Drop Dead Beautiful (Lucky Santangelo Series)

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Like mother, like daughter. No truer words for Lucky Santangelo's sixteen-year-old Max, who goes looking for trouble when she hooks up with some guy she met on the Internet. Soon the beautiful, willful Max finds herself in deeper waters than she can imagine as she becomes a pawn in a greater scheme that leads back to Lucky and Billy Melina, the studly movie-star boyfriend of Lucky's best friend, superstar Venus.

If Max's troubles weren't ...
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Drop Dead Beautiful

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Overview

Like mother, like daughter. No truer words for Lucky Santangelo's sixteen-year-old Max, who goes looking for trouble when she hooks up with some guy she met on the Internet. Soon the beautiful, willful Max finds herself in deeper waters than she can imagine as she becomes a pawn in a greater scheme that leads back to Lucky and Billy Melina, the studly movie-star boyfriend of Lucky's best friend, superstar Venus.

If Max's troubles weren't enough, Lucky has her multi-billion-dollar Las Vegas hotel complex to contend with...along with Anthony Bonar, the illegitimate grandson of her one-time Godfather and lethal enemy, Enzio Bonnati. So begins a non-stop thrill ride as Lucky builds her dream resort—and gambles with all she holds dear. Max, too, is following her dreams, and as her high-flying triumphs prove, she's more than just a little Lucky.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

It's not easy being rich, gorgeous, successful and a happily married mom, but Mafia princess turned Hollywood producer and real estate mogul Lucky Santangelo, last seen in 1999's Dangerous Kiss, again proves up to the challenge. In Collins's latest vendetta romance, Lucky plans her father Gino's 95th birthday bash while building a Las Vegas megaresort, unaware that family foe Anthony Bonar (né Bonnatti) is plotting revenge. In turn, Anthony is unaware of wife Irma's sexual awakening in the arms of their Mexican gardener, who in turn is unaware of Irma's affair with a federal drug enforcement agent. Meanwhile Lucky's 16-year-old daughter, Max, tells her parents she's with friends when she's really headed to a rendezvous with a man she meets on the Internet. That date provides the novel's fast-paced action, while Irma provides the novel's best sex and violence. Less gripping subplots include the on-again off-again relationship between Lucky's business partner, Alex, and his jealous girlfriend, as well as the off-again on-again romance between Lucky's best friend, the diva Venus, and her star-stud boyfriend, Billy. Collins delivers Lucky's usual mix of celebrity fantasy and godfather justice while Max promises to grow up in future sequels as troublesome and triumphant as her glitzy mom. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
For her 25th novel, Collins brings back Lucky Santangelo, who must contend with a teenaged daughter as out of bounds as she is and an enemy determined to wipe out everything she's got. With a national tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Collins' 25th is a silver-anniversary sleaze-fest starring "Lady Boss" Lucky Santangelo in a supporting role. Somewhere around 40-plus (nobody knows how plus), Lucky stopped aging. Long married (by Tinseltown standards) to soul mate Lennie Golden, she's abandoned movie moguldom and reverted to her roots: ruling Vegas. Her mammoth resort/condo/casino, The Keys, is about to open. But Lucky is preoccupied with the 95th birthday bash she's hosting for her father, ex-mob boss Gino, at her Bel Air mansion. Elegant hand-delivered missives instructing Lucky to "Drop dead Beautiful" are mere annoyances compared to worries about her teenage daughter Maria, aka Max, who hasn't returned from a supposed outing with friends in time for Gino's party. Lucky's Vegas banker has also disappeared, after a blind date with drug lord Anthony Bonnatti, aka Bonar, grandson of mob matriarch Francesca Bonnatti. Francesca is after Anthony to blow up the Keys and win the long-running (six books so far) Santangelo-Bonnatti blood feud. Leaving the pyrotechnics and banker body disposal to the experts, Anthony must contend with two mistresses who feign orgasms (not that he cares) and whiny wife Irma, a virtual prisoner at his Mexico City villa. After bearing him two children, now spoiled teenagers running designer-shod over their nanny at Bonar's Miami digs, Irma is of no further use to Anthony. However, lately she's taken up with a handsome gardener-no feigning required. In a remote cabin, Max is shackled to a bed by a man she met online, Henry Whitfield-Simmons, heir to a fortune-if only his uncooperatively healthy 70ish mother would kick the bucket. Henry blames Lucky for destroying his acting chances when she hiredthen-unknown Billy Melina to star opposite arch-diva Venus, in an Oscar-magnet director's new flick. After her harrowing escape, Max is grounded forever, at least until the Keys opening, where the plot lines and characters converge in fireworks galore. Despite phoned-in thrills, a breathless hurtle to the "explainer" epilogue. First printing of 400,000
From the Publisher
Praise for Lovers & Players:

"Collins is back with another sexy page-turner."—The New York Post

"A decadent concoction sure to appeal…a fast-lane take on the lives of the rich and fabulous."—Kirkus Reviews

"Vintage Collins here: Sex, love, betrayal and deception. Her fans will certainly enjoy."—Booklist

"Jackie at her very best. The plot has more twists and turns than Sunset Boulevard and is faster than a Ferrari on a Los Angeles freeway."—Company magazine (UK)

"A smorgasbord of love, sex, power and money."—Elle magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312341794
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Series: Lucky Santangelo Series
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins is the author of twenty-five New York Times bestselling novels. Over 400 million of her books have sold in more than 40 countries. From

Hollywood Wives to Lady Boss, from Lethal Seduction to Hollywood Divorces, Jackie Collins has chronicled the lives of the rich and famous with "devastating accuracy" (Los Angeles Times). She lives in Beverly Hills.

Biography

Louis Malle may have branded Jackie Collins a "raunchy moralist," but it wasn't her sense of ethical propriety that had her in a snit when Kenneth Starr dutifully reported to the nation the details of the pseudo-coupling between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It was her literary pride. "Everybody said that the Monica Lewinsky stuff in the Starr report was like a Jackie Collins book," she told the Chicago Tribune in 2001, "but if I'd written it, the sex would have been better."

Unquestionably. Jacqueline Susann may be the Emily Bronte of the naughty bits, but Collins is surely Charlotte, having filled her books to the rim with skin since her first novel The World Is Full of Married Men appeared in 1968. Since then, there has been a string of sexy Hollywood moguls, sexy models, sexy wives of Hollywood moguls, sexy divorcées and sexy children of Hollywood moguls in such titles as Chances, Lucky and Throb as well as The Bitch and The Stud (both made into movies starring big sister Joan).

The critics, when they take notice at all, tend to sniff. ("While no one expects Lady Boss to be a literary banquet, certainly a yummy little snack is in order" is about the best to expect from The New York Times.) But those who can look past the satin sheets and champagne flutes see more going on in the Collins canon. Hers is a dissection of the vacuous, viperish entertainment class hiding behind designer sunglasses in Los Angeles. Vanity Fair called her "Hollywood's own Marcel Proust.” The Advocate hinted that she might be the Charles Dickens of Beverly Hills. And Joe Queenan, a Hollywood player himself, said Collins's 1993 novel American Star was nothing less than a lament of the American family's demise.

"It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless -- but it's not entirely either," the Detroit News wrote in a review of Collins's 1983 novel Hollywood Wives. "Jackie Collins has a talent for titillation and a knack for wooing the most reluctant of readers into a plot that spends 15 percent of the time peeking at people in the sack and the other 85 percent daydreaming about it. Deliberately or not, she speaks eloquently of emptiness through the lives of people who would seem to have everything: French poodles, Mexican maids, American Express."

And Judy Bass wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Collins's gimlet eye for detail is what makes her novels such a gas: "Collins caricatures the life styles of the rich and famous with devastating accuracy. She spoofs every nuance of their attire, speech and relationships, never allowing tedium or predictability to dilute the reader's fun."

There are a number of recurring characters in Collins's books, though none better known than Lucky Santangelo, the sexy (natch) film studio owner who has appeared in Lucky, Lady Boss, Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge and Dangerous Kiss. The Lucky series bring together all the required ingredients of a Collins cocktail: the rich and famous, the shifty Hollywood shenanigans, scheming opportunists and a bug-on-the-wall vantage point of every -- or every other -- bedroom in the 90210 zip code.

Time once wrote of a Collins novel that it allowed the reader the rare opportunity to watch adverbs mate. Of course. There's a high art to the lowbrow. The Village Voice, writing in 2000, understood that: "The beauty of the trashy novel is twofold: It's a lightning-quick read, and you can howl in smug superiority as you turn the pages. Lethal Seduction, the latest from well-appointed and leopard-print-swathed Queen of Trash Jackie Collins, is a prime example of page-turning, literary-hauteur-stoking fun."

But it might have been People, reviewing Vendetta: Lucky's Revenge, that most succinctly summed up the contradictory seductiveness of the Jackie Collins novel: "embarrassing to pick up, impossible to put down."

Good To Know

Collins makes a mean meatloaf. "It's the herbs and spices," she told Biography magazine, "and my essence."

Collins spends about a year writing each novel, and does so entirely in longhand.

She eschews the stodgy demands of grammar. "I don't basically understand grammar," she is quoted as saying in Contemporary Popular Writers. "I call myself a street writer. I write purely by instinct. I've decided people don't speak in grammatical conversations.... The important thing is I get people into the bookstores who probably wouldn't be there otherwise."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacqueline Jill Collins (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 4, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Drop Dead Beautiful. The three little words were scrawled on the Cartier card Lucky Santangelo had just opened. Hand-delivered, the note had been brought up to the house in Bel Air by Philippe, her houseman, who'd discovered it in the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

Drop Dead Beautiful. No signature, no return address.

Was it an invitation to an upcoming event too clever for its own good?

Whatever. One quick glance at the card, and Lucky tossed it in the trash.

Lucky Santangelo. A dangerously seductive woman with blacker-than-night eyes, full sensuous lips, a tangle of long jet-black hair, deep olive skin, and a lithe body. Wherever she went, Lucky still brought a room to a standstill, for not only was she wildly beautiful, she was also a powerhouse--a woman to be reckoned with, a force of nature. Street-smart and forever savvy--Lucky Santangelo had it all.

In her past, she'd built hotels in Vegas, owned a major movie studio, and been married three times. She'd also survived much heartache. Her mother, Maria, had been murdered when she was five years old. Her brother, Dario, was shot to death and tossed from a moving car. Then finally her fiancé, Marco, was gunned down in the parking lot of her Vegas hotel.

Eventually Lucky had found out that the man who'd ordered the brutal killings was her godfather, Enzio Bonnatti, a man she had always respected and trusted.

The information devastated her. Filled with vengeance, she'd lured Enzio into a carefully planned trap at his home, and shot him dead with his own gun, claiming that he'd tried to rape her. It was deemed a clear-cut case of self-defense.

Self-defense. Sure. She'd made it look like Bonnatti had been about to rape her, and the D.A. had bought it all the way. No surprise there. Her father, Gino, had major connections.

The real truth was that she'd shot the son of a bitch because he'd deserved to die, and she'd never regretted doing so. Justice had taken place. Santangelo justice.

Don't fuck with a Santangelo--the family motto.

Grabbing her purse from a shelf in the luxurious dressing room, Lucky headed for the door. Everything was large and luxurious in Bel-Air--the privileged enclave of the very rich and famous. The house she and her husband, Lennie, were living in was a short-term rental. Recent storms had wreaked havoc on their home in Malibu and they'd been forced to leave while repairs were being made.

The beach was more her style. Bel-Air was too cut off from real life with its winding hillside streets and enormous mansions hidden behind vast gates and high walls of impenetrable greenery. People existed as if they were living under siege, surrounded by multiple security guards and vicious attack dogs. That way of living was not for her. She enjoyed feeling unprotected and free, which was one of the reasons she'd opted out of running Panther Studios several years earlier.

Being the head of a Hollywood studio was no nine-to-five job. She'd found herself working seventeen-hour days, leaving no time for family and friends. One morning she'd woken up and thought, That's it, I'm out. She'd had enough of dealing with ego-inflated stars, nervous-for-their-jobs executives, fast-talking agents, neurotic directors, fat-assed producers, and anyone else who thought they could make it in the movie business--which was most people in L.A.

So she'd quit running Panther, and after producing one movie, Seduction, starring Venus Maria, and her new discovery, Billy Melina, she'd sold the studio and gotten out of the film business altogether.

Lennie was in the movie industry. That was enough for one family.

Besides, Lucky had other plans. She was getting back into the hotel business in Vegas--the place where it had all begun for her. Several years ago she'd put together a syndicate of interesting and colorful investors to develop a huge multibillion-dollar complex called the Keys. She'd been working with architects and planners for the last five years, and in less than a month they were about to celebrate the grand opening. Since the hotel project was her baby, she was beyond excited.

"Mom!" Max burst into the dressing room without knocking. Max, her sixteen-year-old wild child. Tall and coltlike with smooth olive skin green eyes, an unruly tangle of black curls, and a killer bod, Max was a showstopper. She was also a rebel, playing truant from school on a regular basis.

"Here's the thing," Max announced, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet. "There's no way I can go to Grandpa's party."

"Excuse me?" Lucky questioned, attempting to remain calm.

"Y'see, there's this big blowout for one of Cookie's best friends up in Big Bear," Max blurted, speaking too fast. "A whole crowd of us wanna go, so like I can't let Cookie down."

"You can't, huh?" Lucky said coolly.

"Nope," Max answered, tugging on a stray curl. "Cookie's my best friend an' this is like essential."

"You are not missing Gino's birthday," Lucky said firmly. "No way."

Max stared balefully at her mom. "Huh?"

"You heard me," Lucky said, heading for the door.

"I can't believe you'd be this mean," Max complained, trailing behind her.

"Mean?" Lucky sighed. This was major déjà vu. It reminded her of all the times she and Gino had gone head to head, and there were too many to remember.

"Why do I have to stay for Gino's stupid party?" Max demanded. "It's not as if he'll miss me."

"Of course he'll miss you," Lucky insisted, hurrying down the stairs.

"He'll like so not," Max grumbled, right behind her.

Lucky turned around, shooting her daughter a warning look. "You're getting on my bad side, so stop it."

"But--"

"No, Max," Lucky said, walking out the front door. "I'm not interested, don't want to hear it."

And with those words she got into her red Ferrari and roared off down the driveway.

"Crap!" Max shrieked as her mother's car vanished into the distance.

"Whassup?" questioned her younger brother, Gino Junior, rounding the corner from the tennis court.

"Mom sucks!" Max complained, ignoring Gino Junior's two leering friends, both of whom she knew had a total crush on her.

"What she do now?" Gino asked. He was only fifteen, but he was already six feet tall and built like a football player.

"She won't let me get out of Grandpa's lame party. That's so pathetic."

Ignoring her, Gino Junior raced into the house, followed by his two friends, who couldn't take their eyes off her.

"Horny little pricks," she muttered under her breath. "Go jerk off someplace else. Like Siberia."

~ ~ ~

Lucky drove like a race car driver, skillfully weaving in and out of traffic. She turned the CD player on full volume--Usher blasting.

Lately Max's behavior was becoming quite a challenge. Everything seemed to turn into an argument. Lucky sighed. It wasn't easy being a parent, especially when in your head you were hardly any older than your own child.

A frosted and Botoxed blonde in a shiny new Mercedes cut in front of her, causing her to hit the brakes. "Shit, lady!" Lucky yelled. "Whyn't you learn to fuckin' drive."

Not that anyone could hear her, but shouting at other drivers eased the tension, although if Lennie happened to be in the car, it made him crazy. "One of these days someone's gonna get out their car and shoot your ass," he was always warning her.

"Yeah, sure," she would reply. "I dare them to."

At which point Lennie would shake his head. In his eyes there was no taming Lucky Santangelo. She walked her own path, and that's exactly the way he liked her.

Copyright © 2007 by Chances, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Loved it

    Big fan of lucky series

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    I loved reading this book, Jackie Collins is an excellent writer

    I loved reading this book, Jackie Collins is an excellent writer and the Lucky Santangelo series has never disappointed me, EVER! I am now reading the Goddess of Vengeance and have read all of the other Lucky Santangelo series of books. Lucky is my kind of woman and if you don't know any better, you had better watch out because once Lucky gets a hold of you, all bets are OFF! I love her and I hope we get to see her again soon after Goddess of Vengeance! PLEASE bring back Lucky, she is an awesome character!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    love her writing

    i just like this author very much

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2009

    drop dead beautiful

    as usual Jackie Collins has her own unique style. A great escape reader. Not really the kind of book that is easy to recomend trashy romance is my weekness but dont really want people to know that i endulge in such junk. Is a great escape read and easy read. For the more mature reader as it is full of language for adults.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Absolute junk - not worth the paper it is printed on!

    Really hate it when total trash masquerades as a novel....couldn't even bring myself to read it through. The first few chapters were disappointing enough. Don't bother!! It is total trash, and not even dignified with a good plot or vocabulary. Hated it. Try a good story by Nora Roberts if you want a well-written intrigue with a side of romance. Or Jodi Picoult - for outstanding writing and emotionally-charged novels.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Interesting

    I read this book in about 2 days. Once i got into the book, it was hard to put down. This book kept me wanting to do what was going to happen next!!! Great for rainy days!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great READ!

    LOVE Lucky Santangelo and have read the entire series and this one did not disappoint! It also gave way for the author to continue to build stories for Bobby, Max & Gino Jr. This was a great read and as usual became obsessed with the story from beginning to end.
    If you haven't read her other series like Hollywood Wives and the subsequent series, you're missing out!

    I also recommend "James Patterson" - "Women's Murder Club Books 1-7" Impossible to put down!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Thrilling!!!

    This book was so thrilling, I enjoyed every last minute of it. it had all the things a good book should have, suspense, intrigue and drama. You will not be disappointed if you buy this book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    Great!

    This book kept me interested I couldn't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    One time Mafia princess and Hollywood producer Lucky Santangelo plans a big party to celebrate her father Gino Bonatti¿s ninety-fifth birthday. She sets up the gala in Las Vegas where she is building a megaresort facility. Long time Bonnatti family enemy Anthony Bonar sees the bash as a ripe opportunity to destroy his most hated foe. -------------------- Anthony¿s wife Irma turns to their Mexican gardener and to a FED for pleasurable sex. At the same time that Irma finds pleasure in the arms of other men, Lucky's sixteen year old old chip off the old block daughter Max lies to her and her husband by saying she is with her friends when in fact she is meeting someone she met over the Internet. Lucky will shortly understand her mother better as she feels punished for her teen crimes when all hell breaks loose.------------------------ Fans of Jackie Collins (count me in) will delight in the return of Lucky Santangelo (VENDETTA, DANGEROUS KISS, and LADY BOSS, etc) as she mixes Hollywood and Vegas with the mob and family. The story line is lighthearted as always as Lucky and Anthony head to a showdown on the Strip. Although the romantic sidebars of her pals seem unlucky for readers as they are distracters, series readers will appreciate the antics of the former mafia Princess as she deals with her most challenging adversary yet, Mad Max.---------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    SILLY AND OFFENS SILLY AND OFFENS

    Beach book IiiilIvehorrIIBLE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Best book ever

    I love this book!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Nightmare Rarity chapter 8

    "You mean me? That cant be!" Gasped Spike." It can." Said Luna." You are a very special dragon with a veryvspecial power." The room fell silent." You mean sending letters?" Spike finally said, breaking the silence at last." No, not that. Its your love for Rarity. Thats your power. She likes you too. Use that to turn her to herself again." Spike blushed. Silence. Finally Fluttershy spoke, or rather, whispered:" So the last element is Love?" Luna smiled." Yes, that it is. Anyhow, we must stop her before its too late!" Rainbow Dash suddenly shot into the air, though her wings werent flapping." What the-" muttered Pinkie, but her unasked question was answered. Nightmare Rarity stepped into the room, but now she had wings. Gray, torn, butterfly wings. Like the ones she used in Cloudsdale...

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Quick and delightful summer read.

    A little bit naughty without being tawdry. A fun summer read...great to read by the pool or beach.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    Loved It!

    I loved Lucky because she was a strong independent women, with a little bit of sass, who always stood for what she believed in. This book is filled with drama and excitement! If you enjoy reading about the scandals of the rich and famous, then this is the perfect read for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    chick flick reader

    easy and simple to read, although i am getting tired of reading Lucky series. I still recemend to read it if you are a fan of Lucky.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Another Lucky Story

    My FAV character she once again shows the great story of this character I hope there w/be another in this series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    Scandalously scintillating

    This is a fantastic story packed with romance, the struggle for power with Lucky's return, twisting plot, and endless intrigue. I am so hooked on Jackie Collins' Drop dead beautiful is powerful. Five stars and more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Another AWESOME Jackie Collins book!

    I wish a new book by Jackie Collins was available every six months! She rocks! This book was great! I could not put it down. Jackie...Please write another one really soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was about 100 pages to long.

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