an absorbing roller-coaster

Book: Drop Dead Beautiful

Book: Drop Dead Beautiful

Author: Jackie Collins

Publisher: Jonathan Ball

Reviewer: Lindi Obose

I am not a fan of romantic or soapie-like novels, but since this is supposed to be the month of love, I decided to indulge in this well-written and easy to understand story.

This is Jackie Collins's 25th book. It is racy, a non-stop, sexy roller-coaster ride. How fitting that this silver anniversary publication celebrates her most popular character, Lucky Santangelo, a woman who lives by her wits, but knows how to use her sexuality in equal measure.

Each storyline is equally absorbing, which is uncommon, and zips the reader along through the ins and outs of big money dealings.

The stakes are higher now that a deadly enemy from her past has resurfaced, hoping to destroy anything and everyone she holds dear - including her two sons and out-of-control teenage daughter.

And it seems that wilful daughter Max is cut from the same cloth. Planning a new luxury resort in Las Vegas and organising a 95th birthday party for Gino, her elderly father, still, she manages to keep these different engines running.

Anthony Bonar, a womaniser and cold-hearted killer, would love nothing more than to see Lucky's Las Vegas dream destroyed and he'll do anything to see that it does. Failed actor and spoiled heir Henry Whitfield-Simmons has always hated Lucky with a passion, blaming her for his non-start career.

Meanwhile, prickly director Alex Woods has always had a crush for Lucky, but knows she will always remain faithful to her husband - as long as he's in the picture.

And someone keeps leaving mysterious notes in her mailbox with the threatening words "drop dead beautiful". All signs point to danger for Lucky.

Lucky is not alone in her whirlwind lifestyle. Her friend, mega-star Venus Maria is also busy trying to keep her toy-boy actor boyfriend satisfied as well as keep her name in the papers and on the marquees.

Max, Lucky's 16-year-old daughter, is being wooed by an online suitor who keeps pressing for a face-to-face meeting. Instead of the gorgeous guy she thought she'd be meeting, he turns out to be an obsessed rich psycho with a deep-seated grudge against Lucky.

Anthony's long-suffering wife Irma has decided to take matters into her own hands and starts an affair with her sexy gardener.

Alex Woods struggles with his secret affection for Lucky and his headstrong lawyer girlfriend Ling. Henry wants to even the score with Lucky for robbing him of his career.

Everyone in the novel has something to prove and someone to get back at, which is perfect for a big, juicy revenge.