Collins (Vendetta, 1997, etc.) once again weaves her trademark web of Hollywood romance and intrigue, in a 17th novel that's sure to capture her rabid fans. Luscious movie star and genuine nice-girl Lara Ivory is the pivotal character here, but she has a stellar supporting cast. Lara's ex-husband, respected director Richard Barry, has remarried costume designer and aspiring producer Nikki--who has become Lara's new best friend. Add to the (temporarily) happy threesome the mysterious, brooding would-be actor Joey Lorenzo, Nikki's emotionally damaged and headed-for-trouble daughter, 15-year-old Summer, and crazed stalker Alison Sewall, who's been harboring a longtime obsession with Lara and is now out of the pen and thirsty for revenge. When Lara accepts a difficult role in Nikki's first movie--a low-budget, independent film about a teacher who's gang- raped and then seeks revenge on her attackers--all hell breaks loose. Richard can't stand either his wife's prospective success or her bond with his ex, for whom he still carries a torch. His subsequent infidelities (which is why Lara also left him) push Nikki into the arms of drug-addict and brilliant actor Aiden Sean, who just happens to be playing the lead rapist in her film. The love that's burning between Lara and Joey, however (neither is willing to reveal anything from the past, to fans, the media, or each other), is the main event here, taking precedence over Summer's disappearance, which--as the climactic near-finale-- manages to somehow tie loose threads together in a tenuous but feasible knot. The gimmick of including snippets of Richard's secret script (really a diary of his secret early years as a criminal and runaway) is more distracting than not. With all the requisite ingredients--sex, drugs, Hollywood, even incest--but somehow the results this time are clearly lackluster (dare we suggest too formulaic?).