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3.8 40
by Bethenny Frankel, January LaVoy (Read by)

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Two-time New York Times bestselling author and one of TV’s biggest reality stars, Bethenny Frankel presents a sexy, hilarious, and romantic novel about a struggling actress and aspiring businesswoman’s pursuit of the female trifecta: a wildly successful career, the perfect man, and an amazing body.

Bestselling author,


Two-time New York Times bestselling author and one of TV’s biggest reality stars, Bethenny Frankel presents a sexy, hilarious, and romantic novel about a struggling actress and aspiring businesswoman’s pursuit of the female trifecta: a wildly successful career, the perfect man, and an amazing body.

Bestselling author, successful businesswoman, popular reality TV star, natural foods chef, and devoted mom Bethenny Frankel pens the perfect guilty pleasure novel—the sexy, hilarious, and romantic misadventures of a struggling actress and aspiring businesswoman burning through Hollywood and New York in determined pursuit of the female trifecta: the perfect man, job, and body. This outrageously entertaining and bawdy roman à clef follows a business-savvy, would-be actress as she burns through men like she burns through calories—our sexy, loud-mouthed heroine grasps at any opportunity that might take her to the top.

Listeners will jump at the chance to hear about the thrilling highs and cringe-worthy lows of Bethenny’s first shaky steps into adulthood, told here in a fictional format. Fans know Bethenny won’t shy away from the nitty gritty details of her career failures, romantic faux pas, and wild stories of “only needing a Tic Tac and a coochie” to have a good time on the town—and she will deliver them all with the biting wit her fans have come to love through her TV shows and bestselling nonfiction. While it may be a novel, there is no doubt that this is Bethenny, spilling her funniest stories and juiciest secrets over a few cocktails, with, as always, her trademark honesty: straight from the hip.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Reality queen Frankel expands her brand with a roman à clef. Recent NYU graduate Faith Brightstone, determined to make it as an actress, leaves Manhattan for Los Angeles. Reluctantly welcomed by her distant father, she befriends his live-in girlfriend Brooke, who introduces Faith to the L.A. club scene. There follows an episodic, summary-heavy narration of Faith's encounters with men, old and young, most of whom do nothing to advance her career or enliven her love life. The exception is Vince Beck, a sexy producer with an Aussie accent, but, unsurprisingly, he turns out to be married. After two stints as personal assistant to the petty tyrants that are so much a staple of Hollywood literature (in a perhaps subliminal nod to Sunset Boulevard, one of Faith's jobs ends when a scriptwriter is found dead in her employer's pool), Faith cannot get a part--her weight, normal everywhere else, is chubbette-grade in California. Embarking, with her cheerfully bulimic roommate, on a starvation diet, she gets skinny then finally gets cast--in a soft porn flick. So much for Hollywood dreams. Part two finds Faith back in Manhattan five years later. She's turned her obsession with weight into a promising small business. Her over-the-top repartee and entrepreneurial chops garner the attention of the producers of Domestic Goddess, a cable reality TV show hosted by Sybil Matthews, a fictional avatar of Martha Stewart, only more diabolical. The remainder of the book chronicles the usual reality show indignities as contestants are ritually humiliated and eliminated, challenge by challenge. Sybil already has Faith in her sights, since Faith has some dirt on a fellow contestant and a history with the show's executive producer. What will the home and garden diva do when she finds out her own son is Faith's latest club conquest? Although the writing is competent, this novel illustrates the main difficulty posed by "reality-based" fiction: the inherent tedium of unedited real life, however glitzy the surroundings.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 5.86(h) x 1.18(d)

Read an Excerpt


Where are the stilt walkers? Has anybody seen the stilt walkers?

I’m calm, but I can hear the shrillness creeping into my voice as I picture the absolute disaster that will result if Andy doesn’t show up soon with the damn stilts and the people to put on top of them. The stilt walkers are essential—the dramatic cherry on top of the charity carnival. The finale of Domestic Goddess, and the deciding factor in the rest of my life. And isn’t that typical? You raise $80,000 for charity, you erect a forty-foot tent practically single-handedly, you hire and coordinate seventy-five employees, and you produce the whole goddamn spectacle, and then your life hangs in the balance because of a couple of clowns on sticks. Meanwhile, the cameras are rolling and America is watching. My failure would make just as good TV as my success, so nobody cares whether I win or not. Nobody but me. And this is just what Sybil Hunter expects. I have to make this work.

Somebody runs past pushing a popcorn cart that dribbles grease along the floor. The amplifier blares circus music, then cuts out with a crackling pop. A chunky, squinting boy in thick glasses grabs my arm—Jerome, the facility manager’s assistant I roped into helping me. He looks barely twelve years old. “The sno-cone machine is broken, one of the ponies is sick, and somebody left the banner on the floor and it got trampled,” he says, pushing up his glasses nervously.

Easy, Faith. Easy. You’ve done this before. I’d handled events bigger than this, and disasters bigger than this, too. My eyes are fixed on the wide double doors standing open across the warehouse space, where Sybil Hunter stands, backlit, imposing, the evil overlord ready to reign terror and destruction on the final challenge of what has come to be, in my mind, a sell-your-soul-to-the-devil concept: reality television. I imagine her smirk, her lust for my failure. I’m barely noticing the cameras rotating around in front of us, though part of me recognizes that my alarm is being recorded for national consumption. Tears are welling up, but I bite my lip hard, reminding myself what Sybil told me during the middle of the season, when my team lost a challenge and turned on me, the team leader. “A woman who shows weakness in this business won’t last long.”

Suck it up, Faith. This is it. Keep your eye on the prize. With a last glance at Sybil’s Hitchcockian outline, I turn to the pimply kid waiting for instructions. They come out of me like machine-gun fire: “Call the vendor and demand another sno-cone maker within forty-five minutes. Get the sick pony out of here, call a vet, call the rodeo, whatever it takes. Repair the banner—just make it look good. And for God’s sake, get Andy and Jodi Sue over here now! I need my fucking team.”

He nods and runs off. I stare at my clipboard. The list of unchecked items is three times longer than the list of checked items. I persuade a man with a mop to clean up the grease that’s trailing the popcorn machine. My eyes dart over the list, trying to prioritize at warp speed. Suddenly, Jodi Sue, eliminated contestant and disgruntled team member, is in front of me.

“I can’t find Andy,” she says in her squeaky voice, her cleavage even more evident and elevated than usual in a bright yellow wrap dress with a plunged neckline. “I finished the caramel apples, the cotton candy machine looks great with the neon, and the programs were just delivered and they’re perfect.”

“Show me,” I demand. She holds out one and I grab it. The glossy, oversized program has saturated carnival colors, balloons, clowns, and a Ferris wheel on the cover. Good, very good.

“But Andy’s still MIA,” she adds, shrugging.

“Where the hell is he? What could he possibly be doing with five stilt walkers in the middle of Manhattan?”

“I really don’t know,” she says, shrugging again. “He won’t answer his cell phone.”

“This is great. Just great. This is Shari Jacobs’s lucky day,” I mutter. I could just imagine Sybil Hunter fawning over my ex-BFF/archenemy and fellow finalist, as she pulled off her final challenge with typical high-rent perfection. I get a carnival, and she gets a baby shower for Sybil’s pregnant cousin. A fucking baby shower. I can just see the fondant baby bootie cupcakes and sterling silver rattle party favors and pink champagne. They’ll all act like best friends, trying to impress each other with how rich their husbands are.

And here I am, sweating it out, pits soaked, with swamp crotch, trying not to have an anxiety attack, and running on fumes both on this warped excuse for a television show and in my life, with just eighty-seven dollars in my bank account and a team that hates me. Everything depends on an out-of-control carnival about to go horribly wrong. I’m so damn close to winning, and I need that prize more than anything, more than anyone else on the show. I just can’t bear going back to my so-called normal life.

Now I’m sweating blood to make this event happen, and I can’t even get some paid extras on poles to show up—hell, I can’t even get my whole team to show up.

I look around: total chaos. A group of union guys tries to unroll artificial turf into the same spot where another group is trying to set up the Ferris wheel. A speaker on the sound stage wobbles and topples over with a crash, nearly crushing the woman trying to secure it to the stand. I look at Jodi Sue in despair.

“How are we going to do this?” I say. “How is this even possible?”

“Search me,” she says. “It’s your challenge. I was eliminated weeks ago, thanks to you, and I wouldn’t be here helping you if it wasn’t in my contract, because I think you’re a bitch.” She smiles sweetly.

I’m in this alone. It’s a zero-sum game.

“OK, Jodi Sue,” I say. “Why don’t you just go sit on your ass out of the way and get your cleavage ready for the stilt walkers. They’re going to have a great view.” Her mouth drops open as I spin away and set off to track down Andy. Because if I don’t find those clowns in the next fifteen minutes, I might as well not even show up at the finale. As I storm past Sybil—she stands silently, critically in the doorway with her arms crossed—I can’t help myself. “What do you think, Sybil?” I ask. “Are you entertained? Is it everything you hoped to see from me? Because you haven’t seen anything yet.”

Meet the Author

Bethenny Frankel, a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, is the star of Bravo’s Bethenny Ever After…. Her recipes and health tips can be read monthly in Health. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. Visit her at Bethenny.com.

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Skinny Dipping 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a juicy, delectable (and guilty!) read. Bethenny's voice is unique.
cabnthrulife More than 1 year ago
I may, perhaps, be slightly biased because I am, indeed, a big fan of Bethenny. Not because of housewives, but because of her as a person and learning about her growing up and becoming the powerhouse woman that she is. She is someone I look up to because of her passion for success and her "never give up" attitude. I admire her tenacity, motivation, humor, ability to reach & relate to people, and most importantly, her ability to encourage others that they, too, can be successful despite any shortcomings that you may encounter. Skinnydipping had all of these qualities of Bethenny, and more. I particularly liked the usage of the name "Faith" as the leading heroine. It was incredibly telling and ironic. "Have Faith" was the constant motto and business name that the lead used. The tone was set throughout the book to "have faith" and keep pushing, don't take 'no' for an answer, and realize that if something fails, it's not that you failed indefinitely, it's a learning stepping stone for your next adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly fun sassy read with great prose, character development, and easily read storyline. I couldn't put it down, especially when getting to the end. Skinnydipping greatly mirrors that of Bethenny's past and present life, and it was as if the reader had the ability to look into her life and see what she went through to get her where she is. It's proof that you can come from nothing and make it into SOMETHING. I was encouraged reading about the character Faith and her journey to make something of her herself (something that we can all relate to). Faith is relatable and says everything that we all think but never have the guts to say. A triumphant read, in my opinion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! However, I was hoping that it would be something new and fresh and to me, this was very reminiscent of her life and how she got her start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I typically hate reading but this book was wity and kept me guesing what was real and what was fiction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Bethenny Frankel and this novel is truly intriguing throughout the entire book. It gives you a little insight into what Bethenny's life before fame may have been like, but at the same time staying very true to the plot line and main character. It is a great addition to the rest of her career is is enjoyable for any woman
seapea More than 1 year ago
It's light, it's witty, it's fun. Enjoyed every minute of the read on my vacation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was REALLY hoping to enjoy this book. I'm a big fan of Bethenny, and was looking for a good summer read. I'll start off by saying, it wasn't bad enough that I couldn't finish the book, but it also wasn't good enough that I'll recommend it to others. The plot is poorly set up, as well as (from my assumption) really close to Bethenny's previous years in LA and on the Martha Stewart's Apprentice show, all the way to the end with an unexpected surprise. The whole time I was reading the book, I was only able to think of Bethenny Frankel and not Faith Brightstone. I felt the characters were poorly built, and I had a hard time remembering who was who. I really never got to know any of the supporting characters, and only viewed the main character as I view Bethenny. It was a quick, fun read. If there was a sequel, I might read it if there wasn't anything else on my Nook to read... but that's about it. I wish I rented this book from Library, instead of purchasing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a fantastic read! It was great to see the parallel between Bethenny's life and Faith's life. I absolutely got wrapped up in the characters and before I knew it, it was over. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who like Bethenny's antics. I cannot wait for the next one!
AmandaMilitia More than 1 year ago
I loved it! It read really well and kept my attention. And it was fun!
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I read this book for my book club and really enjoyed it. Fun and refreshing!
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This book is a refreshing change. I love the honesty of the main character in this book. I am such a big fan of Bethenny and I love that this fictional book is parallel to Bethenny's life ! I have recommended this to everyone I know. It is a must read!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lynn F. for Readers Favorite "Skinnydipping" by Bethenny Frankel is a novel that I would classify as being in the chick-lit genre. It is a story about an aspiring actress that soon finds out that not all things you want in life turn out the way one would like them to. When Faith, fresh out of college, enters into the real world in LA she soon realizes that one does not become a success overnight. With a suitcase and a dog in hand she heads back to New York and eventually lands herself a job on a reality show. As Faith journeys through life, meeting different people and living a somewhat presumptuous lifestyle, will Faith settle down with the man of her dreams or pass up love for fame? I will have to admit that I am not a reality show person and have never really watched Bethenny Frankel on television. When I first read the synopsis on the book it sounded quite interesting but it was not quite what I expected. I did enjoy following along with Faith and watch her grow up and mature in life and realize that not everything is handed to you on a silver platter. What turned me off about the book was the coarse language, and the sexual adventures. It was what I would call a little rough around the edges. I feel the book could have been written without all of that or had some of it edited out and it would still have been an enjoyable read. As I read the book I wondered if the book was written in a way to reflect her own life. If you are one that likes reality TV shows and the chick lit genre, then I am sure you will find the book interesting. I would recommend this book for adult readers.
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