Blog + Instagram Tour: By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank

6:30 AM

The truest sign of spring and summer? Books like By Invitation Only. Grab your iced drink of choice, get some sunshine and get ready for Dorothea Benton Frank to take you away.


Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 23, 2019)
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.
Buy "By Invitation Only" by Dorothea Benton Frank:

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By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
Rating: ★★★★☆ 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of those authors I'd only known of by name. Now, with By Invitation Only, I see why she is so beloved and I can't wait to dive into her archives more in the future. What readers will noticed straightaway with By Invitation Only is the stories charming prose--it is light, but honest, and completely beautiful.

I thought that the prose was just plain gorgeous. It had this airy feeling to it that fit perfectly with the plotline and setting; further, I really enjoyed the setting. Dorothea Benton Frank's prose worked so well in the way she set up the central plots and the setting--I genuinely felt like I was there and a part of the wedding.

The way that the story ties together is sweet and full of life. I loved the elements of family and the way that it's written. By Invitation Only proves it is more than its charm in the moments that focus on the way families come together. Each of the characters we meet have a distinct personality that makes each and every moment they are in a variety of things: funny, heartfelt, joyous, complex.

One thing is certain, you won't forget these characters by the time you finish By Invitation Only If you like reads that are tender and romantic, but also real and full of humor, By Invitation Only is for you. Do yourself a favor and add this to your spring or summer TBR. It's a total must-read.

About Dorothea Benton Frank

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 FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Tuesday, April 23rd: Write – Read – Life
Tuesday, April 30th: Instagram: @jennastopreading
Wednesday, May 1st: Booked J
Thursday, May 2nd: Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Sunday, May 5th: Books and Bindings
Monday, May 6th: Eliot’s Eats
Tuesday, May 7th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, May 8th: Wining Wife
Thursday, May 9th: A Bookish Way of Life
Sunday, May 12th: Instagram: @shelovesthepages
Monday, May 13th: Book by Book
Tuesday, May 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, May 15th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, May 16th: Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader
Friday, May 17th: Bibliotica
Friday, May 17th: Novel Gossip

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