Aging out of her role as “America’s Sweetheart,” TV anchor Tiana Tomlinson fights for her job and realizes she wants more.
She hates the idea of plastic surgery. But when her producers threaten to bring in a ten-years-younger co-host to revive her top-rated weeknight show, pushing-40 Tiana must consider the possibility. Her career has been her life since her beloved husband, a serious journalist, was killed seven years earlier, and he in turn had filled the void created when her family died in a horrific accident years before. But even as she campaigns for her high-profile job, Tiana is ambivalent. The news show she once anchored has become increasingly focused on celebrity gossip; she herself has made its headlines through her romance with a much-younger actor. But she has become intrigued by more serious stories. Stir in a strong, if conflicted attraction to Hollywood’s top plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael O’Sullivan, and the recipe for chick-lit romance is set. The match-up with Michael is obvious from the start (“the suddenly husky note in his voice makes my stomach do a little flip,” Tiana says), so the will-they-or-won’t-they suspense is not long sustained. By the time he shows his altruistic side, luring her on a medical mission to Africa, their destiny is clear. While not even Porter (Mrs. Perfect, 2008, etc.) can undo aging, her contemporary fairy tale finds a way for Tiana to triumph. Larding a light entertainment with actual celebrities, the author aims for real-life star power. But her simplistic approach, with Tiana constantly lamenting TV realities as if they were new, grows tiresome. Aging TV stars may be the hot new heroines—at least in books by Julie Kramer or Hank Phillippi Ryan—but Porter never gets beneath her pretty woman’s skin. Only the thinly disguised Hollywood gossip may sell this to a few readers.
Shallow, repetitive and predictable.