Athena, Diana and Venus Smith are the beautiful sisters who personify family loyalty and pride while they struggle to cope with their father’s disgraceful exit from Chicago, their home town. Competing with Athena’s family loyalty is her long-time fascination with Drew Clayworth who is one of the handsome and single Clayworth men. Moreover, Drew was her first boyfriend when they were teens. The Clayworths are the fictional counterparts to the real world Marshall Field family of Chicago.
The story centers around four exquisitely constructed haute couture gowns owned by the Clayworths. These are very special garments that originally belonged to Bertha Palmer. Ms. Palmer was a brilliant woman who figured prominently in the cultural development of late 19th and early 20th century Chicago. Athena is a curator who specializes in historic costumes and clothing. Her work places her in a very strange situation with regard to the dresses.
This is first and foremost a romance novel. It is highly engaging because the author, Sherrill Bodine (Talk of the Town) incorporates the best of Chicago (its many elegant neighborhoods, sailing on Lake Michigan and the city’s fabulous museums) into her story. Yes, there’s the usual build up of tension between the male and female lead characters. Yes, Ms. Bodine ably constructs barriers to their determination to find out if they are meant for each other. Isn’t that what makes a passionate affair?
A most enjoyable read. Recommended.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A review copy was provided by Hachette Book Group.