Trashy Read #10: Last Night's Scandal, by Loretta Chase
When I wrote about Loretta Chase's Lord Perfect last month, I mentioned my hope that she might write a sequel concerning the book's secondary protagonists, Peregrine (Lisle) and Olivia. After seeing their bond as children, I was dying to see them grow up, reconnect, and fall in love. Well, I got my wish. Without knowing it, Chase had already written that book, and at the end of July, it was published. When I found out what her new book was about, I actually whooped aloud with joy. Loretta Chase has become my guilty ruin.
In Lord Perfect, the strong-willed and wild Olivia leads her new friend, the young and overly-smart Peregrine Dalmay, Earle of Lisle (in this book, simply called "Lisle") into a treasure hunt that turns out to be somewhat of a wash. Seeing Olivia's crazy schemes clash with Lisle's stubborn intelligence provided a lot of entertainment. So I knew they could only set off sparks as adults.
I was right. Admittedly, I am kind of a sucker for the old romance standard of "childhood friends become lovers." I find something sweet about two people who have known one another for so long wading their way through their attraction to each other years later. So obviously, I knew the plot here was for me. Lisle returns from his expeditions in Egypt only to be given the task of taking care of a Scottish castle his family owns. He is dreading the experience, and he isn't exactly happy about his old friend, the still wild Olivia, coming along. Obviously, they go to Scotland, solve the "ghost" problem there, and fall in madly in love. It's pretty standard. But because Chase has created two such darn lovable people out of Olivia and Lisle, it seemed fresh and enjoyable all the way through.
With the exception of some time-passage issues I had with Chase in this book (she has some awkward segues here that I don't remember being a problem in her earlier books), I really liked this romance. Olivia is hardly the standard romance heroine, and Lisle is extremely endearing. Some of the scenes between the two made me very happy because Chase knows how to work her characters for what they're worth. She is, without a doubt, my favorite historical romance writer. And this one is another winner from her.
Next in Trashy Reads: I'm reading another historical right now (I can't seem to get enough, ah!), but I'm not sure if I'll finish it or not. To tell the truth, I'm a little burnt out on romance and have my eye on a pile of brand-spanking-new literary fiction and a handful of classics instead.