Trashy Read #5: Not Quite a Lady, by Loretta Chase
Dear Book: I have read Lord of Scoundrels. And you, sir, are no Lord of Scoundrels. Love, Beth
Admittedly, this book was doomed from the start. It's author, Loretta Chase, wrote one of the classics of the romance genre with Lord of Scoundrels. So it's pretty likely that her other books might disappoint. I knew Not Quite a Lady ranked pretty low on most people's list of Loretta Chase's best books, but I thought the story sounded interesting, so I checked out this historical romance anyway. It wasn't bad. In fact, it had some quite charming moments. But it didn't really do a whole lot for me either.
Lady Charlotte Hayward is an aristocrat who is really good at avoiding marriage because of a secret. Ten years ago, she had an affair as a teenager that resulted in a pregnancy. Her newborn son was given away, and she and her stepmother have kept the entire thing a secret since. She feels guilty, ashamed, etc. Then she meets Darius Carsington, a very hot and very smart fellow arisocrat trying to renovate a nearby property. They quickly fall in love and blah blah blah. It's a pretty typical romance.
There were things I liked about the book. Darius, while not as interesting as my favorite romance heroes, was admirably sweet and relaxed in the second half of the book, and once he and Charlotte became comfortable with each other, their conversations became quite enjoyable, even humorous at times. Also, as she did with Lord of Scoundrels, Chase managed to fit in themes about parents and children alongside her romance. The mirroring relationships between the various children and their parents gave the book some extra support.
But in general, the book felt kind of lackluster in comparison to other romances I've read. Fortunately, I still think Chase is one of the best romance writers out there, so I'll still be reading her stuff. In fact, she visits other members of the Carsington family in several books, so I might be checking some of those out.