I've always enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips in the past. She usually creates fun if not always endearing characters and has a knack for snappy dialogue that always managed to keep me hooked. Apparently this book is one of her earlier efforts, written in the 80's, and it suffers from many of the excesses of its time. It's more of a saga, which harkens back to the Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins books I read early on before I knew there was better stuff out there. All full of glitz, glamour, money and little else. An earlier exchange between a glamourous beauty and her playboy paramour (with whom she's been playing hard to get) "You're not woman enough to handle a man like me." Her witty whispered response that gets him all hot and bothered, "You're not rich enough for me."
I'm glad stuck with with because after wading through pages and pages of insipid backstory the author finally tightens up the story and focuses on a few main characters. The backstory reminded me very much of a Danielle Steel novel but did serve the purpose of explaining why the heroine of the book was such a self-centered, helpless brat. When gorgeous socialite Francesca loses everything she's forced into lowering herself by accepting an acting job which she believes will be glamourous and make her an instant star. Things don't exactly go her way and she finds herself on the street in a stained gown and at her lowest point when golf pro Dally takes pity on her and picks her up. Dally is the first man prettier than Franscesca and she's instantly smitten though the two fight like children. Dally totes her around and foots the bill until he tires of her (and she discovers he's married!) and she's left to her own devices again. This is the point, probably somewhere halfway through the book, where she finally grows up and becomes a real person instead of the annoying spoiled brat who only wants a man to save her. I have to credit the author here because she did an amazing job of turning a thoroughly unlikable, whiny character into a admirable person.