Setting: Late Regency 1835
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 . . .
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This is another great addition to Loretta’s very original series about three dressmakers in London. Wit, humor and adventure awaits the reader behind the gorgeous blue cover of this beautifully written Regency romance!
The heroine Sophia Noirot was introduced in the last book as being immensely clever and persuasive when it came to marketing the sister’s dress shop. Her latest challenge comes in the form of the Earl of Longmore who can’t seem to get her out of his head! But it’s no smooth road for these two as Longmore’s mother hates the dressmakers and of course there’s the major class difference. But Sophia can’t get him out of her head either! And when his sister goes missing, putting the shop’s future at stake, Sophia and Longmore must team up to save her, which puts temptation way too close for comfort 😉
I loved Sophia’s character-she was smart, hilarious and so manipulative it was dazzling to read. Loving acting myself, I loved how Sophia could assume any character she wanted to suit her purposes. Her personality made for some really fresh and funny scenes. I wasn’t big fan of the hero though-I like my heroes more articulate and charming. Longmore struck me as more of a jock type personality. But seeing these two interact, it was clear they were right for each other. I would have liked to understood why Longmore liked Sophia though-it was never mentioned the why, except that he did, right from the start of the book. However, every scene seemed to crackle with the unspoken tension the two shared.
The rest of the characters shone too, with my favorites being Longmore’s sister (I wonder if she’ll be getting a spin off book of her own), and Longmore’s mother who reminded me of Austen’s Mrs Bennet with her over-dramatic faints and sighs. I did wish I could see more of the couple from the first book though but that was a minor point.
Plot-wise, it was simple and yet so addictive I just couldn’t put it down. The road trip trope? It’s been done before and yet this was somehow too intriguing. I think Sophia’s actress character played a big part but another part of the reason was because of all the descriptions of the different places Longmore and Sophia went to try and find his sister-you felt as if you were right there with them and could envision all the scenes. As with the first book in the series, I loved all the passages at the start of each chapter which were taken from real-life historical sources. It made the book seem like it could have actually happened!
All in all, this was a very beautifully written romance with great characters and a very entertaining plot. I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon 🙂
Sensuality Rating: Hot 😉
Verdict: Another great read from the amazing Loretta Chase! Highly recommended!
Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars