Review: The Second Chance Boutique/Whispering Dress Boutique/The Perfect Dress: A Novel by Louisa Leaman



I was given a copy of this book on Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

My Interest

The blurb on Net Galley made this sound just plain fun in a Sarah Addison Allen kind of way! Who wouldn’t want to show in a store specializing in vintage bespoke wedding gowns? My intuition was right! Read on!

I’m confused though why my Net Gallery copy has The Whispering Dress Boutique, but it is for sale only as the Second Chance Boutique??  (I’ve also seen it as The Perfect Dress). Whispering dresses sound so much more interesting than washed-up clothes in a boutique? Just my two cents for the marketing crew who likely ordered the change from interesting to ho-hum title.  If it was the author who ordered it, ok then–after all it’s her book and she likely has the perfect reason for it.

The Story

“The Whispering Dress is no ordinary wedding dress shop. There are no oversized PayHere signs. No mass changing rooms crammed with seminaked brides, all eyeing the same white satin fishtail while stealthily noting the merits and pitfalls of one another’s body types….At this shop, every gown sits apart. Every gown is different. Every gown has a story. After all, the most important dress of a woman’s life should surely have something distinct to say.”

Francesca  Delany is the brain-child behind the Whispering Dress–London’s most interesting wedding dress retailer. All the gowns have been worn before–some even more than a century before. She lovingly brings them back to life and then, as a sort of “dress whisperer” she matches them to the bride who needs the energy of their past life.

I believe my dresses carry their pasts within them, like archives of life, and that they pass this energy on to whomever wears them next.”

Fun? Oh yes! Who wouldn’t want to go to the altar in a bespoke vintage gown with a label like Norman Hartnell in it? Especially one that speaks to your own needs? Wow!

“A whispering dress isn’t just a yard of trimmed and stretched fabric, you see. It’s a story, a legacy, a lesson from history. You might even call it a talisman.”

At a house clearance, Fran finds a dress so rare she is speechless–at least until Rafael Colt and his Old Etonian effortless excellence vibe and posh vowels and fabulous car appears and causes the wedding gown of all gowns to land in a dumpster.

You can guess the rest, right? No worries, it’s worth reading this one through to the end.

My Thoughts

This is a delight from start-to-finish. No woke screed-speeches, no constant use of “A.S.” or “A.F.”, only a little bit of loving sex, a couple of minuscule pc-pokes at religion, and a couple to root for, hope for, and cheer on! When pools and beaches reopen this is the first book to grab! A sweet romance that’s just the right amount magical without any wands or potions–just an intuitive lady who knows her stuff. I loved it.

I can’t wait to read more from Louisa Leaman.

My Verdict


Second Chance Boutique: A Novel by Louisa Leaman

3 thoughts on “Review: The Second Chance Boutique/Whispering Dress Boutique/The Perfect Dress: A Novel by Louisa Leaman

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