Dukes Prefer Blondes: The Dressmakers #4 by Loretta Chase with Excerpt and Giveaway

Dukes Prefer Blondes: The Dressmakers #4 by Loretta Chase with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I present  Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase, the fourth book in The Dressmakers, an historical romance series.  Please read on for my review and an excerpt, be sure to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win  a $25 gift certificate to the eBook Retailer of your choice!   Now, please explore

Dukes Prefer Blondes

In keeping with my obsession for all things historic romance, I honestly believed I had read more of Loretta Chase’s work than I have.  Yet, this is the first I’ve read of her Dressmakers series even though it is the fourth book, but aside from reading from the start of the series (an issue I remedied with Christmas) I can’t think of a better way than to start in with Dukes Prefer Blondes.

Clara is the daughter of a Marquess, exceptionally beautiful, much desired by several suitors and exceedingly bored by it all.  Bored to tears actually, or in her case, bored into some rather impetuous decisions and behaviors.  I adored Clara – she wanted to be seen as “more” than just another pretty face or decoration for some man’s house, and her curiosity leads her into both learning more about the plight of those less fortunate, but actually standing up to those who are behaving badly.  (I loved that she went at the gang leader’s second in command). While commendable in theory, Clara’s actions have brought her into the limelight of some very nefarious men, known for extreme solutions to issues that may stand in their way.

Oliver (Raven) is in line for a title he doesn’t really want from relatives that have an uncanny knack for doing themselves in through stupidity.  A barrister, like his father, his childhood was spent being bullied by these self-same cousins through school: they were (and proved it) lunkheads to the end, while Oliver is quite observant, intelligent and not above taking a few risks if the resulting odds are favorable.

These two are delightful together: moments from their first encounter that showed Clara was far from the “proper” girl that was expected of her, and little has changed. She’s desperate to not be bored to death, but aside from a need for excitement, her burgeoning understanding of the world, and the good and evil within it spur her onward to do more for those who will d from it.  From her initial encounter with Oliver, where she is taken by his presence and cool demeanor to her desperate determination to have him see more than a pretty and spoiled unmarried woman in front of him, their conversations and growing affections are a treat to behold.

Dialogue in this story pulls you in, puts you in the middle of the action and shows the core strength of both characters, while introducing secondary characters, attitudes and showing the growing esteem between them, adding to the character development and plot in almost equal measure.  With interferences from family, servants, Oliver’s partner and the criminal element, it’s easy to see why Oliver not only came to love but truly enjoyed Clara: seeing deeply beneath the pretty girl to a woman who not only was strong and intelligent, but passionate, caring and a perfect option for a wife.  Now I only have to start this series from the beginning to find more hours of enjoyment.

Dukes Prefer Blondes: The Dressmakers #4 by Loretta Chase with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Dukes Prefer Blondes
Author: Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #4
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon
ISBN: 0062100343
Published on: 29 December, 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 11 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

See The Dressmakers Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


Header - Excerpt - Tasty

Small Drawing Room of Warford House Monday 31 August 1835


Clara did not run screaming from the room. A lady didn’t run screaming from anywhere unless her life was in immediate danger.

This was simply another marriage proposal.

The Season was over. Almack’s had held its last assembly at the end of July. Most of Society had gone to the country. Yet her family remained in London because her father, the Marquess of Warford, never left before Parliament rose, and Parliament still sat.

And so her beaux lingered in London. For some reason—either they’d joined a conspiracy or had made her the subject of wagers in White’s betting book—they seemed to be proposing on a biweekly schedule. They were beginning to wear on Clara’s nerves.

Today was Lord Herringstone’s turn. He said he loved her. They all said so with varying degrees of fervor. But being an intelligent girl who read more than she ought to, Clara was sure that he, like the others, merely wanted to claim the most fashionable girl in London for his own

She’d inherited the classic Fairfax looks—pale gold hair, clear blue eyes, and skin that seemed to have been poured like cream over an artistically sculpted face. The world agreed that in her these traits had reached the very acme and pitch of perfection. So had her figure, a model for one of those Greek or Roman goddess statues, according to her numerous swains.

Her single flaw—on the outside, that is—the tiny chip in her left front tooth, only made her human and thus, somehow, more perfect.

She was like a thoroughbred everybody wanted to own. Or the latest style of dashing vehicle.

Her beauty surrounded her like a great stone wall. Men couldn’t see above, beyond, or through it. They certainly couldn’t think past it.

This was because men only looked at women. They didn’t listen to women, especially beautiful women.

When beautiful women talked, men merely made a greater pretense of listening. After all, everybody knew that women did not really have brains.

Clara wondered what women were imagined to have in their skulls in place of brains or what men thought women did their pitiful excuse for thinking with . . .

“. . . if you would do me the inestimable honor of becoming my wife.”

She came back to the present and said no, as she always did, kindly and courteously, because she’d been rigorously trained in ladyship. Moreover, she truly liked Lord Herringstone. He’d written odes to her, and they were witty and scanned well. He was amusing and a good dancer and reasonably intelligent.

So were dozens of other men.

She liked them, most of them.

But they had no idea who she was and did not try to find out.

Perhaps it was quixotic of her, but she wanted more than that.

He looked disappointed. Yet he’d survive, she knew. He’d find another woman he would look at and not listen to, but that woman wouldn’t be so unrealistic as to expect him to. They’d wed and rub along together somehow or other, like everybody else.

And one of these days Clara would give up hoping for more. One of these days, she would have to say yes.

“Either that,” she muttered, “or become an eccentric and run away to Egypt or India.”


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About Loretta Chase

Loretta Chase has worked in academe, retail, and the visual arts, as well as on the streets-as a meter maid-and in video, as a scriptwriter. She might have developed an excitingly checkered career had her spouse not nagged her into writing fiction. Her bestselling historical romances, set in the Regency and Romantic eras of the early 19th century, have won a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Rita. For more about her past, her books, and what she does and doesn’t do on social media, please visit her website 


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