Series: The Dressmakers

Throwback Thursday Review: Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase.

Posted March 8, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase.Reviewer: Rowena
Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #1
Also in this series: Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1), Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 28th 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 371
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

From the Design Book of Marcelline Noirot:The allure of the perfect gown should be twofold:ladies would die to wear it . . .and gentlemen would kill to remove it!

Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.

The prize seems well worth the risk—but this time Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses;and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . . and a blazing scandal.

And now both their futures hang by an exquisite thread of silk . . .

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on June 30, 2011.

I haven’t read all that many books by Loretta Chase but when I do read her books, I’m not disappointed. Chase has a way of telling a story that pulls the reader into the thick of it all and I’m always entertained. This book wasn’t any different.

This story tells the story of the Duke of Clevedon and Marcelline Noirot and what a story it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from the beginning all the way to the end. The chemistry between Clevedon and Marcelline was off the charts and it was such a delightful treat to read about these two. Watching their attraction grow and then seeing Clevedon unable to stay away from Marcelline and watching Marcelline melt under Clevedon’s charm was delicious.

Marcelline and her sisters own a dress shop and they’re trying to make a name for themselves in London. They’re also trying to nab some big clients and since they come from a family of thieves and con artists, they know exactly how to go about making all of their dreams come true. Each sister (there are three) has a job to complete and Marcelline’s job is to go to Paris where the Duke of Clevedon is and capture his attention so that he’ll bring his duchess to their shop and they’ll nab her as a client. Marcelline wasn’t expecting to be captured in a tug of war of lust with the Duke but she was and watching her ride it out made for some great reading.

Both the hero and the heroine were great characters in their own right and I loved how Marcelline was up front and honest with Clevedon right from the very beginning. I also adored how she was quick to tell Clevedon when he was being an ass and I enjoyed that despite how much of an idiot she thought Clevedon could be, she loved him anyway. Their romance was wonderfully entertaining and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

I loved Erroll/Lucie and I loved the relationship that blossomed between Clevedon and Lucie. The way that he went out of his way to not disappoint Erroll was too adorable and made me love Clevedon so much more. I thought he was being such a dumb ass where Lady Clara was concerned but I knew that he meant well and like Marcelline, I loved him anyway.

the one thing that I could have done without was the whole stealing my designs thing. If it was a bigger part of the story then it would have made sense but it wasn’t and I just didn’t see the point of it all since there was plenty to keep the storyline going without it but that’s just me. Overall, I adored this book. I adored the main characters, the secondary characters and really, I can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Posted January 14, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #4
Also in this series: Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1), Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

I loved the other books in this series so I was really looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed one bit.

Lady Clara is finally getting her happy ending and I couldn’t be more excited for her. I liked seeing her blossom over the course of the series and I thought her book fit her personality well. I laughed a lot while reading this book and it reminded me of how I was when reading Lord of Scoundrels way back in the day.

The humor in this book is really dry but it completely worked for me. I guess because I worked with a lot of really smart guys who had no filter and spoke their minds, no matter how mean or obnoxious they sounded that Raven’s personality won me over. I read a couple of reviews before reading the book and thought that I would have a little trouble getting into the book but that didn’t happen at all.

Lady Clara is swayed into helping a young woman find her younger brother and save him from the gang life (I almost typed out thug life) but being a Lady of aristocratic birth, there’s not much she could do to help so she hires Oliver, one of the best barristers in England to help her. She remembers Oliver from her childhood and he remembers her. Lots of years have passed but their interaction at Lady Clara’s house when they were kids is pretty memorable so their shared history intrigues Oliver into helping Clara find young Toby and save him from the gang life.

The sparks that fly between Oliver and Lady Clara was great. I loved seeing them battle wits, loved seeing them argue over anything and everything under the sun. I loved how Lady Clara kept surprising Oliver at every turn and I loved that Lady Clara didn’t back down or hide her intelligence from Oliver. They really came together and ended up being a really strong unit.

There were some parts in the story that I thought dragged but for the most part, the story itself was entertaining. The romance won me over and while I would have liked more from the recurring characters, I didn’t feel like we missed out much not having the gang in the book more. Loretta Chase wrote a fantastic historical romance with great characters, witty banter and a story line that kept me invested throughout the entire story so I don’t have much to complain about. I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

The Dressmakers

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Posted December 30, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #4
Also in this series: Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1), Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

Clara is a beautiful woman and the daughter of an earl who was raised to marry a duke. Her mother will settle for no less! Clara almost married a duke at one time but now she’s glad she didn’t as she just didn’t feel for him what she felt she should. Clara is involved in the Milliners’ Society for the Education of Indigent Females and one of the girls there, Bridget, seeks Clara’s help as her brother has gone missing and she fears that he’s been taken into a street gang. Clara takes it upon herself to seek assistance from a barrister that is known for helping paupers. It turns out that Clara kind of, sort of knows the barrister, Raven Radford, from when she was just a child. Raven, despite his better judgment, decides to help Clara and in ensuing events starts to fall for her. Unfortunately her mother and father won’t agree to the match and Raven and Clara have to fight her parents to be together.

This is one of my favorite books of the year. There are those times when the characters, the story, the humor, the romance in a book…everything just falls into place for the reader and it’s magic. This happened for me with Dukes Prefer Blondes and I just can’t say how much I enjoyed reading it.

Raven Radford was a surly yet highly intelligent man who had no time or patience for those who couldn’t use their brains. He was an advocate for those of the lower class and I loved that about him. He was determined to put away thieves and gang leaders and he had made a good dent in them during his career. He loved Clara’s brain as much as he loved her beauty and I adored that about him. He was a hard man to get along with but he softened when Clara was around and would do just about anything for her- sometimes against his better judgment.

Clara was a bright woman. She was enthralled with Raven as he was a fine looking man, but she was also fascinated by his big brain. He makes her think and recognizes her intelligence. Since everyone else thinks she’s a vapid woman it’s definitely an allure for her. I loved the banter that Clara and Raven shot back at each other. SO entertaining! I especially loved it when she would throw his own words back at him – he didn’t think it was so great but still loved that she remembered what he’d said.

Overall this was a wonderful book that I can’t say enough good things about. I know that some people won’t enjoy the very dry humor of Clara and Raven but if that’s your thing then you will love this one as much as I did.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The Dressmakers

five-stars


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Review: Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Posted June 26, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #2
Also in this series: Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 372
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

From the Journals of Sophia Noirot: A dress is a weapon. It must dazzle his eye, raise his temperature... and empty his purse.

A blue-eyed innocent on the outside and a shark on the inside, dressmaker Sophy Noirot could sell sand to Bedouins. Selling Maison Noirot's beautiful designs to aristocratic ladies is a little harder, especially since a recent family scandal has made an enemy of one of society's fashion leaders. Turning scandal to the shop's advantage requires every iota of Sophy's skills, leaving her little patience for a big, reckless rake like the Earl of Longmore. The gorgeous lummox can't keep more than one idea in his head at a time, and his idea is taking off all of Sophy's clothes.

But when Longmore's sister, Noirot's wealthiest, favorite customer, runs away, Sophy can't let him bumble after her on his own. In hot pursuit with the one man who tempts her beyond reason, she finds desire has never slipped on so smoothly.

Maison Noirot, the shop that the Noirot sisters own, is in trouble. You see their best customer, and a girl they’ve come to think of a dear friend, Clara, has gotten herself into a pickle. She was feeling a little free because she is officially on the marriage market and ended up on the terrace at a ball with a man and was caught in a state of dishabille. Oops. Unfortunately for Clara she now has to marry the man and she doesn’t even really like him. Yes, she fell for his fast talk and romantic gobbeldy-gook at the time but she soon realized that she’s going to be stuck with this guy forever! Yuk. Now you really wouldn’t think that Clara’s problem would effect Maison Noirot but it will – in a big way. You see once Clara is married to Lord Adderly, who is only marrying Clara for her dowry, she won’t be able to shop at Maison Noirot any longer because Adderly is a very poor man and therefore won’t be spending a bundle on Clara’s dresses. Not only do Sophy, Marcelline and Leonie want to save their shop but they shudder to think of Clara marrying the oily Adderly. Clara is hoping for an extended engagement but when her mother tells her that the wedding must take place before the Season’s end – in 3 weeks – Clara gets the hell out of dodge.

Enter Lord Longmore, Clara’s brother. Longmore has a couple of goals. One is to bring Clara back for many reasons and the other is to get Sophy in bed. Sophy would love to be with Longmore but she thinks it would be bad for business and since business is mainly what she thinks about that’s how she makes her decision. Unfortunately for Sophy she really didn’t expect to like Longmore as much as she does and she soon falls under his spell. Sophy and Longmore get Clara back and devise a plan to not only get Clara out of her engagement but to do it in a way that it wouldn’t ruin her reputation even further.

This is Sophy’s book and it’s a good one. There are so many things I like about this series. One of the major ones is that dressmakers are falling in love with Lords and I always love it when the aristocratic men fall hard for a woman not of their station. Everyone else in the ton has issue with it but I love it. I know that it didn’t happen all that often in reality but hey – this is fiction, right? lol

Sophy is a master of disguise and can be quite invisible when she wants. She uses these skills to gather information for the articles that she writes for The Spectacle – a newspaper that all the ton read. When Clara hits the road Sophy uses her many skills to get Clara out of her predicament but that puts Longmore and Sophy in close contact. They really have a deep attraction for each other but they also start to develop deeper feelings. They play off each other wonderfully and it ended up being a very different sort of romance. They’re both quite funny in their own dry way and I loved watching them banter back and forth.

The real niggle I had with the story was kind of a background thing and I just wasn’t catching the significance of it. At the beginning of the book Longmore is depicted as, well, sort of a brainless idiot. Maybe that’s too harsh but his lack of intelligence was mentioned over and over throughout the story. Here’s the thing – I believe that Longmore may not have been an academic and overly “book smart” as I like to say, but he wasn’t unintelligent. So he wasn’t an A student and really didn’t like school – doesn’t make him stupid. I thought him to have a keen mind with a whole lot of common sense and in my book common sense goes a darned long way in life. Because of this he “got” Sophy a lot better than I think he would have otherwise as he wasn’t over-analyzing every plan she came up with. If the mentions of his smarts would have been dropped from the book altogether it would have been fine with me and wouldn’t have changed the story one way or the other, imho.

I really like this series so far. I can’t wait to read Leonie’s story as we really haven’t gotten to know her all that well over the course of the past two books and I’m extremely curious about her. Overall I thought it was a really good book. It had Chase’s great writing that gave us family, love, friendship, humor and a whole lot more.

Rating 4.25 out of 5.

The Dressmakers

four-stars


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Review: Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase

Posted June 17, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Silk is for Seduction by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Holly
Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1) by Loretta Chase
Series: The Dressmakers #1
Also in this series: Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, #4), Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 371
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

From the Design Book of Marcelline Noirot:The allure of the perfect gown should be twofold:ladies would die to wear it . . .and gentlemen would kill to remove it!

Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.

The prize seems well worth the risk—but this time Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses;and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . . and a blazing scandal.

And now both their futures hang by an exquisite thread of silk . . .

I was really disappointed in Chase’s last release, Last Night’s Scandal. I expected more from her than I got with both the plot and characters. So it was with some trepidation that I started this story. I’m happy to report she delivered a fabulous story with characters I loved.

Marcilline Noirot comes from a long line of swindlers and thieves. She’s not afraid to use the skills she learned from them to help her business grow so she can support her two younger sisters and her daughter. Her latest scheme is to snag the Duchess of Clevedon. Her betrothal hasn’t been announced yet, but thanks to some insider information Marcilline knows it’s coming. So she and her sisters devise a plan to snag The Duke before he proposes and convince him to send his new bride to her shop to be outfitted.

Clevedon has realized it’s time to go home and man up. For the last few years he’s been roaming the continent, avoiding going home and taking on the responsibilities of his dukedom. His betrothal is just a formality at this point. His best friend’s sister has been intended for him since birth. Through the years they’ve kept up via letters and they know each other well. He loves her..as much as a carefree man can love a girl he hasn’t seen in years, anyway.

He figures he has a few weeks of freedom left and he wants to make the most of it. And that means pursuing Mrs. Noirot, the woman who has recently taken Paris by storm. She’s definitely interested in him, but not in the way he hopes. She tells him right away that she wants to dress his bride. He wants to be angry and refuse to see her, but he’s drawn to her. He wants her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

There was so much about this book to love. Marcilline has an agenda when it comes to Clevedon, but she’s upfront about it. She doesn’t pretend to want him only to throw out her real reason for pursuing him at a later date. It was good that she was honest because it saved a lot of angst and confusion. What could have been a frustrating plot device was instead a refreshingly honest one.

She is a strong woman. Circumstances have forced her into the role of caregiver not just for herself, but also for her sisters and daughter. She took her responsibilities seriously and every decision she made was with them in mind. That isn’t to say she wasn’t a woman, though. She didn’t just trudge away in her shop and worry over the books. She was flamboyant and confident in herself. When she wanted something, she went after it, using any means available.

Clevedon was a good counterpoint for Marcilline. He constantly underestimated her, which ended up being hilarious at times, but also heartwarming. As he learned more about her it became harder and harder for him to dismiss her as just another scheming female. He was clueless in the way men are about women. There were times that really frustrated me as a reader. Especially as it pertained to Marcilline’s daughter. He became rather attached to her, and she to him, which was obviously not a good thing considering the circumstances. I really felt Marcilline’s frustrations with him over that, and also her helplessness in stopping him. The fact that he had no idea why she was upset just showcased how clueless he really was.

As the novel progressed the relationships solidified and became deeper and more layered. Not only between Clevedon and Marcilline, but also Clevedon and his betrothed, Marcilline and his betrothed, Clevedon and Marcilline’s daughter, etc.

The secondary plot featuring someone stealing designs from Marcilline didn’t make a lot of sense other than to further the storyline. I think it was superfluous and could have been taken out. Otherwise I found the novel to be nearly flawless. The small annoyances were ones that were easily overlooked in favor of the excellent dialogue and sweet romance.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

The Dressmakers

four-half-stars


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