Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: Ribbons and Frills by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Ribbons and Frills costume sewing factory has always been about creating dreams, but when the owner asks his very upper-class son to take over, sparks fly, and not just from the sewing machines. The last time manager Gary Shaw saw Ashley Turner-Hoff was a year ago, when he left Gary standing on the beach with a broken heart and sand in his underwear.

Ashley Turner-Hoff has a plan to save the factory which involves one famous mannequin and a fashion show in London.

Can Gary forgive Ashley and give him a second chance? Can Ribbons and Frills really compete against top fashion designers, and do Gary's dreams of being on stage finally come true?

Find out in this summer story of sequins, sand, and surprises!

Dani's rating:

When I was a teenager, I was completely obsessed with the movie The Cutting Edge.

It's probably not a great movie, but I loved the enemies-to-lovers theme even then, and, god, do I love a good underdog story.

Ribbons and Frills is just that: a story about a small costume factory in England that's holding on by a thread and two guys on the brink of something if only they'd listen and try, really try.

Gary, the factory manager, is a talented guy, and his colleagues are damn good craftsmen. They care about what they do, but business is dwindling, and so are Gary's dreams.

It's no help at all when Ashley, the pompous son of the factory owner, shows up (again) in June with a new idea to revive the factory.

Gary doesn't trust Ashley. After all, Ashley is the one who left last summer, leaving Gary in this "dump" of a town: So, I'm off back to uni tomorrow, thank God. I don't think I could stay here another week. You're a great guy though, Gary.

Yeah, a great guy good for a summer fuck, not sophisticated or cool enough for someone the likes of Mr. Ashley Turner-Hoff.

Gary is a good bloke, but he lives a sad, desperate existence. He's so keen on pushing Ashley away that he misses ... well, everything.

I love this story. It's poignant and real and full of passion and tenderness.

This is a quintessential underdog story, a story about plugging into your dreams and giving it a shot, about trying even when the odds are against you.

It's a competition after all. (Don't ask Clive, though; he thinks these are all "pancy" clothes.)

Even when everything falls to shit, Gary and Ashley carry on.

And there are so many goddamn feels and so much sexiness and sweetness... and a cat named Buzz.

Watching it, gripping [Ashley's] hand, Gary felt giddy and sick, close to tears. It was like finally being able to see the real world after always wearing shades.

I would have read 300+ pages of Gary and Ashley ... and that HEA? ... yeah, I WANTED it, needed it, and I got it.


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