POWERFUL MEN, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN AND EXQUISITE REVENGE...
Beth, Lara and Rio -- three exotic women with a common cause and vengeance in their hearts.
They're out to avenge a murder and they'll go to any lengths. Their targets: the heirs of the Bassalino crime family. Their weapon: sex. The result: a bloodbath of sexual mayhem through the lethal corridors of organized crime.
Three beautiful women set out to prove that when it comes to revenge, the female is far deadlier than the male -- especially when they're THE LOVE KILLERS. . .
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There have been many imitators, but only Jackie Collins can tell you what really goes on in the fastest lane of all -- from Beverly Hills bedrooms to the raunchy streets of Hollywood.
With 200 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries, Jackie Collins is one of the world's top-selling writers. In a series of controversial bestsellers, she has blown the lid off Hollywood life and loves. "I write about real people in disguise," she says. "If anything, my characters are toned down -- the truth is much more bizarre."
Jackie's sixteen bestselling novels have never been out of print, and all have been New York Times bestsellers. Now comes Thrill!, a high suspense story of sex, lust, relationships, fame, violence and terror. Her heroine is a beautiful movie star -- classy and untouchable, who hooks up with a handsome stud -- irresistible to women. Then there's her ex-husband. His ex-lovers. A fifteen year old wild child. An obsessed fan. And all the secrets in the world...
Jackie Collins started writing as a teenager, making up steamy stories her schoolmates paid to devour. Her first book, The World Is Full of Married Men became a sensational bestseller because Of its open sexuality and the way it dealt honestly with the double standard. After that came The Stud, Sinners, The Love Killers, The World Is Full of Divorced Women, The Bitch, Lovers and Gamblers, Chances, and then the international sensation, Hollywood Wives -- a number one New York Times bestseller, which was made into one of ABC's highest rated miniseries starring Anthony Hopkins and Candice Bergen.
The Stud, The World Is Full of Married Men, and The Bitch were also filmed -- this time for the big screen. And Jackie wrote an original movie, Yesterday's Hero, starring Ian McShane and Suzanne Somers.
Readers couldn't wait to race through Lucky, her next book -- a sequel to Chances -- and the story of an incredibly beautiful, strong woman, another New York Times number one.
Then came the bad boys of Hollywood in the steamy Hollywood Husbands -- a novel which kept everyone guessing the identities of the true-to-life Hollywood characters.
Jackie then wrote Rock Star -- the story of three rock superstars and their rise to the top, followed by the long-awaited sequel to Chances and Lucky -- Lady BOSS -- tracking the further adventures of the wild and powerful Lucky Santangelo as she takes control of a Hollywood studio.
Both Lucky and Chances were written and adapted for television by Jackie, who also executive produced the highly successful six-hour miniseries Lucky/Chances, starring Nicollette Sheridan, Sandra Bullock and Grant Show.
In 1992 she produced and wrote the four-hour miniseries, Lady Boss, which became another huge ratings success forExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"I don't care if you can't do anything else. I don't care if you lose your income, your home, your possessions. Fuck all of it, baby. Just gather up your self-respect and walk right out. To be a prostitute is to be nothing, a mere tool of man. Take no notice of your pimps, your bosses. We will help you. We will give you all the help we can. We will get you so together that your old life will seem like a bad dream."
Margaret Lawrence Brown had been speaking for fifteen minutes, and she paused to sip from a glass of water handed to her on the makeshift podium. The crowd gathered to hear her talk was gratifyingly large. They occupied a vast area of Central Park, mostly women, a few men scattered among them. It was a warm August day in 1974, and her followers had turned out in force.
Margaret's tone was strong and outright. Her voice didn't falter. Her message came across loud and clear.
She was a tall woman in her early thirties. No makeup decorated her strong, radiant face. Her hair was long and black, and she wore denims, boots, and love beads.
Margaret Lawrence Brown was a cult figure in America. A ceaseless campaigner for women's rights, she had won many a victory. She had written three books, appeared on television regularly, and made a great deal of money, all of which she used for her organization, F.W.N. -- Free Women Now.
Everyone had laughed when she'd first taken up the cause of the prostitutes. But they weren't laughing now, not after three months, not after thousands of women appeared to be giving up their chosen profession and following her.
"You've got to get it together now!" Margaret yelled, a determined thrust to her chin.
"Yeah!" the women yelled back.
"You're going to live again. You're going to come alive!"
"Yeah! Yeah!" The reaction from the crowd was gospel in its intensity.
"You're going to be free!" she promised them.
Margaret slumped to the ground while the crowd continued to stamp and shout its approval. Blood spurted from a small, neat hole in the middle of her forehead.
It was minutes before the crowd realized what had happened, before hysteria and panic set in.
Margaret Lawrence Brown had been shot.
The house in Miami could only be approached by passing through electric gates, and then undergoing the scrutiny of two uniformed guards with pistols stuck casually in their belts.
Alio Marcusi passed this scrutiny easily. He was a fat old man, with liquid booze-filled eyes and the walk of a pregnant cat.
As he approached the big house he began humming softly to himself, uncomfortable in his too-tight gray-check suit, sweating from the heat of a cloudless day.
A maid answered his ring at the door. A surly, big-limbed Italian girl, she spoke little English, but she nodded at Alio and told him that Padrone Bassalino was out by the pool.
He patted her on the ass, making his way through the house to the patio that led out to a kidney-shaped swimming pool.
Mary Ann August greeted him. Mary Ann was an exceptionally pretty young woman, with old-fashioned, teased blond hair, and a curvaceous body exhibited in a skimpy polka-dot bikini.
"Hi, there, Alio," she said with a giggle, rising from her lounge. "I was just gonna make myself a little drinkie. Want one?" Posing provocatively in front of him, she toyed with a gold chain hanging between her generous breasts.
Alio contemplated the young vision, licking his lips in anticipation of the day-not far off, surely-when Enzio would grow tired of Mary Ann and pass her on, like all the others.
"Yeah, I'll have a Bacardi, plenty of ice. And some potato chips, mixed nuts, an' a few black olives." He rubbed his extended stomach sorrowfully. "I had no time for lunch. Such a busy day. Where's Enzio?"
Mary Ann gestured out toward the never-ending gardens. "He's around somewhere -- pruning his roses, I think," she said sweetly.
"Ah, yes, his roses." Instinctively Alio glanced back at the house, and sure enough, there she was, Rose Bassalino herself, peering out through a narrow chink in her curtains.
Rose, Enzio's wife. She hadn't left her room for years, and the only people she would talk to were her three sons. Rose kept an endless vigil at her window just waiting and watching. It gave Alio the creeps. He didn't know how Enzio stood it.
Mary Ann swayed over to the bar and began preparing drinks. She was nineteen years old and had lived with Enzio Bassalino for almost six months -- something of a record, for Enzio never kept them around long.
Settling into a chair, Alio slowly closed his eyes. Such a very busy day...
"Hey, ciao, Alio, my friend, my boy. How you feeling?"
Alio awoke with a start and guiltily jumped up.
Enzio loomed over him. Sixty-nine years old, but with the hard, bronzed body of a man half his age, all his own teeth, a craggy, lined face, topped by a mass of thick steel-gray hair.
"I feel good, Enzio, I feel fine," Allo said quickly. They clasped hands, patted each other on the back. They were cousins; Alio owed everything he had to Enzio.
"Can I fix you a drinkie, sweetie-pie?" Mary Ann asked, gazing at Enzio adoringly.
"No." He dismissed her with a look. "Go in the house. I'll ring if I need you."
Mary Ann didn't argue; she obeyed him at once. Perhaps that was why she had lasted longer than the others.
As soon as she was gone Enzio turned to his cousin. "Well?" he asked impatiently.
"It is done," Alio replied in a low voice. "I saw it myself. A masterful job. One of Tony's boys. He vanished before anyone knew what happened. I flew straight here."
Enzio nodded thoughtfully. "There is no greater satisfaction than a perfect hit. This Tony's boy, pay him an extra thousand an' watch him. A man like that could get himself promoted. A public execution is never easy."
"No, it's not," Alio agreed, sucking on a black olive.
"She must be thirty," the woman hissed spitefully.
"Or older," her friend agreed.
Lined, and overly made up, the two middle-aged women watched Lara Crichton climb out of the Mabbella Club pool.
Lara was a perfectly beautiful woman of twenty-six. Slim, suntanned, with rounded, sensual breasts, a mane of sun-streaked hair, and wide, crystal-clear green eyes.
She dropped down on the mat next to Prince Alfredo Masserini and sighed loudly. "I'm getting bored with this place," she said restlessly. "Can't we go somewhere else?"
Prince AIfredo sat up. "Why are you bored?" he demanded. "Am I boring you? Why should you be bored when you are with me?"
Lara sighed again. Yes, the truth of the matter was the prince could be very boring indeed.
But who else was there? She'd made it a rule never to let go of anyone until there was someone else firmly ensconced in his place. She had been through most of the available princes and counts, a few movie stars, and a lord or two. It really was tiresome she had set herself such high standards.
"I don't understand you," Prince Alfredo complained. "No woman has ever told me she was bored with me. I am not a boring man. I am vibrant, lively. I am -- how you say -- the life and brains of the party."
Lara noticed with an even heavier sigh that as he spoke he was getting an erection in his nifty Cerruti shorts.
"Oh, God, do shut up," she muttered under her breath. Sex was becoming the biggest bore of all. So predictable, worked out, and mechanical.
Prince Alfredo did not hear her. "Come, my darling." Aware of his erection, and proud, he pulled her to her feet. "First we take a rest." He winked slyly. "And then we drive the Ferrari into the mountains. What do you think, my lovely?"
"Whatever you say." Reluctantly she allowed herself to be led inside. All eyes followed them as they left. They certainly made a beautiful and exciting couple.
They had separate suites, but by unspoken agreement all sexual activity took place in Lara's. She stopped him from entering at the door.
"What's the matter?" he asked indignantly. "I have a good hard-on -- a very good one."
"Save it for later," she said firmly, closing the door on his protests. "I'll call you when I wake up."
Lara felt restless and hemmed in. A feeling she had often felt when married to Jamie P. Crichton. A divorce had solved the feeling then, but what now?
The phone rang and she picked it up, ready to tell Alfredo no -- definitely no. But it was not the prince. The operator informed her it was an urgent call from New York.
"Yes?" She cradled the receiver, wondering who knew she was in Spain.
"Lara? Lara, is that you? Oh, God! This is such a terrible connection." It was a woman's voice, her tone bordering on hysterical.
"Who is this?" Lara asked sharply. "God! Can't you hear me? Goddamn it -- this is Cass." A pause, then, "Lara, something terrible has happened. Margaret's been shot. They've shot Margaret."
Copyright © 1974, 1989 by Jackie Collins
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