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"By Invitation Only" Review

June 29, 2009 - Amy Phelps
Summer at the Hamptons with some great characters in "By Invitation Only" by Jodi Della Femina and Sheri McInnis.

Soak up the atmosphere in this highly entertaining book of socialites and townies as two women return back to their roots and find love over the summer.

Toni Fratelli is returning home to live with her father after her Manhattan restaurant closes and her relationship with her boyfriend ends abruptly. As she is thinking of all of the things she'll miss about New York, she is reminded of what she won't miss - job-addicted power-hungry men, as she is partially helped and then ignored in the street by a handsome businessman. Returning home, she begins work at her father's restaurant, opening a side catering business in the hopes of paying him back his loan sooner and maybe starting her own career over again.

Meanwhile, Toni's best friend, Layla, is also returning home to the Hamptons, but this time is on the arm of the rich Hudson, and will be staying at his parents' lavish Hampton estate while they get ready to get married by the end of the summer. Hudson's mother is not happy her son is marrying a local girl, but is even more upset of this reminder that she is aging and not the pretty socialite she once was. Her fear of aging has taken the joy out of all of her life and the only thing she has left is lavish parties she throws and maintaining her family's status.

As Layla and Toni plan the wedding, Toni is distracted with a romance of her own - she meets a gorgeous surfer bum who is living in a co-op house over the summer with some roommates and seems to hip for things like cell phones. But while Toni finds herself falling for Chris, she doesn't know the whole story behind his trip to the Hamptons, or who he really is. Chris is no laid-off beach bum, he is actually the same man she ran into on the street in New York whose company has recently been bought out and is now very wealthy. He also hasn't been able to stop thinking about her from that day, but everytime he tries to tell her, something happens to interrupt them.

By the end of summer, will love rein supreme?

This is a fabulous summer beach read, with the lush atmosphere of the Hamptons glitterati, the warm feeling of old friendships, and the excitement of new romances. "By Invitation Only" is published by St. Martin's Press. It is $24.95 and 360 pages long.


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