This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
REVIEWED BY DEBS CARR
Francesca Meredith, Frankie, can't believe it when her boss, Rita announces that not only is she leaving Kingston Dapple to go and live the life she's always fantasized about in the sun, but she's also giving Frankie her shop which is to be renamed, 'Francesca's Fabulous Frocks'. Once Frankie recovers from the shock, she decides it's time to follow her own passion and donate all the tired clothes from the hire shop and open her own retro dress shop to sell the vintage dresses that she has always adored.
Kingston Dapple might be a quiet Berkshire village, but there's a handsome newcomer in town. Dexter Valentine, who Frankie discovers is running away from some dark and mysterious past, has taken over his uncle's business selling flowers. Lilly, Frankie's dizzy flatmate, can't believe her eyes when she spots Dexter and is determined to get to know him as well as she possibly can. Frankie, however, has listened to Dexter's uncle when he hinted at his nephew's secret past before leaving the village with Rita. She soon finds out that Dexter is helping out local housewives with flower deliveries and decides that as gorgeous as he is, he's better kept as a good friend rather than someone to fall in love with. After all, the reason she came to Kingston Dapple in the first place was to escape her own heartbreak and humiliation.
With the help of Dexter, Lilly and several other friends, Frankie redesigns her shop and it soon looks like her new business is going to go from strength to strength. That is until local amateur medium Maisie insists that Frankie's shop is haunted and despite laughing off her histrionics, Frankie and Dexter are soon wishing they had paid attention to her claims.
Frankie meets Ernie Yardley when he points out his dead wife's wedding dress on one of her clothes rails. Frankie can't help liking the old man and listens to his stories about his beloved wife, but it's when she and Dexter ask for Maisie's help that they end up with far more trouble on their hands than they could have imagined.
I love Christina Jones' books and think this is the best one so far. She is the queen of creating quirky characters and whenever I open one of her books I'm instantly drawn in and rarely able to stop reading until I've finished. Although I read this book over a hot and sunny weekend, it's set in the middle of winter, but I think it's the perfect book to savour at any time.