Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-5021-8
Historical Romance, 2002
Constance O’Banyon and her daughter make up the team of Tory Houston, and together they present The Legend of Lacy Black, a story of 1930-1940s Hollywood glamor.
Or so they wish.
This is the story of Lucinda Blackburn, who could only wish she’s Greta Garbo or Marilyn Monroe. As a girl from a strict and tyrannically puritanical home, she is rescued one day by Mark Damien, a movie mogul. She is seduced by the much older man, and he ditches his girlie for her even as he plays Ike to her Tina. Of course, Mark is a philandering control freak, even as he plans Lucinda’s path to greatness.
Reborn as Lacy Black, she becomes a movie star of astounding success. Apparently if you let your father beat the crap out of you, you’ll become a natural tear-dropping superstar on TV. Finally, Mark goes out of control and tries to kill Lacy, and Lacy runs from him into the willing embrace of Benjamin Lord, a loving ex-superhero who becomes his loving hubby and househusband as our heroine valiantly soldiers on, entertaining the masses in Broadway under the guidance of Andrew Mallory, the man who is waiting in the wings…
Until Ben dies in a spectacular kaboom. The she runs to Drew, and it’s true love, you know. The fact that Lacy runs from man to man, each man who happily furthers her career, is nothing – it’s love, people! Capitals L, O, V, and E. Drew, the brilliant Svengali, the latest in the line of worshipers at the feet of perfect, helpless, passive Lacy, now known as Mirage, can he be the man who restore our heroine to her old happy self again?
This story is as interesting as your average “poor little girl lost” movie of the week fare. It’s all here: a rags-to-riches heroine who attains fame by leeching on men with power (but it’s love, of course – of course), three men (it’s always three men, isn’t it, the Daddy figure, the steady one, the flamboyant one), and all the usual porcelain tears falling down our heroine’s cheek as she is slowly victimized by the darker side of fame, so much so that the only way she can find happiness in the end is to flee the evil trappings of fame.
This is typical cautionary tales designed to put us poor, pathetic hoi polloi down. Let us not envy our grossly overpaid superstars, because deep inside, they are so miserable! They just want to flee it all and live in anonymity! So let us just love them, people, as we fork out more money to support their fetishes and drug habits.
In this book, Hollywood is a sanitized white-washed world of old school magic, dance, and flim-flams, a far cry from the mob-controlled, drugged up, sexed up Hollywood of the 1940s. No adulterers, junkies, or perverts here in this Hollywood, siree, just victims of fame, the poor puppets of us poor unthinking and adoring fans’ horrible, horrible demands on those fragile dears.