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Love's Past

Love's Past

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Kaitlyn loves all things Regency and jumps at the chance to take a trip to England for a full immersion experience. But when the ancient fae magic causes a disruption in reality, she’s unexpectedly pulled back in time to 1850. Kaitlyn is thrilled to spend time in the past and eager to try it all, including the harmless flirting with the wealthy men who visit Twickenham Manor. Though her mind belongs in the twenty-first century, as she spends time with a handsome Baronet she wonders if finding love in the past is really a possibility.
Cyrus told himself the real reason he came to England was to help keep Kaitlyn safe as a promise to her mother, but he soon discovers that there’s more to his best friend’s younger sister than he remembers. When he finally gets a chance to explore where a relationship might lead, he finds himself in the past where there are others willing to sweep Kaitlyn off her feet. Will Kaitlyn give him a chance to prove his love, or will he lose out to a genuine Victorian gentleman?

Intro into Chapter One

The landscape wasn’t as magical as she’d expected at first, but every once in a while as she rode the train from the airport, the area would open up enough she could see the tops of the houses. She imagined how they would have looked a century ago. She’d never traveled outside the United States and was excited it had actually even happened. Kaitlyn was finally in London.
And now she was buying her card for using the London Underground system with her luggage propped against her leg. She and her two roommates had been planning this trip for months as one last hurrah before they had to move on and get real jobs once graduation was over.
“I’m so glad you could come,” Kaitlyn said, turning to her brother’s friend Cyrus, who’d offered to join them on their trip. “Mom was way too worried about all the dangers of traveling.” She shook her head and then patted his arm. “But with you here, she can’t complain. You’ve been a wonderful honorary brother while Jem’s been gone.”
Cyrus took his turn getting an Underground pass while Kaitlyn grabbed a map from a nearby wall. “Anyone else want one?”
Cora, nearby, shook her head, holding up her phone. “Nope, got my maps in here.” Kaitlyn grinned. She would be the one to buddy up with on all their little trips, though she really was more of a solitary creature, and Kaitlyn wouldn’t doubt she’d want to go off on her own every once and awhile. They had a few official tours scheduled and some events they’d already paid for in advance, before their immersion experience at the Twickenham Manor starting Sunday night.
Kaitlyn was about ready to break out in a little dance with all the excitement building in her.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were a little excited,” Cyrus said.
“I’ve been wanting to come to England since junior high, when I started reading Jane Austen,” Kaitlyn said. “All the balls, and dinners, and gardens, and flirting, and the Season. I want to see everything.”
“You know it won’t be like that here, right?” Cyrus asked.
Kaitlyn sighed. He had no imagination. She was surprised he was willing to do the week at Twickenham, especially since he’d be wearing period clothing and learning the dances and the dining etiquette along with all the little ins and outs of society at the time. At least her brother Jem, a stage manager who was huge into theatre, would be joining them before the week was over. He would love all the dress up.
“You two ready?” Reese, her other roommate, asked.
“Yup,” Cyrus said, holding up his card. Kaitlyn adjusted the straps of her backpack and grabbed the handle of her suitcase, following the others as they worked their way toward the turnstiles leading to the London Underground.
Kaitlyn had set up a house for them to stay in for a few days before they were supposed to check in at the Twickenham Manor. They were there early enough to drop off their luggage and then start sightseeing right away.
“Good thing I was able to sleep on the flight over.” Kaitlyn checked her watch, trying to mentally do the math on the time difference. All she knew was it was supposed to be the middle of the night, but she had a full day ahead of her now and she didn’t want to miss a thing.
She hefted the bag as she walked down the flight of stairs to the level, where her “train” would take them to the stop they needed. She led the way, hoping the others would keep track of her. It was probably a good thing she had her hands full or she would be taking more pictures than the fifty or so she’d already taken. She didn’t want to look too much like an eager tourist.
When they reached the flat they were renting, she claimed her room, sharing it with Reese while Cora took the other room, and Cyrus graciously accepted the couch. A two-room flat was much cheaper than finding anything bigger, and Cyrus had assured her he wouldn’t mind the floor when she pointed out to her mother that the house they’d booked wasn’t large enough for Cyrus to have his own room. Strangely, her mother hadn’t complained or argued about having him in the same house. But then again, he was practically her brother, although as a teen she’d often wished he wouldn’t think of her as a little sister. Especially when he and Jem had mercilessly teased her when she was going through that awkward early teen stage and crushing on all the popular movie stars and boy bands.
“You guys ready to go out and see the sights?” Kaitlyn asked.
“I’m game,” Cyrus said.
“How about you, Reese?” Kaitlyn asked.
“The guy sitting next to me on the plane spilled his drink on me. I really want to shower first, so you can head out.”
“I was hoping to just go wander by myself,” Cora said. “You two go have fun. We’re taking that first tour tomorrow, right?”
“Okay,” Kaitlyn said. “We’ll see you tonight then.”
Kaitlyn practically ran down the flight of stairs to the ground floor and headed down the hall toward the front door. Cyrus chuckled from behind.
“Hey, don’t laugh.”
“Oh, I’m not laughing,” Cyrus said. “I’m just thinking of what Jem would say if he was here. ‘Slow down and take time to see the sights.’”
“But if I slow down, then I won’t have time to see it all.” She opened the front door and hurried out into the street after making a cursory glance to be sure there weren’t any cars coming. After she got across the street, she realized she had looked the wrong way first since the cars drove on the other side of the road. Luck must have been smiling down at her.
“Wait right there,” Kaitlyn told Cyrus as he exited the building. “I need to get a picture. Gotta text Jem and let him know what he’s missing by coming late.”
Cyrus did a few poses for the camera, making Kaitlyn giggle. “Oh, that one’s a good one.”
She showed him the picture and Cyrus shook his head. “You didn’t even get much of me.”
“I wasn’t only doing you. I wanted to get the building behind you, and the lighting. This city is just so cool.” She turned around and took a few more pictures, chuckling at the name of the pub on the corner. “The Tipsy Turtle?”
“Guess they’re suggesting you go slow when you leave there,” Cyrus said. “But stop taking pictures and let’s go get a feel for the area.”
They walked for a few minutes down the street. The smell of all the different foods coming out of the open doors made Kaitlyn’s mouth water.
“I don’t want to sound dramatic or anything, but I am starving right now. You hungry?” Kaitlyn asked. They turned the corner and saw signs for lots of cute little restaurants boasting of fish and chips as well as tons of different ethnic food. “This street is full of everything. We won’t have to eat the same thing every night.”
“Fish and chips?” Cyrus asked, pointing to a restaurant.
“Perfect,” Kaitlyn said and smiled when he waited at the door for her to enter first. When the plates of fish and chips were set before them, Kaitlyn was surprised at the size of the haddock. She tentatively cut into it, not loving fish to begin with, but the mild flavor was perfect. The tartar sauce and minted peas as a side added to the experience.
When they’d eaten their fill and tipped the attentive waiter who’d given them suggestions on the best places to see while on their trip, they left the restaurant and joined the flow of people walking down the cobble-stoned steps.
“So where to next?”
“What’s close by?” Cyrus asked.
“Everything!” Kaitlyn said. “Before I booked the place, I checked it out on Google maps. The Thames kinda curves, but lots of the places are near the river. We’re in walking distance of so much, and what we don’t want to walk to, we could catch the underground and go there. Which do you want to see first?”
“I kinda want to go on the Eye of London,” Cyrus said.
“Sounds good to me,” Kaitlyn said. She turned to Cyrus. “Lead the way, then.”
Kaitlyn headed down the narrow street, smiling at the way the road was only large enough for one car to go through at a time, and instead of asphalt, it was paved with stones.
“We can practically take a walking tour to most of the main things from where our flat is. You can handle walking a few miles at a time, right? And then we’ll go catch one of the undergrounds to our next place.”
“I’m good with that.”
Kaitlyn had carefully looked at maps on line and websites to plot out the different places she wanted to see. It would be easy enough to walk across the Tower Bridge and explore the Tower of London. She couldn’t wait to see the Crown Jewels from all the different rulers in England. And, knowing the castle had once held a zoo of sorts, she wanted to walk through the ancient structure and imagine how things would have been.
When they got out of the street where the apartment was, they turned left and walked down a small slope with a lot of restaurants and shops.
“Did you notice how all these buildings look like they’re really old, but they’ve been re-purposed to have modern stores and things inside?”
“When you run out of room, you have to make do, I guess,” Kaitlyn said.
“And you can see a little of the smoky remains from when the city used to be heated by fireplaces. They’ve done a lot of work on trying to restore the stone to its original color, but they can’t scrub too deep without causing damage.”
“So they either had a lot of smoke and junk in the air, or lots of clouds and rain?”
“I believe so,” Cyrus said.
“Good thing I’m here now then, huh.” Kaitlyn took a few steps down the street then turned around when she noticed Cyrus wasn’t following her. He’d always been interested in old buildings and architecture. He’d gone into city planning and engineering in college with a lot of architecture thrown in. “You ready to go?”
Cyrus turned to her as if surprised to see her standing so far away. He took a few jogging steps and fell into step with her when she started moving again. Though she had been annoyed at the idea of him coming along at first, she was actually glad he was here now.
Walking the streets of London with a handsome and strong man was a much better option than touring it alone. Maybe her mother’s paranoia had some merit. Besides, he really was practically a brother to her. It had been years since she’d had any kind of crush-worthy feelings toward him.


Cyrus tried to remind himself to stay focused on where he was going instead of looking at all the buildings. If he didn’t, Kaitlyn might end up leaving him in the dust. When they reached the end of the street, he put his hand on her arm. “Wait a minute, did you see that little garden area over there?”
Kaitlyn turned to look and he pointed to the stairway leading up to a wide-open area. “Want to go check it out?” she asked.
“Sure.” He waited for her to make the first step toward the staircase. When she did, he joined her and they worked their way under the trees to see what was there.
“Oh,” Kaitlyn said. “I forgot about this.” She moved over to the edge of the open garden and pointed at a gateway he figured was probably a monument of some kind. “This is where the river used to reach.” She turned around and pointed past the trees and across the street. “That’s the Thames right there, but they reclaimed the land along the side of it since they needed more room to grow within the city itself.”
“Cool,” Cyrus said. “Want me to take a picture of you in front of it?”
Kaitlyn shook her head. “I have a better idea.” She moved closer to him and held her phone out in front of her to position them for a selfie. She adjusted her arm, leaning her head in closer, allowing him to smell the floral scent of her shampoo. When she pulled away, he missed it and hoped there would be more opportunities for closeness like that.
She started meandering through the little garden path that cut through the wider grassy areas until coming out onto the road lining the Thames.
“I didn’t realize it was warm enough here to have palms,” Kaitlyn said as they saw a small bush-sized palm among the horticulture.
“I think they stay pretty mild most of the time at this longitude. It’s more up the country toward Scotland that it gets extra cold.”
“So weird,” Kaitlyn said. “They never really describe stuff in the books, and I didn’t actually pay any attention to it when I watched the movies. It’s mostly just the flowers I’d noticed before.”
“Is it fun to be here and experience it in person?” Cyrus asked.
“Yes, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could really see what it was like? I know I get to do some of the balls and parties next week during the immersion part of the trip, but it would be awesome to see how things have changed.”
“Not sure I’d really want to live in the past. I kinda like all the technology I’ve got.”
“Party pooper,” Kaitlyn teased. “So let’s cross the bridge and we’ll see if we can get on the Eye of London. Or is it the London Eye?”
“It’s a ferris wheel,” Cyrus said, looking over at it.
“Whatever,” Kaitlyn said.
Within an hour, they had made it to the Eye, taken a trip on it, marveled at the city sprawled before them, and made plans on what places to hit first.
“Okay,” Kaitlyn said as they got off the ride. “Let’s go see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.” She hadn’t seemed all that interested in the things on the side of the river where they now stood, so he walked with her, back over the bridge while smiling at her enthusiasm. She was so full of energy, he wondered how he’d ever manage to keep up her rigorous pace.
A few minutes later, Cyrus stared up at the massive buildings in front of him, impressed with the magnitude of their outer facade considering the tools they had available to them. “Can you believe they built all this without modern machinery?”
Kaitlyn looked at the building with a little more focus. “You know, I never really thought of it. I wonder how long it took to do something like this.”
She’d stepped closer to him. Her presence there made it hard for him to concentrate on the building anymore. He itched to put his arm around her, but he kept it to his side. “Years for most of them, and then they would have to do repair work, or sometimes rebuild after the different wars and skirmishes they experienced.”
“A lot of them have similar styles. Like they were all done by the same people.”
“Not always the same people, but they did like to pattern some buildings after a particular builder or style.”
They walked down the sidewalk, each lost in their own thoughts as they looked at the buildings. Kaitlyn paused to take a picture. He studied her as she got the camera at just the right angle. She had changed a lot in the last few years. He’d seen her often enough when he’d gone home to visit his parents, and then when they were stationed overseas again, he was given ownership of their house near Kaitlyn’s family home.
When she’d graduated from the university, he’d been invited to her house a week later to celebrate and to see her brother Jem when he got back from his two-year tour with his acting company.
When Kaitlyn had told her parents of her plans to tour England with a few of her college roommates, her mother had about come unglued that she was planning on going without some men to protect them.
Cyrus chuckled at the memory of the way Kaitlyn had rolled her eyes at that, but she hadn’t argued with her mother. Instead, she begged Jem to come with, but since his passport had expired, he had to get one rushed to him, yet would still miss out on the first week of the trip. It had been an easy decision for Cyrus to offer to come.
He had promised Kaitlyn’s mother he would keep track of her, making Mrs. Taylor more willing to consider the idea of her adult daughter taking a trip. But that wasn’t the only reason he was there. It wasn’t even the excuse of studying the buildings and the architecture of the city like he’d told Kaitlyn. He wanted a chance to spend a little more time with her before they all went their separate ways. And if he was lucky enough, he might manage to convince her to give him a chance.
Her brother James, or Jem as he liked to be called, had been his best friend after his family moved back from New Zealand during his sophomore year. Like a typical teen, he’d ruined his chances of a relationship by treating Kaitlyn like an annoyance, but now that she’d graduated college and turned into an amazing woman, he was kicking himself for his youthful stupidity. The more time he spent with her, the more he knew she was exactly the kind of woman he wanted in his life. But she only thought of him as her brother’s friend.
He’d hoped by spending time with her on this trip, getting involved in her hair-brained scheme to pretend to be in the Regency time period and do all the silly things she thought were so fun and romantic, that she might see he was serious in his interest.
As he contemplated the ways he might be able to get her to warm up to the idea of them, he found himself inside Westminster Abbey. Kaitlyn walked around, studying all the things in there and looking like she wanted to take out her phone to snap some pictures in the building, despite signs everywhere indicating it was not allowed. He smiled at her enthusiasm.
He would never admit it to her, but he was actually looking forward to watching her get dressed up in the old clothes and learn the dances. He was just glad no one knew he had watched a couple of the Jane Austen movies and a few other romances dealing with the whole era to get a heads up on what would be expected of him.
Jem would have it easy since he was into theatre. He’d have studied it all before and could easily put on the airs, acting the part like he was born in the 1800s. Cyrus would most likely end up looking awkward as he tried to do the simplest things. If it gave him a chance to spend more time with Kaitlyn before they went their separate ways, he would do whatever she wanted.
Including wearing a cravat and breeches and leather boots. He just hoped they weren’t hard to put on.

Kaitlyn loves all things Regency and jumps at the chance to take a trip to England for a full immersion experience. But when the ancient fae magic causes a disruption in reality, she’s unexpectedly pulled back in time to 1850. Will she find love? 

Main Tropes

  • Time Travel
  • Friend's to Lovers
  • Brother of Best Friend
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