Berkley, Aug 2003, 6.99, 400 pp.
In Manhattan, Aaron Lear, zillionaire CEO of Lear Transport Industries, is shocked when he learns he is dying of cancer. Desperate he calls his estranged wife Bonnie Lou, who immediately drops everything to be with the only man that she ever loved though they remained apart for fifteen years.
Not long afterward, Aaron with Bonnie Lou at his side, orders his three daughters to come to his Texas ranch. He knows that he was a poor lover, a horrendous spouse, and a pitiful father, but wants to make amends. He threw his oldest Robin into top management with no experience so she is a failure. The middle one Rebecca suffers with a lousy marriage to a SOB. The youngest Rachel is a perennial student majoring in nothing.
Robin hires Jake Manning to renovate her house. While he dreams of obtaining his college degree, he also wants a loving wife and children to pamper. He detests that he finds the ice princess so attractive. Robin faces several crises and does not need some stud in her life, but she cannot get Jake out of her mind.
The first tale of the three Lear sisters is a fun contemporary romance. The cast is a delight as the four females struggle to cope with the pending death of the patriarch who remains a nasty short-tempered individual. Jake is a wonderful protagonist who provides balance to Robin's obstinacy. Though the impact of the cancer on the quintet could have been more deeply explored (perhaps in the next two novels), readers will relish MATERIAL GIRL as a fine opening gamut.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner