A Bachelor Establishment
by Jodi Taylor writing as Isabella Barclay
Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
Release date: 09-15-15
Publisher: Audible Studios
Blogger purchased. No remuneration exchanged and the opinions and ideas expressed herein are my own.
High adventure and dark mystery combine in a sparkling historical romance
Elinor 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?
I cannot recall what led me to this book, but I needed a couple of days off from listening to “review” books. I purchased this one and listened to it over a period of several days as I prepared for a large dinner party we were having.
Sometimes, when I listen to romance narrated with a British accent I worry my husband will tease me over it. I didn’t worry on this one with a nicely accented, medium toned voice. The hero started off sounding like an asshat both in voice and personality so I actually doubted whether this was a romance.
Strictly speaking it is a late Regency romance with a bit of an historical cozy mystery.
Jodi writes the Chronicles of Saint Mary’s about an institute dedicated to understanding the past through time travel. This, apparently, one off romantic, Regency, mystery is not at all science fiction and nothing like the Chronicles series. I enjoy them both ad I think it will be sad if no series results form this one delightful book.
At the start , Elinor, a skilled horse rider, is behaving in a somewhat naughty manner and Ryde does not react well. In the first chapters the author blithely reveals enough of the past that we get the idea about why each character is who they are. We move on to incidents and the awakening of tender feelings as Ryde learns that he is, indeed chivalrous, a gentleman. His travels across the continent make one wonder about the life of a banished peripatetic wanderer.
As the story advances through the above-mentioned incidents Ryde becomes more accepted back into his community and is also more accepting of them.
The mystery is complex and relies a bit on an outside force appearing to answer for attack and injury. I was totally flummoxed by the solution of all the mysteries. The romance develops in a more or less organic fashion, especially sensitive to the period and the various gender roles in Regency society. In fiction, it seems as if women are capable estate managers but sometimes they need a white knight to ride in.
I thought this one was amusing, well-written, clever, romantically sexy, with a great mystery too.
AUTHOR (Jodi Taylor): http://www.jodi-taylor.com/
Author by Pseudonym on FB: https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaBarclayAuthor/