In Scandal Wears Satin, Loretta Chase returns us to Maison Noirot. This time around Miss Sophia Noirot meets her match – Harry Fairfax, Earl of Longmore, the brother of their most valued customer.
Harry is not the typical English lord – he is a man of action. He would much rather be galloping across the countryside, brawling and generally getting into trouble. Harry is a very close friend of the Duke of Clevedon, so he has met all the Noirot sisters (and is intrigued by Miss Sophia, especially). In fact, one of his favorite ways to pass the time at boring Society functions is to try to spot Sophy in whatever disguise she has adopted for the evening’s information and gossip gathering – which she later writes up for one of London’s newspapers.
Things are not going well at Maison Noirot, since oldest sister, Marcelline, dared to marry the duke and keep designing for the shop. Good society is not thrilled with the idea of a shop girl snagging an oh-so-eligible duke…honestly, how dare she?! Heh. And Harry’s mother is one of the ever-so-powerful and displeased ladies. However,
even his mother’s antipathy (hey! I learned that word reading romances!) can’t keep Sophy from finding Harry attractive. And annoying.
When his sister (Maison Noirot’s best customer) is caught in a compromising position with a fortune-hunting suitor, Harry and Sophy join forces to extricate Clara from the situation. Harry doesn’t want his sister forced to marry a weasel and Sophy doesn’t want more scandal associated with Maison Noirot…and, besides, she likes Clara. But joining forces is one thing and a romantic interlude is something else entirely. Sophy knows better than to get into any sort of emotional entanglement…especially with a lord whose mother hates her.
Harry has his own plans, however. And somewhere between freeing his sister from a horrible betrothal (without ruining her reputation forever), spying on a rival dressmaker, and going undercover at society events, Harry and Sophy find they might be more suited than either ever imagined. There is still the issue of his mother, though…
Oh, faithful reader, I very much enjoyed this book. Harry is so his own person – he knows he isn’t quite the usual young lord gallivanting around London and he doesn’t care. And Sophy is so wickedly conniving (for only the best reasons, of course) and quick. Together they are such a fun and surprisingly sweet couple! I know some sticklers may quibble about the historical accuracy of an earl and a shop girl ending up together, but I don’t care. As long as I am entertained and nothing screams “OMG this author knows nothing about this time period!,” I’m good.
I always recommend reading series in order and I do think reading the first book will help everything make more sense, but it isn’t strictly necessary. Ms. Chase does a good job of summarizing things without getting too “As you know, Bob…” about it. LOL
From the Journals of Sophia Noirot: A dress is a weapon. It must dazzle his eye, raise his temperature . . . and empty his purse.
A blue-eyed innocent on the outside and a shark on the inside, dressmaker Sophy Noirot could sell sand to Bedouins. Selling Maison Noirot’s beautiful designs to aristocratic ladies is a little harder, especially since a recent family scandal has made an enemy of one of society’s fashion leaders. Turning scandal to the shop’s advantage requires every iota of Sophy’s skills, leaving her little patience for a big, reckless rake like the Earl of Longmore. The gorgeous lummox can’t keep more than one idea in his head at a time, and his idea is taking off all of Sophy’s clothes.
But when Longmore’s sister, Noirot’s wealthiest, favorite customer, runs away, Sophy can’t let him bumble after her on his own. In hot pursuit with the one man who tempts her beyond reason, she finds desire has never slipped on so smoothly . . .
Read an excerpt.
Other books in the series: