Loretta Chase- Living Joyfully in Romance

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

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The Joy of Embracing Beloved Romance

True confession time—though it isn’t much of a confession, considering the thousands Dukes Prefer Blondes full-001who know already:

I was once one of the people who sneered at romance novels.

Hey, it was the way I was trained, in college: Genre fiction was inferior to Literature and commercial romance was lowest of the low. Never having read a romance, I did not Question Authority, even though we were taught quite emphatically to question and even though I was a feminist and ought to have seen the misogyny in giving romance the top crap rating.

Fast forward a decade or so to the day I decided it was time, after years of failed attempts, to actually write a whole novel, beginning, middle, and end. By then, having moonlighted as a corporate video scriptwriter for some years, I’d learned how to structure pieces, write dialogue, and perhaps most important, communicate a message without putting the audience to sleep (no small feat when you’re writing about drill bits and sandpaper).

At this point, I realized that genre fiction, with its built-in audience and structure, could be approached more or less in the same way I approached scripts. Books were longer, certainly, but I could get my head around the idea of a specific message communicated through a predetermined structure. And boy, the topics were so much more interesting—detectives, cowboys, monsters, outer space, and …

Right. Love. Relationships.Lord of Scoundrels 07

It finally dawned on me that, through all the Great Literature I had read, the thing that mattered most to me in books was the love story, and I HATED when it went wrong, which, in so much of Great Literature, it does. I also hated that independent women who broke the rules—often my favorite characters—came to A BAD END. Good girls got offed, too, for no reason I could ascertain but the author’s determination to avoid the dreaded Happily Ever After.

So with hope and trepidation and, yes, a little embarrassment, I started reading romance.

We did not immediately click. Some stories were not my cup of tea. Some confirmed my prejudices. But one day I started reading a Regency romance—can’t remember whose it was—and

Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee

Ah! at last I know the secret of it all

I knew joy, such joy. A world opened up to me. This was my world. Nineteenth century England (why else had I studied English literature and history?). Witty repartee. (Be still my lover-of-Byron-and-Oscar-Wilde and comedy-of-manners heart). And Love Conquered All, again and again.

I have lived, joyfully, in that world ever since.

Loretta recommends:

I’m often years and years behind in reading books, but these are some of my favorite, relatively recent discoveries in the historical romance realm:

Isabella Bradford  ( isabellabradford.com ) My friend and Two Nerdy History Girls blogging partner)

Also w/a  Susan Holloway Scott   – (isabellabradford.com/susan-holloway-scott ). Like me, she’s been writing for lo these many years, but her Isabella Bradford books, set in the 1700s, are fresh and delightful.

Laura Lee Ghurke   lauraleeguhrke.com

Tessa Daretessadare.com ) Read Tessa’s RARM post here.

Elizabeth Hoyt elizabethhoyt.com ) Elizabeth has a RARM post on 8/28.

Maya Rodale  ( mayarodale.com ) I’ve liked Maya’s contemporary Billionaire Bad Boys, too and her work in championing romance. (SeeMaya’s RARM post here.)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

It was a long, rare, amazing moment: the months of writing Lord of Scoundrels. That, as we used to say centuries ago, was a trip.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

I had wanted to see London from childhood, when I read Peter Pan. My first high school was a late Victorian building, from whose top floor one looked out over numerous other buildings of the same time period, built along narrow streets, some still with their original gaslights. That little section of my city was my image of Peter Pan’s London. Then, shortly before my first book was published, my husband and I traveled to London with a friend who became a regular travel companion. I have a photograph my husband took of me and our friend on my first day ever in London. The only description for my facial expression is ecstatic.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Van Morrison’s “Young Lovers Do” makes me cry, too, but it’s one of the most romantic pop songs I’ve ever heard.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?The Pothunters

Yikes. Just one? I remember the first P.G. Wodehouse book I read (I came to him a bit late), one of the very early schoolboy ones. I think it was The Pothunters. That was his first, and I like to read in order. There was a passage about a practical joke. It went on and on and I read on, all unsuspecting. Then, suddenly, I was laughing and couldn’t stop. I’d calm down and start laughing again, tears streaming down my face. He does that at least once in every book. Oh, to possess that comic genius!

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Chris Rock has made me laugh until I can’t breathe.

Loretta is generously giving away a set of her Dressmakers series – Silk Is for Seduction, Scandal Wears Satin, Vixen in Velvet – to one lucky reader. (US only, apologies to international friends.) xo

To enter, you may comment below on this blog post or at the RARM facebook page post (find it here). Or both. But you must comment somewhere. And you get a bonus entry if you share the FB post. xo

Loretta Chase has worked in academe, retail, and the visual arts, as well as on the streets—as a meter maid—and in video, as a scriptwriter. She might have developed an excitingly checkered career had her spouse not nagged her into writing fiction. Her bestselling historical romances, set in the Regency and Romantic eras of the early 19th century, have won a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Rita.

Visit Loretta online:

lorettachase.com   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

Buy Loretta’s books:

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  • alisha woods

    Love Loretta’s books I think I have read almost all of them

  • This is a new to me author but I can’t wait to check out her books!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I’ve got Lord of Scoundrels on my keeper shelf and do a reread often. Thanks for the joy!

    • You’re welcome, Dorothy. I hope you continue enjoying!

  • Emmel

    Someone else who knows the lyrics to Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life! It’s such a lovely song, but I do have to admit it conjures images of Madeline Kahn as well….

    • Oh, Emmel, that was a brilliant scene in one of my favorite movies. It comes to my mind, too.

  • Karen Mikusak

    Such great giveaways today! Liked and shared.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    awesome giveaway!

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    shared on FB

  • catslady

    Shared on FB. I’ve always been one of those people who reads whatever I want and I don’t care who sees lol. Love your stories.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for many hours of reading pleasure; I’ve read all of your books. (Some more than once or twice or ….)

  • Sue G.

    Going to London is on my bucket list. It just seems so wonderful with all its history.

    • It really is wonderful.

      I hope you get there soon!

  • Debbie Fuller

    I’ve seen your books but haven’t as yet read them. I’m new to the reading anything scene and have recently discovered romance and found a love for reading that I’ve never had before. Thank you for posting and I’m looking forward to reading your books and finding some of your author recommendations books.

    • Debbie, I hope you have as much fun reading my books as I had writing them.

  • cheryl c.

    So many of your books are on my keeper shelf! 🙂

  • Sheryl N

    Lord of Scoundrels is one of my favorites and I reread it often.

  • Karen Hillis

    Another former romance snob (not my fault–I was an English major!) who now happily reads mostly romance. As a teenager, I got to the end of Gone With the Wind and literally threw the book at the wall because there was no HEA–what’s up with that? I love your books. I was behind (hadn’t read your really early books) but earlier this month found the library had all your early books that I had not read so I have now caught up. Of course, the bad part of that is now I have to wait until you write more (can I say “hurry, hurry, hurry”).

    • My husband already says hurry, hurry, hurry, so that’s covered. Thank you for loving my books, English major soulmate.

  • mariannewestrich

    So glad you got over your romance “snobbery”. We’ve all benefited from that! Love your books!

  • Bernadette Long

    I’m looking forward to reading your books since I am a fan of historical romance.

  • Ren

    It has been awhile since I have read historical romance; however, am starting to get to know this genre again. I have to add you to my author list to read. Thanks for sharing.

  • Quinn Fforde

    I enjoyed this post very much. Wodehouse is very much like romance — it isn’t Great Literature, but no one pulls out emotions and laughter like he did.

    • Yet there are usually love stories of some kind, though in his own distinctive style, i.e., hilarious.

      • Quinn Fforde

        Very true! And in his screenplays, too. I love that his work is so consistent over novels, plays, and movies. That much more fun!

  • LSUReader

    Lord of Scoundrels is my favorite romance. It’s brought me a lot of joy. It’s good to hear that writing it was joyful for you. Thanks for the post.

  • Erin F

    Thanks for such a fun post!! I love historical romance b/c it’s a literal and figurative escape and it’s always so fun and romantic 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    • This was great fun! That’s one of the things that’s so wonderful about romance: the community.

  • Arlene Downey

    Thank you for writing great romance stories!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    So glad you joined the romance lovers☺ Almost all of my favorite people love romance too, even if some aren’t ready to be loud and proud like me. Great post and I look forward to reading more of your books!

    • My life has changed immeasurably because of romance.

  • Cynthia Rinear Bethune

    One thing I have noticed about your novels is that the crisis in the story is real, and matters a great deal to the main characters, and is not left unsatisfactorily resolved. Wonderful and accurate historical detail, and with perspectives of both heroine and hero we know right away about the attraction but there is a definite learning, growing, caring throughout the story, which enhances the chemistry between the characters so much. I’ve enjoyed reading and re-reading your books very much in the past few months!

    • Thank you so much, Cynthia. You make me feel a lot better about writing so slowly! 🙂

  • Marcy Shuler

    I love historical romance and I’m glad to see I’ve read ALL of your recommended authors. 😉

    • There are lots more. I named the ones I’d most recently been discovering/rediscovering. I’m hoping to write some blog posts on my website about some of my memorable reads.

  • Laura Randall

    I *love* your novels, most especially Lord of Scoundrels. Kate Reading is a wonderful reader and I’ve listened to it multiple times. Thank you. Please do not enter me in the drawing. I have the books already. 🙂

  • Lisa Hutson

    Good for you, finding your world.

  • Linda Henderson

    Liked and shared on Facebook. My sister got me reading historical romance a lot of years ago with Barbara Cartland. Actually I think she still has a collection of her books.

    • My sister was my gateway to romance, too. She was reading it at a young age–and evil older sister (me) made fun of her. So she gets the last laugh.

  • Gretchen Miller

    I love all types of romance

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    I shared the FB post!! Would love to read the Dressmakers series! Love the covers too! Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  • Christyna

    I am so glad you become a “reformed” reader! Otherwise, look at all of the stories the rest of the world would’ve been without!

    • Thank you, Christyna. I wonder if it’s like reformed rakes: We make the best something or other?

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    I started out reading Victoria Holt, Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart. The first Victoria Holt novel that I read was “Mistress of Mellyn”. I was 11 at the time and have been a life long fan of romance novels since that age.

    • My sister started young, with Devil’s Cub. Do you know, I wrote several Regencies before I ever read Georgette Heyer?

  • Carol Luciano

    I too am happy you started reading romance and then writing. I love your books. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Kim

    Thanks for posting. I haven’t Lord of Scoundrels yet, but it’s in my TBR pile.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I’m happy you started reading and then writing romance.

  • Range Girl

    Thank you for sharing. I never read a romance until 2011, and I really regret not reading them when I was younger. I was a total lit snob and a feminist, too.

    This paragraph of yours really encapsulates why I love and read only romance now. You were one of the first romance authors I read, BTW.

    “It finally dawned on me that, through all the Great
    Literature I had read, the thing that mattered most to me in books was
    the love story, and I HATED when it went wrong, which, in so much of
    Great Literature, it does. I also hated that independent women who broke
    the rules—often my favorite characters—came to A BAD END. Good girls
    got offed, too, for no reason I could ascertain but the author’s
    determination to avoid the dreaded Happily Ever After.”


  • Crystal

    Yay! So glad you decided to read and then write romance. I find historical,paranormal, and fantasy much easier to escape in :). I can only imagine how ecstatic I would look in a pic if I ever got to travel to England.

  • Kay Carlson

    My first romance was a Kathleen Woodiwiss novel and from then on I was hooked, love your books and the Dressmakers series is a favorite, would love to win a set! 🙂

  • LaurieL

    I recently re-read Lord of Scoundrels and enjoyed it just as much as the first time!

  • “I also hated that independent women who broke the rules—often my favorite characters—came to A BAD END. Good girls got offed, too, for no reason I could ascertain but the author’s determination to avoid the dreaded Happily Ever After”: yes, some authors have really serious problems! 😉

  • infinitieh

    LORD OF SCOUNDRELS is a fave! It contains my favorite trope: the idiotic younger brother. 😀

  • Pamby50

    I am so glad you found your niche. When you mentioned Van Morrison, I had to put him on. Love his voice. Love Chris Rock. Laughing is always good. Whether you laugh till you cry or your laugh so much your face hurts.

  • Larissa Emerald

    OMG, for those of you who haven’t read Lord Of Scoundrels, then get it tonight! You won’t be sorry. Absolutely fabulous story! Thanks, Loretta!

  • Diana O’Steen

    I have to admit to a preference in literature to those books with a good romance and hea ending (like Shakespeare’s comedies). But my romance genre preference is mostly Regency period (often Georgette Heyer).

    I found Chris Rock so hilarious in The Fifth Element that I had to go back and lern his name.

    Thank you for reminding me of these good memories.

  • Cindy A

    Amazing story! I didn’t get into romance until my sister in law gave mw some Georgette Heyer. No stopping me after that.

  • Ellen

    Thank you for believing in the happy ending. I hate unhappy endings in literature. Chris Rock always makes me laugh.

  • Carin Shaughnessy

    Yep, if I want a true get away and fun and HEA, I always go for a regency. The best.

  • Karin

    You’ve just made me add The Pothunters to my TBR list.

  • kirsten west

    Love your books and I also enjoy Tessa Dare and Elizabeth Hoyt.

  • Jennifer C

    I absolutely love your books! I loved your essay, too!

  • Diane Sallans

    added your reading suggestions to my list – thanks!

  • Janie McGaugh

    It’s nice to know there are others that feel the same frustration that I always have with so much of Great Literature. If I can’t have a happy ending, especially when romance is involved, I’d just as soon never read the story.

  • Martha B

    The dressmaker series is terrific. Loved re-reading LORD of Scoundrels (as part of the Old School Romance Club) and fell in love (again) with Lord Dain and Jessica Trent.

  • Glenda

    I’ve been stalking, er following you through the Two Nerdy History Girls blog for quite some time, but only recently read the Dressmaker’s series – I love it and can’t wait for Lady Clara’s story!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love your books. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • flchen1

    Ah, Loretta! A couple of your stories are on my keeper/re-read shelf 😉 Talk about joy–nothing like the pleasure of a good re-read!

  • Claire Gilless

    I have all these but would love signed copies – very enjoyable reading!