The best books that bring Jane Austen into modern times (that you probably haven’t heard of)

Who am I?

Austen-inspired works are nothing new (think the movie Clueless or "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" vlog) but unless you’re walking around the Austen fan world, you might not realize just how many books are out there. I became immersed in that world around 2006, and since then, I’ve written four Austen retellings, one Austen-inspired original novel, and several short stories. I’ve read countless other works (both published and on the internet,) and now run a little website called Austen Through the Ages. Below I list 5 Pride & Prejudice-inspired novels that ring true for me—they bring Austen’s themes and characters into modern settings, each putting a unique spin on the classic tale. 


I wrote...

1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited

By Karen M. Cox,

Book cover of 1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited

What is my book about?

During the upheaval of the Great Depression, Elizabeth Bennet’s life is torn asunder. Her family’s relocation from Chicago to a family farm in Kentucky has changed her future, and now, she must build a new life. William Darcy suffered family turmoil of his own, but he has settled into a peaceful life at Pemberley, the largest farm in the county. Single, rich, and seemingly content, he remains aloof—immune to any woman’s charms. Until Elizabeth Bennet moves to town. 

As Darcy begins to yearn for something he knows is missing, Elizabeth’s circumstances become more precarious. Can they put aside their pride and prejudices long enough to find their way to each other? 1932, Cox’s award-winning debut novel, is a unique twist on Austen’s classic tale.

The books I picked & why

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Sanctuary: Volume 1

By Cat Andrews,

Book cover of Sanctuary: Volume 1

Why this book?

Sanctuary is an epic, three-volume-long ride of feels. As with many modern Austen variations, Pride & Prejudice is a jumping-off point, but Andrews puts her own spin on the tale. I love stories that develop the setting almost as another character, and Sanctuary does that with Maine. The essence of Elizabeth and Darcy is in the details, even though the modern world has had their way with the beloved characters. Darcy as a dad? *chef’s kiss*  

Sanctuary: Volume 1

By Cat Andrews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sanctuary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Do you ever wish you had a second chance to meet someone again for the first time?”

When Elizabeth Bennet left her Massachusetts hometown two years ago and settled on Great Diamond Island, off the rocky coast of Maine, all she wanted was a fresh start, somewhere to forget a past full of heartbreak and trauma—a place that would allow her to rediscover herself and what it felt like to be happy. 

Will Darcy is ready to leave the family drama and noise of New York City behind. He moves to Great Diamond Island in an effort to build a…


The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy: A Modern Pride & Prejudice

By Sara Angelini,

Book cover of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy: A Modern Pride & Prejudice

Why this book?

One of the sexiest Darcys I’ve ever read: the change from dour judge in California to hot lord of the manor in England nearly gave me whiplash, but I loved the ride! Sorry (not sorry) for all the broken crystal and china in Darcy’s suite at the London Ritz. ;) They go through some real angsty times back in California, but all’s well that ends well.

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy: A Modern Pride & Prejudice

By Sara Angelini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sexy, bold adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that re-paints favorite characters in twenty-first century colors
Judge Fitzwilliam Darcy, a legal expert on both sides of the Atlantic, is ready to hang up his black robe and return to the life of a country gentleman-until he meets Elizabeth Bennet, a fresh-faced attorney with a hectic schedule and no time for the sexy but haughty judge.
Tempers and sparks fly in Judge Darcy's courtroom- and outside, in a series of chance encounters that give each of them pause-as the two match wits and try to fight their overwhelming attraction.…


Headstrong: Book One

By Melanie Rachel,

Book cover of Headstrong: Book One

Why this book?

Whereas Darcy caught more of my attention in the last book pick, a modern, resilient Elizabeth drew me into this story. This is the first of three volumes in a trilogy about ex-Marine, terrorism survivor, and cybersecurity expert Elizabeth and businessman Darcy. Not as much angst between the two principal characters, but plenty of action to be had in this one.

Headstrong: Book One

By Melanie Rachel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Headstrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth Bennet never wanted to be a hero. She'll just have to deal with it.

A few months after teaming up with Major Richard Fitzwilliam to thwart a terrorist attack in Europe, USMC Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Bennet is back in the States as a civilian. Her training in cyber-security makes finding work easy, and she’s learning to fit into her new life. But there is lingering fallout both from the attack and her life before it that she's not yet prepared to face.

Complicating matters is the major’s handsome cousin.

Co-owner of Darcy Acquisitions, CEO of FORGE, and guardian to…

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

By Heather Rigaud,

Book cover of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Why this book?

I always preferred the title Heather chose for the original, unpublished story (Slurry) but I’m sure the publisher had a hand in that change. FD, Rock Star is chock full of sexy musicians with artistic temperaments. The Darcy and Elizabeth story leads the way; it’s great on its own, but the Richard/Charlotte B-story is fabulous as well. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

By Heather Rigaud,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Darcy's as hot as he is talented...

Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations—on and off stage—have made virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy's band into rock's newest bad boys. But they've lost their latest opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match...

But she's about to rock his world...

Enter Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl-band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band slot. Elizabeth…


All the Things I Know

By Audrey Ryan, Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou (illustrator),

Book cover of All the Things I Know

Why this book?

Audrey Ryan’s debut novel joyfully leaps off the page, shouting, “I wanna tell you a story about some Millennials!”—in all the best ways. I’m always up for a well-written coming-of-age story, and this one made me, a jaded GenXer, once again feel the bittersweet hope (and fear) of figuring out your life on your own terms. 

All the Things I Know

By Audrey Ryan, Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the Things I Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lizzie Venetidis is confident in her decisions. Moving to Seattle with her sister Jane after she graduated from Stanford, for instance, was a no‑brainer. Adult life, however, turns out to be more difficult to navigate than she expected.
What career should she pursue with a bachelor’s degree in art history and no marketable experience amongst a tech-heavy job market? How responsible is it to drink that fourth cocktail while out with friends? And what should she do about Darcy — the aloof yet captivating guy she met her first night in town?
"All the Things I Know" is a one-mistake-at-a-time…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Mr. Darcy, rock music, and Seattle?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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