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Isabel Dalhousie thinks often of friends, sometimes of lovers, and on occasion of chocolate. As an Edinburgh philosopher she is certain of where she stands. She can review a book called In Praise of Sin with panache and conviction, but real life is . . . well, perhaps a bit more challenging - particularly when it comes to her feelings for Jamie, a younger man who should have married her niece, Cat. Jamie's handsomeness leaves Isabel feeling distinctly uneasy, and ethically disturbed. 'I am a philosopher', she thinks, 'but I am also a woman'. And more disturbance is in store. When Cat takes a break in Italy, Isabel agrees to run her delicatessen. One of the customers, she discovers, has recently had a heart transplant and is now being plagued by memories that cannot be rationally explained and which he feels do not belong to him. Isabel is intrigued. So intrigued that she finds herself rushing headlong into a dangerous investigation. But she still has time to think about the things that possess her - things like love and friendship, and, of course, temptation. The last of these comes in many forms - chocolate, for example, or seductive Italians . . .
Even down to its well-set Georgian townhouses, Edinburgh is a hymn to measure and harmony. But on Scotland Street, domestic accord is in short supply. Matthew and Elspeth welcome three new arrivals, though the joys of multiple parenthood are somewhat lost due to sleep deprivation and the difficulties of telling their brood apart. Angus and Domenica are to marry, and Domenica has ambitious and disturbing plans for their living arrangements, especially when it appears that Antonia, in Italy recuperating from Stendhal Syndrome, may not return. And little Bertie, feeling blue, puts himself up for adoption on eBay. Can Edinburgh's most deliciously dysfunctional residents forsake discord and learn to dance to the same happy tune?
Poor put-upon Bertie is still struggling to escape his overbearing mother's influence, his yoga lessons and his pink bedroom while wondering why new baby brother Ulysses looks uncomfortably like his psychotherapist. The insufferably handsome Bruce has returned from London to land, on his feet and rent-free, in the arms of heiress Julia Donald. But all is not well among the residents of 44 Scotland Street: Angus's dog and constant companion Cyril is under threat of execution, victim of a miscarriage of justice, while pretty, indecisive Pat and hopeless romantic Matthew are on the verge of making the most terrible mistake of their lives . . . Big Lou finds a new man, Matthew and Pat edge their relationship towards something more permanent - although this development is not without complications, when a glimpse of someone who just might be her handsome, caddish ex-flatmate Bruce sets Pat's pulse racing - and Domenica's friendship with Antonia is tested to the limit when an assortment of her belongings mysteriously appear in Antonia's new flat.
It's early 2008 and the credit crunch is starting to bite. Sam and Laura Diamond - and their friends - are circling forty and all feeling a lot less certain about life than when they first met in their twenties. Laura wants to work part-time and have a third child - an appalling prospect for her husband Sam, whose secret ambition is to give up his job as a struggling scriptwriter and have a vasectomy. Life's no more straightforward for wild child turned corporate lawyer Janey Dart. Having finally given up on Patrick, the love of her life, she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and hastily married to a wealthy hedge fund manager who loathes her friends. And Sam's oldest friend, trendy restaurant owner Jonathan Sleet, is about to hit the big time with a TV series and cookbook, but can't control his roving eye. So it's no surprise that back on their organic farm in Suffolk, his once glamorous wife Hannah is finding distractions of her own. Determined to reunite the group, Jonathan brings everyone together for a holiday to celebrate his fortieth birthday. But six friends, two decades of tangled fortunes and an explosive secret from the past make for an unforgettable week.
The Baby Bet THE BABY WAGER Sure, her best friend's brother was drop-dead gorgeous. But as long as Deedee Hamilton had known him, ex-cop Ryan MacAllister was also oddly aloof. So the matchmaking MacAllister clan might be wagering on Cupid, but Deedee knew better. No way would dangerously sexy Ryan ever woo a wholesome family friend like her…. Yet one astonishing evening, the world turned topsy-turvy—and Deedee landed in Ryan's arms! Two hearts thundered. Countless kisses throbbed. Still, Deedee feared Ryan's passion would be fleeting, and their old relationship soon restored. But the MacAllisters merely smiled smugly. And collectively began betting on…a baby! Experience the laughter and love as the MacAllister men discover true love—and fatherhood— in THE BABY BET.
Series covers individuals ranging from established award winners to authors and illustrators who are just beginning their careers. Entries cover: personal life, career, writings and works in progress, adaptations, additional sources, and photographs.

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