‘After a Fashion’ by Jen Turano

aaf jtSTORY: 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.

REVIEW: Miss Harriet Peabody is a young woman working hard making hats.  Her dream is to someday be able to take older gowns donated by wealthy women and refashion them into easily affordable gowns for women of lesser means to afford to purchase.  When her boss requests that she deliver some millinery to a very spoiled and rude young woman, it is with great trepidation that she agrees to do so. Unfortunately, the spoiled woman turns out to be as difficult as feared and after a mishmash of events that leaves much of the merchandise damaged, Harriet finds herself without a job.

However, all is not lost as ‘Karma’ steps in to save the day…for now.  The spoiled young woman has fancied herself engaged to for the very wealthy Mr. Oliver Addleshaw who soon set her straight on the matter and told her in no uncertain terms that they are not engaged and never have been engaged. Seeing how well Harriet handled herself with the difficult woman, Oliver offers her a job.  Not just any job though.  He wants her to act as his wife for a brief time as he meets and seeks to impress his new business partner, the Duke of Westmoore.  Harriet is quite taken aback by his offer and is ready to refuse until the amount of money he offers her is simply too much to resist.  She decides that if she can do this for a short period, she will have the funds to open her own shop.

The whirlwind of beautiful clothes, homes, and delicious food is like a dream come true for Harriet.  Her friends, Oliver’s grandfather and a very wealthy and kind woman steps in to guide her along in the ways of the upper class so she can truly impress Oliver’s new partner.

But danger lurks in the form of Harriet’s Aunt Jane who raised her and never treated her well.  Jane was known as a confidence woman who always managed to stay just one step ahead of the law.  Harriet has worked to get Jane out of her life but she seems to always turn up like a bad penny.  Will she manage to destroy Harriet’s and Oliver’s plans?

This novel is very clever and has a good storyline.  I was impressed with the author’s descriptions of beautiful fabrics and hats which clearly demonstrates her background in clothing and textiles.

Connie for b2b

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