Book blurb from Roz Denny Fox's site:
Sylvie Shea has lived most of her 26 years Briarwood, North Carolina. She did live briefly in New York City, dreaming of becoming the next top wedding gown designer. Something happened there that ruined her chances, soured her on men, and sent her running back to live in a home left to her by her grandparents. Although Sylvie no longer designs wedding gowns, rumors swirl of a secret gown she’s designed and every bride wants it. No one has seen it; some think it’s a myth and doesn’t exist.
Cartoonist Joel Mercer arrives from Atlanta with his daughter, Rianne after his ex returned to that city. Doubting a sleepy town like Briarwood will provide enough fodder to keep his strip alive, Joel thinks he’ll quit and find a job. His boss cajoles him to continue his wildly successful syndicated strip depicting singles life.
Joel has several encounters with his odd next door neighbor, Sylvie Shea. A lummox dog she’s keeping is forever terrorizing Rianne’s poor cat. His weird dressing neighbor never seems at a loss for dates with guys who drive hot cars that Joel envies. He’s intrigued by the rumors floating around town about The Dress.
His fertile mind begins to weave the dress owner into his strip. Joel’s boss loves the hilarious episodes he pens of a country cousin who brings a half-finished wedding dress to the big city—presumably in search of a groom.
When Joel’s daughter begins to spend more time with Sylvie, a very different woman emerges from the one he’s drawn. Too late, Joel Mercer discovers that fictionalizing Sylvie Shea in his cartoon strip was a huge mistake. The big question is can he recover and convince all of Briarwood that he loves Sylvie?
I'd say if you're looking for a straightforward heart-warming contemporary romance, this one definitely works. Even the kids who are in the story didn't bother me at all, which surprised me. There's a large cast of characters from the small town, but all are different enough that I never got confused. Both main characters have interesting occupations that impact the story. It's not often you see a cartoonist for a hero and have his job actually involved in the plot. And I thought Sylvie's reaction at what Joel had done rang true. And the grovel? And the ending? So sweet and perfect.
This was just a thoroughly cute story and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.