Sloan Fairchild has spent her life feeling second-rate. Her parents are so involved in each other and their careers as Egyptologists that they barely acknowledge Sloan's existence expect as a glorified assistant. Her fiancé made no secret of the fact that he found her staid and boring, and left her behind without a glance when he found someone better. Alicia is a good friend to her, but Sloan has always felt she paled into insignificance compared to the beautiful and vivacious woman. Recently, Sloan has made changes to her boring life, chucking her job to turn the San Francisco Victorian she inherited into a B&B. It's hard work and Sloan is barely eking by, but she's enjoying her new life nonetheless.
Even more dramatic changes are in store for Sloan when she agrees to take in Alicia's fiancé for a month while he finishes work on his latest novel. Carter Madison was best friends with Alicia's late husband, and he has decided to take responsibility for Alicia and her two young sons. He is thrown into turmoil upon his first meeting with Sloan, and feels a spark he's never felt with any woman, including Alicia--and it's a feeling Sloan reluctantly shares. While they cannot deny their attraction for each other, they both know that their relationship has no future. Carter has made a commitment to Alicia and the boys and can't destroy their lives in order to be with Sloan.
I had a number of problems with this story, including the following:
--There was a lot of cheating and betrayal of trust going on here.
--That said, Carter's act of self-sacrifice just seemed a bit much for me. I'm just not sure why Carter felt the need to step into his dead friend's shoes. Alicia was not hurting financially, so the whole setup seemed overly contrived to me. (But, once everyone made that commitment, they should have stuck to it.)
--I'm not sure I even liked any of the main characters. Sloan's constant self-effacement was annoying, Carter's moods were offputting, and Alicia was flighty and inconstant.
BREAKFAST IN BED was initially published in 1983 and, while it isn't an utterly terrible book, it hasn't held up well under the test of time. Its biggest sin is that it is ultimately boring. There are so many better books out there--including some by this author--that I'm not sure that it's worth the investment of readers' time and money except for fans of Sandra Brown interested in getting a taste of her early work.
(Note: Alicia's story can be found in SEND NO FLOWERS.)