cover image Fashionably Late

Fashionably Late

Beth Kendrick, . . Downtown, $13 (301pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-9959-0

Becca Davis, 25 and living with her parents in Phoenix, is struggling with controlling ex-fiancé Kevin Bradley, who is determined to win her back. Liberating herself, Becca heads to L.A., where her rich married sister, Claire, lives, to start a career in fashion, with only one wedding dress and corset in her portfolio. Becca secures a job as a hostess in an upscale eatery run by a handsome, single and adventurous restaurateur. Conner is everything Kevin wasn't, and sparks fly. Meanwhile, Becca may have her first break when she meets Fiona, an aloof and diabolical celebrity stylist who needs someone to put her clients together. Claire, who is a very material girl, is put to the test when husband Andrew loses his studio exec job (Claire ponders putting her unborn twins up for adoption in response to the job crisis). Becca's arc from a flighty, floundering young woman into a self-aware adult features kitschy, cat-scratchy banter ("Don't be jealous of my rico suave finesse") and a happily-ever-after close. The author of Exes and Ohs , Kendrick gives chick lit clichés an adroit turn. (Jan.)