Book Review: Married Lovers by Jackie Collins.

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No. of pages: 464 pages

Publisher (Date): Pocket Books, April 16, 2009

Setting: Hollywood, Los Angeles

SynopsisThree high-powered Hollywood couples, two hot affairs, one underage Russian ex-hooker, a passionate murder—and the players’ lives are changed forever.

Cameron Paradise, a stunningly beautiful twenty-four-year-old personal trainer, flees Hawaii and her champion-surfer husband, Gregg, in the middle of one of his abusive tirades and makes her way to L.A. Tall, blond, with a body to die for, it doesn’t take Cameron long to find a job at an exclusive private fitness club where she encounters LA’s most important players. She has plans to open her own studio one day, and while every man she meets comes on to her, she is more focused on saving money and working hard than getting caught up in the L.A. scene of wild parties and recreational drugs.

Until she meets Ryan Richards, an extremely successful independent movie producer. Ryan is married to overly privileged Mandy Richards, the daughter of Hamilton J. Heckerling, a Hollywood power-player son-of-a-bitch mogul. Ryan has never cheated on his demanding Hollywood Princess wife, but when he meets Cameron, all bets are off, especially since she’s seeing his best friend Don Verona, the devastatingly attractive talk-show host and legendary player.

In her latest sizzling blockbuster, internationally bestselling author Jackie Collins explores what happens when lust and desire collide with marriage and power—and the results lead to murder.

Reader’s Verdict:

What followed was a heady sensation of orgasms and a barrage of lies and betrayal. It also serves to remind you that your past will catch up with you when you least expect it.

It was a huge relief for me after I finally completed Jackie Collins’ Married Lovers last night. Not that the book was bad but because I’ve fallen behind in my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 30 books for the year 2017. The last I checked, I was 3 books short of the actual number I should be at by now.

Married Lovers was exactly just that and what we can expect from Hollywood. Three high powered and equally famous couples were thrown into the spotlight after a web of lies were exposed.

Character Breakdown

Ryan Richards, a successful and independent movie producer, was married to Mandy Heckerling, the spoilt and rich only daughter of Hamilton J. Heckerling. Ryan came from a close-knit family background but Mandy had a string of stepmothers and how he had dealt with it all was beyond him. At first, he had believed that she tried to be the best that she could. Eventually, however, he didn’t think so anymore. He knew their marriage was a sham but he wasn’t the type to hitch and ditch just for the sake of it. So he stood by her through it all until they reached the boiling point.

Phil Standard loved his wife Lucy Lyons so much that he couldn’t stand other men ogling her or wanting to touch her. But the same rules didn’t seem to apply to him. He fucked whatever that had two legs and a pussy (pardon the vulgarity here). Yet he was the best scriptwriter and one of the richest men in Hollywood, and no matter how much Lucy hated his lascivious gut towards other women (and likewise, how much Phil hated the fact that his wife is desperate to make a return to movie-acting), there was no way she could leave him.

Don Verona could have any woman he wanted and in Hollywood, there was definitely no shortage of women either. Yet he still made a beeline for Cameron Paradise anyway, the personal trainer and co-owner of Paradise, the sports gym in Hollywood. Being in the limelight (and the flashbulbs of the paparazzi) isn’t Cameron’s idea of romance but being seen in public with a gorgeous, big-time talk show host comes with the package. Besides, she was running from her past and who better to help her forget her abusive husband than a hunk of a lifetime?

Conclusion

Seriously, the book was full (and I really mean full!) of lust. Politics certainly played a role too, especially since there were so many powerful players in the plot. But lust and sex hadn’t escaped the clutches and it permeated all throughout the chapters, hidden in every line and paragraph, waiting to be discovered by readers. Phew.

Now I’m ready to tackle Glass Geishas by Susanna Quinn. And hopefully, close the gap of my reading challenge.

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Book Review: Sinners by Jackie Collins.

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There was just too much sex, lust and perversity in this book. Too much. So much so that once I was done with it, I had to detox my brain with another one that came with none of what I’ve read in Jackie Collins’ novel.

Gosh.

The History Behind Sinners

The novel was originally titled Sunday Simmons & Charlie Brick and published in 1971 by W. H. Allen, before it was retitled The Hollywood Zoo in 1975 and then as Sinners in 1984. The character of Charlie Brick was rumoured to be based on actor comedian Peter Sellers, a close friend of Collins’ at the time. This novel was Collins’ first novel set in Los Angeles and also the first one that centred on the lives and loves of movie stars. Her previous two novels were set in London.

In Sinners, author Jackie Collins exposes the darker side of Hollywood; a side that many people hardly get to catch a glimpse of and assuming everything is peachy fine. Just like the fairytale notion of marrying a Prince and becoming a Princess. Nope. This dark side of Hollywood exists beneath all the glitz, gloss and glamour. This seemingly dark side reveals the shocking lifestyles of the rich and the famous (cue: Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous song by Good Charlotte here).

Every character in this book comes from every walk of life. They could be beautiful or bad; brilliant or bored. But they all have one common goal: to get the best table, sign the most lucrative deal and grab the biggest piece of the action! Obscene wealth, kinky sex, household name fame… You name it, they want it all and all of these are made available in the pleasure capital of known as Hollywood.

The Not-So-Sinful Ones

Charlie Brick is a famous actor. So rich, so successful and so famous that every woman he sleeps with has the personal agenda of appearing in his movies in return for sex. Despite being at the top of his game, he realises that money can’t buy him happiness. His wife of many years has left him for someone else and taken their two children with her. His efforts to win her back backfires and he is devastated to find that she was getting married. As a result, he turns to alcohol and girls in hopes of forgetting his troubles. One day, in a drunken frenzy, he marries Dindi Sydne, a girl whom he falsely believed to be sweet and innocent but who turns out to be just as greedy as the rest, if not worse.

Sunday Simmons is a beautiful and aspiring actress with integrity and a conscience that many of her type do not possess. She enters Hollywood by way of Rio, London and Rome with very strict principles and a clear idea of right and wrong. Jaws drop. Top directors and producers want her name in their contracts and their movies. Despite her carefully-constructed conscience, she soon finds herself ensconced in a web of evil. Among the hangers-on and the bodybuilders, the hookers-turned-actresses and the sex-addicted execs, there is one evil man even more bizarre than any screenwriter could have ever invented. And he will not rest until he can make his most depraved fantasies come true. She soon learns that you can’t get somewhere without making at least one sacrifice.

I Was All Sinned Out

Honestly, I felt a tad disappointed with the book. Like I mentioned in my first paragraph, there were way too many descriptions of sex, lust and perversity in it. The amount of greed and deception annoyed me and made me feel depressed. I’d say it almost skewed my perception of Hollywood too, knowing that not every actor and actress was as bad as they were painted in the novel. Collins’ lead characters were shallow (your typical dumb blonde types). Even Sunday Simmons who first appeared as independent and intelligent eventually falls in love with a man who rapes her (and has the characters in his movie do the same thing as well!) and treats her disgracefully. It’s like agreeing with the idea that girls SHOULD go for bad boys and let them be mistreated.

This had been the most X-rated book I have ever read and one with the grossest list of characters too! Herbert Jefferson by far is the most disgusting and vilest man I’ve ever read about and he gets my vote for Evilest Man of the Year 2017 award. I felt like I could just murder him from beyond the pages! Dindi Sydne was so bitchy and slutty I could have slapped her until my hands fell off. Natalie Allen and Thames Mason were your typical dumb blondes though. And don’t get me started on the rest like Clay Allen, Steve Magnum and Claude Hussan. Oh Lord.

I’m not a big fan of Jackie Collins and this is my first book that I’ve read that was written by her. But I do know that the book itself felt pretty shallow and left me wondering what is Hollywood really all about. No disrespect meant to all you Jackie Collins fans out there. It’s just the way I felt about the book after I finished reading it.