In the past, I have enjoyed Fern Michaels. Hadn't read anything of hers in awhile, so when I saw this one, I read the description and thought, "Hmmm, this could be interesting." Well, WOW, I was in for a bad surprise. It started off well. The main female character, Lin, was a person who had taken a very rough beginning in life and made a success of herself. She was a single Mom who had a son entering college. She was treating herself to a short visit in New York while accompanying her son to the start of school. Immediately upon seeing Nick again at the college reception it was like she went bi-polar in her actions toward revenge.
There wasn't much that was believable about this story. A very young girl became a mother and was kicked out of her home by her religiously abusive father. She was completely on her own without any support. She had no money to care for herself and her son except what she had saved from babysitting. She got a job at a diner and another part time job to eke out enough to pay for rent and food. However, within five years she was able to buy the diner where she had worked for $50,000 and bought her own little home. Gee she would have make a great financial planner!
By the time this story begins (eighteen years or so after the son was born) she has greatly enlarged the diner, built her large dream home free and clear, set aside money for her son's entire college education, and was paying for her abusive father's care in a private, luxurious and expensive care facility.
The money she then begins spending money on her revenge towards Nick makes it seem as though she had discovered a money tree in the back yard. When looking for a private investigator in New York, she accidentally finds the precise one (what are the odds) that has a personal axe to grind toward Nick. Lin then, with the assistance of her friend, kidnaps Chelsea from her apartment by stabbing her in the neck with a syringe of Valium, leaves her on a doorstep in an unsavory neighborhood and tips off the newspapers trying to lay the blame on Nick. She and the investigator are able to hack into Nick's financial information and freeze all of his money and assets. Nick finds out his accounts are frozen and thinks it is Chelsea's work because he froze her charge accounts. Lin breaks the law in so many ways that it's not entertaining, it's appalling. But, I guess it's OK, because Nick never responded to any of her letters after Will was born. Most of you can guess what happened to the letters to Nick and why he didn't respond.
There was nothing likable about the other characters: Nick was just mean and rather hateful to everyone, Chelsea's only interest was money, shopping and making sure Nick didn't survive his leukemia so that she could inherit everything. Lin just became a crazed person consumed by revenge. When it appeared as though she was going to feel remorse for what she was doing, she read an article in the newspaper that told of Nick donating $5 million to an orphanage. Lin sees red, and renews her efforts toward revenge. I didn't care what happened to anyone. I was relieved that the son, Will, was in and out of state.
Yes, I read this through to the end, because I hoped that Fern Michaels would somehow redeem some of these characters. She didn't. But at the end, there was a romance beginning between Lin and Nick's oncologist. Well, that came out of left field and felt like a life ring being thrown out as a live saving effort for this story. It fell too far away from it's mark.