Monday, June 23, 2014

REVIEW: "Vixen in Velvet" by Loretta Chase


Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers, #3)
Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase
For Ages 18+ (Sensuality, Language)
Historical Romance -- 1830s England

Avon -- Published on June 24, 2014
Ebook,  pages
Read in June 2014
Received from Edelweiss

SUMMARY
Lethally charming Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne, has reluctantly returned to London for one reason only: a family obligation. Still, he might make time for the seduction of a certain redheaded dressmaker—but Leonie Noirot hasn't time for him. She's obsessed with transforming his cousin, the dowdy Lady Gladys, into a swan.

Leonie's skills can coax curves—and profits—from thin air, but his criminally handsome lordship is too busy trying to seduce her to appreciate her genius. He badly needs to learn a lesson, and the wager she provokes ought to teach him, once and for all.

A great plan, in theory—but Lisburne's become a serious distraction, and Leonie's usual logic is in danger of slipping away as easily as a silk chemise. Could the Season's greatest transformation be her own?


FIRST LINE
"He lay naked but for a cloth draped over his manly parts."

MY THOUGHTS
Vixen in Velvet is the final book in the Dressmakers trilogy which focuses on a trio of French sisters who operate Maison Noirot, a popular dress shop in London.  Readers have already seen the two oldest sisters (Marchelline and Sophy) receive their happily ever afters so it is now time for business-minded Leonie to take center stage.

Leonie is the sister who focuses on the financial side of the business while her sisters were more creative or public relations-minded.  Maison Noirot is the center of her life and she will do anything to guarantee its success.  Things get all turned around when she meets Simon, the charming Marquess of Lisburne.  For his part, Lisburne was not expecting to find someone as fascinating as the redheaded Leonie when he returned to London and now he must figure out what place she will play in his life.

Loretta Chase is one of my absolute favorite authors with an amazing writing style and such an understanding of her characters that you can't help but fall in love with them.  This is definitely the case in Vixen in Velvet.  I found both Leonie and Simon to be relatable and likable characters.  Each of them is intelligent and highly devoted to their families which I loved.  They also come from different backgrounds which causes some interesting drama as their attraction increases.  Their chemistry is obvious and so much fun to read.  Some of my favorite parts involved these two bickering at each other over the most superficial stuff and then having serious conversations about things that were important to them.

There are also great side characters that provide balance to the primary romance.  I especially loved Simon's close friend, Lord Swanton, a writer who specialized in flowery poetry that has made him the darling of the ton's debutantes and the unfortunately dressed Lady Gladys whose makeover is a main focus for Leonie.  Fans of this trilogy will also recognize the ethereal, but unique Lady Clara Fairfax who has been a constant throughout the three books.  I really enjoy her unconventional character and am hoping to see her get her own story in the future.

While the characters and romance were the high point for me in this book, I did have problems with the plot and pacing.  I had the hardest time getting into the flow of the story in the first half and it wasn't until almost halfway through that I finally found a reason to keep going.  It just seemed like nothing important was happening beyond Simon's "courtship" of Leonie which was fun, but couldn't hold the story together.  Thankfully, things did pick up in the second half and I was able to speed through the rest of the book.  I just wish the pacing had been more suited to the fabulous characters and romance at the beginning.

Overall, I did like Vixen in Velvet and thought it was a decent conclusion to the trilogy.  The first book (Silk is for Seduction) is still my favorite by far, but I think readers will be happy with the way Leonie gets her happy ending.  I also liked the cliched, but still very sweet epilogue that focused on the three sisters and their new lives in London.

I received a free copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


3.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

FAVORITE QUOTES
1. "She had reason to weep.  The life she'd so laboriously constructed was falling apart.  She'd fallen in love with a Roman god and everyone knew where that sort of thing led."

2. "He laughed.  He couldn't help it.  He didn't know why he loved her or how or when, exactly, he'd come to fall in love with her.  That was all as she said: One couldn't add it up or point to precisely this or that.  But she made him laugh and she taxed his intellect and he'd not felt truly happy until he found her.  He hadn't thought it possible to be truly happy again."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Silk Is For Seduction
2. Scandal Wears Satin
3. Vixen in Velvet

CHALLENGES READ FOR





5 comments:

  1. I usually don't read books in this genre but thanks for sharing! Oh I love how you list the other series too-not a lot of blogs I follow do that :)

    Katelynn
    www.literarychameleon.blogspot.com

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  2. This series seems really interesting. Is it set in Regency England or later? You are my go-to person for historical romance selections, Jennifer!! :)

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    1. It actually takes place in the mid-1830s so right in between Regency and Victorian era. While it wasn't my favorite of hers, I always enjoy a Loretta Chase novel.

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  3. Great review. I didn't even know that Loretta Chase had a new book out. I loved the first book in the Dressmakers Trilogy so I'll definitely be checking this one out :)

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  4. Oh sounds good. I'm liking that opening line. lol I've not tried her yet. Goodness the TBR pile is LONG!

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