Review: Tailor-Made – Yolanda Wallace

Review: Tailor-Made – Yolanda WallaceTailor-Made
by Yolanda Wallace
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 282
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

Before Grace Henderson began working as a tailor in her father’s bespoke suit shop in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn, she established a hard and fast rule about not dating clients. The edict is an easy one for her to follow, considering the overwhelming majority of the shop’s clients are men. But when Dakota Lane contacts her to commission a suit to wear to her sister’s wedding, Grace finds herself tempted to throw all the rules out the window.

Dakota Lane works as a bicycle messenger by day and moonlights as a male model. Her high-profile career, gender-bending looks, and hard-partying ways garner her plenty of romantic attention, but she would rather play the field than settle down. When she meets sexy tailor Grace Henderson, however, she suddenly finds herself in the market for much more than a custom suit.

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My Review

Hello, opposites!  Dakota is a playgirl and party girl.  She’s such a playgirl that there’s an off-hand comment that one of the security guards at a building she delivers to is always good for a “quick round of athletic sex in the supply closet.”  That’s some serious dedication to hookup sex!  Dakota is confident in her sexuality and the androgynous image she models, and isn’t interested in relationships.  In her words, she’s “never met anyone who makes me want to come back for more.”
Grace is set in her ways, so much so that she won’t even change her hairstyle.  She puts her family and work responsibilities ahead of everything else in her life, including her relationships.  She’s known she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps as a tailor for as long as she can remember.  Though Dakota and Grace have a definite chemistry from the beginning, Grace doesn’t want to be another notch on her bedpost.  She’s looking for someone she can have a relationship with, and Dakota definitely doesn’t fit!
“Butch women might not be her cup of tea, but they deserved to be able to express themselves in any way they chose. In the immortal words of the famed philosopher RuPaul, everyone’s born naked and the rest was drag.”
I’d expected Dakota to be the hold out in this relationship, but instead it was Grace.  Grace typically dates feminine women – think Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston – and while her family seems fine with her being a lesbian, they disapprove of butch women.  Grace, outwardly at least, seems fine with butch women even if they aren’t who she normally dates, until confronted by her attraction to Dakota.  She keeps coming up with excuses for why a relationship with her won’t work – she doesn’t mix business with pleasure, her family would disapprove, etc, etc.  Grace – despite being a tailor who understands the power of clothes reflecting the person wearing them – cannot accept Dakota for who she is.  This was a really sore point for me.  Grace seems to vacillate back and forth between paying lip service to being true to your inner self and being a prejudiced idiot, and eventually ends up breaking up with Dakota in the worst way possible.  I started out liking both characters and then gradually came to dislike Grace more and more.
“I want to be with someone who gets me. Someone who’s willing to accept me for who I am and doesn’t make it her mission to try to change me into something I’m not.”
As for other cons, there seemed to be lots of secondary characters, none of whom felt particularly well fleshed out, besides Lynnie, though it was nice to see them surrounded by other f/f couples.  Also, the ending felt rushed.  Both families suddenly reversed course and accepted Grace and Dakota’s relationship.  One of Grace’s sisters was particularly cruel earlier in the book, to the point where I had to walk away from the book for a while I was so upset,  and I was disappointed to read that she had at least the beginnings of her own HEA in the epilogue.
Overall, I did enjoy this book.  There were several adorably cute scenes – Dakota coaxing Grace to ride on the handlebars of her bike and them kissing in the rain were two of my favorites – but Grace’s actions really brought the book down for me.  If that’s not as much of a dealbreaker for you, this is a fun and cute book!
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