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Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.
Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .
It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?
About the Author
Loretta Chase has worked in academe, retail, and the visual arts, as well as on the streets—as a meter maid—and in video, as a scriptwriter. She might have developed an excitingly checkered career had her spouse not nagged her into writing fiction. Her bestselling historical romances, set in the Regency and Romantic eras of the early nineteenth century, have won a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s RITA®. For more about her past, her books, and what she does and doesn’t do on social media, please visit her at LorettaChase.com.--This text refers to the mass_market edition.
“Two refreshingly original, superbly matched characters clash with splendidly sexy results in the always inventive Chase’s latest deliciously witty and satisfying romance.” (Booklist (starred review) on Don't Tempt Me)
Quinn of love and laughter Chase returns with a laugh-out-loud novel destined for the keeper shelf. There’s hardly time to breathe between giggles and guffaws as a delightful cast of characters romp through the countryside to an ancient Scottish castle inhabited by ghosts. The result is perfection. (Romantic Times TOP PICK)
“There’s something so enchanting about the story, the characters and their relationships that makes Vixen in Velvet more than a love story; it’s joyous.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub, 4.5 stars)
Chase moves beyond the couture Noirot sisters in her historical Dressmakers series, and the unconventional pairing of an aristocrat and a barrister, plus an exploration of London poverty and the well-intentioned “ragged schools,” adds fascinating social and historical texture. Chase retains her well-earned star status. (Kirkus Reviews, praise for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
“In addition to the powerful social commentary on women’s role in society and the life of youth in London’s poverty-ridden back alleys and schools, Chase’s tongue-in-cheek tone captures tender and humorous nuances in character descriptions and actions, creating fully realized characters and a rich plot.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review), praise for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
RITA Award-winning Chase...deftly stitches together superbly nuanced characters, a captivating plot that realistically deals with both the glitter and grime of the Regency era, and a graceful writing style fueled by a resplendent sense of wit to create a romance to cherish. (Booklist (starred review) for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
With flawless research, exquisite sensuality, and brilliant repartee that extends to the bedroom, this is another unforgettable winner from the impeccable Chase. (Library Journal (starred review) for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
“One of the best writers in the genre...This is romance as it should be: a lush tale that is really about much more than love - it’s about womanhood, social issues and happiness.” (All About Romance praise for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
As always, Chase crafts an intelligent, witty, sexy romance with two well-matched characters ... The tinge of mystery that thrusts the storyline forward - along with the sharp repartee, laugh-out-loud humor and steamy sexual tension - make this a stand-out read. (Romantic Times BOOKclub, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick, praise for DUKES PREFER BLONDES)
“...a lingering, sensual romance set against a rich backdrop of pre-Victorian London in all its glamour and grime. This is romance as it should be: a lush tale that is really about much more than love - it’s about womanhood, social issues and happiness.” (NYT bestselling author Sarah MacLean in the Washington Post) --This text refers to the mass_market edition.
- ASIN : B0105SAHN6
- Publisher : Avon (29 December 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 3502 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 390 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #103,966 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
Being considered the most beautiful and sought after girl in London might seem every girl’s ultimate wish, but for Lady Clara it is nothing but a burden. She is weary of the constant marriage proposals from men who never take the trouble to get to know the real person behind the beautiful face.
"Her beauty surrounded her like a great stone wall. Men couldn’t see above, beyond, or through it. They certainly couldn’t think past it."
Intelligent, witty and strong-willed, Clara is stifled by the constraints imposed on her by society. She wants more from life than just being a beautiful adornment on a duke’s arm. She longs for a husband who appreciates her intelligence, challenges her and stimulates her mind.
As patroness of The Milliners Society for the Education of Indigent Females, she is very aware of the poverty that exists and the injustices inflicted on those less fortunate than herself. It is her charitable work that leads her to Oliver Radford’s door, when she enlists his help to rescue an orphan boy from the clutches of an unsavoury London street gang.
Oliver “Raven” Radford is the grandson of a duke but, when his father married a divorcée, his became the less desirable arm of the family. At Eton, he was continually bullied by his odious cousin Bernard, but survived by becoming detached and locking his emotions away.
"He pretended that what was happening to him happened to somebody quite separate, that what he felt was felt by another self, who he observed with detachment."
Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a barrister and has earned a reputation for being super-intelligent, sharp-witted, provoking and tactless. His willingness to prosecute the villains of London’s underworld, who prey on helpless victims, has earned him dangerous enemies.
When the beautiful Lady Clara enters in world, he finds all logical and sensible thoughts flying out of the window.
The chemistry between these two is absolutely delicious and they are so well-matched. Both are intelligent which makes Clara more than a match for the caustic Radford. I love their sarcastic repartee and Radford’s funny internal monologues between his logical self and his emotional, irrational self.
"Remarkably fine figure, he was aware of his irrational self thinking. It proceeded to imagine said figure in its natural state. Such meditations were not conducive to clear thinking.
He wrestled the other self into a dark corner in the back of his mind …"
The scene where Radford nurses Clara after she falls sick reveals how much he truly cares for her and I love the unique concept of the “trial” scene, showing his determination to fight for Clara.
As in the previous books, Ms Chase’s descriptions of the outrageous hats and the wondrous confections of gowns are a visual treat and I like how her social commentary on women’s role in society and the poverty and injustice existing at the time is woven into the fabric of the story.
"…a lady must not find herself in any situation involving lawyers. If she was so misguided as to need one, she must put the matter in the hands of her husband, father, guardian, brother or son."
The danger lurking in the form of a London underworld gang leader intent on killing Radford, his complicated relationship with his cousin Bernard and the need to adapt to his unwelcome change in circumstances, all add extra layers to the story.
MY VERDICT: A fabulous finale to this series and one I can definitely recommend.
When they meet, it is clear that the attraction is almost instant, but it is a recognition of each other's worth, and their regard for one another's abilities rather than lust or love at first sight. That grows, very sweetly, and despite the mountain of obstacles they have to climb, the author lets their mutual regard and affection shine all the way through the story. At last Clara has met someone who understands that she has a fully-functioning brain, and allows her to use it - 'allow', because it wasn't the norm at that time and again, the author has pointed out several instances of the low regard for women and their extremely limited choices. Equally, Raven has met someone who isn't simply ornamental [though he is clearly bowled over by her looks] but gives as good as she gets and challenges him when she thinks it necessary. Seeing him coming to appreciate and understand her for who she is is heart-warming, without essentially changing his character. I think this is perhaps what I liked most about the writing - the characters retain their personalities, their repartee, witty banter and sarcastic comments to each other, right through to the end of the book, while demonstrably falling more deeply in love with each other. I was left feeling that this couple would discuss, argue, thrash out problems, listen to each other and continue to love one another to the end of their days!
I have never read anything by Loretta Chase that I haven't liked, but I think in this book I found more realism from a couple who never misunderstood one another - and was rooting for them from the outset! I learned things, too, about the processes of the legal system and various other social facts relating to that period of history, always a major plus point for me and something that the author always adds to her stories.