HEIRESS by Janet Dailey
Kirkus Star


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The ever-popular Dailey (the Calder series, Glory Game. The Great Alone, etc.) has written a turgid and disappointingly mindless romance about a couple of rich girls whose hearts belong to Daddy. Houston, Texas, is where men are men and women care deeply about horses--and Daddy. Daddy in this case is Dean Lawson, who made big bucks in the oil business, but now dies tragically in a car accident. At the funeral, his grieving daughter, Abbie, spots a strange young woman who bears an amazing resemblance to her. It turns out that the interloper is her father's illegitimate daughter Rachel, who was raised in California. The two half-sisters are soon at each other's throats: Dean left Rachel two million dollars, which she uses to move to Texas and set up a stud farm to raise Arabian horses--which just happen to be Abbie's love in life (soon Rachel's sleek Sirocco is racing Abbie's trusty Windstorm). Meanwhile, Abbie makes a bad marriage to a rich hick when it turns out she's pregnant by the wealthy MacCrea Wilder; and Rachel makes a good marriage to the wealthy Lane Canfield, but doesn't know it's good, and has an affair with sexy singer Ross Tibbs. Abbie and Rachel's rivalry continues until Sirocco throws his jockey during a race and is killed; a bereft Rachel rides furiously off on another horse, is herself thrown, and mortally injured. There's a deathbed reconciliation, though, and Rachel heads off into the Great Beyond--but not without getting in a parting shot: ""I have to go now, darling,"" she says. ""Daddy's. . .waiting."" Not anywhere near the level of Dailey's earlier, better work: Rachel and Abbie are fatuous and dull, and even Texas is colorless in this longwinded, unglamorous, just-plain-boring romance.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1987
ISBN: 0759254427
Publisher: Little, Brown