Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
Kendall Hart (Author)
Dec. 3, 2007
Hyperion Books. $21.95 (263p) ISBN: 1401303072
A conniving character given to getting into steamy situations on the daytime soap All My Children, the fictional Kendall Hart is here given a novelist's voice, and the ghostwriter (or writers) who produced this sticky tie-in get it right. The novel's conceit is that the book is Kendall Hart's roman à clef, written to set All My Children's town of Pine Valley on its ear. Kendall Hart's stand-in for this fiction (i.e., the fictional author Kendall's fictional avatar in the novel) is a sweet yet assertive young woman, Avery Wilkins, who runs her own New York-based cosmetics company, Flair, and is launching a new perfume-Charm!-that she hopes will put her on the map. When Avery first founded the company with financial backer Finn Adams, a softhearted smart man she later fell in love with, she never thought that he would die and leave his share of the company to his Paris Hilton-type daughter, Parker. Parker's drug and alcohol binging at late-night glitterati parties endanger the reputation of Flair and its new perfume, and a mysterious phone call to Avery from a manipulative woman claiming to be Avery's mother (a nod to Susan Lucci's character, Erica Kane) throws everything into a heady cloud of smoke. Romance aficionados will find Avery's two love affairs (with a dashing newsmagazine producer and a quick-witted yet sensitive billionaire, natch) intoxicating, but the denouement lacks punch-perhaps because soaps never have to come up with an ending. (Feb.)
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