Saturday, June 18, 2011

Silk Is For Seduction-Loretta Chase

Silk Is For Seduction
Loretta Chase
Avon, Jun 28 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061632686

Offspring of two notorious (infamous on both sides of the Channel) con artists, the sisters Noroit (Marcelline, Sophia and Leonie), own Maison Noroit. By 1835 their London dress shop is growing rapidly but the competition is nasty. Still the siblings think they need one major patron to turn their business into the must fashion stop of the English and French aristocracy.

Marcelline believes she has just the candidate when she learns the Duke of Clevedon is to marry. She travels to Paris to persuade the Duke in the family’s seductive way to send his fiancĂ©e Lady Clara Fairfax to Maison Noroit for her wedding gown. Her scheme is perfect as she flirts with the Duke; however, Marcelline soon realizes it is too perfect as the Duke ignores Lady Clara for the dressmaker. As she finds herself falling in love, a cross Channel gender war ignites.

The keys to this offbeat wonderful tale is the eccentric cast as the Duke realizes his Marcelline does not have a pure dark heart of avarice, but instead has a need to help those she appears to con (just ask Clara) though she has to make nation exits rather quickly. She takes Paris by storm as a “Dreadful DeLucey” and a “Notorious Noroit” who seduces a duke to chase after her. Amusing and filled with wit, pre Victorian romance fans will look forward to a pair of other con artists to follow.

Harriet Klausner

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