Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's been a long time since I've read a historical romance, and it'll probably be a while before I read another. This is actually a good example of the genre and it that's your thing, you'll enjoy this.
This is the second in a series, and at first it takes a little to figure out who is what. Simply put, there are three English-but-raised-in-Paris dressmaker sisters, one of whom has just scandalized the Town by marrying the Duke of Clevedon (orphan, incredibly rich). Clevedon was very publicly denounced by Lady Clara, his supposed bethrothed - hence the hasty and poorly-thought-out marriage (which, it happens, is a marriage for - gasp! - love). The newly minted Duchess is still involved with Maison Noirot rather than retiring and taking her place in Society. Clevedon was sort-of raised by the Marquess Warford, father of Lady Clara and Lord Longmore. Longmore was Clevedon's best friend and is rather taken with Sophia (called Sophy), another of the Noirot sisters.
One night, at a ball, Lady Clara is put in a Compromising Position by Lord Adderly, a gambler so broke he has one week before he'll be run out of town. After Lady Warford declares the wedding will take place in a few weeks, Clara runs away; Longmore and Sophy race to find her. Then the three of them hatch a plan to rescue Clara from her impending nuptials. And, of course, along with way Longmore realizes he's in love with Sophy.
The author has given us three sisters who have three different talents (one is a designer, one is the business woman, and one is the brains) and three different hair colors (blonde, brunette and, yes, redhead). The Noirot's are descended from a Very Scandalous English Family, and they are the only remaining members after everyone was killed in cholera-ridden Paris. Longmore is, like Pooh, a bear of very little brain. Sophy is quick-witted, devious and charming in both English, French-accented broken English and French. There's a street urchin who can be 1. useful and 2. trained. These facts are iterated and reiterated so many times I almost started counting. And, sadly, at times the author... reverts to... and overuse of... elipses.
What moved this from a 2 to a 3 was the use of phrases like "His breathing quickened, and that instantly got his breeding organs excited." How can you not enjoy that?
ARC provided by publisher.