Harriet Blair is a modern, liberated woman. Recently separated from her husband, she is mistress of her own whims. She has a career writing bestselling bodice-rippers, is relatively fit in mind and body, and is still just on the right side of forty. She is loved and lunched by her publishers, her most recent book has been short-listed for a literary prize - in short, life is perfect.
But dark clouds loom on the horizon. Her previously charming delightful children are changing into adolescent monsters. Her son, whilst being hailed as England's next soccer hero by the local football coach, shows more enthusiasm for practising his blossoming sexual techniques than dribbling a ball. Her daughter develops disturbing mercenary traits, selling her pony and buying a motorbike to match her older, long-haired boyfriend. And Harriet's determination to enjoy life without the complication of men is sorely put to the test when temptation is thrust under her nose in the form of Edward Lethbridge, cold-eyed but hot-blooded magazine editor. And so Harriet finds herself leading two very different lives - one as glamorous author and sex object, the other as severely harassed suburban housewife.