#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Becky Brandon’s life is blooming. She’s working at London’s newest big store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room) . . . and she’s pregnant. She couldn’t be more overjoyed—especially after discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery and the latest stroller to top-of-the-line medical care.
But when the must-have celebrity obstetrician Becky’s been so desperate to see turns out to be Luke’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky’s perfect world starts to crumble. She’s shopping for two . . . but are there three in her marriage?
Praise for Sophie Kinsella and Shopaholic & Baby
“From sonograms to the hottest baby strollers to tricked-out birthing rooms . . . Kinsella’s ode to baby blues is both sly and slapstick.”—Publishers Weekly
“Faster than a swiping Visa, more powerful than a two-for-one coupon, able to buy complete wardrobes in a single sprint through the mall—it’s Shopaholic!”—The Washington Post
“Kinsella’s heroine is blessed with the resilience of ten women, and her damage-limitation brain waves are always good for a giggle.”—Glamour (U.K.)
“As fun as a shopping spree.”—Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives in England.
Date of Birth:December 12, 1969
Place of Birth:London, England
Education:B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992
Read an Excerpt
Ok. Don't panic. Everything's going to be fine. Of course it is.
Of course it is.
"If you could lift up your top, Mrs. Brandon?" The sonographer has a pleasant, professional air as she looks down at me. "I need to apply some jelly to your abdomen before we start the scan."
"Absolutely!" I say without moving a muscle. "The thing is, I'm just a teeny bit . . . nervous."
I'm lying on a bed at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, tense with anticipation. Any minute now, Luke and I will see our baby on the screen for the first time since it was just a teeny blob. I still can't quite believe it. In fact, I still haven't quite got over the fact that I'm pregnant. In nineteen weeks' time I, Becky Brandon, née Bloomwood . . . am going to be a mother. A mother!
Luke's my husband, by the way. We've been married for just over a year and this is a one hundred percent genuine honeymoon baby! We traveled loads on our honeymoon, but I've pretty much worked out that we conceived it when we were staying in this gorgeous resort in Sri Lanka, called Unawatuna, all orchids and bamboo trees and beautiful views.
Miss Unawatuna Orchid Bamboo-tree Brandon.
Hmm. I'm not sure what Mum would say.
"My wife had a slight accident in the early stages of pregnancy," Luke explains from his seat beside the bed. "So she's a little anxious."
He squeezes my hand supportively, and I squeeze back. In my pregnancy book, Nine Months of Your Life, it says you should include your partner in all aspects of your pregnancy, otherwise he can feel hurt and alienated. So I'm including Luke as much as I possibly can. Like, last night I included him in watching my new DVD, Toned Arms in Pregnancy. He suddenly remembered in the middle that he had to make a business call, and missed quite a lotbut the point is, he doesn't feel shut out.
"You had an accident?" The sonographer pauses in her tapping at the computer.
"I fell off this mountain when I was looking for my long-lost sister in a storm," I explain. "I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. And I think maybe I bashed the baby."
"I see." The sonographer looks at me kindly. She has graying brown hair tied back in a knot, with a pencil stuck into it. "Well, babies are resilient little things. Let's just have a look, shall we?"
Here it is. The moment I've been obsessing over for weeks. Gingerly I lift up my top and look down at my swelling stomach.
"If you could just push all your necklaces aside?" she adds. "That's quite a collection you have there!"
"They're special pendants." I loop them together with a jangle. "This one is an Aztec maternity symbol, and this is a gestation crystal . . . and this is a chiming ball to soothe the baby . . . and this is a birthing stone."
"A birthing stone?"
"You press it on a special spot on your palm, and it takes away the pain of labor," I explain. "It's been used since ancient Maori times."
"Mm-hmm." The sonographer raises an eyebrow and squeezes some transparent gloop on my stomach. Frowning slightly, she applies the ultrasound probe thing to my skin, and instantly a fuzzy black-and-white image appears on the screen.
I can't breathe.
That's our baby. Inside me. I dart a look at Luke, and he's gazing at the screen, transfixed.
"There are the four chambers of the heart. . . ." The sonographer is moving the probe around. "Now we're looking at the shoulders. . . ." She points to the screen and I squint obediently, even though, to be honest, I can't see any shoulders, only blurry curves.
"There's an arm . . . one hand . . ." Her voice trails off and she frowns.
There's silence in the little room. I feel a sudden grip of fear. That's why she's frowning. The baby's only got one hand. I knew it.
A wave of overpowering love and protectiveness rises up inside me. Tears are welling in my eyes. I don't care if our baby's only got one hand. I'll love it just as much. I'll love it more. Luke and I will take it anywhere in the world for the best treatment, and we'll fund research, and if anyone even dares give my baby a look
"And the other hand . . ." The sonographer's voice interrupts my thoughts.
"Other hand?" I look up, choked. "It's got two hands?"
"Well . . . yes." The sonographer seems taken aback at my reaction. "Look, you can see them here." She points at the image, and to my amazement I can just about make out the little bony fingers. Ten of them.
"I'm sorry," I gulp, wiping my eyes with a tissue she hands me. "It's just such a relief."
"Everything seems absolutely fine as far as I can tell," she says reassuringly. "And don't worry, it's normal to be emotional in pregnancy. All those hormones swilling about."
Honestly. People keep talking about hormones. Like Luke last night, when I cried over that TV ad with the puppy. I'm not hormonal, I'm perfectly normal. It was just a very sad ad.
"Here you go." The sonographer taps at her keyboard again. A row of black-and-white scan pictures curls out of the printer, which she hands to me. I peer at the first oneand you can see the distinct outline of a head. It's got a little nose and a mouth and everything.
"So. I've done all the checks." She swivels round on her chair. "All I need to know now is whether you want to know the gender of the baby."
"No, thank you," Luke answers with a smile. "We've talked it through at great length, haven't we, Becky? And we both feel it would spoil the magic to find out."
"Very well." The sonographer smiles back. "If that's what you've decided, I won't say anything."
She "won't say anything"? That means she's already seen what the sex is. She could just tell us right now!
"We hadn't actually decided, had we?" I say. "Not for definite."
"Well . . . yes, we had, Becky." Luke seems taken aback. "Don't you remember, we talked about it for a whole evening and agreed we wanted it to be a surprise."
"Oh right, yes." I can't take my eyes off the blurry print of the baby. "But we could have our surprise now! It would be just as magical!"
OK, maybe that's not exactly true. But isn't he desperate to know?
"Is that really what you want?" As I look up I can see a streak of disappointment in Luke's face. "To find out now?"
"Well . . ." I hesitate. "Not if you don't want to."
The last thing I want is to upset Luke. He's been so sweet and loving to me since I've been pregnant. Recently I've had cravings for all sorts of odd combinationslike the other day I had this sudden weird desire for pineapple and a pink cardigan. And Luke drove me to the shops especially to get them.
He's about to say something, when his mobile phone starts ringing. He whips it out of his pocket and the sonographer puts up a hand.
"I'm sorry, but you can't use that in here."
"Right." Luke frowns as he sees the caller display. "It's Iain. I'd better call him back."
I don't need to ask which Iain. It'll be Iain Wheeler, the chief marketing honcho of the Arcodas Group. Luke has his own PR company, Brandon Communications, and Arcodas is Luke's big new client. It was a real coup when he won them and it's given a fantastic boost to the companyhe's already hired more staff and is planning to open loads of new European offices on the back of it.
So it's all wonderful for Brandon Communications. But as usual, Luke's working himself into the ground. I've never seen him so at anyone's beck and call before. If Iain Wheeler calls, he always, always calls him back within five minutes, whether he's in another meeting, or he's having supper, or even if it's the middle of the night. He says it's the service industry and Arcodas is his mega-client, and that's what they're paying for.
All I can say is, if Iain Wheeler calls while I'm in labor, then that phone is going straight out the window.
"Is there a land line I can use nearby?" Luke is asking the sonographer. "Becky, you don't mind . . ."
"It's fine." I wave a hand.
"I'll show you," the sonographer says, getting up. "I'll be back in a moment, Mrs. Brandon."
The two of them disappear out the door, which closes with a heavy clunk.
I'm alone. The computer is still on. The ultrasound probe thing is resting next to the monitor.
I could just reach over and
No. Don't be silly. I don't even know how to use an ultrasound. And besides, it would spoil the magical surprise. If Luke wants us to wait, then we'll wait.
I shift on the couch and examine my nails. I can wait for things. Of course I can. I can easily
Oh God. No I can't. Not till December. And it's all right there in front of me . . . and nobody's about. . . .
I'll just have a teeny peek. Just really quickly. And I won't tell Luke. We'll still have the magical surprise at the birthexcept it won't be quite so much of a surprise for me. Exactly.
Leaning right over, I manage to grab the ultrasound stick. I apply it to the gel on my stomachand at once the blurry image reappears on the screen.
I did it! Now I just have to shift it slightly to get the crucial bit. . . . Frowning with concentration, I move the probe around on my abdomen, tilting it this way and that, craning my neck to see the screen. This is a lot easier than I thought! Maybe I should become a sonographer. I'm obviously a bit of a natural
There's the head. Wow, it's huge! And that bit must be
My hand freezes and I catch my breath. I've just spotted it. I've seen the sex of our baby!
It's a boy!
The image isn't quite as good as the sonographer'sbut even so, it's unmistakable. Luke and I are going to have a son!
"Hello," I say aloud to the screen, my voice cracking slightly. "Hello, little boy!"
And now I can't stop the tears rolling down my cheeks. We're having a gorgeous baby boy! I can dress him up in cute overalls, and buy him a pedal car, and Luke can play cricket with him, and we can call him
Oh my God. What are we going to call him?
I wonder if Luke would go for Birkin. Then I could get a Birkin to be his nappy bag.
Birkin Brandon. That's quite cool.
"Hi, little baby," I croon gently to the big round head on the screen. "Do you want to be called Birkin?"
"What are you doing?" The sonographer's voice makes me jump. She's standing at the door with Luke, looking appalled. "That's hospital equipment! You shouldn't be touching it!"
"I'm sorry," I say, wiping my eyes. "But I just had to have another quick look. Luke, I'm talking to our baby. It's just . . . amazing."
"Let me see!" Luke's eyes light up, and he hurries across the room, followed by the sonographer. "Where?"
I don't care if Luke sees it's a boy and the surprise is ruined. I have to share this precious moment with him.
"Look, there's the head!" I point. "Hello, darling!"
"Where's its face?" Luke sounds a bit perturbed.
"Dunno. Round the other side." I give a little wave. "It's Mummy and Daddy here! And we love you very"
"Mrs. Brandon." The sonographer cuts me off. "You're talking to your bladder."
Well, how was I supposed to know it was my bladder? It looked just like a baby.
As we walk into the consultant obstetrician's room, I'm still feeling rather hot about the cheeks. The sonographer gave me this huge great lecture about how I could have done damage to myself or broken the machine, and we only managed to get away after Luke promised a big donation to the scanner appeal.
And, she said, since I hadn't been anywhere near the baby, it was very unlikely I'd seen the sex. Hmph.
But as I sit down opposite Dr. Braine, our obstetrician, I feel myself start to cheer up. He's such a reassuring man, Dr. Braine. He's in his sixties, with graying, well-groomed hair and a pinstripe suit and a faint aroma of old-fashioned aftershave. And he's delivered thousands of babies, including Luke! To be honest, I can't really imagine Luke's mother Elinor giving birth, but I guess it must have happened somehow. And as soon as we discovered I was pregnant, Luke said we had to find out if Dr. Braine was still practicing, because he was the best in the country.
"Dear boy." He shakes Luke's hand warmly. "How are you?"
"Very well indeed." Luke sits down beside me. "And how's David?"
Luke went to school with Dr. Braine's son and always asks after him when we meet.
There's silence as Dr. Braine considers the question. This is the only thing I find a tad annoying about him. He mulls over everything you say as though it's of the greatest importance, whereas you were actually just making some random remark to keep the conversation going. At our last appointment I asked where he had bought his tie, and he thought about it for five minutes, then phoned his wife to check, and it was all a total saga. And I didn't even like the stupid tie.
"David's very well," he says at last, nodding. "He sends his regards." There's another pause as he peruses the sheet from the sonographer. "Very good," he says eventually. "Everything's in order. How are you feeling, Rebecca?"
"Oh, I'm fine!" I say. "Happy that the baby's all right."
"You're still working full-time, I see." Dr. Braine glances at my form. "And that's not too demanding for you?"
Beside me, Luke gives a muffled snort. He's so rude.
"It's . . ." I try to think how to put it. "My job's not that demanding."
"Becky works for The Look," explains Luke. "You know, the new department store on Oxford Street?"
"Aah." Dr. Braine's face drops. "I see."
Every time I tell people what I do, they look away in embarrassment or change the subject or pretend they've never heard of The Look. Which is impossible, because all the newspapers have been talking about it for weeks. Yesterday the Daily World called it the "biggest retail disaster in British history."
The only plus about working for a failure of a shop is that it means I can take as much time off as I like for doctors' appointments and prenatal classes. And if I don't hurry back, no one even notices.
“I’m sure things will turn around soon,” he says encouragingly. “Now, did you have any other questions?”
I take a deep breath. “Actually, I did have one question, Dr. Braine.” I hesitate. “Now that the scan results are OK, would you say it’s safe to . . .you know. . .”
“Absolutely,” Dr. Braine nods understandingly. “A lot of couples abstain from intercourse in early pregnancy.”
“I didn’t mean sex!” I say in surprise. “I meant shopping.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found myself laughing out loud throughout Becky's adventures in pregnancy. From her obsession with shopping in all the chic baby boutiques, to ordering online and from the glossy upscale catalogues, to investing in "antiques of the future" for her baby's portfolio, Becky was in fine form. Now working (more or less) as a personal shopper at a laughingstock of a store, Becky finds ways to make it soar while enlisting the help of an old friend. Familiar characters like Suz, Mr. and Mrs. Bloomwood, Janice, Tom, Jess, and of course Luke, are all featured prominently as Becky goes in search of the A-list obstetrician, the choice of all the glam people, only to discover she is Luke's ex-girlfriend and still carries a torch for him. SHOPAHOLIC & BABY is one misunderstanding after another, although it begins to look like maybe Becky isn't really misunderstanding anything at all. Is Luke really having an affair With Venetia? Will Becky allow this woman to deliver her baby? And what about all those baby strollers she bought? Will she be able to keep them all? Quite simply, it is funny, believable and has a mother who readers should be able to relate to - or actually a mother-to-be. From the first days of pregnancy to other decisions, large and small, she is eccentric and lovable, in her own quirky way, fuming at her husband as he juggles business and HER needs, getting in debates with him about whether to learn the gender of the baby during an ultrasound, etc..great read. Trust me...
While I have enjoyed previous Shopaholic books we could have done without this one. Becky is so incredibly stupid you just can't believe the things she does. She is a spoiled brat and so obsessed with herself. The inaccuracies regarding pregnancy were appauling as well. No one gets an epidural while they are in labor and who would believe her water had broken when it really hadn't. Stick to shopping!
My main issue with this book is that the main character never seems to learn anything from her mishaps in previous books. Thus, it seems as if I'm reading the exact same book repeatedly. There is no growth in her she makes the same mistakes over and over and over. I hope the next book in the series finds her just a little wiser and a little more mature.
Working at a bookstore has a few perks. I received an advanced copy of Shopaholic and Baby and finished it moments ago. Reading about Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) again is like seeing an old friend after years apart and yet being able to fall easily back in sync as if no time has passed. The Shopaholic books are rare for the fact that they make me laugh out loud, and the latest work is no exception. Though some of the plotlines are a bit darker than previous, Kinsella still sprinkles even the most somber moments with wit which you have to read twice because you laugh too hard the first time through and lose your place. Or maybe that's just me. Either way, I highly recommend this and all the books in the Shopaholic series.
I was really looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed it was nice to be with Becky again through this new step in her life. There was challenges as there always is in life, but more so as Becky gets herself into trouble yet again. While she seems to correct her mistakes more quickly and actual goes to Luke instead of keeping it a secret until a major problem it still seems that her financial problems continue. Becky even though she can be self absorbed in her shopping she is always there for those she cares about.
This book is absolutely addictive! I read the whole thing in one day!
If u like sophie kinsella u will like madeline wickham. That is rlly sophie kinsella and this is just her penname. The other books r good but the writing is different so so are the authors names.
I read this book 3 times in a row! You need to rea d this.
Thoroughly fun read - as usual!!! Couldn't put it down - always glad to see the next one that comes out! A real escape type of reading!!!
Probably my fave SHOP book so far! Becky is on board, with a baby! Shopping for two is harder than just for one! That's not the only news, this book is full of dramatic Becky where her OB is her husband's ex. Definitely a must read for all shopaholic lovers out there!
A pregnant Becky Bloomwood is even more entertaining. Loved it!
This book continues the adventures of the ultimate Shopaholic, Becky Bloomwood. Becky is finally expecting. There are lots of hilarious adventures about her pregnancy. She tries desperately to figure out whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. She switches to a glamorous obstetrician whose clients include A-List celebrities. It turns out that the obstetrician is her husband's ex. Her journey to pregnancy will not want you to put her book down!
The Shopaholic books are too cute. (I'm not like Becky! I'm not!) I originally started reading them as a substitute for Bridget Jones, who sadly only had two books of her own. Becky Bloomwood is very Bridget-esque. But she is also a funny pop heroine in her own right.
Light, easy chick lit
I started reading the Shopaholic series in 2004. I loved the first book, Confessions of a Shopaholic and immediately jumped into Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, which is still my favorite of the series. It¿s filled with humorous situations, however it takes a real look on the consequences of impulsive shopping. I read books 3 and 4, but when Shopaholic & Baby was released, I started it and then put it down.Fast forward to 2009. It¿s two years later and I¿ve finally picked this up again to read. I decided to listen to the audio book and the narrator, Rosalyn Landor, did a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. Becky and her husband, Luke, are expecting their first child. Always wanting to have the latest ¿in¿ thing, Becky convinces Luke they must have Dr. Venetia Carter as their OB-GYN as she is also the physician to the celebrities. During their initial visit, Becky learns that Dr. Carter and Luke are former school mates and previously dated! Becky is stunned by the news and gradually begins to feel insecure about herself and her marriage.True to the series, Ms. Kinsella fills the pages with humor as we read about the predicaments Becky finds herself in. Having doubts about her marriage, Becky hires a private detective, only what he discovers is not what she asked for. Becky learns that things are not always what they seem.So is it a girl or boy? I guess you¿ll have to read Shopaholic & Baby to find out!
Becky's life is blooming! She's working at London's newest big store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room)..and she's pregnant! She couldn't be more overjoyed--especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery , to the latest, coolest pram, to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician. But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be Luke's glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky's perfect world starts to crumble. She's shopping for two..but are there three in her marriage?I liked this book, but didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I did read one of her other books in this series and enjoyed it much more. It is rather funny in parts, especially if your a shopaholic at heart, but don't have the funds to actually be one. ENJOY!!
Synopsis: Rebecca ¿Becky¿ Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is back in the fifth installment on Kinsella¿s Shopaholic series. Becky has had some crazy adventures. From being so far in debt she couldn¿t see straight, to meeting the man of her dreams and getting married, to discovering a long lost sister, Becky has done it all, and now, she¿s having a baby.Becky and her husband Luke have sold their swanky London flat and found their dream home, one that includes a shoe room for Becky. In true Shopaholic fashion, Becky is buying every designer baby item she can get her hands on. She even manages to land an appointment with an OB/GYN to the stars that has just moved to London. Everything is going swimmingly for the Brandons.Just when it seemed that the baby would complete Becky¿s perfect world, it begins to fall apart. An old girlfriend of Luke¿s resurfaces and Luke begins to spend quite a lot of time with her. Becky brushes it off at first, but she soon discovers that Luke is lying to her about his whereabouts and is receiving text messages written in Latin. Add into the mix Luke¿s snooty mother, a job in a store that is the laughingstock of London, and the inability to find the perfect pram, and Becky is at wits end. Can the ever bubbly Becky Bloomwood Brandon turn it all around in time for the birth of her baby?Review: I really liked this book. It had been a very long time since I read a shopaholic book, and I was glad to once again bask in the glow of all things Becky Bloomwood. Kinsella¿s books aren¿t the most intellectually challenging books. But you know what? They don¿t have to be. What her books are are a good time. The characters are endearing. There is no one like Becky Bloomwood and now matter how hair-brained her schemes may be, you can¿t help but love her.I recommend this entire series. If you¿ve never met Becky Bloomwood, go introduce yourself!
LOVED this book!! I absolutely adore the Shopaholic series! Sophie Kinsella is the only author that always makes me laugh out loud!! If you want a book that will make you laugh & never want to put it down then check out the Shopaholic series! I hope there will be another one!!
Fun and frothy - but I don't recommend reading all the books one after each other - she tends to become annoying rather than simply flaky
Becky Bloomwood is up to her usual antics. A fun light read, although a bit heavy on the "affair" Luke is having with his ex-girlfriend. I've realized that you have to read Kinsella's books all in one shot to really appreciate the humour; you simply don't get the same effect reading it bit by bit. A good time nevertheless.
Absolutely brilliant, and an excellent finish to the amazing series!!
really really really greatthe main character rebbeccais really hilarious and know how to get herself in the most odd but funny situationsi really recommend it
Kinsella didn't let me down. I will admit that "...and Sister" wasn't one of her best, but she redeemed herself with this one. I read it in an evening.
Loved it, Loved it, Loved it! Best book I've read in a long time and hopefully that doesn't make me dumb. It was a great, easy read with a twisty, turny plot line. Perfect for a cold winter afternoon's read. I hope there are more in this series!
In Sophie Kinsella's latest book, Becky Brandon redeems herself in my eyes. I started reading the Shopaholic series when they first come out. I used to be a big reader of chick lit but I have lately stopped reading it in the last few years. However, this series was always one of my favorites becasue of the humor. I have read all four Shopaholic books up until this one, and I must say, I wasn't blown away by the last book (Shopaholic and Sister) HOWEVER, this book has redeemed the series in my eyes. In this book, Becky is preggers. She is very excited about the baby whose sex she isn't sure of. But on the other hand, her beloved husband Luke could be cheating on her! Is it possible!? This book was a very quick but very fun read!