Back at jail, Bruce is sitting with his head in his hands. Ben Bookman bails him out, and Missy Le Grange shows up in her white Bentley to whisk Bruce away. Missy loudly disparages all the reporters and talks about what animals they are, and tells them they shouldn’t damage her car because they can’t afford to fix it. Damn, Missy is kind of awesome. Bruce is upset because Elizabeth won’t answer his text messages, and he really needs her. Missy makes her disapproval of Liz clear, and offers to take Bruce away to her family’s vineyard to hide out. Meanwhile, Liz finally shows up at the jail, but she’s too late. When she learns Bruce left with Missy, Liz is horribly jealous. She knows Missy has always wanted a piece of that.
Back in Missy’s car, Gavin MacKay, the private detective, calls Bruce’s cell with news about his case. He asks if he’s sitting down, then tells him it was Elizabeth Wakefield who signed the lease on the house for Robin Platt. He sends Bruce a picture of the lease to prove it. Bruce has no doubt that’s Liz’s signature. He demands Missy take him back to his mansion instead of to her plushy vineyard digs. Elizabeth shows up at the Patman manse, and Bruce asks Missy to leave, which she does after assuring him she’ll always be there for him. Liz and Bruce have a big fight about the lease. Liz says she was only trying to find out more for him. Bruce thinks maybe Liz never even loved him and that she was just using him to get back at Todd. Liz swears that’s not true. Then Liz says she thought maybe Bruce just had a seizure and didn’t remember that night with Robin, or blacked out, or had some “condition” like his mother had. Bruce throws a glass against the wall and breaks it, and then he grabs Liz and yells in her face to never talk about his mother like that. Liz flees the mansion and goes straight to Jessica’s house to hide out.
Speaking of Jessica, she’s gone out with Liam again, just for the fuck of it really (not literally). They go to a restaurant called Blu, where the paparazzi see them and snap a picture of them just as Liam leans over the table and kisses Jessica. Todd’s going to love that. Then Liam asks Jessica to go home with him again, but she says no and that she needs more time. Then Michael Wilson calls her to beg her to come back to work. Jessica agrees to at least think about it. When she tells Liam, he immediately says she shouldn’t go back to her job, then softens his tone when he realizes Jessica doesn’t like being told what to do. Oh lord, this relationship could be explosive. Liam really sounds nuts. He tells Jessica she and Jake should move in with him. Jesus, it’s only the second date! Calm down!
When Todd sees the tabloids with a picture of Jessica and Liam kissing, he is so mega-pissed that he accidentally rips the magazine. The clerk makes him pay for it, and Todd knows he’s going to go home and devour every word. Then he gets back to his house and sees Sarah with a duffel bag out front. She’s run out of money and can’t pay her rent. Todd tells her to move in with him. Bow chicka bow wow. Todd STILL thinks there’s no way Sarah could have copied Jessica’s work as much as Jessica said she did. Gee, of course not. She only got fired for one teeny tiny accidental copying, isn’t that right? Todd is so dumb. He could, you know, choose to trust the person he loved enough to marry, or he could do some investigation of his own in about two flat seconds by asking his frickin’ boss at the Tribune. But, as we know, everyone in this book is too dumb to even realize that these things are options.
Jessica and Elizabeth have a conversation in which we learn Jessica absolutely does believe in Bruce’s side of the story. Liz goes to hide out at her parents’ house – they’re on “another” one of their “endless cruises”. Must be nice. I want to retire adn live the Ned and Alice high life.
Jessica gets Bruce to agree to hire Annie Whitman as his lawyer because Ben Bookman fucking sucks and doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. Okay, so it’s really just out of his realm of knowledge. I’m just feeling mean.
At work, Liz is in trouuuuuble. A source has revealed to Andy Marker, the main reporter assigned to Bruce’s story, that Liz signed the lease on Robin Platt’s house. Now Liz’s boss, Tim Walt, says that the managing editor, Fred, is probably going to fire Liz unless they can come up with a good reason for her doing that. She shouldn’t have gotten so involved because it was out of bounds for a reporter. Liz is real stupid. The only way Liz can keep her job is to tell Robin who she really is, and get her to agree to an interview. Liz tells Robin, who’s seriously mad for almost no time at all that she’s been completely tricked and deceived by someone posing as a therapist! She also looks “glassy-eyed.” This chick is definitely not who she says she is. Robin agrees to do the interview as long as her anonymity is completely protected. Now Liz’s intuition tells her for certain that something is up with Robin and her story, but can’t put her finger on it.
Lila hosts a wine and cheese party for the latest True Housewives filming. All of the show’s fans now think Ashley Morgan is the mega bitch of the century for stealing Ken from his pregnant wife. Ken and Ashley have been seen out and about, even kissing at one point. At the party, Lila pretends to eat peanut butter on a pickle while Marina expresses doubt that she is really pregnant because it’s too early for her to have cravings. Devone tells Marina to shut up. She’s nice and fully supports Lila. Lila pretends to be sick and runs off to the bathroom just so she won’t have to eat the peanut butter pickle. When she comes out, Ashley has arrived, and she and Devone are having a huge argument. Ashley sees Lila and screams at her about rumors Lila spread in the press, that Ashley was a stripper and a hooker in her previous life. Lila denies having anything to do with the rumors, but of course she did. Lila calls Ashley a bitch and Ashley calls Lila a stupid slut, then lunges at her. Lila grabs her stomach and yells “Don’t hurt the baby!” Just then, Ken appears and storms onto the set, yelling, “Back away from my wife!” Ken loudly announces that he wants to be with the mother of his child. He and Lila start making out on TV and then Ken carries Lila upstairs where they have sex in her bedroom, safely shut away from the cameras.
You can’t make this stuff up, folks. A perfect scene. Of course, now Lila has to figure out how she will deal with her fake pregnancy. Her current plan is to pretend to have a miscarriage later. (She doesn’t actually want children.)
In the wake of Bruce’s scandal, he hears that the federal government plans to deny Bruce’s Social Impact Group the permits they need to develop the land they won over the slimy Rick Warner and his gas company. Bruce goes to his board meeting where a board member who doesn’t like Bruce, named Don Edgewater, volunteers a vote to ask Bruce to step down. Bruce says it won’t be necessary because he already is stepping down. He says it’s because the Group needs to focus more on the work they do and on keeping that slimy Rick Warner, the gas executive, from stealing the land they’ve won, because he’ll drill all over it and pollute the groundwater and give everyone cancer. Everyone gasps and then gives Bruce a standing ovation, even Don. Bruce wishes Liz was there to see it because then she might realize he’s not such a monster.
Back to Steven and Aaron’s boring baby story. They hire a nanny named Agneta to take care of her, since Aaron is going back to work. Agneta takes baby Emma to the park. There’s a woman named Melissa there, who has befriended Agneta and Emma over the past few days. Melissa recently gave birth to a stillborn baby and is having a hard time dealing with it. Agneta and Melissa are pushing Emma on the baby swing when Agneta realizes she left her phone back on a bench. Melissa offers to watch Emma while Agneta goes and gets the phone. Agneta goes and grabs it, and when she comes back, Melissa has taken off with Emma and is nowhere to be seen. Why didn’t Agneta just freakin’ tell Melissa to get grab her phone for her if she wanted to be so helpful? The police come and everyone gathers at Steven and Aaron’s house, crying. Annie comforts Aaron while Steven paces around, being lawyer-like. The police interview Agneta in front of everyone and Steven hears a description of “Melissa” and suspects that it might be Linda Carson, Emma’s surrogate. Steven shows Agneta a picture of Linda and Agneta confirms that Linda is indeed the kidnapper. In the very next chapter, everyone hears a “strange sirenlike wail”. It’s the spoiled brat Emma – Linda has left her on their front porch with a note saying “Can’t stand that wail anymore! She’s all yours! Thank God!” Everyone laughs and skips off to the Dairi Burger. (Not really, but that would be the appropriate response.) Aaron and Steven don’t care if Linda is ever caught because now they know she’ll never come back for adorable spoiled little Emma. Thank God this story is over with. Emma sounds like a nightmare. I guess I’m supposed to think she’s hilariously cute, but really, I get a headache just thinking about it. Aaron and Steven agree the best thing to do is let Agneta go, and Steven starts a new childcare business at his office, where everyone has to have extra security to enter. Emma stays there instead. Great, can we stop hearing about her now, and Aaron throwing a fit over her “pink prison”?
At Jessica’s townhouse, Jessica is shaken when Jake yells that it’s not fair that Emma has two dads and he has none. Todd hasn’t been around for the past couple weeks because he’s busy with work or something. So Jessica gets dolled up and goes over to Todd’s house to get her husband back, and Sarah Miller opens his front door in a black see-through teddy. Wauh wauh wauuuuuuuh.
The District Attorney, Tom Colton, decides to formally charge Bruce with felony aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault. He doesn’t think he can prove the charges, but he’s afraid if he doesn’t file felonies, Rick Warner won’t throw him enough re-election fundraisers later, and he really needs them. Annie hears about the charges and thinks maybe she should get Bruce to do a plea bargain in exchange for lesser charges and a slap on the wrist – even though she also thinks there’s no way Bruce won’t beat the felony charges in court. I don’t get it, why have him do a plea deal then? Bruce, meanwhile, is considering fleeing the country to someplace without extradition treaties. Ever since he tried to break into Robin’s house, the whole country has been sure of his guilt anyway, celebrity statements be damned. It turns out Bruce’s mother’s “condition” that Liz was talking about was bipolar disorder, which is very common, but apparently automatically means that Bruce’s mother was “crazy.” Now he’s afraid he’s crazy too. You know, I know so many bipolar people, and while it’s not fun for them, and occasionally not for other people, it’s just not a huge big deal. Did Mrs. Patman refuse to take her medication or something? Anyway, Annie shows up at Bruce’s mansion to bring him the news, only to find that he has fled the country, leaving a note behind apologizing for the mess. NO BRUCE NO. Now, as Annie knows, Bruce’s guilt is as good as cemented in the minds of any judge and jury.
On the cover: Now that I’ve read this, I’m guessing that is supposed to be Liz, since she’s the one with too many doubts! Here’s a link to the full-size stock photo at Shutterstock, copyright Jason Stitt.
Other b.s.: Devone’s name goes back and forth from being spelled “Devone” to “Devon.” ANNOYING.
Marina’s name is spelled as “Eva” numerous times. I presume the author was thinking of how she’s supposed to look like Eva Longoria while writing this. The editor of these books S-U-C-K-S, SUCKS!
This book says that Bruce was always “gentle” with Annie in high school. I have a hard time seeing that one.
Coming up next: Secrets and Seductions, the first book in the series to not have a Wakefield twin on the cover. Good! More Lila and her crazy baby scheme!