Regular price: $15.98

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    791
  • 4 Stars
    490
  • 3 Stars
    191
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    819
  • 4 Stars
    395
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    719
  • 4 Stars
    449
  • 3 Stars
    183
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    18
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A clever and well-plotted Regency Romance

Any additional comments?

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.

98 of 100 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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?

59 of 61 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not up to St. Mary's standards.


I was disappointed in this book, hoping for more in the line of the St. Mary's chronicles. Perhaps using Isabella Barkley as a pseudonym set up the expectation. This one is okay for a really light read, or listen, but don't anticipate any depth of character or much humor.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • Beautiful Michigan
  • 02-16-18

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

I have to start by saying I don't listen to Historical Romance but I selected this book for a book challenge. Considering I don't enjoy this genre I have to say this book was a pleasant surprise. I was interested from beginning to end and found myself very intrigued by the story. I enjoyed the mystery & excitement as well as the witty banter between the characters and the romance was a lot more than I expected too.

The narration was ok. She was great for the story but her male voices weren't great.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable story so so narration

I really enjoy Jodi Taylor's authentic storytelling and dialog as well as her characters. I fell in love with her Nothing Girl and am reading my way through the rest of her books. The narrator got a bit too Whiny and nasally for my taste, but I still enjoyed the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful romance a la Heyer

This is a Regency romance with a little bit of darkness and a lot of humor. The sex is not overstated. Jodi Taylor is know for her St Mary's series on time travel and some of her snarky irony shows up here too. The performance by Anna Bentinck is excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jodi Taylor ROCKS

Would you consider the audio edition of A Bachelor Establishment to be better than the print version?

I never read the printed version but I love Audible because the characters come alive

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the initial encounter. The repartee was always fun

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When he says she has gotten into his heart. Awwwwww

Any additional comments?

I don't normally love Regency Romance stuff but this was fun.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Bowie, MD, United States
  • 10-17-15

Not St. Mary's But Still A Good Story

Would you consider the audio edition of A Bachelor Establishment to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version but most books are better when listened to. It is so nice to hear the people speak.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily. It didn't have any angst really but it was entertaining.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What do you know? Plump, 40ish, sexy heroin KUDOS

What did you love best about A Bachelor Establishment?

The story has mystery and moves along at a nice pace and characters are real. While this story lacks the usual blood and gore of many mysteries, it offers engaging and redeemable characters. I really liked it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The heroin is actually plump, middle-aged, competent and knows how to handle herself with a man - my kind of person

Have you listened to any of Anna Bentinck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. She does change of character well and I like her speed of delivery at a steady, even pace - very listenable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

People can be misunderstood for years, even a lifetime, but when someone actually takes the trouble to look past what is "known" about a person, sometimes they may be pleasantly surprised.

Any additional comments?

I'd like to read more from this author.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beccameriel
  • 01-24-16

Almost as good a discovering a new 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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nicole
  • 09-15-15

At last an author worthy of comparing with Heyer

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.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 12-05-15

Unexpected but fun

What made the experience of listening to A Bachelor Establishment the most enjoyable?

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.

What other book might you compare A Bachelor Establishment to, and why?

Pride and prejudice, if the characters were just a lot more real and 21st century-esque.

What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her timing and fluency brings the relationships to life

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

Great fun and unexpected. Not as brilliant as St Mary's, but loved the book and glad I found it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pip
  • 10-21-15

Hilariously sublime!

The most heartwarmingly humorous human galloping love story I've read in years! Truly uproarious and life confirming!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sheryl Mason
  • 09-18-15

Jodi can't go wrong

What did you like most about A Bachelor Establishment?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I'm not sure I had one, I liked most of them.

What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her amazing voice. Well able to cope with all the voice characterisations and to differentiate between them all.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This was not an emotional rollercoaster ride like some of the St Mary's books, it left me with a warm feeling.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alexandra
  • 12-02-15

A historical novel that is gentle and fun

What did you like most about A Bachelor Establishment?

The story line is a fun twist on an Agatha Crhistie type mysteries and has some lovely characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The female characters are fun, feisty and well represented by the narrator

Have you listened to any of Anna Bentinck’s other performances? How does this one compare?

She always reads well and makes the characters come alive

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book made me smile a lot

Any additional comments?

Well worth a read - a nice gentle pace with some amusing scenes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Patric
  • 10-02-15

Historical Romp!

What does Anna Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She brings the whole thing alive. Clear diction for a start.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot. The brutal deceased husband got me angry. Given the genre I didn't take it too seriously though.

Any additional comments?

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 09-27-15

Jodi Taylor - Isabella Barclay

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 .......?'

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu
  • 08-22-16

An Absolute Exquisite Little Gem!!

This book a compelling well written story with all the elements of wit, charm, suspense, action and romance, with a healthy dose of humour and all put together in an elegantly told story that's addictive and rewarding in every way!! An exquisite masterpiece worth the time of an audience whether young or old.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jules
  • 08-22-16

Good book

Totally sweet story and quite humourous. Quite enjoyable period piece of writing and nice characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • H. Anthony
  • 03-07-16

Had to listen twice!

I adored the characters, narrator was fabulous, first time I have relistened straight away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • lone
  • 05-16-18

A Bachelor Establishment

I enjoyed this book! If you like Georgette Heyer’s novels you will probably like this. In fact I think Ms Taylor has read most of Ms Heyer’s books as there are quite a few delightful similarities. Ms Bentinck does a great job as Narrator! I recommend this book.