September 2, 2015
Ummm, this sounds familiar.
Sometimes when you do a bit of glomming you notice how similar an author’s voice can be
from one book to another. This happened for me when I reread the last four books in the Carsinger brother’s series by Loretta Chase: Mr. Impossible, Lord Perfect, Not Quite a Lady and Last Night's Scandal. It just so happens that I love Ms. Chase's comic voice and I didn't mind reading things that seemed the same; however, I think I have to recommend putting some space between the books in this series if you decide to read them.
Ms. Chase's Carsington men fall hard and fast. They are mostly oblivious to just what it is they are experiencing. One of the things I like about her heroes is that they are usually not so very dark. Oh sure the heroes may have some problems, but they are not too angst-filled nor do any of them seem to have developed the I-can-never-trust-another-woman-because-my-mother-lied-to-my-father-my-fiancee-ran-away-with-the-butler-my-mistress-betrayed-me-the-dish-ran-away-with-the-spoon-I-hatessss-all-women routine. Ms. Chase's heroines are mostly strong aggressive women who know what they want and go after it, including unbuttoning trousers and delving in.
Lord Perfect is the story of the eldest Carsington brother Benedict. He's the perfect one. Our heroine is Bathsheba Wingate. Bathsheba is one of those "Dreadful DeLucey." How do we know that? We know that because this phrase is repeated about a hundred gazillion times in this story. In my opinion Bathsheba never came close to being dreadful, although she believed that of herself. This belief is reflected in her mothering skills and the way she views her daughter Olivia. She views Olivia as a "Dreadful" and tries to control her daughter. Of course, this suppressing of her daughter only makes Olivia rebel against those strictures. I do admit that Olivia is a pretty precocious wild child who seems to be a lot older than what she actually is. She is a scene stealer and she's not the only one. There is Peregrine, the nephew of Benedict and for some reason Peregrine has been left in Benedict's care. Peregrine's parents are over-dramatic selfish people who don't seem to care very much for their son. Peregrine is the total opposite of Olivia and when these "children" are in scenes together it's pretty amusing. The problem I have with this is that Peregrine and Olivia take over the book and while I found their antics to be very funny, they are a distraction from the romance between Benedict and Bathsheba. And, in the end this is a romance about two people who are different, fall in love and journey toward their HEA. Speaking of a journey, this is a road trip book and this trip triggers one of my buttons.
Peregrine and Olivia run away. Olivia runs away because she wants to be a knight and have an adventure and dig for treasure. Peregrine runs away because he wants to protect Olivia. So, it turns into a road trip because Bathsheba and Benedict give chase. Here is where the book took a downward spiral for me. Even though Olivia is street smart, she and Peregrine are still children who could be facing all kinds of trouble. How Benedict and Bathsheba could have the desire to partake in ca-doodling was beyond me. I find as I get older and read more and more romances, I am becoming less and less tolerate of sexual explosions happening while part of the plot-line revolves around endangering a child. Or the endangerment of anyone for that matter. I don't buy into the "make me forget" routine.
Overall, I found Benedict to be a wonderfully stuffy hero who losses all of his senses when he stumbles into Bathsheba's world. The banter between the two of them was delightful, but the children's story took up toooo much of the tale for Lord Perfect to be one of Ms. Chase's outstanding perfect romance books.
Time/Place: English Road Trip 1820s