Monday, February 1, 2010

Julie's Review: A Black Tie Affair

Summary: Fashion curator Athena Smith will do anything to get her perfectly manicured hands on the Clayworth family's celebrated couture collection for her exhibit. So when she's called in to make sure the gowns are the real deal, she's ecstatic...until a dress she's examining turns out to be loaded with toxins (talk about killer threads!) and Athena faints, only to wake up face-to-face with the One That Got Away, notorious Chicago bachelor Drew Clayworth. Drew still believes Athena betrayed him all those years ago, and he's sure he can't trust her. But when the priceless gowns go missing, she offers to help track them down. Reluctantly allied in the quest, Drew and Athena are soon stunned by the barely restrained passion still sizzling between them...and memories both bitter and sweet. Is their new partnership just a business arrangement? Or is this something more

Review: 2 words - Bodice Ripper. Not that those don't hold a place in my heart because in my teens and early 20s I read my fair share of Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel and even Ivanka Trump, but I find I like these types of books in small doses. A Black Tie Affair is a bit more than just a romance, it does have the air of mystery to it as well. Plus well I really read it because it's set in Chicago. Having lived here my entire life, I love going into the city. It's quite obvious that Clayworth's and Company is the iconic Marshall Field's and Company.

We meet Athena and her sisters, Venus and Diana who are the gems of the Chicago Society pages. We also meet Drew Clayworth and his cousin Connor, who are of course, Chicago's most eligible bachelor's. We find out very quickly that there is history of both the very recent kind and teenage years between Athena and Drew. As soon as the author described Drew as "Paul Newman from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", she had me hook, line and sinker.

It's not like we don't know that Athena and Drew are going to end up together right? It's the journey they take us on to get there. I have to give Ms. Bodine credit, she saved the clothes ripping towards the end of the book.

I'm not into clothing so I didn't get all the vintage references, except to mean that they were expensive. Although they did sound exquisite when described. You can tell that Ms. Bodine did her research on the subject and/or is a big fan of vintage couture.

Besides, where the vintage dresses disappeared to, the biggest mystery is why Athena's father, up and retired from Clayworth's and Company. Did he embezzle money, lose the company millions? We never really find out and I was a bit disappointed in that. I think it would have been great to have that resolved.

This is a perfect book to curl up with when feeling a bit low or in need of a quick, fun read. I highly recommend taking a nice bubble bath with it. Trust me, you'll finish it during that time.

I want to thank Dana at Kaye Publicity (website) for sending me a copy of the book to read and review. It was a nice change of pace from my typical reading.

Final Take: 3.5/5


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