Ridley's Reviews > Last Night's Scandal

Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase
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Apr 28, 2010

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bookshelves: 3-star, regency, read-2010, ebook
Read from August 24 to 25, 2010

I have no real strong feelings either way on this book. It started off super funny then sort of fizzled when the sexual tension was cut short and replaced by a non-committal self-imposed internal conflict. I'm not sure I have it in me to write a full-bodied review.

The book opens strongly with a few letters back and forth between the younger Olivia Carsington in England and Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, who is in Egypt. Olivia's letter are true to the personality of the child we met back in Lord Perfect, full of exaggerations, Ideas and words underlined for GREATER emphasis. Lisle's more sedate letters also suit the deliberate voice of reason that had managed the wilder Olivia on their Noble Quest for pirate treasure in Bristol. I was chuckling at their interplay at the Dowager Countess of Hargate's birthday ball where Lisle was trapped between a sudden desire for the adult Olivia and his comfortable rapport with his old friend.

When Lisle's dramatic and overemotional parents demand he go to a family estate in Scotland to restore it, withholding his entire allowance unless he acquiesces, he's in a bind. He wants to return to Egypt to work alongside his scholar aunt, not freeze his rump off in Scotland. Luckily, and unluckily, for him, Olivia has an Idea. Before he knows what hit him, he's on his way to Scotland, and so is Olivia and two elderly and inappropriate chaperones.

And here's where the book started to lose me. I thought their desire was openly acknowledged far too early, deflating the sexual tension. They share passionate kisses before they even reach the castle and shag early and often. This left a rather flimsy reason as the impediment to their HEA so the ghost story could conclude first. Olivia couldn't accept Lisle's proposal because he's happiest in Egypt and she would only tie him to England. 1. That's sort of a false dilemma. Surely she could have gone to Egypt with him. 2. If that's the case, STOP HAVING SEX ALL THE TIME. Talk about being a tease. The conflict is basically self-inflicted until Olivia basically says, "Ghost story's resolved, I changed my mind, let's get married." Weak.

The rest of the book is comical in spots. The ribald old ladies were good for a chuckle or two and the recurring bagpipe gag did make me laugh a few times against my better judgement. I couldn't say I disliked the book in the least. It was a fun adventure with a cast of entertaining characters. I just felt that it could have been so much more of a book had she paced the sexual tension and romantic conflict differently.
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Reading Progress

08/24/2010 page 10
3.0% ""He and Roy spoke a Scottish version of English that the average English speaker might easily mistake for Sanskrit or Albanian." Such a Pratchett thing to say."
08/24/2010 page 57
15.0% "This book is hilarious." 1 comment
08/25/2010 page 200
52.0% "Uh-oh. Book's starting to drag. Don't like where I see the romantic conflict heading. Not a big waffle fan." 4 comments

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Catherine I loved that the author still had Olivia writing her letters like that. I love when authors throw in distinctive little traits like that.


Ridley That Olivia spoke like she wrote was also a nice touch.


message 3: by Catherine (last edited Aug 26, 2010 06:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine Yes! Have you ever read That Scandalous Evening? It was my first Dodd. I absolutely loved how the author wrote the male lead's sister. All her dialogue was very unique. She had italics everywhere to show the emphasis and drama she kept throwing into her sentences. It was great. I love stuff like that. I really get a feel for the personality.


Ridley I haven't read any Dodd at all, actually.


Catherine After I saw her backlist I figured I must have been the last person to read her. :)


Ridley There are a lot of books I haven't read. I only read my first romance on Christmas 2008. I was strictly historical non-fiction before that, if I read at all.


Catherine Wow! I'm really surprised to hear that, because you read really fast and often. What made you pick up a romance novel?


Ridley My husband gave me two - Never Dare a Duke and The Pirate Lord - for Christmas as a joke. He and his brother picked out the two they thought had the cheesiest covers.

Who's laughing now?


Catherine LOL! I bet they were surprised when you ended up loving the genre.


Ridley My husband is still surprised. Best gag gift ever, though.


message 11: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Do you have to read the other books to follow this one Ridley?


Ridley Well, maybe not the whole series, but I think it'd lose something if you didn't read Lord Perfect first. I think it relies a bit on prior knowledge from that book.


Catherine Agreed.


message 14: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Thanks for the info.


message 15: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph Awwww. Dang it! I was hoping this was good. I'm working my way through (some of) the recs from EIKAL. I think I'll pass on this one. At least for now.


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