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A hopeless unromantic gets a crash course in love in the fourth hilarious novel from bestselling author Anna Maxted
After her disaster of a marriage ends when she is just twenty, Hannah is convinced you have to be out of your mind (or desperate) to tie the knot. And life without a husband at thirty-one is just fine, thank you very much. She has a steady job working as a private investigator (albeit a mediocre one); a devoted boyfriend of five years, Jason; and a wonderful relationship with her dad (it's a shame her mother is such a lost cause). Then, on a romantic weekend retreat to a faux-ancient castle, Jason proposes marriage, leaving Hannah with no choice but the obvious: to turn him down cold.
Much to her horror, four weeks later, Jason becomes engaged to his next-door neighbor, a fine baker and "proficient seamstress." Has Hannah blown her last chance at a solid relationship as her family claims? Jason agrees to give her another chance -- but only if she meets his terms, among them a promise to dust off the many skeletons in her closet.
Brimming with her characteristic blend of humor and heartache, Anna Maxted's Being Committed is a perceptive look at intimacy (and its substitutes), commitment phobia, and the power others have over us.
Helen Bradshaw isn't exactly living out her dreams. She's a lowly assistant editor at GirlTime magazine, she drives an ancient Toyota, and she has a history of choosing men who fall several thousand feet below acceptable boyfriend standard. Not to mention that she shares an apartment with a scruffy , tactless roommate, her best girlfriends are a little too perfect, and the most affectionate male in her life--her cat, Fatboy--occasionally pees in her underwear draw.
Then Helen gets the telephone call she least expects: Her father has had a massive heart attack. Initially brushing off his death as merely an interruption in her already chaotic life (they were never very close, after all), Helen is surprised to find everything else starting to crumble around her. Her pushy mother is coming apart at the seams, a close friend might be heading toward tragedy, and, after the tequila incident, it looks as though Tom the vet will be sticking with Dalmatians. Turns out getting over it isn't going to be quite as easy as she thought.
Meet Holly, the sunny twenty-nine-year-old owner of Girl Meets Boy, a dating service for those who are "beautiful inside and out." Though she's a successfulmatchmaker, she hasn't quite fulfilled her own relationship dreams (her ex-fiance, Nick, seems unlikely to progress from his job as Mr. Elephant, children's party entertainer). So when her friends dare her to pick a man off the top of the pile, she's game.
But in one awful evening, the seemingly perfect Stuart turns out to be a completecad, and Holly's belief in the goodness of humanity takes a hit. What does it mean for her business and her romantic future if she can no longer trust her ability to read people? Holly's friends and colleagues are drawn into the complicated drama of her life, while Holly learns her most important lesson: to trust herself.
Rueful and hilarious, Behaving Like Adults is a must-read novel of men and women growing up -- in spite of themselves.
Walk-in closet full of designer everything? Check. Private Caribbean island? Check. Connection to the aristocracy? Working on it. Cunning, malicious stalker? Double check.
Welcome to the world of the Kents, a charismatic, ambitious, and fabulously wealthy English family with two sisters - one as strong and sparkling as the other is delicate and wounded - who must somehow put their differences aside to keep an unknown enemy from bringing them down. Wild and beautiful Emily Kent has had the world laid at her feet by her ruthless mother and billionaire father - but it's not enough. Gifted with her mother's to-die-for looks, her father's hard-scrabble business sense, and both of her parents' lust for control, Emily is determined to make her own luck by seducing the only man she's ever wanted, a man who can make her dreams of attaining the heights of old-money English society come true. By contrast, Emily's step-sister, Claudia, is a fragile soul--her mother died when she was five, leaving her to the unkind reign of step-mother Innocence. In an uncharacteristic burst of rebellion, Claudia trades her gilded lifestyle for an ordinary flat and daytime job where she meets the man of her dreams... or so she imagines.
But, Emily and Claudia are caught up in a desperate situation that may be beyond their control. As for their father, disgraced tycoon Jack Kent, and his wife Innocence, they are too obsessed with the fight for supremacy over their vast empire to see that a mighty and sinister opponent is plotting to ruin them all.
Cassie is slender, clever, charismatic, successful. The one flaw in
her perfect life may be her marriage. Her sister Lizbet is plumper,
plainer, dreamier. An aspiring journalist, sheas stuck writing
embarrassing articles on sex for "Ladz Mag." Her one achievement is
her relationship with Tim, who thinks sheas amusing and smart.
Despite Cassie being the favored child, she and Lizbet have always
been best friends. But then Lizbet gets pregnant.
"To say that Babs has been my closest friend for sixteen years is rather like saying that Einstein was good at sums. We were blood sisters from the age of eleven (before my mother prized the razor out of Babs's hand)."
But now Babs, noisy and as fun as a day at the beach, is getting married. And Natalie Miller, twenty-seven, senior press officer for the London Ballet, panics. What happens when your best friend pledges everlasting love to someone else?
It doesn't help that Nat is dating a guy named Saul Bowcock. As the confetti flutters, her good-girl veneer cracks, and she falls into an alluringly unsuitable affair that spins her crazily out of control. Nat is on the rebound and allergic to the truth -- about Babs's relationship, her boyfriend's ambition, her parents' divorce, and her golden-boy brother's little Australian secret. Her mother's lasagna and her roommate Andy's fuzzy slippers are also monstrous affronts. But what Nat really needs to face is the mirror -- and herself....
Wickedly witty and refreshingly honest, Running in Heels is a hilarious look at the lies we tell ourselves -- and the unwanted truths that only our best friends can tell us.
Holly runs a dating agency. Up to now she's had no need of her own services, but, convinced her relationship with her fiance Nick has staled, she turfs him out and determines to go in pursuit of hearts-and-flowers romance, true love and the soul-mate she has convinced herself must exist. In the meantime, to get back into practice, she accepts a date with the hugely eligible Stuart. Rich, arrogant and charming, he's not her type at all, but he's her guinea pig. But Stuart rather likes Holly. And he's used to getting his own way. Much to her dismay, Holly finds Stuart won't take no for an answer and suddenly things don't look so easy. Brimming with warmth, perception and understanding, Anna Maxted once again mixes the heart-breaking with the humorous to deliver a page-turning, laugh-out-loud, emotionally satisfying read.
Helen Bradshaw, 26, has a lot to get over. A dogsbody job on a women's magazine. An attraction to unsuitable men. Being five foot one. Driving an elderly Toyota. She is about to ditch the infuriating Jasper when she hears the news that will change her life. Her father has collapsed with a massive heart attack. Initially Helen thinks of this as an interruption in her already chaotic lifestyle. But with his death everything starts to fall apart around her - her relationship, her mother, even her cat. Her flatmate Luke has the tact of a traffic warden with toothache, her friend Tina is in love with her new man, her landlord Marcus is in love with himself, and, after the tequila incident, it looks as though Tom the vet will be sticking to Alsatians. Seems like Helen will be dealing with this one herself...
They were the best of friends, they were the worst of friends ... Lizbet and Cassie are close, yet far apart. After a clueless upbringing (their parents' basic childrearing beliefs: 'play a trombone, see a monkey, get some fresh air'), the two sisters strike out in opposite directions, both desperate to escape... Cassie is skinny, clever, charismatic, successful - every right-thinking girl's worst nightmare. The one flaw in her quality-controlled life may be her marriage - and if there are any other flaws lurking, Cassie has them covered. Lizbet is plumper, plainer, dreamier - more concerned about the design on her coffee cup than whether she can afford her new house. She works reluctantly for Ladzmag, desperate to make her name as a writer, but stuck writing embarrassing articles on sex. Her one achievement is her relationship with Tim, who thinks she's cute not stupid for asking why Jesus has a Mexican name. Despite Cassie being the favoured child, she and Lizbet have managed to stay friends. Perhaps because - as Cassie says - they've always wanted different things. But that's about to change. Confronted by challenges that they never asked for, forced apart by mistakes not their own, will Cassie and Lizbet ever realise the real meaning of sisterhood, or will true nature ruin everything...?
Hannah thinks you have to be insane to get married. She's content with her life - the job as private investigator at Hound Dog Investigations, the boyfriend of five years, Jason, and the wonderful father (pity her mother is such a disaster). Besides, she's tried marriage once before, but she ended up divorced before she was 21. So, when the long-suffering Jason proposes, Hannah doesn't think twice about turning him down. Still, she is a little shaken when, a month later, the man has the nerve to get engaged to someone else. Is she not up to settling down? Hannah's family are convinced she blew her one chance of hooking a permanent man, and maybe - just maybe - there's something in Jason's theory that being committed means first coming to terms with your past. Brimming with the warmth, perception and understanding that characterises Anna Maxted's writing, Being Committed mixes heartache with humour and is her finest novel yet.
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