The Dress Shop Of Dreams was an easy and romantic read laced with magic. Etta owned a dress shop and used her magic to help her clients find what they lacked in their life: love, courage, friendship, etc. Etta placed a spell on Walt, the cute bookstore owner down the street in the hope that he would finally profess his love to her grand-daughter Cora. When that failed, Etta decided to use her spells on Cora, who was rigid and too focused on work.
This was a relaxing read. However, I thought this novel would be similar to Sarah Allen Addison novels, which are full of enchantment and are a staple in the magic realism genre. I was disappointed to discover that magic would play only a minor role, and that the focus of the novel would be the tepid romances of a host of odd characters. To name a few, Dylan became obsessed with a pen pal, Milly was a woman desperate to find love and have a baby, Walt stayed in a relationship with a woman he didn’t love just to have a companion. The story lines of these lonely people bordered on pathetic, and wasn’t overly compelling even though the pace moved pretty quickly and each character was very well developed.
There was an interesting mystery surrounding the deaths of Cora’s parents, and it was that plot that kept me reading. I liked Cora as a character because she determined but reserved. She had a strength of character that was tested in numerous ways throughout the novel. I felt the other subplots detracted from her story and would have liked the author to spend more time on her.
I just thought I was going to get something different, and because of that I was disappointed in this. This would be a three start for me.