BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number.
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is pregnant! She couldn’t be more overjoyed–especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery . . . to the latest, coolest pram . . . to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician.
But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be her husband Luke’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky's perfect world starts to crumble. She’s shopping for two . . . but are there three in her marriage?
Hail the return of Kinsella's airhead heroine, Becky Bloomwood, now married, pregnant and working as the head personal shopper for a brand-new London boutique. In this latest installment of the Shopaholic franchise (Shopaholic Ties the Knot; Shopaholic Takes Manhattan; etc.), the commercially insatiable Bex shops for two in every upscale baby shop and catalogue in London, snags a celebrity ob/gyn and leverages a pair of the moment's "most coveted" boots to negotiate a home purchase. Complicating an otherwise uneventful pregnancy, Becky suspects her husband, PR biz-wiz Luke Brandon, is having an affair with her hot doc (who also happens to be Luke's ex-girlfriend), so she hires a gumshoe with predictable madcap results. For chick lit lovers with babies of their own, or for those who covet one, Kinsella mines a rich vein by tweaking 21st-century glossy mag obsessions: from sonograms to the hottest baby strollers to tricked-out birthing rooms. Kinsella's ode to baby blues is both sly and slapstick-and for now, at least, Becky is more lovably Lucille Ball than annoyingly Paris Hilton. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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The Dial Press
February 28, 2007
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Excerpt from Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Ok. Don't panic. Everything's going to be fine. Of course it is.
Of course it is.
"If you could lift up your top, Mrs. Brandon?" The sonographer has a pleasant, professional air as she looks down at me. "I need to apply some jelly to your abdomen before we start the scan."
"Absolutely!" I say without moving a muscle. "The thing is, I'm just a teeny bit . . . nervous."
I'm lying on a bed at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, tense with anticipation. Any minute now, Luke and I will see our baby on the screen for the first time since it was just a teeny blob. I still can't quite believe it. In fact, I still haven't quite got over the fact that I'm pregnant. In nineteen weeks' time I, Becky Brandon, nýe Bloomwood . . . am going to be a mother. A mother!
Luke's my husband, by the way. We've been married for just over a year and this is a one hundred percent genuine honeymoon baby! We traveled loads on our honeymoon, but I've pretty much worked out that we conceived it when we were staying in this gorgeous resort in Sri Lanka, called Unawatuna, all orchids and bamboo trees and beautiful views.
Miss Unawatuna Orchid Bamboo-tree Brandon.
Hmm. I'm not sure what Mum would say.
"My wife had a slight accident in the early stages of pregnancy," Luke explains from his seat beside the bed. "So she's a little anxious."
He squeezes my hand supportively, and I squeeze back. In my pregnancy book, Nine Months of Your Life, it says you should include your partner in all aspects of your pregnancy, otherwise he can feel hurt and alienated. So I'm including Luke as much as I possibly can. Like, last night I included him in watching my new DVD, Toned Arms in Pregnancy. He suddenly remembered in the middle that he had to make a business call, and missed quite a lot--but the point is, he doesn't feel shut out.
"You had an accident?" The sonographer pauses in her tapping at the computer.
"I fell off this mountain when I was looking for my long-lost sister in a storm," I explain. "I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. And I think maybe I bashed the baby."
"I see." The sonographer looks at me kindly. She has graying brown hair tied back in a knot, with a pencil stuck into it. "Well, babies are resilient little things. Let's just have a look, shall we?"
Here it is. The moment I've been obsessing over for weeks. Gingerly I lift up my top and look down at my swelling stomach.
"If you could just push all your necklaces aside?" she adds. "That's quite a collection you have there!"
"They're special pendants." I loop them together with a jangle. "This one is an Aztec maternity symbol, and this is a gestation crystal . . . and this is a chiming ball to soothe the baby . . . and this is a birthing stone."
"A birthing stone?"
"You press it on a special spot on your palm, and it takes away the pain of labor," I explain. "It's been used since ancient Maori times."
"Mm-hmm." The sonographer raises an eyebrow and squeezes some transparent gloop on my stomach. Frowning slightly, she applies the ultrasound probe thing to my skin, and instantly a fuzzy black-and-white image appears on the screen.
I can't breathe.
That's our baby. Inside me. I dart a look at Luke, and he's gazing at the screen, transfixed.
"There are the four chambers of the heart. . . ." The sonographer is moving the probe around. "Now we're looking at the shoulders. . . ." She points to the screen and I squint obediently, even though, to be honest, I can't see any shoulders, only blurry curves.
"There's an arm . . . one hand . . ." Her voice trails off and she frowns.
There's silence in the little room. I feel a sudden grip of fear. That's why she's frowning. The baby's only got one hand. I knew it.