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Plain's tepid latest focuses on two women-privileged but plain Gwen Wright and beautiful but poor Jewel Fairchild. Their lives occasionally intersect, and eventually Jewel marries a wealthy man and discovers that money can't buy happiness. Gwen, meanwhile, marries a poor but honest man-but she still finds herself drawn to Jewel's husband, and the foursome is soon tangled in a web of deceit. Unfortunately, Jewel and Gwen don't evolve throughout the novel; Gwen is a character that some readers might find intolerably perfect-smart, privileged, shy, well-spoken, with simple needs and a tragic past-but any irritation that one might have with her is eliminated by the calculating and shallow Jewel, who is too pathetic to be a legitimate antagonist and too tragic to really be hated. It functions well as a simplistic morality tale. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.