A beleaguered married guy finds true love, and his stinky wife gets her just deserts (courtesy of Daphne du Maurier and a host of '40s melodramas). Leonie Corinth comes to the Hudson River Valley to rebuild her life after she's been dumped by her ex-husband Henry, a Wall Street barracuda who refused to have babies with her and who cheated her out of almost their entire fortune--except for the odd Cartier Tank watch and the proceeds from the sale of her shop, Architectural Elements, in Soho. Armed with her meager stash, her decorating savvy, a list of loyal clients, and the cheekbones of a Michelangelo, Leonie plans to move into an old octagon house in Kinderhook, fix it up, and then sell it at a profit. The architect she hopes to hire, Sam Nicholson, whom she meets-cute when she rear-ends his Range Rover, proves to be movie-star-handsome, in the mold of all Gould's heroes. Besides his swell physique and his macho wardrobe (denim and leather), Sam's a sensitive, caring guy who listens to Leonie's ideas--and, inspired, quotes her a low fee. He also brings in his own hardworking crew, and (this is romantic fiction, mind you) he finishes renovating the big house and outbuildings not only early but underbudget. Sam and Leonie feel destined to be together; Sam even wants to have babies with her. The only problem is his shrewish wife Minette, whom Sam married because he felt responsible for the auto accident that caused her paralysis. Minette keeps Sam on a tight leash in her family's home with the unbelievably awful name of Van Vechten Manor. With interior monologues worthy of Roy Lichtenstein (""If only she was out of the picture, then I would have him all to myself!""), Gould (Second Love, 1997, etc.) stocks her storehouse with some very old chestnuts.