Posts Tagged ‘Carsington’



Rupert Carsington, fourth son of the Earl of Hargate, is his aristocratic family’s favorite disaster. He is irresistibly handsome, shockingly masculine, and irretrievably reckless, and wherever he goes, trouble follows. Still, Rupert’s never met an entanglement–emotional or other–he couldn’t escape. Until now.

Now he’s in Egypt, stranded in the depths of Cairo’s most infamous prison, and his only way out is accepting a beautiful widow’s dangerous proposal. Scholar Daphne Pembroke wants him to rescue her brother, who’s been kidnapped by a rival seeking a fabled treasure. Their partnership is strictly business: She’ll provide the brains, he, the brawn. Simple enough in theory.

Blame it on the sun or the blazing desert heat, but as tensions flare and inhibitions melt, the most disciplined of women and the most reckless of men are about to clash in the most impossibly irresistible way.


This will be a short review because so many wonderful things have already been said about this book.

It simply has everything;

• an irrepressible hero,

• a delightful heroine

• an enchanting love story,

• sparkling dialogue,

• plenty of action and adventure,

• devious villains

• a fabulous assortment of secondary characters

• a rich and fascinating setting

The billowing sand was welling up, like a whirlpool upside down. It grew into a great swirling pillar of sand, and it was racing towards them.


RATING: ★★★★★

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After surviving the perils of Egypt, Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, is back in London, facing the most dire threat of all: his irrational family . . . and Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington. A descendant of notorious–but very aristocratic–swindlers, the delectable redhead has the ability to completely unhinge him and a long history of dragging him into her scandalous schemes.

Olivia may be Society’s darling, but she’s aware a respectable future looms menacingly. And so when Lisle is forced to go on a family mission, she sees this as the perfect chance for one last adventure–even if it is with the one man in the world she can’t wrap around her finger. But really, she only wants to “help”.

Which is why Lisle and Olivia find themselves in a gloomy Scottish castle inhabited by spiteful ghosts and craven murderers . . . and a shocking secret: the greatest peril of all may be burning within their own stubborn hearts.


When I read Lord Perfect, the two adventurous youngsters, Peregrine Dalmay (Earl of Lisle) and Olivia Wingate, really captured my heart. I thought they deserved their own story and I am delighted that Loretta Chase agreed with me because this is their story.

I absolutely love this book! What makes it so special for me is the wonderful chemistry Ms Chase creates between Lisle and Olivia. From the moment they first see each other at the ball, the atmosphere positively sizzles with the awakened sexual awareness between them. They are uncomfortable with these strange new feelings because they still regard each other as ‘best friends’. I chuckled to myself at the way in which Lisle keeps trying to distract his thoughts from her creamy bosom more than amply on display.

They are as different from each other as night and day. Olivia is volatile, impulsive and stubborn while Lisle is practical, honourable and principled, but they just seem so right for each other even Olivia says at one point – “We balance.”

I really like Olivia probably because I have a soft spot for unconventional heroines. She is such a vivid and memorable character and I think it’s her oddball qualities that make her so. After all, she does have the blood of those dreadful Deluceys flowing in her veins!

I see her reason for wanting to go to Scotland as partly selfish because she feels pressured into settling down and wants one more taste of freedom before that happens. She sums up her feelings eloquently:

Women lead narrow lives. We’re somebody’s daughters, then somebody’s wives and somebody’s mothers. We never do anything, not as men do.

I also see her determination to help Lisle because she understands him better than anyone else and knows that Egypt is his first love and she is willing to try anything to help him get back there. This is the main reason why she knows that she and Lisle would never suit. She wants to be first in a man’s heart but she knows that Lisle’s heart is already given to Egypt. Underneath, Olivia is really a romantic!

Lisle has a difficult time resisting Olivia’s allure but he is wary of anything that upsets his orderly life and Olivia certainly does that. At one point, he describes her as a simoon – a sudden, immense whirlwind racing across the desert – which I think is a very apt description. Despite his rational exterior, Lisle does have a temper, which explodes when he sees Lord Belder, one of Olivia’s admirers, manhandling her. When Olivia sprains her ankle at York Cathedral, his concern transforms into anger because she could have been badly injured or even killed. As with any argument, this one gets out of hand and they say hurtful things to each other. Lisle’s remorse afterwards is really heartfelt:

She was his friend. A demented and dangerous friend, true, but he was far from perfect.

His temper, for one thing. Too quick, he knew – but when before had he unleashed it so cruelly on a woman?

And this woman who’d loyally and faithfully written to him, week after week. This was the woman who’d always understood what Egypt meant to him.

It is these very human traits that make Olivia and Lisle come alive for me.

The eventful journey to Scotland and the assorted goings on at the castle are like watching a zany slap-stick comedy and, while I accept that it may not be to everyone’s taste, I love it. Then again, I am British and was brought up on this type of comedy and so that may account for it! The two elderly chaperones, Lady Cooper and Lady Withcote, certainly add spice to the proceedings. I knew I was in for a treat when Lisle makes the following observation about them:

Like all the dowager’s friends, they lived to gossip, drink, gamble and ogle young men. There couldn’t exist more unsuitable chaperons outside of a brothel.

Their bawdy conversations certainly brought a smile to my face.

I enjoyed seeing Olivia and Lisle trying hard not to succumb to their obvious attraction to each other but failing miserably. Ms Chase evokes their initial passionate encounters so well:

It was hot and lewd, a kiss of tangled tongues and thrust and withdraw, like the coupling every instinct screamed for.

It is refreshing to have a heroine who, although a virgin, is neither shy nor naïve and Olivia embraces Lisle’s lovemaking in a totally unrestrained way when they make love for the first time. Ms Chase is one of the few authors who can combine sensuality and pure romance all in one scene.

When reading the book, I found myself conjuring up vivid images of scenes in my mind, thanks to Ms Chase’s superb writing such as when Lisle studies Olivia as she is gazing at Gorewood Castle for the first time:

Over the mass of red curls she wore the usual milliner’s insanity: a thing with a brim the size of a flagship’s foredeck, with feathers and ribbons sprouting out of the top.

I could just imagine that enormous hat with all the feathers and ribbons waving about. I don’t think even the outrageous creations at Royal Ascot could ever compete!

I also love the way she combines rib-tickling humour, social commentary and glorious romantic prose with such ease. I am sure I have filled a notebook with worthy quotations. Here are just a few of my favourites:

He was a man. Men always had lewd thoughts. It was perfectly natural and normal.

Just because I squeezed my gigantic bottom into men’s trousers, you needn’t assume my brains have shrunk to masculine size.

All he could see was her. All he could think was her. All the world was Olivia.’

Why must women stay quietly? Why must we be little moons, each of us stuck in our little orbit, revolving around a planet.


RATING: ★★★★★

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The heir to the Earl of Hargate, Benedict Carsington, Viscount Rathbourne, is the perfect aristocrat. Tall, dark, and handsome, he is known for his impeccable manners and good breeding. Benedict knows all the rules and has no trouble following them—until she enters his life…

Bathsheba Wingate belongs to the rotten branch of the DeLucey family: a notorious lot of liars, frauds, and swindlers. Small wonder her husband’s high-born family disowned him. Now widowed, she’s determined to give her daughter a stable life and a proper upbringing. Nothing and no one will disrupt Bathsheba’s plans—until he enters her life…

Then Bathsheba’s hoyden daughter lures Benedict’s precocious nephew into a quest for a legendary treasure. To recover the would-be knights errant, Benedict and Bathsheba must embark on a rescue mission that puts them in dangerous, intimate proximity—a situation virtually guaranteed to end in mayhem—even scandal!—if anyone else were involved. But Benedict is in perfect control of events. Perfect control, despite his mad desire to break all the rules. Perfect control. Really?


Ever since reading Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase has become one of my favourite authors. With a combination of larger than life heroes, strong but feminine heroines and bags of humour, her books are a joy to read and Lord Perfect is no exception.

There are so many things I love about this book. Firstly, there’s Benedict with his impeccable manners and good breeding .

The scandal sheets never mentioned him. When his name appeared in print – as it did regularly – it was on account of some noble or clever or brave thing he’d done or said.

In fact, totally boring and hardly a hero to set one’s pulse racing!

However, all that changes when he meets Bathsheba and, suddenly, he starts thinking and acting totally out of character. Whenever this happens, I found Benedict’s habit of searching for rules to help him regain his self control really funny. For instance, when he finds himself staring at Bathsheba at the exhibition:

Rule: The ill-bred, the vulgar, and the ignorant stare.

I admire him for taking his nephew, Peregrine, under his wing. He clearly cares about the boy and is even willing to visit the Egyptian exhibition three times although he would much rather be somewhere else. He also shows a caring side through his philanthropic work for the war widows and veterans and his assistance to Bathsheba to find more suitable lodgings.

Since her husband died, leaving her with very little money, Bathsheba and her daughter have not had an easy life. With her looks and reputation, it would have been simple for her to take the easy way out by becoming a nobleman’s mistress and I admire her for not doing so. Instead, she manages to keep a roof over their heads by selling her paintings and taking drawing classes.

She is feisty and isn’t afraid to stand up to Benedict even at his most intimidating. Such as when Benedict tells her that she can’t go with him to search for the children:

“This is Olivia’s doing,” she said, “and Olivia is my problem. I understand how her mind works. I know where she is going. I am the one who will search for her.” The colour came and went in her cheeks. “However, you can save me time if you would lend me the money to hire a vehicle”.

I love the way in which Ms Chase gradually builds up the sexual tension between Benedict and Bathsheba. I could literally feel it oozing from the pages. With such a build up to the big love scene, I was afraid that it might prove a disappointment. Well, I should have had more faith in Ms Chase because this scene is HOT, HOT, HOT!

I wondered how Ms Chase would ensure a ‘Happy Ever After’ for Benedict and Bathsheba as marriage seems out of the question. She does, in fact, provide a very ingenious ending with the solution to the couple’s predicament coming from a very unexpected source.

Both Peregrine and Olivia are engaging in their own way. I had to admire Olivia for her cunning and resourcefulness and was touched by the fact that she wants to find the treasure so that she can help her mother. At first, Peregrine only wants to stop Olivia, but gradually as he gets dragged further into her madcap scheme, he really begins to enjoy himself.

This book has everything you could wish for – a yummy hero, a beautiful, feisty heroine, a madcap chase and plenty of laughs. I am now looking forward to reading Last Night’s Scandal, Peregrine and Olivia’s story.


RATING: ★★★★★

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