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 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
This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format. Share this post!