Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.
Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.
Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.
Hurray for another Jen Turano novel! This new series focuses on the lives of three young independent women – Harriet, Millie, and Lucetta – who room together in a tenement in New York City’s Lower East Side. Unlike the Ladies of Distinction, they are working women with little money to spend on frivolities. Their lives are set to change, however, when Harriet has to deliver a selection of hats to the fiancée of one Mr. Oliver Addleshaw. Thanks to that woman’s actions, Harriet loses her job and is ‘persuaded’ to accept a business proposal from the said Mr. Addleshaw. Their lives are worlds apart; she’s an orphan with a dubious upbringing while he’s a member of one of the city’s oldest families.
Any reader familiar with Jen Turano’s writing style can expect a number of elements to appear in her books. The overview suggests mishaps, miscommunication, humor, romance, and drama. After a Fashion does not disappoint on any level. The only thing missing is a trip to the local jail, which seemed to occur on a regular basis in Turano’s previous titles! Turano uses familiar locations of the Gilded Age to set the scene and drops names such as The Mrs. Astor. The book, as a whole, reminds me of Pretty Woman (which was inspired by the opera La traviata), except here it’s the dog, Buford, who’s afraid of heights and not the male human lead.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary review copy of After a Fashion, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read After a Fashion? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Publication Date: 03 March 2015
Page Count: 352