Bitchin' Blog Posts
The votes were pretty evenly split among a few books by Loretta Chase, with some very hearty recommendations as well. If you're looking to try a Loretta Chase book, Bitchery readers are here to help (seriously, y'all know pretty much everything).
If you're not sure where to start, here are the Chase series in order:
The Carsington Brothers:
Not Quite a Lady
Last Night's Scandal
The Fallen Women Series:
Your Scandalous Ways
Don't Tempt Me
The Dressmakers series (in progress)
Silk is for Seduction
Scandal Wears Satin
Other historical novels:
The Lion's Daughter
Captives of the Night
Lord of Scoundrels
"The Mad Earl's Bride"
The Last Hellion
Of the Chase books in print, three were the top recommendation by commenters:
Just about every other comment mentioned Lord of Scoundrels. This is among the most-loved of Chase's books. Heather said, "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."
Heather (another one!) said, "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."
But then there's the love for:
Many, many readers LOVE this book. Judy in Houston: said, "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."
Cleo echoes Judy: "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."
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. Lil says it was her first, too: "Another vote for Mr. Impossible and Lord Perfect. Mr. Impossible wasn't just the first Chase I read, it was the first Romance novel I read. It turned me into an addict. What can I say?"
"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."
RevMelinda adds, "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." And
Mel says, "I will add to the chorus of Mr. Impossible then Lord Perfect. Rupert and Benedict are my two fave chase heroes."
Karin says, "Actually "Mr. Impossible" is the only Carsington book I'm totally in love with, so I would recommend that or LoS.... I love the way Chase subverts at least one standard trope of the genre in each book, but somehow never goes over the line in a way that would turn romance readers off."
JB Hunt says "Mr. Impossible first, then Lord Perfect. A one-two Loretta Chase punch, and you're knocked out."
Maya M agrees, and has a warning for some readers: "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."
Liz Tea Bee says Lord Perfect is her favorite: "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."
Arienette says, "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."
TypingPractice said, "Miss Wonderful was the first Chase I read, so biased in favor of it, and it got me reading more Chase. More! More! However I've only read a small fraction of her work so far.
"As a science fiction fan I especially liked how much of the problems were driven by the disruption new technology (canals) would wreak on the local area, and that the solution also involved clever use of technology.
"I especially liked that, unlike the saying that '3/4ths of Opera could have been prevented if the main characters stopped for a nice cup of tea, a walk in the garden and talking things over,' these peeps DID stop for hours of quality walking and talking and trying to brainstorm solutions. Didn't succeed, lots of chapters with conflict follow-- but it wasn't because of stubborn refusal to talk about problems."
Sonoma Lass agrees: "Miss Wonderful is a favorite of mine, and it is the first of the Carsington Brothers series, followed by Mr Impossible, Lord Perfect, and Not Quite a Lady. Last Night's Scandal is also part of that series, featuring the next generation."
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."
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...."
Amterc adds, "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."
LynnD agrees: "Captives of the Night is my favourite Chase and then The Last Hellion, Lord Perfect and Lord of Scoundrels."
In addition to LynnD, above, Maya M says she loves this book and Miss Wonderful.
And Katie Dunneback recommends you start with "Lord of Scoundrels if they promised to immediately read The Last Hellion right after it (I prefer Hellion over Scoundrels & I really like Scoundrels)."
Olivia says Your Scandalous Ways is one of her favorites: "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."
Katie Dunneback agrees: "I would also throw out Your Scandalous Ways as an option as I just finished yet another reread of it :)"
So, if you haven't read Chase, which book do you think you'll start with?