Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase (The Dressmakers #4)

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

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?

Firstly, I adored this book; the characters are interesting, the story is page turning and it is an altogether fun book. The hero and heroine’s witty banter from day one is extremely entertaining as they match each other in intellect and spirit, and Oliver’s countdown to each point he makes is hilarious (firstly, secondly…)

Oliver Raven Radford, Esquire was an obnoxious boy and an even worst man. He is extremely intelligent and rarely speaks with a filter; it makes him a very successful lawyer but not a great catch in the eyes of the ladies of London. Years ago he met a very precocious young girl when he was school mates with her brothers and is stunned to find her just as interesting and intelligent as ever when he meets her again on the streets of London. She needs the help of a lawyer for a young woman, and seeks out his practice because of its anonymity, since a woman of class is never supposed to worry about things like this and seek out lawyers.

Lady Clara Fairfax has been fending off marriage proposals all Season. At last count, they were coming in twice a week. She is a beauty but also wants much more from a marriage than to be looked at and never spoken to. She also gives her services to the Milliners Society for the Education of Indigent Females, which is what has brought her back to Oliver. In a roundabout way, she gets him to help her find a missing boy who is in the hands of a horrible gang, and the more time they spend together, the more they enjoy each other, when they are not arguing that is.

I truly enjoyed this story and if I had not already sent in my list of top books for the year, this would have been on it. The author brings us two unforgettable characters that have incredible chemistry. The attraction is apparent but they spar and jab at each other before they give in and realize how they feel.

Clara is a wonderful heroine; she is wicked smart and can go word for word with a man who recognizes a woman that can hold her own. She wants to find a man who will treat her like an equal and is very intrigued when she meets Oliver again after so many years, he does not think she remembers him until she calls him the Professor, a nickname given to him in school. She enjoys spending time with him because of how he treats her which eventually leads to deeper feelings.

Oliver is so likeable, even when he is obnoxious, I love that he speaks without thinking because he is true and pure. When he meets Clara again he is fascinated with her and her personality. He knows she is pretty, but it is her intellect that has him transfixed. He helps her with her causes in the beginning because they overlap with a problem of his own, but when danger is getting closer he realizes what she means to him.

Secondary characters play important roles; I enjoyed the scenes with her maid Davis, a steadfast woman who keeps her eye on Clara and I also like Oliver’s partner Thomas Wescott, a loyal friend who knows what makes Oliver tick. There is also a sinister person who wants Oliver dead. Even though Oliver has made many enemies around London because of his profession, most leave him alone, but not Jacob Freame, and the danger Freame brings spreads to Clara and those she tries to help.

The plot progression was done well, I found myself wanting to read without stopping as I enjoyed the witty dialog between not only Clara and Oliver but also Wescott, Davis and many others that surrounded them and I could not stop from snickering when her parents put Oliver on trial when he dares to propose to her, it is a very funny scene with Oliver coming back with answers for every argument they have. This is the fourth book in the Dressmaker’s series and although we see many familiar faces, the author keeps the reader informed so it can easily be read as a standalone. The author also gives us many interesting facts at the end of the book, and it reminds me of the blog she writes with another, fascinating things about history. All in all a delightful historical romance with intriguing characters, a bit of danger and of course a wonderful love story.

I give Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase 4.5 stars!

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