A Black Tie Affair
Sherrill Bodine is back with more characters from Chicago's fated world of fashion and money in her second book A Black Tie Affair. Rebecca Covington, a previous character of Bodine's, makes an appearance, but this story follows Athena Smith and Drew Clayworth, two former loves who still hold torches for one other.
The title fits the story, since it truly is A Black Tie Affair as we follow Athena and Drew through the glitz and glamour of Chicago's fashion world as they try to find four very special dresses stolen from the Clayworth's secret closet. These dresses hold more than a link to the past, of which Athena wishes to take full advantage of displaying them for the world in Chicago's fashion museum. They are also the only things giving Drew and Athena their long deserved second chance with a load of problems dragging behind them.
This book isn't just another story about a shallow fashionista looking for her rich and handsome forever love. A Black Tie Affair has substance with themes such as family loyalty verses loyalty to self, fighting for what you believe in, and looking beneath the surface—not just in people but in situations.
You don't have to come from Chicago or know anything about the city to appreciate this story. I didn't, but as I read through the first few chapters I had the oddest feeling that a part of the story was missing, and I had to wonder if this was a continuation from Bodine's first novel. My advice to readers is to stick with it. This book is worth the confusion in the end.
This is a story worth the read with splashes of mystery, romance, and inner torment that will make you wonder the next time you see a fashion mimicking the past.