Author: Loretta Chase
Genre: Historical Romance
My Copy: ARC via Avon
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.
Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.
It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?
I’ve always liked Loretta Chase’s books and I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read a book of hers since the publication of Mr. Impossible (that was in 2005!). When the opportunity came to review her newest, Dukes Prefer Blondes, I couldn’t pass up the chance! Dukes Prefer Blondes is the fourth and final book in The Dressmakers series. If you haven’t read the previous books, it’s not necessary to enjoy Dukes. I haven’t read the books and if there were any spoilers, I didn’t find any nor did Chase focus on past incidents involving the other books.
We have really good character development. Lady Clara Fairfax is one of London’s most sought after beauties and judging from the number of marriage proposals she receives every few weeks, she’s not afraid to speak her mind. She’s also a champion of those who can’t defend themselves and desperately wants to be taken seriously. Clara dreams of a world where she’s not tied to constraints and puts on two different facades. There’s the haughty aristocrat that most of the ton (upper society) sees and then there’s the intelligent, free thinking, and courageous woman that only a select few get to see. I’ll admit, Clara is a bit difficult to like because you want her to pick a face and stick with it, but in the end she wins you over. Then there’s Oliver “Raven” Radford, aka Mr. Know It All. His father is a younger son of a Duke who made his way as a barrister and Oliver follows in his footsteps. All his life he’s had to deal with the Duke’s son, his cousin Bernard. I really liked Oliver and he’s a man who knows what he wants. You’ll love him! We have a few secondary characters that a play a vital role including Bernard. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say despite what we read, etc. his storyline saddens me especially towards the end. I personally loved Fenwick, a street urchin.
I debated with the rating between a three and a four and in the end, I decided on a four for two particular reasons. The first has to do with Clara and Oliver’s conversations. This is where Chase’s talent shines-their conversations were full of sharp wit that I even had trouble keeping up with them! I had to go back a few times and reread sentences and then pause for a bit to marvel at how beautifully written they converse with one another. The second has to do with the historical tidbits. Chase is well known for her thorough research and I personally really enjoyed reading about the law and having a hero that’s a barrister. If you’re wanting to know more about 19th century law and how the British Pound has evolved, Chase includes an afterword and it’s a great source to look at how she writes and where you can find more information. I love it when authors do this!
At this point you might be wondering why I was leaning towards a three and it has to do with the overall pace and mystery. The pace at times was slow and I wanted a bit more action. But it’s the mystery surrounding a child’s disappearance and who’s involved that takes a back seat to the Clara / Oliver romance. I would have liked a lot more of it and in the end it felt rushed.
(click on the banner for the full tour scheduled organized by Tasty Book Tours)
Avon is hosting a tour wide giveaway and one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to an e-retailer of their choice. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway