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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart

Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (steampunk), historical
Length: Full Length (161 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed By Larkspur

It's 2010 and compressed natural gas has taken over form the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past and 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon discovers Edmund has struck up a friendship with their great-grandfather, Prince Albert, and his mischief making entails leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint in history. She also meets Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton, and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. The Prime Minster finds her odd, to say the least.

It's only when Alice falls for the handsome Earl Swinton does she realize the dangers of time travel. How can she give her heart to a man from the past while striving to stop Edmund from changing time with his forward thinking ideas?

A trip through time will always leave a footprint, the question is: how big and how destructive to the future will it be? That is a question that Their Royal Highnesses, Edmund and Alice Windsor, will have to answer as they go tripping backwards in time.

Ms. Burkhart gave me a delightful Victorian tale with just a slight fantastical historical twist. This story won't be found on the pages of a newspaper unless it’s the National Enquirer. Her story lines took me through many plot twists and turns, and time travel and fantasy kept me wondering, guessing and wish to know what was to happens next.

Her narrative may seem stilted at first, but the further I read, the more I got that Victorian feel, and what at first seems to be a flaw turns out to be its strength. The author's use of fantastical gadgets in the Victorian era give this a slight steampunk taste. Her characters are enigmatic, eclectic and all worth their weight in gold especially the Royals, Alice and Edmund, whose personalities constantly kept me turning pages. They didn’t lessen my admiration for the other characters in the book, from the ordinary to the sublime. The romance in the first episode in this series is sweet and naughty at the same time. Yet even when naughty it has that Victorian properness to it.

The hero is Earl Grayson Swinton, and he many times comes to the rescue of our heroine, Alice, who’s left to her own devices by her mischievous Cousin Edmund. The love scenes are pretty modern in taste for our very improper couple. They delve into the forbidden fruit of passion with both feet and leave their audience fanning themselves.

This is the perfect romance to read while sitting on a wrap-around porch on the swing sipping a cold lemonade and enjoying the last vestiges of summer. It’s the perfect romance if you love the proper etiquette of the Victorian era mixed with the fantasy of time travel. This is the first in this new series and I’m excited to read the next episode.