FOR ALL THEIR LIVES by Fern Michaels


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Another grande dame of paperback romance takes the hardcover plunge into soapy waters--with less-than-inspiring results. Hopelessly babyish but handsome Mac Carlin signs up for Vietnam in a bratty rebellion against his parents--the politically grasping Judge Malcolm Carlin and the nasty Alice. En route the already married Mac falls in love with Casey Adams, a French orphan and nurse who stumbles after him--all the way to the jungles of Southeast Asia, where the melodrama, peril, and perspiration of war cause her to: become goopy best friends with Lily, a beautiful Vietnamese nurse; bond with Doctor Luke Farrell as they chitchat up to their elbows in blood and body parts; consummate her affair with Mac, who is so busy proving his masculinity on the Ho Chi Mirth Trail that he forgets to tell her about his wife and baby at home. A firebomb leaves Lily dead and Casey burned beyond recognition--and, in the confusion of the moment, Casey (who lives) is thought to be Lily, and Lily (who dies) is thought to be Casey. Later, as the real Casey gains consciousness, she simultaneously learns that she's horrendously disfigured and that Mac betrayed her. Who can blame her for continuing the charade that she is Lily until she's back in the States, where the good plastic surgeon Alan Carpenter--presto--gives her a new face, falls in love with her, and dies, leaving her his millions after creating yet another identity for her as Mary Ashley, assistant TV producer. In her new life she meets the now Senator Mac Carlin, whose wife has become emotionally lobotomized and wears fuzzy slippers, inspired by her love for her retarded baby, whose real father is Malcolm (although, as it turns out, Malcolm is not Mac's real father). Mercifully, Casey/Lily/Mary goes hack to being Casey and snags Luke, a real catch compared to wimpy Mac. Choppy love scenes, wishy-washy characters, and dialogue that just won't float.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0345523849
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Ballantine