||April 11, 2010
Daniel Hunter is one lucky man. His whirlwind marriage to Bunny Dingwerth, sole heiress to the Dingwerth fortune, unlocked the door to a world of wealth and privilege. His life is a dream come true, until the glamorous Leila Bolivar enters the exclusive Cinnabar Club--and changes his Plan. Dan becomes obsessed and hopelessly smitten. He is not alone. Dan's father-in-law, Giles Dingwerth, met Leila twelve years ago. They're crazy for her. Love at first sight? Poison or candy? How much would you pay for the love of a lifetime?
“Thank you, Felicity,” said June. The small woman finished filling June’s bone china coffee cup, and turned to leave, struggling to balance the oversized silver coffee pot. The worry lines on her forehead were more prominent this morning, bathed in the morning sunlight that streamed through the sheer curtains. June, however, did not notice them.
“You know Giles,” said June Senior, lifting her pointed chin, “you look different to me this morning, did you know that?” She studied the plain cornflakes in the flowered bone china bowl in front of her, and sprinkled two generous spoonfuls of sugar over them. “These need some bananas or something, don’t you think so, Giles? Giles? Whatever is on your mind?”
“Mind?” replied her husband. “I don’t mind. Whatever you think is best, darling.” He took a sip from his own cup. Meanwhile, his toast and marmalade remained untouched.
“Oh Felicity!” said June. “Could you please bring me some sliced bananas?” Giles nodded and snatched his silver spoon.
“Of course, June. Bananas are too plain.”
June frowned and stared at the cornflakes. Don’t you just love cereal? You know, I like my food plain, but not too plain, don’t you agree, Giles?”
“Yes, well.” For a second, June seemed speechless, but the moment didn’t last. “You know Giles, I spoke to Bunny this morning.”
Giles munched his toast. His mouth full of crumbs, marmalade dripping from his lips, he attempted an answer. “Bananas, June. Right.”
“Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but you know Giles, Dan just seems so distracted these days, even when he’s with Bunny. And cross! Did you hear the way he snapped at me the other day? Well, of course you did, what am I saying?”
Without a word, Felicity entered the dining room, bearing a small dish of sliced bananas on a silver tray. Her narrow mouth pursed in restraint, she set the dish next to June, her eyes downcast.
“Thank you, Felicity,” said June.
June took a deep breath and arranged some banana slices on the cereal, then trickled some milk from a tiny bone china pitcher into the bowl. She paused until the maid had left the room to continue her interrogation.
“So, tell me Giles, what do you think? Don’t you think that Dan is a bit distracted these days? You do think so Giles, I can tell, I just know you agree with me on this.”
She opened her mouth with the tiny yellow teeth, and took a large bite of soggy cornflakes and bananas. A fly landed on the back of Giles’ hand. He whisked it off and rose from the table.
His gaze seemed fixed on a distant object.
“Chicken will be fine, June. See you tonight, darling.” He strolled through the door and down the drive and through the massive gates, where Rocco waited with the Mercedes. Time to check up on young Daniel.
June ate her cornflakes and bananas in silence. She supposed they would have chicken tonight.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Shirley K. Murray
Dan Hunter knows what it's like to fall instantly in love. From the moment the Venezuelan model Leila walks into his country club "with her dark hair, dark, almond-shaped eyes, and sensuous mouth" (reminding him of Ava Gardner, his favorite movie star from the '40s) he is smitten. He is obsessed. He is also married.
"Crazy for You" is a steady and at-times-amusing mix of French farce and chick-lit. Dan is married to Bunny Dingwerth, a spoiled heiress and airhead who punctuates every vacuous utterance with a pout or a giggle. Her father, Giles Dingwerth, provides Dan with financial support and is his employer as well. (He makes Dan vice president of "something.") And, as we quickly learn, Giles is having a passionate affair with the beauteous Leila.
What follows is a light comedy of errors. Fortunately for Dan, his ardor is reciprocated by Leila, who falls for his rugged good looks, his irresistible smile (which reminds her of Tom Cruise) and his suntan. But how can he and Giles avoid a collision?
Dan needs help and quickly enlists the services of the family chauffeur and a hotel concierge to keep track of Giles. Filling out the cast is a phalanx of mischief-makers, including a parking lot attendant, a hairdresser, a bar owner and a gossip columnist, all mixing and matching their own tangled romances.
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But the core issue remains. How can Dan and Giles deal with their increasingly demanding wives? And who will win the seductive Leila?
The author, a graduate of St. Louis University, sets her story in this city. This book is undemanding and moderately racy. Wait for warm weather and take it to the beach.
Shirley K. Murray is a writer living in University City.
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