Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Black Tie Affair - Sherrill Bodine


Unlike most review copies, this book came to me in an usual way. My mom (a huge Facebooker) told me recently that one of her rediscovered high school chums was an author! How cool is that? So through a few e-mails, Sherrill and I hooked up, and she sent me her most recent novel, and also sent me one for my Adult Literacy League silent auction. Her generosity is so greatly appreciated!

Athena Smith is a young, beautiful fashion curator in Chicago. To her delight, some vintage gowns have been discovered in a secret vault that belonged to Bertha Palmer, one of the founding women of Chicago. While Athena is examining the gowns, she is affected by toxic fumes coming from the gowns, which acts like a truth serum. Incoherent, she is rushed to hospital, exulting her undying love for Drew Clayworth, the studly heir of the prestigious Clayworth family fortune. And, in the middle of the fuss, the gowns are stolen. Athena must use all her industry connections to try to locate the missing gowns. Just look for the persons revealing their innermost secrets right?

But here is the catch. Athena has a history with handsome Drew. Young love, a misunderstood breakup, unresolved feelings. Now that he is back in her life temporarily, will they work out their differences? Or will they end it once and for all? Plus, there is this tricky issue, a undisclosed secret, about why Athena's father was accused of defrauding the Clayworth investments. Athena will not submit to choosing between Drew and her father.

I'm not necessarily a connoisseur of romance novels. I have a slightly cynical heart, so throughout most romances, I have a little snarky woman living in my ear whispering "yeah, but he's a cheater...he'll never change!" or "happily ever after by rear end!". For this read, though, I banned snarky woman to my big toe for a few days so I could fairly review this book. (Tasha at Heidenkind would be proud.)

This is a light-hearted romance infused with a little Chicago history, a little glitz and glamour, and a little tongue-in-cheek fun (tracking down the missing gowns by finding crazy-acting socialites!). There is even a guest appearance of Rebecca from Bodine's first novel "Talk of the Town". There are no twists and surprises here, but I'm guessing this is not a need romances are designed to fill, am I right? BoldThere is even a loose strand or two at the end, which is a nice touch. Room for a sequel? Perhaps. So book yourself an appointment at the spa, or a day at the beach, in between a murder thriller and a WWII novel (NOT while you are renovating a bathroom), and allow yourself an indulgence.

3 out of 5 stars


16 comments:

Melody said...

Wow, that's so cool that a friend of your mom is an author!

Mentioning of romance, I haven't been reading any lately so I might want to check this out. Thanks for the review, Sandy!

Andreea said...

Thanks for your review! I'm glad you liked the book.

sherrillbodine@hotmail.com said...

Hi Sandy,

I'm glad you had fun with A BLACK TIE AFFAIR! The next time I'm in Lafayette I want to meet your mother at The Frozen Custard for a triple dipper chocolate -- great to catch up with old friends.
xo Sherrill

Alice Teh said...

A good romance story is what I need now. Thanks for the review, Sandy!

Trisha said...

I absolutely adore a good romance novel from time to time as there is no better way to relax from reading than reading a sexy love story. :)

Anna said...

I'm not big on romance novels, but this one sounds kind of fun. Thanks for the review!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

The Bumbles said...

I'm not a romance reader myself - so I can appreciate you stepping outside of your reading box to try new things. That's what good reviewers and book bloggers do, in my opinion.

Kathleen said...

I'm not a big reader of romance novels but everyone needs to indulge, from time to time, right? I think this is a good "by the pool" read!

heidenkind said...

LOL I am very proud of you, Sandy! Isn't that convenient that she just happened to fall in love with an heir to a huge fortune? I wish I was so lucky!

Frances said...

A few years ago, my book club read a Highland romance because it was written by a friend of a member. Quite the bodice ripper. One member of our group said she stopped reading when she reached her "erection saturation point." And the night I was taking off for book club to discuss and could not find my book (did it really matter?), my son helped me out by yelling out, "Hey, Mom lost her book with the hot guy on the front." My stories get worse from here. My first and last from the romance genre. :)

Nymeth said...

lol! I have to say I love your snarky inner cynical :P I can't seem to get rid of mine, though one of these days I'll try and actually give a romance a real chance.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

It was fun to read your review of this book.

Zibilee said...

I haven't read much romance, but this sounds kind of fun. I might try to grab a copy from the library if I can. It's very cool that you have a personal tie with the author, and that she generously supported your cause as well!

Jenners said...

I love your snarky cynical side! : )

And how cool about how you came to get the book.

Serena said...

Sounds like an interesting book, though not my normal cup of tea. I really liked the story behind how you got the book.

Melissa said...

I don't usually read romance either, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I am always a little nervous to review books when I've talked to the author (what if I hate it), but your review was perfect.