Thursday, 8 September 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #171
Girl in a Vintage Dress - Nicola Marsh
Mills and Boon RIVA
Harlequin UK, 2011
From the back cover:
To outsiders it might seem that Lola Lombard, queen of all things vintage, would be over the moon at having to organise a retro-themed hen-do. In reality she’s shaking in her seamed stockings, for the terrifyingly glamorous gaggle of hens brings back all the insecurities she's been hiding behind her bright red lipstick!
Worse still, with the hens comes the bride's gorgeous blue-eyed brother. A too-cool-for-school entrepreneur, Chase has no patience for Lola's 'retro' (read: old-fashioned) ideals...
Sparks fly as modern man meets 1950s siren, but Chase grows increasingly fascinated - who is the shy woman behind the elaborate vintage mask...?"
I absolutely love this cover, isn't it just stunning?! The title is also fantastic, they compliment each other perfectly. So naturally, I was pretty excited about reading this one. Oh, the North American and Australian covers are also gorgeous (especially the Austrailian one), click on the links to see them on Nicola Marsh's blog - do it now, I'll wait...!
The heroine Lola owns a retro and vintage store, but it is so much more than her job. Vintage is her life, something that gave her purpose and confidence after growing up feeling like the ugly duckling in a family of models and beauty queens. She meets the hero Chase when he comes into her shop to ask her to arrange a week long retro themed hen party for his sister. He is the complete opposite of Lola with his sleek and modern corporate life, and they immediately rub each other up the wrong way. But sparks also fly and they are very attracted to one another.
As the hen party week gets under way, Chase finds he can't stay away and he and Lola end up spending a lot of time together. As they get to know one another they find a connection with their equally lonely childhoods and the loneliness that they both still carry with them, as well as the desire that is between them. But shy Lola is not the fling type and Chase doesn't want long term.
Oh, how I adored this book, I really did. Everything about it feels beautiful. I am into vintage and retro myself (I really do wear my hair and makeup like my avatar!) and I could tell that Nicola Marsh had not only done her research very thoroughly but also enjoyed it! The descriptions of Lola's shop, clothes, accessories, hair, make up etc are fantastic, I could really visualise everything.
The story is really good too! Chase and Lola are two wonderful characters; perfectly matched yet totally different, which makes for some really delicious tension. What I like most about this book is the balance between the snappy, casual and fun writing and the tenderness of the romance. Nicola Marsh's characters are always likeable and, more importantly, relatable and this is certainly the case with Chase and Lola (love that name!).
If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be 'Gorgeous'. Because it really is!