Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, may have survived the deadly perils of Egypt, but back in Regency London, he faces the most dire threat yet: his irrational, emotional family...and the completely uncontrollable Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington! Descended from a line of notorious - but very aristocratic - adventurers, Olivia has a long history of driving Peregrine to distraction, and her debut into polite society hasn't lessened her flair for drama, or her ability to drag him into her scandalous schemes. All Peregrine wants to do is escape back to his research and the lesser evils of poisonous snakes and tomb robbers, but his family has guilted him into an impossible mission in the Scottish wilds; and Olivia - who is keenly aware that a respectable future of marriage and rules and propriety looms - decides that accompanying him will be the perfect chance for one last adventure. Besides, she really only wants to help, which is why Lisle and Olivia find themselves in a gloomy Scottish castle inhabited by grumpy servants, spiteful ghosts, and craven murderers...and possibly the greatest peril of all: the wayward commands of their very unruly hearts!
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My favorite contemporary regency author
The characters of Olivia Wingate Carsington and Percival, Lord Lisle first appeared as children in the earlier Carsington brothers book Lord Perfect. It is Olivia in that book who dragoons Lisle into a wild-goose chase adventure across England. She is a 'dreadful deLucey', an aristocratic family known for their ability to con their way through life. She is a thoroughly delightful zany character who carries a lot of that book and the 13 year old Lord Lisle is an excellent comrade, providing the brakes and the sanity while supporting and protecting the rather reckless Olivia.
In Last Night's Scandal, the two protagonists are now young adults. Lisle has spent his teen to adult years in Egypt, his passion, and the hero and heroine have mostly communicated through letters. In the printed book, Olivia has a way of over dramatizing everything, so her letters are full of all kinds of inappropriate capitalization; this is actually very funny in the book, but hard to convey when read, although Kate Reading does a very good job using phrasing and emphasis, but you still miss out on just a bit of Olivia's character, I think.
The two protagonists are thrown together by Lord Lisle being brought back to England by his parents and basically being prevented from returning to Egypt. Lisle's parents, who are a bit of a nightmare have decided that they want Lisle to go to Scotland and restore an old castle that belongs to the family. This sets up the plot; Olivia knows how much Lisle wants to be in Egypt and she sets out to 'help' him and save him from his parents. And things develop from there.
Loretta Chase is so very good at humorous romance; there is always wonderful dialogue between her characters and Olivia and Lisle rub each other wrong enough that there is plenty of scope for lots of laugh out loud arguments and minor skirmishes between them.
I loved these two characters as children, and it is very fun to watch them find each other as adults.
I rarely find this kind of comparison useful; Loretta Chase's style is very much her own. She is the author of the extremely popular Lord of Scoundrels, which is definitely one of the best Regency Romances ever written. I would always recommend that anyone who has just read The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer to go and read other authors before coming back to other Georgette Heyer books. And if you've just read Lord of Scoundrels, please do go read other authors and genres before coming back to Loretta Chase. I have loved every single one of her books, but I find I don't appreciate each one as I might if I've just read my favorite right before.
Kate Reading is an astoundingly good narrator. She does have some mild idiosyncrasies in her reading style, but her voices are so incredibly good that she fades right into the story. I can easily listen to her read books back to back which can be hard for me with some narrators whose style dominates the reading. And I have never heard her mispronounce a word! (She does use British pronunciations.)
Loretta Chase writes fun books; I definitely smile a lot at the situations and dialogue.
I'd recommend reading the Carsington Brothers series in order. I think they're almost all on audio now.
- Hope "I love well-written books in virtually every genre. Quirky characters delight me, and it breaks my heart when a good plot is badly done."
Fun, Quirky, Sweet....lots of LOL
- Elizabeth "I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must"