HONEY DUST

The Hollywood novel is taken to amazing new lows—in a fiction debut by a former columnist for the Hollywood Reporter and ``personal manager or advisor for major stars like Kim Novak, Angie Dickinson, Marlo Thomas, and Joan Rivers.'' It's the story of a Hollywood dynasty, the Kings of King Motion Pictures, hatched by Pinky Cohen (``the only Jew on the University of Southern California football team'') and Honey—a cross between an inflatable plastic sex-doll and the Bride of Frankenstein. Honey starts out sweet and pliant, but becomes maniacally manipulative once Pinky (now Philip King) makes inroads at the studio that he eventually takes over. So Mrs. King spends her long empty days giving parties, collecting gossip, and being mean to her daughter, Powar. Not surprisingly, Powar grows up to love her dad and hate her mom, and then goes on to become a studio big-wig herself. Unfortunately, Honey still owns lots of studio stock, so the two King women fight over such matters as branching out into TV. Meanwhile, Powar has a daughter by married writer Andy Stromberg; little Jourdan grows up in France, but eventually grandma Honey also gets her claws into the girl, turning her away from Powar. In the end, it's Jourdan's bleeding ulcer that brings all the King women together. The sex is about as steamy as a therapy manual, the writing as wooden as an old-growth forest, the plot as riveting as a bus ride. Cameron would have done better to stick with dishing dirt and cutting deals.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 1993

ISBN: 0-446-51513-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1993

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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

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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

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