She's finally met the man of her dreams. Only one problem: he lives in a different century.
How far would you travel for love?
A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, and suddenly her love of historical authenticity collides with the reality that she's a modern-day girl. But when a thief steals her card case, she determines to retrieve the time-traveling artifact. Now she must hunt down the case, navigate the pitfalls of stiff society London, conceal her time-traveling origins, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, a viscount so hot he curls her shower-loving toes.
Lord Montagu is resolved to avenge his sister and has no time for dalliances, despite the appeal of the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge requires a respectable match, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. But he did not bargain for Ms. Rochon being his intellectual match or the irresistible attraction.
Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home, and her heart, lies.
Set in 1834 London, this time travel historical romance features a small cast of historical characters, including Ada Byron, Lord Byron's daughter, and Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine. It explores the often overlooked scientific developments of pre-Victorian London.
With a heroine caught between the Regency and Victorian eras, find out why USA TODAY calls this time travel romance "a delicious twist on historical drama and romance."
©2014 Angela Trigg (P)2016 Angela Trigg
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"Don't Miss this Wonderful Time Travel Romance!"
Must Love Breeches is a light hearted time-travel HR — a reverse Kate and Leopold, where a modern girl with baggage, ends up in 1834 London. With fine writing and a witty plot, it grabbed me from the start!
But, to be completely honest, I was prepared to be disappointed, since so many of the books with a similar plot have usually failed due to overly plucky and strident heroines, who come across as arrogant or TSTL. Fortunately, Angela Quarles is a terrific writer who handles this tricky sub-genre with a deft hand. Bravo!
The lead heroine, Isabelle, is a history professional. She loves Austen, and the British Museum, and all things antique. Upon finding herself in London in 1834, her reactions — and her denial — feel real, and not at all overdone. And as the implications of her situation dawn on her, that she is truly stuck there, it’s fun to watch her find her footing amid all the pitfalls of trying to pass as someone from another age. (I particularly enjoyed watching while she tried to remember what she'd read in novels and history books!)
The narration by Mary Jane Wells, is extremely well done, and worthy of the story, as she enhances the experience of the book immensely. While she initially reads Isabelle with a flat American accent, but soon softens it, as the character makes an effort to sound more like the people around her, and her American accent becomes very pleasant to listen to. VERY WELL DONE, indeed!
(I shudder to think what a less skilled narrator could have done to this book, and hope Ms. Quarles chooses to continue to use MJW!)
The romance, particularly the sex scene, is a masterpiece. Beautifully written and performed, and true to the era in which it occurs, it held me enthralled. Phineas, (great name!) is a true gentleman of his time, and behaves accordingly, showing all the care and respect one would expect, without stepping back from the passion when it counts. I loved how true to the situation that scene was, perhaps more so when compared to those in many of the usual HR’s, where rakes normally prevail. I found it deeply affecting, romantic, and very sexy. I think Ms Quarles is very talented.
Naturally, there is a mystery, with dastardly bad guys, and enough action to keep the book moving at a good steady clip, but it never overwhelms the romance, and gives 1834 London it’s due in atmosphere and description, peopled as it is with great thinkers of it's age. Neither does it become overly violent or unduly melodramatic, which I appreciated. The Epilogue ties things up nicely, and is not to be missed.
There is another book in this series, Must Love Chainmail, and as I do, I can’t wait to read it. I hope it will come to Audible very soon, with Mary Jane Wells, or someone equally talented, doing the narration. Enjoy!
FYI: I was very fortunate to receive this book (from Audioblast!) for an honest review. Lucky me!
"Loved the reader and liked the story"
The cover is misleading. You'd think its just a bodice-ripper with little substance, but there's a well-written historical romance hiding in the pages. The reader was phenomenal. Every chapter made me love her voice more. The story was good, too, though if you can force yourself to skip the epilogue, do so. It will just make you question the story more than an epilogue should.
"The little details don't add up."
Did Angela Quarles change her timeline midway through? I enjoyed the story, but there are little details that really bugged me. She spent so much time emphasizing Isabelle's cell phone at the beginning and the details about the phone indicate she's probably from at least the early 2000's because it sounds like a smartphone. Isabelle also repeatedly talks about how things are supposed to change over the next 150 years while she's back in 1834, but then the dates given in the epilogue totally screw up the timeline. It's missing at least 40 years. She goes back to 1834, they're married for 30 years, and then she says she'll be born in another 80 years.... In the epilogue, Isabelle says that she was born in 1944 and would then travel back from 1973.... Her age would be right since she's supposed to be 29, but then how the heck is she supposed to have a smartphone that sounds like it's from the 2000's? It doesn't fit! I know the point of the story is to immerse yourself in the romance, but these details are super annoying.
"Amazing ending to this Romance!!!"
I don't usually leave all 5 stars on my reviews. However, this was a great love story. The narration is excellent. I was absolutely thrilled with her character voices.
The time travel was basically Isabelle Rochon, who works for the British Museum, walking into the 1834 streets of London after a ball. This all happens in the first chapter. So I am not giving away a major spoiler. She has a cell phone that won't work and is carrying around a little silver card case (like a business card case) and her purse. She is dressed in a ball gown that fits the higher class dress of the 19th century, which alerts people to the fact that she is part of society. She meets Ada Byron Lovelace (Lord Byron the poet's daughter) and her cousin Phineas, Lord Montagu. Then the adventure begins.
Isabelle meets famous scientists, gets to see the British Museum before the restoration after the war, and attends many social events of the time. This is story is filled with some drama involving something she brought into 1834. There are many people that want this item.
Of course, Isabelle falls in lust...then love with Phineas. The "Item" is found and Isabelle can return to her own time. She goes back and forth with "does he love me doesn't he love me?", but this is not drawn out into a long emotional chapter after chapter. I am so glad that Angela did not drag this on as most Romance writers do.
Small spoiler Alert ----- Okay, she goes back to her time. She immediately knows that she should not have returned. She gets back to Phineas in 1834. The romance is great.
BUT....Here is something VERY important; you absolutely MUST pay attention to the Epilogue at the end of the story. Pay close attention to the dates and events Isabelle mentions. It makes this a FANTASTIC ending.
This audiobook was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
"A Time Travel Romance so worth the time to read!"
Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles brings together contemporary sexiness and nineteenth century innocence. The result is a sensual romance that you can’t put down!
The story begins when Isabelle Rochon faints during a reenactment ball, and awakens in 1834 London, in the midst of a true ball. With no money, no friends and absolutely no idea how this has happened to her, Isabelle faces an unbelievable reality. She has traveled back in time!
Isabelle soon realises that a capable, independent, modern day woman has no place in London’s society. Lucky for her she meets Miss Ada Byron, a woman who has the open mind and intelligence to accept Isabelle’s time traveling story as truth. With Ada’s help, Isabelle is able to safeguard her secret and blend in while she searches for her way back home.
Lord Montagu knows his cousin Ada’s new mysterious friend is a complication he doesn’t need. He is a man focused on revenge, and tries his best to ignore the curiosity and desire Isabelle stirs in him. However, once he sees his carefully constructed plan is not working in his favor, he realizes Isabelle might be just what he needs to finally have vengeance.
After accepting the gorgeous Lord Montagu’s unusual proposal to act as his fiancé, it proves no easy task for Isabelle. She must protect her true time traveler identity, while aiding him on his secretive project. Most importantly, she must resist the growing passion that continues to threaten the fact that she must leave. She needs to return to her life, her job, her time - but every tender kiss and stolen moment of passion is tearing Isabelle apart. Isabelle must decide... Is this love? Is this worth staying for?
You won’t want to miss this love story that defies time! I should warn you though... it will leave you wanting a little more romance in your life!
Mary Jane Wells was excellent with the delivery of the story
"Not at ALL what I'd expected:"
People who would like this book: Only those who like a surface story, who are obsessed with all things Jane Austen (enough not to care about the inaccuracies) and who have excellent hearing.
People who would NOT like this book: listeners who are looking for good character development, believable story lines, accurate narration, good character development and strong female leads.
Characters did not seem to be well developed. In the beginning, the heroine seemed overly flighty and lacking substance and sensibility. It took her an unusual amount of time to realize she'd gone back in time and she acted like an idiot the whole time. It was like an episode of Bridgette Jones' diary meets Jane Austin. Very trying for people looking for a strong heroine and a good love story. After 7 hours of listening, I still didnt feel like the characters actually loved eachother. Only that they wanted to "hit the hay." I had no personal investment in the main characters. the story line and the decisions of the heroine were difficult to believe and hard to follow.
There were a lot of unbelievable parts. For instance, the main character was a history buff who works in a top museum in London but hails from alabama. However, she was extremely flighty and the typical "gauche american." Whereas, one would excpect one who had dedicated their life to museum work to be more circumspect, more educated, less "Cluless" (like the movie). And then, once the main character FINALLY realizes she's gone back in time, she becomes a paragon of calm, cool, collected, relatively perfect behavior. It was like the main character became a completely different person. More like the person one would THINK would have started at the beginning.
Other unbelievable parts included the main character telling the Byron daughter that she'd travelled through time and said girl easily accepts. That a newspaper reporter overhears the main character say she is from the future and prints it in a newspaper but her betrothed ignores it and there is relatively no social fallout from the "scandal." It was like the author threw in that tidbit to tie something else together (additional story line) but didnt fully develop it or work it out in advance. It, much like the rest of the book, was unbelievable and not fully developed.
I know that the narrator is English and her English female accent was spot on (most of the time... sometimes a bit of "lower class english" accent slipped in but only someone who had lived in england would note this. Most listeners would not). However, the Main Character is AMERICAN. Why do I write that with capital letters? Well, because a MAJORITY of the story concerns the main character's inner thoughts and the narrator is in fact, reading/verbally acting out those thoughts. The main character is from Mobile, Alabama (I believe it's mobile). People from alabama USUALLY have a southern accent. The heroine was given a Los Angeles Valley Girl flighty type accent (think of Alicia Silverstone in Clueless). This was difficult to follow. PLUS, every time the main character had a thought, it was delivered in British English. This made it VERY hard to follow or empathize with the main character and took a lot away from the story.
Additionally, the narrator struggled with the male voices. It was almost like the narrator couldn't vocalize the lower octave in a normal voice so she lowered her volume and made it breathier in order to effect a "male voice." Probably about 30 times in the first 2 hours between the male lead, his thoughts, the main character and the Byron Chick's voice and thoughts, the narrator quieted her voice to such an extent, I couldnt even hear what was said. I used my headphones almost exclusively and had no surrounding noise. I missed so much of what the characters were thinking and saying because of the drastic change in volume of the narrator's voice. Almost like she doesnt know how to use a microphone for recording properly. I had to either turn my volume up to the Max and deal with it hurting my ears for the majority of the listen (just so I wouldnt miss the times when the narrator got inordinately quiet), OR I would have to forego understanding the times when the narrator decided to get quiet in order to "create an effect." the effect she created with the constant switch in volume was extreme annoyance on the part of the listener.
I **will** say that for being British, the narrator does not do an unbelievable "American Accent." However, she used a Los Angeles accent for the main character who clearly should have had a southern accent (or at least a HINT of a southern accent, even if moderated) due to being from mobile, Alabama.
I dont know that I would have "cut" scenes... though definitely, I would have cut out all mention of the stupid newspaper reporting of her being "from the future..." it didnt make sense, wasnt properly developed and was annoying.
IMPORTANT COMMENT FOR EDITORS/AUDIBLE:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE start casting both a male and a female for each book. Even with the BEST of narrators, women pretending male voices and males pretending female voices NEVER sounds believable. However, if you had one female actor to act out all female character voices and one male character to act out all male voices, the stories would be SO MUCH MORE COLORFUL and BELIEVABLE!!!! It would make a SIGNIFICANT difference. in fact, even if a story sucked, I would buy one that was dual-narrated because I believe good acting could carry the story and suck you in regardless. As far as cost is concerned I would think that splitting the time between two actors would similarly split the cost. There has to be a cost effective way to do this.
The old time radio shows of the 1940's - 1960's did this right. They had multiple actors, sound effects, etc. those shows sucked you in and really transported you. After all, that's WHY people buy these books, or movies or tv shows... they want to be transported to a different reality. Now, I'm not saying you have to go as far as the old time radio shows with sound effects, multiple actors, etc. But MINIMALLY having one good male actor do the male voices and one good female actor doing the female voices.... it would give the stories SO much more credence and believability. I am certain this would dramatically increase sales once the trend caught on.
I dont care how good a voice over artist is, I have yet to listen to an actor voicing a gender other than their own and be fully believable.
If you DO try the dual-actor casting, please let me know. I am not normally as harsh in my criticism as I was above. I would be very interested to help on a pilot or to review these audiobooks once you get them done. Minimally, please alert me when you do.
P.S. Also, I think if you were to find a special name for the dual-voice actor productions- a catchy term that communicates the 2 or multiple actors- And if audible added an option to search their store for such dramatized titles (having 2 actors- 1 male & 1 female) - I think those titles might sell more than other titles. Especially if marketed correctly.
"A different take on a HR time travel romance."
This was an ok read not my fave (I have read tons of TT HR) the narrator got on my nerves at times...I found myself fast forwarding through some of the story it wasn't holding my attention. It was an interesting toward the end. Worth a credit
"Kate & Leopold style romance"
Yes, don't let the cover throw you off, this is actually a really well done Time Travel Romance with very real historical facts, not as raunchy as the cover suggests, but a well written novel.
I'd compare it to the movie Kate & Leopold, except the woman goes back in time.
Where she catches him snooping upstairs and they need to form a cover story, quick.
It has plenty of funny moments in it.
"So Good I was sorry it ended!"
You bet I would! First, I love period books and the fact that this crossed over into somewhat modern times was awesome! The writing and narration were so spot on. I was fully immersed in the story I couldn't wait to get back to it!
Lord M for sure. He was vulnerable without being too soft. His heart while usually misunderstood was always in the right place. He loved her from the first moment and never stopped wanting what was best for her even if it meant leaving him.
I don't have an English accent so, I would never have read the words in that manner. Hearing what sounded like an earnest depiction made it all the better.
No crying but definitely lots of giggling.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
"Charming, Refreshing & Sexy!"
This is a top-shelf romance told in a fresh voice. The loveable heroine, Isabel approaches problems with a scientific mind that proves intelligence is sexy!
An impromptu make-out session hastily arranged to divert suspicion. Super hot!
I listened every chance I could get. It kept me entertained from first word to last. Well done, Angela Quarles!
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