By Loretta Chase, Avon, $7.99, 372 pages

10Every time I read a book by Loretta Chase, I think – this is the most unusual book I’ve ever read. Every time! But this one is really a doozy, and I mean that in only the very best way! It’s fabulous.

Marcelline Noirot is the oldest of three sisters, all engaged in creating the sassiest and most exclusive couturier in 1835 London. She is the creative one as to fabrics and design. Sister Sophie is the PR person and Leonie, the accountant. Of course, they all sew when necessary, in addition to the hired seamstresses. Unfortunately, opening a new shop isn’t easy, and gaining customers is difficult. So – Marcelline heads to Paris where the Duke of Clevedon is celebrating the end of his bachelorhood. Her goal? To capture his attention so she can ‘dress’ his future duchess, the awkwardly-dressed Lady Clara Fairfax.

Of course, plans frequently go awry, and while Marcelline does capture Clevedon’s attention, it isn’t quite as she’d intended. There is any number of witty, sensual battles between the two hard-headed creatures before they decide to combine their talents for the good of everyone, while London is still standing.

Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz