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The Ex-Debutante    by Linda Francis Lee order for
by Linda Francis Lee
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Carlisle Wainwright Cushing is a successful young Boston lawyer and former Texas debutante. She has been called home to Willow Creek, Texas after leaving three years earlier. Her mother wants Carlisle to handle her current divorce and to take over the reins of the debutante ball that has been on the decline. Carlisle fled to Boston to get away from her family, and there no one knows she is an heiress, not even her fiancÚ Phillip.

Arriving home Carlisle comes face to face with her old flame, bad-boy Jack Blair, who is now a lawyer himself, and is currently representing Carlisle's stepfather. Sparks fly between them even though they are both engaged to other people. Handling her mother's divorce and dealing with Jack is going to be a harder job than Carlisle expected, but she vows to herself to be professional and forget about the past.

Organizing the Willow Creek Symphony Association's Debutante Ball proves hard work. Each year the debutantes are fewer in number, so Carlisle must recruit new members. The girls available are not prime candidates for being a debutante. Personalities clash and mayhem soon prevails. The mothers are all trying to outdo the other families and the girls need a crash course in etiquette. All this on top of handling her mother's divorce has Carlisle struggling to maintain balance. Her attraction to Jack is magnetic and they are soon stealing quiet moments alone. When the divorce case takes a turn for the worse, Carlisle finds herself defending her mother's reputation at all costs.

The Ex-Debutante is a fun and entertaining read, as Carlisle struggles with the decision of whether to risk it all for love or settle for safe.

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