REVIEW: 'Your Scandalous Ways' by Loretta Chase

your-scandalous-ways-chaseYour Scandalous Ways (2008) by Loretta Chase is a romance that follows an English divorcée and demimonde residing in Venice, Italy. The subplot of the story involves her possessing some important, incriminating letters belonging to her ex-husband, Lord Elphick, a man who is ambitiously climbing the political latter in London.

James Cordier, an agent for his Majesty, is assigned to get the letters back. He decides after meeting Francessa Bonnard, in his many disguises, that the best way to get at her is to play hard to get. After all, Ms. Bonnard’s admirer’s are men of power and repute and include a popular poet, a French count and a prince. The task of having her fall at his feet proves difficult. The two take up playing games with each other because they are fighting down each other’s alleged upper hand read as “mutual attraction.”

There is some suspense here because someone attacks Bonnard at her polazzo. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure who that might be. Most likely, it would be ex-husband, Lord Elphick. He wants his letters back since he is trying to become prime minster. He employs the half-mad, half-crazy Marta Fazi to this mission. Fazi was recently imprisoned after having the emeralds she’d stolen, confiscated and returned to the rightful owners.

The world weary, dust yourself off and try again theme is not a new one nor is the heroine’s profession. I liked the setting of the story a lot more than anything else in this book. I must have erased or misplaced the gene I used to have that allowed me to enjoy romance novels like this because now I get bored easily when the plot seems to be decidedly missing. I started reading this book last summer and never finished it and wondered why I put it down. Taking up where I left off, now I see why I put it down.

I dislike stories that lack substance and this is story is a fine example of that. The book has some good points such as the fact that the setting, the mood and atmosphere are well done. Your Scandalous Ways just never fully engaged me. Dare I say it? The story was boring and flat. I felt that the complexity of the plot was transient, thin and the romance didn’t work for me. So, this is not a book that I would want to be stranded with on a deserted island, for obvious reasons.

Out of fairness, Loretta Chase has a bad track record with me. I’ve yet to enjoy anything she’s written and I’ve tried three titles from her thus far (this one included). Other dislikes I had, the mind games between the characters: those scenes were skim worthy and the chemistry between them was a fail as well. My feeling about her work is the same and that is that I find Chase’s writing dry compared to other romance novelists like Laura Kinsale and Judith Ivory, who I deem better writers of historical romance. JMO.

The wonderful thing about romance is that there is something for everyone. I’m just a picky reader who like certain elements in my romance reading like…well fleshed out characters, smoking hot chemistry, plenty of h/h interactions, good dialogue and a strong plot. Your Scandalous Ways gets a C from me. The book wasn’t all bad but it didn’t rate a DIK status for me. I know this means nothing to anyone else out there so of course, take this reader’s opinion with a grain of salt.

This review is apart of the TBR Challenge that many readers including myself are participating in this year. Please visit this page to see all the other reviews posted today for the TBR Challenge 2009. Thanks.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade C Reviews, Romance, TBR Challenge 2009 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to REVIEW: 'Your Scandalous Ways' by Loretta Chase

  1. Rosie says:

    I just finished my review too, but I’ve scheduled it for tomorrow morning. Ironically, I read a Chase too, but I liked mine more than you did yours.

  2. Jorrie Spencer says:

    This book didn’t really engage me, though I did enjoy Chase’s Miss Wonderful and Mr. Perfect. So Chase can be a bit hit and miss for me.

    Unfortunately, I did not get to my tbr pile this month. Which means I must do so next month.

  3. Jessica says:

    I usually like Chase a lot but this one felt exactly as you described it” lacking in substance. And the heroine was the least experienced prostitute ever.

  4. Sarai says:

    This is one waiting to be read. I have all of her backlist so I am slowly making my way through it to catch up. Next year I’ll post my review LOL

  5. Jenn says:

    I’m sad toadmit I have never read a Loretta Chase novel and I have heard so many good things about her. I’m going to have to remedy that soon I think.

    I just put my TBR post up.
    http://logansliterarylibations.blogspot.com/2009/02/february-tbr-tangled-up-in-you-rachel.html

    Happy Wednesday and I can’t waitto read everyone’s reviews

  6. Ladytink_534 says:

    Ugh, I hate it when I run into those kinds of books. If I’ve read a plot sequence before and it was done better in the other book then I usually have a hard time finishing the story. I think I may have one of hers and now I’m a little curious as to her writing style.

  7. Avid Reader says:

    Just got home so I will be heading off to read everybody else’s reviews! Rosie, you did the same thing I did. I had the date set for Feb 19 and didn’t check it until after I posed. Will do better in future.

  8. Kaetrin says:

    Keishon – at last someone who felt the same way I did about this book! It seemed to get A’s everywhere (well, Dear Author and Smart Bitches at least!) and turned up regularly on the best of 2008 lists.
    I just didn’t get it. The book for me was kind of “meh”. I guess I would have given it a C.
    I adored Lord of Scoundrels and have really enjoyed the Carsingtons. I have The Last Hellion in my TBR pile (I just got a Sony Reader and I’ve been playing so I’ve not been reading paper lately…) and I’m expecting a good read.

    However, “Your Scandalous Ways” just didn’t live up to the hype for me. I totally agree with your comments about the characters not being fleshed out. I didn’t really get the chemistry either and the humour/banter between the protagonists usually present in her novels (and one of the aspects I most enjoy) fell flat/was missing.

    I thought it was just me. Nice to see I’m not alone!

  9. Avid Reader says:

    Kaetrin: I adored Lord of Scoundrels

    No, you’re not alone. *g* You’re not gonna like this either but Lord of Scoundrels rated about a C read for me, too (ducking).

  10. Kaetrin says:

    No ducking required!

    I did think that Lord of Scoundrels was a MUCH better book than this one though…

  11. Taja says:

    I thought about getting this one when it was released because of all the positive reviews. In the end, I decided against it because I didn’t really see the awesomeness in the one novel by Chase that I already had read (I probably should duck, too). I know that someday I’ll try another one of her novels, but very likely not this one. 🙂

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