Loretta Chase


Your Scandalous Ways (2008), Dukes Prefer Blondes (2016)



Your Scandalous Ways (2008)

Your-Scandalous-WaysSet in Venice in 1820

Francesca Bonnard is probably the most successful whore in Venice, perhaps even Italy. After a scandalous divorce, she fled to the continent and remade herself in one of the most sought after courtesans in Italy.

“Ah, yes,” he said. “Your position. A divorcée.”

“Divorziata e puttana,” she said tautly. A divorcée and a whore.

He leapt from his chair as though one of Satan’s imps had pricked his arse with a hot fork.

“Good heavens!” he said. “I do beg your pardon. Am I keeping you from your work?”

However, she holds something her ex-husband desperately wants back, and he’s not concerned with how he gets it back.

James Cordier is ready to retire from his life as a spy, thief, and agent, but he’s given one last assignment before he can head back to England–retrieve some letters from Francesca Bonnard that prove her ex-husband to be a traitor.

This wasn’t a bad story–I liked the intrigue quite well. I could have done without all the boinking (but then I always say that), but the intrigue was fun. As was the language, especially the dialog of the non-native speakers.

“(D)ropped on the hours of trouble.”

“Fallen on hard times,” James said.

You must advise me what to say. I do not wish to put in my mouth my feet.”

The dialog was also enjoyable, and I’m a sucker for good dialog.

“The man prostitute,” he prompted, “who costs very much. What is his name in English?”

“Husband,” said Bonnard.

“I speak English well, and practice with her all the time. But to read it hurts my head. The way the English spell: Where is the logic? Nowhere can I find it. They spell like madmen.”

This wasn’t a fabulous story, but it was enjoyable, and I’ll certainly read another.
Rating: 7/10

Published by HarperCollins e-books

Dukes Prefer Blondes (2016)

Set in London in 1822.

Lady Clara Fairfax is this season’s popular beauty. But she’s turned down multiple marriage proposals, never quite sure of what she wants.

Raven Radford is the grandson of a duke, but as his father became a barrister and married a divorcee, he is most definitely not acceptable in polite society. So he also became a barrister and tends to defend poor children.

I got about a quarter of the way through, then put the story down and read things that were more interesting. But I decided to go back and finish it, because it wasn’t horrible, and perhaps I’d just hit a slow part.

This book just wasn’t my cup of tea. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t for me.

I did like Lady Clara, who was the historical equivalent of a tomboy.

Not many years older than her charge, Davis had been hired immediately after one of Clara’s many childhood contretemps, this time at Vauxhall. She protected Clara from fractures, concussions, drowning, and— most important to Mama— Clara’s becoming A Complete Hoyden.

I thought that part was well done, since a girl with nothing but older brothers and an adventurous spirit would have been far more likely to get into trouble and be more than the demure miss society expected, but she wasn’t completely out of time, which was nice.

And I liked Raven Radford, who is a prickly jerk, partially because of how he was treated by his extended family as a child.

“They been teaching me. I can read and write now. And I can do ands.”

“Hands?” Radford said.

“Ands,” Fenwick said more loudly, as if to a deaf person or foreigner. “What’s fourteen and six and six again? Twenty-six. Ands!”

And I thought that the bits about Clara wanting to safe just two children was lovely.

But put it all together as a whole and I was just a little bit bored. Not quite enough mystery perhaps.

So it wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t for me.
Rating: 6/10

Publisher: Avon