Book Review | Desperate Measures | Fern Michaels

How to find your fairy tale. Book Review | Desparate Measures by Fern Michaels.

How to Find Your Fairy Tale

How do you continue to believe in fairy tales when fate takes everything and everybody you love away?
“It’s a cold hard world out there, and there’s no place in it for Tooth Fairies.”
Miss Andrews Ch 1, pg 13 para 2

Within the Leaves of Desperate Measures

Pete Sorenson lost his parents at the age of 6. When the Social Workers came to take him away, his best friend, the wise, estimable, 9 year old, Barney Sims hid him in a tree fort. While the two friends traded blood,  Barney made a vow:

“If they take you away, I’ll come get you when your sixteen.”
Barney Ch 1, pg 21, para 2

Barney’s vow carries Pete through the years as he bounces from one foster home to another. Never really fitting in, but knowing Barney was thinking of him helps Pete survive each bad situation as it came.

As Pete is recovering in the hospital from another bad situation, his Uncle has been found and is ready to take him home when he is released.

Pete feels like he has been swept away into a fairy tale world.

His Uncle Leo is a wealthy, successful lawyer who lives alone. With no one else to spend his money on, he spends it on Pete. Uncle Leo’s one expectation is that Pete follow in his footsteps and study law at Harvard.

Pete does, and there he meets Annie Gabriel, a woman who will become his best friend, sounding board, sentimental sentinel and conscience for many years. No strings attached.

“I have things to do, places to go. Relationships get in the way. I need to see what I’m made of.” She’d gone on to say, “And a sexual relationship always ruins a friendship.”     
Annie Ch 4 pg 61, para 3

Then along comes the alluring and breathtaking Maddie Stern. Also a foster child and determined to make her way in the business world, she and Pete find common ground and make wedding arrangements.

With the eve of their wedding approaching, Pete is on business out of town and Maddie goes missing.

“Where the hell was Maddie? He’d been trying for days to call her, and now the operator was telling him her phone was disconnected.”
Narrative Ch 12, pg 184, para 3

Frightened, he turns to the one person who has always been there for him.

Annie drops everything and goes to help Pete do what he must to find Maddie, knowing that by doing so she may lose Pete.

Will solving the mysterious disappearance of Maddie Stern bring Annie and Pete closer together, or will their fairy tale friendship shatter like a glass window?   

Sweet-Tea Rating for Desperate Measures:

 Sugar Lumps      

Fern Michaels is the favorite authoress of my best friend who gave me this book, as well as many other Fern Michaels titles from her personal library. I read mainly historical romance, but I trust my friends judgement. 

I am now a Fern Michaels convert.

The Cast:

I really thought Annie Gabriel brought life to this story and kept it grounded. Every time I felt Pete was bordering on the ridiculous, Annie shows up and gives him a reality check. Her timing is impeccable.

Uncle Leo I couldn’t quite get a handle on, until close to the end of the book. His confessions at the end made me see there was true humanity in him after all.

The one character that drove me the most insane was Maddie Stern. There were so many times I actually said out loud “Pete, are you really that stupid?” Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I found Maddie very shallow and transparent.

Character I would most like to share a Cuppa with:

Barney Sims had me crying tears of joy. His big heart and bigger personality had me wanting to share:

“Peanut butter and jelly with mashed banana sandwiches, just the way your mom used to make them. Chocolate milk.”
Barney Ch 24, pg 434. Para 4

Chocolate milk fills a shared cuppa just fine.

Element Ratings for Desperate Measures

 Story Flow:

The first eight dates with Maddie, and Maddie and Janny’s big adventure read a little slow. However, I found that overall the flow of the story clipped along at a real page turning pace.   

Nail Biting:

Good Lord! I was holding my (figurative) breath for these two throughout the Whole.Bloomin.Story. Page 440 finally let me breathe. 



“She didn’t want to share all her dreams with Pete. It was Pete she wanted to marry. Pete she wanted to grow old with, Pete she wanted to take care of, Pete she wanted to be part of her life, Pete’s kids she wanted.”
Narrative, Ch 5, pg 93, para 7


“God, he loved this woman sitting across from him. They had so many memories. They had so much.”
Narrative, Ch 22, pg 395, para 6

I believe Happily Ever After is possible when you build a true friendship that endures time on a foundation of trust and respect. That is something which, when working on it, comes to you just as natural as breathing.

They have it here.

I liked Pete. I did. He doesn’t have much imagination, but does seem to live in an alternate reality from time to time.

Hell of a lawyer though (just ask Dennis, or read the luncheon scene on pages 85 and 86).

I can swoon over his generous nature and the fierce loyalty to his friends, but he could do to grow some hair on his bollocks and man up a wee tick or two.

Emotion Coaster:

Wow, Fern Michaels writes an emotionally charged up tale here. Pity, sadness, joy, hope, relief, pride, love, awe, craziness, dread, and that was before Maddie and Janny went for ice cream! 

I was somewhat disgusted at the limp rag that Pete could be at times. Nevertheless... I could easily forgive him if he took me to Paris for ice cream (just sayin’). 

Hot-Tea Rating for Desperate Measures:

There was just enough sex happening here to enhance the story lines, but most of it you have to fill in the blanks. This is a comfortable read for anyone who is uncomfortable with more graphic scenes.

The Last Drop:

I really enjoyed reading Desperate Measures. It has everything you could wish for in a suspense filled romance and I believe this would make a great made-for-TV movie.  

What Other Reviewers had to Say: encourages you to check out other GoodReads user reviews for Desperate Measures by Fern Michaels

Other Books by Fern Michaels I Have Read With a Cuppa :

 Fool Me Once



Read the book review for Desperate Measures by Fern Michaels at