Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Miss Wonderful (Carsington Brothers, #1)” as Want to Read:
Miss Wonderful (Carsington Brothers, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Miss Wonderful (Carsington Brothers #1)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,829 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Alistair Carsington really wishes he didn't love women quite so much. To escape his worst impulses, he sets out for a place far from civilization: Derbyshire - in winter!

Once there, he hopes to avoid all temptation, and repay the friend who saved his life on the fields of Waterloo. But this noble aim drops him straight into opposition with Miss Mirabel Oldridge, a woman ev
Kindle Edition, 358 pages
Published (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Miss Wonderful, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Miss Wonderful

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Knowing that several readers think that this book is one of Ms. Chase's weakest releases, I didn't have high expectations when I started reading it and I admit I decided to read it only because I wanted to read the next books in this series and I'm OCD about reading series in order. Well, I owe my OCD a big thanks, because I really enjoyed reading this book.

The Right Honorable Edward Junius Carsington, Earl of Hargate, is worried about his 3rd son, 29-year-old Baffle to All Human Understanding,
This one was only OK. Ending up skimming the last 20% which is not good.... not sure why it did not do it for me.

I thought this book was okay, but you know there are problems when you're more interested in seeing what happens with the (very marginal) secondary romance than you are with the main one. I'm not up for writing a long-winded review right now, so here are my impressions, in mostly single- or double-syllabic words:

Alistair Carsington - Overcame the dandy impression admirably to the point that I really liked him. I continued reading because I wanted to know more about him. I retained a bit of skept
Tammy Walton Grant
4.5 stars **Mildly spoilerish**

Believe it or not, I liked this one better than Lord of Scoundrels. (Well, except for the scene in LoS against the lamppost in the rain, but I can't have everything, can I?)

I loved the whole book -- loved Alistair and his "dandy-ish-ness", loved Mirabel and her penchant for jumping his bones whenever she could, (view spoiler) got a charge out of the story, smiled at the secondary characters and all the refe
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Although even mediocre Loretta Chase is better than most authors, I found myself disappointed after reading this, for there had been a very long break in which Ms. Chase wasn't gracing her world with excellently written romances. It was just on the dry side. I had to try really hard to get involved with Carsington and Mirabel, although they both were perfectly nice people and I didn't dislike them. I guess I just have very high standards for the author who wrote my favorite book of all time. So ...more
*Buddy read with Stacia. You can read her thoughts here.*

Since I loved Silk Is For Seduction so much, I wanted to try out some of Chase's other series with the hope that they'd be at least enjoyable, if not epic.

To say Miss Wonderful was a disappointment would be inaccurate, because it wasn't quite that big of a let-down. At the same time, it wasn't even half as interesting as Silk Is For Seduction. Mostly, it was just boring.

The narration was tedious and the details dreary. I found myself skimm
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 26, 2012 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Dija
I blame my lack of interest on not being in the mood...or something like that. From what I hear, this author writes wonderful Historical Romance and since I like HR, chances are I will enjoy reading this author at another time. For whatever reason, this book didn't work for me.

There was no humor, no fun banter, and no blazing sexual chemistry. If anything, I felt like I was reading an extremely formal book where nothing really happened other than people explaining their previous and current pred
Actually 3,5 stars.
After a tongue-lashing by this father about his vain and expensive life-style Alistair Carsington, third son of the Earl of Hargate, has to prove to his father that he isn´t just a dandy interested only in his wardrobe and who spends his younger brothers inheritance. When he´s given the chance by his friend and former comrade-in-arms Lord Gordmor to become partner in a coal-mine project in Derbyshire he jumps at the chance. But first he has to get one obstacle out of the way,
Jacob Proffitt
It's always nice to have a good experience as my first book of the new year. This is my first Chase novel, so I had few expectations (beyond somewhat mixed reviews from friends). I was delighted to find myself enjoying the book so much.

Mirabel was a lot of fun, and not least because she was so atypical of the genre. She's a lot older than usual, coming in at an over-the-hill 31 years of age. I liked that Chase made this feel natural and fit the time period by giving her plenty adequate reason fo
I'm SO glad that I read this book! My first Loretta Chase novel was Lord of Scoundrels, which I know is universally loved by the historical romance community, but which I had immense issues with. The book was actually quite good in some ways, but the problems I did have with the story were too aggravating to overlook.

Anyway, although I own other Chase books, I have stayed away from them up till now. I was so pleasantly surprised by Miss Wonderful, however! It was absolutely fabulous, Mirabel and
3.5 stars

I knew nothing about Miss Wonderful when I picked it up, other than that it was the first book in Loretta Chase’s Carsington Brothers series, about which I have heard good things.

When first introduced to Alistair Carsington, I had reservations. Alistair is described as a dandy, and typically, I have a hard time in finding a man dressed in ruffles and heels as attractive, and sometimes I even find them repellent.

Thankfully, the term dandy, as applied in Alistair’s case, is used purely to
Things I loved:
~ Chase's wonderful sense of humor as displayed in the characters banter - wonderfully, delightful!
~ Alistair - he is such a fun and interesting twist on the regency hero. He is a dandy (although there are deep
seated reasons underneath.) He lets his emotions rule him - often to his detriment. He also embraces
those emotions and doesn't try to squelch all feeling as most are written to do in this era.
~Mirabel's quirky inattention to style, her horrible fashion sense and unruly h
Suzanne the Mighty (Under the Covers Book blog)
To keep Alistair Carsington is a rather expensive endeavour as far as his father is concerned, he seems to have a costly addiction, as his bills testify. So, as any sensible man would, Alistair’s father comes up with a plan to make his middle son pay for himself. Miss Mirabel Oldridge has become accustomed to taking charge, for ten years she has been looking after her father’s affairs as his mind goes further into his botanical pursuits; however, as soon as Mr Carsington arrives wit ...more
Loretta Chase is on auto buy for me. I love her heroes AND her heroines. Her settings are vividly described. Many of her books are set in England, but some are set in Egypt, the orient, etc. This is a great series.
Barbara M.
I can't even think of a review for this one...Bleh! This is 3 stinkers in a row for's hoping three's a charm.
Allright. In this review I'll be repeating a few thoughts I exchanged with Juliana earlier in the week while I was in the process of reading this book.

First of all, the two leads. Love the hero, admire the heroine. They are well written, with a lot of backstory. Their insecurities and backgrounds are skillfully dealt with. Here there is a reversal of stereotypical roles: Alistair is clearly the romantic and Mirabel is the one whose feet are firmly planted in reality, what with all of her respons
Rachna R
I want to knock off points for pacing, because I think this book is slow, and I want to knock off points for giving me plottier bits I wasn't all that interested in, but I can't do that because the the way the two leads treat each other is so great, and I'm so unused to seeing that in romance fiction in general, let alone historical romance!! On their own they're pretty wonderful, too - I have very little tolerance for man-pain, but Chase both downplays Alistair's and gives him good reason and e ...more
Aly is so frigging bored
This book had it's moments...At some parts I wanted to give it 5*, at others I would have gone with 2... In the end it was very nice. The entire series seems interesting.

"Did you think I wasn't attending?"
It was a small, crooked smile, and it made her heart go a little crooked, too, and beat erratically.
As though sensing Mirabel's agitation, her mare Sophy edged away from Mr. Carsington's gelding.
"I thought you had gone to sleep," Mirabel said.
"I was thinking," he said.
"Remarkable," she s
Nice role-reversal. She's a former debutante with her own money, a successful estate, a head for politics and business, and enough good sense to go and seduce the hero. He's the fashion-conscious, romantic, impoverished younger man, who falls in love at first sight. Both characters have enough brains, humor and flaws that the reader can actually see them as attractive personalities.

It's a Regency with some fooling around before the wedding, some concern about propriety, some better-than-usual pl
Affection, humour, industrial revolution, lust, mental illness, passion, tenderness. Mirabel and Alistair re/affirm each other, Chase keeps putting tropes on their heads despite staying within the atfirstsight and sobeautiful conventions. She usually has them be of similar age, as well, and here Mirabel is actually two years older than Alistair; and perhaps the negativity in some reviews came from him doing up her hair (which I loved, though the dandyism wasn't really explored that much).
Like Cecilia, I recently re-read this, and loved it a lot more the second time around. Best to read it long after Lord of Scoundrels and Mr. Impossible!
Not sure about this Alistair character; he is described as a wastrel, loves clothes, and is considered a hero for something he has no recollection for. Qualities usually not given to lead male characters in books. And to boot our heroine is thirty-one, gasp! What have we here Watson? I'm intrigued.

Wow never read someone described so poetically "Her eyes were blue, twilight blue, and for a moment she seemed to be the beginning and end of everything, from the sunrise halo of hair to the dusky blu
Bell Curran
Possibly the most delightful historical romance I have read. I picked it up after reading a Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review of another Chase novel in this series ( The genius of this book -- aside from the fact that it's just so damn funny -- is that it throws over a number of standard romance novel tropes (e.g. reformed rake seduces virgin and then falls hard for her) and yet still manages to be sexy as hell. You know there's a reason those tropes ar ...more
I really enjoyed this story. The author has taken two things which I love in HRs and woven them into a great love story: historical fact with the Industrial Revolution and canals, and a real location in the Peak District, one of my favorite places in England.

The heroine and hero are conventional, but with a great twist, and both of them are far more complex than they appear. The heroine has been compelled by self-imposed duty and love for her home to relinquish her own hopes for romance and pas
When I first read this book (as a new release), it did not make much of an impression on me. I'm not sure why; possibly I had just read Lord of Scoundrels and it just didn't grab me the same way. Reading it again now, it's clear to me that I was being a bit dense.

Sure, it's not as dramatic overall, and the hero is not the larger-than-life Dain. However, it's not like those are the only measure of a well-written romance.

What I came to appreciate better about this particular book the second time
As one of the few authors of historical romance of whom I have absolutely no experience, I have long been wanting to get started on the works of Loretta Chase. With her latest, Your Scandalous Ways recently reviewed by the Smart Bitches, I decided to wander down to the library to see what they had to offer.

Miss Wonderful is the first in the Carsington Brothers series and tells the story of Alistair Carsington, the third son of the Earl of Hargate. Unfortunately, Alistair has the tendency to fall
This is one of those books where the parts were somehow greater than the whole. In dissecting it with my geeky, book-obsessed little mind, I realized that objectively I liked nearly everything about it. I really appreciated the slyly subversive twist on traditional gender expectations. One of our main characters cares quite a lot about clothes, fashion and appearances and is an emotional, romantic semi-sap who laments how quickly and deeply they fall in love. The other is a pragmatic, sensible a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♥The Kat's Meow♥
Miss Wonderful (Carsington Brothers, #1) by Loretta Chase Mirable is a ragging co-dependent. Being one myself, I totally understand. Alistair suffers from PTSD. Well, you would too, if a battlefield surgeon wanted to amputate your leg. She could care less about her appearance; he spends a great deal of time and his father’s money ensuring he is immaculately attired.

Can she afford to keep him? Can he keep his hands from fixing her mess of a coiffure? Wait, isn’t it usually the woman in these stories who is into fashion? Well, this is something differ
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I liked this one more than I thought I would. Though, the lack of communication got be to rather annoying. I still don't understand why Mirabel couldn't just talk to Alistair about her misgivings regarding the canal. Her reticence made zero sense considering she wanted to convince him to call of his plans. Thus, she struck me as a bit of a nincompoop. Ah, well, another HR going down in my books as less than it could have been merely due to an irrational, nonsensical heroine. Still, the writing i ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Untie My Heart
  • Angel Rogue (Fallen Angels, #4)
  • My Dearest Enemy
  • To Have and To Hold (Wyckerley Trilogy, #2)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • Bound by Your Touch
  • McAlistair's Fortune  (Providence, #3)
  • Midsummer Moon
  • England's Perfect Hero (Lessons in Love, #3)
  • If His Kiss Is Wicked (Grantham, #3)
  • Simply Love (Simply Quartet #2)
  • Marrying The Royal Marine (Channel Fleet, #3)
  • My Lord and Spymaster (Spymasters, #2)
  • Unraveled (Turner, #3)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Carsington Brothers (5 books)
  • Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2)
  • Lord Perfect  (Carsington Brothers, #3)
  • Not Quite a Lady (Carsington Brothers, #4)
  • Last Night's Scandal (Carsington Brothers #5)
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)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I am not in love with you," she said. "It is an infatuation. I have heard of such derangements happening to elderly spinsters.” 12 likes
“It is brilliant, and I would swoon if I knew how. Perhaps I learnt the art but it was long ago, and I've forgotten, It is merely one of a number of feminine skills I lack.” 2 likes
More quotes…