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Last Night's Scandal: 5 (The Carsington Family Series) Mass Market Paperback – 27 July 2010
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“One of the finest romance authors of all time.”
—New York Timesbestselling author Julia Quinn
“[Loretta Chase has] a rare talent for creating crackling sexual tension and characters so fresh and compelling that readers won’t be able to forget them.”
— New York Timesbestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Romance superstar Stephanie Laurens calls the novels of Loretta Chase, “Wickedly witty, warm, and engaging.” With Last Night’s Scandal, RITA Award-winning, New York Times bestseller Chase reaches glorious new heights. Last Night’s Scandal is a deliciously passionate, emotionally rich historical romance about the most unlikely pair of would-be lovers imaginable, who just can’t seem to escape each other…no matter how hard they try.
From the Back Cover
After surviving the perils of Egypt, Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, is back in London, facing the most dire threat of all: his irrational family . . . and Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington. A descendant of notorious—but very aristocratic—swindlers, the delectable redhead has the ability to completely unhinge him and a long history of dragging him into her scandalous schemes.
Olivia may be Society's darling, but she's aware a respectable future looms menacingly. And so when Lisle is forced to go on a family mission, she sees this as the perfect chance for one last adventure—even if it is with the one man in the world she can't wrap around her finger. But really, she only wants to help . . .
Which is why Lisle and Olivia find themselves in a gloomy Scottish castle inhabited by spiteful ghosts and craven murderers . . . and a shocking secret: the greatest peril of all may be burning within their own stubborn hearts.
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.
- Publisher : Avon (27 July 2010)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061632678
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061632679
- Item Weight : 186 g
- Dimensions : 10.64 x 2.44 x 17.15 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #820,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The story begins with letters being exchanged between the teenage Olivia Carsington and Peregrine Dalmay, the Earl of Lisle. We know them from previous books as children from the other protagonists, who often got into mischief together. Lisle is back in England after spending many years in Egypt with his aunt, but his parents have missed him so much, that they tell him to go north to Scotland to see their ancestral home, a castle, which many believe is haunted. Lisle doesn't believe in ghosts, and goes to a ball, only to find the Olivia he once knew as a skinny girl, has now blossomed into a beautiful, curvy woman, who has an army of admirers around her. They get reacquainted, and Lisle finds it hard to ignore his attraction to the person who used to be his best friend.
Olivia is drawn to Lisle, now he's all grown up and become a man. He stands out from the other English gentlemen, with his bronzed skin from his time in Egypt. She learns of his parents plans, and his reluctance to go. But Olivia worms her way into Lisle's parents' good books, and soon she, a couple of elderly, yet naughty chaperones and a gobsmacked Lisle, are on their way to Scotland.
They have their share of fights, whilst trying to fight their growing attractions. Kisses are stolen, only for each to admit they're mistakes, even though deep down they want more. But the mistakes keep repeating, and when the mysteries surrounding the castle have an effect on Olivia's life, Lisle realises he loves her. But can a man who's mistress is Egypt ever learn to put the woman he loves first?
Overall, the book was good, but not great. Olivia is hotheaded, and acts like a teenager, despite her 23 years. But we learn she doesn't want to be pushed into marriage, and yearns for the adventurous life Lisle has had, and doesn't understand why he has all the fun, which makes you sympathise with her.
Lisle is good, but I can see why Olivia was annoyed with his practicality at times, although I liked the part where Lisle got into a fight with another man over her. Olivia, meanwhile, just wanted them to hurry up and get it over and done with!
The two elerly chaperones were funny, and often talked about their 'wild' youth.
However, I was confused why Olivia never called Lisle by his first name. Often in romances, especially when couples get close, they call each other by their first names, but she always called him Lisle. Doesn't he like his name or something? I admit, Peregrine is a little kooky, but since we're not told for sure, I don't know.
Peregrine Dalmay, son of the Marquess of Atherton, who has the courtesy title of Earl of Lisle and is usually referred to as Lisle, has spent most of the past ten years in Egypt, helping Rupert and Daphne Carsington (from Mr Impossible (Carsington Quartet 2) ) with their excavations and research. He is back in Britain for what was meant to be a short visit to attend the 95th birthday celebrations of the Dowager Countess of Hargate, (Rupert's grandmother).
Unfortunately while Lisle is back in England, his self-centred parents remember his existence and ask him to go to Scotland to take charge of the repair work on a family castle near Edinburgh, which has stalled because of a supposed curse and alleged ghosts.
Despite the threat of having his allowance cut off if he refuses, Lisle is minded to defy his parents and return to Egypt, but then an unstoppable force of nature with flaming red hair and deep blue eyes intervenes ...
Olivia Wingate-Carsington has form for disrupting Lisle's life. When they were both children, she ran off to the other side of the country in a madcap quest for a long-lost treasure, dragging Lisle along with her, with his Uncle Benedict Carsington (a.k.a Lord Perfect) and Olivia's mother in hot pursuit.
Lisle's uncle Benedict is now Olivia's stepfather, and has done his best to bring her up respectably, but with only partial success. Early in the book she describes herself as "Last night's scandal" having acquired this nickname in society for such antics as regularly getting engaged only to break off the engagement within days or even hours. Most debutantes who behaved the way Olivia does would be shunned by society, but as she has blossomed into a spectacularly beautiful woman, and can expect to inherit a substantial fortune, men continue to flutter around her like moths round a flame.
Facing the prospect of having to finally marry and settle down, Olivia decides on one last adventure. Arranging for a couple of elderly aunts to act as (highly ineffective) chaperones, she and Lisle will travel to Scotland, banish the non-existent ghosts or whoever is behind them, disprove the curse, and restore the castle. And as usual, she will not take "no" for an answer ...
Mayhem and mystery ensue: if the creators of "Scooby-Doo" co-write a novel with Georgette Heyer this is the kind of entertaining romantic farce they might come up with.
Although this novel can stand on its own, you will get more out of it if you have previously read the Carsington quartet, particularly "Lord Perfect" and "Mr Impossible." This will give you an idea of what the people who have brought up the hero and heroine are like - most of them are referred to several times but do not directly appear in this book - and being aware of the childhood history of the two characters will give you an idea of what is going through the hero's head when he says to himself things like "Here we go again!" after the heroine drags him into another mad adventure.
One of the charms of this book, which again you will appreciate better if you have previously read "Lord Perfect," is the book's brilliant description of how disconcerting it can be to experience romantic attraction or strong desire for someone who had previously been your best, and platonic, friend.
If you do want to read the Carsington family quartet which precedes this book, the four novels in that sequence are:
1) " Miss Wonderful (Carsington Quartet 1) "
2) " Mr Impossible (Carsington Quartet 2) "
3) " Lord Perfect (Carsington Quartet 3) "
4) " Not Quite a Lady ."
Very amusing and entertaining, I can recommend this book.