The Perfect Dress
A plus-size Texas gal has designs on an old crush in New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s exuberant, bighearted romance. In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true?

The Perfect Dress Details

TitleThe Perfect Dress
Author
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherMontlake Romance
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction

The Perfect Dress Review

  • January 1, 1970
    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.comTHE PERFECT DRESS by Carolyn Brown is an emotionally packed women’s fiction story with a cozy romance subplot of three lifelong friends and their plus-size only custom made wedding dress shop “The Perfect Dress” in small town Celeste, Texas. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are three strong female characters that are all going through differing life challenges as the story begins, but no matter the problem they always know they can count on e Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.comTHE PERFECT DRESS by Carolyn Brown is an emotionally packed women’s fiction story with a cozy romance subplot of three lifelong friends and their plus-size only custom made wedding dress shop “The Perfect Dress” in small town Celeste, Texas. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are three strong female characters that are all going through differing life challenges as the story begins, but no matter the problem they always know they can count on each other for love and support.Mitzi is the dress designer of the group. Her grandma and her father have always supported her and her dreams. When her high school crush moves back to town in the summer divorced and with a set a twin girls, Mitzi wonders if she has a chance with Graham. The twins love The Perfect Dress shop and Mitzi has them helping with flower arrangements. She loves the twins and does not want to ruin her relationship with them if she starts dating their father and she also is insecure about her larger size since the twins mother was a tiny woman.Jody specializes in beading veils and dresses. She has lived “in sin” with her high school sweetheart since graduation, but she is about to learn he has not be faithful and is dumping her for the mother-to-be of his child. Jody has put up with years of abuse from her mother about not being married and now she has to deal with the entire small town knowing she was cruelly dumped.Paula loves sewing the beautiful dresses they make. She has been criticized and abused by her mother and sister because of her weight her whole life. She had been secretly seeing a man until she found out his wife is pregnant and he lied about getting a divorce. When she finds out she is pregnant, she wants to raise the baby as a single parent and does not want the cheater to ever know he got her pregnant. Her mother disowns her when she finds out, but Mitzi and Jody swear they will all be loving her baby right along with her.Mitzi and Graham’s cozy romance is more of a subplot than the main focus of this book. This book revolves around the three friends who love each other and will do anything for each other. This is a book about how messy life can be, but with good friends you can get through the tough times and triumph in the end. Ms. Brown deals with many weight related prejudices throughout this story realistically and with heart. The Perfect Dress is a heart-warming, feel good book that had me closing the book with a smile on my face.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    Three friends since high school own a made to order bridal shop for plus size women. These big beautiful women have been through a lot in secret pain and together with a pint of ice cream, but now they need each other more than ever. This character-driven small town friends story of new opportunities, friendship, and romance had me wanting to pull up a chair at their kitchen table and sharing about life and whatever snack is being dipped into.In this standalone women's fic- contemporary romance Three friends since high school own a made to order bridal shop for plus size women. These big beautiful women have been through a lot in secret pain and together with a pint of ice cream, but now they need each other more than ever. This character-driven small town friends story of new opportunities, friendship, and romance had me wanting to pull up a chair at their kitchen table and sharing about life and whatever snack is being dipped into.In this standalone women's fic- contemporary romance crossover, Mitzi gets a chance with her high school crush when his daughters need gowns for a wedding, Jody's life goes to pieces when she learns it has all been a lie with high school sweetheart, Lyle, and Paula has to share that she turned out to be 'the other woman' in a cheating husband's affair.The Perfect Dress is the story of all three women along with Graham and his twin daughters. The ladies and the girls are all plus size so they go through the lows and highs of what that can mean. For Mitzi, its wondering how Graham can want her since she is a big woman and unlike his petite ex-wife even though her heart tells her that she's got something on the inside that woman never had and that, yes, she's gorgeous and especially to Graham. For Jody, its learning that she put up with an emotionally and physically abusive mother so that she was ripe to turn herself inside out for a man who ended up cheating on her and walking away after years only to have a new man who likes her strength and sass try to convince her into meeting him for a cup of coffee. And, for Paula, who was also emotionally abused and down-trodden by a parent, to learn the man she was with was only separated from his wife who now shows up in the neighborhood forcing Paula to be gracious and keep big secrets since that woman was the wronged one.I loved how the bridal shop was the center of things with them working on the custom gowns, visiting when Mitzi's gran or dad dropped by, and now having the lively Harrison twins brightening the shop with a handsome Graham along to addle Mitzi's wits. The big Dallas Bridal Show is what has them all pulling together to help make the shop have a good showing, but also Jody, Paula, and even Graham's confrontations with exes to clear the past kept things lively enough.The gentle, comfy, down home feel behind the friendship and Mitzi's slow burn romance had me relaxing and enjoying every page though I confess I could have seen slightly less focus on the big girl stuff. But, overall, it was engaging and fun particularly because Mitzi's gran wouldn't let them mope and they each had their own strength to finally reach for what they really wanted. I'd recommend this one for those who enjoy the crossover between women's fic and romance.I rec'd this book from Netgalley to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    What I liked about this story is the fact that it is full of strong female characters exploring their personal strengths and life challenges. They provide the foundation of this sweet story of discovery, love and friendships that endured and blossomed over time. We all have "what if" situations in our life stories to wonder that which might have been, as does this one. Most of the men in their lives were solid, strong and understanding whenever they needed to be. The author was able to explore e What I liked about this story is the fact that it is full of strong female characters exploring their personal strengths and life challenges. They provide the foundation of this sweet story of discovery, love and friendships that endured and blossomed over time. We all have "what if" situations in our life stories to wonder that which might have been, as does this one. Most of the men in their lives were solid, strong and understanding whenever they needed to be. The author was able to explore each character's sensitivity and relationship to each other.I also loved how the circumstances of the different characters almost reflect one another and yet offer such a wonderful support also. I believe that this book was a good book about reflections and could be a subtle reminder in our daily lives that we are shaped by our choices and the choices of others.What I didn't like was how fast the romantic relationships progressed and that everything was tied up all happy sunshine and in a big bow at the end. I love happy endings but life is messy and sometimes endings should be too.Thank you NetGalley, Montlake Romance and Carolyn Brown for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#ThePerfectDress #NetGalleyAll my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com/
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  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Romance, weddings, curvy women, Texas, and weddings all in one book?  Sounds like my kind of read!This was a delightful story and I liked how the wedding dress shop only focused on dresses for women size 14+.  I know how hard it can be to find a wedding dress for us curvy gals.All three of the friends have some emotional baggage but are able to rely on each other for strength especially when their lives are falling apart.  There are some surprises for each of the friends but it only serves to ma Romance, weddings, curvy women, Texas, and weddings all in one book?  Sounds like my kind of read!This was a delightful story and I liked how the wedding dress shop only focused on dresses for women size 14+.  I know how hard it can be to find a wedding dress for us curvy gals.All three of the friends have some emotional baggage but are able to rely on each other for strength especially when their lives are falling apart.  There are some surprises for each of the friends but it only serves to make them stronger.  I appreciated their strength for each other and their no-nonsense advice to each other.  That is what we all need, that friend that will tell you like it is and make you pull up your big girl panties and do whatever it takes.  There are some moments that will make you chuckle, and others that will make you want to throttle someone.There are two twin girls, Dixie and Tabby, that add an interesting twist to the story.  They have found their niche and their haven in the dress shop with Mitzi, Jody, and Paula.  I think it is a mutually benefitting relationship as they all get something out of being around each other.There is romance and not just for Mitzi.  Usually, you don't see multiple relationships in one book but it works in this book.Overall a fun read and we give it 4 paws up.
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  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 35%
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic story of friendship, love, and being yourself. Mitzi, Jody, and Paula were three women who have been friends since they were in school. Though they went their separate ways for a while, they always stayed in touch. When each of them needed a change in her life, they opened a custom bridal shop for women like themselves - plus-sized women with dreams to match. The shop is the backdrop as all three women experienced unexpected changes, both good and bad, in their lives.Mitzi is a tall, r Fantastic story of friendship, love, and being yourself. Mitzi, Jody, and Paula were three women who have been friends since they were in school. Though they went their separate ways for a while, they always stayed in touch. When each of them needed a change in her life, they opened a custom bridal shop for women like themselves - plus-sized women with dreams to match. The shop is the backdrop as all three women experienced unexpected changes, both good and bad, in their lives.Mitzi is a tall, red-haired, curvy woman. She's had a few bad relationships and is a bit on the cautious side when it comes to men. She is fairly comfortable with who she is thanks to the support of her friends and family. Some of her happiest moments have been seeing the joy her designs bring to the women who wear them. Her life took an unexpected turn when her high school crush, Graham Harrison, showed up in her shop, wanting bridesmaid dresses for his daughters.I loved the development of Mitzi and Graham's relationship. Neither one was looking for love, but there were sparks between them from the start. The progression was slow, but steady and sweet, with some hilarious encouragement from Graham's daughters, Mitzi's friends, and her outspoken grandmother along the way. Things became complicated when Graham's ex-wife showed up, determined to reclaim Graham. I loved that he didn't even nibble at the bait she threw out there, and he earned major points from me when he told Mitzi about each of the encounters. Mitzi had some doubts about the relationship, first, that the connection between them was more about his daughters than about them, and second that Graham could want her when he could have the petite and skinny Rita. I liked that she and Graham spoke honestly about her doubts and that he gave her the space she wanted while she worked through them. I loved the kick in the pants they each got that finally brought them back together.Mitzi's friends Paula and Jody also had some significant changes going on in their lives. Jody's fifteen-year relationship with her man came to an abrupt and unexpected end. I ached for Jody but also wanted to shake her for the way she had buried her true self under his expectations of who she should be. I loved the support she received from her friends, old and new. I laughed out loud at the encounter at the bridal show, especially Tabby's brilliantly over-the-top method of revenge. The last thing Jody was looking for was a new relationship, but one found her anyway. I loved Quincy's complete acceptance of her just as she is, and his good-humored reactions to her sass. He did have a couple of moments of foot-in-mouth disease, but his persistence paid off, even though Jody fought hard against her feelings.Paula's breakup with the man she had been seeing turned out to be the catalyst that brought The Perfect Dress bridal boutique into existence. I ached for her but wasn't too surprised at the cause of the breakup. I liked the way that she took charge of her life, especially after she shared her secret with her friends. Their love and support were crucial, especially given the lack of support from her family. There were a couple of scenes with her ex that I thought were fantastic and showed how strong Paula was.I loved Graham's daughters, Dixie and Tabby. They had a terrific relationship with their dad, who loved and supported them. Their self-confidence is a direct result of that love. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I loved how they connected with Mitzi. It was so much fun to see their excitement over working at the shop. I enjoyed their conversations with Graham, as they tried to encourage his relationship with Mitzi. I ached for them in their dealings with their mother, who was a real piece of work.The humor in this book was fantastic and typical of Carolyn Brown's books. The Southern/Texas attitudes had me laughing out loud frequently, with everything from the response "ain't that nice?" instead of "Screw you" to Mitzi's protectiveness of Dixie and Tabby when it came to their mother. None of the women could be accused of being shrinking violets when it came to standing up for themselves or their friends. I also love the small town atmosphere and the challenges of everyone knowing your business. The epilogue was terrific with its updates on the characters' lives. Loved the twist at the fireworks show.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown is a sweet quick read about three women owning a custom wedding dress shop specializing in plus size dresses. The story follows the three for a little over a year while they handle liars and cheaters, old crushes, new loves, babies - and folks who focus on their size instead of their beauty. These are southern girls - ladies until you push them, then they give a verbal lashing like only a southern lady can do.This story was fun and entertaining, maybe not as de The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown is a sweet quick read about three women owning a custom wedding dress shop specializing in plus size dresses. The story follows the three for a little over a year while they handle liars and cheaters, old crushes, new loves, babies - and folks who focus on their size instead of their beauty. These are southern girls - ladies until you push them, then they give a verbal lashing like only a southern lady can do.This story was fun and entertaining, maybe not as deep as some of the author's other books, but I definitely enjoyed it. I recommend reading with a tall glass of sweet tea, or ice cold beer, while sitting on the front porch swing.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    These books by Carolyn Brown are such cute stories. I especially loved this one about plus-size ladies who are comfortable in their own skin who open up a bridal shop for plus-size ladies so they can have the wedding of their dreams in dresses designed just for them! Just an adorable story.
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  • Andrea.Marie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of The Perfect Dress via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. What breath of fresh air this read was! This is about women opening up a plus size wedding dress store and issues Some of them go through. I am particularly drawn to Mitzy as I am a tall girl of 6 feet as well!!!! Highly recommend this read for spring as wedding season approaches!!!!
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    Book Info Paperback Expected publication: April 16th 2019 by Montlake RomanceISBN 1503905276 (ISBN13: 9781503905276)Other Editions (4)Source:Netgalley EARC Buy book from Amazon B&N BOOK BLURB A plus-size Texas gal has designs on an old crush in New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s exuberant, bighearted romance.In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match e Book Info Paperback Expected publication: April 16th 2019 by Montlake RomanceISBN 1503905276 (ISBN13: 9781503905276)Other Editions (4)Source:Netgalley EARC Buy book from Amazon B&N BOOK BLURB A plus-size Texas gal has designs on an old crush in New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown’s exuberant, bighearted romance.In the small town of Celeste, Texas, Mitzi Taylor has never quite fit inside the lines. Nearly six feet tall, flame-haired, and with a plus-size spirit to match every curve, she’s found her niche: a custom wedding-dress boutique catering to big brides-to-be with big dreams. Taking the plunge alongside her two best friends, she’s proud they’ve turned The Perfect Dress into a perfect success.Just when Mitzi has it all pulled together, Graham Harrison walks back into her life, looking for bridesmaid dresses for his twin daughters. A still-strapping jock whose every gorgeous, towering inch smells like aftershave, the star of all Mitzi’s high school dreams is causing quite a flush.For Mitzi, all it takes is a touch to feel sparks flitting around her like fireflies. She can just imagine what a kiss could do. Graham’s feeling it, too. And he’s about to make that imagination of Mitzi’s run wild. Is it just a hot summer fling, or are Mitzi’s next designs for herself and seeing her own dreams come true? My Thoughts Mitzi Taylor is a lifelong resident of tiny Celeste Texas and from the time she noticed him until present day her High School crush on Graham Harrison is still going strong.Having moved back to town with his two teenage daughters and take over his father’s car dealership Graham soon becomes as enamored of Mitzi as she is of him.Having the two girls, Dixie and Tabitha/Tabby work in her dress shop during the long summer hours provides them all with plenty of opportunities to spend time together and get to know one another better.Along with best friends Jody and Paula, Mitzi’s dream of making The Perfect Dress shop a viable and lucrative business begins to come true in spades.However the ladies personal lives hit a few speed bumps that draw them closer together and prove that women from Texas really are stronger than they ever thought they could beFamily, friends, laughter, tears and some awesome dressmaking abilities tie together three larger-than-life women in this wonderful character driven story.Not only do Jody, Mitzi and Paula have their lifelong friendship going for them but their humor and talent as well help these ladies make a life outside the box society tries to place women their size in.Female power to the max prevails as each one overcomes their own personal stumbling blocks so in the end a well deserved new beginning for the three is well on its way to coming to pass.Of course Fanny Lou, Mitzi’s absolutely hilarious grandmother and her father Harry Taylor, along with other secondary characters, are not too be missed either as they totally add just the right amount of small town supportive drama when needed! [EArc from Netgalley]
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  • Gmr
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, so at first read...I was actually worried it was going to be one of THOSE books. You know the ones...where the he/she lead and supporting cast is SO hung up on size that quite literally EVERY other sentence has something to do with them being bigger/smaller, or the hard times they faced because of their size, or how awful the world is in general thanks to their waistline or lack thereof. Now, admittedly, there is quite a bit of talk regarding weight/size here, but it's done in such a way t Okay, so at first read...I was actually worried it was going to be one of THOSE books. You know the ones...where the he/she lead and supporting cast is SO hung up on size that quite literally EVERY other sentence has something to do with them being bigger/smaller, or the hard times they faced because of their size, or how awful the world is in general thanks to their waistline or lack thereof. Now, admittedly, there is quite a bit of talk regarding weight/size here, but it's done in such a way that it's not overbearing to the story...it's in addition to it...and at some points THE actual story itself, like the bullying the girls faced, both past AND present...so readers like myself don't feel bogged down in the details.Then we have the characters, and what a cast it is! Okay, can I just say that I love Fanny Lou's character? I mean seriously...she is a hoot! Moving forward, I was really loving these girls, individually and as a fearsome threesome! Paula is so strong and self-assured, and in the face of what's in store for her, she's gonna need that strength, but also the ability to lean on others. Joy...OMG...what Lyle did is UNFORVGIVEABLE...and let's just say if we met face to face, someone would have a new pair of earrings, while the other would be in A LOT of pain! Mad props to the twins for their "performance" ...BRILLIANT! Mitzi has definitely got some good juju coming her way, as long as she doesn't let herself second guess it to a halt before it even gets started. I was definitely ready to see the sparks fly between her and Graham. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this one in many ways. From the story slant to the drama, the powerful friendships to the relationships, the characters to the memorable moments, there's something around every page turn to watch for, follow, or belly laugh it out with. If you're a fan of Contemporary Romance, you'll certainly want to make room on your summer reading list for this one!**eARC received for review; opinions are my own
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"This book has likeable, in a way different from the norm, yet overall quite ordinary characters, and an interesting story.I liked the big-seized heroine and her friends/partners, their friendship and business. The big, spectacled, somewhat shy, yet self-assured, honorable hero, who takes his time to make a move on the heroine, is also charming.I always like a slow-burn romance and I’ve enjoyed watching Mitzi and Graham fall for each "Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"This book has likeable, in a way different from the norm, yet overall quite ordinary characters, and an interesting story.I liked the big-seized heroine and her friends/partners, their friendship and business. The big, spectacled, somewhat shy, yet self-assured, honorable hero, who takes his time to make a move on the heroine, is also charming.I always like a slow-burn romance and I’ve enjoyed watching Mitzi and Graham fall for each other, although I would have liked to have felt a bit more heat and passion. It was refreshing to have a couple with no drama between each other, but the vilification of Graham’s ex (and Mitzi friends’ too) was unnecessary and their antics a bit far-fetched.The twins are great, but too perfect for teens.While I’ve enjoyed the fact that most of the characters – and particularly the trio of friends – were guileless foodies, the part food and eating played in the plot sometimes felt a bit tedious and, at a certain point, the food dimension became a little too much, with all that eating and talking about it (I felt this part could be…shortened).At first, I had some trouble getting used to the “y’all”s, but I guess it’s appropriate in the name of realism when the setting is a small town in Texas.
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  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Dress is another fantastic Carolyn Brown book. She writes a story about plus-size women who are going about living their lives, dealing with the chaos of life and the losing and finding of love. Her characters are (as always) very likable and very easy to relate to. There is the slow and cautious development of the relationship of Mitzi with Graham, a rather awkward with women type of guy who is also dealing with a crazy ex-wife and his very tall twin 15 year old daughters. The attra The Perfect Dress is another fantastic Carolyn Brown book. She writes a story about plus-size women who are going about living their lives, dealing with the chaos of life and the losing and finding of love. Her characters are (as always) very likable and very easy to relate to. There is the slow and cautious development of the relationship of Mitzi with Graham, a rather awkward with women type of guy who is also dealing with a crazy ex-wife and his very tall twin 15 year old daughters. The attraction between them is sweet...and perfect.The friendship of the three women running the plus size wedding dress shop is another fantastic aspect of the story. They fuss at each other plenty and don't cut each other any slack when toughness is warranted, but they will always support each other. They have the kind of friendship we all should have in our lives.As usual, Brown's quirky lines help fill in the story. My favorite was, "The rest of the day went by like a snail headed for his own funeral". I received this book via Netgalley. I was thrilled until I realized what I'd done. I usually reserve my Audible credits to use on Carolyn Brown's Women's Literature books because I love the accents so much. Even though I've read the book already, I may still have to get the audio--because I love them THAT much. If you haven't tried one of her audio books, you really should!
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  • Chasidy Kaye Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange of a review.I dont want to seen like I didnt enjoy this book because for the most part I did. There was way too many mentions of "big" girls in this book. It seemed like the author said those words in every other sentence. I get that the book has almost all plus sized women as characters but I dont need to read it 5000 time in one book. The characters all had the lowest self esteem about themselves because as the author puts it, they are fat. The only Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange of a review.I dont want to seen like I didnt enjoy this book because for the most part I did. There was way too many mentions of "big" girls in this book. It seemed like the author said those words in every other sentence. I get that the book has almost all plus sized women as characters but I dont need to read it 5000 time in one book. The characters all had the lowest self esteem about themselves because as the author puts it, they are fat. The only person that felt good about their self was an elderly lady, a man and one trailer trash skinny woman. You do not have to be "skinny" to feel good about yourself. I'm sure the author did not mean it that way but it sure seemed like it. There were parts of the story where the author forgot to talk about how big the ladies were and then the story was really cute and fun.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    It’s little wonder why Carolyn Brown’s books sell so well. Her books are thoughtfully written without any condescending tones. Such is the case in dealing with a sensitive issue of fat-shaming. It seems that society is sensitive to gender and health-related issues but not when it comes to a woman’s size and shape. And our three main characters come up against every weight-related prejudice and then some yet the author deals with each in a meaningful and relatable way. My hope is that this book f It’s little wonder why Carolyn Brown’s books sell so well. Her books are thoughtfully written without any condescending tones. Such is the case in dealing with a sensitive issue of fat-shaming. It seems that society is sensitive to gender and health-related issues but not when it comes to a woman’s size and shape. And our three main characters come up against every weight-related prejudice and then some yet the author deals with each in a meaningful and relatable way. My hope is that this book finds its way not only at book clubs but into the hands of impressionable young girls!I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my volunteer review.
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  • Negar Arvanaghi
    January 1, 1970
    That dress sounds very pretty, but not for a bride.These girls are great. They actually have life skills.I can't believe Jody became a vegan for this shmuck.Wanda's bipolar.How big is Paula that no one noticed she's six months pregnant?Who knew you can clean a house wrong.Gladys is just concerned about what to wear to her kid's hypothetical funeral, not that that kid is dead?The child bride is making more sense to me now.Every customer should be like Ellie Mae. I feel the most sorry for Kayla in That dress sounds very pretty, but not for a bride.These girls are great. They actually have life skills.I can't believe Jody became a vegan for this shmuck.Wanda's bipolar.How big is Paula that no one noticed she's six months pregnant?Who knew you can clean a house wrong.Gladys is just concerned about what to wear to her kid's hypothetical funeral, not that that kid is dead?The child bride is making more sense to me now.Every customer should be like Ellie Mae. I feel the most sorry for Kayla in this situation. He is so cute. What the heck is FCCLA? Quincy is actually nice. Double standard, Darrin! Jody's mother needs to get a life. Whoa, Mitzi has balls of steel. Spiders and cats, no way. He needs to start bringing a Taser to work. Walk away slowly, Quincy... Haha, point, set, match goes to Tabby! Hazel knows how to play her daddy like a fiddle. I feel bad for both Jody and Quincy's childhood palates. Drop dead, Clinton. He brushed Mitzi's hair. That's damn sexy. I want a Graham! That's a big baby. Ouch!Aw, "Mitzi Mama"! I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Margie
    January 1, 1970
    Mitzi Taylor, Jody Andrews and Paula Walker have been best friends since their school days. They went their separate ways after high school graduation but now the three plus-size friends have opened a custom wedding boutique for plus-size women in their hometown of Celeste, Texas called The Perfect Dress. Mitzi designs the dresses and Jody and Paula make Mitzi's designs come to life. Their lives are about to change and they will be facing good times and bad times, blessed times and disastrous ti Mitzi Taylor, Jody Andrews and Paula Walker have been best friends since their school days. They went their separate ways after high school graduation but now the three plus-size friends have opened a custom wedding boutique for plus-size women in their hometown of Celeste, Texas called The Perfect Dress. Mitzi designs the dresses and Jody and Paula make Mitzi's designs come to life. Their lives are about to change and they will be facing good times and bad times, blessed times and disastrous times. The main female character is Mitzi Taylor who is about to have a "blast from the past" high school crush Graham Harrison breeze back into her life. Graham is divorced and raising his fifteen-year-old twin daughters who are "big girls" who need bridesmaid dresses. He stops in to The Perfect Dress to arrange for his girls, Dixie and Tabby to have dresses designed and made there. Looks like there is attraction blazing between Mitzi and Graham although neither one is quite ready to act upon it just yet. Thus begins a slow buildup to a serious relationship between the two. Add in Mitzi' s friends and her grandmother Fanny Lou with lots of encouragement, Graham's twin daughters' encouragement and what you get is a heartwarming story. As an added bonus the author includes the ups and downs in Jody's and Paula's lives so there is never-ending entertainment to be had.The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown is truly the "best of the best" to be had in current Women's Fiction. This book has so much to offer in the way of page-turning entertainment. The love and support of the three best friends is so uplifting to read that I came away at the end of the story filled with happiness. Carolyn Brown writes the best comfort-for-the-soul, heartwarming stories and she never disappoints. If you enjoy feel-good, soul-comforting stories you won't go wrong with The Perfect Dress!
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  • Chelsea Downey
    January 1, 1970
    Too sappy and too fastWhen I read the author’s bio and learned that she was a grandmother the book finally made sense. I picked up this book because everyone around me is getting married, I’ve never been a tiny woman, (though I am short) and I’m from Texas. But beyond those points the story was just entirely too saccharine, cheesy and cliché for me. I mean that it was cliché literally—every single Southern aphorism and saying was trotted out multiple times. Bless your heart, this was as cheesy a Too sappy and too fastWhen I read the author’s bio and learned that she was a grandmother the book finally made sense. I picked up this book because everyone around me is getting married, I’ve never been a tiny woman, (though I am short) and I’m from Texas. But beyond those points the story was just entirely too saccharine, cheesy and cliché for me. I mean that it was cliché literally—every single Southern aphorism and saying was trotted out multiple times. Bless your heart, this was as cheesy as Frito pie at the Friday night football game. At least they punctuated y’all correctly, you can always thank a Texas author for that at least.For a book that was trying to be inclusive, the story focused entirely too much on Mitzi and Paula’s size. At every turn they were calling themselves big or cajoling Jody into becoming large again. They all ate what they wanted and never seemed to focus on fitness. There’s a difference between self-love and just pigging out. I eat too much and gain weight but I also try to exercise because it makes me feel good and it’s good for me. This is something that all of society is still learning about. Acceptance isn’t easy.As for the romances, I get that these women are over 30 but that doesn’t mean everyone wants children right away. If one person wasn’t pregnant, someone else was worried about being pregnant or meeting someone with children. It was nauseating. Small towns that worry about women having premarital sex don’t suddenly get over everyone shacking up and getting knocked up. This is going a little too far in the modern world acceptance. I have to echo one of the other characters: learn how to use birth control!Overall, this book moved entirely too fast. The women would talk about something,do something else, talk about how they just did it and move onto the next thing. There was never any time to take a breath, even describe where they were or what was going on next. They would just start talking and you’d be into the next scene. This is no way to structure a story or introduce characters and setting. As well, it took me until the middle of the book to realize that this was not the middle of a series. The author did not do a good job of just dropping you into these women’s lives.
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  • Lylan Nguyen
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown⭐⭐⭐⭐This is probably my favorite book by Carolyn Brown so far. It is an adorable romance that does not focus solely on the gushy, cutesy aspects of forming a relationship. Instead, I feel like this book was written to provide meaningful messages about positive body image, friendship, moving forward in life, and introduces some wonderful strong female characters. Three friends open a boutique bridal shop that caters to “plus sized” women. It is basically a one of The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️This is probably my favorite book by Carolyn Brown so far. It is an adorable romance that does not focus solely on the gushy, cutesy aspects of forming a relationship. Instead, I feel like this book was written to provide meaningful messages about positive body image, friendship, moving forward in life, and introduces some wonderful strong female characters. Three friends open a boutique bridal shop that caters to “plus sized” women. It is basically a one of a kind bridal shop. Carolyn Brown does a wonderful job building the stories of each of the three friends and resolves them nicely without giving them an “easy” fairy tale ending. I especially loved the relationships the three women build with others in their small-town Texas home of Celeste. Love can be messy and self esteem can be tough to battle with. The Perfect Dress depicts different obstacles that many women struggle with in reality. Imagine growing up in a small town in the South where everyone knows everyone. Gossip is everywhere. Now imagine being in that small town and finding out you are going to be a single mother. Or maybe you learn that your significant other was having an affair. Or perhaps you’re just the odd ball out in the town and you know everyone is watching you. The Perfect Dress is about love, heartbreak, obstacles, hope, faith, and friendship. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you Netgalley and Montlake Romance for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    I love the women who own the wedding dress shop. Mitzi, Jody, and Paula are wonderfully supportive of one another and their clients. Throw in Mitzi’s dad and grandma, then Graham and his twin daughters show up, and the characters in this story are a perfect blend of genuinely nice and lovable people. While that’s a key ingredient for a story, there was still something missing.I’ve read stories by this author that are dripping with chemistry. While there is a definite energy between Mitzi and Gra I love the women who own the wedding dress shop. Mitzi, Jody, and Paula are wonderfully supportive of one another and their clients. Throw in Mitzi’s dad and grandma, then Graham and his twin daughters show up, and the characters in this story are a perfect blend of genuinely nice and lovable people. While that’s a key ingredient for a story, there was still something missing.I’ve read stories by this author that are dripping with chemistry. While there is a definite energy between Mitzi and Graham and their connection is very sweet, there is a bit of zest missing. While I was invested in them getting together, I didn’t get butterflies. I feel this story is really more about Mitzi and her friends and the bond they share, and that’s okay. I wanted to see them each get their own HEA, but more important was the journey they took together.Surprisingly, the writing felt a bit stilted to me. There were also some continuity problems. Nothing major, but not what I’ve come to expect from Ms. Brown. It’s still a good story, it just didn’t seem to be of this author’s caliber.**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**This review can also be found at All In Good Time.
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  • Lisa Marie ~ Words We Love By
    January 1, 1970
    Mitzi, Paula, and Jody own The Perfect Dress, a wedding dress shop in Celeste, TX which caters to plus-sized ladies.  Each of the women is in different stages of their love lives.  Mitzi is single, Jody has been with Lyle for 15 years though not married, and Paula has just broken up with Clinton.  The Perfect Dress revolves around how they deal with love, family, their business and being a woman in modern society.Carolyn Brown takes her small town Texas ladies and really puts them through the wr Mitzi, Paula, and Jody own The Perfect Dress, a wedding dress shop in Celeste, TX which caters to plus-sized ladies.  Each of the women is in different stages of their love lives.  Mitzi is single, Jody has been with Lyle for 15 years though not married, and Paula has just broken up with Clinton.  The Perfect Dress revolves around how they deal with love, family, their business and being a woman in modern society.Carolyn Brown takes her small town Texas ladies and really puts them through the wringer.   Between cheaters, self-esteem issues, less than accepting or loving mothers, Mitzi, Jody, and Paula face their trials and tribulations armed with deep friendship, sisterly support, laughs and boxes of doughnuts. This is a book about navigating your way through life when it gives you lemons (and tears, and surprises, and unfortunate encounters) by holding your head up and being who you are and who you are meant to be.  Ms. Brown intersperses heartbreak with laughter,  sweet romance with devastating loss.  Her characters are rich in color and bold in personality.  The Perfect Dress is a wonderful read that should make it onto your reader or into your beach bag. 
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Everything about this book is wonderful. The idea that three women come home and start a business making size 14 and large dresses so that every person can be beautiful for any special occasion. They specialize in wedding dresses but have been known to make dresses for other reasons. Tabby and Dixie are two teenagers who have been bullied due to their size, when they approach the ladies to make them dresses for a wedding they are in these women take them into their hearts and show that how truly Everything about this book is wonderful. The idea that three women come home and start a business making size 14 and large dresses so that every person can be beautiful for any special occasion. They specialize in wedding dresses but have been known to make dresses for other reasons. Tabby and Dixie are two teenagers who have been bullied due to their size, when they approach the ladies to make them dresses for a wedding they are in these women take them into their hearts and show that how truly beautiful and special they are. I love how open, loving, and protective they are to these two girls even though they are strangers. They don’t question their hearts, they don’t question their reasoning, they just do it. Each of these women is happy with their lives but their lives are not quite what they wish them to be. It was fun watching each woman open their hearts and lives to others in the community. They see what they have been missing, what they want to achieve, and go for their goals. They fall in love, they make new relationships, and they nurture current friendships.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Mitzi, Paula and Jody have a wedding dress store that caters to plus size brides. Everything is going smoothly until Graham, Mitzi’s high school crush moves back to town with his twin girls. Mitzi falls in love with the girls and she is falling for Graham too.The first thing I must mention is that I would love to applaud Carolyn Brown for writing about plus size heroines. These gals aren’t perfect, they have been bullied, they are self-conscious, and they are real! The average reader can relate Mitzi, Paula and Jody have a wedding dress store that caters to plus size brides. Everything is going smoothly until Graham, Mitzi’s high school crush moves back to town with his twin girls. Mitzi falls in love with the girls and she is falling for Graham too.The first thing I must mention is that I would love to applaud Carolyn Brown for writing about plus size heroines. These gals aren’t perfect, they have been bullied, they are self-conscious, and they are real! The average reader can relate to the characters. They are funny, quirky and so easy to love. I also loved how Carolyn focused on Mitzi and Graham but also had side story lines for Paula and Jody. The absolute best character in the book for me was Mitzi’s grandma, Fanny Lou. I’ve never giggled so much in a book as with this loveable, straight up character. This was the first book I have read of Carolyn Browns, but I guarantee you it won’t be the last. I would have loved if this was a trilogy of the three characters so I could revisit Mitzi and the girls. Sit back, relax and enjoy this heartwarming story. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book to review for my honest opinion.
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  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    You can’t go wrong with a Carolyn Brown story. The Perfect Dress is a perfect example of that. In this cross between women’s fiction and romance, with the issues of body image and peer approval take center stage. Two very important struggles that we as women must come to terms in living a happy life. How refreshing it was to have Mitzi Taylor and her friends tackled, tie up and conquer these. I loved the shout out to the Family, Consumer and Career Leaders of America. It may not be as well-known You can’t go wrong with a Carolyn Brown story. The Perfect Dress is a perfect example of that. In this cross between women’s fiction and romance, with the issues of body image and peer approval take center stage. Two very important struggles that we as women must come to terms in living a happy life. How refreshing it was to have Mitzi Taylor and her friends tackled, tie up and conquer these. I loved the shout out to the Family, Consumer and Career Leaders of America. It may not be as well-known as some other organizations but just as important. Besides Mitzi and Graham, along with his daughters, there is her two closest friends and her grandmother rounding out this heartwarming story. It brought a smile, a tear and one “Oh,no,” (giving black eyes, even if deserved is not right) as I read. As for the genuinely vivacious Mitzi, I was rooting for her to have all her dreams come true. An ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Amary Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    As hard as it is to believe....Ms. brown has outdone herself with this book. Her range characters bring you in so much it's hard to put down...and the disappointment at the end...because it's the end and you don't want to leave the boutique or Celeste, for me...was sad. I hope the twins have a follow up romance. I LOVED this book. The emotions the characters bring to bear are many depending on the scene, anger, joy, sadness, revenge delight..the whole gamut. Three woman, plus size as teenagers As hard as it is to believe....Ms. brown has outdone herself with this book. Her range characters bring you in so much it's hard to put down...and the disappointment at the end...because it's the end and you don't want to leave the boutique or Celeste, for me...was sad. I hope the twins have a follow up romance. I LOVED this book. The emotions the characters bring to bear are many depending on the scene, anger, joy, sadness, revenge delight..the whole gamut. Three woman, plus size as teenagers grow up with different home lives, but their friendship takes them into adulthood. Not only are they partners, but so close as to be an unrelated family. I would love to have people like them in my life...with the notable exceptions of Clifford and Lyle. They got off too easy, but the classy ladies made the right decision......I couldn't have had that much class. If you are considering buying this book...don't hesitate, this one will be reread a few times and I plan to buy it for a few gifts. It deserves ten stars.
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  • K is for Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Hooray. A perfect story about a store, The Perfect Dress and the three friends behind it. Some women are short and petite or come from the happiest families. Then there are others who are not. Luckily the gals have friends and family who know a person is a full body inside and out, give positive support and love. Being bullied, ridiculed, embarrassed by family, schoolmates and others starting at early ages is a hard thing to get through without support. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are termed plus size Hooray. A perfect story about a store, The Perfect Dress and the three friends behind it. Some women are short and petite or come from the happiest families. Then there are others who are not. Luckily the gals have friends and family who know a person is a full body inside and out, give positive support and love. Being bullied, ridiculed, embarrassed by family, schoolmates and others starting at early ages is a hard thing to get through without support. Mitzi, Paula and Jody are termed plus size. I have heard others mean terms such as fat, gross, ugly or as someone called me, heavy duty. There are times when we have the occasion to stop, look at ourselves, relationships and where we have been and where we want to be. Sometimes we make the choice to look and sometimes a situation makes the choice of looking for us. I loved this book not just because I can relate, it is a cute happy love story. Plus I am from Texas and had to sew my own wedding dress.
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  • Jeanne
    January 1, 1970
    I was unfamiliar with Carolyn Brown but the description of this book caught my interest. Mitzi sounded a whole lot like me and it's not often I identify physically with the heroine of a book I read.Brown writes well giving us plenty of insight into each character. I liked everyone but loved the twins. Their comfort with themselves, trying new things, handing with adults and their humor had me as enamored of them as Mitzi and the girls are. I read racier romances most often so the pace of Mitzi a I was unfamiliar with Carolyn Brown but the description of this book caught my interest. Mitzi sounded a whole lot like me and it's not often I identify physically with the heroine of a book I read.Brown writes well giving us plenty of insight into each character. I liked everyone but loved the twins. Their comfort with themselves, trying new things, handing with adults and their humor had me as enamored of them as Mitzi and the girls are. I read racier romances most often so the pace of Mitzi and Graham's relationship seemed slow. For real life, it was probably great that they had time to really get to know each other. They're so good together but Mitzi has a hard time believing Graham is attracted to her. There's also the worry that a negative outcome with Graham will get in the way of her friendship and employing of the girls. Brown gave us a lot of story on each of this fairly large cast of characters. We see as much of Paula and Jody's stories as she did Mitzi's. There's plenty to keep the reader engaged. The Perfect Dress is the perfect lighthearted, entertaining read for those times when you just want a nice story.
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  • Erin Remen
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, sweet southern read that has all the feels. A journey of sorts for all three of the ladies that run The Perfect dress and how what they gain far out weighs they lost along the way. An abundance of characters that ooze charm, strength and love, as well as a cast of characters we can definitely do with out! I loved all three ladies. The uniqueness of each and what they bring to their life long friendship is inspiring. The way they tackle problems that are thrown at them as well as the torme A fun, sweet southern read that has all the feels. A journey of sorts for all three of the ladies that run The Perfect dress and how what they gain far out weighs they lost along the way. An abundance of characters that ooze charm, strength and love, as well as a cast of characters we can definitely do with out! I loved all three ladies. The uniqueness of each and what they bring to their life long friendship is inspiring. The way they tackle problems that are thrown at them as well as the torment they have each felt growing up as larger woman has seem them create a circle of love and faith in each other. It's funny and sweet and has the perfect ending to each of their quests in love and life. A perfect five star read for anyone who loves sweet southern romance with all the feels! And let's not forget the works of art they create!
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  • Millie
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown will have you laughing, crying and wanting to find the shovel and a place to bury a few people in this book! But, most of all it will have you staying up past your bedtime to find out how it all turns out. Mitzi Taylor owns along with her two best friends Paula and Jody The Perfect Dress, a bridal shop for plus size women where they can get a custom made dress. Into Mitzi life walks Graham Harrison with his two teenage daughters. Mitzi had a huge crush on Graha The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown will have you laughing, crying and wanting to find the shovel and a place to bury a few people in this book! But, most of all it will have you staying up past your bedtime to find out how it all turns out. Mitzi Taylor owns along with her two best friends Paula and Jody The Perfect Dress, a bridal shop for plus size women where they can get a custom made dress. Into Mitzi life walks Graham Harrison with his two teenage daughters. Mitzi had a huge crush on Graham in high school but he only had eyes for Rita, a petite, little thing! When you meet her you will want to smack her a good one! Carolyn Brown has done it again! Told a story with so much heart and emotion that you can't help but keep turning the pages. When you turn the last page it will be a little like saying good bye to friends.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown was an enjoyable read with female characters you love and want to cheer for. A story about friendship, strengths and following your dreams. When three friends open up a shop for plus sized girls looking for custom wedding dresses, they know they are making women happy. Mitzi Taylor knows she stands out. She is a woman who is curvy, tall and red-haired after all. She is careful who she opens up too, but even so, she accepts the woman she is. I loved that about h The Perfect Dress by Carolyn Brown was an enjoyable read with female characters you love and want to cheer for. A story about friendship, strengths and following your dreams. When three friends open up a shop for plus sized girls looking for custom wedding dresses, they know they are making women happy. Mitzi Taylor knows she stands out. She is a woman who is curvy, tall and red-haired after all. She is careful who she opens up too, but even so, she accepts the woman she is. I loved that about her. When Graham Harrison walks into their shop in need for dresses for his twin girls, there is an instant chemistry between them. Their romance is slow burning, sweet and charming. Happy reading.
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