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The Ex-Debutante Paperback – 3 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Griffin; 1 Reprint edition (3 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312354983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312354985
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,246,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KitKat on 31 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Couldn't wait to get this book delivered as I loved 'Ladies who lunch' and 'Tantrums & Tiaras', much more so than her earlier books. So it was quite the disppointment to discover I already owned it as it is the same as 'Tantrums'
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Humorous and heartwarming 13 April 2008
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Carlisle Wainright Cushing has successfully reinvented herself. She's living in Boston, is engaged to Phillip and enjoys her career as a divorce lawyer. Nobody would guess that Carlisle is a member of THE Wainrights of Willow Creek, Texas. What made her flee? The reasons include a botched attempt at the Texas Dip during her Debutante Ball and falling in love with Jack Blair. However, when Carlisle receives the phone call, she knows it time to go home.

For Carlisle, going home is like having a supporting role on a soap opera: Her mother, Ridgely, is getting a divorce (for the fourth time). Her older brother Henry and his family have relocated back to Willow Creek after their oldest daughter was expelled from numerous schools. Her older sister, Savannah, is desperate to become pregnant. When Carlisle becomes her mother's attorney, she must face Jack Blair, who is representing her stepfather.

Carlisle's stay coincides with the Hundredth Annual Willow Creek Symphony Association Debutante Ball where eight young ladies from the best families are presented to society. A Wainright has always chaired the ball, and Carlisle is asked to do her part for the family. Unfortunately last year's ball was a disaster and no one wants to be a part of this year's ball. Rejected by respected families, Carlisle finds herself with a motley group of candidates: party girls, rebels and misfits.

Even though it seems like a complete fiasco, could returning to Willow Creek be the best thing for Carlisle?

Humorous and heartwarming, this tale of family and love is hard to put down! It provided a juicy look into the world of Junior Leagues and Debutante Balls. Carlisle is a wonderful main character: she's smart, sassy and has a big heart (which she tries to hide). Her family is also wonderfully kooky: pedigreed, at times neurotic, but also loving. This family dynamic works-like Carlisle, I found myself caring about these people and wanting to help them. I highly recommend the Ex-Debutante!

Armchair Interviews says: A wonderful, juicy story with lots of heart. Two thumbs up.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
amusing contemporary romance 11 April 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Two prime reasons propelled Carlisle Wainwright Cushing to leave Willow Creek, Texas three years ago. First the lawyer could not deal with her family's lofty social position especially her mother's marriage of the moment; worse she needed to leave behind Jack Blair, the man she has loved for fifteen years going back to high school.

She returns home when her mom asks her to represent her in her umpteenth divorce after divorce lawyer number four botched the proceedings so that ex hubby four has a line on the family accounting sheet. Her mom's spouse hires Jack. To her chagrin although engaged to Boston Brahmin attorney Phillip, she still wants Jack; he feels the same way. As she gets roped into planning the annual debutante gala hosted forever by her family but on the verge of collapse, Jack makes a move on her to regain the woman he let get away.

This is an amusing contemporary romance starring two likable lead characters, a horde of eccentric protagonists especially the families and the debutantes and an out of place Bostonian fiancé. The story line is humorous as Carlisle with her chick lit asides understands how Michael Corleone felt about being dragged home into the family business. Readers will laugh with the vulnerable heroine who wonders whether she can escape her DNA in time to keep her brain from frying while also pondering about her and Jack especially after the men's room incident.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Thanks for keeping me up all night, Ms Lee!! LOL 10 April 2008
By Sleepless in CS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started this book yesterday afternoon and was up until 1:00 am until I finished. My 8 year old son's spelling homework didn't get done, my 4 year old son tried to drown me while he was taking a bath by kicking all the water out of the tub onto my reading figure hudddled by the vanity, the kids didn't get into bed until after 9, my husband kept trying to pick a fight with me but I kept ignoring him and reading, and the dog kept sneaking into the den and trying to get onto the recliner with me since I wasn't paying attention to him. That's how much I loved this book. I was oblivious to my life going on around me. ~sigh~ I was sorry when it ended but what a great read! It's a great book and I totally loved it! Hurray for Linda Francis Lee!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A delight 29 Aug. 2008
By Book lover -Philadelphia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was the first book I'd read by this author and, like another reviewer, found it hard to put down. Characters who were both complex and original, a plot that moved on three different levels/generations, humorous situations and an interesting setting in Texas [didn't realize that debs in Texas are as big as in the South] made for a book that was a delight.
Less delightful were the various legal issues referred to in Susan Reimers' review here and the errors in chronology. How could the hero have turned from bad boy to a lawyer in three years, including three years of law school, several years in the District Attorney's office and some time in private practice? The time frame for the heroine is off, too, as she couldn't possibly have accomplished what she is supposed to have done by age 25. I think the author/publisher needs to do more checking before the book goes to press.

I look forward to this author's next book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An insider's look at society - Texas style 6 Oct. 2008
By Tracy Vest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Carlisle Wainwright Cushing fled her small Texas town for Boston and is now a successful divorce lawyer. In demand at her firm, she penned an ironclad pre-nup for one of the partners that made her a legend, and none of her co-workers - even her fiancé - is aware that she's a southern deb. When her often married mother calls and says she needs her, she heads home and comes face to face with opposing counsel Jack Blair - the boy she's loved since she was 13- who is all grown, has a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder, and a fiancé of his own. As they negotiate the terms of what should be a straightforward divorce, Carlisle is also tapped to host the town's 100th annual debutante ball - a Wainwright has overseen it since its inception - but a disaster the previous year has all the proper families choosing to debut their daughters elsewhere.

As she gathers a group of what most would consider second string girls, she hopes to plan an event that will make everyone forget about her own embarrassing debut (she fell over when trying to do a Texas dip). She's also dragged into other assorted family dramas including dealing with a delinquent niece who wants to be a debutante, an absent brother and a feminist sister-in-law who don't pay attention to the gaggle of noisy children (including his namesake who they refer to as Cinco), and an older sister who isn't willing to accept that she can't have children of her own. And then there's Jack, who she can't seem to stop running into at the most inopportune times. Can she reconcile her feelings for Jack, get a fair settlement for her mother, and put on a successful ball without losing herself?

Former Texas debutante Lee has penned another endearing novel with a romantic subplot; the style is similar to chicklit, though I wouldn't classify Lee's writing in that genre. She breathes life into her characters, giving each a distinctive voice, enabling readers to really connect with her characters. It was truly an enjoyable story.

© Tracy Vest, October 2008
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