In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.
Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.
For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?
“Folks up north start off a fairy tale by sayin’, ‘Once upon a time’. And us southerners start one off by sayin’, ‘You ain’t goin’ to believe this shit’.”
Mitzi, Jody, and Paula have spent the past year building their new business, The Perfect Dress. With an emphasis on plus-size custom made dresses, the ladies spend their days making the wedding dress dreams of larger ladies become an absolute reality. With originality, flair, and a desire to see every client happy and beautiful, the woman have little time for anything other than their work.
For Mitzi, the work is everything and though she wouldn’t mind having a man in her life, there isn’t much time for such distractions. In truth, Mitzi hasn’t had much time or energy for thoughts about her non-existent love life until the day she runs into Graham Harrison, her high school crush and newly divorced dad of two who has just moved back into town. Oh boy! With Graham back in town, Mitzi is suddenly faced with many, many new possibilities and those possibilities are taking up brain space normally reserved for design and sewing.
As if encouraging her thoughts on possibilities, Graham’s twin daughters work their way into Mitizi’s life and heart in short order. With fire, sass, intelligence, humor, and a very real interest in learning Mitzi’s craft, the girls are always at the shop and that means Graham is always in Mitizi’s orbit. In short order, Mitzi, Graham, the girls, Mitzi’s family, and her partners become a tight social circle which is a welcome for Graham and his girls as they settle back into town. Being together on a regular basis creates all kinds of wonderful and welcome feelings for both Graham and Mitzi and with literally everyone in their respective lives encouraging the match, it’s hard for both to ignore the obvious. As with so many other things in life, the path to happiness isn’t always easy and for Graham and Mitzi, there are considerations beyond their own desires that must be taken into account before they can commit to one another.
The Bottom Line: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Carolyn Brown is my go-to girl in this genre!! Once again, I fell in love with Brown’s version of small-town life, endearing characters, and a plot that is just right for the genre. While this story is meant to be Mitzi and Graham’s love story, there’s so much more going on with the other characters including Mitzin’s partners, Jody and Paula, and Graham’s twin daughters. The multiple sub-plots work beautifully with the main plot line and really come together to create a more complete book full of love, friendship, and community. It’s the spirit of love, friendship, loyalty, and community that keeps bringing me back to Brown’s books. I always know I’m going to get a solid, emotionally wrought read with real problems and real issues that are dealt with by real people. This particular read has a great number of issues and problems across a variety of characters and every one of them is blended perfectly with Mitzi and Graham. Once again, an excellent read from an author who perfectly understands small town life, creating real characters, and helping each of them reach a lovely and well-deserved HEA.