A Black Tie Affair, by Sherrill Bodine
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Author Sherrill Bodine claims that family is her number one passion, writing second, and philanthropy or travel as a dead pan for third. She has written books under the pen name Leslie Lynn, (Buried Shadows, A Soldier’s Heart, and Autumn Loves), and also under the pen name Lynn Leslie, (Street of Dreams, Defy the Night, and The Other Amanda.) The other title under her name is Talk of the Town. Sherrill resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Fashion curator Athena Smith was overjoyed to find she was finally going to be able to get her hands on the Clayworth family’s couture collection for her museum exhibit. But when she’s called in to authenticate the rare gowns, they turn out to be laced with toxins, causing her to pass out and wake up face-to-face with her first love, Drew Clayworth. Drew still believes that Athena betrayed him all those years ago, but his traitorous heart still beats wildly for her. And now the gowns have gone missing, causing him to have to work closely with her to retrieve the priceless part of Chicago history before anyone else gets sick. Can the past be put behind them to finally move on, or will more lies keep them apart forever?
The plot and pacing for this book seemed a bit rushed to me, especially at the end, and the way that the dresses were coincidentally found was almost too easy, but neither of these things deterred me from reading.
What makes this book stand out for me was the author’s ability to use internal thoughts and punch them into stellar one-liners. It made the characters so much more dimensional, complete with lovable flaws. You really found yourself relating to them and rooting for them. The tension between the hero and heroine was sexy right from the start, jumping off the page. The secondary characters were endearing. I would love to see spin off books on Athena’s sisters. Though the gowns had toxins in them and then were stolen, this book was intended to be a light-hearted romance and not a suspense. Readers can get a real feel for Chicago in this book, as well as information on what goes on in the world of museum curators. You won’t be slammed by unnecessary facts, but you will come away knowing more than you did. Recommended!
Author and Reviewer