THE LAST ROMANTICS by Ruth Harris

THE LAST ROMANTICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Super-carbonated romance in Paree of the Twenties and Thirties, featuring American Kim Hendricks, who'll become a Famous Author, and French Nicole Redon, who'll become the Empress of Haute Couture. This couple has lots of literary-celebrity pals. . . like Ernie Hemingway (""a mess"" who talks suicide) and Scott's Zelda-- who warns Nicole: ""Try to learn from the mess we made."" But Kim and Nicole don't learn--they manage to muck up their undying love in spite of numerous Paris/New York reunions and in spite of the gloriously romantic way it all started: they first met in Paris on Armistice Day, 1918, when Kim was a mere war-hero/journalist and Nicole, illegitimate and unloved daughter of a peasant, was just beginning her career in her tiny shop. (Kim is ""immobilized,"" Nicole is ""enchanted and bedazzled."") So what goes wrong? Well, Nicole has an absent lover to whom she's given promises; and Kim is supposed to marry nice Sally in New York. Still, Kim will never let Nicole go. . . but he does, not having the heart to break Sally's. As Kim glides into Celebrity authordom and Nicole designs for the Glittering Set, there are affairs, then Kim divorces and marries again. And, despite Kim's two decades of commuting to the Continent, misunderstandings and jealous rages always seem to get in the way. Finally, after Kim has drained the dregs of fame--bitter, bitter--he hurls himself into dangerous assignments at the start of World War II, and the lovers will meet for the last time in occupied Paris, Kim dashing before the Germans waving a tricolor. As he expires in Nicole's arms there's a curtain speech about his love and that day in November in 1918. Marketable slush, rather softerfocused than Harris' previous sex-and-soapers (Decades, The Rich and the Beautiful).

Pub Date: April 28th, 1980
Publisher: Simon & Schuster