High fashion takes some low blows in Krantz's naughty newest (after Lovers), which eschews the author's usual across-the-decades saga for an intimate two weeks of posing and passion. Swiss billionaire Jacques Necker has launched the model search of the century; three unknown young women will be whisked off to Paris to model in the Necker-financed first collection of Marco Lombardi. After the show, one will be given a $12 million contract to represent the designer. When former model Justine Loring learns that all three candidates‘blond April Nyquist, red-haired Tinker Osborn and African American Jordan Dancer‘are from her Loring Model Management, she's not thrilled but furious. Necker, she confides to her astonished right-hand woman, Frankie Severino, is her father. He deserted Justine's pregnant mother 34 years ago and now wants to be a father to a daughter he has never met. Determined to frustrate Necker's plan, Justine sends Frankie, who narrates portions of the story, to Paris in her place. In classic Krantz style, it's not long before love is in full bloom‘Frankie meets her unrequited high-school crush; Tinker falls for an expatriate painter; April comes out of the closet; Jordan wins a tycoon's heart; and, back in New York, Justine embarks on a torrid affair with a handsome contractor. Only when a rival agent tries to lure the models away does Justine give in and board the Concorde‘just in time to see a most surprising winner chosen. While not Krantz's crowning achievement, this rich mix of sin and serendipitous love has what it takes. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. (Apr.)
Krantz's reputation for writing sexy, glitzy sagas (e.g., Lovers, Crown, 1994) will dim a bit with this publication. The story takes place in the glamorous world of high-fashion modeling. The five female characters are infused with a great deal of physical beauty but are sketched without much depth of character, personality, or charm. All kinds of plot developments hit the page: A successful businesswoman avoids contact with the father she never knew; a model begins a seasonal romance with a Swiss billionaire; another falls for a photographer. These scenarios and more take place over the span of two weeks in Paris. The sex scenes, which seem to pop up every other chapter or so, are dismal, graphic, or simply crude and do nothing to enhance the storyline or the characters. Author recognition will demand that public libraries purchase, but patrons would be better served by rereading Scruples (1979).‘Margaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., Mich.