The Perfect Dress

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 May 2020

Member Reviews

I absolutely loved this, I read it in one day, the dresses were so special that made it so page turning
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This was a delight and I would thoroughly recommend it to others. It was charming, funny and just a little bit sad. I loved the details about the dresses and would read it again happily.
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Francesca spends her life finding the perfect vintage dress with the perfect stories to their new brides in her bridal store The Whispering Dress. When she finds a 1950s dress of dreams, she's determined to find out about the brides who once wore it but the son of the family isn't interesting. Rude and arrogant, Rafael Colt is ashamed of family secrets and has closed himself off from love, until Fran comes along demanding answers.

This is a sweet book, perfect for those looking for a romance to be whisked away on. Rafael is definitely very much a Mr Darcy-like character - dark, brooding and a little bit rude - though, for me, he didn't have much of the better qualities of Darcy either. Francesca is a typical quirky character, who loves bounding around everyone, sharing stories and doting on long dead grooms to try and get over her own heartbreak.

I personally found the plotline of this book a little bit too dramatic. There were so many ups and downs with Rafael and Fran, and I never really felt them as a couple or bought into their so-called romance. I didn't feel the chemistry between them at all. The drama with the dress was all over the place as well, and was a bit darker than I would have wanted it to be which put a but of a downer on the whole thing. There were scenes in the book that seemed very serious, and then were shaken off very quickly and I just felt everything was too glossed over. I feel like the author wanting to delve into some subjects but was afraid to ruin the overall contemporary romance feel of the book. Better flashbacks or diary entries would have worked well for Alessandra or Janice to get to know them.

This book is written in present tense which is really, really off putting as well. Definitely not a tense I want to read a lot of. I kept feeling like I was being told things rather than shown them, and the story felt pushy.

I think for those looking for an easy read this could work. I just wanted something a bit more.
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A charming story of a woman surrounded by romance who won't let it touch her. Of course she meets someone just as damaged as she is, and you can guess the rest. The lovely pat is how she helps her brides and the stories of the dresses, and how she matches them up.
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Ah, The Perfect Dress one I wouldn't normally pick up but in the end a fantastic feel-good read. 

I'll be honest, I picked this up because I myself am going to be buying my wedding dress soon (eek!) and it seemed like a fun book with a bit of mystery and intrigue added in as well as not being too taxing while reading. I was all of that and more. I completely and utterly fell in love with the character of Fran and only wanted the best for her throughout. 

I didn't expect the fantastical element to it, the magic that is felt by Fran as she encounters each dress. I wanted to know so much about the brides of the past, the dead grooms that Fran is so fond of and more than anything, I wanted to see Fran happy! It was clear through the way in which Fran was written a lot of research was done into dresses, the history behind certain dresses and their place in fashion history, in fact, I really want to hunt down a few books on wedding dresses through the ages for my own research! 

While Raph did give me Mr Darcy vibes and there were a few times I wanted to shake some sense into him I think that he was needed in this book. His scepticism and past really added to the novel and kept it from being too overly sweet the whole time - which I did adore but I also thought he was a good balance throughout. 

This novel is an uplifting and fun read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a pick me up. I also found that I couldn't put it down, I came to really care about Fran and Raphael, who they were and their relationship. I think the only thing I would change is to make it longer! To get to know more about them separately, particularly Raph's relationship with her younger sister. 

Overall I gave this 4 stars a really enjoyable read. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Lovely book, interesting how the author has written it, Do vintage wedding dresses really hold the history of the past. Good characters. Would recommend
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Easy to read. It was obvious how the story would end from early in the book but I enjoyed reaching the conclusion. Interesting characters and well written.
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I did enjoy this book but I found it quite hard to get into to start with. However once I did get into it I really enjoyed the book and glad it had a happy ending in the end.
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Fran owns a vintage wedding dress shop – The Whispering Dress – but she doesn’t just sell on any old dress, she immerses herself in their provenance then matches them perfectly to brides-to-be.

The Fran and her friend go to clear a house, and she finds the most amazing wedding dress.  She connects with it straight away and tries it on.  Then the owner of the property, Rafael, walks in on her so she ends up dumping it in a skip on the drive.

She can’t stop thinking about the dress (or Rafael!) so she returns to dig it out of the skip.

I got into this book straight away, so I knew that I’d love it and have trouble putting it down!  An excellent debut novel from Louisa Leaman and I would certainly read her books again. Highly recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for an advance reader copy in return for an honest review.
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Such a lovely book with a great will they or won't they going on. 

Nothing too heavy but one that draws you in to the emotion of the story too.
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Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.
Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different.
No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.
When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner… 

This was such a charming and enchanting read.
I would have never thought of a wedding dress in this way til now.
Beautiful to read how the past and present entertwined.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that is so engaging from the start.
The characters are so well fleshed out and believeable.
The world building is perfect and vivid.
Recommend reading highly.

My thanks to Net Galley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read an advance copy. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Fran is a romantic who owns a wedding dress shop.  Not for her just large white creations, her dresses have history and each one is carefully chosen for the bride.  These findings are brilliantly depicted, and it makes a special dress even more so.

Business partner Mick encourages her to accompany him to a house clearance.  Here they find treasures that Fran cannot resist.  All the detail of the dresses history, finding the perfect accessories and ensuring that the overall effect is perfect.

The different stories surrounding brides, relationships and details of their lives are very clear.  The introduction of Rafael Colt shows that being in the public eye is not all it is cracked up to be.

A delightful book wrapped up with romance.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased.  My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
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Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect. No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.

When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner…

Such a lovely romance novel. Nothing new or innovative, but a love story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's heartwarming and beautiful and everything I look for in a romance novel. As you watch Fran try to break (and melt) the ice with Rafael, the son of the mysterious wedding dress, you will fall in love with her quirky and colourful personality. Everything that Raf needs a little bit more of. 

Fran is the type of person I wish I had when I was choosing my wedding dress - someone that could pick something that would suit me completely, both physically and emotionally. Love love loved this book.
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An enjoyable read, particularly for anyone with an interest in historical fashion and/or weddings. 
Likeable characters and not too predictable!
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A sweet, if slightly unusual, love story! Fran owns a vintage, wedding dress shop. She has a knack for matching the perfect dress to each bride. Sometimes the brides themselves would never have chosen such a dress, but they seem to have a magical quality that is perfect for that bride. Fran herself is hopelessly romantic but cant seem to find love herself. In hunting down her next vintage dress, she crosses paths with Raphael, wealthy, entitled and cynical. Despite all odds, they have an attraction but they are such different people, could it still work? 
The book has some twists and turns but overall its boy meets girl. Its sweet and enjoyable and had an unusual angle with the vintage clothing and the story behind each dress. Very readable but no massive impact.
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Loved this first book from Louisa Leaman, it's about Fran who has a wedding dress shop, but not a shop like any other wedding dress shop, I really enjoyed the stories behind each dress & the brides that purchased them, all that together with a will they, won't they romance leads to a really good read
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This is a love story. Very nice and a slightly different premise with Francesca who runs "The whispering Dress". a wedding dress shop with a difference. Fran matches dresses to brides, she feels the story of the vintage dress and senses what each bride needs. When she is called to a house clearance and meets brooding, rich Rafael Colt, her life changes. So yes, a love story. A will they/won;t they with modern elements. Not one to grab the attention but a pleasant enough read.
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The Perfect Dress is about Fran, who has a wedding dress shop unlike any other.  It's full of previously worn wedding dresses, and Fran  the experiences and wonderful lives of the previous owners will enhance the newly weds lives.

Fran does a lot of research on her dresses, and doesn't like a dress from a bad relationship to go on to a new bride.  She wants to match the right dress with the right bride, and wants the dress to bring something out of them that they didn't know they had.

Fran finds a wedding dress in a house clearance, and feels there is so much about it that she has to have it, even though she's not convinced it's a dress with a good history.  She clashes with Rafe, the son of the former bride, but she has to know more about the dress.

This was a romance with a touch of fantasy in that Fran sees visions of what the bride was feeling and going through.  I enjoyed it as a fast paced romp, with flawed characters that brought out the worst in each other.

The Perfect Dress was published on 17th October 2019,  and is available to buy on Amazon  and on Waterstones.  I've found a link to where you can search for local bookshops, including independent!

You can follow Louisa Leaman on Twitter, or through her website.

If you're interested in romance and family drama, then here's some others I've reviewed:

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley 🌟🌟🌟🌟

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I was given this book for free in return for an unbiased review, so my thanks to NetGalley and to Random House, Transworld (the publishers) for this book.

Check out my GoodReads profile to see more reviews!
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A really enjoyable easy-to-read romance. Perfect for a one-sitting escape! I believe this is the debut novel by Learman and I will keep an eye out for more novels in the future.
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Fran, the owner of The Whispering Dress, a special wedding dress shop where she matches the personality of the dress to the bride, finds a special dress in a house clearance. 
It brings with it Rafael and his hatred of the dress. 
The book tells the story of how these two people become friends. 
This hasn't been one of my favourite reads but it is a good easy read
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