Book Review: Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Book: Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Published June 2012 by Avon|372 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: The Dressmakers #2

Genre: Adult Romance/Historical Romance

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.

I liked this one!  I didn’t love it, and it’s not my favorite Loretta Chase book (or series), I still enjoyed it.

I really liked Sophie, and I liked her with Longmore.  I didn’t love them together, but I liked them as a couple a lot more than Clevedon and Marcelline.  I felt like he really wanted to help his sister and protect her, and Sophie seems to blend in everywhere she goes, so it’s the perfect way for her to help Longmore keep an eye on his sister.  Assuming she wants to be invisible, of course.

Like Silk Is For Seduction, I was more interested in the dress shop and the business Sophie and her sisters were trying to build.  Not to the same degree that I was with the previous book, since I liked this romance more than the previous one.  But I was still slightly more interested in the shop and the dresses than the romance.

I was pretty interested in what was going on with Clara- even though all of her issues brought Sophie and Longmore together, I was pretty interested in what was in store for her in the romance department.  I’m pretty sure the next book (whenever I read it) won’t focus on her, but hopefully we’ll see her and what”s going on with her, because she is one of my favorite characters in this series.

I didn’t love Sophie and Longmore together, and I’m not sure why.  Better them than Clevedon and Marcelline, but I still wasn’t into them as a couple.  This series (at least so far) has been more about the dresses than the romance.  At least, I’m more into that than the romance, which is why I picked up this series in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like Loretta Chase and I did enjoy Scandal Wears Satin, but maybe some of the descriptions of clothing could have gone towards making me fall in love with Sophie and Longmore.

3 stars.  I liked and enjoyed Scandal Wears Satin but I didn’t love it.  I liked it enough that I’ll pick up the next book at some point, because I am curious to see how things work out for the Noirot sisters.

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Book Review: Silk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase

Book: Silk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase

Published June 2011 by Avon|371 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: The Dressmakers #1

Genre: Adult Romance/Historical Romance

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 liked this one!  I’m on a romance kick right now, and this seemed like a good one to read.  I really like Loretta Chase, and it was no surprise that I liked this one.

I really liked Marcelline but I don’t know that I liked her with Clevedon.  I felt like we saw a lot more of Marcelline than Clevedon, and I felt like this book was more about Marcelline and her up-and-coming dress shop than it was about the romance between her Clevedon.

I think part of why I didn’t like them together was the fact that there was someone he was intended to marry, and Marcelline did everything she could to get to him so she could dress this really important person.  I mean, it brought them together, of course, and there are all of these obstacles, but I just wasn’t a fan of them as a couple.  Clevedon was what I expected but…he’s not my favorite romance novel hero.

Not that I could pick a favorite, because I don’t think I could.  But he just didn’t do anything for me.  Just…even though he wasn’t actually engaged to someone he thought of as a sister…I don’t know, I just couldn’t get behind them knowing he was supposed to eventually get married to someone and ignored that in favor of his own needs.  It just made it hard to care and root for them.

I did want Marcelline to be a really successful shop owner and dressmaker, and I did find myself rooting for her to actually make it.  I wanted her to be able to take care of her sisters and daughter, and she’s well on her way to doing that, I think.  We’ll see, though, because this is only the first in a series.  I’m curious to see how things turn out for them, and even though I know the following books won’t focus on them, I’m sure both Marcelline and Clevedon will make an appearance.

3 stars.  I liked it, and Marcelline is a great character.  I just wasn’t a fan of the romance in this one.

Book Review: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase And The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Book: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

Published June 2009 by Avon Books|353 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Fallen Women #2

Genre: Adult Romance/Historical Romance

Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.

That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn’t and nothing she ought to know. She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future . . . unless someone can civilize her.

Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He’s cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them—with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks, combined with money and rank, makes him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe’s risqué reputation . . . if the wayward beauty doesn’t lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both. 

I really liked this one!  I liked Zoe, and I liked her with Lucien.  I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like the last romance or two that I’ve read has a main character who needs help getting introduced into society.  Maybe it’s just the books I happen to be picking up.

At any rate, I really liked Zoe, and she and Lucien are an interesting match.  They’re pretty good together, and I thought they were both hysterical.  Zoe’s a free spirit and headstrong while Lucien is still not over the death of his parents and brother, and the disappearance of Zoe.

Zoe definitely had a hard time adjusting to life in London.  Her sisters were pretty irritating, and for some reason, they reminded me of the Bennett sisters from Pride And Prejudice.  Zoe seemed pretty smart and observant, and I really liked that about her.  It took her a while to get used to everything in London, and I liked seeing her navigate a completely different world.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked Zoe, and I liked her with Lucien.  I liked their romance, but I wish we saw more of their life after they got married.  It just didn’t seem like enough.

Book: The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Published April 2007 by Grand Central Publishing|372 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Princes Trilogy #2

Genre: Adult Romance/Historical Romance

THE ONE THING A LADY MUST NEVER DO 
Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn’t want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she’s not just dealing with a servant, but a man.

IS FALL IN LOVE…
Harry has known many aristocrats-including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms. 

WITH HER SERVANT. 
Still, it’s impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it’s all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry’s out of the noose…without missing another night of love.

I really liked The Leopard Prince.  I’ve read a few of Hoyt’s books, and I really like that she always has a fictional story in her boos.  At least, she has a fictional story in the books I’ve read of hers, and that hasn’t been many.  This book has the tale of the leopard prince, but unfortunately, I’m super fuzzy on the details, so don’t expect a lot of details or mentions of this fictional story.

I liked Georgina, and I liked the relationships she had with her sister and her brothers.  They’re pretty protective of her, and I liked that she was protective of her sister.  She really did try to look out for her sister, and I felt like she was pretty supportive of her.

There was more mystery than I was expecting for a romance novel, but I vaguely remember the first book in this series having a bit of a mystery as well.  I don’t know how I feel about Georgina and Harry together, though I really like them as individual characters.  I just don’t know I how feel about them as a couple.  There are a lot of obstacles, considering he’s her servant, and the local magistrate is pretty much out to get him.  Maybe I just didn’t completely love them as a couple, but I do think they’re good together.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I didn’t love The Leopard Prince but I still really enjoyed it!

Book Review: Let It Be Me by Kate Noble And Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase

Book: Let It Be Me by Kate Noble

Published April 2013 by Berkley Sensation|308 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: The Blue Raven #5

Genre: Adult Romance/Historical Romance

London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up… Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn’t mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she’s lucky to even have a man come near her. It’s enough to make a lady flee the country…

So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she’s been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn’t even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away.

Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester’s help—or that there’ll be far more at stake in this gamble than money…

I liked Let It Be Me!  It did start off slow, I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first book in the series (which I did read ages and ages ago, though I don’t think there are a lot of connections between the two).

I did like Merrick and Bridget together, though there was a point when I thought that maybe she would end with Carpenini.  I’m not sure why I thought that, since Merrick was why Bridget ended up in Italy in a musical wager in the first place.  And while I liked them together, I didn’t love them together.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for romance when I read this book.

It started off slow, but it did pick up when Bridget started her lessons with Carpenini.  I liked that she liked music, and the musical competition was interesting, but it felt like the romance between Bridget and Merrick took a backseat to the musical aspects of the book.  At the same time, I liked that things did move slowly between them (a little bit more than what I would have thought).  But…I also found myself wanting more moments between them.  They felt few and far between in this book.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked Let It Be Me, and I liked Merrick and Bridget together…I just wish their romance was as important as the music.

Book: Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase

Published March 2004 by Berkley Sensation|352 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Carsington Brothers #1

Genre: Adult Romance/Adult Historical Romance

Due to his history of expensive romantic entanglements, Alistair Carsington now has six months to find either a useful occupation or a wealthy heiress to wed. To prove he is not an idle fop only concerned with sartorial pleasures, Alistair agrees to help his old friend, Lord Gordmor, by traveling to the wilds of Derbyshire to convince Gordmor’s neighbors to support the nobleman’s proposal to build a canal.

Upon arriving, Alistair, a famous war hero and eligible bachelor, finds everyone couldn’t be nicer, everyone except for respectable, practical, spinsterish Mirabel Oldridge. The last thing Mirabel wants is for her tranquil little corner of England to be destroyed by a noisy, nasty canal, and she is prepared to use every weapon at her disposal–including her disheveled coiffure and unstylish wardrobe–to stop Alistair.

I’ve read a few of Loretta Chase’s books, and really liked them, so I figured I’d read this one.  It has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time, and it seemed like it was a good time to actually read it.

Maybe I wasn’t in the best mood for romance, because this one was just okay.  I felt like there was some chemistry between Mirabel and Alistair, but not enough to care or feel fully invested in their relationship.  They are definitely at odds in Miss Wonderful, but that clearly isn’t a barrier for them.  They managed to work it out, but like I said, I had a hard time with completely caring about their romance.

Maybe it’s because I felt like the book was more about them fighting over the canal, and how he wants it built, while Mirabel doesn’t.  I get why, for both of them, but I feel like it was more about their own histories then them.  I did like Mirabel, though, and Alistair was just okay.

I did like that Mirabel was 31- for some reason, that seems old in the world of romance.  It’s not (because then I’d be old, and I don’t feel old at all), but it worked really well, and she and Alistair, because of their different life experiences, do match up well.  They seem to be on pretty even footing, which was nice to see, because that doesn’t always seem to be the case.

My Rating: 2 stars.  It’s not my favorite Loretta Chase book, and I had a hard time getting into it, but it wasn’t horrible.