For the most part the people I follow on Twitter are those who I could see myself sitting down and having a fun chat over coffee, or better yet, over cocktails. And though the coffee or cocktail chat is likely to never happen in this case, one of those folks that I follow and have this obscure fantasy about is author Jackie Collins.
The great thing is Ms. Collins lives up to my ’Twitter as cocktail fantasy’ by being a total friend in my head and tweeting about all my favorite pop culture subjects: Dancing With The Stars, The Real Housewives and yes, the king of all things non-reality, Andy Cohen. Oh yeah, I’m in.
And now here she is a woman and an author after my own heart now out with a new book—her 28th!: Goddess of Vengeance.
Goddess of Vengeance brings back her longtime, beloved and most fearless character, Lucky Santangelo. Lucky was the original heroine of Chances. Did that book really first come out in 1981, and was I really 12 when I read it? ’Fraid so, Mom. Let’s call it 13, if that makes any of you feel better. I’m sure my copy was a cast-off from either my mom or my grandmother, who were both huge fans.
In Goddess of Vengeance, Lucky kicks ass and takes names once again, this time as an established career woman, wife, and mother. She is the owner of The Keys, the premiere hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip, in a happy marriage with her longtime love, independent film director Lennie Golden. Her son Bobby is a sexy successful business man and nightclub owner in his own right. He’s trying to make it in a monogamous relationship with beautiful attornery Denver Jones. Not so easy when the women flock to Bobby like flies to honey.
The family is gathering in Las Vegas at The Keys to celebrate the 18th birthday of her beautiful and headstrong daughter Max, who shows signs of being every bit as feisty as her mother. Now that Max is 18, she’s ready to break free and strike out on her own. Could an affair with an up-and-coming hunky star be the right first step at independence? Maybe so—as long as Lucky doesn’t get wind of it.
Lucky has her hands full with handling her family and her business but things get downright dangerous when a mysterious billionaire Armand Jordon sets his sights on The Keys. And when Armand wants something he gets it—no matter the cost.
But one of Lucky’s simple rules is, “Never Fuck with a Santangelo.” She has no intention of selling so the chauvinistic billionaire gets much more than he bargained for when he decides to make Lucky his enemy.
Reading Ms. Collins is like glimpsing a snapshot of life of the moment, and this Extra-loving gawker couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I had so much fun getting the veiled and not-so-veiled pop culture references throughout the book. It was like Access Hollywood come to life, but the dark side. Ms. Collins pulls no punches as you’re thrust into the hottest clubs where the drugs flow all too easily, while the paparazzi click away hungrily outside. All is done in Ms. Collins’s fast-paced, almost quick as a snapshot, style of writing. No, there are no long monologues here. It’s in and out.
But though this may be considered a fun (which it so is) beach read, it shouldn’t be taken too lightly. In the end, this is a story about family and relationships, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, breaking out to find your own identity, and as always with Jackie, the kick-ass power of women.
Kwana Jackson is a writer of Women’s fiction and Young Adult, a former fashion designer, a wife, and a mother of teen twins who has a love of knitting and a strange obsession with “reality” TV.