Saturday, June 7, 2014

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I was captivated by this book.  I just could not put it down. Belinda loves movies and everything about them. She goes to Hollywood to become an actress but she has no talent. A date takes her to a party and she meets Errol Flynn and has an affair with him, but he leaves her after 6 months or so. Belinda realizes that she is pregnant. She ends up marrying his frenemy Alexi.  Alexi makes her give the baby, Fleur, to a convent. Fleur gets to spend the month of August every year with her mother. Fleur grows into a beauty and Belinda brings her home, but Alexi has his eye on Fleur and not in a good way.  They run away to NYC and Fleur becomes a model. Eventually Alexi  lets them know that they did not really get away.
Belinda wants Fleur in movies. Fleur is unsure but is so naive she does what her mother wants. She falls in love with her co-star, Jake, and that is when things start to change between Belinda and Fleur. Fleur thinks
Jake and Belinda had an affair and then Belinda pimped Fleur to him. Fleur runs away to Paris to be with Alexi. He tells her that she is not his daughter and he wants to have a child with her.  She freaks out and runs away.  Will she get her life together or is her life over at 21?

From goodreads:
Welcome to the world of the Glitter Baby
Fleur Savagar is the most beautiful woman in the world . . . to everyone but herself. With her oversized hands and paddle-boat feet, her streaky blond hair and funny green eyes, she lives a life filled with secrets that began before she was born. That was when her bewitching mother left home to find James Dean and met Errol Flynn instead. Now Fleur has to grow up quickly, and life won't make that easy.

Jake Koranda is both New York's most brilliant playwright and Hollywood's hottest actor. Difficult, talented, and tormented, he has no patience for international glamour girls, not even ones with beautiful bodies and smart-aleck mouths. But there's more to the Glitter Baby than shine, and Fleur's tougher than Jake expects. Even with the odds stacked against her, she's fiercely determined to discover the woman she's destined to be.

An ugly duckling who can't believe she's turned into a swan . . . A tough-guy movie star with a haunted past . . . In a land of broken dreams, can two unlikely lovers trust their hearts?

Excerpt:
Chapter One The Glitter Baby was back. She paused inside the arched entrance to the Orlani Gallery so the opening night guests would have time to recognize her. The low buzz of polite party conversation mixed with the street noises outside as the patrons pretended to view the African primitives hanging on the walls. The air carried the scent of Joy, imported pâté de foie gras, and money. 
Six years had passed since hers was one of the most famous faces in America. The Glitter Baby wondered if they'd still remember . . . and what she would do if they didn't. She gazed straight ahead with studied ennui, her lips slightly parted and her hands, bare of rings, relaxed at her sides. In ankle-strap stilettos she stood more than six feet tall, a beautiful Amazon with a thick mane of hair that fell past her shoulders. It used to be a game among New York's one-name hairdressers to try to identify the color with only a single word. They offered up "champagne," "butterscotch," "taffy," but never got it quite right because her hair was all those colors, interwoven threads of every shade of blond that changed hue with the light. It wasn't just her hair that inspired the poetic. Everything about the Glitter Baby encouraged superlatives. 
Years earlier, a temperamental fashion editor had famously fired an assistant editor who made the mistake of referring to the celebrated eyes as "hazel." The editor herself rewrote the copy, describing the irises of Fleur Savagar's eyes as being "marbled with gold, tortoise, and startling sluices of emerald-green." On this September evening in 1982, the Glitter Baby looked more beautiful than ever as she gazed at the crowd. A trace of hauteur shone in her not-quite-hazel eyes, and her sculpted chin held an almost arrogant tilt, but inside, Fleur Savagar was terrified. She took a deep, steadying breath and reminded herself that the Glitter Baby had grown up, and she wouldn't ever let them hurt her again. 
She watched the crowd. Diana Vreeland, impeccably dressed in an Yves Saint Laurent evening cape and black silk pants, studied a bronze Benin head, while Mikhail Baryshnikov, all cheeks and dimples, stood at the center of a group of women more interested in Russian charm than African primitives. In one corner a television anchorman and his socialite wife chatted with a fortyish French actress making her first public appearance since a not so hush-hush face-lift, while across from them, the pretty showpiece wife of a notoriously homosexual Broadway producer stood alone in a Mollie Parnis she had foolishly left unbuttoned to the waist. Fleur's dress was different from everyone else's. Her designer had seen to that. 
You must be elegant, Fleur. Elegance, elegance, elegance in the Era of the Tacky. He'd cut bronze stretch satin on the bias and constructed a cleanly sculpted gown with a high neck and bare arms. At mid-thigh, he'd slashed the skirt in a long diagonal to the opposite ankle, then filled in the space with a waterfall flounce of the thinnest black point d'esprit . He'd teased her about the flounce, saying he'd been forced to design it as camouflage for her size-ten feet. Heads began to turn, and she saw the exact instant when the crowd's curiosity changed to recognition. She slowly let out her breath. A hush fell over the gallery. A bearded photographer turned his Hasselblad from the French actress to Fleur and caught the picture that would take up the entire front page of the next morning's Women's Wear Daily .


To read more, click here.

Pages: 438
Published: 1987

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