Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Ladies Prefer Rogues an Anthology
by Janet Chapman, Sandra Hill, Veronica Wolff, Trish Jensen


Cover art: Ladies Prefer Rogues Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Ladies Prefer Rogues
Author: Janet Chapman, Sandra Hill, Veronica Wolff, Trish Jensen
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23381-8
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Time-Travel Romances
Year/Setting: Varies by story
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Authors Website/Blog: www.janetchapman.com | www.sandrahill.net | www.veronicawolff.com | www.trishjensen.com

Man from the Moon by Janet Chapman

When military looking men kidnap Isobel, a vet living in Maine, they want her to operate on their man Daniel. Once they realize their mistake in grabbing a vet instead of a M.D., they decide she must do the surgery anyway. They keep talking about not interfering with the locals and how bad it is that they had to drag her into this mess. After Daniel is operated on and somewhat stable, they insist she come along with him while he recuperates. She ends up on a deserted island with a run down shack to help Daniel heal while the rest go on their mission.

Over time, she finds out that Daniel is from the future and is from the moon. He and his brothers are part of the survivors from earth and they are looking for a way to stop the deadly virus that took out most humans. If they can come up with the antidote, they can couple it with their newfound time travel abilities to help save the earth.

While they are secluded together, Daniel and Isobel get to know each other very well. Where can this budding romance lead? He must go back or it could be the end of humankind. And she can’t go with him. With a hailstorm of emotions, they decide to make the most of the time they have, no matter how brief. Will these moon-crossed lovers ever reunite? Or will she forever be searching for the man from the moon?

This is a captivating story with a lot of possible truth woven into it. Janet Chapman uses truths from present day earth to create a future earth that doesn’t have much future. She skillfully weaves the story until it is totally believable that time travel, colonies on the moon and other things are acceptable. Isobel isn’t a shrinking violet and her strength is what really drew me to her. She is sweet, yet strong and willing to take a risk to help these men who initially threatened her. Daniel is what I consider a deep thinker. He’s got the reflexes, and body, of a warrior; but deep down, he’s a cuddly teddy bear.

It was quite the adventure watching and waiting as both Isobel and Daniel decide how and when to put moves on the other. Their alternating openness and then closed-mindedness was funny and exasperating. Overall, this was a delightful way to kick off the time travel anthology. After reading this, you will also be looking for a man from the moon.

Tomorrow is Another Day by Sandra Hill

This was one of my two favorites from this anthology. When the internet matchmaking sensation Margo Baptiste has a run in with Larry Wilson, she’s left a bit breathless. His Navy Seal good looks knock her off her axis, but his anger at being put onto her exclusive list of clients as a joke by some buddies is over the top. They decide the only way to get women to leave him alone is to pretend an engagement between the two of them. On her way home that evening, the elevator in her Historical New Orleans Building acts funny then drops her to the ground.

When she comes to, she thinks she is dreaming. She’s landed 140 years in the past to post-Civil War Louisiana. Not knowing a soul, she spies a man who looks like Larry and stops him. Laurent Duvall is taken aback by this forward woman who is wearing scandalous clothes and who thinks she knows him. He’s softhearted enough to end up agreeing to look out for this nutcase who claims to be from the future. When she arrives at his home, she starts to turn his world upside down. With her crazy schemes to help raise the money to pay the back taxes on the plantation and her matchmaking parties.

If she could only get Laurent to get honest with her about his own feelings, maybe she’d reveal her own. After angry run-in after run-in with Laruent, will Margo try to return to the 21 Century? Or will she find she likes life in the past?

This story had some really fun and funny twists that make me laugh. The romance is ageless as Margo falls as hard for Laurent as she did for modern day Larry. Her radical ideas in the face of the reconstruction era are another source for some humor. I smiled through this whole story and really wanted Laurent to come to his senses and allow Margo to be the flashy person that she is. While it was decidedly different than other novels I’ve read of Sandra Hill, I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end.

The Drowning Sea by Veronica Wolff

Here is the other of my two favorite stories in this anthology. Set back in 1662 Scotland, Iain is the peat boy on the Laird MacLeod‘s lands. While out cutting peat one day, he hears a woman screaming. When he finds this woman being sucked into the bog, he knows right away it is Cassie, the laird’s daughter. They keep her escapades in the bog a secret and begin to meet secretly each day at the standing stones.

When they fall in love and decide to marry, she is determined to stand up to her father and let him know of her decision. From there, nothing good happens and without spoiling the story, it goes poorly and innocent people are hurt and die.

I was surprised to find this in a time travel book at first. The time travel comes in the final chapters so the end becomes the beginning. And seeing how Iain and Cassie first declared their love in the shadow of the circle of standing stones, I found it appropriate that the story circles around to the beginning again. It makes it hard to not spoil the turns the plot takes so I find myself forced to be very general about this story.

I loved the pull of the sea and the way so many things were explained using the old ways, which we refer to now as lore. There are those in the story who believe in the fates and we can see how this story would support that belief. Iain is so strong, but becomes giddy as a schoolgirl around Cassie. Cassie is so beautiful and has been kept so sheltered by the laird. It’s hard to imagine her being able to keep loving Iain as the peat boy. But love does make strange bedfellows and these two are no exception. I was thrilled with the way things worked out and enjoyed getting to know Veronica Wolff’s writing. I’ll be looking to read more from her in the near future.

Sixteen Decades by Trish Jensen

When Ty Coltraine, Sheriff of Little Fork, Nevada, is called out to the Rooster, a house of ill-repute, to find a missing man, he ends up finding a woman locked in a shed and she’s been hit over the head. She has some funny sayings that start to sound a little archaic. Apparently, she believes she is 160 years in the past. After speaking with Ty, Miss Maggie Prescott begins to believe that she has traveled 160 years into the future. Even crazier, the people around her believe it, too.

What can a teacher from the past do without any possessions or knowledge of the present? Ty aims to help her there. After Maggie refuses to stay at his place, he takes her to move in with his mother until things can be sorted out…most especially his feelings. He can’t figure out why he, a confirmed bachelor, is so intent upon protecting an innocent woman who is not even from his time.

This story was very cute and fun loving. It had some really funny, and somewhat bawdy, humor thrown in about The Rooster (brothel). Ty is a pretty pig-headed guy who is intent on one way to do things. He gets stubborn about not wanting to crowd Maggie to the point where he is pushing her away. I did begin to despair that they would never find a way to stay together. Maggie loves being 160 years in the future and all the rights that women have gained. She is thrilled to find out you can be friends with ‘colored’ people and her knack to learn slang and use it appropriately—or inappropriately—gave me some chuckles. She is spirited and craves adventure.

I knew that if Ty and Maggie could learn to trust in each other, it would turn out ok for them.


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