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Pediatrician Ella Stuart has it all-a loving husband, a great career and a devoted lover, William Ashfield. For his part, William has a troubled wife, Beth, and a rebellious teenage daughter, Cate. When Ella's husband dies unexpectedly, it sends everyone spiraling out of control, and forces Ella and William to decide what they really want-and how many lives they're willing to ruin to get it. Despite a small cast of characters, readers will want a diagram to chart their overcomplicated relationships. Novelist Stimson (The Adultery Club) comes perilously close to soap opera territory, but maintains integrity with a canny roving perspective that takes into account each character's point of view, including a well-handled bipolar personality. Unfortunately, the device isn't enough to save a plot far too implausible and drawn out. Though Stimson manages to elevate her material above the chick lit fray, her contrived ending gives readers little reward for keeping up. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.