Lady Be Good by Amber Brock

Lady Be Good

Amber Brock

Kitty Tessler, a socialite, wakes up to the world beyond her privileged corner of Manhattan when she meets Max. Set in the 1950s in New York, Miami, and Havana, Kitty must consider her choices and her future.

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Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good marks 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 fiancé, 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.


Advance Galley Reviews

I enjoyed this book. It was definitely a light read. Kitty was very selfish and a horrible friend but I really enjoyed the settings in the book. I think that is what made the book for me.

Amber Brock’s Lady Be Good started out as a funny story for me that revolved around Kitty Tessler, a rich socialite and descendent of Russian immigrants plotting and planning her way to elevating herself in society while simultaneously trying to rid her best friend of an egotistical, no-good man regarded as a perfect pairing in society. Perhaps it was funny to me because it seemed so shallow and silly to me. The story finally took on true heart and sincerity when Kitty’s plot gets her involved with Max, a Jewish musician based in Miami. Her travel to Miami and Cuba, her growing relationship with Max, and her opportunity to see the world and herself in a deeper way turned this from a funny to sweet novel, reflecting on the things we should truly take seriously in the world.

A romance novel with quite a twist. Kitty Tessler, a conniving "society" woman, wanting to be in the "upper social class" in NYC meets her match in Max. Max, who would never be accepted into her social desires. Kitty learns to grow up and become the woman she could be proud of. Too bad it too all but a few pages of the book for Kitty to do this. Liked the premise, the actions almost realistic, but the whiney, conniving Kitty took up too much time. NY, Miami and Cuba from a rich perspective was pretty interesting.

I had high hopes for this book because I really enjoyed Amber Brock's A Fine Imitation, but it fell flat for me. It had no real plot, especially for the first half, and Kitty was a bit annoying. It also felt really long when it was actually less than 300 pages. The second half redeemed it a little for me, but it was still not a favorite read.

My God if Kitty Tessler isn't the most manipulative and conniving little social climber I've ever rooted for! Ha! Her plans are quite selfish and yet? One totally can relate to her motivations. NYC, Miami and Havana in 1953 are wonderful setting

Calling this light reading is an understatement. The self redemption is ok, but the entire story was just trite, boring and not believable. Even the “adventures” were silly. Can’t recommend this book. Thanks First to Read for the advance copy.

It took a long time to really get into the book. Kitty was a master manipulator and eventually hurt all her friends.she would do anything and hurt anyone to get her way. In the end she is totally changed and given second chances at love and friendship.

Amazing book. A novel following the times of a not quite "A" list woman searching for her Romeo in the tennis club crowd in the 1950s. As usual, she veers off course... Well written with good characters.

This book just did not grab me.

The message of the narrative it great but getting there was a bore. Kitty is difficult to like, all the babble of clothes, drinks, scheming and other such nonsense was trite after a while. The characters, the dialog felt incredibly stilted. There was an awkward feel throughout the book - call it boredom or a disconnect, there wasn't a smooth flow. The ending was deflating. Fast read, incredibly taxing, lackluster.

Kitty Tessler wants nothing more than to find a man she can marry who has status and money so she can finally fit in with New York's elite social circle. It's the 1950s and despite Kitty having money due to her father's hotels and nightclubs, she just doesn't have the old money or pedigree that matters more than anything to the old money set. When her father gives her an ultimatum, Kitty comes up with a plan that will spare her from having to settle down with her father's hotel manager and will hopefully save her best friend, Henrietta, from marrying her cheating fiancé, Charles. But Kitty's world is turned upside down when she meets Max, a member of a band who plays at her father's club. As she spends more and more time with Max, she begins to question many of her beliefs. But with her schemes already set forth in motion it might be too late to change course and her plans could backfire big time. Kitty is unlikable, manipulative, and shallow but despite those things I found myself highly interested in how her story was going to play out. I'm glad I stuck with the book because even though Kitty is more like this weird caricature at first, there is definitely some personal growth by the end of the story. I loved the chemistry between Kitty and Max and also Kitty's friendship with her best friend, Hen. My only complaint for the book is I needed more from the ending as it felt like too much was jammed into the last few pages and it left me feeling slightly disappointed that an important piece of the story felt more like an afterthought. Overall this was a fun read though and I recommend giving this one a chance because there is some substance to the story than it at first appears. Thank you to First to Read for the advance digital copy!

 


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