The Secret Wedding Dress Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Secret Wedding Dress

Paige Danforth doesn't think romantic relationships can last forever, but a sexy man she meets in an elevator could change all of her preconceived notions about love. Paige is the brand manager for a luxury homewares company in Melbourne, Australia. She is pessimistic about falling in love and doesn't believe in "happily ever after" because of the devastating impact her parents' toxic marriage and divorce had on her. Paige's best friend, Mae, used to have the same beliefs about love until she met her fiance, Clint.
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Mae is shopping for a wedding dress at a clearance sale and Paige agreed to go with her. While waiting for Mae to pick out a dress, Paige spots a beautiful wedding gown that takes her breath away. She ends up purchasing the wedding dress. Paige is embarrassed to admit she bought the wedding dress because she's not engaged and hasn't dated anyone in a few months.

Mae suggests that Paige probably made the impulsive purchase because she hasn't dated a man in a long time. Paige decides that she needs to date someone as soon as possible, but thinks it would be a good idea to start with a casual fling first.

After shopping with Mae, Paige goes home to her apartment building. While she is waiting for the elevator doors in her apartment building to close, a handsome rugged-looking man hurriedly enters the elevator. Paige is immediately overwhelmed by her physical attraction to him. Based on the way he is looking at her, she senses that he is attracted to her as well.

The handsome man in the elevator is Gabe Hamilton. He lives in the penthouse on the top floor of the building. Gabe is rarely in the building because he travels around the world looking for different businesses that are sound prospects for his investment firm, BonaVenture. He only plans on staying in Melbourne for a few days before he goes to another destination.

The sexual tension between Paige and Gabe is palpable. Gabe's initial impression of Paige is that she is cool and high maintenance. Paige thinks Gabe is extremely masculine and sexy. They are both looking for a casual fling and start having sex with no strings attached. In spite of her best efforts to keep things simple, they develop feelings for each other.

One morning before Paige leaves for work, she decides to try on the wedding dress she bought. As she stares at herself in the mirror, she begins crying uncontrollably. She suddenly realizes that she is envious of the loving relationship Mae has with Clint. Paige fears that she may not ever be able to find a man she can truly love and trust.

When Paige tries to get out of the wedding dress, the zipper gets stuck. While she is struggling to take off the dress, Gabe knocks on the door. He is hoping to see Paige before she leaves for work. She opens the door for him and he is shocked to see her in the wedding dress. Paige tells him she was transfixed at the sight of the wedding dress while shopping with Mae and purchased it. She also assures him that she has no interest in getting married.

Later that night, Gabe and Paige get into a fight while having dinner at a restaurant. Paige asked Gabe questions about his job and he curtly refused to divulge any information. After Paige walks out of the restaurant, Gabe catches up to her and finally relents. He lets Paige know that his investment firm was on the brink of filing for bankruptcy seven years ago because he trusted the wrong woman.

When Gabe's firm was on the verge of closing an investment deal with another company, his girlfriend, Lydia, revealed information about the deal to a business competitor. It led to an investigation by the Australian Securities Commission. Gabe and his investment firm were cleared of any wrongdoing, but he has been working to clear up their reputation ever since. Gabe is surprised at how good it feels to confide in Paige.

One night while Paige and Gabe lay in bed, she whispers that she loves him. Gabe pretended to be asleep, but he heard what she said. Gabe is really uncomfortable knowing that Paige loves him. He wanted to avoid intimacy and love at all costs ever since his parents died when he was a kid. He is also still reeling from the death of the grandmother who raised him and the betrayal by Lydia. Gabe associates love with loss and isn't ready to be in a serious relationship.

A few days later, Gabe ends the relationship by letting Paige know he has to leave town for an indefinite period of time. He wants to look into new investment prospects for his company. Paige is devastated and heartbroken.

When Gabe is in Italy, he realizes how much he cares about Paige and decides to go back to Melbourne. The next day, Paige is waiting for the elevator in her apartment building. She is shocked to see Gabe standing there when the elevator doors open. Gabe tells Paige he loves her. Then Gabe gets on one knee and proposes to Paige. She happily accepts his proposal.
Best part of story, including ending: The book is really well-written. The author gives you a strong sense of who the characters are and vividly describes their feelings as well as the motivations behind their actions. It was easy to become emotionally invested in the main characters and their attempt to let love into their loves in spite of how much they had been hurt in the past.

Best scene in story: When Paige whispers that she loves Gabe after they make love, it is a pivotal scene in the book. Paige finally admits to herself that she has let her guard down and deeply cares about Gabe.

Opinion about the main character: I like Paige and think that a lot of women can relate to her. She is an independent hard-working woman who has put a lot of effort into creating exactly the type of life she wants. But she is also scared of falling in love because of all the pain her mom went through during her marriage. Paige is finally able to experience love when she realizes she is strong enough to deal with the possibility of being hurt if the relationship doesn't work out.

The review of this Book prepared by Pamela Parker a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Secret Wedding Dress

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Inner struggle subplot    -   Yes Struggle with...    -   fear of emotional commitment

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   business executive Age/status:    -   20's-30's Sex makes him    -   blissful

Main Female Character

Age/status:    -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   business executive Effect of sexing    -   blissful


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Australia

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death What % of story is romance related?    -   nearly 100% How explicit is the sex?    -   actual description of sex Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   mostly dialog

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