HAPPY ENDINGS

Journalist/author Quinn's sequel to Regrets Only (1986) may actually outperform its predecessor in tedium and sheer unpleasantness, as two high-profile Washington women fight it out in the name of love. Allison Sterling—the beautiful and neurotically confrontational newspaper reporter last seen weeping over the affair between her former lover, Des Shaw, Washington Bureau Chief of The Weekly, and Sadie Grey, southern-belle wife of the US President—returns to Washington from a two-year assignment in London to find the President assassinated, Des and Sadie broken up, and an irresistible offer waiting for her to take over the editorship of her paper's National division. Sterling wastes little time exchanging tears over the President with fellow journalists before she throws herself into her new job and takes up with Des again, despite her fear that Sadie may once again sink her talons into his meaty Irish flesh. She must have forgotten that the widow Sadie spurns single men; soon after the President's death, Sadie sets her sights on the married director of an AIDS research facility. When the good doctor fails to respond wholeheartedly, however, the former First Lady is forced to resort to Des, who, having married Allison, has become fair game. Sadie's confession that Des, not the late President, is the father of her youngest child secures Des's guilt-ridden presence in her bed—while Quinn tosses in such character-building plot devices as the death of Allison's newborn, a near-fatal accident for Sadie's son, an AIDS diagnosis for the current President, and the appearance of several Colombian drug dealers who threaten to murder nearly everyone in sight. Sadie and Allison may indeed grow wise enough to settle down with the appropriate partners. But readers are likely to side with the dealers. Laborious, stilted, and—perhaps worst of all—fantastically unsexy. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Winter)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 1991

ISBN: 0-671-64941-8

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more