My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sophy Noirot and her sisters have put their hearts and souls into making their dress shop the toast of the ton. Much of their success is due to the patronage of Lady Clara. Thus, when their influential yet headstrong client falls prey to a fortune-hunter, Sophy is forced to work with her brother, Lord Harry Longmore, to save Clara’s reputation. Now if only they can keep their minds on the prize and their hands off each other…
Longmore and Sophy’s romance is more engaging than Marcelline and Clevedon’s in book #1. Their witty banter is entertaining and their chemistry is tangible.
Sophy is an insightful and resourceful heroine who runs circles around Longmore, or so she thinks. Longmore is also very appealing and intriguing. He seems to come across as a large and overbearing idiot, but there are hints throughout that he is, in fact, exceedingly intelligent and genuinely cares about people. The question, which unfortunately remains unanswered, is why he would behave in this manner.
The plot revolves around Sophy and Longmore’s attempts to save Clara from a smarmy and manipulative suitor. This seems simple enough at first, but becomes overly complicated with several incidences in which Sophy assumes alternate identities. It is all unnecessarily and excessively convoluted. Moreover, as one who has never been particularly interested in fashion, the endless descriptions of gowns and accessories is tedious and insipid.
In sum, a charming romance with likeable characters, but the focus on the dressmaking elements needs to be toned down.
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