The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman #blogtour #theperfectdress @louisaleaman

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman. Many thanks to Katie Cregg from TransworldBooks for my invite onto the tour and review copy of the book.

About this book…

Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.

Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different. 

No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.

When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner…

My review…

This is an uplifting romance that left me with a real “feel good” smile on my face after I had finished it. Louisa Leaman has taken a fresh and interesting twist on buying a wedding dress and woven a heartwarming story around it that really appealed to the romantic in me. Francesca Delaney owns The Whispering Dress where she matches brides to their perfect dress. But this is no ordinary shop as the dresses that are held within its walls have history behind them and are waiting for that special bride-to-be to bring them to life again. Fran herself seems to have been unlucky in love but when she meets Rafael at a house clearance and discovers a rare family heirloom, their paths are determined to cross each other’s again and again.

This felt like a very grown up romance and I immediately sunk into the beautifully crafted narrative finding both Rafe and Fran very intriguing and likeable characters. There was an organic progression in their relationship that felt so right and perfectly paced right up to that wonderfully emotional epilogue. There were plenty of supporting characters to throw some spanners into the works and mix it up a little for our lovebirds but my favourite characters were the brides. I loved watching the magic happen between them and THE dress with Fran acting as matchmaker extraordinaire. To see women become empowered by their choices and go onto the next chapter of their lives with a confidence in themselves as an individual and not just someone’s wife really appealed to my own ideology so I loved those segments of the books.

The Perfect Dress is a fabulous read and I adored every single page. I loved the story behind every wedding dress Fran sold and liked that the ending wasn’t quite as predictable as I though it would be when it came to THAT dress. Beautifully written, The Perfect Dress is the perfect read from start to finish.

Meet the author…

Louisa Leaman was born, raised and now lives near Epping Forest. She studied Art History at Leeds University before becoming a teacher working with children with special needs. After winning the Times Education Supplement’s New Writer’s Award, she turned her hand to writing books for children. Louisa currently writes content for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but has also been published in the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and The Times Educational Supplement. Her interest in the arts is often inspiration for her plots and her first book, The Perfect Dress, was inspired by the V&As large wedding dress collection and fulfils her dream of writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t busy writing or rearing her three lively children, she paints portraits, takes long walks and spends far too long browsing vintage clothing shops.

My perfect dress…

My own wedding dress was one of those 1980s meringues made of synthetic taffeta and with some seriously puffy sleeves! It was very of it’s time and I bought it for £110 in a wedding dress shop in Aberdeen in the sales. I’ve always been one for a bargain and that is one habit that I’ve never quite been able to shake off! When my daughter got married in May this year, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go for your typical mother-of-the-bride outfit due to having to travel to Greece for the ceremony and with it being much warmer out there than back in the UK. I tried on so many dresses but nothing really worked for me. Then I did a big holiday clothes sale shop and bought a dress that I thought was going to be a lightweight sundress but when it arrived I realised that it wasn’t what I had been expecting at all, Instead, I had found the perfect dress for the wedding. It is an Oasis dress (son-in-law is a huge Oasis fan and they had one of their songs as their first dance so it also felt like it was meant to be) from their Natural History Museum collaboration and it fitted beautifully. And as an added bonus it had been reduced down to £16! I felt fantastic in it and had an amazing day celebrating in the Greek sunshine. So it’s true, the right dress CAN transform your life and it certainly did for my daughter that day too…

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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