This review has been made possible thanks to the lovely Mrs. Julien and Malin. Due to their generous sharing of the ebook I am now able to say that the new Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes, was most enjoyable!
This one is the latest in Ms. Chase’s Dressmakers series of which I haven’t read any, but it didn’t feel like I was particularly missing out. This time we have Clara, a Marquess’ daughter and all around fancy lady, and Oliver “Raven” Radford, not a duke, but a lawyer. Raven is distantly related to the Dukes of Malvern, and slowly throughout the novel comes closer and closer to being the titular duke. Raven and Clara have a meet cute while being almost run down by a villain, and things progress from there as Raven shows Clara a different side of London and Clara shows Raven that Ladies are intelligent, thoughtful people.
Oh my goodness, did I love Raven. It’s rare that a hero makes me go “weeee! Let’s be best friends!”, but yeah, this obnoxious know-it-all was wonderful. I adore a bossy know-it-all (maybe as I sometimes (often) am one and married one), and to the very end kept that true to form. Clara was only okay. She was smart, but had to learn to apply common sense, which was a very frustrating wait. I did enjoy their relationship though, as both changed and grew, but in very believable manners and were overall still quite similar to who they were at the start.
Some things I enjoyed less were definitely waiting for Clara to actually use that intelligence she kept saying she had. I know Ms. Chase was making some comments on society as a whole, but a practical, full of common sense heroine wins my heart way more every time. Also I really could have done without the whole someone out to murder them side plot. It was fine for the meet cute, but by the end didn’t really make a lot of sense (London scum who have self preservation don’t go around trying to kill the heir presumptive to the Duke of Malvern). So I could have done without that. But that’s why I love romance novellas (all the relationship stuff, none of the outside fuss).
So anywho, if you like sassy, know-it-all heroes this is the book for you. Go forth and read, and dream about fictitious characters becoming real so that we all can be friends.