FOR LOVE OR MONEY by Mary Howard


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In love with the boss, London-style. Lorna Meredith, 22, fives in a country cottage with sour and unloving mother Marion, who adores only Lorna's brother Norman, now a doctor in the States. So Lorna is delighted to get away, up to the city with her new job as secretary to Miss Patterson, the fading but apparently unmovable head of the Fine Arts department of Patterson's Ltd.--where boss Derek Bryant is intending to dust off the old firm and move into fast-moving stock, even paperbacks. And, while mother Marion is blowing a fuse about Norman's recent marriage, Lorna is vibrating to the sexual signals of handsome, tousled, middleaged Derek. She also looks for career boosters--and finds a bizarrely coincidental one in an old Patterson file: a trio of glowing nudes by artist John Paolo Meredith, the artist-father who long ago deserted Lorna's mum, departing for the States with his model. . . after spending some time in the clink for beating up on Marion in a drunken rage! Aided by Papa Meredith's Renoir-like triptych, Lorna makes a commercial splash for the hitherto-dim repro department--and herself--at the Book Fair. In no time she and Derek are planning big things for Patterson's and themselves--both in and out of bed. But there's a hitch. Derek's wife Eleana has not slept with him since the accident in which their son Mike--a nine-year-old hellion in a wheelchair--had his crippling accident. (The parents were having sex when it happened, you see.) Both spouses seem determined to preserve their Catholic marriage. Still, Lorna clings to the back-office romance--despite the obvious displeasure of Aussie doc Jock, an Earl's Court neighbor. So: Jock intervenes to change Eleana's inappropriate care of Mike; Derek's marriage revives; Lorna meets her father and learns the Truth about his walk-out; Mike has an operation; and Lorna finds real love across the hall in Earl's Court. Die-stamped men and situations, but a middling career/romance/family pudding overall.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's