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!
I am voluntarily submitting my honest review after receiving an ARC copy of the audiobook generously provided by the author.
This novel vivid..Show More »ly captures how truly dangerous it would be for a woman to time travel to medieval times while retaining all of the romance and passion expected from the genre. Many times, time travel books neglect to reflect on the reality of how brutally women were treated at the hands of "honorable" men, or how wide the language gulf would be between modern and medieval peoples, so Must Love Chainmail is refreshing in that both realities are tackled head-on in an insightful manner. The plot moves along at a fast clip, and despite their communication difficulties, Katy and Robert's spirited dialogue is by turns hilarious then endearing. Their chemistry is undeniable and their passion leaps off the page. This book is a must-read for fans of time travel romance.
Since I had already read Must Love Chainmail in eBook format, my expectations were high, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I must say, the audiobook enhanced my experience 100%!!! The use of authentic language and its pivotal role in first establishing, then bridging the gulf between the main characters is so critical to the novel that hearing correct pronunciations added an entirely new dimension to my experience of the book. While it is often sufficient to muddle along with difficult Welsh and Middle English place names, for this novel in particular, having a guided experience via audiobook brings the setting to life so much more vividly. In addition, the audiobook performance added a whole lot of heat to the steamy scenes. .The narrator's timbre and pacing were spot on for making an already hot couple burn even hotter! I do not often say this, but for Must Love Chainmail, the audiobook enhanced my experience in every way and I highly recommend experiencing the novel that way, but no matter how you decide to enjoy the novel, fans of time travel romance simply must not miss Must Love Chainmail!