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Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009

3.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Bachelor Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

More than 20 years ago, Philippa “Pippin” Knolles, now Lady Gossett, saved Captain Thomas Dashwell’s life. Now, Pippin finds herself unexpectedly reunited with her one true love when Dash’s son Nate asks Pippin to “save” his father again. Pippin fears that Dash is dying, but when she arrives at his ship, she discovers the dashing, roguish American privateer has become an alcoholic wreck. Even if Pippin wanted to help Dash (and after their disastrous reunion she has her doubts), Dash wants nothing to do with the woman he believes romantically betrayed him. With the help of a memorable red dress, though, Pippin and Dash just might get a second chance at a happily-ever-after ending. Boyle takes some creative risks in this installment in her superb Bachelor Chronicles series, and the result is worth it: an exquisitely written, richly emotional tale of love and redemption. --John Charles

About the Author

Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and has won the RWA RITA® and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden, and her always-growing collection of yarn. Readers can visit her at www.elizabethboyle.com, or follow her own adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  www.avonromance.com www.facebook.com/avonromance 

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061373249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061373244
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Katie Babs VINE VOICE on April 28, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Elizabeth Boyle first introduced Lady Philippa and the American pirate captain, Thomas Dashwell in This Rake of Mine four years ago, I was instantly smitten by this couple. In the next three consecutive novels featuring Philippa (who went by the nickname Pippin) and her two cousins, the sisters Langleys, Elizabeth teased her readers with small scenes of Pippin and Thomas Dashwell interacting with one another. Pippin fell instantly in love with his older and dashing bad boy and it looked like Dashwell felt the same. Pippin became his Circe, which was the name of his beloved ship and Pippin called Dashwell her Dash. This secondary story was the main reason I would read these books and when I heard Elizabeth would soon write Pippin and Dash's own romance, I was over the moon.

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress has a beautiful cover and is very fitting because the red dress part is due to the time Pippin broke Dash out of prison while she was wearing that color dress. Things between these two were left as a cliffhanger in Confessions of a Little Black Gown when Dash was to be executed and Pippin, who found herself pregnant by Dash, ended up marrying another man to save her reputation. Because Pippin sacrifices herself for the man she loved, her new husband was able to free Dash with the promise that Dash would never step on English soil or contact Pippin again. Dash kept his promise and left without ever knowing about Pippin's pregnancy.

I think my expectations were a bit too high because Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress was so lacking in so many ways. This is a story of reunited lovers, but not five, ten or even fifteen years later. It takes place twenty-three years later where Pippin is now a widow in her late forties with two grown children.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book opens with Pippin attending her 23 year old son's promotion to captain. She sees a sailor who reminded her of Dash. She faints. Her son, John, and married daughter, Ginger (Virginia), are concerned that she has reached her dotage and should now go and live with Ginger and her stuffed shirt husband. Pippin sees the Dash-like sailor again and talks to him. It turns out that he is Dash's son, Nathaniel. Nate tells Pippin to help save Dash.

The rest of the story took place on Dash's ship. Lots of flashbacks were used to detail the events in Love Letters and Black Gown. Some of Dash's backgrounds were flushed out. Basically, Dash had married soon after his first meeting with Pippin. (Pippin is still on his mind but Dash was already told she is far above him in everyway and not to even think about it.) Dash married for money. He had no love for his wife. But, his wife hoped that Dash will come to love her. She died a few days after childbirth. Dash was not by her side during the childbirth. A couple of months after his wife's death, Dash met Pippin again. The rest of the book is pretty much Dash recovering from alcoholism and Pippin falling in love with Dash again.

The problems I have with the book are:

1. Dash from the previous books won't have gone down without a fight. I just can't see Dash riding off without at least an attempt to speak to Pippin. Maybe this is Dash's way of being noble and letting Pippin lead the life she chose. Or, maybe in Black Dress, when Gossett said to Dash that he never had Pippin, finally sunk in. Dash becoming a drunkard? Inconvincible. I can see Dash turning into a cold, cruel, hard man, not a drunkard. Therefore, this Dash is a stranger to me.

2. Pippin was very happily married to Gossett.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all, I have to say that I have been waiting and waiting for Dash and Pippin's love story....and I'm still waiting. This is one of the most disappointing books that I've ever read. I love Elizabeth Boyle, but this book does not do her writing, her imagination, and her characters justice. To write this type of "happily ever after" for two beloved characters is wrong on so many levels. Normally, Ms. Boyle conjures up a story that I never could have dreamed of writing! However, I would rather have left their love story to MY imagination. It would have been so much better and cheaper....and that is the truly disappointing part.
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Like many I was frightened off of this book by the timeline. The book and the series was sidelined and stuck in my...maybe read it sometime file.

I am glad I waited. When I finished Black Gown the thought that Dash and Pippin would spend 20 years apart was unthinkable.

Coming back to this book after time had passed was like rediscovering a first love.

The story is unique, the characters complex, and the plot unexpected.

Yes, there were a few lines tread close to for the romance genre, but imo none of the "rules" were broken.

Red Dress explored something you rarely see in the genre, a lost love that is reclaimed not after a month or a year, but a lifetime.

It was real, it was poignant, and it was an excellent book.

As a stand alone I would give it 5 stars, but as part of a series there was a huge disconnect. Which has unfortunately resulted in many unhappy fans.

If you love the series, but like me set this one aside.

Give it a chance, you won't regret it.
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