Saturday, August 23, 2008

Loretta Chase 'Your Scandalous Ways'

What I love about this book is the hero. Francesca is smart and witty so I like her too, but James is smart, funny, physically commanding and can laugh at himself. He doesn't think he's immediately in love with Francesca, he's certainly in lust, but when he does admit he loves her, he's not tortured by it either.

Francesca was divorced by her terrible husband for adultery. She fled to Paris and eventually became the most sought after courtesan of her time. Now she is in Venice, currently between lovers. James is a British operative sent to retrieve some incriminating letters her former husband wrote. But he's not the only one after them, and the other party isn't as reluctant to kill to get them.

I have heard some criticism of the book because the heroine is a courtesan. Besides violating the basic tenet that romance novel heroines must not have had sex that they liked, I thought the author navigated the pitfalls rather well. Neither character is insecure about the other's past lovers. If the author had introduced that issue I think it would have bothered me more. Let's face it, James has slept with a lot of women in the name of duty, what is that but a patriotic whore.

The sex was great, the plot believable, the characters smart and funny, and the hero puts on the heroine's dress to deflect the killer's attention. I loved it.

Historical Romance 2008: 5 of 5 condums.


Marg said...

I have this here to read soon. I am really looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

I liked this one, and wasn't bothered at all by her job, but I felt she was pretty chaste and inexperienced for being a courtesan. I mean, if you're going to go there, go there!

The Bookworm said...

I just read and reviewed this one recently, I enjoyed it as well.
great review!

Kate said...

I've heard good things about this one, and can't believe I haven't read it yet! I seem to forget who the author is every time I'm at a bookstore. Dumb excuse, but true.