TLC Book Tours – By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank

More book tours and more reviews! Gotta love it 🙂

Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

BY INVITATION ONLY – Dorothea Benton Frank (out now)

This was definitely outside of my usual genre picks, but I had just read one of her other books (see that review here) and I figured it would be good to try out more from her!

By Invitation Only cover

Book Description:

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.

Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard -working Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank—a mesmerizing Lowcountry Tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth, and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not.


My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars!

Last week I read SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR by Dorothea Benton Frank, and that was my introduction to her writing. Like I had mentioned in that review (see it here), I’m probably not the main target audience for this genre, but I’m always open to trying new books and stepping outside the normal for me. BY INVITATION ONLY is one that I know a lot of people that enjoy chick lit.

We are introduced to two very different families – one on a peach farm in South Carolina and another from the high society of Chicago. These two families come together as they plan a wedding. With all the difficulties and challenges that come with planning a wedding, they must learn to work together to accomplish this. You better believe that there’s enough family drama to go around!

I will say, Benton Frank does a fantastic job setting the scene and having a very atmospheric novel. Keeping it light and full of Southern charm – this is the perfect beach read for the summer! I really enjoyed the writing and the descriptions, she pulls you right into the story. Like I already mentioned, if you’re looking for a light beach read, then this needs to be on your summer TBR. If you’re a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank then this is another great addition to her catalog.

Dorothea Benton Frank AP Photo by Debbie Zammit

(Photo by Debbie Zammit)

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at, or like her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Where to Purchase a Copy:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble



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