Ex-Debutante

( 18 )

Overview

When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing, of the old-moneyed Texas Wainwrights, moved to Boston three years ago to work at one of the city’s most prestigious divorce law firms, she thought she had escaped the high society she’d grown up in – after all, no one in Boston, not even her fiancé, knew she was an heiress. But now, Carlisle has been lured back to Texas to deal with her mother’s latest divorce and the family-sponsored 100th annual debutante ball, which is on the verge of collapse. She’s afraid she’ll never get ...

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The Ex-Debutante

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Overview

When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing, of the old-moneyed Texas Wainwrights, moved to Boston three years ago to work at one of the city’s most prestigious divorce law firms, she thought she had escaped the high society she’d grown up in – after all, no one in Boston, not even her fiancé, knew she was an heiress. But now, Carlisle has been lured back to Texas to deal with her mother’s latest divorce and the family-sponsored 100th annual debutante ball, which is on the verge of collapse. She’s afraid she’ll never get back to Boston, at least with her reputation intact, especially when good ’ole Southern boy Jack Blair shows up on the opposite side of the divorce court, making her wonder if he’s going after her mother in the proceedings—or her.

Carlisle’s trip home challenges her sense of who she really is and forces her to face her family’s secrets. Funny, smart, and poignant, The Ex-Debutante is a story about the risks one woman must take if she stands a chance of finding herself, real love, and her place in that crazy thing we call family.

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  • The Ex-Debutante
    The Ex-Debutante  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lee once again demonstrates her trademark wit in this hilarious, fast-paced romp that proves you can go home again, but you probably shouldn’t.” –Booklist

“Carlisle’s trials—in the courtroom and out—teach her to appreciate her family and her community.” –Kirkus

“I adored The Ex-Debutante and seriously read it in one don't-interrupt-me-on-penalty-of-death sitting. Linda's voice is so lively and vibrant and fun—and the story was completely compelling.”

–Beth Harbison, bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous

The Ex-Debutante is fun, witty and totally fabulous.”

–Rachel Gibson, New York Times bestselling author of Tangled Up in You

“Linda Francis Lee serves up heaps of delicious bon mots to split your sides. This is one debutante ball to which you'll want to show up unfashionably early so as not to miss a single page.”

–Saira Rao, author of The Chambermaid

“Original with fresh sparks of wit, Lee offers a story about the importance of family, unconditional love and looking beyond the false surface of perfection."

–Patti Callahan Henry, bestselling author of Between the Tides

Publishers Weekly

The latest tongue-in-cheek blusher from Lee (after The Devil in the Junior League) finds that coming out in Willow Creek, Tex., society has its snags. At her own debut, Carlisle Wainwright Cushing failed to execute the Texas Dip-"a deep full curtsy where a girl sinks so low that she touches her forehead to her skirt"-properly. Now almost 30 and a successful Boston divorce attorney, Carlisle is summoned home to represent her diva mom Ridgely in her latest divorce. Carlisle is also asked to rescue the troubled Hundredth Annual Willow Creek Symphony Association Debutante Ball, and to teach seven iffy debs-to-be the Texas Dip. But the attorney representing her mother's soon-to-be-ex is Carlisle's old heart-throb, the former bad boy Jack Blair-who is the brother of the ultra rich Hunter Blair, and father to India, a spoiled deb-to-be. Can Carlisle deal with all the challenges while allowing her renewed feelings for Jack to "come out"? Lee depicts Carlisle and the antiquated debutante tradition with equal parts chagrin and tenderness. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Lawyer and former debutante Carlisle Wainwright Cushing fled Texas for Boston a few years ago and found career success and love. But when Carlisle's oft-married mother pressures her to handle her latest divorce and a letter from a dear family member asks her to save their hometown's debutante ball, Carlisle feels the tug of family ties. To the concern of her employer and the chagrin of her fiancé, she takes a leave of absence from her job and her relationship to fix things at home. Further complicating matters is that her fiancé has no idea that she comes from money, and the man representing her mother's soon-to-be ex is none other than Carlisle's first love, the still dreamy Jack Blair. Lee's second novel (after The Devil in the Junior League) is a fun and engaging story about the crazy things women do for love and family. The witty first-person narrative is an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ12/07.]
—Samantha Gust

Kirkus Reviews
Lee (The Devil in the Junior League, 2006, etc.) takes another jab at old Texas. Lawyer Carlisle Wainwright Cushing hasn't been back to her Texas hometown since she ran away to Boston, where she eschewed her wealthy past for a new life. Now, happily engaged, Carlisle reluctantly returns after getting an urgent call from her impossible-to-please mother: The Wainwright-sponsored Symphony Association Debutante Ball is about to be canceled, and Carlisle's mother is going through the most recent of multiple divorces and needs her daughter to represent her. Carlisle has no desire to get involved with any of this. Upon returning to Texas, though, she is reunited with her former flame, confident Jack Blair, who always threatened her self control with his reckless passion. For flaky reasons made up for the sake of the plot, Carlisle decides to save the debutante ball and assist with the divorce. Comedic chaos ensues, as do sentimental moments of self-discovery. Her relationship with her fiancee suffers as her attraction to Jack (also engaged) grows. Carlisle, unqualified and initially dispassionate, attempts to groom teenagers into debutantes. The debutante ball is supposed to allow young women to feel accomplished and proud; however, it is presented as nothing more than young girls prancing around in wedding dresses for archaic reasons. The girls do not slowly transform into kind, graceful women. Rather, they cat fight and one-up each other with gross displays of wealth. Rather nonsensically, Carlisle's trials-in the courtroom and out-teach her to appreciate her family and her community. Funny and slightly ridiculous. First printing of 100,000. Agent: Amy Berkower/Writers House
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312354985
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/3/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 271,451
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Bestselling author of nineteen novels LINDA FRANCIS LEE is a former Texas Debutante who has high hopes that all photos of the experience are long gone. She currently lives in New York City with her husband where she is at work on her next novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Starts promising then falls apart

    I was really enjoying this book, then about halfway through it started to fall apart, like the editor lost interest. The sentences became disjointed and the annoying word defitions that popped up (we really need to know the definition of " emotion"??) increased. Too bad; could have been a good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is an amusing contemporary romance

    Two prime reasons propelled Carlisle Wainwright Cushing to leave Willow Creek, Texas three years ago. First the lawyer could not deal with her family¿s lofty social position especially her mother¿s marriage of the moment worse she needed to leave behind Jack Blair, the man she has loved for fifteen years going back to high school.---------------- She returns home when her mom asks her to represent her in her umpteenth divorce after divorce lawyer number four botched the proceedings so that ex hubby four has a line on the family accounting sheet. Her mom¿s spouse hires Jack. To her chagrin although engaged to Boston Brahmin attorney Phillip, she still wants Jack he feels the same way. As she gets roped into planning the annual debutante gala hosted forever by her family but on the verge of collapse, Jack makes a move on her to regain the woman he let get away. ---------------- This is an amusing contemporary romance starring two likable lead characters, a horde of eccentric protagonists especially the families and the debutantes and an out of place Bostonian fiancé. The story line is humorous as Carlisle with her chick lit asides understands how Michael Corleone felt about being dragged home into the family business. Readers will laugh with the vulnerable heroine who wonders whether she can escape her DNA in time to keep her brain from frying while also pondering about her and Jack especially after the men¿s room incident.------------ Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Funny book.

    I heard the audio version of this book and it was great. The description of southern belles and debutante balls in Texas was dead on. The dialogue was fast and witty. This is a cute short book about romance and family.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    Linda is a great Texas writer. I love the stories, because they

    Linda is a great Texas writer. I love the stories, because they hit so close to home. This one is a great summer or anytime read --- anytime you need a good lost-in-it story.

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great summer read!

    ...Carlisle Wainwright-Cushing is a lawyer from Texas, living in Boston. She's made a life for herself in Boston and is happy with her life until she gets a call from her mother that sends her back to Texas to handle her mother's latest divorce. What starts out as Carlisle making a quick trip home turns into a trip that shakes her life right up. She gets suckered into planning the Debutante Ball to bring honor back to her family name.

    The main reason she's not excited about being back home is her ex-boyfriend (you know the one that you never really get over) Jack Blair is the opposing counsel. This is one of those light contemporary chick lit romances that will leave you sighing when all is said and done because watching Carlisle and Jack battle wits was such an entertaining way to spend a few hours. On top of the Carlisle and Jack goodness, you have 8 girls that have no idea how to make their debuts into polite society and a chaotic family that just won't quit. Seriously, the laughs are endless in this book.

    I adored Jack's niece and I adored Jack. Man was Jack a hottie, a smart man that just made me swoon with every page. I loved watching him with Carlisle, watching them go at it with each other was too much fun and made me love Jack a little more with each chapter...

    To read the full review, please visit http://thebookscoop.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    Great read.

    Loved this book!!

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just a quick-reading romance novel

    This book was a disappointment. I was looking for a little more substance, but realized early on that it was a formulaic romance novel complete with all the standard characters and plot. It pitted one 'beautiful and talented' lawyer--one woman, one man--against each other for the main conflict. Big surprise when these two archrivals ended up in bed with each other. Even so, the writing was funny and the book was mildly entertaining. As I stated, it would be best for rainy day reading.

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  • Posted May 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Caught Me Off Guard

    I'll admit that I read this book because the cover looked interesting and I was bored. But it turned out to be one of the best books that I had read in a while. The way that it was written makes the story easy to relate to. It's one of those books that you start reading and can't put down. Filled with unique characters, Ex-Debutante felt more like a movie rather than a book in the best way possible. It's very easy to visualize! After reading this I immediately read other books by Linda Francis Lee!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    A fun chick-lit type story

    Divorce lawyer Carlisle Wainwright Cushing returns home to visit her family and is lured into taking over her mother¿s current divorce case and the family sponsored 100th Annual Willow Creek Symphony Association Debutante Ball. The bad news is that the once highly regarded ball was disgraced last year when conductor Rinaldi was caught slipping on a $10,000 ball gown that belonged to one of the debs by a reporter who snapped a photo that ran on the front page of just about every newspaper across the state of Texas. To make matters worse, opposing council in her mothers divorce case is none other than the bad boy, Jack Blair, who prompted Carlisle¿s abrupt move to Boston three years earlier. Carlisle tries to overcome her feelings for Jack by remembering that both she and Jack are engaged to seemingly perfect partners. This is my second book by Lee. I absolutely loved The Devil in the Junior League and was highly anticipating this book which didn¿t disappoint even though I feel the story wasn¿t as original as The Devil in the Junior League. The ending was typical but the story was a lot of fun and Lee¿s writing was witty and entertaining. I recommend this book to fans of chick-lit.

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    Posted October 18, 2011

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted February 23, 2009

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    Posted November 16, 2009

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    Posted September 12, 2009

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    Posted April 8, 2010

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    Posted September 6, 2011

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