An antidote to run-of-the-mill chick lit, Linda Francis Lee's novel gives a hilarious inside look at the world of backstabbing Texas socialites.” Marie Claire magazine
“Not even the requisite happy ending can blunt Lee's deliciously sharp jabs at Texas blue bloods.” Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)
“Lee's details about how the blue-blood women dress, talk, decorate, entertain and conduct themselves… keep the pages turning.” USA Today
“Fresh and funny, original and outrageous, this novel is fabulous from start to finish.” Kristin Hannah, author of Magic Hour
“I giggled out loud at this wickedly funny peek into the back-stabbing socialite-eat-socialite world of the rich and catty.” Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles
“[A] witty and provocative look at the lives of Texas high-society bluebloods.” El Paso Times
“Super-smart and fun” Glamour
Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware ("Frede" to her friends) is a 28-year-old extremely moneyed member of the "tr s exclusive" Junior League of Willow Creek, Tex., and lives her life according to unwritten club rules about fashion and etiquette. So when her husband, Gordon, has an affair, steals her family money and flees the country, Frede wants to keep the disaster quiet to maintain her elite status. The only person in town she can turn to is her tactless neighbor, Howard Grout, who agrees to be her lawyer if Frede gets his wife, Nikki, who is far from a charming Southern belle, into the Junior League. As Frede sands down Nikki's gaudy edges, she learns a few simple lessons about life (paramount among them is that money doesn't buy love and happiness). Howard, meanwhile, proves to be a formidable attorney and follows Gordon's money trail all the way to a satisfyingly vengeful ending. Lee (Simply Sexy; Sinfully Sexy), a former debutante, certainly knows her material, though it's hard to muster much sympathy for an airy narrator who lives and dies by the shallow strictures of Texas society, maddeningly refers to herself as "moi" and prefers to spell, but not say, m-o-n-e-y. 100,000 announced first printing. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
When Junior Leaguer Fredericka "Frede" Ware's perfect husband steals her money and hightails it out of Willow Creek, TX, with his mistress, she is desperate to keep up appearances and not let anyone in her circle know. She feels she has no choice but to hire her neighbor-the gaudy but ruthless lawyer Howard Grout-to find her wayward hubby and get her money back. He agrees, but there's a catch: Frede must get Howard's unrefined wife, Nikki, into the Junior League! Frede agrees to play Henry Higgins to Nikki's Eliza Doolittle but has her work cut out for her. Nikki curses, favors tight clothes and stiletto heels, doesn't like beige, and wears diamonds before 6 p.m., among many other high-societal infractions. Despite Frede's haughtiness, she is an endearing character who is just a product of her environment, as is the genuine and likable Nikki. Readers who enjoyed Mary Kay Andrews's Savannah Breeze will also enjoy this hilarious tale of another bilked woman who will do whatever it takes to recover what is rightfully hers. Movie rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 Pictures for a 2008 release. Recommended for all public libraries.-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Southern belle wronged by duplicitous husband seeks revenge. Speak softly and carry a large diamond seems to be the motto of narrator Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware. Known as Frede (pronounced Freddy) to her fellow Junior Leaguers, this lady-of-leisure's special gift is her ability to put together a stunning ensemble for any event. A bigger challenge than matching shoes to handbags, though, is tossed Frede's way when her husband steals her money and marries another woman. Our desperate heroine seeks assistance from her loudmouthed neighbor, an ill-bred but tenacious lawyer who's willing to take the case for free. Of course, there's a catch. In return for his help, Frede must secure a spot in the local Junior League for the lawyer's tacky wife, Nikki, who turns out to be an old school chum. Back in high school, Frede had ditched Nikki because she wore the wrong clothes and came from a poor family. Now it's the Junior Leaguer's turn to feel what it's like to be ostracized and penniless. Primary among the story's many problems is Frede's selfishness and unlikable nature, expressed in antiseptic language that leaves readers cold. Some may put the book aside before imperious Frede is given the chance to atone; the author simply waits too long to start her protagonist down the path toward redemption. Lee does provide a few intriguing ancillary characters among the wacky League ladies, but that's about it for the plus side. The prose is stilted, and Frede's habit of tossing in freshman-year French is annoying, though not as bad as her tiresome affectation of spelling out words Leaguers find vulgar ("m-o-n-e-y"). Numbered lists of character motivations match the plot in their obviousness.Lee, who's churned out more than a dozen mass-market romances, seems to have run out of fresh ideas. A barren highway with few diverting pit stops. First printing of 100,000