Thank you so very much to the team at Harlequin Trade Publishing for considering me for the 2020 Spring Reads Blog Tour! I so appreciate you reaching out to me and even thinking about me for these tours. I’m finding the romantic in me, and I love getting to learn more about the romance novels that I’m digging, thanks to you.
Two years after Grace Kelly’s royal wedding, her iconic dress is still all the rage in Paris—and one replica, and the secrets it carries, will inspire three generations of women to forge their own paths in life and in love.
Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly—look-alike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice, one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security and of course, the dress.
Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.
As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.
Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Netgalley, and Graydon House Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
So I really wanted to read this novel because it was reminding me of another book I read about a famous dress and famous wedding, and this gave me another story to fall in love with historical fiction and beautiful wedding dresses. I don’t remember the dress that Grace Kelly wore and yeah sure it was before my time but looking it up and seeing just how gorgeous it was ended up making sense. I’m so glad that this book came into existence, and thank you so much to Janowitz for writing this story.
I think one of my favorite tropes with historical fiction novels is when there’s an item that connects generations of people together in such an interesting way – like this wedding dress. It could be passed down from mother to daughter like any other dress, but the fact that this is a hugely famous dress and everything that went into it was pretty insane also makes it so much more than a family heirloom to the world. I think that’s what appeals me so much about books like this.
So yeah this actually broke my heart, of course. I was expecting to have some tears fall but I was also super happy with the ending and just felt like I was a part of this family – well maybe not Grace Kelly and the royal family, but definitely Rose and Rachel’s families. I think also, as a woman that could have inherited my mother’s wedding dress – if I were her size and if I had an actual ceremony – this struck a cord in me because I think about what I missed out on and what kind of emotions could have been going through me during this time.
Maybe it’s a bit sentimental and all that, but a girl can dream about the choices she did’t make, right? Nothing wrong with that.