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Vixen in Velvet Mass Market Paperback – 24 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reissue edition (24 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062100327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062100320
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 500,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Originally given 3.5 hearts at Rookie Romance.

Leonie is the business brains behind the much admired dressmakers, Maison Noirot, which she runs with her sisters. But since her sisters have married and settled, Leonie is pretty much running it by herself and it's her sole focus. Or at least it was until she meets Simon, Marquess of Lisburne, at an art show. Since their meeting, Simon has occupied far too much of Leonie's mind, and the feeling is most certainly reciprocated by Simon.

Leonie is a very relatable and likable heroine. She has her feet firmly planted on the ground, and she puts her intelligence and determination to good use in running Maison Noirot. She is rather clearly in need of some fun, so it was great to see Simon bring out the more playful and flirtatious side of her.
Simon is such a gentleman. He's kind and funny, and boy is he determined to flirt up a storm with Leonie. He's also very respectful of Leonie and her business, which is important considering that he's nobility so many would have looked down at Leonie for being in trade.

I thought Leonie and Simon were an ideal match.They have that spark of attraction right away and I love their conversations, they're always witty and engaging. They take their time falling in love, as Simon slowly seduces Leonie's business brain until there's no more resistance.

I did enjoy this romance, and the cast of secondary characters were wonderful and played their own roles in the story. There's a mystery to solve when a woman claims to have a child with the poetic Lord Swanton (Simon's cousin) which adds an interesting element to the plot.
Unfortunately I found it rather difficult to maintain my attention about a quarter of the way in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clearhorizons on 7 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a little surprised at the tepid response of other reviewers to this book, as I thought it was a real return to form for Loretta Chase, who even at her least inspiring is still head and shoulders above over other Regency romance authors. I was slightly disappointed by the previous two books in this series - although I am now going to go back and read them again - but loved Vixen in Velvet. I thought it was beautifully written, wonderfully romantic, sexy in the best possible way and quite simply charming.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Loves Reading on 4 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lacking in humour and depth
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chris on 10 July 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
loved the story
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 89 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"Leonie, Leonie," he murmured. "When you talk in numbers, you drive me mad." 27 Jun. 2014
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(4.5 stars) This is a real romance and it's HR writing par excellence. It's also a book with a lovely hero, not the usual jerk I've been finding lately in HRs. This is not, however, a 5-star book for me. I gave it 5 stars because it deserves more than 4, although it didn't give me that extra thrill that Chase's classic Lord of Scoundrels did long ago. But if I compare this to most other HRs I've read lately, it may deserve 6 stars.

Leonie is the third Noirot dressmaking sister to find her true love, after Marcelline in Silk Is For Seduction (Avon Historical Romance) and Sophy in Scandal Wears Satin (Avon Historical Romance). She's the businesswoman/number-cruncher of the dressmaking business, Marcelline being the creative genius and Sophy the marketer/promoter. Numbers and neat columns, credits and debits, weighing pros and cons of everything, that's Leonie's life.

But it's a lonely life now that Marcelline and Sophy are married and much less involved in their dressmaking business. Her sisters' husbands would prefer that the three sisters, including Leonie, leave the business and devote themselves to life in the peerage. But Leonie can't even consider that possibility. "It hurt, physically, to think of abandoning it. The shop was her link to Cousin Emma. She'd made them into a family and taught them to have a real life... How could Leonie give that up? It would be like giving up some part of her heart."

That's the main conflict of this romance. Can she give her heart to a man who may want her to give up that other important part of her heart? The lovely resolution of this dilemma at the story's end will please any romance reader.

To add a little bit more interest, there's a blackmail/scandal issue involving hero Lisburne's friend Lord Swanton, poet of questionable talent, whose immense popularity with young women has more to do with his looks and sensitivity than to his talent. And there's the problem of a certain Lady Gladys, needing a makeover in looks and personality. Leonie and Lisburne make a wager over the possibility of turning her into this season's success and the recipient of at least one marriage proposal before the season is over.

When you consider the plot, it's not "all that", but when you consider the writing, well, it's "all that" and more. One particular aspect of the romance that's written so well is Lisburne's attraction to Leonie's accountant's/mathematician's mind. Like when he says "When you talk in numbers, you drive me mad." Or "...when you speak of your ruthless ways with customers in arrears, my heart pounds." There's a lovely seduction scene which has Leonie reading a list of dressmaking product prices and quantities to Lisburne that is truly funny and romantic at the same time.

For me, this is class-act HR writing. As I said earlier, it didn't give me that total romantic thrill of LoS and it has minimal angst (something I love in HRs), but compared to most HRs available lately, it's excellent.

BTW, we still have Lady Clara's fate to worry about. She was informally engaged to the H of the first book, ran off with a fortune hunter in the second, and mostly just hangs around in this third book of the series. I assume Chase's next book will have her find true love.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Maybe I was over-expecting. 9 July 2014
By lark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've loved just about every novel Loretta Chase has written and I enjoyed this one, too. Still, it was a little deflating. I expected Leonie to exhibit the same pizzazz as her sisters in the previous two books and she just didn't, not for me, anyway.

I liked Leonie. I admired her. But she just lacked the sparkle, the panache of her sisters. With very little participation by Marcelline and Sophie, always a feature of their stories, Leonie was sort of cast adrift to carry her story by herself...and she just seemed a little flat to me. I think this was the main problem, actually. In the previous novels, the sisters had been so closely entwined. They were so together against the world! Even after Marcelline married, there was still the ongoing connection, their support for each other.

Lisburne was all that we like in a hero, but he couldn't carry the load all by himself. After her introduction in Sophie's story, I expected Gladys (Lady Clara) to produce some uproarious scenes, but no, this seemed to be only a small table-setter for her story.

This was a pretty fair story and many readers have enjoyed it, so did I. I just wasn't carried away by it. Had I not read the earlier books, I think I would have thought this a good standalone. I had read them, though, and as I said, perhaps I was just expecting too much. I loved the others and I *am* in line for Clara's story.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sparkling in Sarsenet 6 July 2014
By Ann Elliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a rarity among romance novels--although Loretta Chase usually stands out in the crowd.

Amusing banter, charming characters, and---research! Tons of diligent research. A Botticelli painting plays a part in the book. So does poetry, from The Odyssey to Byron to humorous doggerel from the 1800s. And, when she fiddles with accuracy, as authors often must do, Chase is aware of what she is doing and explains why she did it.

The clothing, as befits a series about modistes, is the best described of all. How I wish there were illustrations accompanying the book, even if they were mere pen-and-ink sketches. I want to see those triangular thingies that go over a lady's shoulders and tuck into her belt. Lisburne's descriptions were wonderfully helpful, though. He hasn't a clue about the technical names for fashion, so he just gives an idea of how they look to him. Very helpful for modern readers.

The other two sisters, Marcelline from book one and Sophy from book two, stay in the background. I appreciated that. Their turns are over and this is Leonie's book. I hate it when previous characters return, pale shadows of their former selves, to haunt a current book.

In an unusual move, the hero and heroine both have painful times in their pasts, but they do not share them with each other. They will do that over time, when they know each other better. That keeps angst at a minimum and makes for a more light-hearted read.

My only quibble was with Lisburne's initial attitude toward Leonie. He assumes that she is fair game because she is a business woman and because she lived in Paris. He seemed more intelligent in other areas. Since Leonie's older two sisters have married into the nobility, and are, in fact, the wives of men well known to Lisburne, he seems to have been very dense to see her as a fit subject for a casual affair. Perhaps his trusty valet, Polcaire, tied Lisburne's cravat too tightly that day?
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Chase is a great author, but this doesn't live up to the series 27 Jun. 2014
By LyinLyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've loved the first two books in Chase's "Dressmaker" series and eagerly anticipated the release of Leonie Noirot's book. "Vixen in Velvet" started off with such promise; the first chapter held my attention and immediately set the stage for attraction and banter between Leonie and Simon, the Marquess of Lisburne. In fact, I would say the first 40% of this book was excellent and up to par with the earlier 2 books in the series. But sadly, the well set-up story arc fizzled into the mundane. If you've enjoyed the series, then you're going to need to read this book, but it's likely to be you're least favorite. Also, you really should read the previous 2 stories before reading this book. "Vixen in Velvet" offers only a glimpse of the historic struggles that the sisters of Maison Noirot have endured; and Chase gives the barest details of the sisters' relationships and previous storylines. All that being said, Chase is still an excellent writer and the book moved along and was enjoyed. It simply wasn't all that memorable and I don't think Chase ever truly developed Leonie into a unique, unforgettable character.

***SPOILER ALERT - DON'T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LEARN SOME PLOT DETAILS***

I have a few key issues with this story that made it fall flat for me.
1) Sophie does not appear in this book until the very last chapter and I don't even recall a line of dialogue. Marcelline might as well have been left out because she adds nothing to the story the few times she appears. The series went from having the sisters' relationships being a central (and enriching) part of the series to Leonie standing alone. I greatly missed the other sisters, who were each such strong and interesting characters.
2) In the previous books, each sister had very strong and unique character traits. Marcelline was seductive and a master at flirting. Sophie was a master of disguise and turning drama into revenue for the shop. Leonie's defining characteristics seem to be OCD (extreme need to keep order in her office) and a love of accounting. Chase never develops Leonie into her own, unique character, which is unfortunate because without the other sister being involved in the story, Leonie never develops into the amazing character you are so hoping she will. Also, Chase seems to give up on giving Leonie her own unique traits by saying several times that Leonie also has some powers of seduction and also can blend into the background when needed. It comes off as Leonie being a lesser version of her sisters' striking talents.
3) Scenes within the shop and with customers are so enjoyable and central to the prior 2 books. The termagant cousin of Lady Clara, Gladys, sets the stage nicely for that thread to continue in this book. Gladys throws temper tantrums and there were several places where Chase could have written fabulous scenes showing how Leonie can manipulate the customer, but these scenes fall flat. And most importantly, we never know the details of how Leonie gets Gladys to make a spectacular transformation. Once again, the stage was well set by Chase, but the actors never delivered.
4) It very much felt like Lady Clara was thrown into this book just to keep her thread running through the series since her story is next. She really didn't add anything to the book and I didn't learn anything new about her.
5) While Leonie and Simon have initial chemistry and their early flirtations are quite enjoyable, Leonie's character lacks any authentic-feeling turmoil to make me believe there's any reason for her not to fall directly into bed with Simon. Chase wants the reader to believe that Leonie is wed to the shop and business as a way to remain close to her beloved, deceased aunt, who had taught all of the Noirot girls about being dressmakers. I could have bought that as a reason, but no real angst was shown or developed so it seems like a silly reason, instead of a deeply emotional one. Also, Leonie regularly thinks that aristocrats will do what they like and that Simon would never settle down with her. Ok, really? The eldest sister is married to a Duke and the middle sister is married to a high ranking lord. It's not even remotely feasible that Leonie would think she can't make a match with the Marquess of Lisburne. The class difference between a Duke and dressmaker was a great plot line in the first book, but it doesn't work in the third book with the already married sisters highly ranked and regarded well.
6) Leonie falls in love and I just didn't feel it. There wasn't that deep emotion that I felt between the Duke and Marcelline. The story jumped from good flirtation to suddenly in love over having had an exhausting day and Simon making her some sandwiches. That's not love, that's being overwrought and vulnerable.
7) Leonie "leaves" Simon before he can leave her (and break her heart in the process), except that it's the least dramatic or emotional "leaving" scene ever. It's about 80% into the book and Simon basically knows he's going to win her back. I didn't feel the loss on either character's part. At this point, the book already felt like it was going through the motions, rather than wrapping up any true emotional arc.
8) The subplot of someone spreading rumors that hurt Simon's cousin and also Maison Noirot was so forced and predictable. And, most importantly, it didn't help to flesh out the characters. It felt like some sort of drama was necessary so Chase wrote in that part of the story.

I still love Chase as an author and will continue to read her work, but this book feels like Chase never fully figured out how to make Leonie and Simon's story stand apart, beginning with creating Leonie as an amazing character with attributes that would make her stand out. It fell flat and felt route, especially when compared to how "Silk is for Seduction" was such a refreshing new take on this genre. It was still an enjoyable read, but totally forgettable and not one I'll pick up again.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
What not to wear, Regency-era edition 24 Jun. 2014
By Penny Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just as in the first two books, fashion plays key role in this installment of The Dressmakers series. In a clever spin on the ugly duckling turned swan trope, the youngest and yet unwed Noirot sister Leonie decides to bolster the success of the family business by making over Lady Gladys Fairfax, a fashion-challenged noblewoman whose first season was a spectacular failure.

The story offers a nice change of pace with the hero who has had a solid relationship with his father and who isn't tormented by deep psychological issues. But, I wish he didn't initially view his pursuit of Leonie as a way to pass the time he had to spend in London. With her two sisters married to noblemen, he should have realized she was no ordinary shopkeeper, and that the only reason for her to keep the family business a going concern was sentimental. I was appeased somewhat, at the end of the book, when she made him work for their happily ever after.

Minor quibbles aside, the romance is light, banter between characters witty, and plot flows effortlessly, making this novel a perfect summer read.
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