LAURA by Hilary Norman


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A Cinderella story of a woman educated in the school of hard knocks, by pulp veteran Norman (Spellbound, 1993, etc.). After a blissful childhood on a Greek island with her doting grandfather, 12-year-old English/Greek orphan Laura Andros is sent to a British boarding school, where she is driven to protect herself with a knife from her classmates' malicious pranks. When she inadvertently kills the leader of her tormentors, she is thrown into a juvenile community home, where she spends her teenage years fending off thugs with her best friend, Augusta ""Gus"" Pietrowski, a feisty orphaned shoplifter. Upon their release, the lovely Laura -- fair-skinned, dark-haired, green-eyed, as the reader is so often reminded -- rises steadily through the ranks of London's Ambler Agencies, due in large part to Roger Ambler, the preppy American shoe, newspaper, and publishing heir, who masterminds a secret, long-term plan to win over this attractive woman whose murderous past turns him on, That their whirlwind marriage is doomed is clear to the reader and to Gus, who has tenuously tried to stay straight and sane in the free world. Laura is too caught up with her Trump Tower apartment and Chanel suits to be alarmed by Roger's deviant sexual proclivities and unreasonable demands. As soon as Roger's friend and associate, affable Midwesterner Tom Bailey, arrives on the scene, we know that he is the man for Laura, and the only uncertainty is how many plot twists it will take to unite them and arrive at the final encounter with Roger. Although other characters can sense Laura's intelligence and strong will just by looking at her, the reader can't discern more than her hair and eye coloring and the poor judgment that triggers the only surprising turns of events. Shallow escapism for the romance-starved.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1994
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Dutton