Mr. Impossible: Rupert Carsington

So every blog and their sister has recommended Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase. Which made me wary. Some of the books I have enjoyed least (Bitten, Eragon) have rabid fanbases. Still, I decided to give it a try.


This is a great book. Not just a great romance novel, but a great book. If you’ve been wary of romances before, I would heartily recommend this. Excellent plot, great characters, and a wonderful blend of fun and seriousness. I’m always really really excited to find a book I genuinely enjoy and I would reread this in a heartbeat.

Mr. Impossible is set in Egypt and revolves around the adventures of Daphne Pembroke and Rupert Carsington. Daphne is a widow and a brilliant scholar of hieroglyphics. Being a woman however, her findings are looked down upon. So her brother Miles is her public front. Everyone thinks he’s the genius.

So of course, he’s kidnapped by treasure seekers.

Daphne needs to save her brother. And her only hope lies in Rupert Carsington, the fourth son of the Earl of Hargate. She finds him in a jail because, well Mr. Carsington is a reckless fellow. He’s been in jail several times. On this occasion, it’s because he defended a little guy from being beat up by a brutish guard. Daphne isn’t impressed by him, but she figures she can be the brain of the operation and he will provide the brawn.

But Mr. Carsington isn’t as stupid as Daphne thinks.

Rupert’s pretty darn good-looking. Tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired with “laughing eyes” and a “too-sensuous mouth.” That’s sort of the added bonus for this guy, “He’s this and this and this…and he looks good too.” Personally, I like how genuine his behavior is.’

A lot of heros act pretty jerkish but no one ever calls him out on it and the writer lets it slip by. Not Rupert. One thing he enjoys is to act stupid to get a response over Daphne. At first its to get her mind off her brother, but then it’s because he genuinely likes seeing her fired up. He thinks it sexy. He knows very well when he’s acting like a jerk but he’s going to do it anyway.

Another place he’s genuine is…well his sex drive. Again, a lot of bad romance heroes are all “OMG I want you now because its love.” Rupert knows it’s lust. He calls it “falling in lust” and is driven to a distraction by Daphne when she’s angry, when she’s sweet, when she’s going on about Egyptian hieroglyphics. It becomes sort of a running joke that he’ll wax on about her and finish with the phrase “He wanted to get her naked.”

He assumes that if he gets her out of his system it will be alright. After all, he’s pretty obsessed with the thought. What he doesn’t expect is to have actual feelings for her.

Of course, this being a romance novel, he falls in love.

This is what really makes the book. There are good reasons why Daphne thinks this is a BAD idea. Most of it stems from her first marriage. Virgil Pembroke, her departed husband, was a much older, emotionally negligent man.

“Mr. Pembroke, like most of your sex, did not believe intellectual pursuits constituted a proper occupation for women,” she said.

Virgil was both jealous of Daphne’s progress (he never got that far) and he took theology to extremes and constantly tried to box Daphne into the role of womanhood he thought right and proper. Daphne spent several years in this marriage and so believes herself  dull. It can only be the adventure and excitement of the circumstances that would attract Rupert to someone like her.

When she tries to explain this to Rupert, that she thinks she’s “unwomanly” for being forward in their lovemaking (this is after the first time they do it. Virgil apparently only did things one way and chided her if she did anything during the act) I love Rupert’s response.

“He was a small man,” he said, “else he wouldn’t have tried to cut you down to size.”

She stared at him, trying to take it in. He said she wasn’t unwomanly–he, a man of vast experience.

“I must have the truth,” she said. “You must not be tactful. This is important.”

“Tactful?” he echoed. “I cannot believe that a woman of your intelligence could not see what he was about. It must be obvious to the slowest of dimwits that he was jealous of your brain, because he knew his wasn’t as big. He was afraid you’d accomplish something and put him in the shade. That’s why he forbade you to study ancient Egyptian writing. Obviously he was jealous of your passion and energy too. You were too much woman for him.”

It does take more than this for Daphne to be convinced that Rupert loves her and not just for the heat of the moment. But this is the sort of thing Rupert sticks to–letting her know how special she is. He is hurt by her rejection but he keeps at it because she drives him crazy. Even after their sexual encounters (which are detailed but not the most graphic ever written. If you’re squeamish about those sort of scenes you can skip them but they actually have plot relevance) he can’t get her out of his system. When he touches her, he’s so overwhelmed that he acts like a boy and forgets all his sexual knowledge.

The end is pretty darn exciting with all the different groups after treasure or people (the people you think are bad guys may not be) exploding in a frenzy. I won’t spoil it. But expect a happy ending. After all, it’s a romance. When Daphne finally gives in, you cheer.


Appearance: tall, dark, handsome, broad-shouldered

Personality: reckless, daring, flirtatious, seductive, fatherly

Best Quality: His genuineness, his honesty

Worst Quality: Can get a little bossy

Grade: A-


1 Response to “Mr. Impossible: Rupert Carsington”

  1. 1 Beauties, Beasts and Trolls « Literary Mancandy Trackback on June 7, 2010 at 1:08 am

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