Hollywood Wives: The New Generation

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Overview

Newly repackaged?classic novels from New York Times bestselling author Jackie Collins!

Power. Sex. Money. Fame. The new Hollywood wives have it all. And if they don?t have it?they want it. And whatever these women want?they get. Ambitious, young, smart, and lethal, the Hollywood wives are back with a vengeance, pushing their way to the forefront. Forget shopping?they?re into achieving everything their famous husbands have and more, and they ...

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Overview

Newly repackaged—classic novels from New York Times bestselling author Jackie Collins!

Power. Sex. Money. Fame. The new Hollywood wives have it all. And if they don’t have it—they want it. And whatever these women want—they get. Ambitious, young, smart, and lethal, the Hollywood wives are back with a vengeance, pushing their way to the forefront. Forget shopping—they’re into achieving everything their famous husbands have and more, and they don’t care how they do it.

Three talented, ambitious dreamers have struggled for super-stardom—and lived hard and fast in a mind-bending whirl of parties, drugs, and sex. Now their fates collide at the plush Los Angeles estate of a powerful music industry magnate, where one man’s secret vendetta will trap them in its sudden, murderous heat....

Nick and Lauren can never forget each other. Teenage small-town lovers—he from the wrong side of the tracks, she the prettiest girl in town—their love was the town scandal, forbidden, sizzling and unforgettable, ending abruptly in a tragedy that sent them into separate orbits. As Nick and Lauren both rise to fame, haunted by the secret they share, they try to live without each other—only to find they can’t.

Like the original "Hollywood Wives", the new breed will shock and surprise, amuse and startle, taking readers on a trip they will not soon forget.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Jackie Collins turned Hollywood-style decadence into an art form with her bestselling novel Hollywood Wives. Now Collins offers a highly anticipated encore performance, treating readers to a whole new generation of Hollywood women -- women driven by fame, fortune, love, and lust in a culture that thrives on glitz, glamour, and greed.

Singer and actress Lisse Roman seems to have it all -- beauty, brains, wealth, and success -- at least until her fourth marriage falls apart. Things get worse when Lisse’s 19-year-old daughter, Nicci -- about to marry a man she’s not sure she loves -- becomes the target of a ruthless kidnapper. Then there’s Taylor, a onetime actress who is married to Lawrence Singer, one of Hollywood’s most respected and influential producers. Yet despite being a power wife in Tinseltown, Taylor can’t get her own script produced. Nor can she seem to resist the charms of the young buck whose skills in the sack mirror his skills as a scriptwriter. Rounding out the players are a P.I. who has the hots for Lisse, twin brothers who are movie-producing geniuses and in competition for Nicci’s affections, and a host of ex-husbands, ex-lovers, and assorted sideline conspirators.

Collins cheerfully explores the heights of success and the depths of depravity, ratcheting up the suspense with plenty of blind ambition, powermongering, scandalous sex, and scintillating schemes. Literary it’s not; but if you’re looking for a few hours of entertainment, this read is one heck of a lot of fun. (Beth Amos)

From the Publisher
The New York Times Raunchy, brash, and suspenseful!

The New York Observer [A] page-turner.

Gale Research
Although many reviewers dismiss Collins's novels as tasteless and excessive, others, such as Leola Floren in the Detroit News, feel that the books do contain some valuable insights. Floren's review of Hollywood Wives states: "It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless--but it's not entirely either. 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."
Judy Bass
The novel is crammed with beautiful people scheming to advance themselves. No detail of their designer clothes or Rolls- Royces has been omitted, but Miss Collins is at her raunchy best when describing the collisions between rivals at parties or in bedrooms. She also excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled here with wit. -- New York Times
Library Journal
Almost 20 years ago Collins wrote the best-selling Hollywood Wives, a racy look at Tinseltown's rich and famous that later became a miniseries starring Anthony Hopkins and Candice Bergen. Those wives, living in the shadows of their famous husbands, spent their days shopping on Rodeo Drive and lunching at the trendiest restaurants. While the new generation still indulges in the occasional shopping spree and lunch out, these wives now have careers of their own. Lissa Roman, an ber-famous, 40-year-old actress/singer, is getting ready to ditch her fourth cheating husband, while her 19-year-old daughter, Nicci, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a famous film producer. Lissa's best girlfriend, B-movie actress Taylor Singer, is married to Hollywood's top director but can't resist sleeping with a 22-year-old screenwriter. When Nicci is kidnapped and held for ransom, it's a good thing that Lissa is now sleeping with her bodyguard, a private detective and ex-cop. Narrator Michael Brandon offers a strong performance, trying to inject as much drama as possible into this typical Collins melodrama, but, unfortunately, he doesn't have much with which to work. Public libraries should purchase only to satisfy demand.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The usual mixed bag of vixens, sexy louts, and a hardworking star or two from Collins (Lethal Seduction), on familiar territory in la-la land once more. Lissa Roman, singer and movie actress, is still gorgeous at 40, but she has to work at it. Too bad her pesky offspring, Nicci, is now old enough to actually be engaged. What's next? Grandchildren? Perish the thought and get me my agent—who lands Lissa a fabulous gig opening a lavish new Las Vegas hotel. It's a welcome distraction from her restless fourth husband, Gregg, part-time philanderer and full-time bodybuilding egotist. He's so Hollywood—Lissa rues the day she married him. Well, perhaps her darling daughter will settle down with that hot young director, Evan Richter, and find happiness. Instead, Nicci finds she's wildly attracted to Evan's bad-boy twin, Brian. Will she stay faithful, or bed the naughty brother before her bachelorette party? And should she tell that weird guy in the stocking mask who just knocked on her door to go away? Decisions, decisions. Taylor Singer, a sometime actress married to a famous director who bores her in bed, has a few decisions of her own to make. Should she say yes to Montana, the bisexual woman director who wants her to play a leading role in a lesbian love story? Should she say no to Oliver Rock, the skanky but sexy young screenwriter who just sold his first opus for a million bucks? Getting back to the heroine: Lissa has the hots for Michael Scorsinni, the obligatory macho Italian cop and official Real Person in this hackneyed plot. Will he get the goods on cheating Gregg? And will Lissa let him out of bed long enough to save the life of her kidnapped daughter? Collinsresolves these and many other questions at breakneck pace, with her inimitable touch of crass evident throughout. Happiness awaits schlock connoisseurs and uncritical fans alike.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743423687
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 5/21/2002
  • Series: Hollywood Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 421,728
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.22 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie Collins

There have been many imitators, but only Jackie Collins can tell you what really goes on in the fastest lane of all. From Beverly Hills bedrooms to a raunchy prowl along the streets of Hollywood; from glittering rock parties and concerts to stretch limos and the mansions of power brokers—Jackie Collins chronicles the real truth from the inside looking out.

Jackie Collins has been called a “raunchy moralist” by the late director Louis Malle and “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine. With more than 500 million copies of her books sold in more than forty countries, and with some twenty-seven New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Jackie Collins is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. She is known for giving her readers an unrivalled insider’s knowledge of Hollywood and the glamorous lives and loves of the rich, famous, and infamous. “I write about real people in disguise,” she says. “If anything, my characters are toned down—the truth is much more bizarre.”

Visit Jackie’s website www.jackiecollins.com, and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JackieJCollins, Facebook at www.facebook.com/jackiecollins and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/jackiejcollins.

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

You look fantastic!"

"You think?"

"I know."

Lissa Roman narrowed her eyes as she studied her reflection in the large, lightbulb-surrounded makeup mirror. She saw perfection and so she should, considering she worked like a long-haul truck driver to look as good as she did. And it wasn't easy. It took real dedication and nonstop action. Yoga, Pilates, starvation, ice-cold showers, Brazilian waxing, hair coloring, jogging, swimming, weight training, fasting, aerobics, spinning — you name it, Lissa did it. Everything except plastic surgery. She was too scared of the knife. Too petrified that the surgeon would make her look like somebody else — take away her identity,

her personality. She had seen it happen to numerous people in Hollywood — women and men. Besides, she was only forty — younger than Madonna and Sharon Stone, for God's sake. And anyway, she didn't need it.

"You're sure I look as good as it gets?" she questioned, forcing Fabio, her faithful makeup and hair artist, to repeat his compliments.

"Divine. Beautiful. The works," Fabio assured her, tossing back his luxuriant mane of expensive hair extensions.

And he meant every word of it, because although Lissa Roman was not a classic beauty, she had that indiscernible something that made her a superstar. It was a combination of blatant sex appeal, fiery energy, and a body to die for. Not to mention blazing blue eyes, high cheekbones, and full, pouty lips. Fabio loved basking in her aura.

"All thanks to you and your magic fingers," Lissa murmured, smoothing her shoulder-length platinum hair.

"That's what Teddy told me last night," Fabio said with a self-satisfied smirk.

"Lucky you," Lissa said, rising from the makeup chair.

"No," Fabio said, wagging a beringed finger at her. "Lucky Teddy."

"You have some ego!" Lissa teased, heading for the door.

"Almost as big as yours," Fabio retorted crisply, following her out to the studio, where the photographer from Maxim magazine waited.

Lissa and Fabio had worked together for eight years and enjoyed an excellent relationship. Fabio actually liked Lissa Roman. For someone of her stature, she was not an egocentric bitch. She was warm and friendly and quite funny at times. Of course, she had appalling taste in men — but in Hollywood there was hardly a vast pool of eligible men to choose from. And as

far as Fabio was concerned, all the good ones were gay —

thank God!

Her second husband, Antonio — the man who'd fathered her only child — sounded the best of all. Not that Fabio had ever met him, but he'd seen photos, and Antonio was a magnificent specimen — all dark, sexy eyes, impressive physique, and broodingly handsome features. Fabio often wondered why she'd let that one slip away.

"Antonio had a wandering cock," was Lissa's only explanation.

Fabio didn't get why straight people were so uptight about sex. After all, sometimes a wandering cock could be a good thing.

Nicci Stone gazed unblinkingly at her kickboxing instructor's crotch. It was quite a package, and so was he. His name was Bjorn, and he was tall and blond in the Nordic style, with subtle muscles and sinewy, bronzed thighs. He was over six feet tall, with large Chiclet teeth and a gleaming smile.

I bet he gives great tongue, Nicci thought with a secretive smile. He's Scandinavian. Scandinavian men rock.

Not that she'd had that many. Sven, the Swedish facialist. Marl, the Danish rock 'n' roller. And Lusti, the Norwegian personal trainer. Actually, that was a lot. Enough to make her realize that European men were far more inventive in bed than their American counterparts.

She wondered how Bjorn, with his quite commendable package, would stack up. Maybe she should give him a try...

No! a stern voice in the back of her head commanded. You are currently engaged, and there will be no more screwing around.

Damn! Who came up with that rule?

Mommy, of course. Lissa Roman — mega movie star, singer, and legendary sex symbol — currently on her fourth husband.

Yeah. That's right. Four.

Nicci hoped it was Lissa's lucky number. The next wedding was hers, and she did not take kindly to competition, even though she had lived with it forever.

Growing up with Lissa Roman as your mother was no day trip to Disneyland. Whenever possible, Nicci had kept the identity of her famous mom a deep, dark secret. Although keeping it to herself never lasted long, because somebody always managed to find out — blowing her chance of a normal (What's that anyway?) relationship.

Nicci was, at nineteen, a spirited kind of beauty. Instead of her mother's platinum-blond sexiness, Nicci had inherited exotic Gypsy looks from Antonio Miguel Stone, her Spanish father — Lissa's husband number two — a drop-dead handsome philanderer with no money to speak of and a somewhat shaky pedigree. His mother, Nicci's grandma, was supposedly a third cousin to the King of Spain — although they'd never been invited to tea.

Nicci knew the story. Lissa had fallen for Antonio when he'd arrived in Hollywood to liaise with a gorgeous redhead. Five days after their first meeting, the redhead was history, and Lissa and Antonio were on their way to Vegas in a chartered plane, where after two days of gambling and incredible sex, they'd gotten married.

Nine months after that, Nicci was born.

One passion-filled year later, Lissa caught Antonio cheating with her so-called best friend and promptly divorced him. Shortly after that he'd returned to Europe to continue his career as an ace playboy and sometime racing-car driver, roaming around the best resorts and the most beautiful women.

At age ten, Nicci had started demanding to know more about her father — a man she had only seen pictures of. Reluctantly, Lissa had instructed her lawyer to contact her ex and remind him that he had a daughter. Surprisingly, over the next few summers, Antonio had rallied and sent for the little girl. Nicci's visits were a big success. She was pretty, sassy, and smart, and Antonio was quite entranced. So much so, that over the following years she began spending months at a time with her charismatic dad, until at age fifteen she dropped out of Beverly Hills High School and enrolled at the American school in Madrid. Lissa didn't seem to mind. Lissa had a career to take care of.

Nicci was thrilled, freedom at last! She soon discovered that Antonio was far more exciting to live with than her mom. He acted more like an older brother than a father figure, full of devilish doings. He taught her what he considered to be all the good things in life — such as how to smoke pot, drink martinis with-out getting too wasted, and how to handle men with the right combination of flattery and disinterest. One of his many exotic girlfriends had given her a crash course in birth control. How cool was that? What more could a young, eager-to-learn teen-ager ask for?

By the time Nicci was sixteen she was wise way beyond her years, certainly wise enough to realize that her father was incorrigible — a bad boy with a fun-loving disposition and a big heart. He adored his daughter, she was his one link to normality. And Nicci adored him back, even though she knew he was a rogue and somewhat spineless. So what? He was her dad and she loved him.

The only downside to living with Antonio was his mother, Adela, a fierce-faced woman who dressed only in black and screamed at her son whenever the opportunity arose. Antonio didn't seem to mind, he gave as good as he got, raising his voice back with no concern about anyone listening. Nicci soon realized it was a game between the two of them. A competition. Their deal was who could scream the longest and loudest. Grandma always won. Grandma was a determined woman. She was also the keeper of the family money, and much to Antonio's annoyance, she doled it out on her terms.

Adela owned the house they inhabited in Madrid, plus a luxurious villa in Marbella, both properties left to her by her late husband, who'd suffered a fatal heart attack when Antonio was only ten. Since that time, Adela had drummed it into her handsome son that he was now the man in the family, and therefore, had to look after her. Then she'd promptly sent him off to a military academy, where he'd had the crap beaten out of him on a regular basis.

When Antonio had finally gotten out, he was ready to party, and in spite of Adela's objections, party he did, winging his way across Europe and bedding a constant procession of sleek women. Along the way he'd become interested in racing cars. As soon as Adela found out, she'd thrown a fit. To appease her, Antonio made it a hobby instead of a career, a move he'd always regretted.

Now he split his time between his mother's two residences, carefully planning to be wherever she wasn't.

Adela was no pushover — she kept tabs on her son. She considered it bad enough that he'd married a cheap, American movie star when he'd ventured out of her range, and she certainly had no intention of allowing that kind of madness to happen again.

Nicci had a strained relationship with her strict grandmother. Adela professed to care for her half-American granddaughter, but at the same time she was forever disapproving of Nicci's behavior. Nicci soon learned how to deal with her — whenever the criticism and muttering got too much to take, she flew back to L.A. and hardworking Lissa, who was so caught up in her career that she didn't seem to mind what Nicci did.

And Nicci did plenty, for she had inherited both her mother's passion for breaking rules and her father's wild ways. She was into experimenting, seeing how far she could go without actually doing "IT." In spite of her lessons in birth control, she was nervous about going all the way, that is until back in Europe she met Carlos, Antonio's distant cousin.

She was seventeen and ready for the big deal. Carlos was twenty-five, self-assured and extremely good looking.

It didn't take him long to break down her inhibitions, then, shortly after, break her heart. Unfortunately, like his cousin, Carlos was a serial philanderer who could not resist a pretty face. Furious and hurt by his rejection, Nicci had traveled the revenge route, jumping into bed with as many men as possible, while harboring the vain hope that Carlos would become hopelessly jealous and beg her to come back to him.

He didn't.

With a great deal of prompting from his mother, Antonio eventually got on her case, pointing out that if she wasn't careful, people would start calling her a slut and a whore.

"And what are you?" she'd yelled at her father — a man who found it impossible to keep it in his pants. "A goddamn virgin?"

"No. I am a man," he'd replied with a small superior smile. "And men can do anything."

They'd argued bitterly for most of the night, both of them saying things they would grow to regret.

The next morning Nicci had gotten on a plane to L.A. and had not been back to Europe since.

That had been almost two years ago, and now she was engaged and couldn't help wondering if she should call Antonio and tell him. "Hi, Daddy," she'd say sweetly. "I'm no longer a slut and a whore. Will you come to my wedding and give me away?"

Mr. Double Standard. He should've called her, and he never had. Oh well, Lissa had always claimed Antonio was a big disappointment, perhaps she was right.

Nevertheless, Nicci still loved him, although she certainly did not respect him, for his casual way with women had colored her view of all men, forcing her to adopt the motto: Use them before they use you. Up until now she'd run her life that way, unlike dear old Mom, who kept falling in love — or lust, depending on how one looked at it.

Nicci admired the professionalism and achievements of her mother. However, she did not feel particularly close to her. How could she when Lissa always seemed to put her career first, love life second, and trailing a poor third, came Nicci, her only child, to whom she'd given birth when she was twenty and on the brink of becoming very famous indeed.

Nicci often considered it a good thing that Lissa had not had more children, she was hardly mother material.

No, Lissa Roman was a true superstar, destined to be worshiped by millions.

Lissa Roman worked a camera like nobody else. She had all her moves down and enjoyed making love to the lens. Creating dynamic photographs was one of her strengths, and the camera adored her.

Hard work had never bothered Lissa. In fact, hard work was the way her parents — a strict, midwestern couple — had raised her. "Work hard and don't expect no thanks," her father, an austere man incapable of giving affection, had drilled into her. So she'd worked her brains out at school, achieving top grades and getting no words of praise from her distant parents. Even when she was voted top of her class, they'd refused to acknowledge that she'd achieved anything. Finally, at sixteen, after a horrible fight with her parents, she'd run away to New York with her high school boyfriend and never gone back. As far as she knew, they'd never come looking, and she didn't give a damn.

"Do you need anything, honey-child?" Fabio asked, standing on the sidelines sipping green tea from a leopard-print mug.

"Put on the Nelly Furtado CD," she requested. "Track four — 'Legend.' I can't get enough of that song."

She always made sure to bring a selection of favorite CDs to every session. Today it was Nelly, Sade, and Marc Anthony. She was very into soul and Latin sounds and was currently planning her own CD, which would incorporate plenty of both. She was also working on a book, sitting with a ghost writer whenever she had the time, working to produce a glossy coffee-table book to be titled A Week in the Life of Lissa.

Like Madonna and Cher, she was known by one name.

Apart from the CD and the book, there was also a movie she might do — a remake of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Nothing signed yet; she was waiting for the right script. And in her immediate future was a one-night stand in Vegas at the opening of an incredibly lavish new hotel, the Desert Millennium Princess, which would pay her three million dollars for the pleasure of her company. Quite an achievement. And then there was her daughter's upcoming wedding, which Nicci had assured her she could deal with herself.

So Lissa was extremely busy, but not too busy to contemplate her fourth divorce. Currently she was married to Gregg Lynch, a singer/songwriter, ten years younger than her. And thank God her lawyer had insisted that he sign an ironclad prenuptial agreement, because lately she'd begun to suspect that Gregg was composing his love songs elsewhere. And not only that, but over the last six months he'd started showering her with mental abuse.

His constant nagging about things she supposedly did wrong was beginning to get her down. There were times he would pick on the smallest detail and yell at her endlessly. Other times he would berate her for not recording his songs — accusing her manager and agent of mounting a vendetta against him. He'd tried to persuade her to fire them both. "Can't you see that they're stealing from you?" he'd yell. "And you're too dumb and stupid to notice."

He distrusted her business manager. Loathed her lawyer. Hated her yoga teacher. Criticized her friends. In fact, anyone who worked for or befriended her was on his shit list.

She ignored his insults because she knew that deep down he didn't mean it. And whenever he indulged in one of his temper tantrums, he always apologized later. She also understood why he was so supercritical. He was furious that he'd never made it, and because of that, he was forced to take his frustration and anger out on someone, and since she was the closest person to him, that someone was her.

The big problem was that she was never quite sure who she was going to wake up next to — the good or the bad Gregg. Unfortunately, they now seemed to exist side by side.

She couldn't stand him when he was in one of his bad moods. Loved him when he was mellow and caring and supportive — qualities that were fast vanishing.

Lissa was prepared to put up with a lot, but she was no Hillary Clinton. She knew from past experience there was no such animal as the perfect man; the one thing she refused to stand for was infidelity. The moment she suspected that might be happening, it was time to move on, and lately she'd been recognizing the signs only too well: all-night meetings, a renewed interest in his personal appearance, taking one shower a day too many, and developing a paranoid attachment to his cell phone.

As soon as Gregg started exhibiting the symptoms, she'd called the Robbins/Scorsinni Private Investigation Agency and requested a forty-eight-hour surveillance. She'd used the agency on other occasions and they'd never failed her.

It was so depressing that it had to come to this again. Why was it that she had yet to marry a man who could keep it in his pants?

Nelly Furtado crooned over the sound system. Lissa licked her already glossy lips while Fabio fussed with her hair.

"Will we be finished soon?" she asked Max, her publicist, who was hovering on the sidelines with a group of people from the magazine.

"Anytime you want," said Max, a short, cigar-smoking man who wore flamboyant suits and had a different bow tie for every day of the month.

"One more roll," the photographer begged. He was young, in awe, and excellent at what he did.

Lissa was always open to young and excellent, it kept her career edgy and fresh.

Throwing her head back, she struck a pose, honoring the camera with a true-to-form provocative gaze. Parted lips, half-closed diamond-blue eyes, an expression of sexual yearning.

Lissa Roman gave great sex. It always paid off.

Kickboxing class over — a virtual feast of kicking, punching, and sparring — Nicci hurried into the dressing room, took a quick shower and changed into shorts and a stomach-baring T-shirt, all the better to show off her killer abs, glowing tan, and recent navel piercing. Then she stared in the mirror for a moment, which reminded her that she'd certainly inherited Antonio's looks. Rich, dark brown hair cropped like a gamine, with long bangs falling into her huge brown eyes, which were fringed with impossibly long, silky, midnight-black lashes. Long legs and a lithe, lean body. Her overly full, sexy lips and high cheekbones were the only clue that she was Lissa Roman's daughter.

Yes, she decided, she was definitely going to call Antonio. He had to come to her wedding. He was her father, after all, and she needed him beside her on the most important day of her life. It wasn't like she had any other family — Lissa's parents were forbidden territory, although Nicci'd always harbored a secret desire to contact them, see if they were as strict and unloving as Lissa said.

Grabbing her bag, she headed for the car park, where she climbed behind the wheel of her gleaming silver sports BMW, an engagement present from her fiancé, Evan.

Ah...Evan, she thought fondly. A goer. A doer. A man with a mission. Thirty years old and already a self-made millionaire thanks to a string of offbeat comedy movies he'd cowritten and coproduced with his brother, Brian.

So intently was Nicci thinking about Evan, that she did not notice the dusty brown van pull away from the curb and fall in behind her car as she left the parking lot and hit Sunset.

Evan and Brian Richter. A younger, hipper version of the Farrelly brothers. Their rise to power had been meteoric — six movies in five years, all of them box-office smashes.

Nicci had met Evan at the dog park on the top of Mulholland. She'd been walking her then-current boyfriend's Great Dane, and Evan had been trying to control a couple of crazed, large German shepherd puppies that were intent on running riot and attacking as many other dogs as possible. Coolly assessing the situation, she'd gone up to him, grabbed the dog leashes out of his helpless hand, chased down both puppies, and gotten them firmly collared.

"Here," she'd said brusquely, delivering the two German shepherds back to Evan. "I suggest you hire a trainer."

"How much?" he'd asked, all spiky brown hair, lanky limbs, and comic-book features.

"How much what?" she'd answered haughtily.

"How much'll you charge to do it?"

A disdainful look. "You can't afford me."

A crooked grin. "Wanna bet?"

What the hell...she had no job to speak of, and he seemed vaguely legitimate. "A thousand a week. Cash," she'd said, challenging him.

No challenge was too big for Evan Richter. "When can you start?" he'd said, admiring her spunky attitude.

And that's how it all began. A casual meeting, with neither of them knowing anything about the other. He'd only kept the dogs a few weeks, because they were messing up his impeccable house, but by that time Nicci and he were quite inseparable.

That had been five months ago and now they were due to be married in six weeks and she had a wedding to organize with no help from Lissa, whose only suggestion had been to hire a wedding planner.

Nicci sighed. Naturally, she loved Evan. Sort of. Well, he made her laugh, didn't treat her badly, and gave great head. He could also handle the fact that she had a famous mom — which freaked out most guys.

That should be enough to sustain a long and fruitful marriage...shouldn't it?

Yes. Except there was one tiny, little drawback. Very small. Extremely insignificant.

Nicci loved Evan's brother too.

And sometimes she wasn't sure which one of the Richter brothers she loved more.

Copyright © 2001 by Jackie Collins

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First Chapter

Chapter Three

We gotta plan your bachelor party," Brian Richter remarked as he finished rolling a joint. "Or rather I do. All you gotta do is gimme a night, and leave everything else to me."

"No party," Evan Richter answered stubbornly. They were sitting around a long table covered with scribbled-on script pages in a hotel room in Arizona, where they were on location for their current movie, Space Blonde.

"Why not?" Brian said, lighting up the joint.

"I've been a bachelor forever," Evan said, annoyed that he had to explain. "Did enough partying to last a lifetime, so what've I got to prove?"

"You gotta be shittin' me?" Brian said with a disgusted look. "Bachelor parties are the only sane reason for getting

married. If you're gonna lock yourself up in pussy prison, you may as well fuck your balls off before your old lady cuts 'em off."

"You're sick," Evan muttered.

"No. I'm normal," Brian retorted, dragging deeply on his joint. "You're the fucked-up member of the family."

"It's a tragedy we weren't separated at birth," Evan muttered, wishing it were so.

"That would've suited me just fine," Brian retorted. "And I'm sure Mom wouldn't've minded."

The Richter brothers. Fraternal twins. Totally unlike physically. Evan, quirky and nice looking, but no hunk with his spiky brown hair and lanky frame. Whereas Brian was all piercing blue eyes, shaggy beach-blond hair, and a hard body. In spite of Brian's bad-boy habits -- which included gambling, drinking too much, drugging a lot, and indiscriminately sleeping with a variety of nubile females -- he was in excellent shape.

The Richter brothers. Hot properties in Hollywood. Hot and unpredictable. Some thought Evan was the one with all the talent because he appeared to be more serious than Brian. But Brian was the one with the best ideas. And Brian was the one who came up with the main story line and wrote most of the scripts. It was Evan who kept it all together, handled the financial aspects, could unfailingly close any deal, and made sure their movies came in on time and usually under budget.

The Richter brothers were always arguing; it amazed everyone who came in contact with them how they were able to maintain such a successful working relationship. Bicker, bicker, bicker. Day and night they went at it.

Often they threatened to dissolve their partnership and go their separate ways. But usually sanity soon prevailed, because why mess with something that was making them both more money than they could ever have imagined?

"How is dear little Nicci?" Brian asked sarcastically. "Still calling you six times a day?"

"We alternate," Evan muttered, wondering why he was even bothering to explain.

"Bullshit," Brian said disbelievingly.

"How come you're always on her case?" Evan responded, frowning.

"'Cause she's nothing but a needy kid."

Evan glared at his brother. "Like you date adults," he said.

"I date 'em, don't marry 'em," Brian pointed out. "Marriage is for old people who can't get it up."

Fortunately, Teena, their script assistant, rushed into the room, speaking into a cell phone. Short and in her thirties,

she was an eccentric-looking woman with hair like straw, decorated with various colored clips and slides -- plus a bold blue streak. Her round face was made to seem more so by the addition of huge wire-rimmed glasses, and she had a prominent snub nose.

"What's up?" Evan said, happy for the interruption, because he was not about to get into a discussion about why he was marrying Nicci with his sex-crazed brother. It was none of his business.

"Everything," Teena said, clicking off the phone and rolling her purple-shadowed eyes. "Abbey doesn't care for her new lines. Harry is under the impression that his trailer is smaller than hers. And Chris can't handle it. He's apparently gone into a funk. We'd better get over to the location, pronto."

Abbey Christian -- a leggy, twenty-two-year-old natural blonde, with a smile that could light up Christmas. Star of their latest movie. Major player. Major cokehead.

Harry Bello -- big-deal comedy actor supreme. Rubber faced and coming up to fifty. Paranoid about getting older and quite certain that Abbey was receiving better treatment than he was.

Chris Fortune. Boy-wonder director. The same age as Abbey and somewhat intimidated by his two stars -- even though he'd directed the big sleeper hit of the previous summer.

"Freakin' actors," Brian grumbled, exhaling smoke. "We should be making animated movies."

"You finally came up with a decent idea," Evan said. "No more over-the-top salaries."

"Please, guys, let's move it," Teena urged, almost jumping up and down with agitation. "Abbey won't come out of her trailer. Harry's sulking. And Chris is heading for a panic attack. We must get over there."

"Let's go," Brian said, carefully preserving his joint in a Kleenex for later. "Nothing like a view of Abbey's tits to wake me up in the morning."

"Remember," Evan said ominously. "No fucking our star until the movie wraps."

"Hey," Brian said innocently. "I can look, can't I?"

Lissa Roman went to great lengths to keep her private life private. Which was not easy considering she lived under constant media scrutiny. Danny, her assistant, was a big help. Earlier that day she'd instructed him to hire a car, leave it in the parking lot at Saks, and give her the ticket. He'd done so, no questions asked.

After lunch, she'd had Chuck drop her off at Barneys,

instructed him to come back in two hours, walked across to Saks, got into the rented car, and driven out to the valley. There was no way she planned to alert Gregg to what was going on, or anyone else for that matter. This was her business, and when Lissa wanted to keep something private, she knew how to do it.

Anyway, she was quite capable of driving to the valley on her own. She didn't need security, just a pair of dark glasses and a baseball cap to hide her telltale platinum hair. Besides, it was an adventure to be doing something on her own for a change.

She put on talk radio and listened to the various call-ins, which was always a trip, until finally she arrived at the Robbins/Scorsinni offices on Ventura, where she was greeted by a plump, middle-aged Asian assistant in a flowered pantsuit. The offices were old and kind of run-down, but Lissa felt quite comfortable. She wasn't looking for one of those hotshot Hollywood P.I. agencies that knew everyone's business. This low-key place suited her fine.

Quincy Robbins, who ran the private investigation/security agency with his partner, Michael Scorsinni, was a pleasant, reliable man, whom Lissa had used on several other occasions for various matters. He and his partner were ex-New York detectives, and that made her feel secure. When she'd moved into her house several years ago, she'd hired Quincy to be her chief security advisor. She'd never met his partner, but she knew that his reputation was stellar.

"Take a seat, please," the Asian woman said with a gummy smile, revealing a row of uneven teeth. "I am Mai Lee. Michael will be with you soon."

"I'm not here to see Michael," Lissa said, anxious to get this over with. "Quincy is expecting me."

"Nobody contacted you?" Mai Lee said, sounding surprised.

"Not that I know of."

"Oh dear," Mai Lee said, now highly embarrassed. "I think I was supposed to call you."

"About what?" Lissa said, fast losing her patience.

"Quincy's laid up at home," Mai Lee said, fluttering her hands. "He broke his leg."

"You've got to be kidding?"

"I'm afraid it's true."

"When did this happen?"

"A few days ago. But not to worry, Michael took over your case. You'll be happy with Michael, he is most capable."

Lissa stood up. "I always deal with Quincy," she said tightly. "This could've waited if I'd known he wasn't available."

"My fault," Mai Lee said, now taking full responsibility. "I was supposed to explain. You see, Quincy didn't seem to think you would want to wait."

Lissa wondered how much Mai Lee knew. This was so embarrassing, she could see the headlines now -- lissa roman catches another cheating husband.

"Oh, God!" she sighed, realizing there was nothing she could do at this late stage. "I suppose I'll have to see Michael. Where is he?"

"Sorry," Mai Lee said apologetically. "He's out of the office right now."

This was ridiculous, she'd driven all the way out to the valley, and now she was getting a runaround. "Are you telling me that you expect me to sit here and wait?" she said sharply. It wasn't often she played the star, but one perk of star treatment was never having to wait.

"He'll be back soon," Mai Lee volunteered. "Very soon."

"Unbelievable!" Lissa muttered irritably. "I drove over here especially."

"There's plenty of magazines," Mai Lee offered soothingly. "Why don't you sit down and relax?"

Why don't you shove it up your ass, Lissa wanted to say, but she didn't. That would have been mean and petty, and one thing she was always careful about was preserving a good public image.

I'm nervous, she thought. I'm nervous because even though I know for sure that Gregg's screwing around, it's still difficult to deal with. At least Quincy -- big, black, comfortable Quincy -- would have held her hand and said, "Listen, this is something you're not gonna want to hear, but these are the facts."

Now she had to hear it from a stranger.

Well, not exactly a stranger, Quincy had often mentioned his partner's name. "My friend Michael," he'd always say. "You should've seen us when we were detectives together in New York. Michael got shot, nearly bought it. You'll like him. He's one of the good guys."

And yet over the years she'd never met him.

She sat down, picked up a magazine, and flipped the pages impatiently, until suddenly the door was pushed open and a tall man strode in.

"Michael," Mai Lee said, jumping up. "Ms. Roman is here."

He walked right over to her. "Sorry to have kept you waiting," he said. "Quincy insisted I shouldn't make you wait, but it was unavoidable. I'm really sorry," he added, giving her a long, sincere stare.

He had the blackest eyes she'd ever seen, thick jet hair, and dark olive skin with a two-day stubble. He was handsome, with a dangerous edge -- an irresistible combination.

So this is Michael Scorsinni, she thought. Quincy never told me he looks like a movie star -- only better.

"Uh...hi," she said, and wondered if this might turn out to be easier than she'd thought.

Copyright © 2001 by Jackie Collins

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    It's a Fun page turner and the characters are easy to identify w

    It's a Fun page turner and the characters are easy to identify with as well to like or dislike. If you are a fan of her novels you will like this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Why did I even bother????

    I know Jackie Collins is the queen of trashy celebrity fiction so I didn't expect much, but this book was just bad! Not only does Collins use the most obnoxious phrasing in her dialogue, such as " I dunno" and "wanna" and the like, but I detested the way she made every sentence contain a word in italics to emphasize how stupid the characters could sound. If you read Collins, you must know what I mean. All her characters sound like they didn't finish grade school. The women are all depicted as s l u t s, b i t c h e s, airheads, or money-grubbing sharks and the men are all portrayed as either dopeheads, killers, sexual deviants or complete whimps. I realize that people are in fact like this, but not everyone is! This gets boring after a while. If all the characters are like this, then no one stands out and that's exactly what happens in Collins books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Thought it lacked something

    After reading Chances, Lucky, Hollywood Wives etc..This book really didn't get me as involved but it still made me giddy with the little flirtations and all the sexual tension that Jackie Collins is oh so famous for. It just needed to be a few thousand pages longer.

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

    Posted August 26, 2002

    Jackie Collins Rocks!

    As with any other Jackie Collins' book, I couldn't put it down! I loved the story's plot and the climax was killer. She still writes with same strong and accurate feeling as she always has. It's a great read that you won't want to put down. Famous and familiar characters return to entice with new drama.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2002

    Captivating Like All Her Other Books

    I love all of Jackie Collins' books and this one was right up there with the rest of them. I read the book in less than a day because once I got started I couldn't put it down. She knows how to draw people into her books and keep your attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2002

    No disapointments here!!!

    In her usual shocking and sultry style, Jackie Collins hits us with another one of her amazing books. As they always do, this book draws you in from the first page and leaves you thinking about the larger-than-life characters long after you have finished the book. Too bad she only writes one book a year because I am hooked!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    Jackie's latest!!!!!!

    This book proves to me that Jackie Collins' style is becoming repetitive, and lacks the punch of her earlier novels that shocked readers.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    One-sitting thrilling fluff

    Hollywood superstar Lissa Roman thinks her fourth spouse Gregg Lynch is seeing another woman. Lissa puts up with a lot from her men, but refuses to accept womanizing. Will she toss Gregg out of her life? <P>Lissa¿s daughter Nicci feels confused between her fiancé Evan Richer and her future brother-in-law Brian. She loves both of them yet finds she is more attracted to Brian. Will she choose Brian over Evan? <P>Lissa visits private investigator Michael Scorsinni to make inquiries into Gregg¿s philandering. When Lissa and Michael first meet, a spark ignites, but both keep the relationship strictly business. Michael has tapes of Gregg¿s cheating and promises to handle everything required to throw him out of Lissa¿s home. Will Lissa and Michael follow up on that initial attraction? <P>Meanwhile ex-con Eric Vernon sets a plot in motion to kidnap Nicci. He pretends to be gay to attain information from Lissa¿s assistant Danny and begins to follow Nicci to learn her habits. Will Eric succeed in abducting Nicci? <P> Jackie Collins is a strange phenomenon that defies the logic of literature. Though the readers know its fluff Ms. Collins somehow hooks you for no logical reason into a one sitting read in which you feel totally entertained but not sure why. The HOLLYWOOD WIVES ¿ THE NEW GENERATION fits that classification as the story contains two intriguing major subplots and three other unnecessary but enticing minor subplots. Ms. Collins has done it again, as her fans will savor her latest contemporary fiction. Will the audience finally understand why we love Ms Collins? <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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