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CONVERSATIONAL REVIEW: Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase

Jane:

At the beginning of Lord of Scoundrels, a book that has been in print since its first publication in 1995, Lord Dain meets Jessica Trent for the first time

She was not classic English perfection, but she was some sort of perfection and, being neither blind nor ignorant, Lord Dain generally recognized quality when he saw it.

That statement fairly sums up my experience with Your Scandalous Ways. It is a kind of perfection, romance perfection perhaps. Francesca Bonnard is a high class courtesan who was married to John Bonnard, a highly ranked politician in England. He divorced her, threw out into the street, and hoped she would end up used and diseased and possibly dead. The only course open for Francesca was the oldest profession but she parlayed that into being one of the most famous and most expensive whores alive. Her protectors were princes, dukes, dignitaries. Every notch in her bed post became a weapon in her correspondence to her former husband. Younger sons of England’s titled set, like James Cordier, simply did not have enough cache.

Of course, James Cordier is not an ordinary younger son. He’s a spy, a thief, and a whore himself; only he sleeps with women for his government instead of for money. He is dispatched to obtain letters that Francesca supposedly has in her possession. James is a bit tired of being the government’s whore but if he has to sleep with a beautiful woman one last time then he’ll do it and then retire to the country side with a milk and roses miss.

It’s hard to sum up in a few sentences what I liked about this book. Francesca, for one. She’s such a survivor but you can see her vulnerability in how she’s still fighting this battle against her horrible former husband; how she constantly tells every new person that she’s a whore as a shield so that they can’t stab her with it later. James is the perfect match for her. He’s strong but emotional. His longing for the traditional English miss is dashed to dust nearly the minute he meets Francesca. He never, ever looks down on her and even suggests that his parents would love her (after all his mother is very unconventional). I thought this book was expertly plotted with no wasted scenes, no throwaway dialogue or extraneous characters. The one weakness I saw in Lord of Scoundrels was the plot and particularly how it kind of fell apart at the end. There was no weakness here, that I could see. It’s a book I know I will read forever and it’s one I’ll recommend to my daughter when she’s of an age. It shows that true love does triumph and it does heal and it is magical.

Robin:

I haven’t been able to make it through Lord of Scoundrels yet, so I can’t comment on that comparison, but I definitely agree that Your Scandalous Ways is “some kind of perfection.”

Let’s start with the first sentence of the first chapter. It’s one word: “Penises.” Followed by one more: “Everywhere.” That’s it; the first paragraph. How many Romance novels begin their first chapter with the word “penises”? Right then I understood that I was reading a different book, a book that would challenge and excite me, kind of like the, . . . well, okay, back on track. The penises, it turns out, belong to a veritable hoard of Putti on the ceiling of the “decorative insanity” that is Francesca Bonnard’s Venetian villa, little naked boys suspended above her that she compulsively counts, certain they are reproducing by the day:

“They crawled about the ceilings, lifting plaster draperies or creeping among the folds, looking for who knew what. They clung to the frames of the ceiling paintings and to the gold medallions over the doors. They vastly outnumbered the four bare-breasted women lolling in the corners and the four muscled adult males supporting the walls.”

The Putti are such a perfect reflection of James and Francesca’s relationship: ostentatious, overwhelming, annoying, lush, and unexpected, perhaps even unwanted — in short, trouble.   And it’s all because of the way Chase builds these characters from the ground up as surprising subversions of Romance types, playing with the types as she sketches out their generic misbehavior (sort of how I felt when I read Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady). Francesca does use her courtesan status as a shield, but it’s a shield with the substance of absolute truth; she is a courtesan, a woman who promised herself after her humiliation at the hands of John Bonnard that she would always choose the who, when, where, and how long of any sexual relationship, and she really means it.

Francesca is a woman who had to fight for her freedom and who understands its value. She’s one of the few Romance heroines whom I believed when she insisted that she didn’t want to fall in love. Which, of course, electrifies her relationship with James, who, I think, is even angrier than Francesca about their mutual attraction. James may be a guy who is willing to do what it takes for every mission, but he is craving freedom, too, and a woman who refuses to simply fall into his embrace as an easy and and easily forgotten conquest really pisses him off. In fact, I think the anger between these two is as powerful as their attraction, and in a strange way, it gives a palpable depth to their love.   I don’t know if I’ve ever read a Romance where such a dark and powerful core of anger drives a romantic attraction and yet is so deftly sublimated into seemingly superficial verbal jousting.   I mean, this book was funny.   And poignant (especially when we find out what James has endured during his career and what really drives his anger at Francesca).   It was like watching two people fence with flame throwers, beautiful and dangerous, nothing I’d want to attempt but something I can’t turn away from.

Jane:

It was a great sparring match and what made it so exciting was that the two were so evenly matched. It was stubborn alpha male against stubborn alpha female. One problem in the Bourne book was how often the power seemed to shift to the hero’s hands, but in this book, the seesaw was even. I even thought that Francesca played the traditional male role, at times. She thought that perhaps she would dally with James, even though she shouldn’t because he wasn’t quite the luminary she usually brings to
bed. She gives him jewelry at one point and my favorite part of the whole book is when he is about to throttle her for putting herself in danger.

“You’re beautiful when you’re angry,” she said.

But James is never emasculated partly because he gives back as good as he gets. He doesn’t give in and he is constantly challenging her. He treated her as an equal.

He got the waistcoat off and draped it neatly over the chair seat. “I have an excellent idea,” he said. “Especially now that I’ve seen you naked.”

‘You don’t need to flatter me,” she said. “I don’t need honeyed words.”

‘When have I flattered you?” he said. He undid the button at the neck of the shirt sticking wetly to his torso. It sagged open, revealing a V of his powerful chest, gleaming bronze in the candlelight. “I believe I called you an idiot more than once this morning alone.”

Robin:

Oh, yes, that point where she turns the gender tables on James is wonderful, because he is, despite all of his protestations, the romantic in the relationship, from his long curly hair to his passionate intensity. He even lusts after Francesca’s jewels like one would a lover. Remember the scene in the gondola where she bets him that she can seduce him right there, and James almost loses it when she starts fondling herself, torn between the attractions of her necklace and her breasts? It really is amazing that you can have two people who are used to being in control, who really *don’t* give it up for the other in any way that compromises their core values.

As for Francesca, she exemplifies what I’m starting to think of as the anti-heroine heroine in Romance, the heroine who not only fights love, but fights the Romance formula, continuing to subvert the reader’s expectations about how a relationship should proceed through a novel. I can see where a character like her can frustrate readers, but what’s so great about Chase’s book, I think, is that James is so frustrated that readers who get frustrated by Francesca can sympathize with James.

This is really, I think, Chase at her most masterful, using humor to highlight the darkness underneath, but not giving in to maudlin angst.   One of the things I didn’t like about the last book, Not Quite A Lady, was that difficult things seemed resolved too easily and swiftly.   But here I didn’t feel that at all, because she so perfectly balances that signature dry humor with the bittersweet aspects of the story.   This is a happily ever after made for people who don’t really believe in happily ever afters, I think.

Jane:

What is so wonderful is that James and Francesca belonged together and Chase makes you believe it from the very minute that they appear on the page together. And Chase closes in much the way she begins, with the ceiling of little penises being the focus, only now Francesca is joined by James in studying the art form. The other day you talked about how romance, as the love fantasy, is supposed to be “sex positive, woman positive, man positive, love positive, and relationship positive.” That’s how I saw Your Scandalous Ways. It was positive and uplifting and beautifully reaffirming of love.

This book can be purchased in mass market at the end of May from Amazon or Powells or ebook format. (no link yet).

Want to read this early? Answer the following question. I’ll pick 5 random winners from those who give the correct answer.

What gemstones is Francesca wearing in the excerpt?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

133 Comments

  1. Danielle
    May 08, 2008 @ 06:57:16

    Francesca is wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching eardrops.

  2. Sally
    May 08, 2008 @ 06:58:44

    A sapphire. I can’t wait to read this book!

  3. vanessa jaye
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:04:09

    sapphire and diamond necklace and matching ear drops.

    *whimper* me want.

  4. Amylee
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:14:36

    Francesca is wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching earings. I love, love and love Chase. Please pick me!

  5. Maggie Robinson
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:17:46

    Sapphires and diamonds. I CANNOT wait to read this book. LC is my favorite author. She simply can’t write fast enough or enough enough for me.

  6. Sarah Frantz
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:27:14

    Sapphires and Diamonds.

    Wow, this looks wonderful!

  7. Azure
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:27:32

    Sapphires and diamonds. *sigh* You’ve got me so intrigued to read something that’s even better than Lord of Scoundrels!! *begs* Pick me, pick me!!

  8. Aoife
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:28:01

    She’s wearing sapphires and diamonds, and I cannot wait for this book. Thanks for the great review, Jane and Robin!

  9. msaggie
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:47:46

    Francesca is wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching eardrops at the opera. It’s a good scene for an excerpt. Thanks for the great review! I was, like Robin, really disappointed with Not Quite a Lady. This new book sounds wonderful. I would love to have a copy as soon as possible!

  10. Kristen
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:51:14

    Sapphire and diamond necklace with matching eardrops. I think I need to read this book.

  11. JaneO
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:53:20

    Sapphires and diamonds, necklace and errings.
    I want this book! I long for this book!

  12. Kathleen O'Reilly
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:54:13

    Don’t enter me in the contest, but I cannot WAIT for this one. Loretta Chase is my hero(ine).

  13. Bethany Allinder
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:57:30

    Sapphire/diamond necklace and earrings to match. I want this so so bad. Please!

    I remain your humble servant,

    Bethany

  14. Marg
    May 08, 2008 @ 07:57:43

    Sapphires and diamonds – lucky girl!

    Can’t wait to read this!

  15. Jan
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:01:20

    Sapphires and diamonds–a sapphire and diamond necklace with matching drops in her ears!

    I only skimmed the review until after I read the book, but what I saw makes me happy I don’t have to wait too long for this book.

  16. kardis
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:04:35

    A sapphire and diamond necklace with matching ear drops. This book sounds amazing, I do love me some gender role subversion.

  17. Phyl
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:05:03

    Sapphires and diamonds.

    I’ll probably regret this as I’m one of the bidders, but I’ll point out that a signed ARC of this is up for auction at Brenda Novak’s JDRF auction here. Like Brenda, I’m also the mom of a diabetic kid, so it will be worth seeing the price driven up by the enthusiastic comments here.

    I can’t wait to read this. It sounds wonderful.

  18. francois
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:06:15

    Sapphires and diamonds.

    (does it make any sense that we’re all posting comments with the answers in? wouldn’t it have been better to make this an email contest?)

    I am soooo looking forward to this book. After the relative disappointment of Not Quite a Lady (still head and shoulders above practically anything else I must say) and of course re-reading after re-reading of Lord of Scoundrels I am reaching a desperate state.

  19. Mary Beth
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:11:04

    Out of lurkdom to say . . . sapphires and diamonds

    This books sounds wonderful!

  20. Stephanie
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:12:47

    What the hey. I’ve never entered one of these before, and I enjoy Chase’s work.

    Answer: Sapphires and diamonds.

  21. Stephanie Z.
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:14:16

    Um, a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching eardrops. As 20 people before me have said. (Although I did read the excerpt.)

  22. katiebabs
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:21:09

    Sapphire, diamond necklace and matching eardrops.

    I need this book!!! :D

  23. Jenett
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:21:16

    A sapphire and diamond necklace and matching eardrops.

    Your description of this one is really engaging, and it sounds fascinating…

  24. katiebabs
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:23:10

    I hope Francesca’s nasty husband gets his in the end.

    Bastard.

  25. Holli
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:24:47

    Sapphires and diamonds. I really enjoyed the reviews. I so want this book!

  26. Heather
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:27:32

    Sapphires and Diamonds. This book sounds great, I can’t wait to read it.

  27. Brenna
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:28:50

    Sapphires and diamonds. Can’t wait to read this book. LOS is my favourite romance novel ever because it was funny and poignant at the same time. I do hope this book can at least equal LOS or even be better.

  28. Maya
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:31:16

    to be different, I’m going to say: diamonds and sapphires, instead of the other way around! *g*

    and want to add: I really liked the dual review, which raised different aspects even though both liked the book. I’m so relieved that you both not only liked it, but well beyond that. As Jane said yesterday, I’ve been anxious about this next book. Chase is such a peerless author for me, I too get worried in case her writing (which can never be bad) can’t measure up to my stellar expectations. I wasn’t convinced of ‘Not Quite a Lady’ (despite its beautiful cover) and was very worried this might go the same way. I’m so relieved now!

  29. Kim
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:31:53

    Sapphires and diamonds.
    What a great review! This is the first review I have seen of this book and you guys made me sigh with happiness. I loved LOS. Loved.It. My favorite book EVAH. I am so excited about this new one!

  30. Sara B.
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:35:50

    Man, I am so late with this but I’ll give it a shot anyway. She’s wearing Sapphires and Diamonds (both necklace & earrings). Pick me! I can’t wait for this book…

  31. Jill Myles
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:37:05

    Sapphires and diamonds. I lurve Loretta Chase and can’t wait to read this one!

    Her description of the heroine (in that excerpt) was brilliant and striking, btw. Chase has such a way with words.

  32. Colleen Gleason
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:37:12

    Ooh…sapphires and diamonds! My favorite!

  33. tammy k
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:39:07

    Saphires and Diamonds! LOVE Loretta Chase – can’t wait to read this one!

  34. MS Jones
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:40:16

    Yes, it’s diamonds and sapphires.

    James “think of England” and Francesca Puttanesca sound like remarkable characters – can’t wait to read the book.

  35. anu
    May 08, 2008 @ 08:59:14

    sapphire and diamond necklace and eardrops.

    Jane, you shouldn’t feel compelled to pick my name in the slightest just because I never win anything. Like ever. Nope. Never heard my name called in a drawing, raffle, etc. It’s been a tough, stressful couple of months, but no matter how lovely it would be to find this ARC in my mailbox, I don’t want that to cross your mind at all.

    Don’t give it another thought. I insist.

  36. Andrea
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:00:39

    Sapphires and diamonds ~ two of my best friends!

    Can’t wait for this one!!

  37. Krista
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:05:36

    Sapphires and diamonds…

    Can’t wait to read this one!

  38. Frannie
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:06:37

    sapphire & diamond necklace & matching eardrops. As I wait for the novel to be published I go to the excerpt from time to time for the sheer comfort of knowing it won’t be long now… I think Chase is a goddess and would be thrilled to have an ARC – please, please, please
    Frannie

  39. Jennie
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:07:47

    Sapphire and diamonds (crossing fingers, toes, etc.)

  40. Rosie
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:07:52

    Diamond and sapphire necklace with matching drop earrings

  41. Jill S.
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:14:10

    Sapphires and diamonds! I have to admit to never having read Chase but this makes me want to very much!!

  42. Susan G
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:14:10

    Sapphires and diamonds, my favorite combination of precious gems!

  43. Jennie
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:17:55

    Sapphires and diamonds! I can’t wait to read this book. Jane–You all are such a tease–we have to wait over 2 weeks for it. :(

  44. Ksquard
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:22:03

    Answer: sapphires and diamonds.

    Also, wanted to thank you all for your reviews. I bought PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS and SPYMASTER’S LADY and THE REST FALLS AWAY and I’ve really enjoyed them. I’ve been hungry for new authors and books, but have limited funds for reading pleasure, so it’s great to be able to have a review site I can trust to give me good titles and authors to enjoy. Thanks!

  45. Rebecca
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:31:05

    Oh, I can’t wait to read this! (Sapphires and diamonds, btw).

  46. francois
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:37:35

    Never read Chase, Jill S.? You’re lucky – theres a whole back catalogue to catch up on!

  47. Anji
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:44:12

    Sapphires and diamonds.

    I was excited about this book already, but after reading your review – wow! I can’t wait!!!!

  48. Katrina
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:50:51

    Sapphires/diamonds! It sounds like such a great book. Here’s hoping…

  49. hanne
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:51:39

    She’s wearing sapphires and diamonds! I really really look forward to this book. And you know, I wouldn’t say no to the jewelry either ;)

  50. Little Lamb Lost
    May 08, 2008 @ 09:58:36

    Diamonds and sapphires.

  51. Nonny
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:00:14

    She’s wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace, with matching earrings.

  52. Amanda
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:07:02

    Sapphire and diamonds…This book is going to be soooooo good! I can’t wait!

  53. Chicklet
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:11:44

    Francesca is wearing diamonds and sapphires.

    As for the review, I must have this book. But just yesterday I swore to myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until my TBR pile is reduced by 70%! You can help me keep my promise by drawing my name! :-)

    Regardless of whether I win a copy of the book, it sounds like a must-read. I’m particularly intrigued by Robin’s observation:

    As for Francesca, she exemplifies what I'm starting to think of as the anti-heroine heroine in Romance, the heroine who not only fights love, but fights the Romance formula, continuing to subvert the reader's expectations about how a relationship should proceed through a novel.

    This quality is what I loved about The Spymaster’s Lady — the sense that the heroine isn’t just defying the social mores of her day, but also the constraints of formula.

  54. Kathy
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:20:43

    She’s wearing sapphires and diamonds.

    Jane and Robin, what a wonderful way to review this book–I loved getting both perspectives. I already knew it was going to be a long month (waiting for the release of YOUR SCANDALOUS WAYS) but the two of you have given all of us some great reasons to put this book on the top of our shopping list. Thanks!

  55. stp
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:24:58

    “A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck.”

  56. Rebecca J
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:27:29

    “A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears”

    I would love to have this book.

    *Sigh.*

    Loretta Chase is such a master.

  57. Maered
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:38:33

    She’s wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace, with matching earrings. Great reviews.

  58. Kristal
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:41:58

    Sapphires and diamonds.

  59. Kay Sisk
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:43:07

    Sapphires and diamonds.

  60. Zee
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:46:44

    the review and excerpt inspired me to stop lurking and comment: sapphires and diamonds…

  61. Tabitha
    May 08, 2008 @ 11:01:31

    She was wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace with matching earrings. The excerpt was good.

  62. bettie
    May 08, 2008 @ 11:22:32

    a sapphire and diamond necklace, and matching drops at her ears.

    Enter me in the contest, please. :D

  63. Laurie
    May 08, 2008 @ 11:35:42

    Sapphires and diamonds!

  64. Phyllis
    May 08, 2008 @ 11:42:15

    sapphires and diamonds

  65. Jenyfer Matthews
    May 08, 2008 @ 11:58:14

    Sapphires and diamonds!

    This (ese) books sound wonderful – I want to read some perfection :)

  66. limecello
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:04:26

    This was such a great excerpt – and Francesca is wearing sapphires and diamonds.
    Thanks for having this contest!

  67. eliz.
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:05:30

    Diamonds and pearls. . . Just kidding, that Prince song just popped into my head. She is wearing sapphires and diamonds, necklace and earrings. And I agree with the commenter who said this would have been a better email contest.

    But I’m still hopeful anyway!

  68. Lacey
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:07:50

    Normally only lurk, but adore Loretta Chase, and your review made me desperately want this book NOW. So sapphires and diamonds.

  69. Liviania
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:22:34

    She’s wearing sapphires and diamonds, both a necklace and earrings.

    If I don’t win, I’m going to have to buy this book the instant it comes out. Ya’ll’s enthusiasm for it is infectious – and the excerpt and quotes are all wonderful.

  70. Dagny
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:22:35

    Sapphires and Diamonds, or, since they are in Italy, zaffiri e diamanti.

    I find I want the jewels almost as much as the book.

  71. Robin
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:33:41

    Regardless of whether I win a copy of the book, it sounds like a must-read. I'm particularly intrigued by Robin's observation:

    As for Francesca, she exemplifies what I'm starting to think of as the anti-heroine heroine in Romance, the heroine who not only fights love, but fights the Romance formula, continuing to subvert the reader's expectations about how a relationship should proceed through a novel.

    This quality is what I loved about The Spymaster's Lady -‘ the sense that the heroine isn't just defying the social mores of her day, but also the constraints of formula.

    I’m actually working on a little post on this concept, where I’ll spin out more what I mean in terms of Francesca and other heroines refusing to cooperate with the standard Romance structure. Often these are the heroines that frustrate a number of readers, IMO, because they refuse to follow all the steps toward love and happiness we are so used to expecting from them in genre Romance. And I agree that Annique qualifies, too, as does Tess from Kathleen O’Reilly’s Shaken and Stirred.

  72. Brie
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:33:51

    Sapphire and diamond necklace with matching drop earrings. I’ve been anticipating this book for months. Great review, ladies!

  73. D-Day
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:39:38

    Sapphire and diamond necklace with matching eardrops.

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  74. Ann Bruce
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:44:35

    Don’t enter me into the contest; I’d ordered as soon as it was available for pre-order. But does anyone know the actual release date in Canada? Both Amazon and McNally Robinson list the date as May 9. Does that mean I’m going to receive it before the folks south of the border?

  75. rrecho
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:46:27

    Sapphires and Diamonds

  76. Ana
    May 08, 2008 @ 12:47:43

    Great review, bit teases that you are! : )
    I am dying a thousand deaths with anticipation!

    I will enter the competition: Sapphire and diamond necklace with matching eardrops!

  77. Lizzy
    May 08, 2008 @ 13:06:57

    Gentlemen thieves and hookers with hearts of gold … sigh … I’m picking up what Chase is putting down. I love her.

  78. Oyce
    May 08, 2008 @ 13:09:14

    A sapphire and diamond necklace and eardrops.

  79. AndreaS
    May 08, 2008 @ 13:21:07

    Sapphires and diamonds : )

    Now you have me all excited! I love alphas, in any shape or form.

  80. Dobby
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:01:29

    Sapphires and diamonds.

  81. Collette
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:07:44

    Sapphires and diamonds. (Nice!)

  82. JLFerg
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:11:16

    Wow. This sounds like a very entertaining book. I thought I had grown out of reading historical romances, but I have discovered that there are some really good ones out there. Thanks for giving me another avenue of romance novels to explore.

    Oh, yeah. Since everyone else has answered it. Francesca was wearing sapphires and diamonds. From the excerpt itself:

    A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears.

  83. Zeba
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:12:13

    Sapphire and Diamond necklace with matching ear drops – so want to read this!

  84. Jewel
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:37:27

    A sapphire and diamond necklace and matching earings.

  85. Gail S
    May 08, 2008 @ 14:56:05

    Sapphires and diamonds.

    Loretta Chase has LONG been an autobuy for me. I’m going to have to pull Lord of Scoundrels back out and read it again–or at least skim it. And Mr. Impossible. The falcons in hats are calling me…

  86. SonomaLass
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:00:12

    I loved the excerpt when I read it yesterday. I have requested a Loretta Chase book from my local library, because she’s an author with whom I’m not familiar. That’s what I love most about this site — new directions for my reading!

    Oh yes, the contest: “A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears.”

    Yay for subversion! And I absolutely agree that “sex positive, woman positive, man positive, love positive, and relationship positive” is the best definition of romance as a genre that I’ve heard in a long time.

  87. Lori
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:11:32

    A sapphire and diamond necklace and matching drop earrings.

    Sounds like a great Chase book – I love that dry witty dialogue between her characters. It’s what I most love about her writing.

    I’d love to get an early peek at this one! Great review you guys!

  88. Maureen
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:18:46

    She is one of my favorite authors so I am really looking forward to this book. She is wearing sapphires and diamonds.

  89. Stacie McClellan
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:25:29

    “sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears”

    *want*

  90. Ciara
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:31:16

    Sapphires and diamonds.

    It shows that true love does triumph and it does heal and it is magical.

    THIS is why I read romance novels. Why I write them. Why I’m completely addicted to them. True love conquers all. Don’t you wish that was the message broadcast in the rest of our culture? All you need is love, love.

    This book is now on my must-buy list (though Ms. Chase is already one of my favorite authors.) Thanks for the review!

  91. Beth
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:40:27

    Sapphire and diamond necklace and matching earrings.

    Darn! I got to this review so late!!

    Great review. I lurve Chase, and would do so much more than read the excerpt to get this a copy of this one.

  92. MYJ
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:41:19

    A sapphire and diamond necklace.

    Can’t wait!

  93. cyclops8
    May 08, 2008 @ 15:43:18

    Francesca is wearing sapphires and diamonds. Thannks.

  94. Keilexandra
    May 08, 2008 @ 16:13:43

    Sapphires and diamonds–lucky girl.

  95. orannia
    May 08, 2008 @ 16:19:18

    Sapphires and diamonds! I hope I’m not too late – I’m only just up and about now (there’s a small time difference between North American and NZ – here it’s Friday morning ;)

    Thank you for the wonderful review! And what an excerpt! The book sounds AMAZING!

    orannia

  96. Malin
    May 08, 2008 @ 16:27:54

    Sapphires and diamonds! This books sounds like all kinds of awesome. I hope I win. If I don’t, I will pre-order the book immediately.

  97. Lili
    May 08, 2008 @ 16:40:05

    Answer: Francesca was wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace with matching ear drops. Thanks!

  98. Kristie(J)
    May 08, 2008 @ 17:01:07

    Great review! It’s hard to believe anything can beat LoS – but this just might – oh, and she is wearing diamonds and saphires – so consider me interested in getting an early peak :)

  99. Leslie G
    May 08, 2008 @ 17:08:19

    The gemstones are sapphires and diamonds.

  100. Christy H.
    May 08, 2008 @ 17:12:25

    How dumb am I? I actually went and read the excerpt ~ I could have just copied an answer. duh
    Sapphires and Diamonds
    I was intrigued enough by the excerpt though to want to read the book. ;)

  101. Elizabeth
    May 08, 2008 @ 17:18:09

    She’s wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching drop earrings.

    Now I need to re-read LoS because I’ve forgotten most of it except that I loved it.

  102. Josie
    May 08, 2008 @ 18:03:33

    Sapphires and Diamonds.
    I’m so looking forward to this book but I really hates the waiting…

  103. Sunita
    May 08, 2008 @ 18:34:13

    The blue sparkly ones and the white/clear/pink/yellow sparkly ones. Oh, okay, sapphires and diamonds it is.

    Uh oh, she says, craning her neck to look back. I’m last AGAIN.

  104. laura d.
    May 08, 2008 @ 18:34:24

    Sapphires and diamonds AND a serpent tattoo. Extra credit, pleeeeeeeze?

  105. Stephanie
    May 08, 2008 @ 18:46:52

    Sapphires and diamonds. I love Loretta Chase! I can’t wait to read this.

  106. AB
    May 08, 2008 @ 19:19:22

    She’s wearing a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching eardrops.

    *crosses fingers*

  107. S. W. Vaughn
    May 08, 2008 @ 19:42:27

    Well…as everyone else before has said, sapphires and diamonds.

    Also, she has a snake tattoo. I think I love her – and I’m female, so that’s pretty weird for me. :-)

  108. Julia B.
    May 08, 2008 @ 19:49:09

    Francesca is wearing sapphires and diamonds. Wow! The excerpt is great and after reading your comments I am really looking forward to read it.

  109. CC
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:00:12

    A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears.

  110. MichelleR
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:18:14

    Sapphires and diamonds. Necklace and earrings. I’ve never read LC before, but this book sounds like a must-buy!

  111. Megan
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:31:07

    That’s a great and thoughtful review. Really looking forward to reading this one!

    Oh, and adding to the chorus: sapphires and diamonds on her necklace and earrings.

  112. AnimeJune
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:42:54

    Dear Author has never steered me wrong before – I’ve learned that after purchasing Private Arrangements. I have both Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels” and “Not Quite a Lady” (amusingly enough, situated next to Jane Feather’s “Almost a Lady” on my bookshelf) on my shelves, and I look forward to more!

    Sapphires and diamonds on her necklace and earrings!

  113. Andrea D
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:54:02

    She is wearing sapphire and diamonds. I love Loretta Chase & can’t wait for this to come out!

  114. Lalie
    May 08, 2008 @ 20:57:24

    I am probably the last one to respond and have a very remote chance of getting picked but would love to read Loretta chase ..the answer is sapphires and diamonds..

  115. Kimbelina
    May 08, 2008 @ 21:12:06

    She is wearing sapphires and diamonds,so count me in!

  116. K. Z. Snow
    May 08, 2008 @ 21:57:15

    Sapphire-and-diamond necklace and earrings. Loretta Chase has been around a while–no?–and I’m enormously impressed that her writing remains so vibrant. I’d love to read a grand-yet-intimate historical, well written, by a romance veteran. And “anti-heroine”? I am so intrigued.

    So damn me as a book whore!

  117. Alison
    May 08, 2008 @ 22:12:45

    Sapphires and diamonds! A lady after my own heart. I got a sapphire and diamond ring for my 5th anniversary, and haven’t taken it off!

  118. Amy
    May 08, 2008 @ 22:41:56

    Thank you so much for this review — I think this review format is terrific! I have only read two Loretta Chase books, Not Quite a Lady and Lord of Scoundrels, both of which I enjoyed. But I have hesitated about trying her other books after reading various mixed reviews. This new book sounds great. I also appreciate the comparison of Francesca to Annique as I recently finished The Spymaster’s Lady and really enjoyed it (except for the totally out-of-character way the supposed super spy blabbed all that info to a supposed stranger upon arrival in England). Oh, yes, Francesca wore sapphires and diamonds!

  119. taiki
    May 08, 2008 @ 22:59:39

    Thanks for the detailed review. Very helpful. :D Let’s see how fast i can get my hands on this book ^^

    And for your question: Francesca is wearing sapphires and diamonds!

  120. Sotheara
    May 08, 2008 @ 23:25:19

    Francesca is a wearing sapphire and diamond necklace and matching earrings.

  121. Pam P
    May 09, 2008 @ 02:25:34

    Sapphires and diamonds! I’m loving it already just from the review and excerpt.

  122. Sara
    May 09, 2008 @ 09:05:41

    Sapphire and diamond necklace and ear drops. Hmm…sapphire is my birthstone. Anyone want to pony up a set for me?

  123. Kammie
    May 09, 2008 @ 09:19:57

    A sapphire and diamond necklace adorned her long, velvety neck. Matching drops hung at her shell-like ears. That sounds good!

  124. Jane
    May 09, 2008 @ 10:48:55

    The winners are:

    # 99 – Leslie G
    # 63 – Laurie
    # 42 – Susan G
    # 89 – Stacie Mc
    # 33 – tammyk

    Please send me your snail mail address right away (jane @ dearauthor.com). Congratulations all. I hope you do read it, even if you get it from the library!

  125. Susan
    May 09, 2008 @ 10:49:46

    sapphire and diamonds – would love to get the book!

  126. francois
    May 09, 2008 @ 10:50:48

    Curses!
    How could you tell I was going to buy the book anyway?!

  127. Liviania
    May 09, 2008 @ 12:41:57

    Congratulations!

  128. Brenna
    May 09, 2008 @ 20:17:27

    Congrats to the winners. While I want to read the book right away, hence joining this contest, I would still prefer to buy it to show my support to Loretta Chase in terms of book sales.

  129. Jane
    May 09, 2008 @ 21:07:13

    Francois – I believe it is money well spent. I’ll be buying my own ecopy.

  130. Winners of the Caroline Linden and Loretta Chase books | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    May 09, 2008 @ 21:15:55

    […] held a contest for the exciting Loretta Chase book. You can read Robin and my conversational review here. The winners of the Chase book are as […]

  131. My First Sale by Loretta Chase, “Don’t You Want to Write a Book?” | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    May 23, 2008 @ 04:00:33

    […] sale series and so I’ve got nothing. But given the fact that I think Loretta Chase’s Your Scandalous Ways is one of the best romances I’ll read this year, I thought I’d pull it up again and […]

  132. Amy
    May 30, 2008 @ 19:34:53

    I just finished this story today; I tried to finish it in one sitting last night but gave up by 3 am. All I want to add here is a big SIGH. I look forward to rereading this story again and again. I think I need to go out and buy more LC books. I have only read Your Scandalous Ways, Lord of Scoundrels, and Not Quite a Lady.

  133. thebooksmugglers.com » Blog Archive » Smugglers Weekly Stash and News
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 23:16:44

    […] – Dear Author wrote a very positive review of Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase. As far as I know , this is the first review of the book to be published. They say and I quote: “It is a kind of perfection, romance perfection perhaps.” Go check it out. […]

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