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Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough
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Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough

4.2 14
by Isabel Sharpe

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Welcome to Kettle, Wisconsin, a town where everyone knows nothing bad ever happens.

Enter Lorelei Taylor—notorious, glamorous, and hot off a not-guilty murder verdict that stunned the nation. To the women of Kettle, bad things seem suddenly inevitable . . .

Sarah Gilchrist—A perfect house and garden can't quite make up for a marriage that's a


Welcome to Kettle, Wisconsin, a town where everyone knows nothing bad ever happens.

Enter Lorelei Taylor—notorious, glamorous, and hot off a not-guilty murder verdict that stunned the nation. To the women of Kettle, bad things seem suddenly inevitable . . .

Sarah Gilchrist—A perfect house and garden can't quite make up for a marriage that's a wreck. Sarah is determined to rise above her opinion of Kettle's dreadful newcomer and give her a perfect welcome. But in the face of Lorelei's outrageous provocations, Sarah's control starts to unravel.

Erin Hall—What her husband does to her behind closed doors stays hidden. But Lorelei's acquittal gives Erin hope for the first time. Convinced Lorelei did kill her abusive lover . . . and got away with it, Erin thinks she may have some power after all.

Lorelei Taylor—In Lorelei's eyes, peaceful, heavenly Kettle could not look any more like hell. She vows to shake up the town—smug, priggish Sarah; mousy, downtrodden Erin; and while she's at it, her widowed neighbor, Mike. Except the harder she shakes, the more the shake-up is happening to her.

Sometimes the only thing women on the edge need . . . is a push.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Little happens in Kettle, Wis., but when Sharpe, who has written over 20 romance and erotica novels, sends an acquitted murderess to the town days after her sensational New York trial concludes, there's trouble in the offing. Lorelei Taylor, found not guilty of murdering her "publishing magnate" lover, heads to Kettle, home of her late grandmother, to lay low after the trial. As luck would have it, there's a too-good-to-be-true widower/ handyman across the street, but he refuses to be another sex toy for the gorgeous Lorelei. Neighbor Sarah Gilchrist is long accustomed to her beautiful home and ugly marriage, but Lorelei's ballsy New York attitude rubs off on her. Same with dowdy Erin Hall: abused by her husband, Erin is given hope by the arrival of the flamboyant woman she sees as a hero. Although the "surprise" at the end isn't surprising and the loose ends are tied too neatly, this feel-good story won't disappoint women readers looking for a light read. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough

By Isabel Sharpe

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Isabel Sharpe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061140556

Chapter One

Verdict! Jury reaches verdict in Ed Branson murder today--the world waits for tomorrow

New York City (CNS). It's a cliffhanger in what has been America's most sensational trial since O. J. Simpson's in 1995. After three days of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict in the trial of Lorelei Taylor, which has mesmerized the nation for the last six months. Tomorrow at noon (EST), the fate of Ms. Taylor, accused of murdering her long-time lover, publishing magnate Ed Branson, will be announced.

Comparisons to the Simpson trial have been numerous and inevitable. Now that the nation must wait until tomorrow for the verdict to be read, speculation is rising. Will Lorelei repeat O. J.'s stunning escape from a guilty verdict? Or will the jury this time side with the prosecution?

Ted Branson, son of the deceased, has no doubts. "She'll get what's coming to her. After what she did to my father, what she's done to me, my mother, to my wife and my children . . . The good ladies and gentlemen of the jury will not let that murdering [expletive deleted] walk free." Lawyers for both sides refused to comment on the possible outcome.

Over the past six months, the nation has been held captive by the testimony, scandal, and lurid details of the trial, but not so captivated as they have been by the woman on trial herself.Though she is dubbed "The Sublime Ms. L" by her admirers, her detractors cite the German legend of Lorelei, a beautiful woman who sat on the banks of the Rhine, combing her hair and singing of her lost love, luring smitten sailors to gruesome deaths on the rocks below.

In less than twenty-four hours, both detractors and admirers will know what the jury of seven men and five women have decided lies in store for Ms. Taylor.

Sarah Gilchrist
Kettle, Wisconsin

Sarah turned on the TV in her and Ben's beautifully redecorated living room. What an improvement over the way her mother had it while Sarah was growing up here. She sat on the cream-colored couch accented with burgundy, teal, and gold pillows, and patted the cushion next to her, allowing her smile to dim only slightly when her husband chose the big leather chair closer to the set. Of course he'd rather be closer, with his vision getting worse. Bifocals soon, Dr. Bradley had said. Honestly, Sarah had told him a million times he needed to take more breaks from his writing or he'd ruin his eyes staring at that little monitor.

They'd both hit forty this year, which made them officially middle-aged, though it didn't seem possible. But of course, Ben went ahead and did what he wanted, which was part of his charm. Far be it from Sarah to interfere. Their teenage daughter, Amber, had inherited that particular trait from her father, though at age sixteen, charming wasn't always the word that sprang to Sarah's mind to describe it.

"Cookie?" She jumped to her feet and offered him the plate--almond crescents, his favorite, made with real butter, and don't get her started on women who baked with that awful vegetable shortening. Those cookies might look good, but they tasted like absolutely nothing, so what was the point? Sarah loved to bake, but she rarely ate what she made, wanting to keep her figure slim.

"Thanks." Ben groped for one, eyes glued to the set. He'd watched nearly every minute of the Lorelei Taylor trial coverage when he wasn't working. Of course the trial had been fascinating, not that Sarah had followed the proceedings that closely. And not that Ben shared a lot of the details with her. But all the ins and outs, the infidelity, the abuse, well, she'd almost feel sorry for the Lorelei woman, except murder was never the right way out of a situation. That and the fact that Lorelei was the flashy, tarty, in-your-face kind of person Sarah's mother would have called common. In this case, as much as Sarah tried to remain open-minded, Sarah would have to agree.

Plus, the dreaful way Lorelei killed her lover, drugging, then electrocuting the poor man in his own bathtub. They couldn't even say which actually caused his heart attack, the drugs, the electrocution, or the fear. He didn't deserve that, not that Sarah commended him for his alleged treatment of Lorelei, if it was true. But she could see how Lorelei would provoke abuse. The woman was all T&A--trouble and attitude.

The part of Sarah that believed in justice, that believed people were punished for their sins, knew this jury would find the woman guilty. That lent a certain balance and peaceful security to the day, and she looked forward to it. Homemade cookies, a beautiful fall day with a husband she adored, and a guilty verdict. All would be right with the rest of the world, as it was always right in Kettle, Wisconsin.

"Another cookie, honey?"

"Shhh." Her husband pointed to the set with one of his long, beautiful fingers, which she'd fallen in love with the first day she set eyes on him their freshman year at Cornell. Those hands and those deep brown, scholarly eyes.

"Members of the jury, on the charge of murder in the first degree, how do you find the defendant?"

Sarah leaned forward, practically aquiver to see justice done. The camera cut from the juror to Lorelei's face, for once not cocky and brash, but pale and emotionless. Beautiful and lifeless, like a mannequin.

"We find the defendant . . . not guilty, Your Honor."

Sarah blinked. What had they said? Not guilty?

Her husband gave a shout of laughter and pounded the arm of his chair. "By God! Not guilty. What a country we live in!"

Sarah set down the plate of hand-formed cookies, each rolled straight out of the oven in a perfectly even coating of powdered sugar. Her husband hated it when she cried, but unfortunately that's what she was going to do.

She bent her head and stifled the sobs as best she could.


Excerpted from Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Isabel Sharpe Copyright © 2007 by Isabel Sharpe. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Isabel Sharpe is the author of As Good As It Got and Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough. She lives in Wisconsin.

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Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've read in a while! I wanted to read this book to hopefully help me get through a period in my life that is turning out a little rough! It sure did that! I found a little bit of myself in all the characters! Even Mike! But mostly Sarah! These characters are REAL life characters! Love it! Please write another book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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heather_adkins More than 1 year ago
I happened across this book at the library, and it ended up being one of the best books I read last year. The insight into the lives of the different women in the novel is so real and raw. It's just this side of chick lit and that side of something really different. I recommend this to any woman who has men, marriage, or life problems.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GirlieMac More than 1 year ago
From the first chapter, I didn't think I would like this book, the characters seemed dull and old. By the second chapter, I was hooked. Vivian Harcourt has just been found not-guilty for killing her sugar daddy. To escape the media, she moves to small town Kettle, Wisconsin. There, her life intersects with Sarah, the fake Happy Homemaker, and Erin, who is abused by her husband. This book journeys their discover of who each of these women really is. I very much enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
This book passes the time. The character's of the three women in the story are never fully explored - just a superficial introduction to their characters. Also, the characters don't actually bond until the end - and then only briefly leaving the reader a little suspended in disbelief that they forged an incredibly strong bond that made them friends. On the positive side, it was nice to see flawed characters portrayed in a realistic way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
An insightful and poignant look into the changing lives of three women with realistic flaws. The prose is smooth, the setting is well drawn, and by the end you'll be rooting for Lorelei, Sarah and Erin as they break through to the other side. Full of good humor too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a real breakthrough book for Isabel Sharpe. I so enjoyed the development and evolving of Sarah, Erin...and Lorelei/Vivian...and the effect they had on each other. There are a lot of women out there...who need to really find themselves...and breakthrough to who they really are. Well done, Isabel !!!!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Glamorous Lorelei Taylor¿s murder trial was sensational headline news as it had everything the press would want except a conviction. She was tried in New York City for killing her lover, a publishing giant. She was acquitted in court, but hung by the media. Needing time away from the spotlight Lorelei flees to her late grandmother¿s home, Kettle, Wisconsin.--------- Two neighbors welcome the notorious Manhattan siren for differing reasons. Sarah Gilchrist knows on the outside everything is perfect, but inside the mouse wants to roar as her marriage stinks. She ignores the wide held opinion that Lorelei got away with murder because of her looks and welcomes her to town. On the other hand Erin Hall believes she has found a ¿sister¿-mentor who will help her with a terribly abusive marriage as she knows in her gut Lorelei killed her lover. Lorelei sees the two worshippers as losers who need some loosening up, but then she meets the third neighbor widower Mike who makes the small town appealing though he rejects her New York style advances. Not long after her self imposed exile began, Lorelei wonders who is nudging whom to modify their behavior.------------- This is a delightful lighthearted comedic romp starring WOMEN ON THE EDGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKTHROUGH when the outsider arrives as a catalyst of change. The story line will remind the audience of a gender changing version of Bob Hope¿s Bachelor in Paradise as Lorelei like Hope's A.J. Niles shakes up the residents of this town. Though the ending is too neat, contemporary readers will enjoy this fun bachelorette tale set in a Midwest paradise.--------- Harriet Klausner