Cocktails for Three
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Product Description

Roxanne: glamorous, self-confident, with a secret lover -- a married man

Maggie: capable and high-achieving, until she finds the one thing she can't cope with -- motherhood

Candice: honest, decent, or so she believes -- until a ghost from her past turns up

At the first of every month, when the office has reached its pinnacle of hysteria, Maggie, Roxanne, and Candice meet at London's swankiest bar for an evening of cocktails and gossip. Here, they chat about what's new at The Londoner, the glossy fashion magazine where they all work, and everything else that's going on in their lives. Or almost everything. Beneath the girl talk and the laughter, each of the three has a secret. And when a chance encounter at the cocktail bar sets in motion an extraordinary chain of events, each one will find their biggest secret revealed.

In Cocktails for Three, Madeleine Wickham combines her trademark humor with remarkable insight to create an edgy, romantic tale of secrets, strangers, and a splash of scandal.

Customer Reviews:

  • Better than I thought!
    They say not to judge a book by its cover, and its true. When this book arrived I thought the cover looked kind of cheesy and I'd wondered if I'd made a mistake. But the story was actually smart, clever and full of surprised and I turned out to be very pleased! The friends in the story reminded me of my own girlfriends, how we are all so different now that we've grown up - yet all good friends still. Wickham also did a good job of really making you start to despise the antagonist....more info
  • Drinks for everyone so we can toast this fabulous read
    After several girlfriends let me in on the fact that one of my favorite authors (Sophie Kinsella) was actually a pen name for Madeleine Wickham and that Madeleine had various novels published, I was eager to read them! Cocktails for three is the first of Madeleine's novels that I've read and I devoured it wholeheartedly.

    Cocktails for Three follows the lives of three women who work together and are friends. Outside of work they meet up once a month at the Manhattan bar to catch up with one another and take some girl time together. The heroines' stories unfold after the first such meeting and the reader finds out that Maggie is due to have a baby at any moment, Candice is about to run into a ghost from her family's sordid past and Roxanne is in a mysterious relationship with a married man. Throughout the course of the book the womens' lives are turned upside down and their friendships are tested. I truly enjoyed this book and the dynamics between the women. I also liked the fact that there were some unexpected plot twists which can be rare in typical chick lit books. This novel is jolly good fun and I loved it so much that I've already started reading another Wickham book, the Gatecrasher. ...more info
  • Lukewarm
    This book was ok but not anywhere near the league of a Rosamunde Pilcher book. But since I have read all of Pilcher's books multiple times and wanted something new to read, I tried this. The plot was nicely developed but Wickham pretty much tells you everything that is going to happen right up front, thus taking away any delicious suspense. The writing is easy to read but lacks the coziness of Pilcher's books....more info
  • A quick, witty read, plus a little reflection!
    Like all of Madeleine Wickham/Sophie Kinsella's book, this one is jammed with wittiness and excitement, that leaves you wanting to turn the pages faster than you can read. But I felt that it was also an honest look at friendships/realtionships. It explored the busyness in all of our lives that bring us to overlooking the needs and feeliings of our friends and unitentially taking them forgranted, no matter how solid and close the friendship. This book ends with a sweet yet subtle reminder that true and successful friendhsips take vulernability and and self-less-ness....more info
  • Hold the cocktail umbrella
    I was happy with this book until the very end, then I though it wrapped up far too neatly. The struggles and turmoil that took center stage throughout most of the book just dissipated, leaving me with that empty feeling you get when a sitcom wraps up everything in the last two minutes. Such pain was taken to write very real, very raw, and very good scenarios for the main characters (most specifically Maggie) and then to have it all rainbows and kittens at the end was very disappointing. Sure, there was tragedy along the way. There were some surprises and a lot of heartache. But at the end, when it all seemed to be swept away, it felt as though it had never happened. I lost touch with the characters I felt I had grown to know over the course of the book.

    I suppose people do like resolution and happy (ish) endings, but for me, the book would have been far better leaving some ends dangling, some 'what ifs' for the reader to fill in. At least some lingering bit of doubt and questions! But the last chapter read like an epilogue, laying out everything for you on a silver platter.

    I'm torn on giving this book three or four stars - it's really three and a half. I can see where a lot of people would very much enjoy it, and not be as put off by the ending as I was. I can also see where some of the characters (specifically Candice) could be quite annoying. I think it would be a very good book to read and talk about, as a character study for a group, but not as great as a Sunday afternoon pleasure read. It's a book that pulls you along (it grabbed me from the beginning) but leaves you strangely unsatisfied. In the end, I think it's an average book, and I'll give it three stars....more info
  • A Little Disappointing
    I loved all of Sophie Kinsella's books. This book is definitely not as good as the Shopaholic Series. The characters aren't really well-defined, the plot meanders at the end. You can avoid this book and not miss much....more info
  • Fun Read
    I haven't had a chance to read in quite some time and was just looking for a fun, not too terribly complicated read. This was my book! It's a fun read that kept me coming back for more. The characters were all like us and our friends....very real, very likable.

    If you like Jane Green, Maeve Binchy, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Lisa Jewel, you'll love this. It's not literary genius, but is fun and entertaining....more info
  • This Book Made Me Miss My Girlfriends!!
    I loved this book! I really didn't want it to end. It was just easy to read, with likeable characters that you wanted to know more about. I could have kept right on reading! The best thing about this book is it made me want to find my old girlfriends. It made me miss those late night chats and junk food binges. This story is mostly about friendship and the importance of it in our lives. We all make mistakes and go through rough times, but your friends are there to back you up.If you enjoy books about young women and friendship, this book is for you. If you miss your old girlfriends or cherish the ones you still have, read this book. You just may be calling them up when you're done!...more info
  • LOVED IT!
    I must say that I was very impressed with "Cocktails for Three!".

    You read about the tales of 3 best friends who meet at a Manhattan Bar the same night every month. They get to catch up on everything that is going on with their lives.

    Maggie is pregnant. Roxanne has been dating a married man for 6 years. Candice has such a warm heart and can't seem to say "NO."

    The end of the book will throw you for a loop. As other reviews have said, you will not see it coming.

    This book kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next to the (3) characters. I am sure that you will be able to identify a personal friend of yours for Maggie, Roxanne and Candice. I was able to finish in just (1) day which is rare for me.

    I can't wait to check out Wickman's other two books.

    Enjoy!...more info

  • Characters that are shallower than my kitchen sink
    Picked this up to read on the beach. My criteria in this genre is that it has to entertain me while I work on my tan. Even horrible books fulfill this, if they manage to get me to turn the pages. In a way, Cocktails for Three managed this feat as well, as I was turning each page waiting for one of the three women to exhibit some form of development. Nada. It was really a disaster of a book in this case. Over 300 pages, it is nice to see a character grow. Instead, everything wrapped up and we were really no different off than we were on page one.

    Let's start with Roxanne. She was agonizing over how much longer she wanted to be "the other woman" in her long time affair with a married man. In the end, it was over because he was dying and wanted to live out his days with his wife. Not because Roxanne got some self esteem and realized that she deserved more. Not because she got any moral pangs about what she was doing. It just ended in the most contrived way possible. What did Roxanne learn from the situation? Instead, she's going to be mourning for the lover that she thought was dumping her, but was really just dying instead. I feel bad for the next in line of her relationships, because she's going to have a load of issues. Luckily, for you men out there, she's fictional.

    Candice. I just didn't get her. The whole plot with her getting taken advantage of and screwed over by a girl seeking revenge was actually one of the better parts of this book. You knew the girl was up to something right away, but it was fun watching it play out. What I really hated about Candice were the constant anti-capitalism/consumer remarks she made throughout the whole book. Things along the line of whining to her neighbor that he shouldn't be taking a paid leave of absence from work when there are people unemployed, or that he should sell his house out in the country because some people are homeless. Where was that attitude when she was hanging out with her friend Maggie, who had a 20 acre estate? Or when the girls were out at the very posh Manhattan Bar, ordering drinks that probably were 8 quid a piece or something outrageous? And finally, if the author wanted us to believe that Candice had this selfless attitude where she wanted to help everyone, having her fall for neighbor AFTER she found out he drove an expensive car and was wealthy isn't a way to reinforce her supposed lack of materialism. It's almost as if some of these things were thrown in as an afterthought.

    And finally, there is Maggie. As a career woman, I can understand the lack of desire to be a stay-at-home mom. However, I don't think I can emphazize with the character. Maybe, if we were just once shown that Maggie had any feelings of love towards her own child, I could relate. But all of her struggles were her own doing because she was afraid of perception. She wasn't ever worried that she wasn't doing enough for her daughter, but rather that people would think she wasn't such a superwoman afterall. Yes, Maggie. You probably are better off in the office. I disliked the way she just announced to her husband that they were moving back to London. Great communication there, hun. After moaning about how you never agreed with the choice in the first place, maybe you would have treated your husband with the respect you wish you had been treated with. Nope. Instead she does him just like he did her. There really was no maturity with this woman. And I want to pretend that I didn't read the page where she was really judgemental of the other neighborhood mom, calling her a "stepford mum". It's so obnoxious when women in powerful positions have no other way to enjoy that power than by letting the world know that she is better than another woman who did not choose her path.

    OK, so I'm a little bit annoyed by a Sunday afternoon beach read. But for my $11 and 300 pages, I do expect just a little bit of actual writing ability. I will not be sampling any of the shopoholic series.
    ...more info
  • A Fun Read
    I didn't realize until I picked up this title at my local Borders that Sophie Kinsella wrote under another name - Madeleine Wickham. What a pleasant surprise!

    As a fan of the Shopaholic Series, and found this book to actually be more like Sophie's recent title - the Undomestic Goddess. The dialog was witty, yet believable. I found myself wanting to rush in and protect Candice from the evil Heather, comfort Roxanne during her loss, and tell Maggie that everything was going to be alright, and she would adjust to motherhood just fine. As a new mom, I could totally empathize with Maggie and her struggles!

    I can't wait to read more titles by Madeleine!...more info
  • A triangle of friends
    This book was a really easy read.. however.. a little predictable.

    From the "evil" girl who plots against the other girls.. to the love interest. I don't want to have too many spoilers.

    Definitely a beach read but not a read if you're looking for anything deep and meaningful...more info
  • Fast, fun, entertaining read
    I have read and loved all of Sophie Kinsella's novels, so when I found this in a bookstore over the weekend, I jumped at the chance to read something new by her. I had no idea she was also writing under another name!

    I found Cocktails For Three to be a quick, fun, and entertaining read. It certainly passed the time I spent in the airport over the weekend very fast. But I found the story at times to be a bit far-fetched and unrealistic. I liked the Shopaholic series better. It's an overall feel good fun novel, but not anything earth-shattering....more info
  • The *kayters* review
    Madeleine Wickham proves once again that she is more than just a "chick lit" author. Though her novels are short, they do pack a punch and try to teach a little life lesson besides.

    Candice, Maggie and Roxanne are best friends who work at the Londoner, a monthly magazine in - where else? - London, and meet on the first of the month for cocktails at the Manhattan Bar. This particular month finds Maggie ready to give birth, Roxanne still with her married with children boyfriend and Candice having just broken up with her co-worker boyfriend, Justin. Candice recognizes their waitress as a girl she was at school with and says her name, just as she realizes that her recognition was probably best kept to herself as the waitress, Heather Trelawney, had to leave school when her family lost all their money due to Candice's swindling father. It strikes good-hearted Candice that she can try and make amends to Heather by helping her get a job at the magazine. Unfortunately, her good deeds don't stop there and as the saying goes, "No good deed goes unpunished."

    Follow these friends through the ups and downs of motherhood, affairs, death and evil machinations and enjoy every page of it....more info

  • Cocktails for Three
    After reading all of Sophia's Shopoholic series, I was pleased to find this book written by the same author. I enjoyed reading this books since it is about 3 friends who go though different struggles and all the while hiding them from each other. I was able to relate to each character. Since noone's life is perfect it is nice to have a book that shows you it does not matter who you are there is still some imprefections in all of us where we express them or not. It is a easy to read, but hard to put down book. I look foward to reading other books by Madeleine. ...more info
  • Fun, feisty read!
    Cocktails for Three is a fun and feisty novel about three Londoners at critical points in their lives. They get together at their favorite bar after a difficult day at The Londoner -- a fashion magazine where they all work -- to discuss their latest exploits through cocktails. Each one of them is facing a dilemma.

    Candice is a successful writer, but her stabilized career becomes threatened when she stumbles upon Heather, an old friend from high school...

    Maggie is a married woman awaiting the arrival of her first child. She is quite content with her position as editor for The Londoner, which is why she is torn between continuing her career and giving it all up to become a full-time wife and mother...

    Roxanne is beautiful, glamorous and free-spirited. However, she is stuck in a relationship that's going nowhere, for the man in question is married with children...

    Cocktails for Three is a wickedly funny read that could satisfy all Chick Lit enthusiasts. Despite its banal and recycled plot, the novel's sharp dialogue, believable characterization and excellent prose make the novel a definite must read......more info

  • A Tale of three friends
    This book chronicles the lives of three friends who get together every month to drink and catch up.

    Roxanne is having an affair with a married man with children, but wont tell her friends who he is until circumstances force her to reveal all to the two people who know her best.

    Maggie used to be in charge at the magizine that they work at until the birth of her daughter. Afterwards she admits that she wants to go back to work because being a mother is a lot harder than she realized.

    Constance feels bad after she sees a woman named Heather working at the bar where she and her friends go to drink. Constance's father made Heather's father broke before Constances father died. Constance wants to make it up to Heather, but her plans go arye thanks to Heather.

    A Great book by a great author....more info
  • Great story!
    I really liked that book! It was a little fun, a little sad sometimes but still very entertaining. (One small complain though- to much curse.)
    ...more info
  • A harlequin romance for the new age
    OK. I picked this up as a light weekend read, not expecting "War and Peace" but something fun.

    This book was as trite as a 1970s Harlequin romance. By the end of the first chapter, I had predicted the character development and plot twists to the very last page. The characters were horribly stereotypical and one-dimenensional. The "nice girl", the evil vengenful "psycho-girl", the "I've having an affair with a married man and want some permanence in my life, girl", the "torn between job vs family girl"..I could go on forever...The only thing that kept me reading to the end was to find out if my predictions panned out.

    Also any author who uses the word "frission" twice in 10 pages should be locked in a room and required to read Strunk's "Elements of Style" until they learn to write beyond a 10 grade level.

    All in all a waste of my time and the author's....more info

  • A good summer read
    This is unlike the other books that i have read so far. the plot revolves around a bar and three best friends. They are good at their jobs,articulate and know what they want from life. But a crazy flat-mate, an affair with a superior and motherhood corode their friendship and their lives-almost. This book is about true friendship and how it can get you through the day and lives problems big or small. A good read that cannot be put down....more info
  • A Rare Find - Wonderful!
    I've been searching for a book that really makes me laugh, characters I can relate and enjoy and a story that keeps me interested beyond the first 30 pages. Well, I found it! "Cocktails for Three" by English author Madeleine Wickham had me completely enchanted. I found the three main characters (Maggie - the pregnant one on maternity leave / Roxanne - the dating a married man one / Candice - the trusting and will do anything for a person in need one) all well rounded and hilarious.

    "Cocktails" goes beyond your basic "friends forever" novel and dives into real life problems and the effects those decisions have on you and those around you.

    I found this book really unique and sparkling with touches of really dark and edgy comedy. A great find! I hope others will discover this secret of mine....more info

  • a little cheesy but a lot of fun
    This was a fun book to read. It's the story of three ladies that work together at a popular paper The Londoner; Maggie is the editor, Roxanne is a travel writer and works independently, and Candice is a successful writer. The three girls each have their own secrets and issues that they keep to themselves causing trouble.

    Roxanne has been dating a mysterious married man for over 6 years. When it comes time for him to end their relationship, she leaves the country to deal with her sadness where she soon learns he has died of cancer. The girls are in for a surprise when they find out who the mystery man is.

    Candice has spent her life making up for her father's legacy of theft. He has ruined the lives of many of her friend's family's and after his death the legacy has been on her conscience to try and make it all up. She starts with a waitress named Heather who Candice lets openly into her life. She gets her a job and lets her stay in her apartment rent free. The two other girls warn Candice of the bad feelings they get around Heather, but Heather feels so strongly that she owes something to Heather that she overlooks their warnings.

    Maggie is about to have a baby and her lack of preparation and desire to live in the huge house in the country her and her husband had just bought leaves her in a deep depression. All she wants to do is know she's a good mother and know she will eventually go back to work.

    The girls eventually realize who they can trust and work out their problems by leaning on each other.
    ...more info
  • A good summer read for the beach or pool
    Didn't like this book as much as Kinsella's (aka Wickham) other books, but found it an entertaining book for beach-side or pool-side reading for sure. Reading this book was kind of like eating a whole box of chocolates--fun during the process, a guilty pleasure, but ultimately not completely satisfying. It was a little predictable, but fun.
    My favorite character was Maggie, a new mother who is utterly competent in the workplace, but finds herself at odds with being a first-time parent. I think the Maggie's struggles are something all new moms will sympathize with...I also thought the other three characters were entertaining. Buy it used, but don't pay full price for this one. Kinsella's other books would be more worthy of the price tag for a new book (i.e. Undomestic Godess, Shopaholic series).
    ...more info
  • another Wickham gem
    This is the story of three professional women who work in London and meet once a month for cocktails and a bitch-and-moan session. You'd think they'd tell each other *everything*, but each woman has a secret -- one is ashamed of a family secret, one is in a long term relationship with a married man and one exudes confidence and strength even though she's filled with doubts about her decision to quit her job and stay home with her impending child. If it sounds like a trite and predictable plot, that's when you must consider the talents of the author. Wickham is an extraordinary storyteller. Her dialogue is effortless and her characters more interesting than the total populations of ten romance novels. I pick up a Wickham novel (or other works under the name Sophie Kinsella) when I want a fun, easy read --and I don't mean that pejoratively. Wickham's prose flows delightfully and pages are turned and time flows in reading bliss. I enjoyed each moment with these flawed but genuine women and their acquaintances. Plus, there are ALWAYS moments when I guffaw out loud at some utterance or situation. Very enjoyable reading.

    If you're familiar with Wickham/Kinsella, you won't be disappointed. If you're new to her, it's definitely worth your time to give her a try....more info