Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goddess of Vengeance reviewed by fran lewis

Goddess of Vengeance
Author: Jackie Collins
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Lucky Ssntangelo is forceful, daring and never to be underestimated. Business experience, hotel owner in Las Vegas,  numerous properties and the wife of Lennie Golden Lucky has what most might think it all. Owning the Keys a hotel in Vegas and huge complex there and creating it from scratch is just one of her major accomplishments. She is tough, straightforward and definitely someone you do no want to butt heads with. Lucky’s lawyer alerts her to the fact that someone is looking into buying the Keys. Armand Jordan the prince of Akramshar, is after what she wants. Armand is a self made man with some help from his father the King. His money not that different from many was made from deals created by this power driven man.

Lucky gets what she wants and is up against a man who believes being a Prince, having money and power can force anyone to acquiesce his every want without question. Armand does not understand or comprehend the word no and as far as he is concerned women are made to service men, mainly him, and meeting Lucky upfront and personal does not change his hate and loathing of women nor change his quest to own the Keys. Prepared with the information needed on Lucky by his friend and assistant, Fouad, the picture presented to him is much different when facing Lucky. Armand uses drugs, coke and revenge is his only friend. Dealing with her proved a challenge. Who would win? Wait and see!

Max Santangelo is about to turn 18 and her parents are going to throw her a huge party. Max is a rebel and has no qualms about staying out late, enjoying male companionship and hoping to move to New York and strike it on her own. Brother Bobby is the heir to Stanislopolous Greek shipping fortune but has business sense and smarts of his own. Owning his own clubs and hopefully with the aide of some Russian investors will branch out and create more of his clubs called Mood. Mood is comprised of many different nightclubs in New York and Vegas. Added to the mix is Denver who adores and loves him. She is enamored with Bobby, intimidated by Lucky and definitely not into the jet scene and the fast life like Bobby.  Plus, he has throngs of women that fawn all over him and what girl wants to deal with that! Denver has a lot to offer as Deputy working over the drug unit.

Max and her two friends meet up and go clubbing only to leave one with the wrong guy. Getting a call from her friend Cookie, who is totally wasted, that she and Frankie Romano claiming he’s the owner of the River have gotten too close for Max’s comfort and worries Max about how to help her but can’t figure out how.

As we get to know more about Armand Jordan he is not someone you want to ever meet. He is a user, sadistic, cruel and self absorbed as well as ruthless. Looking down on women, people in general and thinking that he has the right to anything he wants he fails to comprehend rejection of any type or understand the word NO.  Devoid of any feelings, understanding of others his way is the only way and he enjoys handing out the insults, underhanded remarks and much more. The world revolves around him, his business desires and hopefully his father’s wealth when he is gone. After all, he is a Prince and his father is a King. But, here in America that means little. Paying high priced hookers to debase themselves brings him joy and happiness. His chosen wife, left way behind and not even an after thought.

Next, we get to know more about Max and her friends. She is totally spoiled, no responsibilities and she and her friends think nothing about dipping into the wealth of their parents to have parties, drink and use drugs. Bobby, her brother on the other hand seems more adept at business and a more stable life. But, where does that place Denver his girlfriend who seems unable to make a total commitment to him and is not sure his way of life is hers.

Author Jackie Collins takes the reader on an inside journey into lives of the rich, famous, not so famous, powerful, greedy and just plain spoiled younger generation. When Lucky approaches Max about her future why does she back off? Will she see any other warning signs that she might need to be reeled in?

Max thinks she has it all under control when Lucky leaves for Vegas to prepare for Max’s birthday party, several business meetings and spending time with her father Gino. But, Max has other ideas when Lucky leaves and decides to have her own birthday bash which gets out of control sending her reeling in anger at her two so called friends Cookie and Harry and into the arms of non other than Billy Melina her mother’s best friends soon to be ex-husband. Imagine having her first encounter with a man who is none other than Venus’s husband. But, Max falls hard, gives into temptation and the end result is not what Max expects But, there is so much more. As Denver finally invites Bobby to meet her parents and a business meeting gets in the way. Armand is on his way to Vegas with an unexpected added appendage, his mother following in his wake. Married to the King of Akramshar as his fifth wife, she had Armand who became the king’s favorite son helping him with business deals and much more. Rude to his own wife chosen for him, demeaning women every chance he gets, and the fact that Lucky, lowly woman, owns the Keys and would not sell it to him more than enraged this man. Added to the suspense is Max’s rash decision that Lucky has yet to find out about.

Armand is fuming that his mother is coming to Vegas with him. The only woman who makes him feel insecure and small and less the man he purports to be. The Presidential suite booked by Armand at the Keys. Author Jackie Collins describes the interior of the Penthouse so vividly you wish you were in the Jacuzzi or steam shower and enjoying the game room leaving his mother to fend for herself at a different hotel. But, she was not to be ignored and his thoughts of young girls, paying for some real fun and more would be deflated or would they?

Treating his high priced hookers like dirt, Armand never expected to be found out or treated the way he was when meeting Lucky. Brazen, self assured but yet the reader feels insecure and really not that sure of himself just by the way he acts and treats others, this man was knocked down quite a few pegs by Lucky. Just how you will have to find out for yourself. Goddess of Vengeance Revenge and much more is our Lucky.

What happens next will change things for Max as her boyfriend Ace shows up for her birthday, Billy is on his way with a friend, Frankie starts demanding things of the hotel staff, Cookie is definitely na├»ve and has no clue about the reality of things and Lucky needs to do some detective work to learn more about Armand. Added to the mix is the back-story related to Armand’s mother and her relationship with Gino and two other men. How that ties you just won’t believe as author Jackie Collins keeps the energy flowing, the suspense level on high alert and the outcomes not what you would expect.

All of the players are together in Vegas. Sparks fly when Venus sees Billy. Cookie and Max decide to go it on their own running straight into Billy. Denver spends an evening with Lucky and her true feelings come out as the author uses italics to the let reader hear the inner most thoughts and fears of the character. Added to that she expresses her feelings about Lennie, meets Venus and the evening gets quite exciting. Meanwhile Peggy had her own agenda in mind having dinner with Gino and his wife. Just what she hoped to learn and why she needed this meeting would clarify something for her if the results were what she thought. Jealousies rise to the occasion. Tempers flare and Lucky decides to take matters into her own hands when Armand’s true colors are once again revealed. Impulsive, outrageous and definitely someone not to ………with, Lucky usually has every situation under control. But, will she this time?

Armand had a plan of his own that he hoped would solve the problem of Lucky and her hotel. But, being so bombed out, strung out on coke his way of thinking was totally distorted. However, Bobby and Denver still had their own issues to deal with as things started to come to a head in their relationship. How would Lucky and Lennie feel about Max and Billy? Would they find out? What will be the end result for Armand? With an explosive ending that will keep you in suspense and an end result filled with twists, turns and surprises, author Jackie Collins once again delivers a great novel filled with gossip, true to life Hollywood insider information as Lucky, Lennie, Venus, Max and rest provide more than just the local color that is VEGAS. Goddess of Vengeance is definitely a must read and let’s hope she brings Lucky back for more.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

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