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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2011
This highly amusing little romantic farce follows on from the same author's Carsington Family quartet, and is set ten years years later, in 1831. The two main characters are the children from Lord Perfect (Carsington Quartet 3) who have since grown up.

Peregrine Dalmay, son of the Marquess of Atherton, who has the courtesy title of Earl of Lisle and is usually referred to as Lisle, has spent most of the past ten years in Egypt, helping Rupert and Daphne Carsington (from Mr Impossible (Carsington Quartet 2)) with their excavations and research. He is back in Britain for what was meant to be a short visit to attend the 95th birthday celebrations of the Dowager Countess of Hargate, (Rupert's grandmother).

Unfortunately while Lisle is back in England, his self-centred parents remember his existence and ask him to go to Scotland to take charge of the repair work on a family castle near Edinburgh, which has stalled because of a supposed curse and alleged ghosts.

Despite the threat of having his allowance cut off if he refuses, Lisle is minded to defy his parents and return to Egypt, but then an unstoppable force of nature with flaming red hair and deep blue eyes intervenes ...

Olivia Wingate-Carsington has form for disrupting Lisle's life. When they were both children, she ran off to the other side of the country in a madcap quest for a long-lost treasure, dragging Lisle along with her, with his Uncle Benedict Carsington (a.k.a Lord Perfect) and Olivia's mother in hot pursuit.

Lisle's uncle Benedict is now Olivia's stepfather, and has done his best to bring her up respectably, but with only partial success. Early in the book she describes herself as "Last night's scandal" having acquired this nickname in society for such antics as regularly getting engaged only to break off the engagement within days or even hours. Most debutantes who behaved the way Olivia does would be shunned by society, but as she has blossomed into a spectacularly beautiful woman, and can expect to inherit a substantial fortune, men continue to flutter around her like moths round a flame.

Facing the prospect of having to finally marry and settle down, Olivia decides on one last adventure. Arranging for a couple of elderly aunts to act as (highly ineffective) chaperones, she and Lisle will travel to Scotland, banish the non-existent ghosts or whoever is behind them, disprove the curse, and restore the castle. And as usual, she will not take "no" for an answer ...

Mayhem and mystery ensue: if the creators of "Scooby-Doo" co-write a novel with Georgette Heyer this is the kind of entertaining romantic farce they might come up with.

Although this novel can stand on its own, you will get more out of it if you have previously read the Carsington quartet, particularly "Lord Perfect" and "Mr Impossible." This will give you an idea of what the people who have brought up the hero and heroine are like - most of them are referred to several times but do not directly appear in this book - and being aware of the childhood history of the two characters will give you an idea of what is going through the hero's head when he says to himself things like "Here we go again!" after the heroine drags him into another mad adventure.

One of the charms of this book, which again you will appreciate better if you have previously read "Lord Perfect," is the book's brilliant description of how disconcerting it can be to experience romantic attraction or strong desire for someone who had previously been your best, and platonic, friend.

If you do want to read the Carsington family quartet which precedes this book, the four novels in that sequence are:

1) "Miss Wonderful (Carsington Quartet 1)"

2) "Mr Impossible (Carsington Quartet 2)"

3) "Lord Perfect (Carsington Quartet 3)"

4) "Not Quite a Lady."

Very amusing and entertaining, I can recommend this book.
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At twelve, Olivia Wingate-Carsington led the young Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, on a wild chase across southern England in search of buried treasure. So successful was their partnership that Lisle has spent the last ten years in Egypt, away from her corrupting influence. Now Lisle is back for a visit, and his dramatically selfish parents are determined to keep him here, no matter what it takes.

Craving his ordered, independent life, and badly missing Egypt, Lisle refuses to bow to their harebrained scheme. Why would a ruined Scottish castle with a ghostly mystery interest him, when he could be scouring the desert for treasures and knowledge?

But for Olivia life is dull. She knows what is expected of her - betrothal, marriage, babies, settling down - and she can't bear it. Why can't she have the adventures that her best friend Lisle does? So though she sympathises with him over the unreasonable manipulations of his parents, she also gets an Idea. And from experience, Lisle knows that Olivia's Ideas rarely work out well for anyone...

Yay! The Carsingtons are back! (Miss Wonderful,Mr Impossible,Lord Perfect,Not Quite a Lady.) And this is one many Loretta Chase fans have been long awaiting. Olivia and Peregrine played such an important role in 'Lord Perfect' that it was only a matter or time before we saw them again. But they were just children then. Now they're all grown up, and 'feelings' are developing.

Not that either of them have changed much - Lisle is still the well-mannered but rigidly logical one, while Olivia is all impetuous chaos. His time abroad has taught him how to lead and order people, while she is as good at manipulating as always. Except now he looks like a sun-bronzed good, and Olivia's looks are positively sinful.

But it's their reactions to each other that make this tale. There are so many facets to their relationship that it's a joy to watch it develop. Argumentative, amusing, irrational and fiery, neither can control their tempers, or their desires, and their long acquaintance combines to make sparks fly. Veering from best friends to squabbling siblings, worst enemies to passionate lovers, there's never a dull moment when they're together. Sure, there are times of frustrating stubbornness and wilful obtuseness, on both sides, but Chase keeps the witty banter flowing, mixing in some steamy scenes and moments of perfect understanding to work things out.

As if this wasn't enough, the plot of restoring the castle and hunting for treasure bubbles along nicely. It twists and turns without relying on clichés, providing Olivia and Lisle plenty of opportunities to show off their brilliance. Witty, romantic and heaps of fun, this was highly enjoyable and well-worth the wait. Good to have LC back on form.
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on 3 April 2013
Review taken from my Blog Post #103 in March 2011 - book borrowed from the library.

There is a very good reason this book was awarded the top slot in 4 categories in All About Romance 2010 Reader Poll .... simply because it is completely and utterly amazing.

The story of two characters that appeared in Lord Perfect, Olivia Wingate-Carsington and Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle - the step-daughter and ward of Viscount Rathbourne. Olivia was wild and could scheme, cheat and charm her way along and Peregrine quiet, orderly and determined to live his life hunting antiquities in Egypt.

Years later he has been called by to England on family business and gets re-acquainted to the whirlwind that is Olivia. Their adventures take them off to Scotland under the not very watchful eye of some of the Dowager Lady Hargate's cronies, where they find ghosts. Do they find romance though, or does Olivia prove too much to handle for Lisle?

A 5 ***** Star read all round. Loretta has now also written about three of the Dreadful DeLucey cousins ... which is sure to e another winner. What a relief it's now available on Kindle ..... I have it on my Wish List for "keeper" downloads.
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on 27 February 2013
This is the first book I've read by this author, but I didn't feel the need to have read the others in order to understand who people were, as the author gives enough information.

The story begins with letters being exchanged between the teenage Olivia Carsington and Peregrine Dalmay, the Earl of Lisle. We know them from previous books as children from the other protagonists, who often got into mischief together. Lisle is back in England after spending many years in Egypt with his aunt, but his parents have missed him so much, that they tell him to go north to Scotland to see their ancestral home, a castle, which many believe is haunted. Lisle doesn't believe in ghosts, and goes to a ball, only to find the Olivia he once knew as a skinny girl, has now blossomed into a beautiful, curvy woman, who has an army of admirers around her. They get reacquainted, and Lisle finds it hard to ignore his attraction to the person who used to be his best friend.

Olivia is drawn to Lisle, now he's all grown up and become a man. He stands out from the other English gentlemen, with his bronzed skin from his time in Egypt. She learns of his parents plans, and his reluctance to go. But Olivia worms her way into Lisle's parents' good books, and soon she, a couple of elderly, yet naughty chaperones and a gobsmacked Lisle, are on their way to Scotland.

They have their share of fights, whilst trying to fight their growing attractions. Kisses are stolen, only for each to admit they're mistakes, even though deep down they want more. But the mistakes keep repeating, and when the mysteries surrounding the castle have an effect on Olivia's life, Lisle realises he loves her. But can a man who's mistress is Egypt ever learn to put the woman he loves first?

Overall, the book was good, but not great. Olivia is hotheaded, and acts like a teenager, despite her 23 years. But we learn she doesn't want to be pushed into marriage, and yearns for the adventurous life Lisle has had, and doesn't understand why he has all the fun, which makes you sympathise with her.

Lisle is good, but I can see why Olivia was annoyed with his practicality at times, although I liked the part where Lisle got into a fight with another man over her. Olivia, meanwhile, just wanted them to hurry up and get it over and done with!

The two elerly chaperones were funny, and often talked about their 'wild' youth.

However, I was confused why Olivia never called Lisle by his first name. Often in romances, especially when couples get close, they call each other by their first names, but she always called him Lisle. Doesn't he like his name or something? I admit, Peregrine is a little kooky, but since we're not told for sure, I don't know.

3/5
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on 25 November 2010
First, I have to say that I am a big fan of Ms Chase. I was really excited when I know the story of Peregrine and Olivia is being written and so I pre-ordered it. I got it 3 months ago and just about to finished it finally. For someone who could read 1 book a day, it is real slow read to me. What take me so long? The answer is: I was put off by the insultingly silly plot of treasure hunt and ruin castle. I like both H/H and I think Ms Chase still got it in terms of characterization, but please no Micky mouse plot next time. It is really is annoying.
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on 25 February 2015
After reading Lord of Scoundrels I became a big LC fan. I decided to buy the Carsington series though the first ones aren't on Kindle.The whole series has been a delight -the wonderful Carsington family and their scheming family somehow ensuring that each and every son marries for love but coincidently gets a pot of money too! Each story was wonderful and it was lovely to see the youngsters grow up and get their own story.Cannot recommend highly enough !
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on 8 February 2012
and as wild as ever. I spent the whole book wanting Lisle to wake up and marry her before someone else swept her off her feet. It was great to see more of the Carsington Matriarch and her harpies. What a wild old lady! Also, Lisle's hysterical parents. Good grief what a pair!
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on 5 August 2010
I hate to critique a Loretta Chase book. I got IMMENSE pleasure from reading "Lord Perfect", "Mr Impossible" and "Lord of Scoundrels". Some of her books are just masterpieces. However,for the most part, I found "Last Night's Scandal" a bit tedious. I've read many of her other books in one go because I couldn't bear to stop. I read this one over 3 or 4 days and was never really drawn into it.

To start with it seemed a bit slow, the narrative didn't whoosh me along like her other books. [The rest may contain SPOILERS] Then there were the repetetive sexual ecounters - sex scene 1, sex scene 2, sex scene 3 etc. There was no build up or anticipation, no "great obstacle" standing in their way except their own resistance which was basically non-existant.

In any great book there is a tragic consequence if things don't work out. (eg. They will have to part forever even though they share a "great love" or she will have to marry someone else etc. - you know the sort of thing) For most of this book the tragic consequence was "Lisle will never go back to Egypt" and frankly I didn't really care. Sure, it's a shame if he never goes back but hey-ho! Their great love story seemed to be a few gropes followed by some sex with no emotional bonding. (Shall we get married? Erm no..Not sure..What do you think?...But the sex is great! kind of thing.) I never really connected to Lisle or Olivia, never felt their "emotional jouney" and it all seemed to plod along to the inevitable ending.

The "castle treasure" storyline seemed cliched and frankly kept making me think of Scooby Doo. Finally, I really missed Loretta Chase's genius for wit and humour. For me it was totally absent except for the letters right at the beginning. I realize that the Old Ladies and their smutty comments/behaviour was meant to be humourous but it didn't really work for me. Their character's were so lightly sketched that I couldn't tell one from the other. Maybe if I'd known them a bit better I would have found it funny? Not sure.

I also thought it was a pity that Benedict and Bathsheba were merely shadowy background figures. Having created such wonderful characters that we know so well it seems a shame not use them.

All in all, nothing special.
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on 12 October 2014
great fun
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on 26 October 2010
This was the first book I read by this author and enjoyed it very much. I would buy other books by this author in the future.
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