Customer Reviews: If Only In His Dreams
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on December 17, 2012
I was first drawn to this story by an interesting premise and positive reviews. After finishing it, I have to assume that the reviewers were already fans of this author and easily pleased. I reserved my opinion when the first several pages of this story could best be summarized as, "Remember Pride and Prejudice? Forget everything you've read, because we're starting over!" No Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, only two Bennett sisters (with dowries), an older brother and heir, a Mr. Darcy who wears his heart on his sleeve, a loving Lady Catherine, etc. I've read good variations that completely disregard the established story; as long as they keep the basic characters and take the new story in an interesting direction, it can work. This story, unfortunately, did neither. The book seemed more like a collection of short stories rather than a novel. Everything felt separated, and all the conflicts were resolved far too easily. Apparently, the answer to every troublesome character is either death or Bedlam. The characters themselves were completely unrecognizable. I don't understand why people bother writing variations if they don't plan on keeping the basic starting point of the original, the character's essential personalities, or both. If you don't want to do that, why not write an original story?
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on January 4, 2013
I couldn't even finish this one and that is saying a lot for me and my low standards for these Pride and Prejudice variations. It is poorly written and the plot is not even close to being believable. It seemed an interesting idea (Darcy is instantly smitten with Elizabeth as he has seen her in his dreams) but the execution is severly lacking.
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on March 18, 2013
This book was so horribly written, it was painful. The writer needs some lessons before attempting to write other books. And did no one edit the book? I cringed through this book, rolling my eyes so many times! Full stops and commas in the wrong places, too many repetitions, and words used in the wrong context. However, the book created interest throughout, and the story line was not bad. I cannot give more than two stars, due to the terrible way the book was written.
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on December 3, 2012
If Only In His Dreams (Kindle )

I have read many P&P variations and yes, many do have typos, but I can't believe this one has an editor listed along with the author. As someone who has written articles professionally, I know how easy it is to add in an extra word, or proof your own writing and read in a missing word because you know it should be there. Yes, there are some of those mistakes, which I can overlook, but, I honestly think the author, "editor" and Amazon were in such a hurry to publish this book before the holidays, no one bothered to look at it before listing it for sale.

Paragraphs are jumbled together with various people talking and some have to be read twice before figuring out who is saying what. Sometimes a quotation mark is missing, making it even harder to interpret when the conversations are jumbled together. Anyone ever hear of an enter/return button? A change in chapters can be noted at the end of the last paragraph of the previous chapter or at the beginning of the next chapter. Not as big a deal, but easy to fix with the return/enter button. There is also a change in font size about half way through the story (something I have seen before) which reverts back later.

I cannot believe the author never bothered to look over the book after it was put on line.

The author did contact me after I wrote this review, apologized, and said the problem was being corrected. I see in another review, it apparently has been reformatted, so I have revised my review to four stars. I did find the story interesting. It takes the story of Darcy and Elizabeth in a new direction and is a true "what if" instead of just rehash the original. I will definitely read it again.
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on December 19, 2012
It was painful to read. The plot is not well developed and the characters are hollow. I honestly cannot finish it.
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on October 5, 2013
Having read all but one of this author's books, I must say that this is my least favorite.
The book was very bland and I didn't feel any warmth between the main characters.
The only excitement was briefly with Caroline and a small bit with Wickham.
Other than this, the book was predicable and boring.
Just didn't feel the connection between Lizzy & Darcy.
In much need of some good editing.
Also, the way the book is formatted, it seems that about 1/3 of each page is blank.
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on April 4, 2015
In my dreams I see Mr. Darcy. Well this story has Mr Darcy dreaming of his perfect wife...Lizzy Bennett. I enjoyed this story because it did not have Mrs Bennett and her "flutterings" and a neglectful father, oh and Liydia! Lizzy had a great brother who looked out for his sisters. Jane was as always the perfect sister to Lizzy. Darcy's Mother was alive which changed Darcy only in a good way. The love story told was still built through trust, admiration and honesty. Mr Wickham is still a nat and Lord Matlock is as crazy as Miss Bingley. The story kept my interest and was touching. The only thing that I would say confused me was the epilogue. Thomas Darcy mentions one girl who he is interested in and then a few paragraphs later it's another girl and her family. I do think this story is worth the read if you are looking for something different.
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on June 19, 2016
3.5 stars

I have read a number of Melanie's stories as WIPs and bought this one because it was free on Amazon. But I have to say, Melanie, your sales would be better if you used "spell check" and even if you highlighted the text and put it all in the same font, etc. There is just no excuse for the many misspellings when a good spell check program is available. Yes, and the change of voice goes without note and is left for the reader to determine who is speaking at times.

This author has written many stories so we know her creativity runs at a high level. Sometimes her books become bizarre and kill off this person or that unexpectedly or use nature or accidents to create the most unusual storylines. This one is a more normal story but does have some of our regular bad characters plotting and then meeting a doom we sometimes wish on them in other stories. There is one lunatic within the Fitzwilliam family and the author does use the reality that head injuries can result in personality changes to explain that person's vile behaviors.

Darcy and Bingley are at Netherfield and there is this assembly. Darcy does the unexpected in that he dances more than once with a certain local young lady.

Thus the title refers to Darcy coming upon his "dream" lady unexpectedly and knowing that this is the one and thus moving to form an arrangement with her guardian before allowing any time to pass. What I like in this story is the “touch” of woman’s rights portrayed in the development of the story. We have read of Elizabeth wanting to have her input into decisions in other stories and here, too, I find that I like to see some consultation about a lady’s future given to that lady in particular, even though we know many fathers, brothers, etc. decided the betrothals of their charge without that benefit. Ironically, even when this happens to Elizabeth she states her dismay and then decides to abide by that arrangement as she acknowledges that it was done in her best interest. She goes so far as to finally agree with that last statement as she gets to know not only Darcy but also his mother, who is still alive in this tale.

Towards the end Darcy’s dreams cause him the opposite feelings when Elizabeth finds herself…..well, you will have to read this for yourself. It does work out in the end but there is some disquiet for ODB for a few pages.

Another part of this story which was pleasing to me it that Elizabeth has a brother. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are not alive. And so we read of Alex’s care of Jane and Elizabeth, his plans for them and even then his plans for his own welfare in finding a partner for love not wealth or connections. Yes, there is more than one love story paralleling ODC’s in this novel.

So basically I would say this is a pleasant story with some opposition to our main characters which is fairly quickly and cleanly dealt with by the families working together. I read it over the course of one day.
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on June 30, 2016
There were so many good points to this story that I will start with them. Cute premise, daring ideas, and good interactions within a large cast of characters. You could feel the love between the various family members and you simply fell in love with them. There were several reveals that were total shockers that I’ve never seen used before…excellent. I LOVED the surprise with Collins, that was brilliant. It was an OMG that did not happen. There were several of those and I do love a good surprise.

Problems: This was not a failure to launch. No, the story got off the ground just fine; however, it got lost somewhere out there in space. There were editing problems and many of the sentences had redundancies or double use of the same words within the sentence. Something happened, maybe it was my device, but the font changed back and forth in the middle of the story. The use of modern language, thinking and slang, misuse of fiancé [male] and fiancée [female], and there were no periods with Mr or Mrs whoever. Rather than follow Austen’s writing sense, our author followed soap opera dramatics, using stale repetitive language, syrupy love scenes, stilted love language that was simply over the top.

As our author progresses in her writing career the problems we encountered in this work will eventually disappear. Writing is an ever evolving process and our author has excellent ideas and just needs to pay a bit more attention to editing and writing dynamics. In the rush to publish, errors were overlooked that should have been taken care of with a good edit. I would have liked to have award additional stars.

Bennet Family: we have a brother [and heir] Alex and two Bennet sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. This made for a more compact family dynamics and much easier to manage without the additional silly sisters and a fluttering mother. The older brother was a good brother and master of Longbourn.

Darcy Family: Darcy’s mother was still alive and able to be involved in his courtship with Elizabeth. She was a hoot and really likeable. Georgiana was still under the influence of her mother’s care and was adorable. Darcy was not quite a Colin Firth, but was given those hero moments that readers enjoy.

De Bourgh Family: A big surprise was Lady Catherine…what a woman. Our author gave us a beautiful relationship between her and her younger sister Anne Darcy. Lady C was a force to be reckoned with, especially after we learned of the extent of her marriage to Louis de Bourgh. Daughter Anne was also present and different, but in a good way. There was a good relationship between mother and daughter.

Fitzwilliam Family: Lord Matlock was a piece of work. His sons Matthew [heir] and our dear Colonel worked hard to deflect the machinations of their father’s insistence that Darcy and Anne must marry. Lord Matlock’s reasoning for the marriage was a shock. There was an over-the-top interaction between Darcy and Lord Matlock that went a bit too far. Yeah, we wanted him to get his, but that bit of drama at Longbourn was too much.

Bingley Family: Charles was his usual self, Louisa and Mr. Hurst were different but were likable. Mr. Hurst really put himself forward and had his heroic moment. Caroline was her usual self-absorbed, fawning, marriage crazy for Darcy, social climbing, attention seeking, revengeful, murderous, psychopathic self. Yeah, that’s our Caro. What a shock…I didn’t expect it.

Wickham: What a sleaze; this Wickham was a real piece of work. I wondered why Darcy didn’t alert Colonel Forster as soon as he found out Wickham was in the area. I later saw the wisdom in waiting because the author needed to show that Wickham was suddenly able to pay off his debts. They needed to find out where he got the money and what his plans were. OMG, the author gave us a piece of drama with the women I didn’t expect. I bet Wickham regretted ever getting involved with the Fitzwilliam family.

This was a free offer from Amazon and this is an honest review.
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on October 7, 2015
After reading a few of the P&P variations of this very prolific JAFF author, I decided to review this one as it is better than most of her work. I find it a shame that this author is such a poor writer because she has a lot of creative plot ideas. Whenever I read a summary of her work, I am intrigued and tempted to read further. However, after many attempts to read several of her works, I give up because her writing problems range from poor grammar and construction to flat, robotic dialogue. I was able to finish this one and it is a sweet story if you can get past the poor writing. 3-stars is the highest rating I have been able to give any of this writer's work. Most of the others are worse.
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