In 1963 Alec Craig commits suicide; and Lynne, his 38-year-old wife, associate producer on the prime-time Sunday show Up to the Minute, pulls love and friendship out of her benumbed widowhood--in a well-groomed romance by the author of Promises and The Marmalade Man. While scuffling to wedge her influence into the male-dominated TV biz, Lynne will eventually be drawn to two men: widower Ross Fairstone, 55, a corp exec who (though he has his dates researched) has soured on the phoney Big Logo ethic; and young John Grace, a mere 26, who's working on his novel over a pizza parlor in Darien, Ct., where Lynne lives. Lynne is wary of her attraction to Ross and can't seem to release herself to sensation--but John is sensational in the sack. Meanwhile, a drama is unfolding at the TV halls of power: another underrated woman, crack interviewer Dianna Ferguson, is having a degrading affair with bullying boss Ned. (Long-divorced, mother of two ungrateful daughters, vulnerable ""Dragon lady"" Dianna is a victim of self-hatred.) And, before Dianna flees from the affair into tragedy--her funeral will be a bang-up affair with everyone from Gertrude Berg to Dean Acheson in attendance--she and Lynne become friends, discovering much goodness and sympathy in each other. But what about Lynne's love life, you ask? Well, just as she reaches her final decision between John and Ross she realizes that she's pregnant--and has no idea whose baby it is. So the babe will be born in a tossing boat off the coast of Florida; and in a 1982 epilogue, with daughter Fiona now 16, Lynne will explain to her rejected suitor the difference between ""making love"" and loving. (""The dream,"" intones Lynne, ""will start to dissolve. You can only stand just so close to the fire, my dear."") Carefully balanced--career, sex, girl-talk--and cashmere-comfy.