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?
Chase's fourth entry in the Dressmakers Series (after Vixen in Velvet) is a scintillating and sensual read. Thirteen years after Oliver "Raven" Radford and Lady Clara scuffled with Raven's cousin Bernard, Lady Clara and Raven are reunited at his London law office. Clara wants to find Toby, a pauper boy. Raven knows this involves infiltrating the dangerous street gang run by the notorious Jacob Freame (who already has a vendetta against Raven), but he realizes that he faces an even greater peril that of falling in love with the beautiful, blond Clara. What ensues is a blend of action and suspense set amid Clara and Raven's witty banter and increasing sexual tension, as they scheme against shady characters and navigate their growing love for each other. In addition to the powerful social commentary on women's role in society and the life of youth in London's poverty-ridden back alleys and schools, Chase's tongue-in-cheek tone captures tender and humorous nuances in character descriptions and actions, creating fully realized characters and a rich plot.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A five star book
A really enjoyable read. The main characters balanced each other, and all the other characters were perfect together. The author seemed to really challenge herself in creating such a unique and interesting book. I liked that this book was so different from other historical romances. For once the male lead was in danger, not the female! There was such clever whit and conversation and depth to these characters. She really out did herself. This book just came alive, I highly recommend it. This is some of her best work by far. Read it.
Dukes prefer Blondes
Love this book! Love the Characters I liked Clare from previous books but loved her in this book Raven is my favorite love him! Great read I hope the authors next book is not too far off love her books
Now I only have to start this series from the beginning to find more hours of enjoyment.
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.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.