Dukes Prefer Blondes

Written by Loretta Chase
Review by Ray Thompson

Lady Clara Fairfax is a celebrated beauty, raised to be the wife of a duke; Raven Radford is a barrister, too smart and tactless for his own good. The social gulf is wide. But Clara, possessed of keen intelligence and independent spirit, is ‘suffocating’ under the weight of social and parental expectations; and Raven is fascinated by her. Despite misgivings, he falls in love. The lady proves willing, but will her parents agree? Still, he is skilled in the art of persuasion, and he is, conveniently, in line to inherit a dukedom.

There are villains to frustrate and lessons to learn, and they make for an involving Regency tale. There are, furthermore, sharp insights into the predicament of children driven by ignorance and poverty to a life of crime; and of aristocratic ladies trapped in gilded cages, their lives a ‘froth of pretty nothing.’ The wit and irony are delightful, the plot structure well-balanced, the protagonists insightful and admirable (refreshing to meet a Regency hero noted for intellect, rather than a dissipated – but muscular – rake needing only the right woman to domesticate him). Highly recommended.