My rating: 3 of 5 flames
This is my first Loretta Chase novel, and while I can definitely say it won’t be my last, I will also add that I was slightly disappointed. I think I expected more from her. I almost didn’t finish it twice. At one point, my ARC expired (I was about halfway through) and I had to get the book myself just to find out what happened!
Lady Clara is compromised by Lord Adderley, a bankrupt jerk who took advantage of Lady Clara on purpose because he needs her dowry. Lady Clara is the bestand most important customer of Sophy and her sisters’ dress shop Maison Noirot. She runs off, and Sophy devises a way to bring her back. Longmore is under the impression he is saving Clara, but Sophy is the brain behind the operation. They are led on a merry chase but eventually find and bring Clara back. Sophy of course has a grand plan that she is hatching to keep Clara from marrying Adderley, and it works, but I wanted more interaction between Sophy and Longmore, and less focus on Clara’s problems. I think it could have been wrapped up sooner so that Sophy’s ending didn’t feel so rushed.
I liked Sophy, I think it’s hard not to, but I also felt she became rather tedious at the end with all of her plots, and schemes and circular logic. I wanted just one straightforward conversation between her and Longmore, if I could have had that, I would’ve chocked up the rest to her vivacious and charming personality. Unfortunately I felt like her charm wore off towards the end.
I don’t mind a hero who isn’t smarter than the heroine. That being said, I feel like Longmore was given this reputation of being nothing more than a prettyboy, a lover of women, and he doesn’t like to think too hard, yet I’m not sure he was as stupid as we were supposed to think. He is constantly saying how thinking hurts his brainbox, and Sophy is saying how he should just leave the thinking and plotting to her, the author tells us he’s not a thinker, yet he is I’d say above average intelligence (i.e. a normal guy).
I didn’t like his treatment of Sophy all the time. Most of the time it was fine, but even when he figured she was a virgin, he talked himself into seducing her anyway, because she wasn’t a lady. She’s a dressmaker. Towards the end, his jealousy drove me nuts because of how he treated Sophy. But that being said, Sophy would never really explain anything to him, so it was hard for him to know that she really did know what she was doing.
Also, it started with trying to figure out what to do about their rival dressmaker, yet I never felt that was resolved. My guess is that it will be in the next book, but I would have preferred a hint at that, rather than it just being left as is.
On the whole, I was extremely impressed with Ms. Chase’s writing, I mean wow! Is she good! But the plot was too convoluted and the beginning was slightly confusing. I think if you’ve read Silk is for Seduction, you won’t be confused and you may enjoy it more.
***Thank you to Avon and Edelweiss for the review copy