The Duke of Ainswood, Vere Mallory - the last of the infamous Mallory hellions - lives a charmed life: he's rich, titled, and exceedingly handsome. And he's seemingly bent on throwing it all away in his reckless race toward self-destruction, until a devastatingly beautiful blonde amazon literally knocks him off his feet.
Lydia Grenville has devoted herself to protecting London's less fortunate. She has no patience for dissolute aristocrats and would like nothing more than to get his big, strong, handsome carcass out of her path so she can continue her work. But Ainswood could never resist a challenge - especially in female form - or trouble, which seems to follow Lydia like a stray puppy. When real trouble appears it's all or nothing for the duke and his annoyingly headstrong female!
©1998 Loretta Chekani (P)2015 Loretta Chekani
A VERY well written book and very engaging storyline. Characters are very well developed and the story is well thought out. I liked everything about it. The only reason I gave it a 4 star is because as good as the book was it was just not what I give a 5 star for. I give 5 stars to the ones I spend every minute of my life I can spare listening to. I even cut from sleep to know what happens next. This however was an excellent book.
I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must
Second best book in the series. More comparable to The Lord of Scoundrels...but not quite there but so dang close. Way better than book 1 and 2. I felt like 3 and 4 were in a class of their own.
It is amazing how Chase can make us love a previously hated character. Ainswood is wonderful. Lydia and Ainswood's banter makes the story so fun and interesting. Lydia is a great heroine....perfect combo of beauty and strength....independent but not off putting.
Loved Susan. Could not get enough of the way Ainswood spoke to Susan.
Had trouble understanding the time line with book 2, but I don't guess it mattered much....just odd and it made no difference in the grand scheme of things.
I didn't want it to end. Seriously credit worthy...but must read AFTER Lord of Scoundrels.
5/5; 5 stars; A+
Since I listened to Lord of Scoundrels last week I thought I'd go dig up the rest of my Loretta Chase books. I read this and then, recently, when I saw it available on Audible, I listened to it. I am so glad that this book is available at Audible. It has long been one of my favorite historical romance books but with the addition of Kate Reading as a narrator, it becomes even better.
I really enjoyed the role Lydia Grenville played in this story. Some authors can portray the bluestocking as a bit of a harridan. Not so, here. As a Journalist, she was in a very unconventional profession for the time but she approached it with courage and dignity. She was devoted to her 'cause' but was funny and kindhearted as well as incredibly determined. Her sidekick, the Mastiff, Susan, really added a lot to the story for me.
So, Vere Mallory, the Duke of Ainswood. The rather lengthy prologue gives the reader a chance to see Vere's soft underbelly and maybe not judge him too harshly for being a massive doofus in the first part of the book.
Loretta Chase does a great job of defining these two characters and having them fall in love. I had quite a few chuckles as the story progressed. If you have the opportunity, listen to Lord of Scoundrels then this book. They take place in the same world and time frame but the stories each have interesting, unique personalities.
Just a quick note to say that this wonderful book is more wonderful because Dane and Jessica play a part in it. I wondered about that when I considered ordering it, so others might wonder as well.
I read the print version when it came out, and I liked it, though it didn't inspire me with a wow! response like mega-favorite The Last Scoundrel, but I bought the audio the instant it was available, and I am now listening for the second time. Wow! For me, this is the edition that brings out all the grace-notes.
It's usually a bit challenging to decide a favorite character in books I really like, but I have to say the two teenagers Elizabeth and Emily, Vere's nieces, really won my heart.
I've listened to many Kate Reading performances, and this one is top notch - note-perfect and not over done.
Spoiler Warning - the scene that moved me most was Vere climbing back into their bedroom window with Lydia's mother's family documents. First time through (well, ok, second time as well...) I teared up. The scene was written beautifully - understated and yet thick with emotion and smooth melodic prose. Just lovely.
It is a great pleasure that I have been able to acquire so much of Loretta's back-list in audio, and I hope the rest of them will become available in the near future, and with such good performances.
After reading the first review of this book, I was worried. I've had issues with Reading's narration before, which goes a long way to whether or not we like a character. But I have to say that I completely disagree.
The female protagonist, Lydia, is a first rate character! She is a feminist in a time when that was just not done. Her fortitude and strength end up being a result of "good breeding" though she certainly did not grow up as such. She is a person that understands the disenfranchised of her city and is trying to help in the only way her DNA knows how.
Again, Chase brings to the fore a character, Ainsword, that was a complete ass in the last book. Time and perhaps the marriages of friends has brought him to a different place in life. He suddenly becomes likable; not a debauched rake-hell. We see in this book why he became such a person in the first place. I do enjoy the layers and depth of these characters.
One thing I think I am beginning to understand is the timeline of this series. I did not get why they all basically take place at or around the same time. However, Chase continues in every book to give us more and more reasons to despise Francis Beaumont (as if there needed to be any further explanation). He is always there, spreading his poison. It is understandable why a good man (for all intents & purposes) killed him.
All in all, if this is a conclusion to a series, it is a good one. If not, I look forward to the next.
The more of Ms. Chase's books that I read, the more I like her writing. Her usual portrayal of strong, intelligent women is particularly entertaining in this book. Ms. Reading is a great narrator. She interprets these books beautifully.
These two were a fun couple to get to know.
She was a successful independant writer.
He was a Duke that loved danger and risk.
They cross paths, irritate each other, and we the readers enjoy the ride.
The book tied into Lord of Scoundrals as an added bonus.
Kate Reading's narration wss superb as usual this time including Susan the dog.
REALLY liked this listen, it tied in nicely to the Lord of scoundrels. And it was funny and exciting and a good love story. the narration was GREAT.
This is almost worthy of 5 stars. It was a great story. Lydia is a wonderful heroine. I loved her. And, even though the Duke was a jerk in the preceding book, he turned out to be quite a great character, too. I want to know more about Elizabeth and Emily now.
The story moved along fine until toward the end. It may just have been me but it seemed to slow down after what could have been the HEA moment. It picked up again in a bit so it wasn't a horrible thing. The narration by Kate Reading was her usual good job with some pronunciation quirks that were a bit distracting.
But Loretta Chase's writing style is brilliant and her dialogue is second to none. I loved this series.
"The Last Hellion"
This was a very good story in this genre, good amount of humour, adventure to keep interest and also a nice balance of romance and sex, the principal characters were very likeable and that is what made this so enjoyable, I'll definitely listen or read more of this authors work.
I love Loretta Chase but had it not been read by Kate Reading who is a master it would not have been so enjoyable I'm sure. Well done Loretta and Kate.
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