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Miss Wonderful (Carsington Brothers, #1)
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Miss Wonderful

(Carsington Brothers #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  4,832 ratings  ·  382 reviews
Due to his history of expensive romantic entanglements, Alistair Carsington now has six months to find either a useful occupation or a wealthy heiress to wed. To prove he is not an idle fop only concerned with sartorial pleasures, Alistair agrees to help his old friend, Lord Gordmor, by traveling to the wilds of Derbyshire to convince Gordmor's neighbors to support the nob ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Berkley Sensation
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,832 ratings  ·  382 reviews

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Christina ~ Brunette Reader

4,5 "Delightfulness is in the Details" Stars

When Mr. Alistair Carsington brings, together with his impossibly handsome persona, a breath of London flair and a wave of Industrial Revolution to her peaceful corner of 1818 Derbyshire, Miss Mirabel Oldridge, spinster extraordinaire and local authority, is more than a little outraged. What business does the maddening toff have disrupting her land as she's always known it for monetary gain?
And what business does the maddening female have flaunting
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 Und
4.5 stars

She began unbuttoning her pelisse. "I am one and thirty years old," she said. “I should like to gather my rosebuds before the petals shrivel up and fall off."

Really, this book ought to have been titled “MISTER Wonderful”, because its hero, Alastair Carsington is an absolute dreamboat. He’s handsome, witty and charming – of course – but beneath the surface veneer lurks the heart of a true romantic, a kind, generous man who is troubled by a past he can’t remember.

At twenty-/>She
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

So, seriously, I got bored. Up until that last chapter. That hanky panky scene was hot, hot, hot.

Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
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 skepticism, t/>Alistair
No rating, because I didn't even make it past the first 50 pages. I know I'm the odd one out here (yet again) in not loving this, but absolutely nothing that happened in the first chapters appealed to me:
- heroine came across as to prickly for my tastes, and while I'm sure she grows, I just wasn't in the mood to put up with her snobbishness
- hero had an absurd obsession with clothes that I'm sure is supposed to be funny, but creeped the hell out of me (seriously, every single time he looked at
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, steamy
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 re
Lady Wesley
Loretta Chase fans have waited so many years for audio versions of her books, so how wonderful ("wonderful," heh) is it that Kate Reading is narrating her Carsington Brothers series? This one is zooming to the top of my TBL list.
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 charact
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
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 off 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 is solid ...more
I am working my way through the Loretta Chase series narrated by the wonderful (!) Kate reading.
This is the first of the Carsington Brothers series, and it is terrific.
The story is fascinating, describing as it does the early days of industrialisation in England, with the advent of canals and the railways. The battle that our heroine wages to protect and conserve her beloved part of Derbyshire must surely have been a common one, and still is today. The tension between "progress" and the need t
Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
Confounded Canals and blasted botany lessons!
This book is agonizingly slow and boring. Recompense comes in the form of an exceptional H but even he couldn’t save the book.
After a promising start, titillating the reader with the H’s prodigious but chequered love life, there is chapter upon chapter of the most mind-numbing filler material. Even the occasional wit and quip from the H doesn’t alleviate it.

Anyways I don’t like stories where the conflict comes from the mcs being on opposi
*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 skimming through
Juliana Philippa
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 Alistair we
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  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
I needed this book. It was lovely and well-written and perfectly characterized and period appropriate and All The Good Things. Alistair! Injured hero (catnip etc etc) and seriously impressive multi-layered characterization. Obsessive focus on his appearance to conceal his lingering post-traumatic stress following the war. This leads to some delightful scenes with our heroine, Mirabel, who is somewhat sartorially challenged. He spends the earlier scenes obsessed with her hair as it slowly tumbles ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 isnt just a dandy interested only in his wardrobe and who spends his younger brothers inheritance. When hes 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 w
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-read
Re-read in audio. Loretta Chase always delivers. Interesting historical background and psychological insight in this one.
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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
A+ for narration, B+ for content.

I've read some of the others in this series, but not this one for some reason, so when I learned that the audio version was coming out - narrated by the superb Kate Reading - I read the book in order to familiarise myself with the story.

My review of that is here.

Just having the words "narrated by Kate Reading" on the cover is enough to tell potential listeners they're in for a treat. She doesn't put a foot wrong - the narrative is well-paced and
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, regency
There were aspects of this book that I really liked, but there were also a few things I found frustrating. The key couple, Mirabel (lovely name!) and her war-hero Alistair, are both likeable and they fit well together as a couple.

My reservations were related to two aspects 0f the book. One was the whole aspect of the canal-building, around which much of the plot revolved. Yes, historically accurate, no doubt. But my interest in engineering and the merits of canal-building as a theme for a HR? U
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 use
Oct 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, dear. This did get better towards the end, but maybe that was just because the end was in sight, so I've rejected the idea of bringing it up a star.

My main problem with this is pace. Nothing happens for about half the book and then too much happened in the rest. In terms of the romance, it is completely stagnant until they finally kiss at 47%. After a whirlwind of carpe diem sex, the lust gets transformed to love and then we have to contend with minor plot issues because Chase can't think o
Loretta Chase does such a great job of setting the tone, witty and humorous. Neither Alistair Carsington nor Mirabel Oldridge are main characters I would typically like. He is a dandy. She chose responsibility over love. However, all the pieces work together to make a wonderful story.
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
3.5 stars. I liked the plotline and the characters, but the book had pacing issues. The first 2/3's of the book was really slow and then the last 1/3 was faster paced and exciting. I'll be continuing on with the series, though.
Suzanne (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
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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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

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)
“I am not in love with you," she said. "It is an infatuation. I have heard of such derangements happening to elderly spinsters.” 16 likes
“I have always believed that anyone who must violate the law to achieve his purposes must lack either intelligence or imagination, probably both.” 4 likes
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