Producer Kate OLaughlin is determined to see her dream up on screen. Shes lined up a good director, her ex-husband Victor Strauss and although The Promise, a pre-civil war drama, is a tough sell, with the right cast, Kate knows it can succeed.

Jericho Jed Beaumont was once the golden boy of Hollywood. His immense talent put his name at the top of the casting list, until alcoholism caused him to crash and burn. Desperate to get his career back on track, Jed attends an open casting call for The Promise.

Kate flatly refuses to cast Jed as Virgil Laramie, but the insistence of both Victor and hot young TV star Susie McCoy finally wears her down. But before Kate will agree, she insists that Jed sign a contract that allows the production to monitor him and conduct daily drug tests. Humiliated but resigned, Jed agrees.

After the overzealous marine hired to watch Jed, handcuffs him to his bed, Kate realizes she must act as the watchdog. The stresses of making a movie are always present, but the cast of this film have some major problems to overcome: their 15-year-old star, Susie, is suffering badly under the thumb of her domineering father. A lot of careers are riding on this picturecan they really pull it off?

Series author Suzanne Brockmann demonstrates that drama, laced with a gritty edge, is definitely her forti. HEART THROB marks her outstanding entry into mainstream fiction. (Apr., 420 pp, $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith