Welcome to Life of A Simple Reader!
Today’s post is all about this amazing blog tour I’ve signed up months ago and I’m super excited to take part in. This is where you’ll find something interesting about Little Gray Dress, the debut novel written by my lovely friend, Aimee Brown, such as an excerpt picked by the author, my thought and a BONUS TEASER from my favorite chapter! What’s more, this book is also the first one I’ve finished for the #ARCAugust challenge. *Woohoo!* ^^
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
GoodReads: Add it to your TBR!
Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.
From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!
Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?
The Wedding of Lily & Josh
“So why did you choose a combined bachelor/bachelorette party? How will Josh have strippers if we’re there?” I ask Lily, who still has the curling iron in her hair even though we were supposed to meet the guys at the bar twenty minutes ago.
“Because it’s fun, there will be no strippers, and we’re all friends. So why not?”
“Got it. I just hope this burrito I ate earlier doesn’t make another appearance soon.”
“What, you’re sick?”
“Not sick, yet, just… iffy.” I wasn’t going to tell her this at all and just hope it passed. Literally.
“Well, hold it together.”
When she’s finally ready we walk the few blocks from our hotel down to the bar where this magical event is to take place. I probably shouldn’t have worn heels this high for this much walking, but I hate looking an entire foot shorter than Jack.
“Wow! This place is busy!” People are spilling out of the front doors, laughing, drinking and just overall partying. “Come on.”
We push our way through the crowd and look around the busy bar for the rest of our party.
Someone waving from the private balcony above grabs my attention, and I look up and see Evan.
“They’re up there.”
“Perfect! We wanted to get the balcony but weren’t sure we could at such short notice.” We squeeze through a crowd full of scantily-clad half-naked bodies towards the stairs, and the man guarding the VIP rope nods towards us without a word while letting us through.
“It’s so hot in here,” I yell to Lily over the music, following her to the top.
“It’s Mexico, Ems. It’s always hot.”
It’s so hot that I think my hair is sweating, but I continue up the stairs and hope there is air conditioning in the VIP room.
“Finally! What took you so long?” Jack greets me with a smile.
“Lily… She just had to look perfect.” I glance across the room at her and Josh already making out in a corner by themselves. “I’m not sure why we are having a party to watch them have sex in public. It’s kinda gross.”
“They’re not gonna have sex. That would be disgusting.” Evan takes a swig of his beer. “We leave disgusting to me, remember?” He winks at the only other bridesmaid that made the trek from Oregon to Mexico.
“No, Lily will be pissed if you screw her cousin.”
“Lily will never know.” He and Jack both laugh and glance at me. “Right?”
“I know you have like zero morals about this stuff, just don’t do it here, please?” I beg Evan to try and keep it in his pants, but I know he’ll never listen. He never does.
“I got you a drink.” Jack points at the Cosmo on the table in front of him.
I take a giant slurp, hoping it doesn’t go to war and piss off the burrito from earlier. “Please promise me that if we ever were to get married that we won’t have bachelor/bachelorette parties.”
“Promised. Really aren’t they just an excuse to do something dirty right before the wedding?”
I glance back and Josh and Lily, still making out. “I thought so, but apparently, in this case, it’s just to make the rest of us feel dirty.”
“They’re just in love.” Jack smirks over at them. “Dirty love.” His scrunched-up disgusted face matches my own, even through our laughter at his joke.
***Actual Rating: 3/5 Happily-Ever-After Stars***
”I’ve loved you for seven years and I’d like to add seventy more to that.”
Little Gray Dress is an easy-to-read chick lit novel with a few characters yet intricate plot. The story revolved around a beloved female main character, Emi, a twenty-something young lady who had a hard time getting her fantasized marriage, and how she finally sorted out a major misunderstanding between her ex-fiancé, Jack, and herself.
As a young girl, planning for a dream wedding seems both surreal yet not impossible. A girl will always imagine wearing the most gorgeous dress when having one of the most perfect weddings in the world and living a happy life ever after with that one and only Mr. Right. Life is too good to be true, isn’t it?
However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch; therefore, something will always, ALWAYS get in her way before realizing her dream. This, is every girl’s life, my friend, and Emi is no exception.
Hence, when Emi believed what she saw exactly one day before her dream wedding, she was devastated and completely destroyed. Not only was she heartbroken, her fiancé, Jack, was equally frustrated because he never got the chance to explain. Well, you might think Jack was such a jerk by the way I described their situation, right? *evil grinning* Don’t worry, he was far from that reputation. In fact, this is why I liked him as a character. One of my favorite chapters of the book was Chapter 16, The Getaway, this chapter brought us back to the beginning phase of Emi and Jack’s relationship, where you’d see how faithful and honest and humble Jack really was; he was definitely the kind of boyfriend a girl could only dream of.
A story wouldn’t be complete without villains so as opposed to Jack, Emi did have an arch-enemy, Greta (May), who seemed like a superficial girl to me. To my disappointment, I thought there was too much drama in this book for my liking. Whenever there was Greta, there was cat fight. Greta was obviously that type of girl with fake boobs, perfect skin, excellent figure but brainless. She was manipulative and would get her man by all means. What surprised me more was the fact that even being with Jack for years, Emi still didn’t fully trust him. She felt insecure too easily, particularly when she saw other beautiful women got close to Jack. As a result, further unnecessary incidents occurred and in my opinion, they ended up dragging the pace of the story a little bit.
Aside from the drama among characters (mainly Emi, Jack, Jack’s mom & Greta) I disliked in Little Gray Dress, I hated to admit that most of the time, I didn’t find the humor in this book humorous at all. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I should laugh at certain joke or comeback under such circumstances so I simply skipped it. *color me poker-faced* For example, *SPOILER ALERT* [the whole “Greta was pregnant with Jack’s baby and he should be a responsible daddy by marrying her instead of Emi” JOKE was so not cool for me. I understood how badly Jack’s mom wanted to see him win Emi back but whatever she did, she should never be such a sneaky person!] *END OF SPOILER* Fair enough, that little surprise did catch me off-guard but when I found out it was actually a rehearsed prank, it kind of ruined all my previous pleasure in reading this book.
My biggest concern about this book was the really-well-thought-out yet too-deliberately-designed story plot. That being said, if Little Gray Dress were a live performance, you’d probably think every movement was pretty staged and unnatural.
Gladly, there were some impressive elements in this book that satisfied my reading preference. For starters, I absolutely loved the arrangement of time in the story. It was told from Emi’s POV entirely and alternated between past and present times, which gave the readers clear insight into two different parts of her life. Apparently, Emi was trying to figure out what really happened in her love life *cough*with Jack*cough*; hence, it was a relief to see them resolve that HUGE misunderstanding eventually. *doing happy dance and twirling*
The most impressive part was the consistency throughout the story that I rarely see in other novels. With the clear timeline weaving Emi’s stories together, it was a great pleasure to see the protagonists earn what they deserved (in a positive way) in the end. Besides, Emi and Jack also learned more about themselves as well as each other so that they grew up a lot from previous experiences and became more mature. Above all, I believed their
relationship marriage would be stronger than ever after learning from all those mistakes.
Lastly, the author wrapped up the entire story wonderfully with that beautiful, little gray dress worn again by the same person and this time, she finally, officially realized her fantasy wedding by walking down the aisle with the forever and always Prince Charming. And they lived happily ever after.
All in all, Little Gray Dress was a rather delightful read to me; if it weren’t for the excessive amount of drama in the story, I’d have enjoyed reading it more. Surprisingly, the consistency and time arrangement in this book left an incredibly good impression on me so I loved the author’s writing style very much, which meant I’d definitely read her future works! *Psst, she’s working on two books at the moment (if I remember correctly)…how exciting!*
Anyway, I RECOMMEND Little Gray Dress to people who are looking for a quick, light summer read or take a liking to chick lit including perfect weddings, dramatic characters and a happy ending.
***Thanks to the author for organizing the blog tour and offering me a chance to read and review her debut novel.***
Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge
watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.
Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!
*I highly recommend checking out the following blogs for more exciting news about this book! 🙂
Weds – August 2nd
Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author Guest Post after 2nd
Books and Photographs – Book Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover – Book Review/Author Interview
Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post
The Novel Girl Reads – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A
Fri – August 4th
Sun – August 6th
Mon – August 7th
Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author Q&A
The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt
Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post
Books in my Opinion – Book Review
Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A
Tue – August 8th
Weds – August 9th
Thurs – August 10th
Fri – August 11th
Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review
Sparkly Word – Book Review
Books and Readers – Book Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post
Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review
Katie Lady Reads – Book Review
Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews – Book Review/Book Excerpt
Sat – August 12th
Life of a Simple Reader – Book Review/Excerpt
Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book Review
KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest Post
D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author Q&A
20CC Reviews – Book Review
TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt
Alright, guys! It’s ALMOST the end of today’s blog tour. But before you go, I’ve got something extra for you! Still remember the bonus teaser I promised for you in the beginning of the post? Huge thanks to the author for letting me share this scene—my top FAVORITE one in the book—with all of you!!!
“So, you must be the infamous Emi?” She lifts her sunglasses and lays her magazine on her chair. The way she says it I can already tell she’s not impressed. I’ve been here less than thirty minutes and so far this is the worst trip of my life, even though the man of my dreams just basically told me he’s falling for me
“I am. It’s nice to meet you too, Hannah.”
“I’m sure it is.” She pats the chair next to her and flashes a million-dollar smile at me. “Come sit, I can’t wait to get to know you.”
I glance at Jack, who looks as nervous as I am about me having a private chat with Hannah. She has a quality about her that screams I’m going to chew you up and spit you out. I’m a little scared, but I followed her command and sit down.
“So…” She starts talking but stops and looks over at Jack who is still standing off to the side of the patio watching us. She lifts her glasses “We’re fine, Jack. Go do whatever it is that you do.” She rolls her eyes, slides her glasses back on and then turns back to me.
I nervously chew on my lip. Hannah is intimidating, and I didn’t expect this. Jack and I haven’t talked much about Hannah other than that he has a younger sister whose dream is to be a southern California socialite. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s also perfect. She doesn’t have a single blemish on her skin. Her makeup is flawless, even in the sun. Her long blonde hair is perfect, even in the wind. She seems practically supernatural.
“So…” She pauses dramatically. “Tell me what you love the most about my brother.”
“He’s…” I pause, not the way she did, but to pick out just one thing that I love about him. Even though it’s only been six months, I’m more in love than I ever thought possible.
“Rich.” She interrupts my train of thought.
“He’s rich.” Why do people keep saying this?
“So, you’re with him for the money?”
“No. No, I didn’t even know he had money. This isn’t his money, though, it’s his parents’.”
“Technicality. So, if not the money, then what?” She removes the glasses altogether and sits up in her chair. “What’s so special about Jack?” The way she says his name makes me cringe a little. I know brothers and sisters are often pretty mean to each other, but I could never say Evan’s name implying I was better than him.
“He’s amazing, he’s a gentleman, he’s gorgeous, he’s kind, he’s…”
“Ugh… I get it. You think you’re in love with him. They all do.” She rolls her eyes at me and lies down again. If eyerolling was a sport I have a feeling Hannah would be the champion. “You’re just one of many of the women he’s brought here to meet us. He always thinks he’s found the one and then a few weeks later they’re gone.”
“Not dead, but you know, dumped.”
“Oh.” I bite my lip so hard I can taste the blood. “That sucks.”
“So, you don’t like any of Jack’s girlfriends?”
“I wouldn’t say any… but few. Jack is… Well, he’s too easy to fall in love.”
“He falls in love a lot?” Crap. Not good for me at all.
“Well… I don’t know if ‘love’ is the right word, but he’s been with some girls if you know what I mean.” She sighs and lifts her bikini bottom to check her tan line. “I guess if you make it out here more than once we’ll know that he’s more serious about you than the others.”
I don’t really have anything to say to that. How can a conversation like this follow the one I just had with Jack?
(Excerpted from The Getaway)
Phew! What a journey! Thank y’all for joining this adventurous ride with me; I really appreciate your time! Don’t forget to add Little Gray Dress to your TBR or just go read it now; it’s such a lovely summer read for me and I hope it’s the same for you, too! 🙂
Till next time,