I don't know if author Vi Keeland is a fan or not, but in baseball parlance "The Invitation" would be called a Grand Slam. This is a stand-alone romance you should put at the top of your TBR list. It's much more than a rom-com but there were places I was laughing out loud to the point I had tears rolling down my face, laughing so hard I couldn't stop.
In "The Invitation" Stella Bardot is a perfume developer with a unique sense of smell but she just quit her very lucrative job at Estee Lauder to start her own line of perfumes. The plan included some healthy financing by her now ex-boyfriend but when Stella caught him in bed with her best friend, she bought him out. Only now her funds are depleted and after bring turned down for loans because she's unemployed, she has to find investors to launch her new business. When Stella and her friend Fisher crash a high society wedding using an invitation sent to her former roommate, she meets Hudson Rothschild who is the brother of the bride. Hudson is impressed by Stella and she is likewise taken by his charm and good looks but he knows she's not who she Is pretending to be. When she and Fisher are leaving the reception before they're discovered, they help themselves to as much of the high-priced bubbly as they can carry. In her haste to leave Stella forgets to grab her phone off the table and Hudson confiscates it even though he's not exactly sure what he's going to do with it. He's only sure that he wants to see more of Stella. A lot more.
To say that the perfumist and the financier merely got together would be a disservice to this book. It is a romance in every sense of the word. The narrative is delivered in alternating chapters by Stella and Hudson so the reader gets a peek into the thoughts and feelings of each. I should also mention the kid, Charlie. She's adorably precocious without being cutesy and could easily steal your heart when you aren't looking.
Author Vi Keeland has become one of my favorite writers. Original plots, dialogue that never seems forced or stilted, and characters that are people you'd enjoy meeting and spending time with. This is a story I will reread just for the fun of it. I can't think of a higher compliment than that. Five stars.
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