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Eve dared. . . Eve, with passion that overruled her total innocence, ran away from home to live in unrepentant sin; won stardom singing on the stage of the Parisian music halls before Worlds War I; married into the world of international diplomacy; and become the greatest lady Champagne. Eve's younger daughter, Freddy, inherited all of her mother's recklessness. Growing up in California, she became a pilot by sixteen; throughout World War II she ferried war planes in Britain--a glorious redhead who captured men with one humorous, challenging glance. Eve's elder daughter, Delphine, exquisite, gifted, and wild, romped through the nightlife of Hollywood of the thirties. On a whim, she made a screen test in Paris and soon found herself a great star of French films. She chose to risk her life in occupied France because of a love that transformed her frivolity into courage.
The French province of Champagne, the rainy streets of Paris and the sun-warmed boulevards of Los Angeles provide the setting for a largely enjoyable new novel from Krantz, doubtless bound for the same bestseller status that carried Scruples and I'll Take Manhattan. On the morning of her 60th birthday, Vicomtesse Eve de Lancel recalls her madcap years as a music-hall singer before she married the younger son of the Lancel champagne family. Her happily married daughters, beautiful Delphine and high-spirited Freddy, have an equal number of sizzling secrets to sort through. Delphine starts life as an exceedingly proper young princess, then goes utterly astray, becoming an overnight sensation as a French actress known for seducing and devouring directors. Meanwhile, her red-haired sister conducts a love affair with planes to rival that of Amelia Earhart's. While Delphine lives through the German occupation of WW II Paris, Freddy is aloft in Britain, ferrying Spitfires to squadrons of flying aces. No Krantz novel would be complete without a villain, and their half-brother Bruno outdoes Machiavelli as he plots a money-strewn path to the top. The sharp and amusing romantic cross-talk at which Krantz excels is much in evidence here. Although the first third of this hefty tome drags, fans can be assured of an exhilarating read once Freddy surges to the fore. 500,000 first printing; $500,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; first serial to Cosmopolitan; TV rights to CBS .