Aside from copious celebrity name-dropping (which is also the name of one of her books), there's not much else to this tale of a Hollywood reporter who uses unscrupulous means to get a story. The target is a spoiled and pompous thespian who never shines on the page. And Ann walks the perilous line of whiny heroine. First, she's a top-notch reporter. When she volunteers in a hospital, she confounds with statements like, "She probably wouldn't live to see her next birthday."

Ann Roth trails the rich and famous for a celebrity rag. Priding herself on writing beyond the fluff, she's challenged to land an interview with actor Malcolm Goddard. Notoriously private, he doesn't make it easy, even suggesting she interview him in a small Cessna. Due to a fear of flying, Ann chickens out and loses the interview and her job. She goes home to Missouri to live with her family.

Then Malcolm is diagnosed with a heart condition and sent to a Missouri hospital to preserve his anonymity. Desperate to get her job back, Ann poses as a volunteer and ingratiates herself to Malcolm, who doesn't remember her. Soon she's visiting him almost every day and developing feelings not just for him but also for the other patients. (Morrow, Sep., 336 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lauren Spielberg