West End

Laura Van Wormer, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (595p) ISBN 978-0-385-24468-8
Bewitching, calculating TV reporter Alexandra Waring (who appeared in the author's spicy novel, Riverside Drive ) becomes America's sweetheart when a madman shoots her on camera. Wealthy Southerner Jackson Darenbrook promptly makes her anchorwoman for the national news empire he's creating in Manhattan. The over-padded, meandering novel that follows this dramatic opening is relieved but not salvaged by snappy tongue-in-cheek dialogue and the welcome addition of Jessica Wright, an engagingly wild, if self-destructive, talk-show host. While Jessica ferrets out Alexandra's dark secret (she's bisexual), their boss Jackson scrambles to cover up illegal financial footwork that could encourage his greedy relatives to launch a coup at Darenbrook Communications. Although romances wax and wane among the major characters with the regularity of moon cycles, almost everyone ends up happy in the sugary wrap-up. Van Wormer creates memorable, quirky cameos for the Southern Gothic Darenbrook clan, but fails to sustain the plot's momentum by repeatedly wandering off on tangents. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92262-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 603 pages - 978-1-55166-448-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 656 pages - 978-0-7783-2722-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55204-160-4
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