Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown #Minireview

littlegraydress

Length: 219 pages

Please note the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.

When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?

The Review: I read this a very long time ago in an early iteration and waited for it to be published so I could post a review, the whole time very excited as one of my favourite bloggers (who people will also know as a blog tour organiser) had a romantic comedy  that showed how hear years of reading and blogging were a testament to excellent writing. Unfortunately other blogging stuff took over (as is life), and so I ended up not posting so apologies to both the author and readers for such a long overdue review.

This is the story of Emi, who was with  her ex-boyfriend for five years before he shattered her heart into a million pieces. We get to see their years together through a timeline that alternates between back then and now, when Emi is more guarded, although still likeable. The characters in the book are excellent, with a great wedding to run up to for wild, pink atrocities to happen (laughed out loud then put my hands up to my face for one of them!), and yet with romance that blew me away! This was a book that came into my mind often afterwards in a ‘where did that happen again?’ kind of way and I look forward to Ms. Brown’s next offering. Thanks so much to the author for this book in return for an honest review.

About the author:

aimee

Aimee Brown is a writer and avid reader, often blogging her thoughts on chick lit books. Little Gray Dress is her first novel published. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing her next book, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to use far too many swear words.

Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and many, many pets.

Website (authoraimeebrown.com)

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

 

The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

thebookshoponrosemarylane

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

**Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a very special little cookbook shop is about to open its doors…**

In the beginning…

Kitty Cartwright has always solved her problems in the kitchen. Her cookbooks are her life, and there isn’t an issue that ‘Cooking with Aspic’ can’t fix. Her only wish is that she had a book entitled ‘Rustling Up Dinner When Your Husband Has Left You’.

Forty years later…

On Rosemary Lane, Della Cartwright plans to open a very special little bookshop. Not knowing what to do with the hundreds of cookbooks her mother left her, she now wants to share their recipes with the world – and no amount of aspic will stand in her way.

But with her family convinced it’s a hare-brained scheme, Della starts to wonder if she’s made a terrible decision. One thing’s for sure: she’s about to find out…

Lose yourself in Della’s world of food, family and friends. The perfect read for fans of Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews.

 

The Review: I picked this book by chance purely on the cover and the title (I know, I know), I mean talk about hitting the spot! Little did I  know that this came from one of my top authors, Fiona Gibson (read my review of one of my favourite rom coms ever: As Good As It Gets here )

This is the story of Della Cartwright. Della lives for her family and tries her best to help anyone she can. We meet her at Rosemary cottage, her mother’s house and family home, where all is quiet following the death of her mother, Kitty. She is in shock, as she has become accustomed to driving over to visit her mother in the hospice every single day and is standing in a kitchen that hasn’t seen the amazing cooking it used to, even though it still sports the hundreds of cook books that previously brought it to life.

Now, as I said, I didn’t know that this book was written by Fiona Gibson, and it was a departure from her other books in that it was written with language that was a bit more flowery, and more descriptiveness in the surroundings, where her other books seem to be solely concentrated on humour and dialogue (although of course we are aware and sucked into the setting too!) I’ll tell you at times I wasn’t sure of the language. There’s this horribly thin line in descriptive chick lit (as I call it), where the language crosses the line to become slightly too flowery, and while it was stunning, this happened a few times here, especially as the story was so good, that of Della, struggling with her mothers death, surrounded by some pretty awful siblings, and a husband who seems to be drifting away from her. Her daughter is leaving home, and Della is lost. Cue (sound trumpet!), pretty much my favourite idea to come from a book, that of a book shop that sells only second hand cookery books. I mean, could you imagine it?

I found myself dreaming of such a shop, where so many cookery books are so freely available, at prices that aren’t as horrific as in mainstream book shops. Brilliant! I loved the interactions between Della and her husband, adored Della’s personality and strength and vivaciousness when things hit the fan, lived for the set up of her shop, including her ideas for set up (a ‘Cooking in Difficult Circumstances’ shelf was mentioned, which is pretty much my life in the kitchen!) and enjoyed the other secrets that inevitably unfolded.

All in all I really, really enjoyed, but as I said missed a little bit (there was a lot there, but not the full barage I’m used to)  of Fiona Gibson’s trade spark and ‘take it as you see it’ness. Saying that I’m in for the long haul and can’t wait to get back to Fiona Gibson’s many other books (see them here). Thanks so much to Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5