A Miami singing sensation has a profound impact on the women who surround him.
Ricky Biscayne is the sexy center of his own female-centric universe in Valdes-Rodriguez’s gossipy third novel (after Playing with Boys, 2004, etc.). On the cusp of national stardom with the release of his first English-language album, Ricky has undeniable charisma and talent, not to mention a not-so-hidden dark side and burgeoning drug problem. His diverse entourage includes his pregnant wife Jasminka, a war-haunted Serbian supermodel hungry for family (and food, long denied her), and his glamorous secret lover Jill Sanchez, a Puerto Rican diva even more famous than he. There is also his devoted new publicist Milan, a naïve and chubby Cuban-American who lives with her parents and would do anything to protect her idol, and her more sophisticated sister Geneva, a Harvard MBA opening a trendy club that Ricky has invested in. Rounding out the group is Ricky’s long-lost high-school sweetheart Irene, a struggling, single-mother firefighter, who reappears in his life after her teenaged daughter, Sophia, figures out that Ricky might actually be her father. It is his cruel treatment of the girl, along with other bad behavior, that finally gets to Milan, who has herself been dallying with her boss. Disillusioned by seeing the true personality of the man she once worshipped, and feeling guilty over her role in covering up for Ricky, she decides to use her publicist’s gifts for good rather than evil, and enlists the others to help her. The elaborate plan culminates on the opening night of the club when the singer is forced to face the consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, the women manage to find romance, purpose and friendships away from the toxic Lothario. The deliciously bitchy exception is calculating Jill Sanchez, who will remind readers of a certain real-life actress/singer/perfume mogul.
Entertaining if conventionally plotted crowd-pleaser.