“Lady Be Good” (Crown), by Amber Brock
Historical fiction author Amber Brock explores the world of a New York socialite in her latest novel, “Lady Be Good.” The story follows status-obsessed Kitty Tessler and her quest to snag a wealthy man in 1950s New York City. When her hotel magnate father insists that she marry his right-hand man, Andre, Kitty starts scheming to get out of it. If she marries him, she’ll have to make major adjustments in her plan in order to reach the upper echelon she’s been fighting for her entire life.
Kitty’s best friend, Henrietta, comes from an affluent family and is engaged to New York socialite Charles. Unfortunately, the marriage has been forced by their families and “Hen” is doomed to live a miserable life with a man known for having several women on the side.
Thinking she can protect her friend, Kitty cooks up a scheme to drive a wedge between Hen and Charles so she can marry Charles. Charles’ reputation doesn’t bother Kitty. All she needs is his bank account.
Kitty learns that her father is sending Andre to run his other hotel in Miami for a month. With careful plotting, she manages to persuade her father to send both Hen and Kitty to Miami under the ruse that Kitty can get to know Andre better. With Hen out of New York City and away from Charles, Kitty begins hunting for a new love interest for her best friend.
Once they arrive in Miami, Kitty eyes soulful crooner Sebastian singing in her father’s hotel club. He’s the perfect distraction for Hen, but what Kitty doesn’t foresee is the development of her own crush. And that person isn’t Andre.
Kitty finds herself falling for Sebastian’s friend Max, who opens Kitty’s eyes to the world’s social injustices. After a spontaneous trip to Cuba, Kitty solidifies her feelings for Max and questions her life in the perfect New York City bubble. She’s forced to re-evaluate her plan, her friendship with Hen, her looming arranged marriage and her love for Max.
“Lady Be Good” is light and cheeky when we get a peek of Kitty’s conniving ways. Although everything is done through the lens of love, her plans to sabotage her best friend’s relationship is unnerving. The next moment, we find Kitty’s heart breaking for the poor and oppressed she didn’t know existed. Could this be the cost of privilege? Can she pass up a trip to Macy’s and see the world in a different light? And will her best friend and new love interest be there at the end of her journey when the truth is exposed? NVG
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