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The Dressmakers #4
Loretta Chase
Releasing December 29th,2015
Avon Books

Lady Clara, the fan-favorite character from Loretta Chase’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Dressmakers series, finally gets her own happily ever after!

Convenient marriages are rarely so…exciting. Can society’s most adored heiress and London’s most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can’t see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax’s nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child goes missing, she turns to Oliver Radford—a handsome, brilliant, excessively conceited barrister.

Having unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford needs a bride who can navigate the Society he’s never been part of. If he can find one without having to set foot in a ballroom, so much the better. Clara—blonde, blue-eyed, and he must admit, not entirely bereft of brains—will do. As long as he can woo her, wed her—and not, like every other sapskull in London, lose his head over her…


My Thoughts
The story of a young and much put upon Master Raven, and an even younger and most tenacious Lady Clara raises hopes for a story full of limitless adventure.
Sadly, the first 15% of their story does little to live up to said promise.  All of their interactions to this point having Raven coming off as a bit of a pompous ass.  Clara, an overly dressed flibbertigibbet.

It is not until the after the little waif that Raven and the to this point "rather annoying" Lady Clara, have been searching for, has been found.  Somewhere around chapter 7.  That things begin to make a bit of sense.  At least, as far as the two of them are concerned.

Until that time, there is just Clara following Raven around in disguises which did more to draw attention, than to discourage it.  While Raven fretted and moaned about her being about to "catch her death" or "break some part of herself".


Oh and least we forget, there is always the threat to Raven and Clara's persons by the not so savory characters, who have found themselves on the wrong end of Raven's lawyering abilities.

Oh be still my heart!

Bear with me and the story.  We are going somewhere, albeit at the pace of a convalescing turtle.

Surprisingly, things take a turn for the better story wise, only after Clara takes a turn for the worse. (At around 51% of the book.)
It is at this point that Clara contracts a mystery illness.  (You know, one of the many bugs that one can only encounter through contact with the unwashed masses.) As luck, and the gods of romance would have it.  Raven is the only man qualified to save her.
Strangely enough, this time that the two spend alone in Clara's room does more to help the reader understand and bond with these two characters, than any of the maddening shenanigans that we have been forced to bear witness to.

The affection that Raven has for Clara shines through here.  There is even time for some situational comedy.  Who knew?
This illness also marks a serious upturn in the story's plot.
It is after this, that all of the loose ends...and our slow as molasses couple come together.  With style, of course!

With their missing boy found, Clara saved from the jaws of death, and the couple...well, finally a couple.
One would think that things were finally slowing down.
Not here.
If anything, this is where this novel pulls out all the stops, making quite the splash romantically, plot wise, and with the happily ever... you know.  *wink*

This is a very well done romance. Although, much like the fashion of the day.  You have to wade through a great deal of frippery and fluff; in order to get to the meat and bones of the situation. Once there however, you will come to see that all of that wading was well worth the price of the experience.

This is the 4th offering in an established series.  It may be read as a stand alone, or as part of its intended collection.


Loretta Chase has worked in academe, retail, and the visual arts, as well as on the streets-as a meter maid-and in video, as a scriptwriter. She might have developed an excitingly checkered career had her spouse not nagged her into writing fiction. Her bestselling historical romances, set in the Regency and Romantic eras of the early 19th century, have won a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s Rita. For more about her past, her books, and what she does and doesn’t do on social media, please visit her website www.LorettaChase.com.

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