The Lovers

Echoes from the Past, Book 1
Narrated by: Wendy Wolfson
Series: Echoes from the Past, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (254 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

1665. When Elise de Lesseps is sold in marriage to Lord Edward Asher, she resolves to be an obedient and dutiful wife, until, on their wedding night, she finds out exactly what her husband has in store for her.

His request leaves her feeling shocked and humiliated, but being his chattel, she has no right to refuse. The consequences of that night seal Elise's fate and set her on a path that will lead to heartbreak and tragedy.

2013. Renowned archeologist, Dr. Quinn Allenby has a gift: She can see into the past when holding an object that belonged to the dead. When asked to host a BBC documentary called Echoes from the Past, Quinn uses her gift to find out what really happened to the 17th-century couple known only as The Lovers and unwittingly stumbles onto the secret of her own birth.

©2018 Irina Shapiro (P)2018 Merlin Press LLC
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Gem of a story

This is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. Irina Shapiro is an amazing storyteller. I read at least a couple of books a week so how has it taken me this long to find her? Lovers is the type of story we all hope to have when starting a new book, that gem of a story that will make you want to cancel plans and call in sick to work. Nothing else matters except the story of the two lovers. I loved having the two stories running simultaneously as both stories held my interest equally. The blurb let’s you know that one of those stories ends tragically but I was still not prepared for the total devastation I felt at the conclusion of James and Elise. I was emotional drained and literally cried as I opened an expensive bottle of wine to mourn the Lovers. Wendy Wolfson did an amazing job bringing this story to life. Her narration was perfect for the story. I probably could go on and on as once my review is written the book will truely be over and I’m just not ready for that. Luckily I already purchased book 2.

8 people found this helpful

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Can't judge a book by it's cover!

This was a great book! I was expecting a book that was about 2 people who fall in love and based on the cover I expected it to be in the 16th century.
Instead what a surprise! This is about a women who is searching for her past while being able to see the past by touching an object that belonged to another person. This one brings her back to the 17th century.

The narration was great.
Can't wait to read the next one.

This book was a gift and this is my honest review.

4 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking and Emotional!

This was such a heartbreaking and emotional story it was difficult to listen to parts of it without taking a break and pulling myself together, especially knowing how one of the stories was going to end. What Elise had to live through is so horrific it is difficult to believe that many women in that era lived a similar life. Mind you the cruelty of her death, as well as that of her lover is hopefully a rare case! Quinn’s story was intriguing as well and also emotional. I am anxious to hear more about how she gets along with Gabe and if she discovers her true parentage. The story was so well written it definitely left me wanting more and I also thought the epilogue was brilliant! Wendy Wolfson did an exceptional job and is one of the best female narrators I have listened to. I would definitely listen to another audiobook she narrates. I received a free copy of this audiobook and have voluntarily provided an unbiased review.

3 people found this helpful

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History comes to life

Great story. Love the Past and Present storylines. I didn't think Foresenic anthropology would spark my interest. But I am history minor so this is right up my alley. The ending is a whoa moment. I highly recommend this audiobook. You must listen to it!!!

3 people found this helpful

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another wonderful book from Irina Shapiro!

I loved this book. the story was great and was well written. The narration was wonderful and the narrator took on the different voices without being fake or cringe worthy. there were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting and flipping back and forth between time periods was done seamlessly. I am looking forward to listening to more books in this series when they become available. Irina Shapiro is definitely one of my favorite authors and I have loved everything she has written.

3 people found this helpful

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Perfect Story and Narration!

Every so often you come upon a book you know will be an all time favorite. As you go through it, you want to keep reading, yet don’t want it to end. And as an author, you’re both enamored with the story and almost jealous you didn’t think of it first! I found that with this audiobook!

In 1665 Elise de Laseppes has been biding her time, waiting to announce her secret betrothal to a common lad to her father. But one morning, her father calls for her, telling her to prepare for her wedding to Lord Asher. Lord Asher is rich, widowed, twice her age, and able to save the de Laseppes from ruin. While she wants nothing more than to run away with the boy who promises her the world, she can’t. Her two little sisters depend on her to keep the family afloat, even if they don’t fully understand it. So she leaves her childhood home to become the literal lady of the manor. But her well-bred husband hides more than one secret and Elise will be tasked with not only saving her family, but herself as her husband strives to get an heir.

In 2013 London, Dr. Quinn Allenby is straight off a nasty breakup and home from a successful archeological trip to Jerusalem when she receives a new task. A pair of skeletons was found in a chest, a makeshift coffin with evidence to show that neither person was dead when they were left alone in the dark. She’s approached by a producer who wants her to head a historical drama show, featuring the mysterious skeleton, and implores her to find the true story by any means necessary. Using her special skills, Quinn sets off to give them back their identities. But as she works to discover the skeletons’ pasts, her own comes into clearer focus.

Two women, centuries apart, brought together by chance and a blue brooch that holds the secret behind the hidden chest.

One of the hardest parts about writing reviews is that sometimes you need to leave out some of the best parts, as to not spoil anything. All I can say is that Quinn has certain abilities that ties her to Elise in a way she can’t fully explain. As more of Elise’s life is revealed, the deeper Quinn’s character development goes. She lives her life alongside Elise’s past in a seamless way that Shapiro should be congratulated for. It’s difficult to time hop without confusing readers or muddling the stories, but everything is crystal clear in this book by the end.

As a historian, I love to take note of the bits and pieces in all historicals I read. Shapiro’s book was a a fine example of a well researched piece. The food, clothing, ailments, and accessories such as birthing chairs and plague doctors were slipped in naturally, setting up the time period without it being forced. Still, Elise and her loved ones had personalities that transcended time.

The narration of The Lovers was wonderful. Wolfson’s voice was clear and easy to get lost in. The pace was perfect and the slight changes in the characters through their own voices wasn’t overdone or cartoonish as some are. Usually I limit my audiobook listening to car rides and dog walks, but I found myself listening to this one almost nonstop until the end.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I loved this book. I could see it as a movie with the same thrilling, dramatic feel as The Da Vinci Code or Tulip Fever. In ebook, paperback, or audiobook, this is the perfect read for lovers of thrillers, romance, and mysteries.

3 people found this helpful

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A Time Travel Romance

Lots of mystery , hidden secrets , and a romance story from the past and also the future .
The narrator does an outstanding job .
She knows how to act out the multiple characters .


1 person found this helpful

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Ending seemed rushed

I loved most of this book, but it seemed to me that the author didn't spend enough time creating the ending.

1 person found this helpful

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You won't be able to stop listening!

I loved the story and the two different time lines of the characters. You will not be disappointed!

3 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking

This was a fascinating and heartbreaking story despite two of the MCs having an HEA. Their story wasn’t able to overshadow the absolute tragedy that befell the historical characters. Such a difficult book to listen to. The book was well written, though, for the most part. It was a bit rambling and overly descriptive many times but the tragedy that unfolded compelled me to keep listening. The narrator was adequate too. She spoke in much too hushed a voice for many of the female characters and she had a strange kilt to every sentence that was very annoying since ever sentence had the same tenor and cadence over and over. Despite those annoyances, she did do a good job with using a variety of voices and accents. Not a perfect book but still highly enjoyable.

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Profile Image for 🎧 Jhommie Kem-ing
  • 🎧 Jhommie Kem-ing
  • 06-19-19

The Lovers by Irina Shapiro

I fell in love with the book and the story. This is a heartbreaking 💔 , tear-jerker book. It made me cry even harder than Romeo and Juliet did. Definitely a must read or listen book.

The narration by Wendy Wolfson is also perfect.. her voice did a very good job with portraying the emotions of the characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rosemary White
  • 02-25-20

Uncomplicated story.

I was looking forward to a time slip kind of story with simultaneous storylines, and that is what we have here but the mechanism to meld the connection between them seemed like a clumsy, naive afterthought when it could have been much more interesting and intriguing, so, an opportunity lost. This is a Mills and Boon story with a transparent plot. I got bored with the predictability and skipped chapters without consequence. The narrator didn't detract from the simplistic tale. Sorry Irina Shaperio, although you have obviously done a good deal of research, this book doesn't work for me.

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  • LeMiliere
  • 01-06-20

A Compelling, Thought Provoking, Well-Written Tale

We know from the very beginning of this book that there was no happy ever after for our lovers whose remains were discovered in a large wooden chest, padlocked and chained. The skeletons inside were lying face to face, as if sharing a final kiss as they lay dying. Their deaths were not of natural causes, there are scratch marks on the inside of the lid. The Lovers were murdered, their bodies hidden and denied a proper burial.

The story is told to us by Dr Quinn Allenby a Forensic Archaeologist who was approached by a producer at the BBC who is making a historical drama series titled ‘Echoes of the Past’. Quinn must piece together the identity of the doomed couple dubbed by the media as ‘The Lovers’. Quinn has a gift, if she holds something personal belonging to the deceased she can both feel and see their memories and inside the chest along with the bones were a ladies broach and a mans belt buckle and from these objects, Quinn learns who they were and what happened to them.

London 1665: Elise de Laseppes was betrothed to Lord Edward Asher, to partially settle a debt owed by her father to Lord Asher. She had hoped to marry for love but now she must dutifully obey her father and marry for the sake of her younger sisters.

This book is a captivating dual time novel set in both 1664/65 and 2013 respectively. This is the first book by this author I have read or listened to and I thought the way she managed to weave these two stories together and transition back and forth between both timelines was very well done. The descriptive writing set against the backdrop of the London Plague was very well researched and the pictures painted by her words brought that terrible time to life.

Quinn’s personal life is interesting too, she was an abandoned baby and so has no idea where her "gift" came from, and although she loves her adoptive parents she would love to know why she was abandoned.

As I said at the start of my review I knew there was no HEA for "The Lovers" but what happened to them was cruel beyond belief and during James’ final moments I cried if I had been reading this book I would have had to stop as I wouldn't have been able to continue. The epilogue did lift my spirits somewhat but it took some time for me to get the image of Elise and James out of my mind.

This book was compelling and had me hooked from beginning to end. The writing style was excellent, the research undertaken and the emotions evoked make this a book not to be missed. I am now going to download and listen to the next book in this series.

The narration of this book by Wendy Wolfson was excellent and together with the excellent writing of Irina Shapiro made this listening experience one which will stay with me for some time.

I was given this audiobook as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review.

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  • Rachel Reads
  • 11-30-19

Great story

Story was distinctly different than most love stories. loved the difference between time zones, would have loved more development of the parental search felt like the story ended too soon. It was desperately sad and happy too.

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  • Krisz
  • 10-29-19

Fascinating!

The Lovers was the first book I experienced by Irina Shapiro. I was utterly fascinated with the story and captivated by the whole concept of the book and the way it was written. Even though I knew the couple, known as The Lovers, whose remnants have been found, didn't have a happy ending it was still exciting to read all the circumstances that lead to their fate. I loved the back and forth between the past and present.

Wendy Wolfson's narration was absolutely superb, the recording was high quality. I loved her pace and the voices she used. She was the perfect choice to narrate this story.

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  • Jacinta
  • 10-11-19

A GREAT STORY

I have been invested in this story from beginning to end. the narration is great and brought the story to life. i especially loved how Queen told the story of the Lovers. I enjoyed listening to this book. Highly recommended

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  • bluepits73
  • 09-01-19

A Happy Surprise

The first 3-5 chapters, I had to sort of adjust to the subtle nature of narrator's style. It was actually a great performance throughout and she was an excellent pick for this story and really brought our the characters to life. She has a more subtle way of speaking than what I am used to and it was a happy surprise.

Due to adjusting to the narrator, the first 3-5 chapters seemed a smidge slow to me and I found myself to be mostly indifferent towards Quinn. I was mostly wanting to get back to listening to Elise and James' story and what happened next with them. However, as the story went on, Quinn grew on me as a character and I was able to enjoy and appreciate the things she was going through in her parts of the story. The author wrote the story in such a way that we know where it will end up, but it still comes as a bit of a shock anyways. I wholly enjoyed this story and I look forward to more by this author and narrator.

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  • Vanessa Leighton
  • 07-28-19

Amazing

This book has been amazing the author is very skilled in moving between the modern day and 1664 with great attention to detail.


Both of the characters story was entertaining and kept me in the edge of my seat desperately wanting more.

The narrator was perfect with a very soothing voice and gave such personality to all the main characters

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-19

You won't regret it 😍

I loved this book from start to finish. is holds your attention throughout. It had everything from romance, history, suspense, murder and heartache. The narrator did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. I can't wait to listen to the next book. High praise to the author and narrator it was a pleasure to listen to.

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  • Helen
  • 07-20-19

amazing story

1665. When Elise de Lesseps is sold in marriage to Lord Edward Asher,
2013. Renowned archeologist, Dr. Quinn Allenby has a gift: She can see into the past when holding an object that belonged to the dead.
amazing story line by Irina Shapiro and bought to life by Wendy Wolfson
can't wait for more book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-17-19

Tedious and soppy

I could not really get into the story and found myself 'jumping' great wads of it to avoid listening to the waffle. The narrator didn't help as her voice was extremely irritating.