Beloved New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels sweeps readers from war-torn France to the dawn of Hollywood's golden age in this spellbinding novel of love and deception...
When Reuben Tarz meets Marchioness Michelene Fonsard, known as Madame Mickey, he is a wounded American soldier desperate to escape the hell of the French trenches. Madame Mickey offers another option--for Reuben and his best friend, Daniel Bishop, to live at her lavish chateau, where she will help them heal in body and soul.
Madame Mickey's sophistication captivates the ambitious Reuben, and their affair is as tender as it is sensual. Then Mickey's young niece, Bebe Rosen, arrives from California, scattering chaos in her wake. Bebe is instantly smitten with Reuben--and what Bebe wants, she gets. But every wish has consequences, and every sin has its price. And amid a tangle of seduction and betrayal, each will find a love powerful enough to change a life--or to destroy it...
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 03, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Sins of Omission by Fern Michaels
The Academy Awards! The night of the year all Hollywood waited for. Even in his wildest dreams, Reuben had never, ever believed the Motion Picture Academy would single him out for an award, but here he was, backstage, waiting for his name to be announced.
He paced, he smoked, he jammed his hands into tightly balled fists, the cigarette smoke swirling upward making his eyes water. Talk about being nervous! What must it be like for the nominees who had to wait for the winners to be read before they knew whether or not it was their lucky night?
Reuben had known about his special award for weeks, and still he was as nervous as a hungry cat. Earlier that afternoon he had written a speech, but he hated speeches. He preferred spontaneity. Ah, the hell with the speech, he decided abruptly; he'd wing it.
What would the small statue feel like in his hands? he wondered. Solid, most likely. Would he keep it at home or in the office? An honor, one the Motion Picture Academy said he deserved for all his contributions to the industry throughout the years. If you counted the blood, sweat, and, yes, the tears he'd shed for the business, then he certainly deserved the award. But without his friends, would he be standing here now, waiting for the precious gold statue to be placed into his hand?
He peeked through the curtain at the cheering audience. There were people out there who thought he had it all-- a beautiful wife, handsome children, the presidency of Fairmont Studios, loyal friends who'd die for him. Was that having it all? No, it wasn't. Reuben realized then, in one split second, that, honor or not, he didn't care about the award because the one person in the world he really cared about wasn't there to share in his happiness. No, he didn't have it all.
Exhaling, he tossed his cigarette away, watched it fall to the wood floor with a small spatter of sparks. Absently he crushed it out with his shiny black dress shoe. Any minute now they would call his name and he would walk out onto the stage--Reuben Tarz, president of Fairmont Studios. For one crazy moment he knew he would chuck it all, his mansion in Laurel Canyon, his title, the studio, even his family and friends, to be a winemaker in France. His eyes burned as he strode onto the stage the moment his name was called. For some reason he hadn't prepared himself for the blinding lights. He knew his friends and family were out there in the audience, in the second row just a few yards from the podium where he was standing, but he couldn't see them.
Maybe that was good. He'd stare into the blinding light and say whatever came into his head. A minute and a half, ninety seconds of thanks to those sitting in the second row. She should be here, but she wasn't. He had to pretend she was. "And now for a special award for all his many valuable contributions to this industry. For a man whose list of accomplishments is so long and prestigious he made me promise not to bore you by listing them. Suffice it to say we all know what this man has done for all of us in Movieland. . . .
Here, then, to accept the honorary Oscar for Special Contributions to the Industry . . . Reuben Tarz, president of Fairmont Studios!"
Alice Simpson, resplendent in a swirling silver dress, floated over to him, statue in hand. She kissed him lightly on both cheeks, then handed him the gold statue. Reuben watched as she undulated off stage in a cloud of winking silver.
Aware then that he was the sole focus of countless pairs of eyes, he cleared his throat and stared out into the audience he couldn't see. The deep huskiness of his voice surprised him, and he had to clear his throat a second time. Ninety seconds. He began with a wry "This is quite an honor for a guy from Brooklyn. . . ." The audience roared and cheered. When they settled down he continued. "I want to thank the members of the Motion Picture Academy for honoring me this evening. So many people . . . one in particular . . . gave me my . . ."
Max was sitting next to Daniel and Rajean; at least that's what Daniel had told him earlier backstage. Jane was there, with one of her gentlemen friends, and then Bebe, Simon, and Dillon.
". . . gave me the encouragement I needed to barge into this business and make it a better place for all of us. If I've succeeded"--he held the statue aloft--"and I think someone's trying to tell me I might have in some way . . . I want to thank those dearest to my heart, for without them I might be a panhandler in Brooklyn instead of standing here tonight." Obviously he couldn't mention Max by name because of his underworld connections, but he had to thank him somehow. Arthur--that was Max's middle name, thank God he'd remembered it. . . . "My friend Arthur and his . . . support gave me the confidence to leap ahead while he watched the road behind me; Daniel Bishop, my lifelong friend, who is more brother than friend, deserves more than just thanks; Jane Perkins, for being there when I needed a friend; and, of course, thanks to my wife, Bebe, for her support.
Sol Rosen also deserves my thanks for giving me a chance to prove myself." Say it now, Reuben, acknowledge Mickey and what she's done for you. Say the words out loud for the world to hear. Your speech will be printed in all the morning papers, Mickey will see it sooner or later. . . . Say the words.
He placed the statue down on the podium but held it tightly before he went on. "There is one other person I have to thank. Without her help, her encouragement, and her love, I don't know where I would be. She isn't here tonight, in fact she's half a world away." He raised the golden statue again this time, high and proud. His eyes burned brightly with unshed tears. "This sign of my achievement should bear the engraved name of . . ."