Tag: Loretta Chase

Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Posted November 30, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Rowena
A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1) by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

A Duke in Shining Armor is the first book in Loretta Chase’s new Difficult Dukes series. It follows runaway bride, Lady Ophelia Hightower as she runs from one wedding and finds herself heading toward a new one with her ex-fiance’s best friend.

The day of her wedding to the Duke of Ashmont, she panics and flees the scene only to be chased down by the best man, Hugh Philemon, the Duke of Ripley. Ripley has always known that Ophelia is not for him. She was everything that was good in the world while he was a Dis-Grace. Now she’s engaged to his best friend and he’s trying his best to keep her in sight so that he can return her to his friend, only she doesn’t want to be returned. No matter how hard he tries, shit keeps happening and his hold on her and his sanity is rapidly disappearing and feelings are creeping up and keeping his distance from her is proving difficult as is staying un-injured.

What an adventure this story was! Loretta Chase pens another wonderfully charming romance between two people who begin a journey to one place and end up in a totally different place…in love with each other.

Ophelia was a riot. I completely adored her personality and how she was so adamant that she was a boring person who was sensible and didn’t do outrageous things and yet every single turn her journey took, she was in one pickle after another. I loved how fiercely she loved her family even though they worked her nerves and the responsibility she felt toward them was understandable. I loved seeing her life spin out of control and watching her fumble her way around until she made sense of her feelings, her future, and her heart. She was a great character and a strong heroine and I seriously loved the romance between her and Ripley.

Ripley, oh Ripley. I loved him. I thought he was so much fun and when he finally jumps all in with Ophelia and is like, “Fuck it. Let’s do this. I’ll handle Ashmont.” I about swooned with delight because gah…they were perfect for each other. Ripley and Ophelia’s bickering kept me mighty entertained and I just could not imagine either of them with other people. There were times when I wanted to wring both of their necks but for the most part, I just flat out liked them.

I’m mighty curious about who is next. I’m not thinking Ashmont since he has a lot of growing up to do and I confess that I’m much more intrigued with Alice and Blackwood. What is their deal? Where the heck is Alice?

Overall, this was a delightful romance with characters that won me the hell over and the book left me wanting more from this world. I can’t wait for the next one. Ripley and Ophelia were an awesome couple that kept the laughs coming and really, you won’t want to miss this one. It’s good.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Posted November 26, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Loretta Chase is a fantastic historical romance author and Lord of Scoundrels remains in my top ten of favorite historicals of all time. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m over the moon excited for her latest upcoming release, A Duke in Shining Armor. I’m super stoked to share an excerpt from her book to whet your appetite since the book comes out on Tuesday. Not a long wait, at all!

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Genres: Historical, Romance
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE PLAY || KOBO

Excerpt

Newland House, Kensington
Late forenoon of 11 June 1833

If the bride was drunk—which she wasn’t—it was on account of celebrating.

In a very little while, Lady Olympia Hightower was going to make all of her family’s dreams come true.

Hers, too, most of them.

She would become the Duchess of Ashmont.

Teetering on the brink of six and twenty, she ought to thank her lucky stars she’d won the heart . . . admiration

. . . something . . .

. . . of one of England’s three most notorious libertines, a trio of dukes known as Their Dis-Graces.

She narrowed her eyes at the looking glass. Behind gold-rimmed spectacles, eyes of a can’t-make-up-their-mind grey-blue-green took a moment to focus on the grandeur that was her. She. Whatever. Elaborate side curls of a commonplace brown framed her heart-shaped face. An intricate arrangement of plaits, topped by a great blossom of pleated lace adorned with orange blossoms, crowned her head. A blond lace veil cascaded over her bare shoulders, down over the full, lace-covered sleeves and on past her waist.

She looked down at herself.

Four knots marched down to the V of the waistline. Below that swelled full skirts of brocaded silk. A great waste of money, which would have been better spent on Eton for Clarence or a cornetcy for Andrew or something for one of the boys. Apart from his heir—Stephen, Lord Ludford—the Earl of Gonerby had five sons to support, a subject to which he’d given no thought whatsoever. His mind, unlike his daughter’s, was not practical.

Thus her present predicament. Which wasn’t a predicament at all. So everybody said. There was nothing predicamental about being a duchess. In any event, practicality had nothing to do with this bridal extravaganza. The money must be thrown away on Olympia, on a single dress, because, according to Aunt Lavinia, it was an investment in the future.

A duchess-to-be couldn’t wear any old thing to her wedding. The bridal ensemble had to be expensive and fashionable, though not flamboyantly so because a duchess-to-be ought to look expensively fashionable, though not flamboyantly so.

After the wedding was another matter entirely. A duchess could pour the entire contents of her jewel boxes over herself and never be overdressed. With a few adjustments, a different arrangement on her head, and more diamonds or pearls or both, Olympia would wear the dress to the next Drawing Room, when her mother or perhaps Aunt Lavinia, the Marchioness of Newland, would present the new Duchess of Ashmont to the Queen.

That wasn’t all that would happen after the wedding. There was the wedding night, which, according to Mama, would not be unpleasant, although she’d been rather vague regarding details. But after the wedding night came the marriage, years and years of it. To Ashmont.

The about-to-be Duchess of Ashmont picked up the cup of brandy-laced tea Lady Newland had brought to steady bridal nerves. The cup was empty.

“Do not even think of bolting,” her aunt had said when she delivered the doctored tea.

Certainly not. Too late for that, even if Olympia had been the sort of girl who backed down or ran away from anything, let alone the chance of a lifetime. She had six brothers. Being the second eldest child counted for nothing with boys. It was dominate or be dominated.

Some said she was rather too dominating, for a girl.

But that wouldn’t matter when she became a duchess.

She bent and retrieved from under the dressing table the flask of brandy she’d stolen from Stephen. She unstopped it, brought it to her mouth, and tipped in what she gauged as a thimbleful. She stopped it again, set it on the dressing table, and told herself she was doing the right thing.

What was the alternative? Humiliate the bridegroom, who’d done nothing—to Olympia, in any event—to deserve it? Disgrace her family? Face permanent social ruin? And all on account of what? The sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, which surely was nothing more than the usual wedding-day anxiety.

Only a lunatic would run away from becoming the bride of one of the kingdom’s handsomest, richest, most powerful men, she told herself. That was to say, Ashmont could be powerful, if he’d bother, but he . . . She lost her train of thought because somebody tapped at the door. “Please,” she said. “I’m praying.”

She’d insisted on time alone. She needed to collect herself and prepare for this immense change in her life, she’d told her mother and aunt. They’d looked at each other, then left. Soon thereafter, Aunt Lavinia had returned with the doctored tea.

“Ten minutes, dear,” came her mother’s voice from the corridor.

Ten minutes already?

Olympia unstopped the flask again and took another sip.

Nearly six and twenty, she reminded herself. She’d never get an offer like this one, ever again. It was a miracle she’d got this one. And she’d known what she was doing when she said yes. True, Lucius Wilmot Beckingham, the sixth Duke of Ashmont, was a bit of an ass, and so immature he made nine-year-old Clarence look like King Solomon. And yes, it went without saying that His Grace would be unfaithful.

But Ashmont was handsome, and he could charm a girl witless when he set his mind to it, and he’d definitely set his mind to charming her. He seemed to like her. And it wasn’t as though any great shocks were in store for her. His character was well known to anybody who read the gossipy parts of the fashionable periodicals.

The important thing was, he’d asked. And she was desperate.

“A duchess,” she told the looking glass. “You can practically change the world, or at least part of it. It’s as close as a woman can come to being a man, unless she becomes the Queen—and no mere consort either, but Queen in her own right. Even then . . . Oh, never mind. It’s not going to happen to you, my girl.”

Somewhere in Olympia’s head or maybe her heart or her stomach, a snide little voice, exactly like her cousin Edwina’s, said, “The Love of a Lifetime is never going to happen to you, either. No Prince Charming on his white charger will come for you. Not even a passionate lord. Or a shop clerk, for that matter.”

She suffocated the voice, as she had wished, many times, to suffocate Cousin Edwina. The Olympia who’d entertained fantasies of princes and passionate gentlemen had been a naive creature, head teeming with novel-fed romantic fantasies as she embarked on her first London Season. For seven years, she’d been voted Most Boring Girl of the Season. In seven years, she’d received not a single offer. That was to say, she’d received no offer any young lady in her right mind, no matter how desperate, would accept or, as had happened in the case of an elderly suitor, would be allowed to accept. And so, when Ashmont had asked, what could she say?

She could say no, and face a future as an elderly spinster dependent on brothers who could barely support themselves and their own families. Or she could say yes and solve a great many problems at once. It was as simple as that. No point in making it complicated.

She took another sip of brandy. And another.

There came louder and more impatient tapping at the door. “It’s the right thing to do and I’m going to do it,” she whispered to her reflection, “because somebody has to.”

She took another swig.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited about this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Loretta Chase

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Loretta Lynda Chekani was born in 1949, of Albanian ancestry. For her, the trouble started when she learned to write in first grade. Before then, she had been making up her own stories but now she knew how to write them down to share. In her teenage years, she continue to write letters, keep a journal, write poetry and even attempt the Great American Novel (still unfinished). She attended New England public schools, before she went off to college and earned an English degree from Clark University.

After graduation, she worked a variety of jobs at Clark including a part-time teaching post. She was also moonlighting as a video scriptwriter. It was there that she met a video producer who inspired her to write novels and marry him. Under her married name, Loretta Chase, has been publishing historical romance novels since 1987. Her books have won many awards, including the Romance Writers of America RITA.


Tagged: , , ,

Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Posted January 14, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

I loved the other books in this series so I was really looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed one bit.

Lady Clara is finally getting her happy ending and I couldn’t be more excited for her. I liked seeing her blossom over the course of the series and I thought her book fit her personality well. I laughed a lot while reading this book and it reminded me of how I was when reading Lord of Scoundrels way back in the day.

The humor in this book is really dry but it completely worked for me. I guess because I worked with a lot of really smart guys who had no filter and spoke their minds, no matter how mean or obnoxious they sounded that Raven’s personality won me over. I read a couple of reviews before reading the book and thought that I would have a little trouble getting into the book but that didn’t happen at all.

Lady Clara is swayed into helping a young woman find her younger brother and save him from the gang life (I almost typed out thug life) but being a Lady of aristocratic birth, there’s not much she could do to help so she hires Oliver, one of the best barristers in England to help her. She remembers Oliver from her childhood and he remembers her. Lots of years have passed but their interaction at Lady Clara’s house when they were kids is pretty memorable so their shared history intrigues Oliver into helping Clara find young Toby and save him from the gang life.

The sparks that fly between Oliver and Lady Clara was great. I loved seeing them battle wits, loved seeing them argue over anything and everything under the sun. I loved how Lady Clara kept surprising Oliver at every turn and I loved that Lady Clara didn’t back down or hide her intelligence from Oliver. They really came together and ended up being a really strong unit.

There were some parts in the story that I thought dragged but for the most part, the story itself was entertaining. The romance won me over and while I would have liked more from the recurring characters, I didn’t feel like we missed out much not having the gang in the book more. Loretta Chase wrote a fantastic historical romance with great characters, witty banter and a story line that kept me invested throughout the entire story so I don’t have much to complain about. I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

Silk is for Seduction
Scandal Wears Satin
Vixen in Velvet
Dukes Prefer Blondes

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Posted December 30, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers series #4

Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

Clara is a beautiful woman and the daughter of an earl who was raised to marry a duke. Her mother will settle for no less! Clara almost married a duke at one time but now she’s glad she didn’t as she just didn’t feel for him what she felt she should. Clara is involved in the Milliners’ Society for the Education of Indigent Females and one of the girls there, Bridget, seeks Clara’s help as her brother has gone missing and she fears that he’s been taken into a street gang. Clara takes it upon herself to seek assistance from a barrister that is known for helping paupers. It turns out that Clara kind of, sort of knows the barrister, Raven Radford, from when she was just a child. Raven, despite his better judgment, decides to help Clara and in ensuing events starts to fall for her. Unfortunately her mother and father won’t agree to the match and Raven and Clara have to fight her parents to be together.

This is one of my favorite books of the year. There are those times when the characters, the story, the humor, the romance in a book…everything just falls into place for the reader and it’s magic. This happened for me with Dukes Prefer Blondes and I just can’t say how much I enjoyed reading it.

Raven Radford was a surly yet highly intelligent man who had no time or patience for those who couldn’t use their brains. He was an advocate for those of the lower class and I loved that about him. He was determined to put away thieves and gang leaders and he had made a good dent in them during his career. He loved Clara’s brain as much as he loved her beauty and I adored that about him. He was a hard man to get along with but he softened when Clara was around and would do just about anything for her- sometimes against his better judgment.

Clara was a bright woman. She was enthralled with Raven as he was a fine looking man, but she was also fascinated by his big brain. He makes her think and recognizes her intelligence. Since everyone else thinks she’s a vapid woman it’s definitely an allure for her. I loved the banter that Clara and Raven shot back at each other. SO entertaining! I especially loved it when she would throw his own words back at him – he didn’t think it was so great but still loved that she remembered what he’d said.

Overall this was a wonderful book that I can’t say enough good things about. I know that some people won’t enjoy the very dry humor of Clara and Raven but if that’s your thing then you will love this one as much as I did.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase

Posted June 30, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers #3) by Loretta Chase.

From the Diary of Leonie Noirot: The perfect corset should invite its undoing . . .

Lethally charming Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne, has reluctantly returned to London for one reason only: a family obligation. Still, he might make time for the seduction of a certain redheaded dressmaker—but Leonie Noirot hasn’t time for him. She’s obsessed with transforming his cousin, the dowdy Lady Gladys, into a swan.

Leonie’s skills can coax curves—and profits—from thin air, but his criminally handsome lordship is too busy trying to seduce her to appreciate her genius. He badly needs to learn a lesson, and the wager she provokes ought to teach him, once and for all.

A great plan, in theory—but Lisburne’s become a serious distraction, and Leonie’s usual logic is in danger of slipping away as easily as a silk chemise. Could the Season’s greatest transformation be her own?

It seems like forever that I’ve been waiting for this book but boy am I glad that we finally have it.

We met Leonie Noirot in Silk is for Seduction and she was the business brain of the family business. She was a no nonsense kind of woman who wasn’t easily distracted from the bottom line but in this book, we see her become very distracted. And it was a real treat to tag along for the ride.

Simon Fairfax, the Marquess of Lisburne is captivated by the woman who is so entranced by a piece of art that he donated to the museum from his personal collection. She’s gorgeous (which goes without saying) but the attention that she’s paying to the Boticello is something that you don’t see very often and he’s mighty interested in getting to know the beautiful woman but she’s slips in and out of his life with ease and even that is interesting.

Chase doesn’t disappoint with this entry into the Dressmakers series and seeing the sisters reunited was great fun. Seeing Leonie struggle with her emotions, her worries of the future and just everything in this book made for a great reading experience.  I really enjoyed seeing Leonie fall in love with Simon and I really loved seeing Simon realize that what he’s feeling for Leonie is so much more than unadulterated lust.

The story’s pacing is fast and easy to fall in with. Chase does a great job of stringing the reader along (in a good way) and I really couldn’t read this book fast enough. It was nice to see everyone together again because it’s been so long and seeing Clevedon being the protective older brother for Leonie was sweet and seeing Longmore and Lisburne chopping it up when he comes back made me fall in love all over again. I really liked seeing Lady Clara and Lady Gladys (which was surprising since she was such a beast in the beginning) and even Swanton was a great addition to the story.

There’s a lot of things going on in this book and I thought Chase handled all of the different parts of the story with ease. There wasn’t a moment when I was taken out of the story because I was confused or anything like that. It was a great read all around and I’m glad that I read it. When I was done, I put the book down and was kind of sad that it ended. I wanted to keep reading and I think I’m going to miss these characters.

I adored Lisburne and Leonie and the way that he tried to coaxe her into saying yes to marriage to him just about had me swooning. I loved it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Tagged: , , , , ,