The Dream Dress: Weddings by Design, Book 3
Stories focusing on weddings are always in demand, and Janice Thompson has sealed her reputation as a “wedding-themed novelist” --- from her Bridal Mayhem mystery series and stand-alone wedding-related novels, to the Weddings by Bella series and her most recent Weddings by Design series. THE DREAM DRESS is a typical sweet romance that offers plenty of smiles and a few chuckles. Characters carry over from Weddings by Bella to this newest series, giving the reader a sense of familiarity, anticipation and even comfort as they reconnect with unique and fun personalities they’ve come to adore.
Gabriella Delgado is a wanna-be wedding dress designer, settling for a job as seamstress in an upscale boutique, Haute Couture Bridal. Although not lacking in skill, she lacks the confidence to reach for her dreams. So she puts up with her boss’s demeaning and condescending attitude, doing everything she can to appease him, as well as the demanding brides she encounters. She is currently doing alterations for Nicolette Cavanaugh, a local diva who is being featured in the magazine Texas Bride. When Nicolette and a very good-looking reporter show up at the boutique for the interview, things get off on the wrong foot when an entire plate of éclairs ends up all over the front of the bridal gown. Gabi is instantly fired by her hot-headed boss.
"As far as adding this title to your fiction collection, if you enjoy lighthearted Christian romance, you may just find THE DREAM DRESS to be a perfect fit."
At home that evening, where she lives with her mother and grandmother, Gabi is surprised when the reporter, Jordan Singer, shows up at her door. Sparks fly between them and so begins a budding romance. So also begins a different sort of romance as she discovers a relationship with a God who loves her and wants her to embrace the gifts and abilities with which He has graced her.
Gabi was introduced in THE ICING ON THE CAKE, and it is nice to see her story unfold. Many of Thompson’s previous books have centered on one specific culture, including Greek, Irish and Italian. This time around, the spotlight is on the Hispanic Delgado family, which I found fun and refreshing --- and not just because my favorite cuisine happens to be Mexican and enchiladas are served in more than one scene, teasing my senses.
From an abundance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers references, to Gabi’s spirited and rough-around-the-edges grandmother, to the quirky and spunky Splendora Sisters, to an annoying and high-strung Russian boss, to the endearing friendships between the female characters, there is a lot to love about this book. Although there is a plot to the story, and while the events are fun and humorous --- typical of any story by Thompson --- the overriding theme is Gabi’s personal journey and inner transformation. A lukewarm Christian at best when the book opens, Gabi’s spiritual journey is the heart of this story. Almost every character is faith-filled, and many offer scriptures and biblical insight that prod Gabi’s heart and steer her into the arms of her heavenly Father. This is something Gabi heavily resists at first, due to the fact that her earthly father has been anything but “heavenly.” This lack of trust rears its head in her relationship with Jordan, and also prolongs the moment when she finally grasps God’s love for her.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway in Gabi’s story is the importance of following your dreams, and becoming exactly who God created you to be instead of settling for less than His best. The author drives that point home nicely, leaving the reader with a desire to take inventory of her own gifts and talents, and explore the passions hidden deep within her heart.
THE DREAM DRESS subtly introduces another potential storyline for the next --- and possibly final --- book in the Weddings by Design series. As far as adding this title to your fiction collection, if you enjoy lighthearted Christian romance, you may just find THE DREAM DRESS to be a perfect fit.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on May 25, 2014