Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Nov09/memoriesofascandalousreddress.eb.html
It was instant attraction for Lady Philippa Knolles when she met daring American Captain Thomas Dashwell. But even as Pippin and Dash fall in love, an uneasy political climate eventually leads to their separation, leaving Pippin with only a scandalous red dress and two lives growing inside her as mementoes of the pirate she loved.
Twenty-three years later, Pippin is widowed and the image of propriety. Then a stranger appears on her doorstep, claiming Dash needs her. Time hasn’t dulled Pippin’s love for her pirate, but when she sees Dash once again he is nothing like the man she loved. Faced with a bitter, drunken lover from her past, it’s up to Pippin to remind Dash what was and what could still be; with the help of a certain scandalous red dress, of course.
Of all the books in Elizabeth Boyle’s Bachelor Chronicles, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress is the story I have waiting to read the most. I finished reading the story with mixed feelings that time and re-reads have not been able to sort out. Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress weaves in and out of Dash and Pippin’s past and present. On its own, this would have worked beautifully. Yet as part of a series, after seeing parts of their love story in earlier books, the cruelty of their twenty-three year separation broke my heart. I can understand why Ms. Boyle did it and even am glad at the resulting introduction of Dash and Pippin’s children, whom I adored and would love to read stories for. Still, I mourned the years lost between the two and never felt the joy of happily ever after was fully captured. With the older Pippin and Dash certainly fit their situations, the parts of the book I enjoyed were those set in the past, where the more daring and hopeful hero and heroine appeared.
I do not wish to imply that Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress was an unpleasant read, for it certainly was not. It just did not live up to my expectations for these characters. However, I am pleased Pippin and Dash did end up finding their happily ever after together, even if it was delayed. I am also hopeful Ms. Boyle decides to gift readers with stories for Pippin and Dash’s sons, John and Nate.