Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Joanna Barnes

The first time I laid eyes on this novel I knew I was in for a treat. Maybe it's the 70's cover that did it, or perhaps it's the Jacqueline Susann's blurb underneath the title praising the work. Whatever the reason, this novel is worth your time and money.

THE DECEIVERS by Joanna Barnes (Pocket, 1971)

Yep, another Hollywood novel, but one done with panache. Veteran actress truned author Joanna Barnes clearly has fun with her cast of characters which goes from the sweet ingenue to the ultimate brat who rules Tinseltown. Her prose is as sharp as her villain's scheming ways. No one is safe from her pen as she pushes them all into a topsy-turvy world of charmed lives and decadence where a Hollywood gone mad is worthy of any Susanns and Collinses.-----Martin Boucher

Monday, 9 June 2008

Elton Clarke

Here's a quick read that delivers--well, sort of:

OPTIONS by Elton Clarke (Leisure, 1985)

This B-grade Hollywood novel spents most of its time out of LaLa Land and into the world of a woman on the run from her deranged rich hubby; a sort of Sleeping With the Enemy without the obsession for neatness shtick. Author Elton Clarke has fun with his one dimensional characters but barely manages to elevate his story to nothing more than déjà vu plot with an over the top climax. Boring this does not make the novel, however, since half the fun is figuring out if indeed the cliché road will be taken. When it does take that route mostly, the next part is trying to figure out how it'll all going to end. Let's just say you have to read to believe it. If you're into this sort of narrative pleasure, than OPTIONS is a must. If you prefer high class trash, then looking elsewhere is a surer bet.-----Martin Boucher

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Jonell Lawson

Another novel turned into a miniseries which starred Knots Landing Lisa Hartman as a woman scorned who goes all the way to take what's hers. It was a two-parter during the heyday of the big budget, big hair, big TV stars--and let's not forget big shoulder pads--that were the 80s. The author whose book on which it was based never managed to pen another one, which is a shame since this featured title was such a great time-waster. She is now deceased.

ROSE ARE FOR THE RICH by Jonell Lawson (Signet, 1986)

ROSES ARE FOR THE RICH is a gripping tale of passion and revenge set in Texas. Jonell Lawson's heroine is a strong-willed young woman who will stop at nothing to avenge her lover's murder. Hold on to your copy because the lives of the rich and rotten in ROSES ARE FOR THE RICH is one heck of a bumpy ride. Filled with glamour, sins and dirty little secrets, Lawson's story takes you on a fast-paced trip into self-discovery for one girl who's set to have it all no matter what--even at the cost of her own happiness. You may not always agree with her decisions, but one thing's for sure, this gutsy heroine's journey makes for an impossible to put down read. It's powerful, intense and hot; the perfect book for this time of the year.-----Martin Boucher