Lord of Scoundrels
by Loretta Chase
I’d meant to do a book of the month post every month, highlighting underappreciated books, but then…I didn’t. Today I want to mention a book (and an author) that are not underappreciated, but I have to add my appreciation to those who already read and love her: Loretta Chase, author of Lord of Scoundrels among many other historical romances.
I’m ashamed to say that I was unfamiliar with Chase’s work before I started this MFA, and Lord of Scoundrels was part of the required reading. First published in 1995, it’s still in print and still delicious. For those with a bent toward historical romances, this one is a must-read. Try this for dialogue:
“I believe I’ve remarked before, Trent, that you might experience less aggravation if you did not upset the balance of your delicate constitution by attempting to count,” said Dain….”I particulary recommend,” he went on, his eyes upon the female, ”that you resist the temptation to count if you are contemplating a gift for your chere amie. Women deal in a higher mathematical realm than men, especially when it comes to gifts.”
“That, Bertie, is a consequence of the feminine brain having reached a more advanced state of development,” said the female without looking up. ”She recognizes that the selection of a gift requires the balancing of a profoundly complicated moral, psychological, aesthetic, and sentimental equation. I should not recommend that a mere male attempt to involve himself in the delicate process of balancing it, especially by the primitive method of counting.”
Bertie approached, and in his playing-field confidential whisper asked, “Any idea what she said, Dain?”
“What was it?”
“Men are ignorant brutes.”
Isn’t that wonderful? And all the dialogue is like that. I’ve now read a couple of other books by Chase, and they’re all good, but this one is still my favorite. You can find Lord of Scoundrels at fine booksellers everywhere. See if you don’t agree with me and the 296 4.5-star reviewers on Amazon that this one’s special.
P.S. Don’t be fooled by the cover. On the edition I have, the primary color is orange, and our smart and feisty heroine is dark and ravishing, as she should be–not pale and naked, as she is here. This is one good example of how you can’t judge a book by its cover.