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The Dilemma


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About the Author

Penny Vincenzi began her career as a junior secretary for Vogue and Tatler. She later worked as Fashion and Beauty Editor on magazines such as Women's Own, before becoming a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan. She has written ten previous novels.


The prologue to this robust, complex family drama-first published in the U.K. in 1996 by the bestselling author of Sheer Abandon-finds wealthy, charismatic entrepreneur Isambard Channing forced to ask his much younger third wife, Francesca, to say he wasn't in London "that day." If she won't, it's likely that Bard will be ruined and imprisoned. The story then jumps backwards to 1982, when Francesca, at 21, writes to magnate Isambard after he appears on TV. After a five-year extended courtship, she becomes his third wife. The marriage is soon tested by Bard's rages, his vindictive adult son, his reticence on business matters and the couple's sick infant daughter. At page 385, the book arrives at the prologue scene: Bard's business practices catch up with him, putting him, for the first time, in Francesca's power-and deliciously so. Fans of Sheer Abandon, prepared to read at Vincenzi's demanding scale, will find all of her plotting and characterization skills serving a familiar but very satisfying story. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Francesca had a successful career and a satisfactory marriage, but she gave it all up to become the third Mrs. Isambard Channing. Now she finds life as the trophy wife of a highly successful property magnate fraught with family turmoil created by the adult children of her husband's first two marriages. When Francesca and Bard's second child falls ill and the business empire Bard has built starts to falter, his uncommunicative and condescending nature begins to strain their relationship severely. Francesca's vulnerable and trusting nature makes her the prime candidate for use by Bard's eldest son as a means of exacting revenge upon his father. Then, when he is under direct fire from government authorities for fraud, Bard asks Francesca to provide a false alibi, leaving her on an emotional precipice. Fans of contemporary family sagas rich with drama and intrigue will thoroughly enjoy Vincenzi's (Sheer Abandon) fiction debut, first published in Britain and now brought to the American reading public through a concerted effort by Overlook Press to republish Vincenzi's entire backlist of eight novels. Recommended for popular fiction collections.-Joy St. John, Henderson District P.L., NV Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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