Author: Loretta Chase
Published: 1990, Signet
Category: Regency Romance
Rating: 7/10 for Sandalwood, 8/10 for Knaves' Wager
I read these two books weeks and weeks ago, before Christmas. I meant to blog about them and just never got around to it. But I liked them so much I wanted to at least mention them. I'm definitely not feeling up to writing a plot summary, but here's the back cover copy:
The Sandalwood PrincessThis book was a lot of fun--it starts out in India, then they're on a boat for months traveling to England. The Falcon steals the statue from Amanda, then she steals it back. Lots of trickery and running around. The couple is constantly lying to each other, but somehow they manage to actually get to know each other and fall in love.
Determined to uncover who stole her sandalwood statue, Amanda Cavencourt is shocked to learn the culprit is a notorious rogue known as the Falcon. Why would a man renowned for his dangerous and delicate missions indulge in petty thievery? Intrigued by the mystery--and rumors of the Falcon's devilish charm and good looks--Amanda sets out on the trail of the brazen blackguard. But what she stumbles upon is a man who just may be her perfect match.
Knaves' WagerI was actually shocked that I liked (really liked) this one--a wager plot and a reformed rake, meh. But I should have known that Chase could pull it off. The dialogue between the hero and heroine is just so snappy and delightful. Lilith is very "respectable" and is engaged to a boring old suitor, even though she's fallen in love with Julian. She thinks he'll just break her heart. I loved when Julian sends her a copy of Mansfield Park with a note that says, "May life with your 'Edmond Bertram' be, truly, happily ever after." Mansfield Park is by far my least favorite Austen--I always sort of wished Fanny weren't quite such a sanctimonious little twerp and ad lived it up a bit with Henry Crawford. I found the ending of Knaves' Wager much more satisfying. :)
Lilith Davenant's sensibilities are appropriately offended. How dare Lord Julian Brandon kiss her when he knows full well the man she is to marry is in the very next room! She never imagines that his amorous pursuit is the result of a wager that will sully her flawless reputation--or that one day she will yearn for Julian's irresistible embrace...