Rating: 3.5 stars
Date begun: June 27th, 2012
Date finished: June 27th, 2012
This is the second book in Loretta Chase's Dressmaker series. The book can be read perfectly independently from the first in the series, Silk is for Seduction, although the main couple in this book are introduced in the first book in the series. This review will contain spoilers for the first book in the series, so don't read on unless you want to find out who the central couple in that book are.
Sophy Noirot is the middle of the three dressmaker sisters determined to take London society by storm with their innovative designs and wonderful creations. While her older sister is the creative genius, and her younger sister is the financial whiz, Sophy excels at marketing and sales, and could probably sell sand to Bedouins. The Noirot sisters need wealthy patrons, but the scandal they caused when Marcelline Noirot married the Duke of Clevedon is not going to be easy to live down. However, the Clevedon's former bethrothed, Lady Clara, sister to the Earl of Longmore, is still their friend, and determined to wear the Maison Noirot designs even if her mother is threatening to disown her.
But then Lady Clara is compromised in a very public place, and rather than marry the scoundrel who tricked her, runs away. Sophy needs to get her back, even if it means working with the Earl of Longmore to do it. And while his mother may hate the Noirot sisters, Longmore is extremely taken with Sophy, and determined to spend as much time with her as possible.
I love Loretta Chase, but this is one of her weaker efforts. Over the course of two novels, not one, but two dressmakers from a rather dubious background end up with extremely high ranking members of the British nobility, and I have no doubt that the youngest Noirot sister will find herself a nobleman as well in "Velvet is for Viscounts"(wonderfully coined by Mrs. Julien) or whatever the book will end up being called. Unfortunately, Marcelline and Clevedon were a much more enjoyable couple to read about. I didn't particularly care about Sophy and Longmore, and Lady Clara, who I felt a lot of sympathy for in the previous book, mainly annoyed me in this one. Still, this was by no means a bad book, it still contained a lot of the sparkling dialogue that Chase does so brilliantly, and I wasn't actually bored, but I still hope that the final volume in the trilogy is of higher quality.