Title: The Lucky Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Genre: Fiction/ Romance
Favourite Quote: “You and Jack have that cinematic love that people root for, me included. Never did I see myself so wrapped up in my child’s relationship that I would lie, manipulate, and fly half way across the county on a red-eye flight to convince you that you’re made for one another.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.*
Emi Harrison is only a couple of days closer to marrying the love of her life, Jack Cabot, that is, until he decides to break her heart into a million pieces by getting cosy with his receptionist. Emi calls off the wedding and runs away to start a new life, never quite forgetting the one she left behind.
1 year later, Emi has managed to avoid Jack, start up her own business from scratch, find a place to call home and is well, somewhat content. She only needs to remind herself every now and then out loud that she’s over Jack, to help convince her and everyone else around her that she is.
Unfortunately she can’t avoid her old life forever, especially when her twin brother Evan is getting married to, believe it or not, Jack’s sister. All the guests know this is going to be awkward, particularly when Jack decides to bring a plus one to the event, the person she hates the most; Greta.
I’m really pleased I was able to get a copy of The Lucky Dress from the author. It’s such a lovely story with everything you could want in an exciting romance – a girl and a boy, their build up of romance, a complication or two that gets in the way to test their relationship then finally love reunited.
I adored the various timeline flashbacks of Emi’s and Jack’s relationship, it was a great build up of the characters which worked extremely well with the present story. Each flashback told it’s own little chain of events within the last 5 years before bringing us back to the present wedding day. You understood each emotion from the characters because of this unique structure in each thread of timeline that was told from when Emi caught Jack in his office with his receptionist, right up until the day they met.
What I really enjoyed about this romance is that usually when someone cheats, the author will allow the reader, as well as most characters, to hate that person in question, the protagonist will still have feelings for them but will gradually discover that someone better is out there. Not this time. Aimee Brown made the reader fall in love with Jack even though it appeared that he had done Emi wrong which was absolutely delightful. The concept of ‘love is worth fighting for’ is portrayed perfectly in this fantastic novel.
The characters were brilliant. Emi’s friendship with Lily is just want you want in a best friend, someone who isn’t afraid to tell you that you look a mess, who can read you like a book and will answer the phone mid conversation because you don’t waste time with silly small talk.
‘I’m not sure what happened; one minute I’m sobbing and rambling to Lily about Jack, and the next I hear a door shutting and Lily is walking in with a pizza, her husband Josh behind her carrying two bottles of wine.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Um, you stopped making sense about five minutes into your story so I may or may not have slipped you a Xanax.” Lily attempts a guilty smile. “After that, you cried yourself to sleep, and I have been declining Jack’s calls all afternoon.”
Emi is true and completely relatable with her wrapped up complicated emotions for the love of her life who hurt her. At times she appears weak with her feelings being so mixed up, but she did ignore Jack for a whole year whilst creating a new life for herself which couldn’t have been easy. Her decisions are completely understandable with wanting to run away, to standing up for herself when it counts.
Jack is a mix of charm and disappointment but wrapped up in a lovely little romantic bow. He’s a really interesting character that I’m sure many, like me, expected to hate. Who would forgive someone who was caught with their receptionist days before their wedding? When the truth unfolds to how Jack ended up in that uncompromising position, we rally for Jack all over again. His flashbacks in romancing Emi are enough to make us forgive and forget.
‘I swear it was just twenty minutes ago I was standing here staring at the ocean, and now there is a full dinner and waiter in our room.
“This is Elliott, he’s our chef and waiter for the evening.” Jack pulls my chair out for me like the gentleman he is.
“You hired a private chef?”
“I did.” He grabs the wine bottle and pours us each a glass of wine, pink in colour. “I also instructed him to bring dessert first, because I know how you love eating cake for dinner.” He laughs as he sets the wine back in the bucket.’
One of my favourite characters was Jack’s mother, Amelia. She’s a strong willed, dominant socialite with influential power who knows how to throw a party. She’s also taken Emi under her wing to make sure she had the support she needed when her mother died. Amelia loves Emi like family which creates a powerful connection between the two of them that isn’t easy discarded, even when Emi runs away from her son, Amelia welcomes her back with open arms straight away. She is scary, intimidating and just brilliant when she wants things done her way – particularly with Greta. She’s still human and she makes mistakes but she more than makes up for them.
‘”Yes, yes, it was a part of the so called plan,” she uses air quotes around the word plan with a roll of her eyes. “But you got anxious and disappeared before I could work out phase two.”
“You were playing me?”
“Well, not in a cynical kind of way like you’re making it sound, but sometimes you have to create a situation so that the right outcome will prevail. Especially, when your two players are so stubborn that they’ll never figure it out on their own.”
Overall a fantastic romance that I guarantee you’ll read in one sitting because you won’t want to put it down.
Emi Harrison hasn’t been feeling particularly lucky lately. Ever since her ex-fiancée, Jack Cabot, successfully shattered her heart into a million pieces. She’s managed to avoid him for a whole year, but all that’s about to change at her brother Evan’s wedding…
She will have to face Jack, Jack’s sister, Jack’s parents, and Jack’s new girlfriend: a mean girl that just won’t quit. What could possibly go wrong?
But with her lucky dress on, she might just find new love, life, and maybe even happiness at last!