Drop Dead Beautiful: A Novel (Lucky Santangelo Book 6)
Nobody writes better stories about rich, famous people than Jackie Collins. In the sixth book in her Lucky Santangelo series, she shows she's still on top. No whiny chick-lit about life at the bottom of the ladder even comes close. Though I like her books that start with characters before they're rich and famous more than the ones that start with the money and power already in place, after the first couple chapters are done gushing about how rich and famous everyone is, I get in my Jackie groove and go along for the ride.
This story starts with Lucky on the brink of opening a posh new resort in Las Vegas, the Keys. Her life is already plenty hectic with two teenage kids at home, one her wild and impetuous 16-year-old daughter, Max. Max is dying to get together with the hottie she's been chatting up on the internet. She concocts a story about going out of town with a girlfriend, and she's off to meet Internet Guy in the KMart parking lot in Big Bear. Once there, she meets hot, 19-year-old Ace, just in time for the two of them to get kidnapped by her on-line buddy, who morphs into Internet Freak.
Meanwhile, an old Santangelo enemy, Francesca Bonnatti, is poised to take revenge. When she discovered her dead son Enzio had left a bastard son behind in Italy, she took young Anthony under her wing and raised him to be a successful businessman/drug lord. Francesca tells Anthony that it's time for vengeance on the Santangelos, so Anthony puts in place a plot to destroy the Keys Resort and put Lucky out of business. Anthony is a busy boy, flying between a number of cities where he does business, keeping two mistresses, and a wife trapped in Mexico City.
Irma, Anthony's wife, is growing bored and restless. Her restrictive existence doesn't allow for much fun, especially since her husband quit visiting her bed after their children were born. Luis, the young gardener, starts to look like a tasty pastime. Soon, she craves his touch, but if Anthony ever found out, there would be hell to pay.
The story jumps and spins from one character to another as the drama unfolds and the suspense builds. Will Max and Ace escape their kidnapper? Will Lucky's best friend, superstar Venus Maria, stay with her younger boyfriend, movie star Billy Melina? Who keeps sending Lucky cards that say only "Drop Dead Beautiful"? Will Anthony find out about Irma's infidelity with the gardener? And will his plot to destroy the Keys at its grand opening succeed?
Jackie Collins is not classic literature, but her books are flat-out fun. Her secret seems to lie in not having too much respect for any of her characters, though Lucky Santangelo has always been an exception to the rule. Raunchy, sexy, and at times violent, a Jackie Collins novel always delivers.