Brannigan made it obvious that this read would have a strong female lead - a woman of strength - as the series title is eponymous of. Then there is that element of time travel. This allowed the book to stand out from many vampire romance books swooning the hearts of most woman today. It was refreshing. This is not to say that Once Upon a Remembrance is the only time travel romance around though.The characters were masterfully created. Isabeau, the protagonist, is a spunky photographer with a confidence that would make an 18th century man boil. She is very bold, and is not inclined to suppressing her 21st century confidence for the sake of decency. She eventually falls for Hawk Morgan, a wealthy captain and owner of a family shipping agency. I found Hawk to be an exemplary man. He is modest and loyal to his loved ones. His genuine care for Isabeau is not only shown in his rescuing of her, but in the way he gets angry when she does something risky - say, riding a horse wildly on unfamiliar grounds. There are other characters who leave an impression on readers. Malry, for instance, provides humor with his over-protectiveness of Hawk and his aggressiveness and Belva, well, she makes you worry about her.Normally, I loathe romance books. With Once Upon a Remembrance, the plot was very intriguing so it proved to be an exception. The excitement is heightened because readers are aware that Isabeau comes from another time, and would need to return to it someday. With every page turn, I was afraid that she would zap into the 21st century just as quickly as she entered 1894 Virginia. Now that made me anxious. Brannigan's writing was satisfying because it was not filled with those lackluster, "must-add-in-my-romance-book" words. She remade cliche scenes into great examples of literacy. The intimate scenes had class, and were not graphic. However, I was a bit disappointed in few instances of word displacement. I was amazed at the atmosphere too. I felt like I was wearing a brown, stiff dress with a basket picking flowers in the 1890s watching the Hawk-Isabeau romance unravel. However, though the atmosphere was great, I think there could have been more history in the novel to make it even more authentic.