I love, love, love this book!! It was so nice to read a story about a real woman, not a wide-eyed innocent! HOT romance and a great love story. There were many hilarious moments too. I can't wait for the next in the series!
A very independant and successful London dressmaker is pulled out of her life by a handsome rake of a man. They are forced together because of his new inheritance along with two young girls. Part of the rake's/duke's inheritance, he must turn the three into proper ladies and marry them off. Two are mere children who come from terrible backgrounds. One of the young girls is very quiet and timid but is helped along by a loving grandmother like house keeper. The other girl, who was brought up in the Cheap Side of London, has a sight for things that most adult miss. The dressmaker is all woman that the duke can't but help himself in seducing her to become his wife.
Mixed all together and you have a wonderful story set in Early 1700's with great witty charaters and breathless imaginable romance.
This is one of those historical romances that takes place in the 1820's but the characters might as well be living today. The dialogue and behavior is very contemporary. (The hero and heroine have sex on the first day they meet.) On occasion, this can be forgiven for a well-told romance. In this case, it made a mediocre story that much more intolerable.
I had to put this book down halfway through because it was both boring and overly simplistic. I did finally pick it up and finish because I'd read so many positive reviews about this author. The second half was certainly better than the first, and if you can let go any preconceptions about interpersonal and social behaviors during that time period the book is easier to bear. Further the author has many interesting references to the clothing of the time, construction of garments, the making of draperies, bedding, etc. - forcing us to notice those things that people of the time had to work so hard to create (probably without benefit of sewing machines).
It did often seem like LaFoy didn't do a lot of research about England in the 1800's. She kept referring to fabric being purchased in meters. Our measuring system of feet and yards came from England, it is the English standard. They don't use meters anymore than we do. And if she's going to screw it up, I wish she'd been consistent - one minute Caroline needs many meters of fabric but then she's looking at yardage of fabric a few pages later.
There was a lot of sex but little of it was more than a paragraph so it wasn't particularly titillating, nor was it romantic. The book was overlong, then the ending was abrupt with no epilogue or closure.
London dressmarker Caroline Dutton was shocked when the Duke of Ryland, Drayton MacKenzie, walks into her shop and tells her he is going to change her world. Drayton's inheritance depends on him tracking down the previous Duke's three illegitimate daughters, making ladies out of them, and then marrying them off. But he has his work cut out for him. Caroline is beautiful and independent, not afraid to stand up to the Duke. Her half-sisters, Simone and Fiona, are even bigger challenges for him. Drayton's attraction to Caroline is another problem. One night of passion leads to him proposing. But Caroline knows that both she and Drayton must marry for money to keep the estate solvent. Now if she can just convince her heart of that fact.
I've read a handful of Leslie LaFoy's books and find they are always entertaining with a unique twist. In this book, Caroline is no simpering virgin. She knows if her late night visits to Drayton's bed became public knowledge, she would be ruined. Drayton tries to play the stuffy Duke, but deep down he is just a nice guy who is trying to help all of the people the previous Duke wronged.
There were a few things that took me out of this story. The talk about liberals and conservatives in parliament reminded me of the evening news. Also a lot of the dialogue seemed too modern for a historical romance. But the funny scenes made this book shine. Caroline being taught to speak like a lady by the imperial Lady Aubrey was amusing, and Simone's unfiltered mouth was hilarious. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. My rating: 4 Stars.
The illegitimate daughter of a decadent lord, the lovely Caroline Dutton has worked hard to become a successful London dressmaker and is content to answer to no man. That is, until a devastatingly handsome duke walks into her shop with the most outrageous demand. Drayton MacKenzie the new duke of Ryland, cursed his fate and his philandering great uncle. To collect his inheritance he must turn the old duke's three offspring into proper ladies and marry them off. Two are mere children, but Caroline is all woman- a headstrong beauty he can't help wanting to seduce. Now ensconced in Ryland's country estate, Caroline is being called a lady and readied for the marriage mart during the next London season. Her dowry is large, her past overlooked, and her prospects bright...except she is breathlessly drawn to the one man who is sweeping her towards scandal and the sweet satisfaction her heart demands.
The illegitimate daughter of a decadent lord, the lovely Caroline Dutton has worked hard to become a successful London dressmaker and content to answer to no man. That is until a devastatingly handsome duke walks into her shop with the most outrageous demand. Drayton MacKenzie, the new Duke of Ryland, cursed his fate and his philandering great-uncle. To collect his inheritance, he must turn the old duke's three offspring into proper ladies and marry them off. Two are mere children, but Caroline Dutton is all woman-a headstrong beauty he cannot help wanting to seduce. Good Read
Please be warned that there are slight spoilers. This book grabbed my attention from the beginning. It had great characters that had personalities and quirks. I loved the humor and the fact that it made me laugh out loud at times. Caroline and Draytons chemistry leaped off the page from the beginning. I loved that the hero was not only tall, dark, and of course handsome and well built but that he was also noble and didn't have any pompousness or arrogance that took pages and pages just to get to see the real man. However, the first half of the book was great and then it started to trail off. The hero leaves the manor about 3 quarters of the way through the book and they don't even "reunite" until the last page...literally. There is also not big "moment" so to speak at the end when they finally realize they are meant to be together- they don't even express their love for each other! The reason I did give it 4 stars though was because the author wrote well enough that you could feel that they were in love and it was, for the most part, an entertaining book. Falling flat to me in the romance part of it, which is its genre, I would say some might even give it 3.5 stars but because of everything else I thought it did deserve 4.