Monday, July 28, 2008

Secrets of a Shoe Addict by Beth Harbison

When in Las Vegas for their children's band competition, three Maryland PTA moms quickly find themselves in a financial nightmare when left for an evening without the children.

Recently separated Loreen Murphy is quite flattered to receive the attentions of an attractive young man in the casino. Little did she know that after their little tryst, he was expecting her to pay up, as he is a male prostitute. Distraught over the $1000 loss, she gambles away $4000 in attempt to win her money back, and discovers that she has been using the PTA credit card to make the cash advances!

Meanwhile, Abbey Walsh, a pastor's wife with a sordid past, runs into her ex, Damon, who is just out of prison and is looking for the bracelet she was supposed to hold for him. Abbey, however, donated the bracelet to charity when she turned her life around. Damon demands that she pay him back the value of the bracelet plus interest or else.

Later that evening, Tiffany Dreyer goes on a spontaneous shopping spree, spending over $5,000 on clothes and shoes at the expensive Vegas boutique, Finola Pims. She doesn't feel too guilty because she knows she will return most of it, that is, until she learns after the fact that store policy does not allow returns.

Completely desperate and in need of fast cash, the three women call upon the advice of Tiffany's sister, Sandra, who has made much money working as a phone sex operator. The three women vow to stick it out until all the debts are paid, but the job is not easy as they thought, especially when they are threatened to be exposed by a woman determined to overthrow Tiffany as PTA president, the conniving Deb Leventer.

Much like Shoe Addicts Anonymous, Harbison's sophmore effort uses a commonility among women, but this time finanical issues instead of shoe addictions, to get at the heart of the novel: friendship. Although I miss the amont of discussion of shoes that was present in Harbison's first novel, chick lit fans will not be disappointed in this light-hearted tale about the bonds between women.

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