A TANGLED WEB by Judith Michael


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The husband-and-wife team that has produced several plump romances (Pot of Gold, 1993, etc.) builds on the best-selling Deceptions (1982), which unfolded the plight of twin sisters identical in degrees of talent, comfortable surrounds, and general gorgeousness. Just for fun, the two had exchanged places (career woman and homemaker) for a week, but in that week, one twin apparently died. Complications thereafter ensued and ensued. Now, a year after the demise of sister Stephanie (erstwhile wife of professor Garth and mother of two), career woman Sabrina, who'd taken on Stephanie's identity, has been forgiven by Garth for the masquerade of Deceptions and now is much in love with Garth, the kids, and her life. Meanwhile, the real Stephanie -- blown into French waters from a yacht where, as ""Sabrina,"" she'd been traveling with Max, a powerful international smuggler -- has been rescued by Max after the explosion (an assassination attempt on Max). But Stephanie has lost her memory and believes Max when he tells her they are married. Back in Illinois, Garth and Sabrina, who now goes by the name of Stephanie, deal with teen problems, an unscrupulous student with murder in mind, and a meddling congressman. In Provence, Stephanie, settled in and growing bored with Max, falls in love with painter LÉon and learns of Max's curious mix of illegal and humanitarian smuggling. Of course, the twins will find each other and begin to deal with the messy consequences of their deceptions. Since Stephanie is addressed by others as Sabrina, and vice versa, it's an eye-crossing go for a while, but there are enough events -- murder, lacy lovemaking, kid crises -- bobbing above the swell of sentiment and droplets of luxury (""She wore creamcolored silk pants...and emeralds and diamonds at her neck and ears and wrists"") to float the reader along.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster