Skinny-Dipping (Au Pairs Series #2)

( 45 )


Mara, Eliza, and Jacqui are back in the Hamptons for another summer of beaches, boys, and—oh, yeah—babysitting in this second book in the Beach Lane series.

Back in the Hamptons for another summer, Mara, Eliza and Jacqui have to deal with the fallout of how they spent their winters.

Mara dumped Ryan, but now wants him back. Unfortunately, he may have moved on. To Eliza.


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Skinny-Dipping (Au Pairs Series #2)

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Mara, Eliza, and Jacqui are back in the Hamptons for another summer of beaches, boys, and—oh, yeah—babysitting in this second book in the Beach Lane series.

Back in the Hamptons for another summer, Mara, Eliza and Jacqui have to deal with the fallout of how they spent their winters.

Mara dumped Ryan, but now wants him back. Unfortunately, he may have moved on. To Eliza.

Eliza is worried about Mara finding out about her recent fling—but also about what Jeremy will think.

And Jacqui is eyeing the Perrys’ new au pair, Philippe. Too bad she’s sworn off boys…

If the girls want to keep their jobs, they have to get their love lives under control—or they’ll be on the first bus out of the Hamptons.

The Beach Lane series is created by Alloy Entertainment, producer of bestselling teen and middle grade series including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars.

Originally published as part of the Au Pairs series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hot Beach Reading!"


Publishers Weekly
A gorgeous French male au pair comes on the scene to complicate the friendship between Mara, Eliza and Jacqui, turning up the heat in the Hamptons in this second adventure in the Au Pairs series. Ages 14-up. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Eliza, Mara, and Jacqui return for a second season of high fashion, fabulous parties, unlimited alcohol, sex, and celebrities in New York's exclusive Hamptons. Last summer, as au pairs for the wealthy Perry family, the girls partied their way through the season. Now Mara and Jacqui have returned to care for the Perry children while Eliza has chosen to work at the ultra-hip nightclub, The Seventh Circle. Sound perfect? Not quite. Eliza has broken up with the hunky gardener from last year and has hooked up with Ryan Perry, Mara's ex-boyfriend. After all, Mara did break up with him. The catch is that, unbeknownst to Eliza, Mara wants him back. Jacqui, the beautiful Brazilian, has recently sworn off men-until she meets Eliza's replacement, the stunning Philippe. Oh, yeah, it may be worth mentioning that Mrs. Perry also has her eye on him. The story is ultimately about the fleeting nature of popularity and how easy it is to get caught up in the game. There is plenty of underage drinking, some mild drug use, and nonexplicit sex. One thing is for sure, this book will be in high demand. Readers of The Au Pairs (S & S, 2004) will be dying to know what happens to the girls. Teens unfamiliar with these characters will be attracted by the eye-catching cover showing shapely tanned legs and discarded bikinis on a beach. Give this to fans of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" books and Zoey Dean's "The A-List" series (both Little, Brown).-Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442474109
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: Au Pairs Series, #2
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 289
  • Sales rank: 423,562
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of many books including the Beach Lane series, the Blue Bloods series, which has three million copies in print, and the Witches of East End series, which is now an hourlong drama on the Lifetime Network. Frozen, the first book in her new fantasy series, Heart of Dread, is cowritten with her husband. She is a former journalist and has written for Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Marie Claire, and Allure. Melissa attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, which served as an inspiration for the school in The Ashley Project. She currently lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family.

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Read an Excerpt


  • IT DIDN’T LOOK LIKE MUCH, BUT THEN THAT WAS PROBABLY because it was three o’clock in the afternoon, and Seventh Circle, the newest, soon-to-be-hottest club in the Hamptons, wouldn’t get going until after midnight. A potato barn in its former life, Seventh Circle was a large, brown-shingled, rambling wood building set back in the Southampton woods. Only a discreet sign off the highway (seven circles posted to a tree, natch) let the initiated know they had arrived at their destination.

Eliza Thompson steered her black Jetta into the parking lot, feeling at once pleased and apprehensive. She examined her makeup in the rearview mirror, applied a thick layer of lip gloss, stuck two fingers inside her mouth, and pulled them out slowly, just like Allure suggested, in order to avoid a grandmotheresque lipstick-on-teeth situation.

She checked for detritus of Chanel Glossimer. Nothing. Perfect.

Eliza grabbed her bag—the season’s covetable metallic leather Balenciaga motorcycle clutch. Eliza had bought it in Palm Beach, during the week she’d spent as a vacation au pair for the Perrys last winter. Inside was a rolled-up resume that listed her sparkling attributes: a Spence education (up until her parents’ bankruptcy last year and their subsequent move to Buffalo, that is), an internship at Jane (which had entailed fetching nonfat soy lattes and alphabetizing glitter nail polish), and a reference from her longtime friend and Manhattan boy-about-town, Kit Ashleigh.

Life was almost great again for Eliza. Okay, sure, the Thompsons were still living in Buffalo—a far, far cry from the posh life they’d left behind in New York City—but they had moved from a sordid little rental to a proper three-bedroom condominium in the only luxury high-rise in the city. With a little help from some old friends and loyal clients, her dad was slowly getting back on his feet, and there was money for such things as thousand-dollar handbags again. (Well, there was credit at least.) With her grades and SAT scores (top 99th percentile—Eliza was no dummy), there was a good chance she would be able to wing financial aid and get into Princeton after all. This summer her parents were even renting a little Cape Cod in Westhampton. It had the smallest pool Eliza had ever seen—it was practically a bathtub!—but still, it was a house, it was theirs (for the summer), and it was in the Hamptons.

The only thing keeping Eliza off balance was the Big Palm Beach Secret from last winter. Something had happened while she was there that she’d rather forget, but news traveled fast in the Hamptons and Eliza knew she’d have to come clean soon enough. She brushed aside the thought for now—it was time to focus on the task at hand: getting a job in the hottest new club in the Hamptons and recapturing her title as the coolest girl in town.

Before Buffalo and bankruptcy, Eliza had been famous for being the prettiest, most popular girl on the New York private school circuit. Sugar Perry, who now ruled in her stead, had been a mere wannabe when Eliza was on the scene. Eliza was the one who set the trends (white-blond highlights), knew about all the best parties (Tuesdays at Butter), and dated the hottest guys (polo-playing Charlie Borshok, who was now Sugar’s boyfriend as well). Being “outed” as a poor au pair last summer had changed all that, but this was a new year, a new summer, and a new Eliza—who just happened to look a lot like the old Eliza, the girl everyone wanted to know and all the other girls wanted to be.

It was still drizzling, the end of a typical early June East End rainstorm, as Eliza slid quickly out of her Jetta, which she’d begged her parents to lease her for the summer, and checked her cell phone for any missed calls from Jeremy. Last summer, Eliza had fallen in love with Jeremy Stone, the Perrys’ hunky nineteen-year-old gardener, but they’d broken up over the winter since they lived so far away from each other. Now that summer was here, Eliza was dying to see him again. She wasn’t exactly sure where Jeremy would fit in with her plans for getting back on top of the social scene, since he wasn’t rich or famous (although he was very, very cute), but she did know her plans included him, and she hoped that would be good enough. With no missed calls or new texts, Eliza stuffed her phone back in her clutch and headed toward the club.

The door was hanging open, so she let herself inside. Seventh Circle was supposed to be the place to be this summer, but here it was, a week after Memorial Day, and it hadn’t even opened yet. There was a thick layer of fresh sawdust on the floor, and a full construction crew was barking orders at one another. The barn had been retrofitted to accommodate a U-shaped zinc bar, and against the back wall stood a built-in glass liquor cabinet almost twenty-five feet high. The guys looked up when they spied Eliza. Several whistled at the sight of her tanned legs underneath her pink smocked Juicy tube dress. It was the kind of dress that made everyone else who wore it look fat or pregnant, but on Eliza it looked cute and sexy.

“Hi, I’m here to see the owners—Alan or Kartik?” Eliza said, pulling her long blond hair into a high ponytail.

One of the hard hats grunted and pointed a finger toward the back of the club. Eliza stepped over a paint tray delicately, picking her way past the sawhorses and a couple of dusty potato sacks, toward two guys yammering into their cell phone headsets.

They were the self-styled kings of Manhattan nightlife, and while their press clippings might reach to the ceiling, neither was taller than five-five, and Eliza towered over both of them in her four-inch Louboutin platforms. Alan Whitman was balding and dough-faced, but he’d been legendary since ninth grade at Riverdale, when he’d begun his career selling pot at the Limelight. He’d oozed his way up a string of downtown hot spots until he’d raised enough money to open his trio of celebrity playgrounds—Vice, Circus, and Lowdown. He liked to say that before he’d gotten his hands on Paris Hilton, she was just a cute little Dwight sophomore in a rolled-up uniform skirt. He’d been the one who’d waived Paris past the ID check and had personally alerted gossip columnists when she was dancing on the tables—or falling off them—on any given night. His partner, Kartik (one name only), a Miami transplant, had been friends with Madonna back when he was still a teenager and she was still a dog-collar-wearing pop icon, not a dowdy children’s book author who answered to the name Esther.

“What do you mean the liquor license is delayed? Are you serious?” Alan whined into his receiver.

“Babycakes, of course we’ve got the permits in hand,” Kartik smoothly promised on his cell. “We’re ready to roll. We’re all set for the after-party, no problem!”

Eliza stood aside patiently, watching the guys tell two different stories on their phones. It was inspirational, really: If Alan Whitman could transform himself from some geeky kid who sold oregano dime bags out of his Eastman backpack into New York’s most sought-after nightclub promoter, then surely she, Eliza Thompson, could find a way to reinvent herself from fallen Manhattan It Girl into Hamptons royalty. After all, Eliza had always wanted to be a princess.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Speaking with Melissa de la Cruz about The Au Pairs

Did you spend a lot of time in the Hamptons as "research" in order to write your book?

MC: Yes. My husband and I shared a house on Shelter Island for a couple of years with several friends. We spent every weekend of the past several summers there. It was an amazing retreat from the city -- and we loved the slower pace, the country, and of course, the beach. When I wrote the book, I wanted to capture all the wonderful places we loved, like the Snowflake ice-cream shop, the secluded Two Mile Hollow beach, and the lobster rolls at "Lunch." Also, I wanted to capture the crazy New York social-climbing world that was out there -- the huge palatial homes, the jockeying for the best beach spot with your Hermes towel, the scene at Citarella, and the beautiful people with their gorgeous vintage cars. It's another world out there; the Great Gatsby come to life. Also, P. Diddy's white parties -- which are insane. Pretty girls, sexy clothes, good's a summer playland.

Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?

MC: I think each of the characters have a little bit of me in them. Eliza's background is closest to mine, as my family lost our fortune when we moved to America from the Philippines. (My dad didn't embezzle though!) So I know what it's like to go from the Queen Bee popular girl to someone who has to work and count her pennies. Eliza's compulsive shopping is also a lot like mine! I definitely had a problem with credit cards when I was a teenager. I also find her so likable and funny. I always like characters with a bit of an edge to them. Mara is also a lot like me. She is me when we moved to the States: this self-conscious, small-town girl who doesn't feel she deserves good things. She has a big heart, and she doesn't know how great she is. I loved it in Skinny-Dipping when she has a little fun and gets caught up in the celebrity lifestyle. As a lifestyle and fashion journalist in New York, I've covered that scene and I've seen that happen to so many people. Jacqui is based on my best friend in high school, who was this gorgeous Italian girl who had the body to die for and who was always trying to prove she was more than just her great looks. Several of my friends have actually told me they were a little like Jacqui when they were in high school -- very precocious and knew their way around men. Jacqui is also really fun to write, she gets in the most scandalous scrapes! I love that about her.

What does working as an au pair really entail?

MC: I worked at a day care center at my really exclusive high school, so I know about rich kids and their parents. A friend of mine in college worked as an au pair in Westchester, and she basically was a full-time babysitter; you do whatever the family asks, but you're treated as a "friend of the family" and not like the help, which is what Anna tells them in the first book -- they want the girls to have fun too. The term "au pair" technically only means the foreign girls who work as nannies for a year in the States. You get the "au pair" visa. I'm using the term loosely in the book, but then "The Babysitters" doesn't quite have such a fab ring to it, right? On a funny side note, my friend the au pair, actually did date the rich, cute older brother of her charge, and they ended up getting married! They have a kid now. But that's not what I was thinking about when I was writing about Mara. But it goes to show, it definitely happens!

Do you have any advice for people who would like to get an au pair job?

MC: I know there's a website,, where you can sign up. I met some au pairs while I was on book tour in the Hamptons, and they were telling me that they got their jobs so easily-they just sent their resumes to the family, and without even an interview, they got the gig. (I don't think it pays as much as we say in the book though.) One of the au pairs was a girl from Utah, who said she had five younger brothers, and that's what got her the job. She mostly liked the work, she said the family was really nice, and really, it's just watching the kids and making sure they are entertained. Her employers heard about my book and they told her to go to the reading since "it's about people like you." Which is SO Hamptons!! I can just imagine it!

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about the Hamptons?

MC: My favorite thing about the Hamptons is how beautiful it is out there -- it's really this stark, New England landscape, and the beaches aren't even that nice (I live in LA now, and the beaches here put the Hamptons to shame). But there's something really cool about the Atlantic Ocean, and I really like the New York-on-the-beach vibe. I love New Yorkers; I love how neurotic they are, and how everything has to be just-so, like the BEST sushi, the BEST clambake, the BEST flip-flops. There's nothing casual about New Yorkers. And I love that -- I love people who picnic with champagne and caviar. I think life should be more like Absolutely Fabulous all the time! Now that I live in the suburbs (which is what I call LA -- NY's suburb), I really miss it. I think my least favorite thing is the traffic. Sometimes it takes five hours to get there. Terrible. And part of what is making New York not so fun anymore is also seeping into the Hamptons: the whole attitude-y, PR-blitz, where there's always a list, always some VIP bull. That's all fun but sometimes it gets out of hand. When I moved to New York in 1989, you got in the nightclub door because you looked cool -- it was all about how you put your clubbing "outfit" together. You could be nobody but there you would be dancing next to Madonna at a club. It's just not that easy anymore. Because now New York is all about those damn velvet ropes, and $500 vodka bottles for a table. Ridiculous. But then maybe I'm just getting old. I used to be the girl dancing on the table, out until 10 a.m., going to the diner for breakfast with glitter in my hair but now I'm in my thirties and I'm home by midnight.

What's up next for Eliza, Mara, and Jacqui? Is there a sequel?

MC: I just did the deal for the sequel, so yes, their story will continue! I'm so excited to see what happens next. Right now, I can't tell you more details, but I know there will be more romantic entanglements, more cute boys, more girl-bonding and lots and lots of shopping!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2012

    My FAVORITE summer series yet!!!! The girls are on all new adven

    My FAVORITE summer series yet!!!! The girls are on all new adventures this time. Their stories are captivating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2007


    this book was so good i read it in one day and didnt stop reading it once i started it is the best book i ever read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007


    I loved this book so much! I think this series is sooooo amazing and I read them all so fast! I love Mara and Ryan and I think they are so cute together! I hope she continues writing more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2007

    It was an entertaining book

    This book was a good book, it kept me entertained. There was so much drama, though. so much that I almost couldn't keep up with it. Mara changed completely, she is so different. I found that Jacqui's life was so boring in this book. Nothing really ever happened to her. I was expecting Eliza, Jacqui, and Mara to become closer as friends, but they just got further apart, and they didn't act like 'the best friends ever'. It is a good book, it wasn't bad, but it isn't a book that I would read again. I only finished it because it because it wanted to find out how it ended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    Okay, so I am starting to really like these au pair books by De La Cruz. It took me a while to get into the groove of everything, but I am slowly becoming addicted to all the snotty, posh, designer stuff. I finished this book and ran downstairs to grab the next one in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    i love this book

    i read this book really quick i loved how it had an actual plot line and exciting stuff happened. highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    this book was even better than the first

    i luved this one the most because it had so many twists with the characters, how mara goes with other guy and eliza starts seeing ryan and how jacqui is flirting with the new boy au pair. i luv this book because it has som many twists that make you speechless and like wow and thats wat made me luv it so much and wanting to read it more and more also i like this series because it has reality u can relate to it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    woww. :]

    i had read the first book of the series, the au pairs, and instantly fell in love with the book. i hadn't even realized there was a sequel, and when my friend told me about it i was excited to read the next. i just finished reading it today, and i've got to say it's one of the best series out there. i can't wait for the third!! :D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2006


    It is good and addictive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2006


    I liked this book, but I liked the first one better. It kind of bothered me how crazy and different Mara was in this book. Still good though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2006

    It was pretty good!

    I thought it was pretty good, however, I think the first one was better. It seemed like everything in this one kinda happened a little unrealistic. But maybe the next one: Sun-kissed, will be better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2006

    teen drama book lover

    this book is so good. i love jacqui,eliza, and mara. my favorite is mara but she is so wild and crazy in the second book. i'm so happy mara and ryan ended up together, jacqui gets to live in new york during the school year, and jeremy and eliza get back together!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2006

    Not sure how i feel

    I'm not sure whether I liked this book or the first one better. This one kept me reading it like crazy and I read in in less then a day... just because I was dying to get Mara and Ryan back together. I hated what happend between him and Eliza and that now Mara has no more good clothes and such. This book was MUCH more drama filled which kept me interested. but idk I'm just mad about Ryan and Eliza. and I still have two questions. Did Ryan and Eliza have sex? Did Ryan and Mara have sex?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2006

    in my top 5 series

    i read the first one in like two days which is like really fast for me. I fell in love with the book. it had me hooked. so when i found out she was making a second one i pre ordered it. three months before. i loved it and can't wait for the third one to come out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2005

    I Loved It

    After reading the first book, I couldn't wait for this one to come out. I loved how Melissa De La Cruz included Stuyvesant High School in this 'cause I go there! I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series - assuming that there is going to be one - and hope that she writes more about how Jacqui is doing at Stuy. I loved how the characters drastically changed especially Mara. It was like their personalities in this book were foils for their personalities in the last one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2006

    Awesome in Every Way

    I loved the first 'Au Pairs' Book, but this second one is definitely my favorite. All the drama that the characters went through was so amazing. I can't wait until the next book comes out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    Groovy Read

    This book was well written and extremely entertaining. I bought it when it first came out because i read the first one when that came out and i couldn't wait to read this one! I finally had enough time to read it and i loved it! The original is still my favorite but this had just as much substance and is just as good of a book. i can't wait for a third novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2005

    LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved the second installment of The Au Pairs series! It had more scandal, more hot guys, more parties, more FUN! I still prefer the original Au Pair book, but this was a great second book! Can't wait for the next one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2005

    Better than the first

    Thank god Melisa De La Cruz actually wrote a good book serries. Her other new book, Fresh off the boat was Terrible. I loved how Melisa made Mara the main character of the sequal to the Au pairs. It was unexpedited to see Mara the goody goody, out partying. At this point in the serries the Au pairs is reminding me of the Gossip girl serries by Cecily von Ziegesar. The Au Pairs is my new favorite book until the new Gossip girl comes out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005


    this was a really awesome book!!! its a great follow up of the first book 'the au pairs' which was also great. kept me up reading and axious to wake up to read more! melissa de la cruz is a great writer and i can't wait for more of her wonderful books to come out next year.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews

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