Miranda Smith isn't surprised to discover a cache of racy photographs in her husband's desk--after all, he is the president of Ballantyne Bras. But she's more than shocked to realize it's his buff, burly body encased in the red satin bustier and matching bikini panties...and he's nowhere to be found. Neither is their life savings nor the company coffers. Thus begins Miranda's hilarious, frantic scramble to unravel the mystery behind her husband's disappearance, illegal accounting practices, and penchant for wearing silky teddies and kitten heels.
When 38-year-old Miranda Smith comes across a photo of her husband of 15 years in a black lace teddy and thong panties with another woman's hand on his butt, her life begins to cartwheel out of control. Soon after, she learns that he's not only a womanizing cross-dresser, but a thief; he has skipped town with a bucketload of cash, leaving her family's 100-year-old business, Ballantyne Bras, on the verge of bankruptcy. So begins Wax's frothy but deliciously entertaining confection-and Miranda's quest to keep her company afloat. Gathering up her courage, her dusty MBA and the schmoozing skills she learned as a former beauty queen, Miranda tries to cover up her husband's absence while convincing Ballantyne's board members to trust her ideas for taking the company in a new, more profitable direction. Now, if it weren't for the constant surveillance of handsome police chief Blake Summers, who senses she's hiding something, she just might be able to pull it off. Wax is a relative newcomer to the romance genre (her first book, 7 Days and 7 Nights, debuted in 2003), but you wouldn't guess as much from reading this surefooted romp. The banter between Wax's protagonists contains just enough bite to keep the narrative buzzing like a live wire, and her characters are enchanting. Agent, Pam Stickler. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 30, 2004
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Excerpt from Leave It to Cleavage by Wendy Wax
Miranda Smith was looking for a stamp when she discovered just how good her husband looked in ladies' lingerie.
It was 5:30 P.M. on the coldest January 8 on record, and the Truro Post Office was already closed. But for Mirandaýwho was now conducting a room-by-room searchýthe stamp was no longer postage, but a symbol of every New Year's resolution she'd ever made. And failed to keep.
One week into the new year she'd already given up on becoming a better daughter and reading her way through the classics. She wasn't going to wimp out on the only resolution she still had a chance of keeping.
Somewhere in this five-bedroom, four-bath, six-thousand-square-foot homeýwhich she'd just tossed like a petty thief looking for lootýthere had to be enough postage to get her credit card payment in on time.
Miranda stood in the foyer outside Tom's study, debating her next move.
With less than twenty minutes to get ready for dinner at her parents', she should be heading upstairs to shower and change, not preparing to strip-search another room.
It was just a stamp, she told herself as she turned toward the stairs; paying an occasional late fee was not cause for shame.
Placing a hand on the banister, she took the first step. On the next step she decided next year's resolutions would include buying stamps regularly, which would definitely enhance her chances of eliminating late fees in the future. Or maybe she'd just pay the whole damn lot of them on-line.
As if she'd be making resolutions next year when she'd folded so easily this year.
The thought stopped her in mid-step, turned her around, and propelled her back down the stairs, determined to find a stamp or die in the attempt.
Marching through the foyer and into the study, Miranda snapped on the overhead light and crossed to Tom's desk. Finding the desk drawer slightly ajar, she pulled on the knob, gritting her teeth in frustration when it didn't budge.
Beyond impatience, Miranda wrapped both hands around the knob and yanked with all her might. The drawer sprang free and sent a packet of photos, which must have been holding up the works, spilling across the floor.
Miranda crouched down to gather them up. She duck-walked across the floor, cramming the photos back into the envelope, muttering to herself, and trying to figure out where else she might find postage in the next thirty seconds.
Until she actually looked at the photo in her hand. The one of her husband, the former linebacker, in a red satin bustier and matching bikini panties.
Her first clear thought was that there had to be some mistake. As president of Ballantyne Bras, her husband was expected to supervise the design, production, and sales of a comprehensive line of women's undergarments.
He was not supposed to wear them.
And yet here he was in a black lace teddy. And a fuchsia merry widowýwith some woman's hand on his rear end.