Wicked Pleasures

( 5 )

Overview


All families have secrets?but could one scandalous secret tear this aristocratic family apart? Sexy, glamorous, and fun, Wicked Pleasures, set on a canvas as American as English, is the story of a brother and two sisters who discover that they all have different fathers. None of them are the children of Alexander, Earl of Caterham, who was married to their mother for almost twenty years.

A family saga that takes the reader right from the 1950s to the end of the twentieth ...

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Wicked Pleasures

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Overview


All families have secrets—but could one scandalous secret tear this aristocratic family apart? Sexy, glamorous, and fun, Wicked Pleasures, set on a canvas as American as English, is the story of a brother and two sisters who discover that they all have different fathers. None of them are the children of Alexander, Earl of Caterham, who was married to their mother for almost twenty years.

A family saga that takes the reader right from the 1950s to the end of the twentieth century, and set between the Hamptons summer homes of New York’s elite and the English countryside familiar to any fan of British period drama, it’s a tale of the power and greed of the mega-rich, as the great banking business upon which the family’s fortunes are won and lost comes to the brink of ruin. Intense relationships, both old and new, are tested to the utmost in this grand and unputdownable summer read.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sex, secrets, and long-term estate planning are the ties that bind three generations of a New York banking dynasty to their aristocratic English cousins in Vincenzi’s latest family saga. Resentment roils when financier Frederick Praeger selects as heirs both his grandson Freddy (son of Frederick’s son, Baby) and his granddaughter Charlotte (daughter of Baby’s sister, Virginia). Raised in Britain at the Caterham manse, Charlotte uncovers evidence of her mother’s extramarital activities, prompting her, brother Max, and sister Georgina, to find their biological fathers—much to the dismay of their supposed paterfamilias, the earl of Caterham. But what the siblings don’t realize is that uncovering past secrets means unraveling fortunes on both sides of the Atlantic, not to mention threatening lives and one person’s sanity. Vincenzi (The Decision) has won multitudes of fans with narratives featuring well-off characters whose glamorous lives contain enough bedroom and boardroom action to support a miniseries. The secret to her success is the sympathy she creates for these privileged protagonists, thereby positioning herself as queen of the bonkbusters, even if the title promises more than it delivers. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Oct.)
Glamour
The doyenne of the modern blockbuster.
People
Soap opera? You bet–but with her well-drawn characters and engaging style, Vincenzi keeps things humming.
USA Today
Nobody writes smart, page-turning commercial women's fiction like Vincenzi.
Booklist
Set in the glamorous worlds of an American banking dynasty and the British aristocracy, Vincenzi’s latest family saga is rife with backstabbing, greed, scandal, extramarital dalliances, and, yes, wicked pleasures.
Library Journal
Vincenzi (The Best of Times; Windfall) does it again with another captivating and entertaining family saga that combines power, riches, lies, and greed. As soon as Virginia, Countess of Caterham, confesses to her therapist that none of her children are aware they have different fathers, readers are hooked. In flashbacks, readers meet Virginia's great-great-grandfather, an American banking king, learn how the Praeger family fortune came to be, and discover how Virginia became a countess. The underlying mystery is why Virginia took lovers when she obviously loved her husband. VERDICT While Vincenzi introduces a few too many subplots and characters to keep track of or care about, the compelling main plot will keep readers glued to the pages of this lengthy novel. For fans of Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steel.—Marianne Fitzgerald, Annapolis, MD
Kirkus Reviews
The marriage of an American banking heiress and a British aristocrat breeds—or not—dire consequences. When Virginia, daughter of New York financier Fred III, ruler of the banking dynasty Praegers, marries a lord whose palatial country house, Hartest, needs a cash infusion, this first appears to be a standard tale of English nobility saved by American wealth, à la Downton Abbey. However, the prologue makes quite clear what the primary throughline of this typically Vincenzi-an doorstop will be: Virginia, Lady Caterham, admits to her shrink that none of her three children know who their real father is, but one thing is for sure, none are the progeny of their presumed sire, Alexander, Earl of Caterham. Why this is so is the primary source of suspense in a book that is, particularly in its exposition-laden first half, quite the arduous slog. Growing up, the three Caterham children are taunted by playmates and schoolmates about how little they resemble one another. When Virginia dies before she can explain, each of the three children, Charlotte, Max (heir to Hartest) and, most reluctantly, the earl's favorite child, Georgina, embarks on a quest to solve his or her respective paternal enigma. Each divines, with growing horror, that their mother had affairs for the express purpose of procreation—in all likelihood with Alexander's complicity. An equally fraught subplot involves Virginia's brother Baby (Fred IV), his opportunistic English mistress, Angie, and the internecine battles at Praegers as the bank enters the treacherous but immensely profitable territory of the Reagan era and beyond. Fred III, as he grows elderly, refuses to relinquish his control of the bank to Baby, and Baby's son, Freddy, once sole heir to Praegers, is, at Fred III's decree, now co-heir with cousin Charlotte, whom he's determined to sandbag. By postponing, for over 300 pages, genuine challenges for her hyperprivileged characters, Vincenzi risks delaying any reason to sympathize with them. A balky lead-up to a breathless close, as sinister secrets belatedly bubble up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590203583
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/27/2012
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Penny Vincenzi, before becoming a novelist, worked at such magazines as Vogue, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan. She is the author of The Dilemma, Almost a Crime, No Angel, Something Dangerous, Into Temptation, Sheer Abandon, An Absolute Scandal, An Outrageous Affair, Windfall, and Forbidden Places, all available from Overlook.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Amazing

    This book had me hooked from the first page to the last! This book made me want to read every book Penny Vincenzi has written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Highly Recommend! Penny Vincenzi never disappoints

    Like all of this author's previous books, she grabs you in the beginning and never lets go! I was surprised that Viginia died so early in the book but there were enough twists and turns to keep you mesmerized until the last pagre. Excellent read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    Penny gives us more than our 'Money's Worth'

    Reading over 100 books a year, she still ranks as my Favorite Author - This book is no exception.

    Wonderful writing/story & amazing characters. She never fails!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Not Worth the Time

    This book had periods of interesting story, but was mostly awful.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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