RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase


Title: Last Night's Scandal
Author: Loretta Chase
Publication Info: Avon 2010
ISBN: 9780061632679
Genre: Historical: European

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.Lindlee also reviewed this book for the RITA® Reader Challenge, which finaled in the historical romance category. Lindlee herself has finaled in the Freaking Awesome category. Incidentally, her grade also matches my grade from my review of this book.

Book CoverPlot Summary: 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.

And here is Lindlee’s review:

I’m a big fan of Loretta Chase. I always enjoy her books, and Last Night’s Scandal was no exception. The story is fun, the characters are fun, and the ending is fun. My cup of tea.

I first met the main characters, Lisle and Olivia, as children in Lord Perfect. In Last Night’s Scandal, they are all grown up and ready to play. I was very impressed that Loretta Chase was able to maintain their personalities from child to adult. Both Lisle and Olivia are the same person, just all grown up. I’m sure that wasn’t easy.

One of the book’s strengths is the friendship between Lisle and Olivia. The two have been friends since childhood and know each other very well. Their temperaments are completely different. He’s steadfast and practical; she’s a whirlwind in human form. Yet they never try to change one another and appreciate their differences. Their interactions were so fun. They’d bicker and fight one moment and then be laughing together the next.

The move from friendship to something more romantic was believable. At first, Lisle and Olivia aren’t sure that they can have a long-term relationship. They are well aware of the differences that could be big problems in a marriage. Watching them come together and realize how much they love one another was a delight.

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Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Katydidinoz says:

    I think I may be the only reader in the world who didn’t like this story.

    First, Loretta Chase hit on a personal pet peeve and used the word ‘moron’ (which, just to get good and snarky was a medical term introduced in the early 1900s, and not adopted colloquial until *much* later. Loretta! I expected more from you!).

    Second, I just wasn’t convinced by the ending. (Trying to avoid spoilers) It felt like one character – who’d been quite decisive about his/her stance from the get-go – just does an abrupt about-face to get the HEA. I wanted to believe, but if I believed the HEA, I had to reassess my opinion of said character and then I didn’t like him/her, which made me have to reassess the HEA…you can see where this circle of frustration is going, right?

    I wanted to love it – Lord Perfect is one of my favourite Loretta Chase novels, but in the end I just couldn’t.

  2. 2
    SusiB says:

    Katydidinoz, you were not the only one who didn’t like this book. In fact, after reading it I swore to never read a Loretta Chase book again. Olivia, the heroine is TSTL and I hated her for thinking that, since she comes from a family known for stupid and shocking behavior, it’s okay for her to do stupid and shocking things. I just couldn’t stand her. The hero is bland and there’s not much of a plot. The book was a huge disappointment for me, since I really loved Lord Perfect (which has a smart heroine).

  3. 3
    Julie Brannagh says:

    I loved this book. I heartily agree with the “A”. Olivia’s writing style alone was enough to have me laughing on the first page.

    When I grow up, I want to be even a fraction as talented as Loretta Chase.

  4. 4
    Sarah J says:


    I felt exactly the same way. Plus the whole tone of Olivia and Lisle’s relationship seemed off to me. Their camaraderie in Lord Perfect was so much fun, so I was really disappointed by their more antagonistic and unbelievably resolved relationship. And was it just me or did Lisle become kind of chest-thumping in this book? 

    I dunno. Basically I just didn’t buy into Last Night’s Scandal.

  5. 5
    kkw says:

    This would be my pick to win the Rita (I read all the historicals and regencies), and it’s a contender for best romance I read all last year.
    I thought Olivia was sometimes stupid and sometimes clever in a very real, flawed way.  I got frustrated with her, but the same way I’d get frustrated with a friend who was making bad choices.  And she got it all together before I lost patience.
    I did actually notice the moron thing as well, but it just gave me a pleasant surge of superiority (and one doesn’t often get to feel superior to such a great writer).  I’d forgotten about it, though, and now I feel clever all over again!

  6. 6
    Azh says:

    I didn’t like the book much and I usually love Chase’s books. I read it a few months ago and all I wanted was for the very bland Lisle to go back to Egypt and forget all about that awful girl.

  7. 7
    Daisy says:

    I was very disappointed in this book.  I thought Olivia and Lisle had so much potential in “Lord Perfect,” but it was wasted here.  I love many of Loretta Chase’s books, but the last few have been disappointing.  Still, I will be reading her latest tonight!

  8. 8
    Christine says:

    SusiB said

    Olivia, the heroine is TSTL and I hated her for thinking that, since she comes from a family known for stupid and shocking behavior, it’s okay for her to do stupid and shocking things. I just couldn’t stand her. The hero is bland and there’s not much of a plot. The book was a huge disappointment for me,

    I agree 100% with you. I cannot believe all the accolades and A reviews this book has gotten. I was stunned when I read it and kept waiting for it to get better. I was really starting to think it was me. I just do not understand why people liked it the characters were silly, the plot was boring and all the couple did was fight through 99% of the book.

  9. 9
    Mayweed says:

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one!  I actually went out and bought this book on the basis of this review.  I am disappoint.

    I made it about half way through and couldn’t finish.  Read the last 4 pages just to find out how it ends.

  10. 10
    cleo says:

    This was more of a B for me – I thought it was fun and frothy, which is what I read Loretta Chase for, but I was also unconvinced by the abrupt about face to get to the hea.  I did love how Olivia ended up using her manipulative skills for good not evil.

  11. 11
    Cialina says:

    I’ve never read any of Chase’s books before… I think I need to pick one up soon!

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