Marriage-on-the-rocks, lavishly garnished with chat of medium sass, golden stolen moments, and the angst of teen-age children--as a pair of female antique-dealers sort out their love problems, and one wobbles toward a choice between home and hearth with a husband of 17 years, and a lover who lights a fire in all those cold ashes. Alison is married to cool, self-absorbed architect Philip, who dictated that their living room (later photographed in posh mags) be decorated in black and white--complete with Dalmatian dog. Her kids, Mark, 16, and Jo, 13, have their problems, but they're still secure with Mom and Dad. But Alison, increasingly irritated by Philip's absences (and maybe another affair) and his lack of interest in her career, changes from what partner Frankie--that towering Scots lass--calls ""a forty-watt bulb to a two-hundred-watt one"" when she encounters the ursine, ""incredibly warm and vibrant"" Welsh unemployed lecturer Gareth. Marriage to Philip begins to resemble an Arctic waste. Frankie has her troubles, too; she's lonely and just too tall. One blind date (via an ad in Personals) sounds great. Anthony had described himself as a ""miniature painter."" But, alas, he's just that--as short as Frankie is tall. Still, Anthony, mesmerized, will wait patiently, even through Frankie's lesbian experiment, until she recognizes that good things can come in small packages. Meanwhile, Alison is in a misery of indecision as the affair with Gareth sets off trumpets. Philip, catching on, is suddenly frightening, and at one point has been seen cleaning a gun. Along the way, there's burgeoning shop business, an anti-nuke rally, aging-parents problems, kid rows, trips--and after all the marital anguish, a happy denouement. . .a wicked little nose thumb from Fate. A breezy humor levitates this slightly above the suds cycle. Like the author's First Act (1984), a novel with likable people and a good amount of amiable joshing.