By Loretta Chase
Avon, $7.99, 384 pages
If you let your imagination out to play while reading, imagine this book as a film featuring Hepburn and Tracy. The verbal exchanges alone will enchant you and make you giggle and/or guffaw. But there is so much more to it than that. On every conceivable level, it is extraordinary: the characters, the plot, the research, the setting – and the writing!
The three Noirot sisters set out to create the most exclusive couturier in 1835 London. Marcelline is the übercreative one, while Sophie does the PR/advertising, and Leonie is the businesswoman. Of course, any of them are capable with the needle when the situation requires it. When a patron announces that the Duke of Clevedon soon will be returning to London to claim his future duchess, Lady Clara Fairfax, known for her lack of fashion sense, becomes their immediate target. You may not realize this immediately, as Marcelline heads to Paris to confront the duke. This sets off all kinds of sparks and fireworks and you name it. It is witty, sensual and totally charming with a bit of underhanded activity thrown in for good measure.
In the end, however, it’s Marcelline’s daughter Lucie Cordelia (aka Princess Erroll of Albania) who grasps both of them in her little hands and refuses to let go until they see sense. You’ll love it!
Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz