Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna VanPraag
Oh, dear. I’m not comfortable with calling this completely a romance novel because I don’t read those. But it is. It’s also a little bit of a murder mystery and a little magical. Not enough of either of those to turn me away.
Cora Sparks ( when you get into the story you’ll realize along with me the last name is a bit of a pun) is an academic. Before her parents died, Cora’s playground was a laboratory and her playmates her parents. So it was only natural she would grow up to continue the work her parents began.
Cora’s grandmother, Etta, runs a dress shop. A bit of a magical place that announces each customer with appropriate music, giving Etta a little heads up about the wants and needs of the customer. In this shop the dress chooses the woman and with a little help from Etta a little red star is stitched somewhere inconspicuous in the dress to help guide the woman in the right direction.
Walt owns a little bookshop across the alleyway from Etta and has loved Cora since they were children. Almost from the first time he saw her. But Cora didn’t have time for anything that wasn’t real and scientific when she was growing up and now that she has, it’s silly to change, especially silly to notice someone who’s always been there.
Try as she might, Etta’s magic stitches aren’t working for Cora and Walt. The stitch she put in Walt’s shirt backfired and he’s decided unrequited love can wear a guy out and he’s off looking elsewhere. Cora is hot on the pursuit of proving her parents didn’t die accidentally. This part of the story was too easily solved but if you look at the story as a romance then we can’t spend too much time on the mystery, can we?
Uncharacteristically for me, I did enjoy this story. If you’re looking for something to take along on vacation or just need something light, refreshing and fun then why not let a dress choose you?