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BREAKING NEWS by Fern Michaels

BREAKING NEWS

By Fern Michaels

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2012
ISBN: 9780-7582-6606-4
Publisher: Kensington

Four women in their golden years—a mother of a grown daughter and her lifelong friends, aka The Godmothers—experience new romantic and professional adventures, finding strength, courage and companionship in their bonds.

This is the newest addition to Michaels’ recent Godmothers series. It follows a group of women in their slightly-past-middle-age years who’ve been friends since childhood. Toots Loudenberry has moved to Charleston, S.C., to make sure her housekeeper, Bernice, isn’t doing any housekeeping—since she nearly died from a massive heart attack and needs to take it easy. Toots’ three longtime friends have also moved in temporarily to help. Toots is blessed with more money than she knows what to do with, which is a good thing, since she’s recently been able to help her friends start innovative businesses that are thriving, which has given them all a chance at new, prosperous lives. And romance is on the horizon for all of them it seems, particularly Toots, who has "the hots" for Bernice's cardiologist. Toots also recently bought the gossip rag her daughter, Abby, has been working for in LA, allowing Abby to take over as editor. Unfortunately, the circumstances that allowed the purchase created some unknown enemies that will come back to haunt Abby and Toots, putting the daughter in danger and showcasing the mother’s feisty, grizzly mama side when something threatens her cub. The premise, storyline and characters show great promise, but getting to the end of the book is a struggle. The older female characters are crass and mean-spirited, so much so that one wonders why they remain friends, except that the author keeps telling us that they are teasing or offers a number of other reasons, via the narrator, that are never actually reflected in characters' dialogue or actions—an enormous weakness that bleeds into every aspect of the book. Information about the present and the past is dumped so awkwardly that even details that should have been interesting are blunted, and the dialogue is too often either unrealistic or a transparent avenue to making sure An Important Piece of Information is delivered. 

Disappointing.