Chase, Loretta 1949–
Chase, Loretta 1949–
Born 1949; married; husband's name Walter. Education: Clark University, B.A.
Home—MA. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Worked in various fields, including retail, administration, and clerical.
Reviewers' Choice Award for Best New Regency Author, Romantic Times, 1987-88; Reviewers' Choice Award for Regency Rake of the Year, Romantic Times, 1987, for The English Witch; Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Regency Author, Romantic Times, 1989-90; Rita Award for Best Regency, Romance Writers of America, 1990, for The Sandalwood Princess; Best Regency Historical Romance, Romantic Times, 1991-92, for The Lion's Daughter; Reviewers' Choice Certificate of Excellence, Romantic Times, 1993-94, for Captives of the Night; Best Historical Single Title Romance, Romance Readers Anonymous, 1994, Best Historical Romance, Reader's Voice, 1995, Rita Award for Best Short Historical Romance, Romance Writers of America, 1996, Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Regency Historical, Romantic Times, 1996, Best All-Time Historical Romance, Romance Readers Anonymous, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, Best All-Time Romance Novel, Romance Readers Anonymous, 2003, and first place in Top 100 Romances poll, All about Romance Web site, 2000, 2004, all for Lord of Scoundrels; Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year, Romance Writers of America, Best Genre Fiction of the Year in the romance category, Library Journal, and Best Historical Single Title Romance, Romance Readers Anonymous, all 1998, all for The Last Hellion; Reviewers' Choice Award for Best British Isles Historical Romance, Romantic Times, 1998, for The Last Hellion; Top 50 Authors, Romance Reader, 1999; Best All-Around Romance Author of All Time, Romance Readers Anonymous, 2002; Top Five Romances, Library Journal, and Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Histocial Love and Laughter, Romantic Times, both 2004, both for Miss Wonderful; Best Romance Novel of 2005, Romance Readers Anonymous, 2005, first place, Lake Country Romance Writers 2006 Barclay Gold, 2006, all for Mr. Impossible; Best Books of 2006, Amazon.com, for Lord Perfect.
HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS
Isabella (also see below), Walker (New York, NY), 1987.
The English Witch (also see below), Walker (New York, NY), 1988.
Viscount Vagabond (also see below), Walker (New York, NY), 1988.
The Devil's Delilah (also see below), Walker (Thorndike, ME), 1989.
Knaves' Wager (also see below), Walker (New York, NY), 1990.
The Sandalwood Princess (also see below), Walker (New York, NY), 1990.
The Lion's Daughter, Avon (New York, NY), 1992.
Captives of the Night, Avon (New York, NY), 1994.
Lord of Scoundrels, Avon (New York, NY), 1995.
The Last Hellion, Avon (New York, NY), 1998.
Isabella [and] The English Witch, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 2003.
Viscount Vagabond [and] The Devil's Delilah, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 2004.
Miss Wonderful, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2004.
Mr. Impossible, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2005.
The Sandalwood Princess [and] Knave's Wager, Signet Regency (New York, NY), 2005.
Lord Perfect, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2006.
Not Quite a Lady, Avon (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor of the short story "Falling Star" to the anthologies A Christmas Collection, Avon (New York, NY), 1992; and A Christmas Present, Avon (New York, NY), 1994. Contributor of the short story "The Mad Earl's Bride" to the anthology Three Weddings and a Kiss, Avon (New York, NY), 1995
Loretta Chase is a writer of romance novels. In her second novel, The English Witch, Basil Trevelyan, an attractive and rather likeable villain who appeared in Chase's first book, Isabella, gets a book of his own in what Library Journal contributor Paula M. Zieselman called "a comedy of manners." Basil, who has returned from exile in India and Greece, is urged by his aunt, Lady Bertram, to save her granddaughter, Alexandra Ashmore, from being trapped in a bad marriage. Alexandra's father, Sir Charles Ashmore, an archaeologist in Albania, wants her to marry his assistant. Basil proves that he has what it takes to save Alexandra. Zieselman faulted a "plot [that] disappears mid-way," but also noted that the "dialogue is witty."
Viscount Vagabond stars Catherine Pelliston, who faces an undesirable arranged marriage with an old, fortune-hunting acquaintance of her father. She escapes to London, hoping to find a job as a schoolteacher, and although she dresses and acts as demure as any teacher, she is kidnapped, drugged, and kept as an unwilling captive in a brothel. There she meets Lord Rand, a soldier on his way home from the war in the American colonies who stops in for a bit of fun before returning to his family and social protocol. Rand is intrigued by Catherine, whose presence in the bordello seems unusual to him. Publishers Weekly contributor Sybil Steinberg wrote that Rand and Catherine, "alike in stubbornness, misconceptions, and unconventional manners," make a charming couple in this fast-paced Regency tale.
In The Sandalwood Princess, Amanda Cavencourt, who has been taking care of her brother's house in India, returns home to England. Rani Simhi, a disreputable Indian princess, gives her a sandalwood fertility carving as a present. What Amanda doesn't know is that Lord Headgrave, who hates Simhi, wants the carving and hires a burglar called "the Falcon" to steal it from Amanda. He does, and Amanda must figure out how to get it back from him, finding romance as a bonus.
Chase's The Last Hellion was included on the Romance Writers of America's list of the top-ten romance novels of the year, compiled in 1998. "These fine novels offer excellent examples of what the romance genre has to offer," the group noted on its Web site.
Set in London in 1828, The Last Hellion stars the Duke of Ainswood, Lord Vere Mallory, who is known as "The Last Mallory Hellion" because he is the leader of a club devoted to the enjoyment of wine and women, and Lydia Grenville, a single woman who makes her living as an anonymous writer for Argus Magazine. As the book opens, Grenville's writing has received favorable attention, and people are clamoring to know the identity of the unknown writer. When Lydia and Vere meet, she decides to use her wit and her pen to expose him and bring him down, and in revenge, he decides to teach her a lesson and seduce her. Neither of them expects to fall in love—but they do.
After The Last Hellion, Chase took a hiatus from writing but returned to the historical romance genre in 2004 with Miss Wonderful. The story, the first in a series about the Carsington brothers, revolves around Alistair Carsington, a womanizer who is supported by his father. Finally, Alistair's father orders him to marry an heiress and tells him he will no longer support his son's profligate ways. Eventually he meets the spinsterish Mirabel Oldridge, who sets out to stop Alistair's plans to put a canal through her local hometown. John Charles, writing in Booklist, noted the author's "beguiling blend of deliciously complex characters, potent sexual chemistry, and sparkling wit."
Mr. Impossible tells the story of Daphne Pembroke, who goes to the British consulate in Egypt for help finding her missing brother. Rupert Carsington, who Daphne sees as all muscle but little brain, is assigned to help her. As they search for Daphne's brother, they soon discover that a missing papyrus and pharaoh's tomb may play a role in his disappearance. "The writing style is one of the delights of the book," wrote Lesley Dunlap on the Romance Reader Web site. "This is no heavy, angst-y drama."
In Lord Perfect, Benedict Carsington meets the lovely widow Bathsheba Wingate and becomes involved in a hunt for family treasure. Booklist contributor John Charles noted the novel's "splendidly original characters, exquisitely sensual romance, and wonderfully witty writing." Not Quite a Lady features a romance between Darius Carsington, who has been banished by his father to a rundown estate, and Lady Charlotte Hayward, whose past includes an unmarried pregnancy. Judi McKee, writing on the Romance Reader Web site, noted: "The secondary characters are as vibrant and funny as the protagonists, and add depth to both the atmosphere and the plot."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2004, John Charles, review of Miss Wonderful, p. 1275; February 15, 2005, John Charles, review of Mr. Impossible, p. 1067; March 1, 2006, John Charles, review of Lord Perfect, p. 76.
Library Journal, June 15, 1988, Paula M. Zieselman, review of The English Witch, p. 67; March 15, 1990, Cynthia Whealler, review of Knave's Wager, p. 110; February 15, 2004, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Miss Wonderful, p. 112.
MBR Bookwatch, March, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Mr. Impossible.
Publishers Weekly, November 11, 1988, Sybil Steinberg, review of Viscount Vagabond, p. 40; February 20, 2006, review of Lord Perfect, p. 141; March 19, 2007, review of Not Quite a Lady, p. 48.
All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (September 5, 2007), "2006 Loretta Chase Interview."
Dear Author,http://dearauthor.com/ (September 13, 2006), review of Lord Perfect.
Duchess of Slut blog,http://duchessofslut.wordpress.com/ (July 1, 2007), review of Mr. Impossible.
Loretta Chase Home Page,http://www.lorettachase.com (September 5, 2007).
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (September 5, 2007), Judi McKee, reviews of Not Quite a Lady, Mr. Impossible, and Lord Perfect; Leslie Dunlap, review of Miss Wonderful.
Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books,http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/ (September 7, 2006), review of Lord Perfect.