Classic Romance - Which One First? Loretta Chase Edition

A stack of books with an ereader on top, with There's a few Loretta Chase books on sale every now and again, and it can be daunting to figure out if the one on sale is the one you want – or if you want all of them! To quote Jane Litte in a recent podcast, “Loretta Chase can't write a bad book,” and even if the storyline isn't to your liking, you can usually count on the writing to be supremely enjoyable. Chase is skilled and imaginative, and her books often find their way onto many “My Ultimate Favorites No You May Not Borrow It” lists. 

So which Loretta Chase should someone start with, if they've never read her? Lord of Scoundrels ( A | BN | K | S | ARe ) or something else? Which book would you recommend for a reader who has never enjoyed a Chase novel? 

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  1. 1
    Judy in Houston says:

    As much as I love and recommend Lord of Scoundrels, I’d also add Mr. Impossible.  As a brainy female myself, I find it very hot that the big hunky hero falls in love with the heroine because he loves her brain. 

  2. 2
    cleo says:

    My first Chase was Lord of Scoundrels and I didn’t love it – I never really felt like Dain really deserved Jessica.  My second was Mr Impossible and that’s the book that made me a Chase fan for life.  I loved for the same reason’s Judy gives.

    I haven’t read her entire backlist yet – of her early work, what does the bitchery recommend?

  3. 3
    GhengisMom says:

    oh the Dreadful DeLuceys! I love Bathsheba in Lord Perfect.And then the follow up to that story in Last Night’s Scandal.

  4. 4
    Heather says:

    I’ve read four of her books now, and “Lord of Scoundrels” simply tops them all for me. The others, while funny and enjoyable, just didn’t pack the wallop that LoS did. However, I still have several more of her books on my TBR stack (“Mr. Perfect”, “Miss Wonderful”, “The Lion’s Daughter”, “The Devil’s Delilah”, “Your Scandalous Ways”, just to name a few), so we’ll see if any of them make it onto the keeper shelf beside LoS.

  5. 5
    Heather says:

    I meant “Lord Perfect” and “Mr. Impossible”. I always mix those two titles up. : P

  6. 6
    blue_eyed_gypsy says:

    I, too, would recommend Mr. Impossible, followed by Lord Perfect.  I think all of the Carsington series is wonderful, and my favorites among her works (all of which I like)

  7. 7
    Jayebissmeyer744 says:

    Captives of the night! Followed by mr impossible, lord perfect and miss wonderful.

  8. 8
    StarOpal says:

    Mr. Impossible was my first and still favorite Chase. Not only did I go on to read, and enjoy, most of her backlist (still working through it), but it was my Romance conversion book.

    It’s funny, well written, and takes place in Egypt so the setting grabbed me too. I love the adventure and have always had a soft spot for the hero that everyone underestimates because they think he’s stupid, but is actually quite capable and only the heroine figures this out.

    Lord of Scoundrels is my second favorite Chase.

    For which title NOT to start with, I’d go with The Lion’s Daughter, it’s just not as polished and flowing as her later books [but I was able to read the first couple chapters of its sequel Captives of the Night, and would love a paper rerelease so I could finish it).

  9. 9
    Heather S says:

    I’m so exciting to see you guys doing a “Which One First” for Loretta Chase. “Lord of Scoundrels” was the first romance I read—and it turned me into a romance reader. I’m always in pursuit of books that are as awesome as that one. Turns out that level of awesome is pretty elusive. (Although there is plenty of WTFery in the Old Skool romances.)

  10. 10
    Jcode says:

    My first Chase was Lord of Scoundrels, which I absolutely LOVED.  I then read Miss Wonderful and The Last Hellion before reading Mr. Impossible, followed by Lord Perfect.  I have some others on my Kindle waiting to be read. 

    I’d recommend doing all this in a different order.  I think Mr. Impossible first, followed by Miss Wonderful and Lord Perfect.  Then Lord of Scoundrels and The Last Hellion.  But really, you can’t go wrong no matter what order you read them in.  I just have a HUGE soft spot for Rupert in Mr. Impossible and I love Daphne too.

  11. 11
    Char says:

    Lord of Scoundrels was my First Chase. I loved it! I read it along with a friend who is a huge Georgette Heyer fan. I think out of a handful of romance books I recommended to her this was the only one she liked.

  12. 12
    JB Hunt says:

    Mr. Impossible first, then Lord Perfect. A one-two Loretta Chase punch, and you’re knocked out.

     

  13. 13
    Maya M. says:

    Great topic!  I think I’ve read them all except for the very first two (Isabella, The English Witch, I think they’re called) and though not all of them get 5/5 stars from me, every single one has scenes that delighted me, writing that made me swoon, and at least a few quotes and made me laugh out loud and went straight into my quote collection. 

    IMHO I’ll second judy in chicago and cleo:  Mr. Impossible before Lord of Scoundrels, and I’ll tell you why:  Racism/Ethnocentrism is one of my personal hot button issues.  Rupert (of MI) skates very close to paternalistic attitude towards Egyptians in one particular scene, but taking his motivation and rest of story into context, I was OK about how things went.  LoS however, in once scene, crossed right over that line to land in territory that tore me as reader very unhappily out of the story.  Not to give anything away, but it has to do with the manner in which the hero sees himself and how he assesses his own worth.  But I LOVED how the couple originally got together so much I still consider this one of the author’s best.

  14. 14
    Maya M. says:

    2 more cents about other Chase titles:

    the other two I loved hugely were Miss Wonderful and The Last Hellion.  The early titles are immensely enjoyable for great banter also, like Knave’s Wager.

  15. 15

    I never seemed to be able to get into the Carsington series for some reason. I’d say Lord of Scoundrels if they promised to immediately read The Last Hellion right after it (I prefer Hellion over Scoundrels & I really like Scoundrels). I would also throw out Your Scandalous Ways as an option as I just finished yet another reread of it :)

  16. 16
    Liz Tea Bee says:

    My first Chase was Lord of Scoundrels which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I didn’t read anything by her again until last week when I inhaled Lord Perfect. The rest of the Carsington series is now on my TBR list.

  17. 17
    MaddBookish says:

    Lord of Scoundrels and Last Night’s Scandal are my two favorites, but really, any Chase is always going to be at the top of my list. I haven’t read a single one I haven’t loved.

  18. 18
    FairyKat says:

    You really do want to read Captives of the Night. I reread it more often than any other Chase book.  LoS is fantastic, Gothic, funny, clever—but much of the success is the frustration we feel with Dain, followed by the massive pay off when it is resolved. Captives is paced slightly differently, so the frustration and release come in waves—so it’s more relaxing as a comfort read. Also, I love Esmond, and I find the depiction of the life of a female artist realistic, and the mystery is really well done.

  19. 19
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    I wasn’t as enamored of Lord of Scoundrels as I should have been. I’d recommend Mr. Impossible instead.

  20. 20
    hapax says:

    Count me as a reader who fell in love with Chase’s trad Regencies—KNAVE’S WAGER, and THE ENGLISH WITCH especially for the “redeemed villain” heros, although CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT is scorching hot;  I think of these as her “Albanian series”, since so many of them revolve around her obvious love and research into that country.

    If you’re going with her more easily obtainable historicals, MR IMPOSSIBLE is hard to top.

  21. 21
    Olivia Waite says:

    Also: the Egyptian setting is refreshing and fun. I think that’s my favorite story of hers (but ask me again when I’ve finished the new one).

  22. 22
    Amterc says:

    Oh my yes. I like Lord of Scoundrels, but Captives is simply the best book she’s written, period. I like my heroes super smart and dangerous, and Esmond/Ismail fits the bill.

  23. 23
    Olivia Waite says:

    I just read “The English Witch” for the first time and adored it—but my first-ever Loretta Chase was “Your Scandalous Ways.” I think it took a week for me to pick my jaw up off the floor. I’d recommend it as a starting place for Chase’s compelling characters, impeccable style and attention to detail, and because it’s a standalone.

  24. 24
    Ruby says:

    I *adore* Viscount Vagabond. It’s fun and funny, even for those that aren’t into Traditional Regencies. I remember really enjoying Don’t Tempt Me despite myself—and the fact that the heroine was a widowed virgin.

  25. 25
    Lynnd says:

    Captives of the Night is my favourite Chase and then The Last Hellion, Lord Perfect and Lord of Scoundrels. 

    @Ruby:  I also enjoyed Don’t Tempt Me.  It’s not her best work, but it’s still a fun and enjoyable book.

  26. 26
    ksattler says:

    I haven’t read any Chase book.  I see in the comments there are series.  I am compulsive about reading series in order.  Given that, what book should I read?

  27. 27
    RevMelinda says:

    Raising my hand for “Mr. Impossible.” My favorite Chase ever. For some reason, when I read it I hear Rupert Everett’s fabulously plummy voice in my head narrating it. Sigh.

  28. 28

    Definitely Mr. Impossible.

  29. 29
    Arienette says:

    Lord Perfect! I cannot rave enough about that book. I read it all in one go (during exam time as well – I really should have known better) and loved it so much I immediately emailed Loretta Chase to tell her how awesome I thought it was. That was my first book of hers, and I’ve read pretty much all of them since.

  30. 30
    Arienette says:

    Definitely I would say start with the Carsington series – I believe Miss Wonderful is the first :)

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