The Rake and the Recluse

Jenn LeBlanc

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This book falls under the heading of ‘guilty pleasure.’ I know I should be reading quality literature, but sometime I like a low-brow romp. This book is full of crazy sauce, but it has my catnip, a time-slip romance. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, time slip is a story based on the premise that someone (almost always a woman) loses consciousness and wakes up in the past. In this case, Francine is on her way to make a presentation, has an accident  in the cab, and wakes up in the late 19th century. She is on the run from an abusive male, and falls under the carriage of a duke. He rescues her, and it’s love at first sight.

That’s the first half of the book. The second is the story of Perry, the younger brother of the duke, who finds a servant girl hiding in his carriage as he returns to London. She has been beaten and abused by the same man who attacked Francine. She persuades Perry to take  her to London, and he agrees. Again, it’s love at first sight.

Both stories are in the same book, so you definitely get your money’s worth, plus there are photographs taken by the author, which illustrate key moments.

The writing is adequate, and if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride, this book is a  lot of fun.

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The Duke and the Domina

Jenn LeBlanc

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Oh, boy, did this book ever push my buttons. It had three elements I love: historical romance, time-slip, and light BDSM. Poor Dominatrix Lulu is in the middle of a scene with a client, when she slips and hits her head. When she comes to, she’s exchanged bodies with a Victorian miss, engaged to a duke. We never learn what happened to the Victorian miss, and we don’t care. We are so caught up with Lulu’s relationship with Grayson, the Duke of Warrick.

Fortunately for Lulu, Grayson is a submissive (yes, he wears a corset), so they are able to work things out to their mutual satisfaction, and we go along for the ride.

This book was so engaging and entertaining, I bought another in the series.

The Shadowy Horses

Susanna Kearsley

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I love me a good time-slip novel, and Susanna Kearsley writes some of the best. This one involves an archeological dig of a site that may have belonged to the lost IX legion. Since no one has any idea where the IX Legion served, southern Scotland is as likely as anywhere. This particular site is a private dig, paid for by a wealthy man. His grandson sees and hears things that may be Latin, and an individual he calls the Sentinel.

This is the framework for this romance between a female archeologist and a local man, and seeing how they work it all out is part of the fun of a Kearsley novel.

 

The Rose Garden

Susanna Kearsley

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Ahh, love me a good time-slip novel, and Kearsley delivers like nobody else.

Eva returns to Cornwall, to her friends there, to scatter the ashes of her beloved sister. She stays to help build a tearoom. Searching for a hook to lure tourists to this out-of-the-way place, she discovers the legend of a ‘Grey Lady’ who haunts the location and a couple of smugglers who once operated nearby. Throwing herself into the project, she is startled to find her surrounding dissolve into a mist and finds herself 300 years or so into the past. Unable to control her comings and goings, she is set off balance by her passing back and forth between the two times. Then there’s Daniel, a most attractive smuggler in the past.

Kearsley is a mistress of suspense and holds the reader in her hand. We want Eva to have her HEA, but how she manages it is a delightful surprise. I could barely put the book down it was that good.

Three Hearts and Three Lions

Poul Anderson

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This was a nostalgic read for me, as I first encountered Poul Anderson in high school. I decided to read it to see if it held up over time. For the most part it did. The story of Holger Carlson, a Danish engineer wounded fighting the Nazis is transported back in time to fight the forces of Chaos. Known as Ogier the Dane, he is the champion of Law. His shield bears three hearts and three lions, and he is famous. Although he knows nothing of this land or its problems, he immediately aligns himself with the forces of Law against Chaos.

The part I remember best is the saying ‘Bare is brotherless back,’ and I have encountered it many times in various forms over the years. Holger finds that in spite of the fact he is literally brotherless, he has allies in the fight against Chaos. Some are human, and some are magical. Alienora the swan maiden is especially appealing.

A champion for all times, we could use his like today as the forces of Chaos rise again.