Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Title: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Published: 1995, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 8/10
This book has been recommended to me by tons of people. Everyone who loves romance loves this book. And I totally see why. It's classic! Anyone who says that there's no such thing as a well-written romance novel should be forced to read this book and then eat their stick-up-the-butt words. :)

Jessica Trent goes to Paris for the purpose of separating her (slightly dopey) brother from dangerous involvement with a notorious hellion--aka the Lord of Scoundrels, Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain. But then Jessica ends up being incredibly attracted to him, and they get caught in a compromising situation. Sebastian surprises Jessica by actually offering to marry her. Their real troubles are just beginning though. Sebastian is a truly messed-up guy--abandoned by his mother, and brought up by a cruel, cold father, he thinks of himself as an unlovable monster. It's obvious that you can't have any kind of a decent relationship if you hate yourself that much.

These two characters are just amazing. Jessica is strong-willed and so smart. Life hands her tough situations and she just steps back, decides what she needs to do, then fixes what she can and deals with what she can't. It's so refreshing after all the innocent, naive heroines who want to be saved. **SPOILER ALERT And she shot Dain!! Damn, I loved that scene. She is one tough lady. SPOILER OVER**

And I understand everyone swooning over Sebastian (especially you ladies who like your tortured heroes). He's so complex and vulnerable! Horrible self-esteem. And when he realizes that Jessica actually loves him and he's all confused about how that could happen--my heart? MELTING!! God, he acts like such an idiot sometimes, but you can forgive him because of what he's gone through.

And Chase can write sex scenes. Whew. *Blush* That's all I have to say about that.

I only had one bad moment in this book. At one point Dain tells Jessica, "If you leave me, I'll kill myself." And maybe this is very anti-romantic of me, but I thought this was awful. Talk about the worst kind of emotional blackmail. I understand that Dain feels like Jessica is the first person who ever loved him and that if she leaves him, he would be alone again, probably forever. But still. It's pretty pathetic that he thinks his whole life depends on her.

But I love, love, love this quote. Crankyreader has it on her blog, but I never knew where it came from till now.
"In my dictionary, romance is not maudlin, treacly sentiment," she said. "It is a curry, spiced with excitement and humor and a healthy dollop of cynicism."

Definitely my favorite Chase yet. Did someone say there was a sequel to this one? I'll have to see if I can get my hands on it.


ames said...

Yay! You're back and you reviewed an excellent book. Kudos. So how was the trip?

I love LoS for the heroine. Jessica is great and I love what she does to Dain. hehehe

Dora said...

Oh, it sounds very much like the Rebecca Hagan Lee I finished recently - "Hardly a Husband." I think you'd like that too!

Holly said...

i just finished this one myself and loved it!! definitely a keeper.

fab review.

Marg said...

There's a story in the Three Weddings and a Kiss anthology, that features one of Dain's friends and some cameo references to Dain and Jessica

Rosario said...

Ahhhh! This is the best romance novel ever written. I've really loved other Chase books (most recently, Mr. Impossible and Lord Perfect), but nothing comes close to the perfection of LOS.

As for related books, well, The Lion's Daughter and Captives of the Night are related to it. The former happens before LOS, and the latter kind of during and after LOS, IIRC. I can't remember 100% if Jessica and Dain even show up in those, but I don't think so. The connection is through Esmond and Leila Beaumont.

Then there's The Last Hellion, in which Jessica and Dain do show up. But be warned: me, I loved it, but there are many Loretta Chase fans who absolutely hate it.

Oh, and the short story that Marg mentions, too. It's a nice one.

Kristie (J) said...

I read this one when if first came out I think. It's wonderful to see that readers are still discovering and loving it. It really is a classic romance.

Mailyn said...

Sequel is The Last Hellion. Not as awesome as LoS but still very awesome IMO.

squeee!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you loved this!!!!!!

Jennie said...

Ames--Yes, I'm back! Great trip though I'm still recovering and catching up on sleep. I couldn't believe it when Jessica did that to Dain!! (I'm trying not to spoil anything for anybody) AWESOME!

Dora--I've still got two of your books that I haven't read yet! I shouldn't be borrowing anything more yet, but I'll keep it in mind.

Holly--Yay! I'll keep an eye out for your review.

Marg & Rosario--Thanks for the info. I've actually got Captives of the Night, but I didn't know it was related. Though I wasn't too excited about the Beaumont characters...

Kristie--It's a shame that so many great romances go out of print so quickly, isn't it?

Mailyn--The Last Hellion. OK, it's on my list. :)

CindyS said...

I just got here so forgive me if you have already read it but Mr. Impossible is brilliant. I know LOS is Rosario's absolute favourite but Mr. Impossible managed to edge LOS out of first place. If you haven't read it, the book doesn't really grab you until they get to Giza (basically because you have to be introduced to all the characters). I love dark tortured heroes so it is quite a feat (sp?) that a charming rogue of a man won me over!

As for the part that was hard for you I completely get it. I hate reading books where the heroine will forever pine for the hero and she live on this one memory. Gag.

Ooops, I'm still talking and this is my first comment. Are you sure you want a new lippy person hanging around.

I mentioned it at my blog but I LOVE your template. I'm telling you, template envy is getting ugly!


Jennie said...

I have read Mr. Impossible--it was my first Chase and I LOVED it. So funny. And I loved the Egyptian setting. I was all excited to read more but was a little disappointed by Lord Perfect (just okay) and even more disappointed by Miss Wonderful (ugh). So this one has restored my faith in Chase.

And I love your lippy comments! You crack me up. ;)

CindyS said...

Ah, well then, I might as well tell you that the only Chase books I have liked are Mr. Impossible and Lord of Scoundrels. Lord Perfect *horrified whisper* had children in it. So Chase is definitely a hit or miss with me and Miss Wonderful - was a snoozefest!!