Sunday, February 15, 2009

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I'll start by saying that I LoVe Susan Elizabeth Phillips!  I think her books are a great blend of humor and romance that really is very entertaining.  It Had to Be You, Nobody's Baby but Mine, Dream a Little Dream, This Heart of Mine, Ain't She Sweet?, Match Me If You Can, Natural Born Charmer...I loved all of those.  I haven't gotten to all of her books yet, but those are my favorites so far.  All I can say is that apparently this is an early effort on her part that has been reissued.  Sandra Brown does it and so do alot of other writers in the romance genre.  When you hit it big, start reissuing early work in shiny new packaging.  I don't fault her for that.  

So, Glitter Baby.  Belinda is essentially a movie star groupie who moves to sunny Cali in search of her personal obsession, James Dean.  Instead, she finds Errol Flynn.  A torid affair ensues but eventually Flynn tires of her, leaving her to the machinations of his arch enemy Alexi Savagar.  Belinda finds herself pregnant with Flynn's child and decides that Savagar is the perfect patsy.  She is unable to pass the pregnancy off as a product of she and Savagar's marriage and the relationship crumbles, though Alexi won't hear of divorce.  What he makes Belinda do is worse and the little girl, Fleur, is brought up in a convent school.  From there, we sort of move on to Part 2 where the tall, gangly Fleur has grown up into a beautiful teenager whereupon Belinda decides that a career in modeling is just what they need to get away from Alexi...of course, it's the only thing she can think of that would allow Fleur to make enough money to support them both.  Movie prospects follow Fleur's runway success, bringing her into orbit of Belinda's latest obsession, movie star Jake Koranda.  Belinda is convinced that Jake is James Dean reincarnate.  Belinda wants him.  Fleur has a crush.  Chaos ensues.  Dreams scatter before reality.  Hearts are broken.  Alexi does something vile.  Belinda whines.  She whines again.  She whines some more.  Fluer mopes.  Jake broods.  Fleur makes a friend or two, pulls herself up by her bootstraps.  Then you have about 10 more chapters to go before the plot is resolved but I'll stop here.

I hated Belinda and Alexi of course, as the reader is supposed to I guess but this story drug on and on and on long past the point where the main characters lives started to ebb in importance.  This book needs to be shortened.  There was simply too much angst, denial of the faults and shortcomings of others, and not enough real emotional pay off for me.  The real problem I had, the very thing that made me not like this book as much as I have her others, is how much I disliked Belinda as a character.  It drug the whole story down for me.  I was SO glad that Fleur was able to overcome that and am just sorry it took so damn long.  If you like your romance with a healthy dose of melodrama, you will love Glitter Baby, but it was too much for me.  I'm eagerly awaiting Phillips' next book, What I Did for Love.


Eileen Andrews said...

I'm reading this book on tape right now and definitely thinking about just ejecting the CD and letting it go. I usually love SEP's books! It's hard for me to let it go when it could still redeem itself. is too short

Holley T said...

I wouldn't blame you if you let it go...but those characters do crop up in other books though it isn't hard to catch yourself up. I wish she'd go back to the Stars football books. I really liked what she did there.