For those looking for SEP's normally comedic lighthearted romances,take note... this isn't it. There is deception, betrayal, manipulation, and obsession. To me, it reads more as a woman's fiction saga than romance even though the romance is definitely there. That said, I enjoyed it throughly. The characterizations are rich, and the story heartbreaking in more than a few places.
I can see that this might not be every SEP fans favorite, but I thought it was a well fleshed out emotional tale.
If you are expecting the breezy, smart interaction that is in some of her later books you will be disappointed in this one. This is a serious story of some seriously disfunctional people- a great story, makes you want to read even after bedtime. I liked it and appreciated it for it's strong story line.
This book took a while to get through. I ordered it without realizing that it was a reprint from the 1980s. That made a huge difference and I really noticed how women's fiction writing has changed since then.
It was about a girl with a completely dysfunctional "Mommie Dearest" sort of mother who engineers her modeling career. When the daughter, Fleur, begins to succeed the mother realizes, "Hey, what about me?" and does some sabotage to her career.
The references to movie stars, musicians, etc. really date the book, and the evil of both of Fleur's parents is completely over the top. The romance between Fleur and Jake, an actor in the vein of Clint Eastwood, is complicated, frustrating, and just plain convoluted.
The book was entertaining, but it took me nearly a week and a half to read. I normally read a book in one to two days. Slow and steady won the race, I guess, but if you are looking for a quick, fun read, this is not it.
I generally like SEP's books though I think her straight romances are generally better than when when she tries to channel Sidney Sheldon. But I couldn't finish this one. I was almost halfway through when I realized I didn't like any of the characters. SEP at her worst.
I just couldn't get this one going, I never made it past the first 100 pages. Fleur might have been interesting, but hearing endless detail of her mother's backstory just got tedious. [Belinda could give Mommie Dearest competition...]