On the spotlight today is A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine...
Sherill Bodine's Bio (taken from her website)
I won my first writing award in the seventh grade in a statewide essay contest about a television broadcast of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Instead of Silver Skates, they sent real skates, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m only sorry I don’t still have them so they could hang in my office.
While moving 22 times across the country and rearing our children, I sold stories to Fate Magazine, Home Life Magazine and True Confessions. In 1988, I sold my first novel and a week later received a two-book contract from Fawcett. Sixteen novels later, I’ve seen The Other Amanda win the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers’ Award and Talk of the Town chosen by Cosmopolitan magazine as its “Red Hot Read” for February 2009.
Follow @SherillBodine on Twitter
Mass Market Paperback: 220 pages
Cover Image from Hachette
Source of my copy: from Hachette in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis (from Hachette)
Fashion curator Athena Smith will do anything to get her hands on the Clayworth family's couture collection for her exhibit. So she's thrilled when she's called in to authenticate the gowns...until she falls ill while examining them and wakes up face-to-face with notorious Chicago bachelor Drew Clayworth.
Drew doesn't trust Athena one bit. He still believes she betrayed him years ago. So when his family's gowns go missing and Athena offers her help in exchange for the dresses, he reluctantly accepts. But they're both taken off guard by the barely restrained passion that's still between them...and the memories that are both bitter and sweet. As they work together to find the dresses, can they resist the sparks between them?
This book was my first blog tour review book, so I was really excited to read it and added to the fact that it's a second-chance love story (meaning the hero and heroine already have a past--my favorite romantic plot line) I immediately read it when I received it.
I have my complaints about this book but it was an okay read. It's a very light romance involving Athena Smith, a museum curator with a flair for expensive vintage dresses, and Drew Clayworth, CEO and heir of John Clayworth and Company, an exclusive department store. The story was set in the glamorous world of Chicago, which is a welcome change from the usual glitzy world of New York where books like these are usually set.
The hero and heroine were best friends turned to something more when they were young but a betrayal in Athena's part separated them for fifteen years. They were brought together again when the vintage couture dresses (owned by Drew's family and Athena wanted to feature in the museum she works for) were stolen. However, the dresses give off a sort of poisonous "truth serum" that causes whoever comes near them hallucinations. Athena, when called to confirm the authenticity of the dresses, was the first "victim" and in the mad dash to get her to the hospital, the dresses were stolen. When Athena regained her head, she and Drew decided to work together to find the dresses and find the person who stole them. As they worked together in close proximity, feelings they thought were buried in the past start to surface and they must confront that old betrayal--as well as problems in the present like why Athena's father was fired after working for Clayworth for many years--if they ever want to have a future together.
I liked reading the romance between Athena and Drew--there was chemistry between them and I felt that they belonged together and I especially liked how they came together in the end. However, the "betrayal" felt kind of silly to me and does not warrant the fifteen years they spent apart because of it. Also, I felt that the story behind of why Athena and Drew broke up was more of a mystery than the missing dresses--they were all found by the way but who took them and why Athena's father was fired remained unsolved and I guess the that mystery would carry on to the next book in the series. This book was also laden with references to Greek mythology and I felt the Greek facts thrown in here and there were a little random and unnecessary. I don't find Greek mythology that interesting so I didn't really appreciate it in the story but others might.
Overall, this book is a light, fluffy romance and a quick weekend read. It has great leads in sweet, lovely Athena (who wasn't shallow at all!) and charming, sexy Drew and provides wonderful escape into the rich, glamorous lifestyle of the affluent Chicago society. I have my complaints about it but it was a fun read just the same and I give it 3 stars out of 5.
**Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My review was based on MY own experiences with the book and only share my honest, unbiased opinions. PLEASE use this blog only as a source and not the definite answer to your inquiries. Any items I receive "in kind" will never be sold. They will either be kept by me, donated to the Hawaii Public Library or given away on contests on this blog.**