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..Show More » 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!
Wow, I really don't know where to begin with this review. This story was a real struggle to get through. The language barrier between the two was just..Show More » not realistic. The chemistry between Katy and Robert was forced and did not feel genuine at all. The entire story suffered drastically and it was very hard to enjoy. I thought with an hour left the story was going to get better. No. This was not the case. It did not get better it actually got more ridiculous.
The storyline and plot was just not very good and I think the year 1294 was a bit too far back to go. This book was nothing like the previous book at all. I cannot recommend it.
As for the narration, Mary Jane Wells did a very good job considering what she had to work with. She gave all the characters their own distinct voice and read with the motion, she also has a very nice reading voice. So, I do recommend the narrator.