The Perfect Dress

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Romance, weddings, curvy women, Texas, and weddings all in one book?  Sounds like my kind of read!

This was a delightful story and I liked how the wedding dress shop only focused on dresses for women size 14+.  I know how hard it can be to find a wedding dress for us curvy gals.

All three of the friends have some emotional baggage but are able to rely on each other for strength especially when their lives are falling apart.  There are some surprises for each of the friends but it only serves to make them stronger.  I appreciated their strength for each other and their no-nonsense advice to each other.  That is what we all need, that friend that will tell you like it is and make you pull up your big girl panties and do whatever it takes.  There are some moments that will make you chuckle, and others that will make you want to throttle someone.

There are two twin girls, Dixie and Tabby, that add an interesting twist to the story.  They have found their niche and their haven in the dress shop with Mitzi, Jody, and Paula.  I think it is a mutually benefitting relationship as they all get something out of being around each other.

There is romance and not just for Mitzi.  Usually, you don't see multiple relationships in one book but it works in this book.

Overall a fun read and we give it 4 paws up
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Carolyn Brown is one of my favorite authors. She has never failed to give me a fantastic read. Pick up any of her romances-I guarantee it will not be the last Carolyn Brown you read!!
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This is a story of three friends who run a bridal dress shop for plus size women.  Mitzi, the designer, seems to be at the center, angsting when her high school crush moves back to town with his two teenage daughters after his divorce.

Paula and Jody are Mitzi's friends, one with a secret she is reluctant to admit, the other devastated when her life is abruptly upended. 

At first I had difficulty telling Paula's and Jody's mothers apart as they were exactly the same sort of vicious sanctimonious witches who prate christianity without showing the least bit of Christian spirit. Once I got all them straightened out, it was just in time for a parade of clay-footed men and angry exes to turn up. Mitzi's romance really took a back seat, but that was all right, because there was plenty of emotional roller coaster with the other two.

It was a satisfying read, with terrific friendship at the core. And the bits of Texas the author worked in, from idioms to food, made it very atmospheric.
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THE PERFECT DRESS by Carolyn Brown is an emotionally packed women’s fiction story with a cozy romance subplot of three lifelong friends and their plus-size only custom made wedding dress shop “The Perfect Dress” in small town Celeste, Texas. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are three strong female characters that are all going through differing life challenges as the story begins, but no matter the problem they always know they can count on each other for love and support.

Mitzi is the dress designer of the group. Her grandma and her father have always supported her and her dreams. When her high school crush moves back to town in the summer divorced and with a set a twin girls, Mitzi wonders if she has a chance with Graham. The twins love The Perfect Dress shop and Mitzi has them helping with flower arrangements. She loves the twins and does not want to ruin her relationship with them if she starts dating their father and she also is insecure about her larger size since the twins mother was a tiny woman.

Jody specializes in beading veils and dresses. She has lived “in sin” with her high school sweetheart since graduation, but she is about to learn he has not be faithful and is dumping her for the mother-to-be of his child. Jody has put up with years of abuse from her mother about not being married and now she has to deal with the entire small town knowing she was cruelly dumped.

Paula loves sewing the beautiful dresses they make. She has been criticized and abused by her mother and sister because of her weight her whole life. She had been secretly seeing a man until she found out his wife is pregnant and he lied about getting a divorce. When she finds out she is pregnant, she wants to raise the baby as a single parent and does not want the cheater to ever know he got her pregnant. Her mother disowns her when she finds out, but Mitzi and Jody swear they will all be loving her baby right along with her.

Mitzi and Graham’s cozy romance is more of a subplot than the main focus of this book. This book revolves around the three friends who love each other and will do anything for each other. This is a book about how messy life can be, but with good friends you can get through the tough times and triumph in the end. Ms. Brown deals with many weight related prejudices throughout this story realistically and with heart. The Perfect Dress is a heart-warming, feel good book that had me closing the book with a smile on my face.
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Hooray. A perfect story about a store, The Perfect Dress and the three friends behind it. Some women are short and petite or come from the happiest families. Then there are others who are not. Luckily the gals have friends and family who know a person is a full body inside and out, give positive support and love. Being bullied, ridiculed, embarrassed by family, schoolmates and others starting at early ages is a hard thing to get through without support. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are termed plus size. I have heard others mean terms such as fat, gross, ugly or as someone called me, heavy duty. 
There are times when we have the occasion to stop, look at ourselves, relationships and where we have been and where we want to be. Sometimes we make the choice to look and sometimes a situation makes the choice of looking for us.  I loved this book not just because I can relate, it is a cute happy love story. Plus I am from Texas and had to sew my own wedding dress.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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This book had me HOOKED from the first chapter...I could NOT put it down! The characters were so relatable, that I wanted to climb right into the story with them. I felt a myriad of emotions throughout the whole book: happy, sad, confused, frustrated, angry, relieved and joyous!! This book had an even balance of romance and drama with an ending that left me smiling. I HIGHLY recommend this book!!!
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This is a very real, heartwarming, sweetly sexy romantic journey filled with witty banter, small town goodness and the best kind of friends..... was a very entertaining journey from beginning to end with sweet town and engaging charters. Loved this story and look forward to reading more.
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I never ever get tired of things written by this author!  I'm more of a fan of the stand alone series than some of the other books she writes but it's awesome and she didn't disappoint with this new book either .I just cannot stop reading them. Call it women's fiction call it chick lit, whatever it is it's as good as your favorite  comfort food.  Sometimes you can see yourself in it and sometimes you just learned a very good lesson .Other times it's just an amazing story that you're glad you got to read.
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Okay, so at first read...I was actually worried it was going to be one of THOSE books. You know the ones...where the he/she lead and supporting cast is SO hung up on size that quite literally EVERY other sentence has something to do with them being bigger/smaller, or the hard times they faced because of their size, or how awful the world is in general thanks to their waistline or lack thereof. Now, admittedly, there is quite a bit of talk regarding weight/size here, but it's done in such a way that it's not overbearing to the's in addition to it...and at some points THE actual story itself, like the bullying the girls faced, both past AND readers like myself don't feel bogged down in the details.

Then we have the characters, and what a cast it is! Okay, can I just say that I love Fanny Lou's character? I mean seriously...she is a hoot! Moving forward, I was really loving these girls, individually and as a fearsome threesome! Paula is so strong and self-assured, and in the face of what's in store for her, she's gonna need that strength, but also the ability to lean on others. Joy...OMG...what Lyle did is UNFORVGIVEABLE...and let's just say if we met face to face, someone would have a new pair of earrings, while the other would be in A LOT of pain! Mad props to the twins for their "performance" ...BRILLIANT! Mitzi has definitely got some good juju coming her way, as long as she doesn't let herself second guess it to a halt before it even gets started. I was definitely ready to see the sparks fly between her and Graham. 

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this one in many ways. From the story slant to the drama, the powerful friendships to the relationships, the characters to the memorable moments, there's something around every page turn to watch for, follow, or belly laugh it out with. If you're a fan of Contemporary Romance, you'll certainly want to make room on your summer reading list for this one!
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Plus Size Love
Mitzi, Paula and Jody have a wedding dress store that caters to plus size brides. Everything is going smoothly until Graham, Mitzi’s high school crush moves back to town with his twin girls. Mitzi falls in love with the girls and she is falling for Graham too.
The first thing I must mention is that I would love to applaud Carolyn Brown for writing about plus size heroines. These gals aren’t perfect, they have been bullied, they are self-conscious, and they are real! The average reader can relate to the characters. They are funny, quirky and so easy to love. I also loved how Carolyn focused on Mitzi and Graham but also had side story lines for Paula and Jody. The absolute best character in the book for me was Mitzi’s grandma, Fanny Lou. I’ve never giggled so much in a book as with this loveable, straight up character. 

This was the first book I have read of Carolyn Browns, but I guarantee you it won’t be the last. I would have loved if this was a trilogy of the three characters so I could revisit Mitzi and the girls. Sit back, relax and enjoy this heartwarming story. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book to review for my honest opinion.
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I love Carolyn Brown! This book The Perfect Dress, is a very good book.   I love the characters and the setting, oh my, it was perfect for me. It certainly made me smile! I don't miss many books by this author and I highly recommend this one.
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Carolyn Brown makes it easy to love her characters. The Perfect Dress is an example of the reasons why. Mitzi is a characterization of every woman. Caught between accepting who we are and wishing for what we should be. What she fails to realize is that a beautiful heart is more attractive than the most flawed of body parts. Graham and Mitzi are the embodiment of love at it's most precious. Perfect is a state of mind, not a look to uphold. Relatable characters, emotional stories and hidden words of wisdom, make author Carolyn Brown, the perfect fit for any bookshelf.
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Thank you Netgalley, the publisher and Carolyn Brown a chance to read and review this book for my honest opinion. The Perfect Dress is a story or high school sweethearts, crushes and friends who stay with you no matter what happens. A story of how true small towns work and how friendship and strong women can hold their heads up high no matter what happens. This story has many twists and turns you just can't seem to stop reading it. The end was a little abrupt for my taste though. Would have loved a couple more books to draw out this story.
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A•R•C ~ I was given The Perfect Dress by AUTHOR NAME as an Advanced Readers Copy (A•R•C) from NetGalley.  I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.  
Nice read, took me a minute to get into the book. Three friends open a plus-size custom made bridal boutique primarily working from size 14 and up, creating their perfect dress.  Mitzi, Paula and Jody’s lives will change during the year this book takes place, getting “The Perfect Dress” off the ground takes a lot of their time and their personal lives are on a roller coaster with highs and lows, but they all end up with their own HEA.
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This a really good story. I have mentioned to my local library that they need to start carrying author Carolyn Brown's books because I think everyone would enjoy reading them.  This is another fantastic story.
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Everything about this book is wonderful.   The idea that three women come home and start a business making size 14 and large dresses so that every person can be beautiful for any special occasion.   They specialize in wedding dresses but have been known to make dresses for other reasons.   

Tabby and Dixie are two teenagers who have been bullied due to their size, when they approach the ladies to make them dresses for a wedding they are in these women take them into their hearts and show that how truly beautiful and special they are.   I love how open, loving, and protective they are to these two girls even though they are strangers.   They don’t question their hearts, they don’t question their reasoning, they just do it.  

Each of these women is happy with their lives but their lives are not quite what they wish them to be.    It was fun watching each woman open their hearts and lives to others in the community.   They see what they have been missing, what they want to achieve, and go for their goals.   They fall in love, they make new relationships, and they nurture current friendships.
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The Perfect Dress is another fantastic Carolyn Brown book. She writes a story about plus-size women who are going about living their lives, dealing with the chaos of life and the losing and finding of love. Her characters are (as always) very likable and very easy to relate to. 
There is the slow and cautious development of the relationship of Mitzi with Graham, a rather awkward with women type of guy who is also dealing with a crazy ex-wife and his very tall twin 15 year old daughters. The attraction between them is sweet...and perfect.
The friendship of the three women running the plus size wedding dress shop is another fantastic aspect of the story. They fuss at each other plenty and don't cut each other any slack when toughness is warranted, but they will always support each other. They have the kind of friendship we all should have in our lives.
As usual, Brown's quirky lines help fill in the story. My favorite was, "The rest of the day went by like a snail headed for his own funeral". 
I received this book via Netgalley. I was thrilled until I realized what I'd done. I usually reserve my Audible credits to use on Carolyn Brown's Women's Literature books because I love the accents so much. Even though I've read the book already, I may still have to get the audio--because I love them THAT much. If you haven't tried one of her audio books, you really should!
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Well paced, fun read with lots of southern charm.
Three friends since high school stay connected. Though there is loss there is more gain.
Heartwarming story of lasting friendships through life's challenges
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Three friends since high school own a made to order bridal shop for plus size women. These big beautiful women have been through a lot in secret pain and together with a pint of ice cream, but now they need each other more than ever. This character-driven small town friends story of new opportunities, friendship, and romance had me wanting to pull up a chair at their kitchen table and sharing about life and whatever snack is being dipped into.

In this standalone women's fic- contemporary romance crossover, Mitzi gets a chance with her high school crush when his daughters need gowns for a wedding, Jody's life goes to pieces when she learns it has all been a lie with high school sweetheart, Lyle, and Paula has to share that she turned out to be 'the other woman' in a cheating husband's affair.

The Perfect Dress is the story of all three women along with Graham and his twin daughters. The ladies and the girls are all plus size so they go through the lows and highs of what that can mean. For Mitzi, its wondering how Graham can want her since she is a big woman and unlike his petite ex-wife even though her heart tells her that she's got something on the inside that woman never had and that, yes, she's gorgeous and especially to Graham. For Jody, its learning that she put up with an emotionally and physically abusive mother so that she was ripe to turn herself inside out for a man who ended up cheating on her and walking away after years only to have a new man who likes her strength and sass try to convince her into meeting him for a cup of coffee. And, for Paula, who was also emotionally abused and down-trodden by a parent, to learn the man she was with was only separated from his wife who now shows up in the neighborhood forcing Paula to be gracious and keep big secrets since that woman was the wronged one.

I loved how the bridal shop was the center of things with them working on the custom gowns, visiting when Mitzi's gran or dad dropped by, and now having the lively Harrison twins brightening the shop with a handsome Graham along to addle Mitzi's wits. The big Dallas Bridal Show is what has them all pulling together to help make the shop have a good showing, but also Jody, Paula, and even Graham's confrontations with exes to clear the past kept things lively enough.

The gentle, comfy, down home feel behind the friendship and Mitzi's slow burn romance had me relaxing and enjoying every page though I confess I could have seen slightly less focus on the big girl stuff. But, overall, it was engaging and fun particularly because Mitzi's gran wouldn't let them mope and they each had their own strength to finally reach for what they really wanted. I'd recommend this one for those who enjoy the crossover between women's fic and romance.
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