4.2 12
by Marne Davis Kellogg

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Meet Kick Keswick, an elegant and self-possessed American who has been at London's venerable Ballantine & Company Auctioneer, Ltd., for over thirty years. She is an expert on paintings, furniture, and objets d'art, and so far has lived a perfectly happy life with things on her mind other than love. In fact, Kick rarely lets anyone into her private world. She prefers…  See more details below


Meet Kick Keswick, an elegant and self-possessed American who has been at London's venerable Ballantine & Company Auctioneer, Ltd., for over thirty years. She is an expert on paintings, furniture, and objets d'art, and so far has lived a perfectly happy life with things on her mind other than love. In fact, Kick rarely lets anyone into her private world. She prefers it that way. She adores her elegant London flat, her books, her music, her delicious meals, and, most of all, her jewels. Kick doesn't need a man in her life messing things up. But when American industrialist, scoundrel, and womanizer Owen Brace grabs the faltering Ballantine & Company in a corporate takeover, he turns Kick's world upside down, opening her eyes to large-scale love, romance and sensuous pleasure.

Something tells Kick that Brace's motives are anything but sincere, however. And when he gets near enough to threaten Kick's closely guarded life, Brace learns the dangers of underestimating this woman. From sophicticated London to Kick's secluded farm in Provence, France, BRILLIANT is a playfully delicious novel of suspense, masterful revenge, and secrets of the multi-faceted kind.

STARRED REVIEW: "Kick Keswick proves a strong, delightful and intelligent anti-heroine as she leads the reader on a marvelous romp through London auction houses, the homes of the rich and famous, and the Provence countryside...Full of fun and flare, Kick is indeed a kick, and BRILLIANT proves to be a gem of summer reading."

—Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Institute Libraries, starred review in Library Journal

"...a sensual and lush romp through the rarified world of money and power in London. BRILLIANT is a fun and engaging read, well-written, well-plotted, with memorable characters and a concrete sense of place and time."

—Julia Gambill Ledyard, Nashville Tennessean

"BRILLIANT fills the beach book bill admirably: fast-paced, well-written, and full of colorful (if morally ambiguous) characters...Madly entertaining – especially the surprise ending which is a real, um, kick."

—Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times

"A witty page-turner...a suspenseful account, with humor and a real sense of style."

—Kirkus Reviews

"Kellogg's characters live in a world removed from most readers' experiences, but she makes them appealing and familiar so readers can empathize with their lives. Since the story is written in the first person in Kick's voice, the adventure is up close and personal, revealing her fascinating thought processes. BRILLIANT is pure fun and offers a revealing peek into the lives of the rich and titled in London."

—Leslie Doran, The Denver Post

"Marne Davis Kellogg has written an elegant and luscious suspense novel, filled with intriguing twists and turns. As always, Ms. Kellogg's characters are funny, sexy, interesting and quirky. Great summer reading. BRILLIANT is, in a word, brilliant."

—Nelson DeMille, Author of Up Country

"Here's a heroine who loves diamonds, great food, and great ways to get revenge. What more could any woman want? BRILLIANT is a delicious novel that you'll devour like the most scrumptious meal. I loved Kick Keswick – I wouldn't want to mess with her, but I would enjoy hanging out with her."

—Janet Evanovich, author of Hard Eight

"Great wines, elegant villains, remarkable sex and a surprise ending – what more could any reader ask?"

—Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, authors of "Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage" and "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine"

"Marne Davis Kellogg's portrait of a world of opulence and decadence is so vivid, she must be an insider. Enjoy the guilty pleasures of BRILLIANT. I did."

—Harry Smith, NBC Rock Center

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Product Details

Marne Davis Kellogg
Publication date:
Kick Keswick Mysteries , #1
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Barnes & Noble
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617 KB

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Brilliant 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drove me nuts important parts dont make sense because of missing sentence, paragraphs and even whole pages. Dont buy as ebook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and especially Kick Keswick! Read the first book and promptly bought the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! A wonderful beginning into the life of Kick and a terrific ending. Although I know there is more to her secretive, humorous take on life, you could read this book and feel replete, as though you'd just finished one of her favorite meals with a $600 bottle of wine. Kick is a character you won't soon forget. She is smart, funny, more than a little quirky, and very very good at what she does... stealing jewels.
Sonfollower More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this more than I thought I would. There are no Mary Sue's in this story. It's not entirely believable but it is a sexy fantasy to get lost in: classy lady, thief, traveler. I recommend it to those looking for a fun new series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kick Keswick is funny, likeable and admirable and I really miss her since I finshed the book. However, being an Okie, I didn't care for the negative view implied. Not everyone from Oklahoma is born to a prostitute. And, Kick says to Commander Curtis who has never visited Oklahoma, 'You haven't missed much unless you like oil wells and cows.' I beg to differ with Ms. Kellog/Kewsick. Anyone who is broadminded will find a great deal more here besides oil well and cows, includng many people such as myself who are avid readers and pay close attention to what we're reading. This is a very good book and I am 'hooked' on Ms. Kellog's style and intend to read more of her works. However, please lighten up on the 'Grapes of Wrath' mentality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I picked up this novel to read, I thought I was reading the next segment in her Lilly Bennett series. I soon realized that it wasn't, but I soon fell in love with Kick Keswick. Kick is the Executive Assistant at Ballantine and Company Auctioneers in England. But, she is also a jewel thief. She has learned so much about jewels that she now constructs fakes and expertly slips the real jewels into her pocket and puts the fakes in the Auction company safes. She also burglarizes home and steals only jewelry and leaves a bouquet of shamrocks. She has become the Shamrock Burglar. No one knows about this side of her life. There's a lot no one knows about her life. She grew up in Oklahoma and had a bad childhood, though this isn't the story she tells of her childhood. Sir Cramner Ballantine found her and helped her turn her life around. She learned everything there was to learn about the items being auctioned. Before Sir Cramner died, he gave Kick a 15% interest in the company as KDK Trust. No one else knew about this but his lawyer. Sir Cramner had asked her to keep an eye on his son Sir Benjamin as he took over Ballantine and Company and to not let him run it into the ground. This task about did Kick in. Now Ballantine and Company has merged with Brace International. Owen Brace takes when Sir Benjamin kills himself. Kick has her work cut out for her to help Owen gain the appearance and respect worthy of Ballantine and Company. The undercurrent of her being a jewel thief working in an upscale business constantly kept this story moving. I found myself picking this book up to read to find out what happened next. It isn't your standard mystery by any means, but I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading about more adventures with Kick. The England scenery and the upper class auction business gave the story a lot of credibility and gave me a look into a lifestyle I am totally unaware of. I got a good education but in a very enjoyable manner. I highly recommend this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At the age of eighteen, college student Kathleen ¿Kick¿ Keswick met Sir Cranner Ballantine sole owner of Ballantine & Company Auctioneers, a very wealthy married man old enough to be her grandfather. She immediately becomes his mistress with her own home, which he paid for as well as bestowing jewels and fashionable clothes on her. His gave her a job at his company where she worked her way up to senior executive assistant, a loyal employee and lover until the day he died....................... She transfers that loyalty to his son Sir Benjamin until he runs the business into the ground. Owen Brace, a high-powered industrialist buys the whole company except for the 15% that Kick owns. Owen wants that 15% but he doesn¿t know who owns it and Kick does nothing to enlighten him. She prepares to leave the firm and start her second career as the Shamrock Burglar and return to her home in Provence, but she is drawn into Owen¿s web, and despite his shady dealings and illegal activities, becomes engaged to him. When she discovers he betrayed her, she takes her revenge, as only a woman scorned can do......................... Marne Davis has written a delicious melodrama starring a heroine who pretends to be so proper, but literally gets away with her crimes. She shows no remorse for her actions and is the epitome of an elegant lady. The antagonist of BRILLIANT doesn¿t have Kick¿s class and is more of a felon than a suave cat burglar. Readers will be sympathetic towards the heroine who is living life on her own terms without harming anyone....................... Harriet Klausner
ReadToLive More than 1 year ago
Take the good with the bad.