High adventure and dark mystery combine in a sparkling historical romance, by Jodi Taylor writing as Isabella Barclay from The Chronicles of St. Mary's.
Bascombe, widowed and tied to an impoverished estate, has learned to ask little of life. With no hope of leaving, the years have passed her by. Lord Ryde, exiled abroad after a scandal, has returned to strip his estate and make a new start in America. A chance encounter changes their plans, plunging Elinor and Lord Ryde into adventure and not a little peril until, finally, they are forced to confront the mystery of what happened on that night, all those years ago.
Are they both so entangled in the riddles of the past that they are about to miss this one last opportunity for future happiness?
©2015 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
I have yet to find any novel by Isabella Barclay, better known as bestselling author Jodi Taylor, that I wouldn't give five stars. Her wit, intelligence and love of history comes through in all her stories, so it's not surprising that she is a natural at writing historical romances. I've loved Georgette Heyer's books since reading them in my teens but without going to the classics like Austen, I have never found an author of this genre to match her before and would sincerely recommend this novel to any fan. The plot pulls you in from the start with a missing heir, a beleaguered but undaunted widow and the return of a scandalous rake. Anna Bentinck took me a few minutes to warm up to but soon brings out all the humour and romance in the book. Her acting is really good and she does a great job with all the different character voices.
Fan of urban fantasy & Victorian gothic especially set in London. Oh, and Georgette Heyer.
The above is not damning with faint praise but rather exalting with hosannas of praise. For to be almost as good as Georgette Heyer at her best is a superhuman feat of excellence.
The tone is just right and our heroine is suitably forthright and unconventional. I like the fact that she's a good 20 years older than your standard romantic lead. It's great fun and what I can only describe as rollicking. There is witty banter and excellent use of Regency slang. Unlike the oevure of the estimable Ms Heyer, there is a sex scene if that sort of thing worries you. But don't worry it's not too embarrassing.
Anna Bentinck is a good narrator for this sort of thing with excellent tone and annunciation.
Enjoys listening to books on her long commute to & from work
Being used to the usual Jodi Taylor, it took a couple of chapters to realise this was Isabella Barclay as a nom de plume. But, once you realise time travel isn't going to happen, I really enjoyed this charming book. Still has JT's wit and the characters were enjoyable to be a part of.
Pride and prejudice, if the characters were just a lot more real and 21st century-esque.
Her timing and fluency brings the relationships to life
Cringe at times, but Jodi has a good way to bring the stupidity into sensible proportions - letting the characters be more than just one dimensional love stories creatures.
Great fun and unexpected. Not as brilliant as St Mary's, but loved the book and glad I found it.
The story line is a fun twist on an Agatha Crhistie type mysteries and has some lovely characters.
The female characters are fun, feisty and well represented by the narrator
She always reads well and makes the characters come alive
The book made me smile a lot
Well worth a read - a nice gentle pace with some amusing scenes.
She brings the whole thing alive. Clear diction for a start.
I laughed a lot. The brutal deceased husband got me angry. Given the genre I didn't take it too seriously though.
I haven't enjoyed an audible book so much. I will certainly look for Anna Bentinck's narration again. I also read a lot of crime novels and have problems with understanding some of the American narrators. I can understand accents can add something but if you have problems with the accent it detracts from the book. This was great - it was as if Georgette Heyer lives again!
Another really fun book by Jodi Taylor, I cannot see why it is shown as 'writing as Isabella Barclay', there doesn't seem any point - IB is a character in the St Mary's series, and really nothing like this book.
The story was fun, and written in the nice humerous way the Jodi Taylor uses for the excellent St Mary's series. There's a little bit of intrigue, a little bit of love and a 'little bit' of murder. All in all, the characters are a delight, the story very good - I really enjoyed it ........ but 'Isabella Barclay .......?'
With yet another change of genre, Jodi Taylor proves that whatever she writes is magic. The story flows, there are highs and lows and there is dry humour. You know there's a mystery to be solved but it's hard to fathom its nature. You know there's going to be a love interest.
I'm not sure I had one, I liked most of them.
Her amazing voice. Well able to cope with all the voice characterisations and to differentiate between them all.
This was not an emotional rollercoaster ride like some of the St Mary's books, it left me with a warm feeling.
Once I had stopped thinking of her previous books and viewed it more in the vein of Jane Austen meets Wilkie Collins I started to enjoy the humour, characterisation and tale. A very enjoyable way to spend a wet Sunday!
-Slightly less formulaic plot than others of the genre
-Great cast of characters
-Very well written
-Enjoyed the narration although some of the male voices sounded like nasally old ladies at times which could be irritating.
"MORE MORE MORE!!!!"
I am not a romance fan.. At all. But I am a HUGE Jodi Taylor fan!!! So, I absolutely gave this a try. I fell in love with her version of a romance!!! Please more... Don't stop writing St Mary's books (please please never ever) but this was throughly enjoyable. I immediately cared about the characters, I was immersed in the world building and snickered all the way through. MORE MORE MORE!
"A clever and well-plotted Regency Romance"
I'm still smiling. Clever humor, a plot that is fun but not over-convoluted; no extra filler, just a well-told story. (No explicit sex.) The interplay between hero and heroine was very fun and the romance made total sense. It comes to a very satisfactory and HEA ending for many. I'm not sure it fits exactly into the Regency genre; Napoleon is gone, but there are few other time clues, but it doesn't matter. This is a short, delicious listen.
Ann Bentinck does quite a good job, although her voice is high enough that her men's voices are not great. I didn't find that a hindrance to my enjoyment, however, she is a very good narrator and the way she approached the reading highlighted the book itself, not her narration, which is how I much prefer to hear books read.
Isabella Barclay, as Jodi Taylor, writes a wonderful series of time travel scientists that is also very clever and whimsical, although a bit darker than this story. I would recommend those books to anyone who likes sci fi/fantasy books, with a small bit of romance thrown in.
"Regency romance AND mystery? Count me in."
I've not recently had the pleasure of discovering characters as smart, witty and charming as Mrs. Bascombe and Lord Ryde. The writing here is delicious. Will be following Jodi Taylor's works for a long time to come I think. I also have discovered a new favorite narrator in Anna Bentinck. She was fantastic with her timing, voices, and expression. The mystery is light but still twisty, the romance is believable and satisfying, I may just listen to this again. I'm just sad to find out this is the author's first book in this genre, I really was hoping to discover a pile of them to dive into. I do look forward to discovering her other series and works, they look like fun. Please, Ms. Taylor, do write many more of these. Pretty please?
"Not St. Mary's But Still A Good Story"
I didn't read the print version but most books are better when listened to. It is so nice to hear the people speak.
His Lord John was my favorite. He tried so hard to do right but was not aware of the facts. She on the other hand put him right. It was a delightful story and I liked the ending.
She brings the dialects and accents of the characters. The emphasis on the words and just livens the story up. Audible books are the best!
Not necessarily. It didn't have any angst really but it was entertaining.
This was a solid story with an endearing romance. The narration was excellent. I'm so happy I picked this audio up.
"Jodi Taylor ROCKS"
I never read the printed version but I love Audible because the characters come alive
I didn't know what to expect from Isabella Barclay since her character is so awful in the St Mary Chronicles but it was inconsequential.
I loved the initial encounter. The repartee was always fun
When he says she has gotten into his heart. Awwwwww
I don't normally love Regency Romance stuff but this was fun.
A fun story with lots of excitement, great dialog, and quite funny, with engaging characters. Anna Bentinck does a wonderful job of bringing the whole to life.
I adored every second of this utterly charming tale of love, mystery, and polite adventure. The tale was eloquently written with delicious wit and humor. Luckily, it was also beautifully performed with perfect narration and
convincing characters, accents, and voices.
So perfect, in fact, that I cannot think of a single complaint, apart from that it was not twice tbe size!
"Absolutely loved it!!!"
A warn story that tells how love can melt and heal frozen wounded hearts. Jodi Taylor infused this lovely story with humor and suspense. She also gives the reader window into a different time. The narration was fantastic as well. A thoroughly enjoyable listen that I was sad to have end. Keep them coming Jodi.
"Jodie or Isabella, still great story telling"
Already listened twice, the second time is to pick up all the nuances, and get to know the characters
as good as any Jodie books, and I love them. The regency romance setting was not off putting in the least
Anna is a great if slightly odd narrator. Her take on male voices is both refreshing and amusing. She is not trying to be a man, she is a woman pointing out the rigidity of these men
the description of the main characters sexual assault by her husband, and the roles of her supporters in that
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