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4.7 37
by Erica Spindler

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Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Bend, Mississippi, Becky Lynn Lee doesn't have the luxury of dreaming. With an abusive father and a broken mother, she always thought that this was it. But after the ultimate betrayal, Becky Lynn can no longer live the nightmare.

Determined never to go back, Becky Lynn escapes to Hollywood. As a photographer's


Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Bend, Mississippi, Becky Lynn Lee doesn't have the luxury of dreaming. With an abusive father and a broken mother, she always thought that this was it. But after the ultimate betrayal, Becky Lynn can no longer live the nightmare.

Determined never to go back, Becky Lynn escapes to Hollywood. As a photographer's assistant, she discovers a talent for spotting beauty and capturing the perfect shot. When the camera eventually turns on her, the awkward, shy Becky Lynn of her childhood disappears. But when the success she's achieved is threatened, Becky Lynn must find the strength to embrace her new identity and put the ugliness of her past behind her forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With protagonists more pained than passionate, Spindler's narrative (Heaven Sent, A Winter's Rose) spins a Cinderella story of Becky Lynn Lee, who rises from the ``wrong side of the tracks'' in Mississippi to the pinnacle of Los Angeles's modeling world. Fascinated by fashion and desperate to leave her family's abusive, alcoholic home, 17-year-old Becky Lynn is thrilled when L.A. photographer Jack Gallagher hires her to be his assistant. Jack soon finds Becky Lynn both professionally indispensable and personally irresistible. But Jack is driven by a need to best his father, a famous Italian fashion photographer who has refused to acknowledge him, and succumbs to the lure of designer Garnet McCall. Shattered, Becky Lynn accepts an offer from Jack's hated half-brother, photographer Carlo Triani, to transform her into a star model. Reinvented as Valentine, Becky Lynn reaches the apex of model stardom but continues to be plagued by the psychological aftermath of abuse as she comes to care for Carlo, who is wrestling his own dark demons. While characters are sketched with depth and complexity, Spindler's workmanlike precision lacks the lusciousness readers will expect. (July)

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4.22(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt

Bend, Mississippi 1984

No place in the world smelled quite like the Mississippi Delta in July. Overripe, like fruit left too long in the sun. Pungent, like a drunk's breath at the edge of a whiskey binge. Like sweat.

And it smelled of dirt. Sometimes so dry it coated the mouth and throat, but most times so wet it permeated everything, even the skin. Becky Lynn Lee lifted her hair off the back of her neck, sticky with a combination of perspiration and dust from the unpaved road. Most folks around Bend didn't think much about the smell of things, but she did. She fantasized about a place scented of exotic flowers and rare perfumes, a beautiful world populated by people wearing fine, silky fabrics and welcoming smiles.

She knew that place existed; she'd seen it in the magazines she poured over whenever she could, the ones the women at Opal's snickered at her interest in, the ones her father raged at her about.

None of that mattered. She had promised herself that someday, somehow, she would live in that world.

Becky Lynn picked her way across the railroad tracks used not only to ship rice, cotton and soybeans out of Bend, but to divide the good side of town from the bad, the respectable folk from the poor white trash.

She was poor white trash. The label had hurt, way back the first time she'd heard herself referred to by those words; it still hurt, when she thought about it. And she thought about it a lot. That's the kind of town Bend was.

Becky Lynn lifted her face to the flat blue sky, squinting against the harsh light, wishing for cloud cover to temper the heat. Poor white trash. Becky Lynn had been three the first time she'd realized she was different, that she and her family were less than; she still remembered the moment vividly. It had been a day like this one, hot and blue. She'd been standing in line at the market with her mother and her brother, Randy. Becky Lynn remembered clinging to her brother's hand and looking down at her feet, bare and dirty from their walk into town, then lifting her gaze to find the other mothers' eyes upon them, their stares filled with a combination of pity and loathing. In that moment, she'd realized that there were others in the world and that they judged. She had felt strange, self-conscious. For the first time inher young life, she'd felt vulnerable. She had wanted to hide behind her mother's legs, had wanted her mother to tell the other women to stop looking at them that way.

Becky Lynn supposed that had been back before her daddy had turned really mean, back when she still thought her mother to be an angel with magical, protective powers.

But maybe she had already realized that her mother wasn't an angel, that her mother didn't have the ability— or the strength—to make everything all right, because she hadn't said anything. And the women had kept staring, and Becky Lynn had kept on feeling as if she had done something wrong, something ugly and bad.

Most times now, the respectable folks, even the customers she shampooed down at Opal's Cut 'n Curl, looked right through her. Oh, while she shampooed them they talked to her, but mostly because they liked to hear the sound of themselves and because they knew she was paid to listen and agree with them—something their husbands almost never did. But when they came face-to-face with her on the street, they looked right through her. She wasn't sure if they pretended they didn't see her because she was one of Randall Lee's brood or if they truly didn't recognize her 'cause they'd never really looked at her in the first place.

But whichever, she'd decided being invisible suited her just fine. In fact, she preferred it that way. She felt less different when she was invisible. She felt… safer.

Becky Lynn took a deep breath as she cleared the railroad tracks. The air always seemed a bit sweeter this side of the tracks, the breeze a degree or two cooler. She stepped up her pace, hoping to get to the shop early enough to spend a few minutes looking over the Bazaar that had come the day before.

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Red 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
KristenH More than 1 year ago
If you love Big Girl by Danielle Steel, you'll love Red by Erica Spindler. Before she was a best-selling thriller author, she was in romantic suspense. Like Big Girl, this deals with loving yourself for you who are, and it doesn't know what anyone else thinks. It's also about fashion, photography and modeling. Becky Lynn Lee is poor and ugly from Mississippi, who comes from a broken home and a group rape, when she escapes to California for a new life. Jack Gallagher wanted recognition from his father, when his threats his other son better. Both rage and fury brings Becky and Jack together in California, as they work together, and take on the world, with tons of obstacles in the way. When they fall in love, things are complicated, as they are thrown for a loop, as the years fall by. In the end, they let go of the past and move on. What a beautiful story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good Characters. Good Plot. AWESOME READ. I couldn't put it down...it's a page turner.
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
Although not her typical book - I found it to be very good reading. kept you turning the pages. It just proves that Erica can write anything - although I prefer her murder/suspense novels the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always hate that moment I finish a book, and realize that it's time to hunt for a new one to read. I read reviews, and take a gamble on which to buy. Well I am so glad I took a chance on Red. I just cannot recommend it enough. Full of drama, and just downright juicy. This is the best book I have read in a long time. I really hate it when readers feel the need to write an all out book report when they review a book, so just suffice it to say that in my humble opinion, this was most definitely a page turner, and the only negative aspect of it was that I lost a ton of sleep at night turning pages!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got lost this book! I have read it several times
AnonymouseJD More than 1 year ago
I am loving this book! It is different than her other books but hooks you in a good way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is truly moving. The perfect story for those who want something dark and yet also want a sense of hope. The beginning starts off with a sense of darkness and fear instilled in the character but as she goes it becomes a quest of sorts for her to find herself. I don't recomend it for those who are under 16.(It is very mature and there is sex). However all parts of the story are necessary and add to a plot full of twist and turns. This story is also available as a manga(japanese comic) if you know where to look. However it is not available on Nook or at B&N. It is also a very good read. It is incomplete though...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, I can read so many times and never get tired of it. Never read any of her books but now believe I should!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all her books and love them all. Always great stories,keeping you guessing and never wanting to put the book down.
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nanananitanana More than 1 year ago
i have always loved Erica Spindler since Forbidden Fruit. so i didn't hesitate to pick this one up n once i did i did not want to put down. it a great ugly duckling kind of story but with ericas flare of story telling trust me u wont be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put the book down. Great to read on the beach!
kayali More than 1 year ago
Good book I got it from BN.com the best online book sellers,
SusieQDean More than 1 year ago
Hold on tight. It's going to be a long, bumpy, nail-biting but thoroughly enjoyable ride.Ms Spindler has not failed me yet. She spends very little time on fluff such as: long, lingering glances, heaving bosoms, passions inflamed, sexual tension BLAH BLAH BLAH!! 20 years ago I ate that stuff up but now I want my mystery served with a side of suspense, a dash of whodunnit, and good guys I can really care about. I also adore the New Orleans settings in her books. She truly is an expert at her craft & her books are blessngs in my life. I escape to another place & time, even if only for a little while. But I always go running back to where I left off. I love all of her books. Every single one. Try her. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly reccomend this book. It allows you to escape your daily life. The description is phenomenal. It keeps you turning the page, and suprises come out of no where. It keeps you thinking about it after you read it. Please read this book!!