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The Debutante Divorcee
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The characters in Sykes's second novel are as rich and fashionable but, thankfully, not as irritating as those in her debut, Bergdorf Blondes. When Sylvie Mortimer's charming husband, Hunter, deserts her on their honeymoon to close a business deal, she meets heiress Lauren Blount, who is celebrating her Divorce Honeymoon. Bonding instantly because they're both wearing Pucci bikinis, they return to New York as fast friends. Lauren embraces the giddy life of a rich divorc?e, and while Sylvie should be enjoying her new job with up-and-coming fashion designer Thackeray Johnston, she's worried Hunter might be using his devotion to business to cover for an affair. The glamorous backdrop of elite New York (with jaunts to Paris, Moscow, and the French Alps) will enchant Sykes's many fans and, indeed, all devotees of novels in which beautiful people change fabulously expensive outfits almost as often as they drop the names of famous designers, celebrities, and restaurants. Yet the book does have broader appeal, as this extreme lifestyle is simultaneously embraced and skewered with a delicious, almost Wodehousian flair. Recommended for all fiction collections.-Lisa Davis-Craig, Canton P.L., MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Sykes picks up where the prospective-husband hunters of her bestselling 2004 debut, Bergdorf Blondes, left off: "Married girls in New York these days put almost as much effort into losing husbands as they once did into finding them." When Sylvie Mortimer's husband, Hunter, gets called away for business on the second day of their Mexican honeymoon, Sylvie meets fellow Manhattanite Lauren Blount, in town for her divorce honeymoon, and Lauren takes the abandoned newlywed under her wing. Back in New York, Sylvie, working on the cheap for fashion designer friend Thackeray Johnston, brings a grounded perspective to Lauren's world of the rich, well-connected and freshly single, a world of theme parties (divorce showers, power christenings) and modest goals (make out with five men before Memorial Day, hook up their own surround sound). Meanwhile, Hunter's blossoming career as a television producer makes him a prime target for "husband huntresses," including his notorious co-worker Sophia D'Arlan. With Hunter acting secretive, Sophia popping up everywhere and Lauren egging her on, Sylvie sees her own divorce shower in the works. Though characters are as complex as the labels they wear and dialogue tends toward observations like "I want to be Lindsey Lohan most of the time, don't you?" Sykes's Bergdorf formula is still light, wicked, name-dropping fun. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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