Angela Quarles's Must Love Breeches is clever, original, and so good that you want more as soon as you put it down. It's a delicious mash up with something for time travel romance lovers, Jane Austen devotees, and those who simply enjoy a fresh take on historical romance. Her unique premise combines the best elements of contemporary and historical romance, while incorporating all of the fish-out-of-water elements a time travel romance.
I love that her heroine, Isabelle, doesn't simply stop being a modern woman because she's transported to the past. And it's even better that Isabelle loves history and has some sense of what living in the past might entail, even though the reality of it isn't always quite what she expected. And the hero, Phineas, is quite the adventurer in his own right. He has an adventurous spirit and one open to the oddities he perceives in Isabelle. The inclusion of a historical figure, Ada Lovelace, as a secondary character only makes the story that much richer.
Most of all, I was impressed with Quarles's ability to combine so many elements so seamlessly and successfully. Isabelle thinks and views the world as a modern woman. Her reactions are modern, and yet Phineas's world and attitudes are thoroughly grounded in the 19th century. And through it all, Quarles manages to thread freshness and humor, making a novel a complete delight.
When British Museum employee Isabelle Rochon is transported back in time to 19th century England, she initially revels in the new experience, but Phineas, Lord Montagu, proves a distraction she could not anticipate. As their attraction grows, she must decide where she truly belongs.
A Time Travel Romance
She's finally met the man of her dreams. There's only one problem: he lives in a different century.
HOW FAR WOULD YOU TRAVEL FOR LOVE?
A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case's significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.
To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.
Lord Montagu's now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home--as well as her heart--lies.