CROWN JEWEL by Fern Michaels


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Good brother, bad brother.

It’s 1984: Rick, a wild young Hollywood star and all-around stud, is boozing heavily and secretly doing drugs—but he’s been warned. His controlling, money-mad, hyper-responsible older brother Philly isn’t going to bail him out next time, or square things with that dated entity referred to only as “the studio.” Skip to 1999: Rick’s sobered up and he’s still going strong. “He had a tinge of gray at his temples these days, but the studio expertly covered it up.” (The prolific Michaels may have been too busy churning out bestsellers to notice that studios haven’t kept actors under contract for decades, but never mind.) Rick skips the dye job, however, when Philly dies in an accident and leaves most of his estate to his ne’er-do-well brother, who gives up acting and takes over the resorts-for-the-rich that Philly was developing, though Roxy, Philly’s trashy wife, resents him for it. Ditto Reba, Roxy’s plastic surgeon daughter: Philly was like a father to her but he didn’t leave her much money. Well, what the hell, Rick wants to make everyone happy and redeem himself, so he lets Roxy take over the Crown Jewel, their flagship island resort—and he makes peace with Max and Tyler, the grown sons who never knew him (Philly paid off their mothers), then befriends tough but cute reporter Gracie Lick, and investigates the mystery of Philly’s parentage. Gee, Philly was adopted! Can it be true that Philly’s real mother, 14 when he was born, is now married to aged billionaire Armand Farquar? And did the young Lorraine rescue her newborn son from a Dumpster when her heartless lover tossed him in and then bravely give him up for adoption? She did! And is her lover, Philly’s father, now the Vice President of the United States? He is! Will reporter Gracie Lick take this unlikely story and run with it? She will!

Michaels’s cluttered style has been noticeably trimmed this time around, which keeps the over-the-top plot moving right along. For the fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 30th, 2003
ISBN: 0-7434-5779-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003


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