This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Montlake Romance
Released on April 16, 2019
Three friends since high school own a made to order bridal shop for plus size women. These big beautiful women have been through a lot in secret pain and together with a pint of ice cream, but now they need each other more than ever. This character-driven small town friends story of new opportunities, friendship, and romance had me wanting to pull up a chair at their kitchen table and sharing about life and whatever snack is being dipped into.
In this standalone women’s fic- contemporary romance crossover, Mitzi gets a chance with her high school crush when his daughters need gowns for a wedding, Jody’s life goes to pieces when she learns it has all been a lie with high school sweetheart, Lyle, and Paula has to share that she turned out to be ‘the other woman’ in a cheating husband’s affair.
The Perfect Dress is the story of all three women along with Graham and his twin daughters. The ladies and the girls are all plus size so they go through the lows and highs of what that can mean. For Mitzi, its wondering how Graham can want her since she is a big woman and unlike his petite ex-wife even though her heart tells her that she’s got something on the inside that woman never had and that, yes, she’s gorgeous and especially to Graham. For Jody, its learning that she put up with an emotionally and physically abusive mother so that she was ripe to turn herself inside out for a man who ended up cheating on her and walking away after years only to have a new man who likes her strength and sass try to convince her into meeting him for a cup of coffee. And, for Paula, who was also emotionally abused and down-trodden by a parent, to learn the man she was with was only separated from his wife who now shows up in the neighborhood forcing Paula to be gracious and keep big secrets since that woman was the wronged one.
I loved how the bridal shop was the center of things with them working on the custom gowns, visiting when Mitzi’s gran or dad dropped by, and now having the lively Harrison twins brightening the shop with a handsome Graham along to addle Mitzi’s wits. The big Dallas Bridal Show is what has them all pulling together to help make the shop have a good showing, but also Jody, Paula, and even Graham’s confrontations with exes to clear the past kept things lively enough.
The gentle, comfy, down home feel behind the friendship and Mitzi’s slow burn romance had me relaxing and enjoying every page though I confess I could have seen slightly less focus on the big girl stuff. But, overall, it was engaging and fun particularly because Mitzi’s gran wouldn’t let them mope and they each had their own strength to finally reach for what they really wanted. I’d recommend this one for those who enjoy the crossover between women’s fic and romance.
I rec’d this book from Netgalley to read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #50
Literary Pickers #87 picnic
Books N Tunes #22 Martina McBride’s Marry Me