Your Scandalous Ways
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Your Scandalous Ways (Fallen Women #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,817 ratings  ·  149 reviews
James Cordier is all blue blood and entirely dangerous. He's a master of disguise, a brilliant thief, a first-class lover—all for King and Country—and, by gad, he's so weary of it. His last mission is to "acquire" a packet of incriminating letters from one notorious woman. Then he can return to London and meet sweet-natured heiresses—not adventuresses and fallen women.

ebook, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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A fun read, although it didn't quite live up to all the glowing reviews for me. I liked the way the novel kind of openly mocks historical romance convention, particularly in having these two depraved souls find each other. But a few things bugged. First, Francesca feels it's necessary to tell us on every page that she's a whore. I get that she's proud of the life she's made for herself, but the constant reminders were not really necessary. I think also that Chase doesn't give her readers enough...more
Although I didn't consider this to be one of Loretta Chase's best books, I did enjoy the story. I am not a fan of the courtesan theme, so that influenced my opinion of the book, but Chase portrayed it in a way that made me almost forget I did not like this plot device.

James Cordier is an agent for the British government, and after many years of danger and disguise, he is ready to leave it all behind for a normal life. As he finishes his last mission and is relishing the idea of retirement, he is...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
I'm such a big Loretta Chase fan. I'm always eager to head to the bookstore when I know she has a new book coming out because I know I'll be entertained and amused. "Your Scandalous Ways" is no exception. I don't know how she made me enjoy a book about a courtesan I was sure I wouldn't like and a spy who was willing to use sex to get information from his suspects!! But I ended up liking them both, wanting them to be together, and knowing they were perfect for each other.

Francesca calls herself a...more
Oct 20, 2008 Annie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Readers
Recommended to Annie by: Elle Gardner
Shelves: read-in-2008
I've never read a Courtesan novel before and I must say, I really enjoyed it. I found the female lead oddly refreshing in her ability to laugh at herself and her complete Independence. Now I know that most romances are based on a female with a strong mind but I find most still require a certain degree of 'rescuing'. Francesca Bonnard, I'm quite confident, would've survived the plot of the novel without the hero James. But then we wouldn't have had that magnificent scene at the bell tower at dawn...more
I need to stop reading romances, I'm never ever happy with the endings, because that's just the way romances are. But anyway, this is a good one. It doesn't star a virgin who's complaining she's 20 and an "old maid" (feel good always, haha), this is a courtesan and a thief. Not a deep plot here at all, but whatever, it was a fun read and I think the writing was good for this genre, SO THERE!
BJ Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm doing this book an injustice by rating it with only 3 stars, because it's objectively much better than that. In fact, technically, it was an almost 5 stars book. Chase's writing is flawless, her characters well developed and likable with a few flaws to make them seem more human, her descriptions vivid, her plot intriguing. However, I put her in the same category as Madeline Hunter and Liz Carlyle, whose ability to write non wall-paperish historicals I cannot argue and yet their books, almost...more
Lady Wesley
Hot romance between gorgeous man and beautiful courtesan? Check. Incredible sexual tension? Check. Engaging characters and a clever plot? Check. Set in 1820s Venice, Italy? Check.

The Kindle version of this book was only $1.99, and Mrs. Giggles gave it a 95 (out of 100) rating. She raved about it, so i decided to give it a try.

The Venetian setting sets this book apart from other Chase romances, but I think it only adds to the book's wonderfulness.
Surprisingly different from a usual historical romance.
The hero is both a spy, a henchman, a thief… all for the sake of England, as well as money. He will use any means to get his ends, even having sex with a woman he despises to repossess emerald jewels that she had stolen. I really liked him, as he seemed very cunning at some times, completely ashamed of himself at some other times, a great actor but overall he remained honest regarding key matters. I also liked that he acknowledged his feelin...more
I enjoyed this book a lot. Loved the interaction between the hero and heroine and I liked their reaction to each other. The hero is the 19th-century version of James Bond--jaded spy who sleeps his way to much of his success. He's sort of a combination spy/thief, because often stealing jewels has political implications. The heroine is an infamous divorced woman who, rather than sinking into poverty and death, decides she'll use the reputation her ex deliberately ruined--out of sheer meanness, fro...more
Why aren't there more romances like this one?! The experienced heroine, the unique setting, the flawless writing! Strangely enough the hero and heroine taken separately are actually a little wallpapery, despite the whole courtesan twist. However, every scene between them is so well-written that the two together really spark! I also loved Francesca and Guiletta's friendship and a scene between them towards the end is a wonderful interpretation of female frienship in any age. The villain of the pl...more
Vanessa Kelly
I loved this book! James Bond meets the Regency, and set in Venice, too. As usual, LC combines heartfelt emotion with humor, and a dash of action.
I do not normally read courtesan stories - it is just not something that interests me and I didn't realize that this book had that storyline. I've read other Loretta Chase and enjoyed them, and this book was on sale at Amazon, so I picked it up. However, I really liked this one. The characters she has created here were completely engaging and their love story was wonderful. The side story was secondary to what was going on between Francesca and James. He is a spy who sleeps with women to get wha...more
I had this on my to-read shelf for a few months, even though I had already purchased it, just because the whole courtesan theme wasn't calling to me.

After reading it, I'm mad at myself for waiting this long. Francesca Bonnard isn't your typical courtesan, she's an extremely expensive one. And she knows it. Chase did a fantastic job making her character high-maintenance, but endearing at the same time (a tough thing to do).

The shining point in this book for me was the male lead, James Cordier....more
So much fun, the dialogue, Venice, the characters. All the while feeling so rich in historical details without feeling contrived or heavy. Delicious treat of a book.

Trying to be critical, I liked this, thought it more interesting than her most recent ones. A friend asked me if it was better than her most famous book, and not quite as good, but still lovely charming book.

PS - I know it´s nitpicking, but I truly hate this cover. Besides being bad, it´s just wrong, the feminine back looks surpris...more
This got a good review from the folks at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, so I knew I was in for a good romance read. And it was. Picture Inara from Firefly in a Regency romance (yep, the heroine is the one with "scandalous ways") and you sort of have an idea of the tone of the book. I particularly like when romance novels have good secondary characters and senses of humor, and this one definitely does.
☂ ℬrandi
I usually don't feel compelled to write a review but this book caught me quite unaware. Firstly, the heroine (Francesca Bonnard) is a fallen woman (hence the series name) which I thought would be most unappealing to me. It was, and that's pure hypocrisy on my part since I love a good libertine, but my distaste for that aspect was quickly subdued by the heroine's strong will and character. She is capable, smart and wise. She might have it all figured out actually. Then there is the most composed,...more
If you rate this novel against all the other historical romance novels out there, this book scores high. But rating it against Loretta Chase's previous work, I can only give it 3 stars.

Loretta can certainly write, and the setting is marvelous but this book was strangely unfulfilling. I would have liked to have more character development. I found both the hero and the heroine (in spite of their intriguing backstories) to be strangely blah. They were both rather boring and even their romance was...more
Jane Stewart
The characters didn’t grab me. Some of the dialogue was boring. A few times I wanted the story to be over.

The two main characters were Francesca and James. A number of times they played cat and mouse mind games with each other in a way that was not interesting. The writing seemed wordy. I was not emotionally drawn in. I did enjoy two surprises revealed toward the end of the book: a hiding place and the identity of one of the minor characters. However, there was nothing else in...more
This book just charmed my socks right off. It's the second novel set in Venice that I've read in the past six weeks, but this one succeeds where the other one failed.

"Your Scandalous Ways" has a great sense of place; it really made me feel like I was in Venice. It also did a great job of evoking what Venice must have been like during that era - not just the romance, but also the occasionally stenchy dungeon or canal.

The hero and the heroine are well-rounded, and the secondary characters feel li...more
Upon a reread, I really liked the chances Loretta Chase took with this book. Whores for (both) main characters! Unrepentant ones! The hero and heroine vie hard to get the upper hand of each other throughout most of the book, and I usually don't like that trope, because so often someone winning means someone losing too and I don't like seeing losers in relationships. But the author did a superb job of maintaining that fine balance of power between the h/h, and I never felt like one of them ultima...more
After consuming too many historical romances featuring roguish rakes and blushing virgins in good ol' England, it was refreshing to read a Venice-set love story between a courtesan (gasp) and a man whose past experiences with women were "for King and Country" (instead of jumping from bed to bed for angst-y reasons, such as mommy issues - I'm referring to Dain from Chase's "Lord of Scoundrels," whom I just couldn't like). These characters are great because they're believable. Francesca was hurt a...more
Megan Winget
Remember in my "Lord of Scoundrels" review I said that I admire Loretta Chase because she gives herself writing challenges? Well, this challenge is a doozy: the heroine in this book is an honest to god prostitute. She's not a fake prostitute: she doesn't cater to some weird fetish wherein she doesn't have to actually have sex with her clients; she also doesn't hate her job, she's quite happy with it, thank you very much. Granted, she's not your run of the mill prostitute - she's a very high end...more
Noura Ariz
What i like about Loretta Chase's heroines is that they are usually not the simpering helpless types. This one is no simpering miss.

The one in this story, although labelled as a "Fallen Woman" has much to be admired. Although she was a victim of her husband and social circumstances, she has made herself a success and revelled in it. She's smart and independent, she's in control of her life and she does it with style and flair. She's got men falling at her feet. She's got a great BFF. And in the...more
The latest from Loretta Chase, this standalone novel tells the story of Francesca Bonnard, a Venetian whore, and James Cordier, a whore of a different kind -- a man who uses his sexuality to influence politics and discover state secrets for the British government. He's tired of this life, however, and has agreed to one last mission before returning to England to marry an innocent miss and have lots of babies. This is where his path crosses with that of Ms. Bonnard -- it turns out she was not alw...more
Ana T.
There's much to like in Loretta Chase's latest book and I am happy that I finally decided to pick it up. The setting is 19th century Italy, especially Venice, I liked that. Then the characters are a courtesan and a jaded spy who, instead of spending the day torturing himself about the past, has a pretty cynical and humourous view of the world and how the others see him. How refreshing!

It's been five years since Francesca's husband divorced her and ruined her socially, she had to flee England for...more
Rachna R
MY USUAL LORETTA CHASE NOTE: it wasn't until FORTY PER CENT of this book was done that I realised I'd enjoy this a lot. unlike Chase's usual stories, I wouldn't say the first parts of the book were mostly forgettable, because they were a lot of fun. but I was super aware of where this 'fallen woman' thing could go and would probably go and I was so wary of it, and then 40% in I realised wow, not going there. that made me really happy.

I ended up enjoying this a lot. I think I've noted before tha...more
Nadine Jones
Just what I'm in the mood for! Light and fluffy historical romance, spices things up a bit by having the hero be a British spy (but there isn't much intrigue involved). Nice angle: heroine is a whore, so even though she's overcome by his sexy maleness in a way she's never experienced before, she knows what she's doing (and he's overcome by her sexy femaleness, too, so they are on equal footing here!) and there's none of that "she drove her tongue into his mouth the way he had taught her" nonsens...more
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I am slowly becoming a fan of Loretta Chase. Your Scandalous ways was so fun to read!

I have to say, Francesca was hilarious, and she was a lot more witty than I expected. I LOVED Francesca and James together, and they really are well-matched. I thought Venice was a great setting for the book, and it made it seem fun and exotic- and you got a great sense of what Venice was like during the 1800's. Plus, I loved the random historical references throughout the novel. She does a great job at weaving...more
The first words in the first chapter won me over, “Penises. Everywhere.” Fine, she’s talking about cherub frescoes, but naked baby pictures à la Anne Geddes have always creeped me out, too.

Divorcée Francesca, a courtesan, is in possession of letters that prove her ex-husband is a spy. Her ex-husband has high political aspirations and can’t risk being found out as a traitor. So, he sends someone to steal the letters and kill his ex-wife. Meanwhile, the good guys send out their own spy, James, to...more
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Loretta Lynda Chekani was born in 1949, of Albanian ancestry. For her, the trouble started when she learned to write in first grade. Before then, she had been making up her own stories but now she knew how to write them down to share. In her teenage years, she continue to write letters, keep a journal, write poetry and even attempt the Great American Novel (still unfinished). She attended New Engl...more
More about Loretta Chase...
Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3) Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1) The Last Hellion (Scoundrels, #4) Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2) Lord Perfect  (Carsington Brothers, #3)

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“He knew there were no forevers and there was always a way out, yet he lost his way, lost his balance.” 5 likes
“Venice she is like the beautiful cortigiana—the courtesan—who has”—Zeggio frowned, searching for the phrase he wanted—“dropped on the hours of trouble.”
“Fallen on hard times,” James said.
“Fallen on hard times,” Zeggio repeated. He murmured the phrase to himself a few times. “I see. The same but not the same.”
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