Read A Catered Affair Online

Authors: Sue Margolis

A Catered Affair

Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR SUE MARGOLIS’S NOVELS
Perfect Blend
 
“A fun, sassy read . . . the romance blooms and the sex sizzles. This is a hilarious and engaging tale. Sue Margolis has whipped up a winner.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“A fun story full of an eccentric cast of characters . . . Amy is an endearing heroine.”

News and Sentinel
(Parkersburg, WV)
Forget Me Knot
 
“A perfect beach read, with a warm heroine.”

News and Sentinel
(Parkersburg, WV)
“Amusing . . . the story line is fun and breezy.... Fans of Sue Margolis will relish the cast’s antics.”
—Genre Go Round Reviews
“A wonderful glimpse into British life with humor and a unique sense of style.... This is one British author that I’m glad made it across the pond, and I will definitely be looking for more of her books.”
—Night Owl Romance
Gucci Gucci Coo
 
“A wickedly prescient novel.... Likable characters and a clever concept make this silly confection a guilty pleasure.”

USA Today
“It’s Margolis’s voice that separates
Gucci Gucci Coo
from other entries in the fast-growing chick-and-baby-lit category.... Her language . . . is fresh and original.... [This] is a fast, fun read [and] a great book for any smart girl who has ever had to attend a baby shower.”

Chicago Sun-Times
“This popular British author keeps turning out fun and witty novels that readers will grab off the shelves.... Though her previous books have drawn many
Bridget Jones
comparisons, her writing may become the new standard for the chick-lit genre.”

Booklist
“If you liked any of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic books or Allison Pearson’s
I Don’t Know How She Does It
, you’ll like this British take on pregnancy and motherhood. . . . It’s a fun, entertaining read and a book you’ll pass on to friends.”
—A Mama’s Rant
“You’ll laugh out loud at Ruby’s humorous escapes . . . and relate to her many misgivings about her life and where it’s going. Ms. Margolis’s trademark witty, bright writing style shines through in
Gucci Gucci Coo
. Fun!”
—Fresh Fiction
Original Cyn
 
“Hilarious . . . Margolis’s silly puns alone are worth the price of the book. Another laugh-out-loud funny, occasionally clever, and perfectly polished charmer.”

Contra Costa Times
“Has something for everyone—humor, good dialogue, hot love scenes, and lots of dilemmas.”

Rendezvous
“A perfect lunchtime book or, better yet, a book for those days at the beach.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“Delightful. . . . Fans will appreciate this look at a lack of ethics in the workplace.”

Midwest Book Review
Breakfast at Stephanie’s
 
“With Stephanie, Margolis has produced yet another jazzy cousin to Bridget Jones.”

Publishers Weekly
“A comic, breezy winner from popular and sexy Margolis.”

Booklist
“Rife with female frivolity, punchy one-liners, and sex.”

Kirkus Reviews
Apocalipstick
 
“[A] sexy British romp.... Margolis’s characters have a candor and self-deprecation that lead to furiously funny moments.... A riotous, ribald escapade sure to leave readers chuckling to the very end of this saucy adventure.”

USA Today
“Margolis combines lighthearted suspense with sharp English wit . . . [an] entertaining read.”

Booklist
“A joyously funny British comedy . . . just the ticket for those of us who like the rambunctious, witty humor this comedy provides.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“[An] irreverent, sharp-witted look at love and dating.”

Houston Chronicle
Spin Cycle
 
“This delightful novel is filled with more than a few big laughs.”

Booklist
“A funny, sexy British romp.... Margolis is able to keep the witty one-liners spraying like bullets.”

Library Journal
“Warmhearted relationship farce . . . a nourishing delight.”

Publishers Weekly
“Satisfying . . . a wonderful diversion on an airplane, poolside, or beach.”
—Baton Rouge Magazine
Neurotica
 
“Screamingly funny sex comedy . . . the perfect novel to take on holiday.”

USA Today
“Cheeky comic novel—a kind of
Bridget Jones’s Diary
for the matrimonial set . . . wickedly funny.”

People
(Beach Book of the Week)
“Scenes that literally will make your chin drop with shock before you erupt with laughter . . . a fast and furiously funny read.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[A] splashy romp . . . giggles guaranteed.”

New York Daily News
Also by Sue Margolis
 
Neurotica
 
Spin Cycle
 
Apocalipstick
 
Breakfast at Stephanie’s
 
Original Cyn
 
Gucci Gucci Coo
 
Forget Me Knot
 
Perfect Blend
NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, August 2011
 
Copyright © Sue Margolis, 2011 All rights reserved
 
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
 
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA: Margolis, Sue.
A catered affair/Sue Margolis. p. cm.
ISBN : 978-1-101-51712-3
1. Jewish women—Fiction. 2. Jewish families—Fiction. 3. Man-woman relationships—Fiction. 4. Domestic fiction. 5. Jewish fiction. I. Title.
PR6063.A635C37 2011
823’.914—dc22 2011009673
 
Set in Fairfield
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

For Ellie . . . I heart my gay daughter.
 
 
(To my straight kids: Yes, yes, I heart you guys, too. Let’s not make a big deal out of this.)
Chapter 1
M
y mother opened the front door, kissed me hello, rearranged my fringe and pincered an imaginary piece of lint off my jacket without missing a beat in her phone conversation.
“OK, Jean,” she continued in her best caring-sharing voice, “I hear that you want to die, but before you end it all, maybe we should talk about what’s been going on in your life up ’til now.” I followed Mum down the hall into the kitchen.
“Jean, here’s what I need you to do: Very slowly step away from the ledge . . . Take your time. No, hurry.” Mum sat down at the kitchen table and covered the phone mouthpiece with her hand. “Got another jumper. Third this week. There’s tea in the pot.” I took two mugs from the kitchen cupboard.
“Jean?” Mum continued into the phone. “It’s Shelley here again. OK, have you done that for me? . . . No, Jean, please don’t jump . . . Jean, listen to me. I need you to come off the ledge and get back into your apartment . . . No, please calm down . . . Don’t yell. I’ve got a chicken in the oven.”
I looked a question at my mother. “What’s that supposed to mean—‘Don’t yell. I’ve got a chicken in the oven’?”
She covered the mouthpiece again. “I couldn’t think of anything else to say,” she hissed. “You want to swap places?”
Mum turned her attention back to poor suicidal Jean. “So, how many husbands have cheated on you? . . . This is the fifth . . . I agree, that is rather a lot. No, of course that doesn’t make you ugly, worthless and a total loser. You’ve made some poor life choices—that’s all.”
“Diabolical, more like,” I muttered. Mum waved her hand and shushed me.
“How do I roast a chicken? Well, before I put it in the oven, I lift the skin away from the meat and rub in butter, crushed garlic and freshly ground salt and pepper . . . Oh, you put a lemon in the cavity to keep it moist . . . I might try that . . . Now, then, Jean, have you moved away from the ledge? . . . You’re back inside? . . . Well done. Perhaps you should go and sit down . . . Good . . . Have you thought of getting some counseling? You need to find out why you keep choosing men who cheat on you. I mean, as Dr. Phil would say, ‘How’s that workin’ for you?’ There could be some kind of codependency going on. Your relationships do sound highly dysfunctional . . . Oh, I see . . . You’ve already made an appointment with a therapist? . . . Excellent. That makes me think that you don’t really want to die and that maybe you’re in fact looking to be empowered . . . Omigod! . . . You want to kill your husband. No! . . . Jean, I’m not talking about that kind of empowerment! You have to listen to me . . . Step away from the knife rack . . . Don’t do this, Jean. I’m begging you! I just don’t think that cutting off your husband’s testicles while he’s taking a nap is your best way forward. I mean, think of the mess. All that blood on the sofa . . . Jean—are you there? Please don’t hang up . . . Oh, you’re there. You’ve taken a Valium? Good idea. That will calm you down. I’m going to stay on the line until the Valium kicks in. No, I’m not on my own. My daughter Tallulah is here—she’s come for Sunday lunch . . . Yes, it is a lovely name . . . I’ve got two daughters . . . Tally’s a lawyer. Scarlett’s a stand-up comedian . . . You’ve got a greyhound? Called Meatloaf? That’s nice.” Mum and I sipped our tea and she carried on talking to Jean. Four or five minutes went by. “You’re starting to feel calmer now? Good. Now, before I hang up, I want you to promise me you’ll keep that therapist’s appointment and that you won’t castrate your husband while he’s sleeping. Please don’t let me down . . . OK, I believe you . . . Bye, Jean, and good luck.”

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