A pair of fugitives—one from pre-Nazi Europe, the other from the U.S. Senate Chamber (correction: bedchamber)—meet over a rare 1936 Mercedes Roadster that transports first one, then the other out of a god-awful fix.
With the killer charm of a Rogers and Hammerstein score and a touch of DuMaurier intrigue, Williams’ latest sexy and enthralling period drama (on the high heels of Tiny Little Thing, 2015, etc.) draws readers into the parallel, luxe worlds of two sparky women in the post-Camelot 1960s: Annabelle Dommerich, a 40-ish widow with a passel of grown stepchildren, who conceals her Baroness title and much else about her past as the mistress of a Jewish resistance agent and wife of a German high-command general (to whit: “whether one man could keep you safe from wanting another”); and Pepper Schuyler, the smart-alecky aide to a powerful politician, who’s hard-put to conceal just one secret—the identity of the man responsible for the baby bump beneath her Lilly Pulitzer shift: “I always thought the more, the merrier. Sex and cigarettes.” (Fans of Williams’ novels will recognize Pepper as the best-dressed and sharpest tongued of the three fictional Schuyler sisters.) The two ladies strike up an irresistible womance when Annabelle shows up at the Breakers in Palm Beach to collect the vintage car Pepper restored then put up at a collectors’ auction so she wouldn't have to accept “help” from the father of her baby or her socially prominent (and often comically obtuse) parents. Gliding up the coast of Georgia in that leather-seated roadster toward the beautifully appointed seaside cottage the Baroness has offered Pepper as a safe house, they’ll spill all their secrets and sorrows and help each other reclaim lost pieces of their hearts.
Imagine The Sound of Music for big girls, flavored with a dash of Mad Men bitters.