Review

Easy on the Eyes

by Jane Porter

Tania Tomlinson leads a very glamorous life. As the host of
“America Tonight,” she enjoys the many perks her
celebrity assures --- huge salary, wardrobe, invites to premieres,
even the occasional handsome admirer. But in a town founded on
image and appearance, Tania is learning that she needs to look
beneath the surface if she wants to find true happiness.

Seven years earlier, Tania was a newlywed, married to a dashing
television war reporter. A few months after their wedding, her
husband Keith was killed in Afghanistan, leaving behind a grieving
wife who had to reinvent her purpose in life. This was not the
first time Tania had weathered tragedy. At 14, her family was
involved in a horrible car crash. Tania survived, but her parents
and sister were killed. A deeply felt guilt is never far from her
thoughts when she thinks of her family: “I was fourteen when
everything changed. Fourteen when I learned that life is precarious
and death just a shadow beyond our doorstep. We’d just spent
the day at the beach and were driving home. I was mad at the time,
I forget why, and wasn’t talking to anyone. But I remember
being mad, remember saying over and over beneath my breath that I
hated them all, that I couldn’t wait for my real life to
begin…and then in one instant it all changed.”

After paying her dues at local TV stations, Tania was plucked
out of hundreds of hopefuls to be the host of the nightly
entertainment program “America Tonight,” and soon she
had the world at her feet. But despite all the glitz and glam, she
can’t help feeling that there’s something still
missing. Not quite over Keith, she realizes she needs a true,
stable love in her life. Her much younger actor boyfriend Trevor is
a nice distraction, but not a life partner. Besides, Tania is
pretty sure he’s secretly sleeping with his co-star. Why must
men behave that way? Why can’t there be more men like Keith,
who are honest and trustworthy, and willing to die for what they
believe in? Instead, she keeps running into jerks like Michael
O’Sullivan, the uber-confident celebrity plastic surgeon who
is never seen without that cocksure grin on his face. He seems to
be everywhere she is lately.

Work used to bring Tania solace, but even that is a battlefield
lately when her boss gives her a not-so-veiled ultimatum to get
plastic surgery to increase her numbers with a younger audience or
make way for her new co-host, the annoyingly perky and
journalistically ignorant Shelby. What’s even worse is that
she gave Shelby her first job in the industry. Now she was looming
down her thirty-something neck like a buzzard circling a carcass.
Tania realizes that she must get off the merry-go-round to better
assess her life and where it’s headed before it’s too
late.

Jane Porter is a master of the buoyant, blissful read, often
incorporating issues that almost all women face in a highly
readable way. EASY ON THE EYES is not as strong or as exuberant as
her earlier novels, like MRS. PERFECT and ODD MOM OUT (where Tania
is a periphery character). Tania’s burdens are heavy-hearted,
serious ones, and her career woes about her TV hosting gig
aren’t as relatable as the harried working moms she normally
writes about. Still, this is a breezy read about the entertainment
industry and its never-ending fascination with youth and
beauty.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on January 21, 2011

Easy on the Eyes
by Jane Porter

  • Publication Date: July 22, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot
  • ISBN-10: 044650940X
  • ISBN-13: 9780446509404