From the Publisher
"Delinsky combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling-a winning combination." -Publishers Weekly
"Delinsky is one of those authors who knows how to introduce characters to her readers in such a way that they become more like old friends than works of fiction."
"There's no bigger name in women's fiction than Barbara Delinsky."
-Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
"Barbara Delinsky knows the human heart and its capacity to love and believe."
-Observer-Reporter (Washington, Pennsylvania)
Read an Excerpt
When Diandra Casey's plane was ninety minutes late landing, she feared it was an omen. When she swept through the door of Bartholomew York's spacious penthouse apartment to find Gregory York there, she knew it had been one.
Gregory York was her nemesis. Her first memory of him was when she'd been three and he eight, when he'd lured her into the boxwood labyrinth at his parents' Bar Harbor estate and abandoned her there. Just as she'd learned not to play with fire, she'd learned to be wary of Gregory, and if she'd been able to avoid him completely in the years subsequent to the labyrinth incident, she'd have done so.
It hadn't been possible. The link between their families was complex. Not only were their parents best of friends, but their grandparentsand great-grandparentshad been, as well. Ties dated back to the turn of the century, when Diandra's great-grandfather, Malcolm Casey, had teamed up with Greg's great-grandfather, Henry York, to open a small general store. That general store had grown into a small department store, which had grown into a larger department store, which had grown into two, then three, then more. CayCorp had evolved, and the posh chain known as Casey and York, with branches in the most select and sophisticated of cities, rivaled none.
Within CayCorp, though, there were rivals galore. Each of the seven stores was run by a Casey or a York, and while much good-natured competitive banter flew between them, all banter stopped with the appearance of the annual report. Bartholomew York, chairman of the board and patriarch of the families, read the report cover to cover. He noted how successful each branch was, and if one wasn't performing up to par, he wanted to know why.
No one argued with Old Bart. He'd been around too long and had proved his worth too many times for that. He was a shrewd businessman with an eye for character, which was why, once she'd completed her M.B.A. and an apprenticeship under her father, who ran the Chicago store, Diandra had been named a vice president of CayCorp and put in charge of the Washington, D.C., store. She'd been only twenty-seven at the time, but she'd shown the kind of drive that Bart liked. In the five years since then, she'd successfully rejuvenated that branch of Casey and York that had begun to stagnate.
Gregory had the trend-setting New York store. His job was to keep it in the forefront of high fashion, and for the past ten years he'd succeeded admirablyso much so that Diandra knew he had something up his sleeve. She also knew what it was.
He wanted San Francisco.
For two years, Old Bart had been making noises about opening a branch there. Those noises had consolidated into a single loud signal when, two months before, he'd sent an advance team to scout locations. He hadn't yet decided who would run the store, though, and that made for lively speculation when his back was turned.