Posted by: Jennifer | July 12, 2009

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress – Elizabeth Boyle

Boyle, Elizabeth. Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress. (New York: Avon, 2009). ISBN – 9780061373244.

Main Characters: Lady Philipa Knowlles (or Viscountess Gossett) and Captain Thomas Dashwell

Related Works: This is part of Elizabeth Boyle’s The Bachelor Chronicle’s series. Books in the series include the following:

  • Something about Emmaline– story of Alexander Dumont, Baron Sedgwick and Emmaline
  • No Marriage of Convenience– story of Mason St. Clair, Earl of Ashlin and Madame Fontaine
  • Stealing the Bride– story of the Marquis of Templeton and Lady Diana Fordham
  • This Rake of Mine– story of Lord Jack Tremont and Miranda Mabberly
  • Love Letters from a Duke– story of Felicity Langley and the Duke of Hollindrake
  • Confessions of a Little Black Dress – story of Thalia Langley and Geoffrey, Baron Larken
  • Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress– story of Philippa, Lady Gossett and Captain Thomas Dashwell

Description form Book:

What if all you have are the memories of a rake . . .

. . . and the scandalous red dress that nearly brought you to ruin? Reminders of the kisses he stole? Or his seductive, rakish smile as he charmed his way into your bed, stole your innocence and your heart? To proper and respectable Philippa, Lady Gossett, such memories are best locked away. At least, so she thinks, until a stranger arrives on her doorstep and offers her a chance to tempt fate once again. . . to tempt Dash back into her life and quite possibly into her bed. . .

But the man Pippin loved all those years ago and the man she discovers are hardly the same. Captain Thomas Dashwell has a score to settle with the now-unattached Lady Gossett, the vision in red who has haunted his life for so long – ever since that fateful night when she betrayed him and married another. She’s the one woman he’s vowed to hate until the end of his days. . . and the one woman he can never forget.

My Thoughts:

I was well prepared for the fact that Pippin and Dash wouldn’t get their HEA for over 20 years before I made the decision to read this book. I decided that knowing in advance would help me deal with any disappointment about the situation. And this is largely true. I was able to read and enjoy Pippin’s adventure. My biggest gripe is that I wasn’t happy with Dash – and the way he was portrayed. Pippin made a deal to save Dash from being hanged. This deal led to her marriage to Viscount Gossett. She had a good life with Gossett who loved her dearly. This part was good. But, unfortunately, Dash didn’t do quite so well. When Pippin goes with Dash’s son Nate – to help Dash, we see a shell of the rogue pirate that we knew. He is a drunk who has le his life slip away from him. While I don’t think it is specifically stated, we are led to believe that this has been the case since Pippin saved his life and then married Gossett.

This seems like such a shame – such a waste. Dash doesn’t even really know his son – seemingly hasn’t had much to do with raising the boy at all. Dash was such a magnificent and mysterious character, that I was tremendously disappointed by what he had become. Because of Dash’s heartache, it seemed to me that it would have been much, much kinder of Pippin to let him die (and well, that somewhat ruins the overall Pippin/Dash arc for me).

For me a big part of the problem here is high expectations. I find that when authors introduce characters whose story unfolds over several books, their story – when it finally comes – needs to be somewhat bigger than life. I automatically expect these stories to be better than the others in the series. Pippin and Dash’s story was not spectacular – and therein lies the major reason for my disappointment.

Regardless, I’m glad that Pippin and Dash finally got their HEA.

Read first July 11, 209



  1. […] Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress – Elizabeth Boyle […]

  2. […] Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress – Elizabeth Boyle […]

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