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 . . .
And here is Julie's review:
First of all, I have to confess: I loves me some Loretta Chase. I believe that LORD OF SCOUNDRELS is the best historical romance novel ever written. She is a master of plotting and characterization. The sexual tension between her characters leaps off the page and stays in the reader’s imagination long after the book is finished. I also appreciate the fact she writes smart, driven, interesting heroines who aren’t the Regency version of a Barbie doll. I wait for her books like kids wait for Christmas morning.
SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION was another chance to glue myself to my Kindle till I finished it. I re-read it last week….
Marcelline Noirot knows she is the best modiste in the world. She must convince the ton of this fact, however. So far, she’s attracting business to her shop, but she’d like to dress the duchesses, countesses and marchionesses that will make Marcelline’s designs the talk of London’s ballrooms. When Marcelline and her sisters read in a gossip column that the Duke of Clevedon is returning to London to claim his bride, Lady Clara, Marcelline sets out to charm the duke (and secure his future bride’s business as a result,) in Paris.
The Duke of Clevedon can’t ignore the enchanting Marcelline. He’s driven to extremes he never anticipated to learn her secrets and secure her interest. Marcelline has one thing on her mind: His future bride’s wardrobe. Everything else – including the duke’s efforts at seduction – is secondary to her ambition. Clevedon has his own problems. Lady Clara’s father, the Earl of Longmore, tells him he must marry Lady Clara, or set her free to seek another suitor. Of course, Clevedon must face up to the fact he loves Lady Clara, but he’s not in love with her.
Madame Noirot is completely unsuitable for the duke’s purposes. As a shopkeeper, she will never be accepted by the ton as his duchess. The “acceptable” woman he’s written letters to for years does not set his soul on fire with passion. Madame Noirot and the duke conduct their cat-and-mouse games throughout Paris. Finally, Marcelline decides to return to London, only to discover Clevedon on the same sailing home. When Marcelline and her duke aren’t burning up the pages, another dressmaker is jealous of her success, and attempts sabotage of the House of Noirot.
I really enjoyed this book. Marcelline and her sisters play pre-Victorian Era hardball with their business competitors and the duke. She’s surviving in a man’s world by her wits and her determination. The Duke of Clevedon’s character is not as compelling. I thought him interesting as always, but I wondered what the consequences of his actions would be for him later.
All in all, another great book from Loretta Chase, and another addition to the “keeper shelf” on my Kindle. I’m giving it an A-.