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The latest First Reads Goodreads giveaway book this pedometer geek read was the last novel Jackie Collins wrote before her death in 2015. The Santangelos finishes up the Lucky Santangelo series, which began with Chances, written in 1981. This is the extended review.

The Santangelos

by Jackie Collins

Published by St. Martin’s Press, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04824-0


This reader has read a few of Jackie Collins’ novels over the years so was not surprised as to what to expect. For those who haven’t read any of her novels, the following two quotes just about sum up her writing. Quoting from Sally Richardson, president and publisher, St. Martin’s Press, “She was an innovator whose creativity, fearlessness and wicked sense of humor entertained millions of readers around the globe. She took great pride in writing ‘kickass heroines’ who took readers on a wild ride. We were thrilled and honored to go on that journey with Jackie. I speak for myself and everyone at St. Martins’ Press when I say we will miss her beyond measure.”

From fellow writer, Barbara Taylor Bradford: “Jackie to me was the best writer of those risque, amusing, fun novels–full of Hollywood characters and lots of sex.” (both quotes from the inside cover pages)

The tenth book in the Lucky Santangelo series finds Lucky primarily dealing with the unexpected death of her father, Gino, while trying to orchestrate all the other people in her life. To be honest, this reader has not read any of the others in the series; thus it could have been difficult to understand all the dynamics between various family members and friends. Yet there are enough back story references to catch up even this novice to Lucky’s and her extended family’s previous exploits. In other words, this can be read without having read the previous nine although it is probably an advantage to having read the rest as many of the events and relationships were hinted at, rather than totally revealed.

Having read other of this author’s novels, this reader knew that it would be spicy with lots of racy, raunchy moments between characters. Moreover, there would be some unseemly characters playing fast and loose with the law (and each other). In other words, the tale is full of sex, drugs, and Hollywood. Collins writes what she knows, and she understands pop culture.

This one has a huge cast of characters with lots of interactions between the main players. There is vengeance planned; revenge sought; as well as back-stabbing and betrayal. At the heart of it all is one woman, Lucky, trying to keep her family safe and together despite children living far beyond Las Vegas and Malibu. While Lucky is the mover and shaker of this story, there are other side stories that are just as compelling, just as gripping, just as spicy.

No, the story is not a classic, nor will it ever be, but it is just perfect for a great gossipy beach read.

This reader will be checking out the earlier books in the series just to catch up with every little juicy detail missed by only having read the last one. Or as OK! Magazine said, “An epic family saga filled with love, lust, murder, and revenge…deliciously true to form.”

Quote to remember (especially in these uncertain times):

“Violent death never gives you a warning, it simply takes you–just like that.” (page 170)