الكاتب: Sidney Sheldon
A retired captain recalls the cruise where he decided to retire, which involves the famous celebrity, Jill Castle. The book then goes back to the beginning of the lives of the two main characters: Jill and Toby Temple. Toby's main influence growing up is his mother, who pushes him to always do better and leads him to believe he is destined for fame and greatness. After running away to Hollywood to avoid a shotgun marriage, his delusion of being naturally funny and charming is shattered when he struggles to start his career as a comedian. Eventually, after years of hardship, he becomes a successful star through the help of Clifton Lawrence, a celebrity producer, though he has become an egomaniac who destroys the careers of anyone with the slightest fault against him, and has to have everyone around him dependent on him, including Lawrence, whom he forces to drop all of his other celebrity clients. Jill, born Josephine Czinski, leaves her hometown of Odessa, Texas for Hollywood after she learns that her boyfriend, the wealthy David Kenyon, is engaged to another woman, Cissy, the morning after he nearly proposed to Jill himself. In reality, David's mother and Cissy trick David into thinking it would be a temporary marriage just to please his mother, but he fails to tell Jill about this. She discovers the difficulty of being an actress with no connections and, after being drugged into participating in a pornographic film, decides to start earning better roles in exchange for sexual favors. After a failed attempt at reuniting with David, who misses their rendezvous after Cissy attempts to kill herself, Jill returns to Hollywood and ends up working for the Toby Temple Show.