Hi, all! Jen and Catherine here. We both are Loretta Chase fans, so we thought we’d double your reading pleasure and write a joint review for the release of Scandal Wears Satin. Hopefully you all enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. 🙂
Catherine: I am an unabashed Chase fangirl. I absolutely love her humor, characters, and the charming flow of her writing style. One of my favorite things is her strong female characters. Often the heroine is the take charge person in the relationship. She’s clever, capable, and always plotting. The hero is usually not as…mmm, we’ll say intellectual as the heroine, and he admits it with cheer. He’s the physical one in the relationship, always blustering around looking for a fight. I absolutely A-D-O-R-E how Chase throws them together so they can circle each other and irritate themselves into a frenzy. lol. It’s so fun to watch! Sophy and Longmore fell into that same pattern and I really enjoyed reading their verbal jabs. What about you?
Jen: I think you described the characters perfectly here. I must admit that I was getting tired of hearing about how dumb Longmore was. I actually think he was pretty clever. He knew from the very beginning he wanted Sophy and he spent the whole book going about ways to get her. He was definitely more inclined to use his fists to solve an issue however aren’t most men pretty similar?
I found Sophy to be extremely refreshing and charming. Her personality was huge in this book. I enjoyed her even more than Marcelline from the previous book. She was willing to go to crazy lengths to save the dress shop and some of her impersonations were pretty darn funny. I think my favorite was seeing her act as Longmore’s aunt and how that became a long running joke throughout the book.
Maybe it was just me but I found the first half of the book to be…slower? And then I just fell in love with the second half? How did you feel about everything, as a whole?
Catherine: I agree with you. The relentless, repetitive focus on Longmore’s intelligence, or lack thereof, was grating. Even though the male characters in Chase’s books are usually less brainy than the heroines, I’ve never found any of them unintelligent. I really did not like the CONSTANT harping about his underdeveloped “brain box” and actually started to become quite indignant on his behalf.
Sophy’s casual dismissal of his intelligence dimmed my enjoyment of her character. I know what the author was trying to do, as I’ve seen (and enjoyed) her doing it before, but I didn’t find it successful here. Actually, I felt that way about a lot of things in the book that usually please me. Something was just constantly out of sync for me. I still love reading the author’s writing style, no matter what, but I ended up ‘liking’ the book instead of ‘loving’ it. Did you feel that way at all?
I still enjoyed Marcelline better, but I was quite impressed by Sophy’s determination and cleverness. I enjoyed watching her slip in and out of roles, always one step ahead of the everyone else. My favorite role was her time as Longmore’s cousin. I giggled at the thought of her running out, half dressed, to jump into the fray of Longmore’s fight outside. I also liked the argument about Fenwick/Mad Dick that came after that situation. It amuses me how Sophy seems to thrive on dramatics. She’s quite the character.
Jen: I totally agree about liking the book but not loving it. I was still drawn in by the characters and their interactions with each other but something kept me from loving it. I was totally intrigued with how they were going to pull off getting Clara out of her mess. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how they were going to do it. It was such a clever solution to have Sophy play the role of temptress and probably the most important role she has ever played- at least when it came to the dress shop. And I loved Longmore’s reaction to her tempting. I love a jealous, possessive man.
Can we talk about their first intimate encounter? Did it seem out of the blue on Sophy’s part? Like she just said, what the heck and gave in for no apparent reason?
Catherine: Yeah, that was kind of random. I don’t think it would have felt as abrupt if there had been more romantic buildup. Or maybe you felt tension in the beginning that I didn’t? I enjoyed their dynamic but it took a bit for me to actually feel attraction and not just curiosity and interest. Know what I mean? So yes, I felt the same way about the scene. I found it odd that those exact events would trigger her to finally stop thinking about the store and do what she wanted. Maybe it’s just me, but that sexy times are not the first thing on my mind after something like that.
We didn’t get as much sister interaction here as we did in the first book because Sophy was always out and about being sneaky in one way or another, but I still really enjoyed the little bits that we did see. I like the strong connection they have between them. We also got to see a lot of Longmore’s family. We saw Clara, of course, and her mother (the woman who loathes Sophy and her sisters), but we also got introduced to Longmore’s pompous brother, Valentine. It seemed like he and Longmore were very different sorts! I liked that the situation with Longmore’s mom at the end was so simple compared to the rest of the charades and antics that filled the book. The simplicity and earnestness of his request of her stood out very well by comparison.
I enjoyed the book–how could I not when I love this author’s style?–but it is one of my least favorite of hers. Chase is a rare author for me because nearly every book I read of hers ends up a high B or A. So even though I said that this is one of my least favorites, that still translates into a B- from me. If I had felt more in sync with the connection between Sophy and Longmore I think I would have enjoyed the rest of the events a lot better. Regardless, I still can’t wait for the next book. 😉
Jen: Overall, I did enjoy the book. I do appreciate Chase’s writing and the funny banter between her characters. I would give it a solid B and look forward to the next book in the series.
Jen’s Favorite Quote:
“…One needs to be able to dress without help, if necessary.”
“You must be deuced flexible,” he said.
Wrong thing to say.
She went quiet and his mind starting painting pictures. Just in case he wasn’t heated enough already.
Catherine’s Favorite Quote:
”Go away,” he said. “Do you know you’ve almost no clothes on?”
“Never mind. I need–”
“Never mind? Listen to me, Miss Innocence. There are many things a man can ‘never mind.’ A nearly naked woman isn’t one of them.”