: Jane L Rosen
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
First Published: July 12, 2016
First Line: "Pin it!" The dressmakers were all riled up.
Book Description from GoodReads: A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.
Natalie is a Bloomingdale’s salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who’s engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her happily married boss for twenty years; now that he’s a lonely widower, she just needs the right situation to make him see her as more than the best executive assistant in Midtown Manhattan. Andrea is a private detective specializing in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and can’t figure out why her intuition tells her the guy she’s tailing is one of the good ones when she hasn’t trusted a man in years. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Georgia, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review: This was a charming, light read with a strong Rom-Com feel to it. It's a smallish book that weaves the lives of nine women together with the 'dress of the season', the little black dress. I enjoyed seeing how each of these women's lives were connected via the dress, in varying degrees and page time, with some of the women only being in the book briefly. I liked that the book wasn't bogged down with a heavy story line for each of the nine women. And while I found a few of the story lines to be quite predictable it was an enjoyable read with a humorous side.
The book features many secondary characters that were quite vividly drawn in a small amount of pages. From the elderly pattern maker who created the 'must have' dress, to the 'off the farm' runway model who wears it on the runway, the Bloomingdale's salespeople who are eager to sell it, to the various women who wear it (and the addition of a mix-up in luggage that creates an interesting story line), this book had a lot going on but I think it worked.
While there were a lot of characters Rosen makes it easy to figure out who is talking by indicating the speaker at the beginning of each short chapter. Were some of the story lines predictable? Yes. Jeremy and Natalie's misunderstanding, Arthur's love life and Andie, the PI couldn't figure out who was lying, almost bordered on frustrating since their plots were so obvious. That said, if the story lines had turned out any other way (Natalie, Andie and Felicia, I'm looking at you) I would have been quite dissatisfied.
So I'm looking at this book as more of a romantic comedy of sorts making it exactly what it should be. Light and humorous with a gaggle of characters and a good helping of charm. In other words, a perfect beach read.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to DoubleDay books for providing me with a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.