Dangerous sex, family secrets, irresistible power, mega money and two murders equal one reckless week in New York. Lovers and Players takes you on a high-powered trip from Park Avenue to Brooklyn.
Jackie Collins is back—in her most deliciously scandalous novel yet. And she’s giving her readers a revealing look into the private realms of her fabulously rich and sexy cast of characters.
In Lovers and Players, the Diamond family’s power extends from coast to coast. Max—a real estate tycoon; Chris—a Hollywood lawyer; and Jett—a young, handsome ex-druggie, now a successful model in Italy, must finally come face to face with their tyrannical father, Red, who has been controlling their world for as long as they can remember.
Working as Red’s housekeeper is Diahann, a beautiful black ex-singer. Her stunning bi-racial nineteen-year-old daughter, Liberty—a waitress who is a would-be singer herself—does not approve of her mother working as a housekeeper. Liberty has dreams of her own and while she pursues them, Damon P. Donnell, married hip-hop mogul supreme, pursues her.
Amy Scott-Simon, a beguilingly pretty young New York heiress, in engaged to marry Max Diamond. At her bachelorette party she runs into Jett, Max’s younger brother. Jet has no idea who Amy is. She also doesn’t realize who he is. A one-night fling leads to major complications.
As the lives of these characters intertwine, power, money, fame and love are the ties that bind—emotionally and otherwise—in this highly charged love story about family relationships and deadly choices.
Take one vindictive aging tycoon and three charismatic, ambitious sons; add one naive heiress, one aspiring R&B diva, one British (titled, natch) lady of the house; throw in a dash of Russian mafia, kinky sex, a pinch of rap mogul, fabulous locations and a sprinkling of murders, and you have the ingredients for a fast-paced, glamour-heavy Collins extravaganza. Billionaire Red Diamond summons his sons from around the globe to Las Vegas to make a stunning announcement about their inheritance. Each son--Max, a real estate entrepreneur; Chris, an entertainment lawyer for the likes of Tom Cruise and Britney Spears; and Jett, a hotshot model in Italy--is battling his own private demons: a huge business deal gone sour and a bitter ex-wife; a gambling debt that's gotten out of hand; and (what else?) drug and alcohol addiction. In the midst of all the mayhem, a biracial waitress named Liberty, who aspires to be the next Mariah Carey, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when a major hip-hop record label exec comes into her life. And then there's Jett's incredible (but not consequenceless) one-night stand with a nameless pickup at a club, and Max's ex-wife Mariska's ex-Mafia life. The ever-stylin' Collins manages to tie the scattered plot lines together into another page-turning tale packed with intrigue, revenge and romance for her St. Martin's debut. 350,000 announced first printing; $500,000 ad/promo. (Feb. 7)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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St. Martin's Press
August 28, 2006
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Excerpt from Lovers & Players by Jackie Collins
"What's your name, dear?" the bald man with an abundance of hair sprouting from his ears inquired.
"Liberty," the young waitress replied.
"What's that?" he said, peering at her.
"Liberty," she repeated. It's written on my name tag, asshole. Can't you see it?
"What kind of name--"
Oh, puleeze! You got any idea how many times I've had to go through this conversation? Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their baby Apple. Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Coco. What's so unusual about Liberty?
Ignoring him, she refilled the bald man's coffee cup and walked away. Moron! she thought. Like who does he think he is, commenting on my name? It's none of his freakin' business. When I'm a famous singer/songwriter I won't question people's names. I'll be understanding and polite. I'll get it.
She hurried behind the counter, still steaming. "I'm so not down with this waitressin' crap," she complained to her cousin Cindi, who'd gotten her the job in the Madison Avenue coffee shop and like her was an aspiring singer.
"Never forget it pays the bills, girl," said Cindi, a buxom twenty-three-year-old originally from Atlanta, with gleaming black skin, thick ankles, an ample ass, huge breasts, and a wide, inviting smile.
"Singin' should pay the bills," Liberty said forcefully. "That's what we do."
"When we score a gig, that's what we do," Cindi pointed out. "So while we're waitin' . . ."
"I know, I know," Liberty said, frowning. "Gotta make a living. Gotta pay the rent."
The furrowing of her brow did not affect her startling beauty. Biracial, the product of a black mother and what she assumed was a mixed father--a man her mother refused to talk about, let alone reveal his identity--Liberty was milk chocolate-skinned, with lustrous long black hair, elongated green eyes, thick brows, impossibly long lashes, cut-glass cheekbones, full lips, a pointed chin, and a straight nose. Cindi was always carrying on about how Liberty looked like Halle Berry, which kind of irritated her, because she considered herself an original and did not care to be compared to anyone--however gorgeous and successful they might be.
Liberty was nineteen. She had plenty of time.
Or did she?
Sometimes she awoke in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, her heart thumping. What if she never got discovered? What if nobody listened to her songs or heard her sing? What if she ended up like her mom, a failed singer cleaning other people's mess all day?
Man, she was almost twenty, she'd been out of school four years, and nothing big had happened for her. Oh sure, she'd made an amateur demo tape, scored a few gigs as a backup singer, but not as many as she'd like. And no producer had stepped forward and said, "Honey, you're it! I'm signing you to a contract here and now. You'll be the next Alicia Keys or Norah Jones. All you gotta do is name it."
Where the hell were Clive Davis and Diddy when she needed them?
"Miss!" A sharp voice brought Liberty back to reality as an irate female customer attempted to attract her attention.
She sauntered over. At least she had attitude; nobody could take that away from her. "Yes?" she said.
"Do you know how long I've been waiting?" the woman demanded in a high-pitched voice. "Where are my eggs?" Sharp-featured, the woman was wearing a knockoff Armani suit and clutching a fake Louis Vuitton purse on her lap.
No style, Liberty thought. If you can't afford the real thing, then you may as well forget it.
The man with the woman had nothing to say. Apparently his eggs were not such an urgent matter.
"I'm sorry," Liberty said in an "I couldn't give a rat's ass" voice. "I'm not your table person."
She refused to say "waitress"--she found it to be demeaning--especially to this cow.
"Well, get me my 'table person,' " the woman said in a sneering voice. "I've been sitting here for fifteen minutes."