Last Night's Scandal

Last Night's Scandal  - Loretta Chase I have no real strong feelings either way on this book. It started off super funny then sort of fizzled when the sexual tension was cut short and replaced by a non-committal self-imposed internal conflict. I'm not sure I have it in me to write a full-bodied review.The book opens strongly with a few letters back and forth between the younger Olivia Carsington in England and Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, who is in Egypt. Olivia's letter are true to the personality of the child we met back in Lord Perfect, full of exaggerations, Ideas and words underlined for GREATER emphasis. Lisle's more sedate letters also suit the deliberate voice of reason that had managed the wilder Olivia on their Noble Quest for pirate treasure in Bristol. I was chuckling at their interplay at the Dowager Countess of Hargate's birthday ball where Lisle was trapped between a sudden desire for the adult Olivia and his comfortable rapport with his old friend.When Lisle's dramatic and overemotional parents demand he go to a family estate in Scotland to restore it, withholding his entire allowance unless he acquiesces, he's in a bind. He wants to return to Egypt to work alongside his scholar aunt, not freeze his rump off in Scotland. Luckily, and unluckily, for him, Olivia has an Idea. Before he knows what hit him, he's on his way to Scotland, and so is Olivia and two elderly and inappropriate chaperones.And here's where the book started to lose me. I thought their desire was openly acknowledged far too early, deflating the sexual tension. They share passionate kisses before they even reach the castle and shag early and often. This left a rather flimsy reason as the impediment to their HEA so the ghost story could conclude first. Olivia couldn't accept Lisle's proposal because he's happiest in Egypt and she would only tie him to England. 1. That's sort of a false dilemma. Surely she could have gone to Egypt with him. 2. If that's the case, STOP HAVING SEX ALL THE TIME. Talk about being a tease. The conflict is basically self-inflicted until Olivia basically says, "Ghost story's resolved, I changed my mind, let's get married." Weak.The rest of the book is comical in spots. The ribald old ladies were good for a chuckle or two and the recurring bagpipe gag did make me laugh a few times against my better judgement. I couldn't say I disliked the book in the least. It was a fun adventure with a cast of entertaining characters. I just felt that it could have been so much more of a book had she paced the sexual tension and romantic conflict differently.