Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase fulfilled
the prompt “A Book
Everyone Seems to Have Read but Me” for the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge.
The title was recommended to me about ten years ago when I first started
writing romances. Everyone in my romance writers’ group insisted it was a must-read.
I even got to meet Loretta Chase at a conference but was afraid to admit I’d never
read the novel.
What a tale! Please take my assessment of it with a
grain of salt. The book was written in 1995 when storylines for romances were
much different. That doesn’t change how amazing the novel was.
normally read historical romance more than once a year. And if I do, it’s
usually ala Jane Austen. Sweet, romantic, sappy. This story was nothing but
heat from the start. Wow. A Regency era romance where people have and talk
about sex? Sign me up. I’ve read a few more contemporary titles that delve into
a sexual relationship between the characters, but I had no idea there were
older books like this.
naïve which is why I should’ve read this one ten years ago when suggested. I
loved that it showed a more human side to the Regency era, where people have desires
and actually act on them. The activities and discussion were so out of range
for regular sweet historical that a few times, I had to check the dates of the
I loved that the heroine, Jessica, though a virgin,
had an interest in the more “tangible”
side of humanity. She bought a naughty watch without blinking. She and her
grandmother discussed relationships and men. Jess helped raise many of her male
cousins and had a full education about little boys and young men before she went
out into the world. She was an amazing character—strong, smart, and realistic.
I also loved that the book’s setting was Paris. It allowed for English prudishness to
contrast with French ideas. Having Dane stay in Paris to be “a foul demon” seemed
perfect. It let the story to move from one world to another when Jess and Dane return
I had two misgivings about the book. The first had to
do with the description of Dane in the beginning of the story. I think the
author overdid the “he’s
like the Devil” thing. It was thrown at the reader in heaping servings and got
hard to swallow. At one point when Ms. Chase compared his rather unpleasing
looks to Lucifer, I was like, “Wasn’t Lucifer the most beautiful angel before
he fell?” Anyway…
The other issue I had is one I have with many older
romances. The tale focused on the romantic arc first. It was a beautifully laid
out plot that kept the reader hoping for both man and woman to get a happy
ending. It must be the reason it was recommended to me. But spoiler, once they
were together, a revenge plot and an illegitimate son pop up. I was like, “The
story is over. Is this a companion novella?” In modern times, an author would
have done just that. Cut at end of the romance arc, and later given us another
book with the characters saving Dane’s
Anyway, I enjoyed the book, though I listened on
audio and had to turn the thing off when I had other ears in the room.
I give Lord of
Scoundrels by Loretta Chase Four Icon Pictures with pearls and rubies.