Customer Reviews: Silk Is For Seduction (The Dressmakers Series)
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on June 28, 2011
Marcelline Noirot and her two sisters own a dress shop, a moderately successful one, having only one larger, more prestigious client. Marcelline lives and breathes this shop. It not only supports her family, but designing is in her soul. It is her passion. But they know they need someone big, someone who will get all the ton pointed in their direction so they can wipe out all of their competition. When they read in a gossip paper that the Duke of Clevedon, may finally be coming home from Paris to claim his bride Clara, Marcelline knows they need this future duchess as a client. But instead of wooing Clara, Marcelline heads for Paris to go on a hunt.

Clevedon and Clara have been intended for each other for years. Clevedon is actually her father's former ward. Growing up together, they are great friends, and actually have love for each other. But over the past couple years, Clara has needed to time to mourn the passing of her grandmother, and Clevedon has needed time to go abroad and sow his oats. They write letters every week to each other, and are fond of one another. But Marcelline storming into Paris, with her amazing gowns and vibrant personality, may just be enough to throw Clevedon off track. After seeing her at the opera, and getting an introduction, Clevedon starts to become a bit obsessed. Marcelline knows exactly what she wants from Clevedon - his future bride. But as she plays this game with Clevedon to win over his money, she also starts to fall for him.

Meanwhile, Marcelline's dressmaker competition, Downes, will do anything to steal her designs, but the sisters are not dumb, and they are ready for a battle.

Silk is for Seduction is one of my favorite books I have read this year.There is so much that stands out in this book. Marcelline is just a shopkeeper with no title. For her, her appearance is everything. It is what gets her noticed or when she doesn't want to be noticed, just part of the crowd. She must look and play the part - so at first we must focus on her outside beauty, and how she portrays herself. Of course, she wouldn't last long in upper society if she didn't have an internal strength and smarts about her. She can curtsey like no other. She can flirt with the best of them. She is witty, sly, and never loud or obvious. She is a mystery to Clevedon. Her beauty is what draws him to her at first. But then who she is intrigues him. Just as he slowly unravels the real Marcelline, Loretta Chase does the same for the reader. She drops in small (and sometimes large) tidbits very nonchalantly. You feel surprised and a bit baffled right along with Clevedon.

Clevedon has long been intended to Clara. They have never been lovers, but they are good friends. Both are not dreading this impending betrothal, but both are not rushing towards the alter either. My first thought was - how am I going to feel about Clevedon on such good terms with Clara, falling for another woman? And while he doesn't necessarily hide the fact that he met and spent time with Marcelline, he never comes clean with the actual emotional attachment he has with her at first. Of course when they all end up in London together, Clara catches on quick. And I love that she doesn't hide. She confronts Marcelline. She may be a little naïve, but I give her credit for not sitting in the shadows. Is Clara hurt? Sure. But I don't think she is ever betrayed. And I like that we get to see the journey Clara goes on, and she is better off for it.

The Clevedon we come to know is such a sweet, good guy. There are a few parts towards the end, where Marcelline needs help and what he does for her made me smile so big and I might even have wiped away a tear. We not only get these lovely warm moments, but the banter between Clevedon and Marcelline is so entertaining and well done.

And before I go, I must mention the smexy parts - while there is wonderful tension in this book, the love scenes are intense and filled with as much passion as these two characters. And there is carriage smex, does it get better?

"It was as stormy a kiss as the last time, but different. He was angry with her;she was angry with him. But far more than anger was at work between them. This time she wasn't in control. She was drowning in feeling, in the taste of him, and the scent of his skin and the feel of his hard body under hers, and his hand so tight in her hair, possessive.

A lifetime had passed since a man had held her like this.

She knew - a part of her mind knew - she needed to break away from him. But first...oh, a little more."

Most importantly, this book is so romantic. The looks between the Clevedon and Marcelline. The witty banter. The tension. The heartbreak and angst. The warmth and humor. Oh - all done so well. One of the best books I have read this year.
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on July 9, 2011
Story: 5 stars
Romance: 5 stars

This one is going on my Keeper Shelf with only about 30 other books. (That's probably impressive only if I admit that I read more than 200 books per year.)

When determining if a book is a "keeper" or not, I don't just want an "escape" (since every book should provide that to one extent or another). Rather, I take note of my EMOTIONS as I read. Another indicator is that feeling of... "I can't wait to read the next page, chapter, etc but at the same time, I don't want it to end."

This story had me chuckling from the very beginning. I was absolutely charmed by Marcelline's style, wit and fearlessness. She creatively brazened her way through sticky situations that would have intimidated most others. No wonder the duke was dazzled! Speaking of the duke, I laughed out loud when Ms Chase described his "ducal phallis." Waahaha!!

Of course, I immediately fell in love with Lucie as well as Leonie and Sophia. Since this series is titled "Dressmakers" I assume that each of the sisters will get her own story and HEA. Wow, I am so anxious to get the info on the next book!

I loved this wonderful story and will enjoy reading again and again.
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on August 29, 2011
Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase gave me a surprise. I'd read a couple of Loretta's other books and was less than impressed. The synopsis of this one intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up falling absolutely in love with it!

Marcelline Noirot (or, as she is called through most of the book: Noirot) is the oldest of three sisters and a dressmaker. Her family has a checkered and scandalous past that she is determined to overcome - for her sisters and her daughter. When she hears that the most eligible of London's bachelors, the Duke of Clevedon, is finally coming home from his travels to marry, she knows she needs his future duchess as a customer so she can take her business to the next level. She goes so far as to chase him down in Paris to convince him that she is the dressmaker of choice for his bride.

What she didn't foresee is the explosive chemistry immediately obvious between herself and the duke. As far as he is concerned, resistance is futile. As soon as he lays eyes on her nothing will do but to have her. She doesn't come easily though - their interactions are absolutely phenomenally written. Their characters are explored in-depth and we come to know them on a level rarely achieved in historical romance. The icing on the cake is when the story heads back to London and Noirot's daughter becomes a part of the story. If you don't absolutely melt at the way the duke handles her - you probably don't have a heart. I teared up more than once - incredibly adorable.

Also rare in historical romance novels is a plot that isn't just a throwaway. Usually I'm impatient to read though the ridiculous nonsense to get to the character interaction. Not so in this story. The added drama of Clevedon's fiancée along with the treachery afoot in the dressmaker's studio are both extremely well thought out and interesting.

Seriously y'all, this is a book that has it all! Definitely a must read for historical romance fans. Also highly recommended for those of you that, like myself, were less than impressed with some of the other Loretta Chase books you've read. Prepare to fall in love with this one!
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on July 4, 2011
Loretta Chase hit this one out of the park! It was a fantastic story. Lots of wit and wonderful conversation. The return of the Dreadful DeLucy family. The setting of the dresshop was very well done, and the descriptions of the dresses were amazing. You could see and hear the setting around you.

And above all of that, a wonderful romance with lots of sexual tension and angst. Very well done.
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VINE VOICEon July 21, 2011
I'm all for saving 5 stars for the very best books (I only wish most reviewers were that discriminating - it would save me a lot of lousy reads!), but I can't understand the range of reviews for this book. Loretta Chase is a tremendous writer, and this book is excellent. The plot sounds like a romance cliche - aristocrat falls for working woman against his will - but Chase makes it work in all sorts of quirky ways. The characters are complex, with real flaws as well as admirable traits, not the cardboard cutouts that so often people historical romances. The heroine has a successful business and tries to keep the hero away from her; the hero is expected to become engaged to a life-long friend and tries to minimize the heroine's importance to him. In good romance fashion those efforts will fail, of course, but it's definitely not the same old/same old plot.

Chase often has characters with deep interests that she explores in depth - Egyptology or art or the natural world or couture - and if you're bored by their interests, I guess you'll find her books too detailed, but I love the fact that her characters think about something other than their own emotions. Is this the best Loretta Chase book ever? Well, it's not the extraordinary Lord of Scoundrels, but honestly, it's amusing, intelligent, interesting, and, of course, romantic.
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on May 12, 2016
Three penniless sisters who have survived the terrors in France, grow up and learn the family modiste business of dressing wealthy ladies, beautifully. Having escaped France to England, they have set up their shop, but they are finding it difficult to attract the patronage of the ladies of the ton.

Marcelline, the oldest of the sisters, is determined to succeed. The pragmatic and creative result of many generations of scandalous forebearers, she has an idea, and sets her sights on winning the business of the lady betrothed to the Duke of Clevedon. A rather badly dressed lady, who could really use her help, but how to achieve an introduction?

Clevedon has famously lived in Paris for years, though he is expected to return to England for his wedding quite soon. Marceline decides to bet everything being introduced to the man, hoping to thereby gain an introduction to his fiance. For the plan to work, it requires that she go to Paris and arrange to meet him by chance. Fortunately, nothing works out as she expects, because although she meets the Duke, now she can't get rid of him!

I really like this series, and often relisten to it. Largely because it's read so beautifully by Kate Reading.

Highly Recommended!
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on June 8, 2016
Marcelline, Sophia, and Leonie Noirot, sisters and proprietresses of Maison Noirot, are awaiting the Duke of Clevedon to return to England and marry his childhood sweetheart, Clara. The Noirot sisters are dressmakers and want the beautiful Clara to help their business grow by dressing her in exquisite clothing befitting the Duchess of Clevedon. Marcelline visits France to meet the Duke of Clevedon and convince him that his bride-to-be must seek the Noirot sisters expertise. After Clara is showcased to the world, Maison Noirot will be filled by the rich and powerful aristocrats and there financial woes will subside. Unfortunately, the Duke and Marcelline are attracted to each other. What follows is wonderfully hilarious banter and bickering. Love Loretta Chase's witty dialogue.
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on July 10, 2014
Every once in a great while you read a book that just lures you into another world – and this book did it for me. It had all the elements I most enjoy – great characterization with a saucy, spirited, independent heroine and a duke that was, naturally, tall, dark and handsome, an absorbing plot, witty, intelligent dialogue and absolutely delightful descriptive prose. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book.

The two protagonists spoke bluntly and pulled no punches – and it was a joy to see them banter. She told him right up front that her goal was to plunder his purse, and he reciprocated by telling her how provoking, annoying and aggravating she was – and how glad he’d be to see the last of her. Or, would he??? Their flirtation is tantalizing, and their budding relationship is SO satisfying to follow.

If there is one thing in a novel that I ordinarily hate, it is the introduction of children into the mix. Most children as a plot device are annoying distractions, usually too precocious to be believable. The child in this book, however, is a treat. She’s 6 years old, exquisitely dressed with an innocent charm that’s endearing. The scene where she and the duke first encounter one another is priceless! She, pretending to be a princess, is awed by his ducal presence – she thinks he’s a king. She’s even more awed by his crested carriage and yearns for a ride, in a charming show of sweet manners. The duke, being unused to children and uncomfortable around them, is also shocked that the woman he is attracted to even HAS a daughter, so his response to Lucie is a surprise to himself. She absolutely melts his heart – and mine melted at the same instant. From that point on, Lucie and the duke Clevedon have a mutual admiration pact and the plot revolves on their lovely friendship.

There are so many enjoyable, romantic turns in this book that the biggest favor I could do at this point is to stop writing and simply recommend you read this book for yourself. I totally loved it. Totally.
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on June 28, 2011
A breath-holding air of expectancy ripples through Silk is for Seduction. Like the subtle whisper of silk brushing against a trouser leg, the hum of sexual tension charges the atmosphere around Marcelline Noirot and the Duke of Clevedon.

The Duke, known as a seducer of only the crème de la crème of aristocratic beauties, gets blindsided by "of all things" a dressmaker, albeit a dressmaker that turns heads and snarls traffic during Passion Week in Paris. Jaded and knowing he must return to England and take up his responsibilities as Duke, Clevedon finds he is fascinated by the plain-spoken, beautiful, gambling businesswoman who is in Paris to promote her dress shop in London, even though she is the most aggravating woman he has ever met.

The Noirot sisters: Marcelline, Leonie, and Sophy as well as six-year-old Lucie are born manipulators and hone that talent regularly. Leonie is their money manager and organizer. Sophy does public relations and writes enticing advertising, while Marcelline designs out-of-this-world clothing for ladies and brings in business in a most unique manner.

Marcelline's primary mission in Paris is to snare the Duke's attention so he will want the Noirot Shop to dress his duchess--supposedly Lady Clara Warford who has waited patiently in England while Clevedon sowed his wild oats all over the continent. He has bedded the "best" but finds Marcelline's grace, beauty, and style unforgettable. She is a tempestuous masterpiece who tells him upfront her intent is mercenary. She runs a business to support her family and has no designs on him other than to lighten his pocketbook as he pays for his duchess's style-setting attire from the Noirot Shop. She even tells him that he has no purpose in life. He just drifts along looking for entertainment. Yet, in her heart she feels he is not a "mean-spirited" man.

The stir and magic they create, the delightful humor, and the guessing of who is "outfoxing" whom swirls the reader along through the pitfalls of Paris and London Society, churns up the stomach with a savage sea storm, and makes adrenaline pump with a thief and a fire. However, the bond that forms and binds Marcelline and the Duke is the centerpiece of the story. There is nothing boring about these two special people that ultimately unleash the best in each other.

The secondary characters function for the most part to highlight the hero and heroine. However, the indomitable little Lucie, aka Erroll, wraps everyone around her little finger, more especially the Duke of Clevedon. She brings out the very best in him and awakens true feelings that had be crammed deep down ever since the death of his mother and sister. Lucie is indeed a little minx--a chip off the old block. With her beautiful blue eyes, she charms in such a manner that she just might be a princess.

Loretta Chases descriptions, metaphors, and characterizations make the story sparkle and her love scenes are earth-shattering. I invite you to read and see how silk seduces--exciting.

Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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on April 4, 2015
I absolutely LOVE this series of book by Loretta Chase!!! This first book in the Dressmakers series is written so fantastically well she suspended me for hours within the pages of her stories within stories. She shows such a n awesome talent in her writing the reader keeps wondering what will magically appear on the next page. She takes various directions weaving her story line within other stories it makes you wonder how she devised
so many different avenues and schemes it left the reader on the edge not willing to close the book because of the varied situations the characters always seemed to only reach a dead end that suddenly opened into other possibilities to solutions that could only happen like the saying - "you can't see the tree for the forest." I simply crave her style of writing and look forward to reading more of her books!!!
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