One of E. Lynn Harris's incomparable heroines, Yancey Harrington Braxton, is working her way back to Broadway and beyond. And this diva supreme always stirs up drama in and out of the spotlight....
New York City, you've been warned: Yancey Harrington Braxton is back. The ambitious singer and actress is fired up to move past her recent professional and personal setbacks -- including an explosive romance with NFL tight end John Basil Henderson -- and prove her talents are stronger than ever. After being out on tour, Yancey realizes what she really wants is to star in her own reality TV series, and she's even found a rich and well-connected lover to make it happen. There are, however, two women fierce enough to derail Yancey's plans with ambitions of their own: Madison B., a hot new bombshell taking the music industry by storm, and Ava Middlebrooks, who happens to be Yancey's own mama dearest.
Ava is out, about, and ready to reclaim her throne. Not even a stint in prison for attempted murder has curbed Ava's competitive nature, and it doesn't faze her in the least that her #1 rival is her own daughter. Ava is willing to do whatever it takes to make Yancey pay, including using Madison B. to turn Yancey's world upside-down by forcing her to confront the past...and making her comeback dreams more exciting and dangerous than she ever imagined.
Taking readers on a wild, passion-filled tour of the entertainment world, E. Lynn Harris's Mama Dearest delivers sensual thrills and electric plot twists -- with one unforgettable woman of radiant star power, sexual magnetism, and unapologetic ambition at the heart of the action.
Thanks to Sarah at Karen Hunter Publishing (Simon and Schuster) for providing me with a copy of this book and allowing me to participate in a tour to honor E. Lynn Harris on9/25/09. See my previous post here.
Yancy has decided it is time to rebuild her career. She knows she is way more talented than the off-Broadway production in which she is now starring. As she is trying to figure out a way to "make it big" again S. Marcus comes into her life. Not only is he Hot-Hot-Hot, he is a fabulous lover and connected enough to ensure Yancey fulfills her dream. What better way to put her back in the spotlight, but to have her star in her own reality show about making a comeback? The only problem is that to make this reality show work Yancey will be forced to face the demons of her past.
Ava, Yancey's mother, is out of prison and ready to rock the town. She knows she is way better than Yancey and she is going to knock her down a few notches while she steps on her head to climb to the top. She schemes and lies and holds back no moves to ensure her success.
Madison B. is a sweet teenager who has just hit it big by winning American Star. She is signing on with Disney to do a show and also looking at starring in her own reality show as well. She has never known her mother - she was raised by her father and aunt - and even as she grows older it still profoundly affects her. Where does she fit in to the drama between Yancey and Ava....she is the pawn Ava plans to use to crush Yancey.
I enjoyed Mama Dearest. This definitely is not sophisticated writing, but it was a good time to read. There were moments when it was a bit difficult, because you hated everyone you were reading about. These women can be self-promoting bitches to put it bluntly. Yancey begins to come into her own, but Ava is evil from beginning to end. It seems unbelievable to read that a mother could hate and hurt her daughter as much as Ava does, but sadly there are some terrible parents out there. Madison B. is just a typical teenager. Sometimes she hate and sometimes she loves. Her actions are based on her mood. As the mother of a teen girl that seemed pretty spot on.
There are some sex scenes with explicit detail, but not so many you feel like you are reading a porn script. There is sexual tension throughout most of the book. They added to the Hollywood, have it all attitude in Mama Dearest.
I did have one issue which I cleared up with the publisher. When I reached Chapter 2o the dialogue seemed out of place. When I reached Chapter 23 it seemed like it would have been the perfect time for Chapter 20. Upon writing the publisher I was informed that this is an actual misprint in the first edition and has been corrected. I was glad to hear it, because it flowed nicely except for that.
There are a couple of surprises in the book, but mostly you can see what is going to happen. This novel does wrap up in a tidy little bow in the end. Story over, happy ending. By the time I got there though I was so ready for something positive to happen without a negative chaser. I was happy to see how life ended for Yancey, Ava, and Madison B.
Mama Dearest is a quick, easy read. It is fun and sexy and bitchy all in one. Parts of the story are jaw dropping and others are a bit obvious. Overall, it was like a quick romp on the stereotypical Hollywood bed.