeling. Oblivious to her companions and the silence that had fallen over them, Elizabeth returned Mr. Bingley’s smile, until at last they both began to laugh.  

     Mrs. Gardiner softly cleared her throat. “I believe we are enjoying it very well, indeed,” she replied to Mr. Bingley’s unanswered question. 

     Elizabeth looked back at her aunt. “Oh, yes. I like it very much. The music is simply breathtaking.” 

     “Yes, yes indeed,” Mr. Bingley replied, still grinning at Elizabeth. “Caroline says it is far more refined than seeing a play—but I own I much prefer plays. Saves me the trouble of reading them. Not that I should like to read music, either. That is—I cannot imagine how all you accomplished young ladies manage it.” 

     Lady Rebecca pursed her lips to keep from laughing and gave Elizabeth a playful wink. “Are you possessed of such accomplishments, Elizabeth? I will own I comprehend a great deal in my idea of an accomplished woman.” 

     Elizabeth smirked saucily. “I do play and sing a little, but very ill, I assure you. Of reading plays I have had better success, for I am fond of reading everything my father’s library has to offer. Dare I ask if I have satisfied your requirements?” 

     “It is indeed an accomplishment to improve one’s mind through extensive reading,” Lady Rebecca observed with a tone of great mirth. “However, I find the greater accomplishment to be that of endeavoring to exert one’s influence over those who do not have a taste for such things.” Here she gave Mr. Bingley an arch look, and he responded with a jovial laugh. 

     Mr. Gardiner clapped his young friend on the shoulder. “Come round for dinner some time, if ever you should like to be influenced, young man. I daresay my Lizzy shall make short work of it.” 

     Elizabeth turned away in sudden embarrassment at her uncle’s straightforwardness. She looked to her aunt for assistance, but Mrs. Gardiner merely gave her hand a gentle squeeze and smiled cheerfully at her. Before she knew it, Mr. Bingley had accepted her uncle’s invitation and settled on Saturday next. Her uncle seemed hesitant to presume too much in inviting the Fitzwilliams, but Mr. Bingley adroitly suggested that he should give a dinner for them all the week after that. Not to be outdone, Lady Rebecca announced that she would be happy to hostess at her brother’s house in Belgrave Square, and would send round her invitations as well.  

     The conversation continued in such a manner until it was time to return to their box for the second act, and Elizabeth was equal parts relieved and disappointed when the time came to separate from Mr. Bingley and his friends. Was love supposed to be such a discomfiting mixture of embarrassment and delight?  


Thanks for joining me on the fourth stop of my blog tour, and a special shout-out to those of you who have been following Happier since the days of posting on AHA and AO3! As a thank-you for all the wonderful support I’ve received, I have started a give-away, and will be selecting a winner after each post on the blog tour! See the full schedule for the blog tour below, and click here to follow me on Facebook for updates on the sequel, coming soon!

Many thanks to Jayne Bamber for stopping by So Little Time... today!

Friends, what did you think? Ooh, I'm not sure I like an evil Jane, but I'm very intrigued by Lady Rebecca! Did any of the other character changes stand out to you? 

Don't forget to click here if you would like to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win an ecopy of Happier in Her Friends than Relations! Good luck! 


  1. I like the idea of an upgraded Richard Fitzwilliam, hopefully as my favourite character he has more of a role to play

    1. I agree, Vesper! I hope Fitzwilliam has a bigger role to play, and he is my favorite secondary character, too! :)

  2. I like the way this scene unfolds. Bingley just is so not for ELizabeth. I like Richard immensely.

    1. Hi, Deborah Ann! I agree, Bingley is not for Elizabeth! Yes, it sounds like I'm going to love this Fitzwilliam! Yay!

  3. I have read this delightful story and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!

  4. Enjoyed the excerpt. I love that so many of my favorite characters are in one story.

  5. I loved your description of every character and little changes you made to them. Congratulations on the release of your first book and thanks for the giveaway.

  6. I love the casting of Jenna Coleman as Lady Rebecca! She was one of the better casting choices (as Lydia Wickham) in Death Comes to Pemberley. So, did I understand correctly that Darcy is married, or my brain intepreting the Viscount's comment wrongly? If so, then - wow! How do we get to the HEA from there, I wonder.


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