Review: Must Love Breeches (Must Love, Book 1) by Angela Quarles

22664678Heroine: Isabelle Rochon thought this reenactment ball would be spectacular. She did the research, came dressed in a period-correct gown, and finds the evening less than enchanting. The women are dressed slutty, the dancing is a boor, the lights too bright, and her coworker crush turns out to be an ass. Where’s the magic? Clearly her expectation for the evening were to high, but wouldn’t this ball have been just the thing in the past? Sigh.

Hero: Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount, espies the lovely Isabelle Rochon in her exquisitely French and modish attire and is intrigued. He’s in luck that she’s talking to his cousin so he can finagle an introduction. She’s a delightful distraction and he rues his growing reputation because he feels it precludes him from pursuing her… but then he strikes on just the thing… she can be part of his scheme for revenge on the men involved in his sister’s ruination.

Review: Lord Montagu is the kind of perfectly charming and sincere man Isabelle has been looking for – but when she finally realizes what happened and that she’s back in time she’s heartbroken because she can’t have him. She takes his cousin in her confidence and shows off her phone (and calculator app) to prove her story… but alas the battery dies before she can show him (when she’s ready to trust him… after all Bedlam is not a nice place she hears).

Pro: A focus on the progress of the times – it wasn’t all balls and parades in the park, there was also science and differential engines, and flying mechanical horses (that didn’t work).

Con: The heroine was too hesitant to snap the hero up… Lord Montagu would have been whisked off his feet before he had a chance to rise up from his bow. ;)

One of the best time travel romances I’ve read. Definitely recommend.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Must Love Breeches: A Time Travel Romance (Must Love Series Book 1)

Review: The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend by Annabelle Costa

time-travelers-boyfriend-by-annabelle-costaSummary: Claudia loves her boyfriend Adam and would love to marry him. Unfortunately, he’s not ready for the next step. He’s leery of commitment because he had been deeply hurt by a girl he met just after the accident that left him paralyzed. When Adam invents a time machine and asks Claudia to use it to save him from the accident, she’s not sure what to think. But then Claudia sees this as the perfect way to separate Adam from the emotional wounds of his past. If he never meets that girl then he’ll be emotionally ready for marriage in the present when she gets back… of course it’s not that simple and things go awry.

Review: This is a cute, fluffy romance that is quick to get into and quick to read. I loved Claudia’s and Adam’s interaction after her first foray into the past. Oh my! Not quite what either one were expecting. I liked how Claudia accidentally-but-eventually-purposefully influenced her younger self toward the career path she finds so rewarding. I like how young-Claudia and time-travel-Claudia butted heads about things. I love young-Adam and Adam-at-the-end-of-the-book. It’s hard to say what made this work for me without giving too much away. I hope though, if you’re in the mood for something lighthearted you’ll consider reading this book!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend

The Inspiration Behind A Portal in Time

A Portal in TimeGuest Blog by Claire Fullerton, author of A Portal in Time

Inspiration for a novel can come from the most unusual of circumstances, and the idea for A Portal in Time is no exception. In the year 2000, my husband and I took a trip up the California coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea on the hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula. As it was our one year wedding anniversary, we had reservations for the weekend at Carmel’s historic, La Playa Hotel– a hotel we’d never stayed in before.

Everything about the lobby of the antiquated hotel piqued my interest, and as my husband checked us in, I let my imagination roam free, taking in every inch of the opulent lobby with its travertine floors, sand-stone fireplace, and sweeping Mediterranean tiled staircase. I explored a particular hallway looking at architectural maps of various stages of the hotel’s growth that hung beside sepia tinted photographs of people in period clothing. By the time my husband came to find me, I had already envisioned myself living in a house of this exact constitution, wearing a dress exactly like the one I saw in one of the photographs.

Next, I started thinking of what it was like to be alive at the turn of the 19th century, living in a house by the sea along with how it would feel to have it as the setting of my life. I decided I would love it– that there would be a fabulous, interesting, fully-realized life at play with myself at the center of a thriving artistic community and oh the thrill of the environment.

But it occurred to me that life is life, and things happen to people unwittingly, and the story of people’s lives tend to happen in increments of cause and effect no matter where one lives.

My eyes kept returning to the lobby’s staircase, and I wanted to climb them to their top. When I did, I was drawn to a wooden cathedral door at the end of a long hallway. I stood looking down the hall thinking, “If this were my house, the master bedroom would be at the end of this hall with a bay window overlooking a garden.” I could feel myself standing before the window as if I were looking at my garden, then I started asking, “Now why would I be here looking out the window?”

A Portal in Time my paranormal/historical novel, is the explanation of an entire imagined life that brought me to that window at the top of the stairs in Carmel’s La Playa Hotel. I decided the story would be best told in oscillating time periods in order to lend an eerie, mystical feel. I like to give my readers an experience by taking them on a journey. I want them to see and hear and feel everything for themselves by giving them a specific reality, and in this case, the reality is “A Portal in Time.”

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Portal-in-Time/652046314828696

www.clairefullerton.com

Buy: A Portal in Time

Time Travel: Impossible, Not to Love!

blue luteGuest Blog by Eryn LaPlant Rask, author of The Blue Lute

Time travel – yep, it’s impossible but who doesn’t love a good era-jumping story? Throw in some smoochin’ and lovin’ and you have a more than fantastic romance. We all know we can’t fall in love with knights of old, be ravished by eleventh century Vikings* or in The Blue Lute’s case, romanced by a debonair speakeasy musician from the Jazz Age.

The first time travel romance I read was Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor and from that moment I’ve loved the idea of crossed souls moving through time. Men were different back then, weren’t they? They were mannerly, polite and eloquent when they spoke. In fact, I was just talking about this in my Romance Writer’s of America chapter meeting this month. We were saying that in this day and age locker room talk might be something like, “Hey, dude, are you gonna hit that?” (or something far worse). But back in the other eras the bawdy talk might have gone something like this, “Her heaving bosoms call to me. I must make her mine tonight.”

Any way you say it, it’s still guys being guys, but somehow it sounds a little better coming from the gents of the past. In my personal opinion, I think this is why women like reading romances, especially ones that venture back to the past. We want our book boyfriends to be something we don’t have in this day in age. And with what very early reviews I’ve received from The Blue Lute, my theory has been proven with my dear Brandon Crowley.

Brandon is a suave, stand-up bass player who was whisked away from 1928 to the next century. He’s devilishly handsome and definitely has that proper air about him. You know…one of those bow-at-the-waist, kiss-your-hand kind of guys and when he meets Lilly Charles, a lowly doctoral history student, she is melted by his charm. No one Lilly has met in her generation is like Brandon. Their pants hang below the belt line, they let doors fly back in her face and hardly even use proper grammar. Her eyes are opened to Brandon and his polished demeanor. Just like the women who read a good time travel romance are. We want to be romanced and treated like princess, too.

Heck, I know I’ve had my share of unrefined guys who have treated me with less than the respect that I deserve. One even went so far as to slobber me after a date where I ended up with food poisoning. Here I was ill and he still went in to make a move. Thank God, I had enough sense about me to kick him out of my car before he could get any further than a slimy tongued kiss. I went home that night and settled into bed with a book boyfriend with way more manners than that date ever had. Sigh… if men would read these kinds of books, maybe they’d see where they go all wrong.

How about you? In the comments below, share some of your date nightmares or what mannerly qualities you’d like to see in your man?

*Thanks to author Renee Vincent for her knowledge of all things Vikings.

****************

THE BLUE LUTE

A doctoral candidate in history, Lilly Charles lives in a modern-day treasure trove of 1920s architecture—Manhattan’s St. Jean Apartments. The former hotel was once in the center of New York City’s jazz scene, and holds secrets Lilly is only beginning to discover.

A musical star in his own time, Brandon Crowley lived in an age of prohibition and gangsters, surrounded by the glamour of old Hollywood and the comfort of true friendships. As co-owner of the notorious speakeasy, The Blue Lute, he poured his life and love into his business—as a storm fueled by passion, liquor, murder and money was unleashed. And in the midst of it all, Brandon simply … disappeared.

When Lilly sees Brandon in a nearly 80-year-old photograph from the basement of the St. Jean, her reality comes undone. Could he be the same man she just saw arrested for breaking into the building? As Lilly is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Brandon’s life, a new storm of desire and danger begins to brew. Beneath the silvery moon and glitter of Times Square, an epic love story across the decades is about to unfold.

Buy: The Blue Lute

******************

Eryn LaPlant RaskBIO:

Eryn grew up wishing she could have lived in another time, so now she writes her own romances and lives through her characters. When not writing, she spends time with her loving husband, and their handsome son in the land of Lincoln. If she can’t live in the past, she figures she can at least live amongst it!

Hello to the world! I am a former slave for the working world and presently a woman of many trades. I am a wife, a mother, an antiques collector, a painter, a baker, a gardener, a photographer, a historian and my favorite by far a novelist (well except the first two in my list)! Thanks for checking me out!

Buy: The Blue Lute

Highlanders: A Series of Novels by Karen Marie Moning

guestreview-2

By: Sasha Muradali, guest reviewer

It’s been awhile since I’ve come across a series of books that I can honestly say I love, especially, from a genre that I do not commonly read. But that’s the beauty of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series: it defies the ordinary and jumps head on into the extraordinary.

Set, in mostly, throughout the 1500s shifting in between modern times, the seven books center around seven incredible heroes. From twins Daegus and Drustan, to warriors Grimm, Circenn, Cian and Hawk, to the ‘abso-freakin-lutely’ stunning black fairy (fae) Adam, the series is full of intense story lines that cut across history, time and space.

Whether you enjoy fantasy, science-fiction, romance, fiction, action, adventure or mystery, there is a little bit of everything. Most book sellers classify the series as “Paranormal/Time-Travel Romance.” The series really reminds me of Stardust and Harry Potter in the sense that the author takes multiple facets of mythology and history combining them to make her own margarita concoction.

karenmariemoning

For example, Drustan is a Highlander, yes, but he also has the ability to shift through time, was possessed by the 13 Darkest Druid beings, and is a Druid himself. Sounds more like Joss Whedon’s Angel the more I think about it.  Or take for example, Grimm, a Highland warrior with extraordinary powers who has the ability to turn into a Berserk, a raging human beast of exquisitely irreconcilable power bred to destroy.

As a series, the books are mind-blowing, but like everything else in life, there is good and bad. Individually, some of the books are far better than others. Hands-down the best book in the entire series is The Dark Highlander, the worst is Beyond the Highland Mist and the one that disappoints, for the direction it takes, is the The Immortal Highlander which brings back Adam Black (aka Puck aka “the Fool” aka The Black Fairy/Fae).

darkhighlanderOne of the most interesting characters brought to life is Aoibheal, the Queen of the Fae. She’s sexy, alluring, smart, wicked, spiteful, playful, yet, very firm in her beliefs and way of life. It’s through her and Adam that most of the issues throughout the seven books occur. Well, it’s through Adam most of the issues occur, it’s through Aoibheal that the problems are fixed. Together, these two characters add a stream of sensual humor that is unique and brands Karen Marie Moning’s style as an author.

Each Friday we will be featuring an in-depth review on each of the Highlander books and you can make sure not to miss a single one by keeping tabs on the tag for the author “Karen Marie Moning.”

But make no mistake, if you want an easy read, to keep you on your toes and encase your senses in the unbelievable and extremely wanting – this is the series for you!

Book in Order:

Visit Karen Marie Moning website.

Review: The Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman

by Aggie S., guest reviewer

Time travel romance is not the same thing as sci-fi romance or sci-fi time travel. In The Return of Black Douglas, there is no bouncing back and forth between different times, but there is a ghost. Twin sisters Isobella and Elizabeth Douglas, go to Scotland to trace their ancestors and learn about their past relatives as a trade off for a honeymoon that never took place, because Isobel’s fiance took off with his dance teacher instead.

This story starts in present time as the girls are starting their day exploring tombs of Douglas ancestors. They find the effigy of The Good Sir James of Douglas and Isobel is so overcome with emotion that she cries. That night Isobel dreams about a medieval dark haired man who wanted to make love to her. The next day the sisters plan on visiting Beloyn Castle and the portrait of the Black Douglas, who died in the fourteenth century. They are in awe of the painting and Isobel touches the bottom of his boot then everything goes black.

The ghost of the Black Douglas has whisked them from the present day, to the sixteenth century to the Isle of Mull, Scotland. They have absolutely no idea where they are and he is not giving them any straight answers. Do ghosts ever give straight answers? ;)

As for the hero, Chieftain Alysandir Mackinnon, he and the rest of the Mackinnon clan are on their way back from delivering their sister to a nunnery, because she does not wish to wed a Maclean when they are ambushed by the Macleans. During the battle the Douglas girls are noticed by the men. Fighting stops and the Macleans look as if they are leaving but then four men on horseback go after the girls. They run but Isobel falls into a crag and the Macleans sweep up Elizabeth and ride off with her. Two of the Mackinnons give chase to save her from them and Alysandir Mackinnon goes after Isobel.

The story continues on with Isobel at Marrach Castle while Elizabeth is with the Macleans at Duart Castle. The ghost of the Black Douglas appears occasionally to answer (but not really answer) Isobel’s questions and he gives no indication as to when or if they will return to their own time, only saying that the answers will be appearing when the time is right. The girls fear being called witches at first and then find some acceptance as to their being there. They are some interesting things that happen throughout the story but you must read it to find out what happens.

I think The Return of Black Douglas is a great book to cuddle up on the couch. The use of current English, Gaelic and old English makes this book an interesting read and gives an idea how they spoke in Medieval times while the translations to current times help understanding.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Return of Black Douglas

[phpbay]return black douglas coffman, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: A Twist in Time by Susan Squires

Warning: This post contains gushing… and a lot of it. :)

Susan Squires has written without a single doubt a masterpiece of romantic fiction in A Twist in Time. It far outstrips the time travel romances—I’ve so far had the pleasure to read—that the story is in a class of its own. Or should I say time?

A Twist in Time is exceptionally researched and rich with details that just blew me away! It is well thought out and deals with issues such as language barriers and cultural differences. (e.g. Evil men sticking needles into his body and covering his face with something that emitted noxious gas or How can she be so much like a wealthy woman in manner, coloring, and softness and yet wear clothes of a prostitute? or the very basic question of What the heck do I do with a Viking?) I very much enjoyed the old English, Danish and Latin that was sprinkled throughout the dialogue as Lucy and Galen tried to communicate with varying degrees of success.

Galen Valgarssen is a truly remarkable hero and has earned a place amongst my top ten favorite romance heroes. He’s a advisor to his king. He’s proud, honorable, steadfast, valiant, and bold. As a half Dane and half Saxon he’s used to being of two worlds and not exactly a part of either. This background will serve him well as he fights to overcome obstacles that keep him from understanding the new time.

Did I mention that Galen is one of my favorite names for a man? And in case you forgot he’s a hunky Viking warrior – who will trade, plunder, and pillage… (looks around for the sign-up sheet ;))

Lucy Rossano is a woman still dealing with the loss of her father. Magic seems to have gone out of her life and she wants it back. An extremely precious and old book written by Leonardo da Vinci holds the key. It leads her to reveal its existence to her friend Brad who excitedly informs her that the machine diagrammed in its pages is real and he’s working on it!

A disastrous trip into the pass brings Galen (seriously wounded) into her life, but it also puts them in great danger as the machine did not quite do what it was supposed to do. It’s a good thing he followed her or he’d be dead on the battle field instead of recuperating with the aid of modern help. How does one hide a Viking in present-day San Francisco while on the run from both friend and foe?

If you’re looking for a unique experience and a book to devour I highly suggest you try for yourself A Twist in Time.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: A Twist In Time

[phpbay]twist time squires, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

10 Ways to Time Travel in Romance

andromeda_radioTime travel romance is usually classified under paranormal romance. I’m surprised it isn’t more of a science-fiction romance element actually, but that’s neither here nor there.

One of the best things about time travel romance is the way the hero or heroine manages to do it. Some authors have gotten really creative as they try to puzzle it out. How exactly do our romance leads get to the past or future? I’ve compiled a list of ways in which they have below:

  1. Steering a spaceship through a blackhole and coming out the other side in the past/future depending on direction of travel. Time and Again by Nora Roberts
  2. Jumping from a bridge so as to reach the speed of gravity before passing through a wormhole just above the water. – Kate and Leopold
  3. Stepping through a secret door in your house/apartment to the past/present. Lost in Austen
  4. Genetic ability. - The Time Traveler’s Wife
  5. A coma inducing fainting spell. Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas
  6. Reading old diaries, letters, or documents that are not your own. - The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally O’Rourke
  7. The use of a talisman, ancient artifact, or any old object to trigger a space-time continuum jump. - The Highlander’s Touch by Karen Marie Moning
  8. Magic spells, especially those meant to save you from execution. - Breath of Magic by Teresa Medeiros
  9. Busybody ghosts who want you to save them from a life of ruin. - What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
  10. Falling down a well and being rescued from it in another time and place. – Enchanted

I know there’s more! Chime in! What are some other ways of time travel have you come across? What are your favorite time travel romances?

Photo Credits: Hubble Space Telescope and Website. You are looking at an Andromeda radio wave photo of the black hole at it’s center. Pretty nifty looking isn’t it?