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Best Enemies Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Contemporary Fiction
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amy Sherman is pretty; Tara Messer is a beauty. Amy has a nice Manhattan apartment; Tara's suburban Tudor castle boasts an actual turret. Amy was engaged to Stuart Lasher, who took maid of honor Tara to bed and then to the altar. Now Tara has chronicled her perfect lifestyle in a book called Simply Beautiful, about to be published by Lowry and Trammell-where her editor plans to make her "the next Martha Stewart, without the baggage" and where Amy is publicity director. Can you spell delicious conflict? Heller (Lucky Stars) goes for the laughs and gets them, but there's more here than meets the funny bone. Just when the reader is ready to kill the perfidious Tara (perhaps by beating her to death with accessories and garnishes), Heller switches out of Amy's point of view and into Tara's. It turns out Tara's a real person, too. And she's in trouble. It seems she did Amy a favor by stealing Stuart, who grabs every passing ass and may bring down the family business with a fake caviar scheme. And it isn't Tara who's pregnant with Stuart's baby. Meanwhile, in another switcheroo, Amy's got a great romance budding with Tony Stiles, the gorgeous mystery author. Of course, they're only pretending to pretend to be in love-Amy to save face (she told Tara she was engaged) and Tony to research relationships-and things are going swimmingly. Though the happy ending is a sure thing, getting there is fabulous fun. Heller makes a familiar story read as brand new, thanks to a rich humanity abetted by smart dialogue, zippy pacing and all-around craft.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Heller writes fast-moving, witty, often best-selling novels about contemporary women and their combative but loving relationships. In her latest, Amy Sherman and Tara Messer, lifelong best friends, are now all grown up and living in New York City. There has always been some friction in their relationship because Amy feels overshadowed by the extravagantly beautiful and elegant Tara (a lifestyle guru). When Amy catches her fiance, Stuart, in a passionate embrace with Tara two weeks before the wedding, she cuts both of them out of her life. The two eventually marry each other, while Amy focuses on her demanding job as publicity director for a major publisher. Four years later, Amy and Tara are thrown together when Amy is assigned to promote Tara's new book. The two women weave a web of deception, with Tara pretending her life is perfect (even though Stuart is a serial womanizer) while Amy invents a rich, handsome boyfriend, whom she then has to produce. Heller's fans will be waiting to get their hands on this highly entertaining read. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312996764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312996765
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,916,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on July 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Amy returned early from her dentist appointment, the last thing she expected to find was her maid of honor Tara underneath her fiance, Stuart. Needless to say, the nuptials did not go on as planned, and Amy moved on to a great job as a book publicist. A chance run-in with Tara nearly five years later brings back old memories, and in order to make herself feel better, she tells a little white lie - she is engaged. Amy has always lived in Tara's shadow, and has always felt inferior to her.

Suddenly, Amy is thrust into a situation where she has to publicize Tara's soon to be published book about her fabulous life with her husband, Stuart. Her impossibly evil boss Betsy threatens to fire her is she does not manage to make the book a bestseller.

Amy begrudgingly works with Tara to start the book promotion, trying to keep it professional, while Tara wants to be friends again. After repeated requests for Amy and her fiance to join them for supper, Amy has to do some fast thinking to find a would-be fiance who is willing to go along with the charade.

Enter Tony Stiles, mystery writer and man of many fantasies. He and Amy have always had an antagonistic relationship because he hates the publicity part of his writing. He skeptically accepts a dinner date with her (that turns into a bit of a disaster), and the two find that they actually have a lot in common once their boxing gloves come off. Tony accepts a dinner date with one of Amy's clients, not aware of the whole fiance plot. A storm causes them to have to stay the night and Amy finally confesses her plot to Tony

You would think Tony would be upset; instead, he takes the opportunity to use their relationship as material for her female character, who always gets panned by critics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I Kindled this sight-unseen as soon as the 99c special came through my email. There's no reason to read reviews or synopses with Jane Heller's work because not only is she an incredibly talented writer, but she also writes with a great deal of "heart." When I began to read "Best Enemies" I realized I had previously read it - but did that stop me from re-reading it? Certainly not. I dived right in, laughing out loud at Part One that Amy narrates - perhaps enjoying different parts than those read the first time around. Just when you think you know where this book is headed it changes course and you hear from Tara (Amy's former BFF and the woman who stole Amy's fiance, Stuart) - a stroke of brilliance as she counter-attacks Amy's point of view. But the twists of the story don't stop there - you have Tony, Amy's literary client who becomes her fake fiance to impress Tara who has written a book about her perfect marriage. I've read most of Ms. Heller's books, but see I may have missed a couple from 2012. She is one author that you can read over and over and never be bored. Highly recommended and I've reviewed a lot of books on this site. Sit back, relax and get ready to laugh and empathize with both protagonists in this enjoyable, well written novel.
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The plot was fun. I don't believe anybody over the age of twenty couldn't relate to the Amy/Tara relationship. Both women reacted in realistic and funny ways making the interactions enjoyable. The language wasn't totally R rated but wouldn't pass the PG stage either. Romance was almost there as you watched Amy's relationship develope. One big stumble for me was the abrupt change and back pedal to pick up Tara's side of the interaction. I could have done without so much rehashing of the story line just to get Tara's take on it.
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I can't remember the last time I rated a book 5 stars but I really enjoyed this book! I guess I can understand and relate to both characters - Tara and Amy. Most women have been there and while we think all is well with our friends/best friends ..we don't really know the full story and people can lead you to think all is good if they want to.
And yes I wanted to believe Tara was a selfish ex-prom queen but I guess what this book has achieved is that we shouldn't believe everything we hear - Amy's version of the story was based on her feelings and stories and you really don't know the full story until you hear the other side of it - which we did with Tara's version.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
BEST ENEMIES by Jane Heller

December 31, 2006

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

I always enjoy Jane Heller's books, and this was no exception. BEST ENEMIES is narrated by two women, who started out as best friends growing up but became enemies when one of them was found with the other's fiancé in bed.

Amy Sherman was about to get married when she came home to the apartment she shared with her fiancé and found him horizontal and naked with her best friend Tara Messer. Tara was supposed to be her maid of honor, but that act of betrayal ended the friendship. Tara promptly married the scumbag, Stuart, and Amy didn't lay eyes on the two of them again until years later, when she bumps into Tara on the streets of Manhattan.

Amy is now working for a successful publishing company, and Tara has just sold her book to the company Amy happens to be working for. However, Amy doesn't know it yet. Instead, Amy goes on and on about her upcoming wedding plans to a man whose identity she cannot reveal, hoping to rub it in that she's happy despite the trauma she suffered because of Tara and Stuart. Unfortunately, when Amy does find out what Tara has been up to lately, she's not sure what to do. Amy has told a big lie that will come back to haunt her. Amy is told that she will be working closely with Tara to get the book published on time - in 6 months. 6 months was also the time frame Amy gave Tara regarding her upcoming wedding to the mystery man. What is she going to do?

On the spur of the moment, during a heated conversation about Tara's favorite novelist Tony Stiles, a man that Amy loathes with a passion, she's not sure why she does it, but she blurts out to Tara that Tony is indeed her secret boyfriend and soon-to-be husband.
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