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There have been many imitators, but only ever one Jackie Collins. The iconic British author has been called a "raunchy moralist" by the director Louis Malle and "Hollywood's own Marcel Proust" by Vanity Fair. With millions of her books sold in more than forty countries, and with thirty-one New York Times bestsellers to her credit, she is one of the world's top-selling novelists. From glamorous Beverly Hills bedrooms to Hollywood move studios; from glittering rock concerts in London to the yachts of Russian billionaires, Jackie Collins chronicled the scandalous lives of the rich, famous, and infamous from the inside looking out. "I write about real people in disguise," she once said. "If anything, my characters are toned down-the truth is much more bizarre!" Her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men, was published in 1968 and established Collins as an author who dared to step where no other female writers had gone before. She followed it year after year with one successful title after another, including Chances, the first installment of a sprawling nine-book saga introducing the street-smart, sexy, and dynamic Lucky Santangelo. The eighties saw Jackie hitting her stride with the seminal blockbuster, Hollywood Wives, as well as Lucky, Hollywood Husbands, and Rock Star. In recent years she kept fans entertained with Poor Little Bitch Girl, The Power Trip, and her final novel, The Santagelos, never wavering on her commitment to take her readers on a "wild ride"! Six of her novels have been adapted for film or TV and Universal Pictures has recently optioned the Santangelo series with a view to bringing Lucky to the big screen. Jackie was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by the Queen of England in 2013 for her services to literature and charity. When accepting the honor she said to the Queen, "Not bad for a school drop-out"-a revelation capturing her belief that both passion and determination can lead to big dreams coming true. Jackie Collins lived in Beverly Hills where she had a front row seat to the lives she so accurately captured in her compulsive plotlines. She was a creative force, a trailblazer for women in fiction and in her own words "A kick-ass writer!"
The 73-year-old chick lit doyenne of raunchy romance presents No. 27 with a revival of her most popular character, Lucky Santangelo (whose debut in the 1981 blockbuster Chances made the prolific Brit author as popular as big-sister actress Joan). But as kick-ass as the now 50-something Lucky is-operating ancient patriarch Gino's Las Vegas hotel empire as it comes under siege from a menacing royal brat with pervy sexual proclivities and a nasty drug habit-the packed plot belongs to the next generation: Lucky's 17-year-old mini-me daughter, Max; hot-and-handsome oldest son, Bobby; and all the lovers and losers the spoiled duo cycle through with giddy abandon. There's never a doubt Collins's cast of strong women, and the guys who chose them, will ferret out true love and survive. But that's not entirely the point in this delicious, manic tale of rich people behaving badly, getting everything they deserve, and leaving enough loose ends to warrant an inevitable sequel. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Revenge has long been a popular literary theme, and two new commercial novels tackle it in showbiz fashion. In the latest installment of best-selling author Collins's Lucky Santangelo saga (Drop Dead Beautiful), the strong, beautiful, and successful Lucky refuses to sell her luxury Vegas hotel/casino/apartment complex to Armand Jordan, a misogynistic billionaire who won't take no for an answer (this is where vengeance comes in). In addition, her nearly 18-year-old daughter, Max, wants to move to New York City to start her adult life, but Lucky, who grew up way too fast, is concerned. Reality TV star Osbourne's fiction debut is a sibling rivalry story about two English sisters whose mother's plans for stardom were thwarted when she became pregnant. As a result, Margaret resented firstborn Chelsea, now a wild, troubled, and talented actress, and favored baby Amber, who is a rom-com sweetheart who does what Margaret tells her to do. All hell really breaks loose between them when Leo, a movie producer, interferes professionally and personally and drives the sisters to seek revenge. VERDICT Collins delivers another juicy read, but pay attention: Goddess of Vengeance has many characters to track, and the novel moves rapidly. Collins spends a lot of time interrupting the various stories to tell readers about the characters' histories, a common hazard when writing a series. In a story published in the British Times, a Little, Brown spokesperson disclosed that Revenge had an uncredited cowriter but said the story was dreamed up by Osbourne (ow.ly/5UsG8). However this novel was conceived and written, it's massively entertaining and perfectly paced, with just the right amount of narrative and dialog. The characters are drawn well. Both novels name-drop brands and celebrities and are filled with sex and drugs. Libraries should expect high demand for Collins, as usual, and should order extra copies of Revenge, which is sure to get a lot of mainstream press. [Goddess of Vengeance previewed in Prepub Alert, 3/28/11.]-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ., NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.