The Perfect Dress written by Louisa Leaman, publisher Transworld (an imprint of Penguin Random House) is available in ebook from 17th October 2019. The paperback is due for release in February 2020.
To pre-order: https://amzn.to/32dZDqz
Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.
Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different.
No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.
When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner…
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Louisa Leaman’s debut novel: The Perfect Dress.
I really enjoyed this contemporary romance by Louisa Leaman it had an almost ethereal quality to the storyline but when the past from both Fran and Raphael’s lives catch up with them can they let go of the hurt and heartache and learn to let love in again?
The storyline had a magical feel to it centred around the owner of a vintage wedding dress shop in London. Fran has been around vintage inspired clothing since she was a young girl to when she helped her mother who was a dressmaker for a theatre company. Loving the history surrounding the clothes Fran felt compelled to share her love and opened up her own wedding dress emporium called The Whispering Dress.
Fran specialised in finding vintage dresses from house clearances, auction houses and sometimes they were just donated to her. Fran brought the dresses back to life by repairing any damage, cleaning and she sought great pleasure in researching the history of the last wearer of the dress. Fran believed the dresses could talk and release their own energy, she tried to match this vibe to the next bride-to-be bringing a totally bespoke, unique service to her brides.
However, when Fran came upon a rare 1950’s designer dress in a house clearance she felt a darkness within the dress but also felt drawn to it’s energy. There was also something about the son of the late owner of the dress and Fran couldn’t stop thinking about him, even though their first introduction didn’t go as well as hoped.
Raphael Colt was the heir to a philanthropist family who now had the position of responsibility for the foundation that his grandfather and father had built up. There was a sadness and anger within Raphael and when he saw Fran with his mother’s dress he saw a glimpse of the past he’d tried so hard to keep hidden.
I loved reading about the history of the dress design and also the previous owner of the outfit it was quite fascinating to learn about the provenance of why a certain style of dress was perfect for the wearer and occasion. I appreciated the author’s interest in the arts and in particular collections and exhibitions from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it left me with a thirst to visit this museum and see for myself some of the designer dresses from long ago. The Perfect Dress is a romantic contemporary story that fills you with a Disney-esque feelgood glow. I can’t wait for more from Louisa Leaman.
About the Author
Louisa Leaman was born, raised and now lives near Epping Forest. She studied Art History at Leeds University before becoming a teacher working with children with special needs. After winning the Times Education Supplement’s New Writer’s Award, she turned her hand to writing books for children. Louisa currently writes content for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but has also been published in the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and The Times Educational Supplement. Her interest in the arts is often inspiration for her plots and her first book, The Perfect Dress, was inspired by the V&As large wedding dress collection and fulfils her dream of writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t busy writing or rearing her three lively children, she paints portraits, takes long walks and spends far too long browsing vintage clothing shops.