Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.
A 5-star book, as perceived by yours truly, should meet the following requirements:
1. It should either make my (A) stomach ache from laughing, (B) cheeks hurt from grinning, and/or (C) eyes fill with tears, since that's the closest I ever come to bawling.
2. The writing should be expressive enough to make me genuinely feel the characters and their emotions.
3. The story should at least be intriguing enough that I never, ever have to force myself to read on.
4. The plot should be so thoroughly engrossing that I only put the book aside out of necessity.
5. Even before reading the ending, I should be recommending the book to all my friends and calculating how soon I should reread it so that the experience will still be as absorbing as it was the first time around.
Seeing as this book is recommended by one of my all-time favorite authors, Ilona Andrews, to say my expectations were high would be a major understatement. I tried extremely hard to squelch my anticipation with the fear that it would ruin this book as it has so many others, but I needn't have worried. Chase had me so utterly enthralled in her world, all apprehensive and skeptical thoughts vanished even before I finished the first chapter. Truthfully, I'm a little shocked myself at how deeply I fell in love with this story.
Marcelline is unlike any other heroine I've ever come across in all the historicals I've read. For one thing, she isn't an aristocrat or a desperate spinster. For another, she's a rare blend of ambitious, sassy, collected, passionate, and mysterious that I found myself constantly in awe of. This is one woman I wouldn't even dream of messing around with. Clevedon, while not being the most original character out there, still had an incomparable charm that made me fall in love with him regardless.
While reading Silk Is for Seduction, the only thing I was afraid Chase wouldn't be able to pull off convincingly was Celevedon and Marcelline's relationship. It's unheard of for a working woman of the Regency Era to be anything but the mistress of a duke, and I was anxious about how Chase would describe it without it coming across as far-fetched or implausible. Again, I really shouldn't have worried. Without giving away the ending, I'll simply say that it's believable, realistic, and absolutely perfect. Chase tackles the expected issues that arise with Marcelline and Clevedon being a couple head-on instead of brushing them off, and I believe this is what made me add her to my favorite authors list.
I read this book in two sittings. I loved reading it, I loved the writing, I loved Marcelline and Clevedon, and above all, I loved their romance. The banter between the two was witty, natural, and delightfully charming. I adore how their relationship was built on so much more than just passion - there was also trust, friendship, respect, and of course, love between them. Silk Is for Seduction is one of the best books I've ever read and I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a beautiful and unforgettable story.