My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 “It’s not easy being good” stars to Lady Be Good! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
It’s the 1950s, and Kitty Tessler, daughter of a self-made hotel and nightclub owner (i.e., in other words, “new money,”), yearns to fit in with the old money set she rubs elbows with at her father’s clubs. Kitty dates around, but she never measures up due to status. Her father finally tells her she will have to marry his second-in-command, Andre, in order to keep her tied in to his hotel business.
Kitty understandably does not want to marry Andre, she wants to choose her own husband, so she comes up with an elaborate scheme to keep that from happening, along with saving her best friend, Henrietta, from an unhappy engagement. So what does Kitty do? (Included in the synopsis, so not a spoiler.) She plans to steal Henrietta’s old money, but mean fiancé, which will give Kitty the social status she’s after while also protecting her friend.
Her plans fall apart when she meets Max, a musician from her father’s Miami club. Kitty and her friends first travel to Miami and then wind-up in Cuba, where she finds herself falling more and more in love with Max. Her wily scheme begins to fall apart, and Kitty grows up in the process.
Kitty is a main character I had to give a chance. At first, I was put-off by her social climbing and insincere ways. But throughout the book, she comes into her own.
Overall, Lady Be Good is a lighter, easy-to-read, fun historical fiction novel with a vivid and glitzy backdrop. I adore reading about the 1950s, and Amber Brock brought that time period to life with gusto.
Thank you to Crown Publishing for the ARC. Lady Be Good is now available!
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Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good is Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.
Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement: Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiance, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.
Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.
“Kitty Tessler, a headstrong glamour girl determined to move up in the world, steals the spotlight in Amber Brock’s latest, a tour-de-force filled with intrigue and surprises.” — Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Address and The Dollhouse