Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes


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      Praise for the books of

       LAUREN BARATZ-LOGSTED

      THE THIN PINK LINE

      “Wonderfully funny…a fine sense of the absurd and a flair for comic characterization.”

      —Kirkus (starred review)

      “Hilarious and original.”

      —Publishers Weekly

      “Proves once and for all that a woman can indeed be half-pregnant. Bridget Jones is snorting with laughter and wondering why she didn’t think of it.”

      —Karen Karbo, author of Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me

      “It’s impossible to put this debut novel down without knowing how Jane is going to end this charade after her ninth month.”

      —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

      CROSSING THE LINE

      “Chick lit with a twist!”

      —Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries

      “A delight! This fast-paced, fun-filled novel about babies and breaking the rules brims with laughter, love and a unique and buoyant wisdom.”

      —Nancy Thayer, author of The Hot Flash Club

      “Baratz-Logsted has a great voice…and the message she sends about unconditional love is touching.”

      —Romantic Times BOOKreviews

      A LITTLE CHANGE OF FACE

      “Baratz-Logsted offers a clever twist on makeover fiction.”

      —Booklist

      “A Little Change of Face not only has something to say about how women look, and are looked at by others, but it says it with a whip-smart, funny voice.”

      —Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and Fluke

      HOW NANCY DREW SAVED MY LIFE

      “Charming.”

      —Booklist

      “A wonderful, bittersweet tale with a little Nancy Drew and Jane Eyre thrown in for good measure! The perfect combination!”

      —Michelle Cunnah, author of Confessions of a Serial Dater

      “Witty and wonderful…her best book yet.”

      —Tom Groneberg, author of One Good Horse

      Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes

      Lauren Baratz-Logsted

       www.millsandboon.co.uk

      For Laura Wininger:

       with love and thirty years of friendship, this one’s for you.

      Contents

      Acknowledgments

      Author’s Note

      Prologue

      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Chapter 3

      Chapter 4

      Chapter 5

      Chapter 6

      Chapter 7

      Chapter 8

      Chapter 9

      Chapter 10

      Chapter 11

      Chapter 12

      Chapter 13

      Chapter 14

      Chapter 15

      Chapter 16

      Chapter 17

      Chapter 18

      Chapter 19

      Chapter 20

      Chapter 21

      Chapter 22

      Epilogue

      ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

      Thank you to Pamela Harty for being my agent and friend.

      Thank you to my editor, Margaret O’Neill Marbury, and her assistant, Rebecca Soukis, for their hard work on this book. Special thanks to Adam Wilson for services above and beyond.

      Thank you to the Friday Night Writing Group—Jerry Brooker, Andrea Schicke Hirsch, Greg Logsted, Robert Mayette, Kristi Peterson, and Lauren Catherine Simpson—for being there.

      Thank you to Kaethe Douglas and Sue Estabrook for being amazing first readers and friends.

      Thank you to all my family and friends and, especially, my great mother, Lucille Baratz.

      Thank you to my husband Greg Logsted and our daughter Jackie—no writer has the words to describe how wonderful you are.

      AUTHOR’S NOTE

      If you look for the particular Jimmy Choo shoes mentioned in this book, you won’t find them, except perhaps in resale outlets. Jimmy Choo did in fact make all these shoes, exactly as described, but this book was written in fall of 2005 and, since then, many catalogue seasons have come and gone, and many Choos have passed into the realm of fashion legend.

      Prologue

      It was a hand dealt straight out of a dream: two Aces.

      What to do, what to do…

      Easy answer: the dealer had just shuffled right before dealing, so there were nearly six full decks left in the chute, all of those beautiful Jacks, Queens and Kings. Even the Tens would be beautiful and a person didn’t need to be a pro at counting cards to realize that the game, for once, was strongly in the player’s favor.

      So, very easy answer: split the Aces.

      The next decision, if not as easy, relied totally on the player’s instincts: double down, or let the original bet ride? The original bet represented half of the player’s holdings, but the player was feeling cocky, riding high. Besides, the dealer was showing a Seven.

      Big deal.

      The player looked at the dealer, a face that had become so familiar. The player looked over one shoulder, at the man standing just behind, a man who gave a slight nod of his head: approval.

      Giving the matter no further thought, the player pushed the rest of the chips forward, hitting the table limit. Those chips, tens of thousands of dollars worth of chips, represented everything the player had in the world.

      Whatever two cards the dealer turned over next would decide the future fate of the player.

      And so, let the real game begin…

      1

      Everything I learned in life, I learned from Shakespeare; about comedy and tragedy, about the reversal of expectations and fortune. Oh, and from my dad, Black Jack Sampson—I learned a lot from him, too.

      I woke up that morning, brushed my teeth, ate breakfast.

      I’ve read enough books in my life that I do realize it goes against wisdom to tell a story about a person waking up in the morning and then following them step-by-step until the storyteller puts them to bed at night. But the way I figure it, no wild journey ever began without someone waking up in the morning. I mean,