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Adams follows up 2006's The Godmother with a perceptive chick noir, once again debunking the notion that everything's smooth sailing once you've found the love of your life. Tessa King (heroine of Adams's first novel) has finally nabbed hers: James, an older man with three charming daughters from a previous marriage. These daughters-including daddy's girl extraordinaire, 14-year-old Amber-don't seem so lovely once stepmother-in-waiting Tessa has to deal with their dirty school uniforms and petty jealousies. Nor did Tessa sign up for the emotional baggage of James's ex-wife, Bea, who broke James's heart. With all the angst, how's a girl supposed to plan the perfect white wedding? Meanwhile, Bea-who shares narration duty-still has a torch burning for James and has buried years of regret and guilt under binge eating and, soon, compulsive drinking. Family dramas and crises bring Bea and Tessa together with surprising results. Particularly refreshing are Tessa's and Bea's co-starring roles, which allows Adams to explore in sometimes painful detail how the real work begins once you've got the diamond ring. Fans of Marian Keyes and Emily Giffin will enjoy Adams's engrossing second outing. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.