The title: Stars
The author: Kathryn Harvey
Publication: Avon, 1992
Got it from: Freemont Books
Stars follows the trials and tribulations of Phillipa Roberts, the long-lost twin sister of Beverly Highland, the heroine of the fantastic Butterfly. While Stars is by no means as good Butterfly, it has quickly become one of my favourite summertime reads. It was so delicious I could hardly put it down and could easily have read it in one sitting.
Warning: do not attempt to read the sequel until you've read the original first. So much of the plot hinges on the events of the first book, you'd be totally lost. The villain of the first book, the psychopathic Danny McKay, comes back from the dead and begins stalking the main character, whom he mistakes for her twin. Phillipa Roberts has become the head of a highly successful weight loss empire, and is almost as rich and powerful as her twin, who is now the owner of a posh resort called Star's. The plot follows a similar route as Butterfly, with the story of the main character's troubled childhood and rise to fame interspersed throughout present-day events.
There are two things I love very much about this book. One is the jumpy timeline, where the reader gets to guess who in the past is who in the present with a new identity. It's fun to guess right and watch the puzzle pieces fall into place. The other is that this story focuses almost solely on women's lives. The men never become more than passing romantic interests and are never called to rescue the women, who can fend for themselves, thankyouverymuch. In fact a lot of the story focuses on the love between older women/younger men, which is a complete turnaround from most romances of the day. In this and in Butterfly, the women hold all the power and control their own companies, and that's awesome.
In short, it's the perfect cracktastic summer read. The only jarring scenes belong to the villain, who's so creepy I could almost feel the slime coming off him. I almost wish he hadn't been in the book at all, there was plenty of conflict without him.
Four and a half Stars (heh) out of five.