Monday, April 14, 2008

Oh, Lord of Scoundrels!

Great Moments from last night's reading
Book: Lord of Scoundrels
Author: Loretta Chase
Spoiler level: pretty HIGH

I have a friend who is holding off on reading specific books until she is elderly, so she has things to look forward to. I suppose it might have been smart to do that with this book, but actually I'm glad I didn't, because I am SO into it. It is delightful at every turn. A feast! Still, I’m trying to savor it, though I may yet gobble it all up in one sitting. Or maybe ravish it. Maybe even tonight!

At present, however, I am just a third of the way through. There is just one enchanting scene after another.

Sigh. The glove scene in the coffee shop. What do I even say about it?
He had relieved whores beyond counting of frocks, stays, chemises, garters, and stockings. He’d never before in his life unbuttoned a gently bred maiden’s glove. He had committed salacious acts beyond number. He’d never once felt so depraved as he did now, as the last pearl came free and he drew the soft kid down, baring her wrist, and his dark fingers grazed the delicate skin he’d exposed.

He was too busy searching Dain’s Dictionary for a definition of his state—and too confused by what he read there—to realize that Miss Jessica Trent’s grey eyes had taken on the drunkenly bewildered expression of a respectable spinster being seduced in spite of herself.
Chase is exploiting the hell out of the rotating 3rd person point of view and I’m loving every minute of it. For example, with the two steamy kiss scenes that come after the glove, you’ll have Dain’s feverish POV in the moment, then Jessica’s, and then Dain’s again, but later, reflecting back in a heartbreakingly emotional way. One of my favorite examples of this so far is the way he reflects, hours later, on the kiss outside the ball:

…a firestorm of images, feelings, and one sweet, anguished moment…when she had kissed his big, loathsome nose…and cut his heart to pieces and put it back together again and made him believe he was not a monster to her. She had made him believe he was beautiful.

Lies, he told himself. They were all lies and tricks to trap him.

Reading this book, I feel like SUCH a girl. I love that Dain is not handsome, and emotionally wounded, and that Jessica wears all these silly hats and baubles that Dain hates, but then he keeps and treasures that one crushed hat from the rain scene. I love how clever she is. This book feels so well put together. The characters’ histories and goals make sense, and the way the peer groups work in - each with their own sorts of reputations to worry about - all dovetail so wonderfully.

I just got to the part where she shoots him (Katiebabs, I thought you were joking!) and I’m thinking both of them are about to have nothing to lose, which is a great place for characters to be, I suppose, unless you are SO worried about both of them like I am.

Some previous commenters seem to be on Dain’s side and some on Jess’. Do I have to pick sides? I want to love them both.


MaryKate said...

CJ- I'm SO glad you're enjoying the book! When Jessica shoots Dain is in probably my top five favorite romance moments ever. It's just SO priceless. And I love how she goes to confess to the police and no one seems to really believe her. It's just perfection.

Choose sides? Nope, I never chose sides. I was rooting for both of them to find their way.

Jill D. said...

Oh this takes me back. I feel a reread coming on...

ps. I second, that you can root for them both.

pss. I love that Dain is not your typically handsome hero.

Lone Chatelaine said...

I have also not read this book. I have it in my to be read pile, but I just haven't been interested in it. Is it really good, like swooningly good? I'm in a very swoony mood lately. I need to swoon over my heros ;-)

Sarai said...

Oh CJ dang it now I must see what all the hype is about. I believe this is the only book of hers I haven't bought (not that I have read anything by her but the back blurbs always sounds so good) Seesh back to the book store I go.

Katie(babs) said...

One of my favotite scenes in romantic literature is when Jess shoots Dain!
Both Dain and Jess are so different out of the ordinary characters that I hold near and dear to me heart.
Their interactions, conversations and love making is written by a true master.

Carolyn Jean said...

MK: Oh, I am SO enjoying it. Yes, that police scene was wonderful. And the surprise of the whole thing.

Jill: Welcome. Heck, I may reread the second I hit the last page.

LC: Well, I'm only a third in, but this seems to be a greatly treasured book by so many. So far, I am personally swooning. Over the hero and heroine.

Sarai: This may be a must read.

KB: Yes, great characters. And I haven't even gotten to any lovemaking. Maybe tonight...

kim said...

Go Team Dain! LOL.
This is one of my favorites! Classic beauty and the beast. Dain breaks my heart. However, I never really thought Dain was physically ugly but that his internal hatred of himself made him think he was ugly. Does that even make sense? Hmmmm. I will have to gather my thoughts a little better and come back. Its monday. *sigh*

Carolyn Jean said...

Kim, I think I agree with you there. I don't picture him as physically ugly, but I think he feels ugly inside. That is very well put.

Holly said...

Isn't this a fabulous book? I LOVE that she shot him. I just love it. Aww. I can't wait to hear what you think of the next scene. :)

And no, I didn't choose sides. I was just rooting for both of them. Although I will admit to loving Dain. He's just so..male!

Tumperkin said...

I love them both. I LOVE THEM I TELL YOU!!!

Tumperkin said...

I love them both. I LOVE THEM I TELL YOU!!!

sula said...

I agree with tumperkin. She feels so strongly that she had to say it twice. *g*

So happy that you are enjoying this classic, CJ. It really is a unique treasure. I've reread quite a few times and it never gets old.

Kate R said...

One of my favorite books. Ever. Now I have to go find it and read it again.

Brie said...

I love Lord of Scoundrels. I read it for the first time late last year, and--oh my, it became my favorite historical ever!

So glad you are having a good time reading it.

Ana said...

Oh, the glove scene - quite possibly one of the best ever written! The whole thing where he begins speaking gibberish in Italian and then changes into I adore yous, le sigh.

The shooting scene? Priceless. Amazing. Ballsy.

I also love their first kiss in the rain. Where she pushes him into kissing her and he thinks he is only punishing her and she is going to hate it and then he gets dizzy on his feet because "the demented woman was kissing him back".Oh, my poor Dain.

I love their terms of endearment! LOL.

This is the one of the few romance novels that I love both Hero and heroine equally.

Loretta Chase is a master in the rotating third person isn't she? Is that your first Loretta book?

I will shut up now.

Carolyn Jean said...

Yes, this is my first Loretta Chase book. I'll be very interested for recommendations on further ones!

lisabea said...

But CJ, do you feel like a 13 year old masochist for enjoying this book?
I need to put that comment behind me.

I am so happy that you love this book. It's a gem. And thank goodness these here ladies MADE me read it.

Ana~I'm with you on that. The first kiss in the rain. SWOON.