Seduction, lust, insatiable liaisons --- anticipation smolders
between sizzling page after sizzling page of New York
Times bestselling author Jackie Collins’s 26th novel.
The Queen of romance and lust claims her throne as the reigning
diva of divorce Hollywood-style, a world where "prenuptials were
God's gift to rich people," and divorce is not such a disgrace.
It's more a rite of passage, especially there. In Hollywood,
"You're either a star or you're not. There's no such thing as a
former movie star." Oh, but watch out for the plethora of
powerful former wives who live to tell the tales of nasty
divorces and married lovers.
Cameron Paradise flees Hawaii and an abusive husband and becomes a
personal trainer at a "members only" fitness club in star-studded
L.A. Her clients include legendary lovers and players, movie moguls
and married Malibu-tanned trophy wives and starlets. Cameron's one
goal is to have her own club, and in true Hollywood style she
connects with single late-night talk show host Don Verona. Don's
sexy banter and hot pursuit of Cameron is a fantasy to savor. The
money flows and, voilá, her new fitness club "Paradise" is
hosting a grand opening red carpet event catered by Spago and
adorned by "ab inspected" waiters in "tight black pants and nothing
else." Hollywood and handsome men are synonymous. Don's best friend
is independent film producer Ryan Lambert, who is married to Mandy,
the spoiled daughter of a rich mogul. One look between Cameron and
blue-eyed Ryan, and "It was instant attraction."
A steamy love triangle is Collins's signature formula for success.
Don and Ryan vie for the attentions of Cameron while friends Phil
and Lucy bicker over reviving Lucy's movie career. Phil's
philandering is the leverage that Lucy needs to convince him that
he either helps her or he prepares for divorce Hollywood-style,
sexploits splashed across the tabloids.
When Collins writes, we drool with envy and excitement. "Women
descended on Don as if he was a rare steak at a barbecue. Mandy was
at the forefront, sparkling in a silver sequined Valentino cocktail
dress, diamonds dripping, her hair swept in a chic chignon…"
We get the impression we are privy to a scene Collins has
personally observed countless times. She captures every lustful
glance that weakens the lovers until they succumb to desire. Down
Sunset Boulevard in a Ferrari, speeding along the Pacific Coast
Highway to a Malibu beach house with a deck overlooking the ocean,
we are swept into the fantasy.
The reader is caught up in the glitz and glamour and romance of
MARRIED LOVERS until Collins snatches it all away and shares the
tabloid-style details of the loveless, sexless relationships that
abound in Hollywood. She also injects the tragic story of a young
Russian woman, Anya, into the book. Anya is forced to become a sex
slave, and her life is one tragic situation after another. Just
when the novel begins to climax into rich relationships between
characters, Collins inserts a depressing chapter about Anya.
Raunchy, tawdry scenes detract from her reputation as a Lady who
specializes in lust.
Collins knows blue-eyed lovers are irresistible. They are an
anticipated, significant cornerstone in her formula for a
successful novel. Women cannot resist a man with intense blue eyes,
lover or player. Many are heartbreakers, but at that
tantalizing moment when you meet a man with intense blue eyes who
takes your breath away, take a chance Jackie Collins-style. He
could be the one.
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on January 7, 2011