Hollywood Wives - the New Generation

Power! Sex! Money! Fame! - the new Hollywood wives are back with a
vengeance. Whatever they don't have, they want - and whatever these
women want, they get.

Ambitious, young, smart and lethal, the new Hollywood wives are into
yoga, fasting, spinning, Pilates, their own production companies and
making things happen.

In
Hollywood Wives - The New Generation
, you will meet…

Lissa Roman,
mega movie and singing star - at the
top of her game, until she begins to suspect that Gregg, her decade
younger fourth husband, is cheating.

Taylor Singer,
a sexy, thirty-six-year-old beauty,
who craves the power and respect given her famous Oscar-winning
husband, but how can she achieve everything he has?

Michael Scorsinni,
a handsome, with a dangerous
edge, private investigator. A man who has his own demons to escape from.

Nicci Stoner,
Lissa's wild,
nineteen-year-old daughter. Does she love Evan, her hot filmmaker
fiance, or is Evan's bad boy brother, Brian, the man she really wants?

Stella Rossiter,
a smart-mouthed blonde , married
to Seth - thirty years older than she. Together they make hit movies,
while a surrogate mother waits to give birth to their twins.

Intruding on the lives of this select group…is
Eric
Vernon,
a
psychopath from out of town - a man with kidnapping on his mind.

And his intended victim is not just anybody…

Jackie Collins captures Hollywood and its inhabitants with an
anthropologist's eye. Like the original
Hollywood Wives -
a
number one bestseller - the new breed will shock and surprise, amuse
and startle, taking you on a trip you will not forget.

Hollywood Wives
-
The
New
Generation
promises
marital mayhem for the new
millennium.

Hollywood Wives
The New Generation
Jackie Collins

 

 

For all the
Hollywood Wives
Old and new… male and female...
Gay and straight…
A constant source of inspiration!

And for Arnold Kopelson, who told me
much more than I ever wanted to know!

And for my darling Frank, Always…

Prologue

 

Eric Vernon walked into Sam's Place, a seedy topless bar in the
valley, and immediately fixed his gaze on Arliss Shepherd.

Arliss was not a pretty sight as he leaned against the bar, nursing
a half-f bottle of beer. Long-faced with pale, pock-marked skin, and
lank, shoulder-length yellow hair, he was skinny as a starving coyote
and just as skittish. Nervous habits surrounded him - he chewed his
straggly hair, picked his teeth, rarely changed his underwear, and
smelled of stale onions.

In spite of his shortcomings, Arliss was not lacking in friends: a
group of similar misfits hung out at Sam's Place, with Arliss leading
the pack. Sam, an obese man famous for only having one ball, ran his
bar like a friendly club for losers. Regulars included Davey 'The
Animal', Little Joe, and Big Mark Johansson. They were a motley crew,
drawing solace from each other's company and the fact that there was
strength in numbers. Together they could kick ass. Alone they were
useless, nothing more than a bunch of loud-mouthed failures. Which, as
far as Eric Vernon was concerned, was a good thing, because men with no
self-esteem were far easier to manipulate than men with balls. He'd
discovered that in prison when he was doing time for manslaughter.

Manslaughter my ass
, Eric thought as he approached Arliss
at the bar.
I hit the scumbag with a two-by-four until he dropped
dead in front of me. And not a moment too soon
.

Eric Vernon was a nondescript man of medium height and slight build,
with bland features and sandy brown hair cut short. He had the kind of
face that blended in - the kind of face that nobody ever remembered.

Except that skanky bitch remembered me all right
, he
thought sourly.
Oh, yes, she remembered me so well that I served
six miserable years in prison because of her
.

The first thing he'd done when he'd got out of the joint was taken
care of her. Smashed her pointy face until it was no more than pulp.
Then he'd burned her house down.

The best revenge is deadly. Eric had learned that at an early age.

Immediately after dealing with the tattling bitch he'd adopted a new
identity and moved to California, eventually settling in L.A. where
he'd taken a job with a computer company - a skill he'd mastered in
jail.

All this had taken place two years earlier, and no one had ever
questioned who he was or where he came from. Which is exactly the way
he'd planned it.

A person does not sit in jail for six stinking years without making
plans. And Eric had an agenda, an agenda he was getting ready to pursue.

Chapter One

 

'You look
fantastic
?'

'You think?'

'I
know
?'

Lissa Roman narrowed her eyes as she studied her reflection in the
large, lightbulb-studded makeup mirror. She saw perfection, and so she
should, considering she worked like a long-haul truck driver to look as
good as she did. And it wasn't easy. It took real dedication and
non-stop action. Yoga, Pilates, starvation, ice-cold showers, Brazilian
waxing, hair colouring, jogging, swimming, weight training, fasting,
aerobics, spinning - you name it, Lissa did it. Everything except
plastic surgery. She was too scared of the knife. Too petrified that
the surgeon would make her look like somebody else - take away her
identity, her personality. She had seen it happen to numerous people in
Hollywood, men
and
women. Besides, she was only forty -
younger than Madonna and Sharon Stone, for God's sake. And, anyway, she
didn't need it.

'You're
sure
I look as good as it gets?' she questioned,
forcing Fabio, her faithful makeup and hair artist, to repeat his
compliments.

'Divine. Beautiful. The works,' Fabio assured her, tossing back his
luxuriant mane of expensive hair extensions.

And he meant every word of it, because although Lissa Roman was not
a classic beauty, she had that indiscernible something
that made her a superstar. It was a combination of blatant sex appeal,
fiery energy and a body to die for. Not to mention blazing blue eyes,
high cheekbones, and full, pouty lips. Fabio
loved
basking in
her aura.

'All thanks to you and your magic fingers,' Lissa murmured,
smoothing her shoulder-length platinum hair.

'That's what Teddy told me last night,' Fabio said, with a
self-satisfied smirk.

'Lucky you,' Lissa said, rising from the makeup chair.

'No,' Fabio said, wagging a beringed finger at her. 'Lucky
Teddy.'

'You have some ego!' Lissa teased, heading for the door.

'
Almost
as big as yours,' Fabio retorted crisply, following
her out to the studio where the photographer from
Maxim
magazine waited.

Lissa and Fabio had worked together for eight years and enjoyed an
excellent relationship. Fabio actually
liked
Lissa Roman. For
someone of her stature she was not an egocentric bitch. She was warm
and friendly and quite funny at times. Of course, she had appalling
taste in men -but living in Hollywood there was hardly a vast pool of
eligible men to choose from. And as far as Fabio was concerned, all the
good ones were gay - thank
God!

Her second husband, Antonio, the man who'd fathered her only child,
sounded the best of all. Not that Fabio had ever met him, but he'd seen
photos, and Antonio was a magnificent specimen: all dark sexy eyes,
impressive physique, and broodingly handsome features. Fabio often
wondered why she'd let that one slip away.

'Antonio had a wandering cock,' was Lissa's only explanation.

Fabio didn't get why straight people were so uptight about sex.
After all, sometimes a wandering cock could be a good thing.

* * *

Nicci Stone gazed unblinkingly at her kickboxing instructor's
crotch. It was quite a package, and so was he. His name was Bjorn, and
he was tall and blond in the Nordic style, with subtle muscles and
sinewy bronzed thighs. He was over six feet tall with large Chiclet
teeth and a gleaming smile.

I bet he gives great tongue
, Nicci thought, with a
secretive
smile.
He's Scandinavian. Scandinavian men rock
.

Not that she'd had that many. Sven, the Swedish facialist. Marl, the
Danish rock 'n' roller. And Lusti, the Norwegian personal trainer.
Actually, that was a lot. Enough to make her realize that European men
were far more inventive in bed than their American counterparts.

She wondered how Bjorn, with his quite commendable package, would
stack up. Maybe she should give him a try…

No
! a stern voice in the back of her head commanded.
You
are currently engaged and there will be no more screwing around
.

Damn! Who came up with
that
rule?

Mommy, of course. Lissa Roman, mega movie star, singer and legendary
sex symbol - currently on her fourth husband.

Yeah. That's right. Four.

Nicci hoped it was Lissa's lucky number. The next wedding was
hers
,
and she did not take kindly to competition, even though she had lived
with it forever.

Growing up with Lissa Roman as your mother was no day trip to
Disneyland. Whenever possible, Nicci had kept the identity of her
famous mom a deep, dark secret. Although keeping it to herself never
lasted long, because somebody always managed to find out - blowing her
chance of a normal
(what's that anyway?)
relationship.

Nicci was, at nineteen, a spirited kind of beauty. Unlike her
mother's platinum blond sexiness, Nicci had inherited her exotic gypsy
looks from Antonio Miguel Stone, her Spanish father - Lissa's husband
number two - a drop-dead handsome philanderer with no money to speak of
and a somewhat shaky pedigree. His mother, Nicci's grandma, was
supposedly a third cousin to the King of Spain -although they'd never
been invited to tea.

Nicci knew the story. Lissa had fallen for Antonio when he'd arrived
in Hollywood to liaise with a gorgeous redhead. Five days after their
first meeting, the redhead was history, and Lissa and Antonio were on
their way to Vegas in a chartered plane where, after two days of
gambling and incredible sex, they'd got married.

Nine months after that, Nicci was born.

One passion-filled year later, Lissa caught Antonio cheating with
her so-called best friend and promptly divorced him. Shortly after that
he'd returned to Europe to continue his career as an ace playboy and
sometime racing-car driver, roaming around the best resorts and the
most beautiful women.

At age ten Nicci had started demanding to know more about her father
- a man she had only seen pictures of. Reluctantly Lissa had instructed
her lawyer to contact her ex and remind him that he had a daughter.
Surprisingly, over the next few summers, Antonio had rallied and sent
for the little girl. Nicci's visits were a big success. She was pretty,
sassy and smart, and Antonio was quite entranced. So much so, that over
the following years she began spending months at a time with her
charismatic dad, until, at age fifteen, she dropped out of Beverly
Hills High School and enrolled at the American school in Madrid. Lissa
didn't seem to mind. Lissa had a career to take care of.

Nicci was thrilled, freedom at last! She soon discovered that
Antonio was far more exciting to live with than her mom. He acted more
like an older brother than a father figure, full of devilish doings. He
taught her what he considered to be all the good things in life - such
as how to smoke pot, drink martinis without getting too wasted, and
handle men with the right combination of flattery and disinterest. One
of his many exotic girlfriends had given her a crash course in birth
control. How cool was
that
? What more could a young,
eager-to-learn teenager ask for?

By the time Nicci was sixteen she was wise way beyond her years,
certainly wise enough to realize that her father was incorrigible - a
bad boy with a fun-loving disposition and a big heart. He adored his
daughter, she was his one link to normality. And Nicci adored him back,
even though she knew he was a rogue and somewhat spineless. So what? He
was her dad and she loved him.

The only downside to living with Antonio was his mother, Adela, a
fierce-faced woman who dressed only in black and screamed at her son
whenever the opportunity arose. Antonio didn't seem to mind, he gave as
good as he got, raising his voice back with no concern about anyone
listening. Nicci soon realized it was a game between the two of them. A
competition. Their deal was who could scream the longest and loudest.
Grandma always won. Grandma was a determined woman. She was also the
keeper of the family money, and much to Antonio's annoyance, she doled
it out on
her
terms.

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