Monday, 22 December 2014

'INTIMATE' BY ELIZABETH GAGE

 
 

Elizabeth Gage goes out with a bang with the last of her five book deal with Simon & Schuster.  INTIMATE is one roller coaster ride of secrets and sins among the rich.  The main sufferers are three beautiful specimens (aren’t they all?) whose interconnections end up destroying one of the trio.  Jordan Lazarus has come from nothing and is now one of America’s richest men but he’s far from being happy, especially in the matters of the heart.  That is until he meets Leslie Chamberlain, a blue color type who also rises up to become one hot commodity in the advertising world.  But she has secrets of her own, big ones that will eventually destroy their relationship.  In comes Jill Fleming, a double-crossing sociopathic chameleon who uses men and women to satisfy her every need.  When she sets her eyes on Lazarus, fireworks, until he realizes the evil of her ways; then it’s cuckoo time as she becomes nuttier and nuttier for the sake of owning him.  Of course there’s more to the plot but since I don’t want to give away anything major, I’d better leave it there.
 

What’s safe to say is that, whatever lies between the covers, you’ll end up devouring the book in no time—despite the sometimes flawed approach taken.  Because let’s be honest here.  I, being an old pro, can find some predictability in any printed work, and it’s no different with INTIMATE.  Every now and then I found myself guessing its outcome.  But since the novel works aplenty already due to its strong narration and characterization, not to mention a psychological depth rarely used in a fluff piece such as this one, I scarcely minded. Besides, I’d rather focus on the positive when it comes to a Gage.  It makes the reading experience all the more worthwhile.  Especially when the soap bubbles pop, and believe me they often do. 

As in her previous work, sex abounds.  So do well-thought-out plot twists in general.  There’s nothing better than an erotica novel with meat.  It’s all about effectiveness.  And Elizabeth Gage knows how to attain it.  She is, in a way, the E L James (Fifty Shades of Grey) of her time but with a better outcome (but not income, for sure) because she at least can write.  Or he can.  If you’re a regular here or simply a Gage fanatic you probably know of the debate regarding the author’s identity (Elizabeth Gage is a pseudonym).  I think she’s a he, some think otherwise.  But in the end does it really matter?
 
So why did Gage never became a household name if she’s such a talent?  There’s a back story to this, one I discussed in another post (along with her true identity).  But in a jiff, she was underappreciated by her publishers, resulting in low sale of her work.  It’s probably the reason why she moved to Mira Books.  I have yet to read those, which I believe—if based on reviews—to be more toned down.  But it’s all right.  I’ll get to them eventually.  I still have PANDORA'S BOX, which is another big glittery door stopper, to get into.  You can be sure I will savour every moment of it—as I did with INTIMATE.  Find it, read it, love it.
 


 

Until next time—Martin
 
UK edition
 

 

Monday, 8 December 2014

“DYNASTY”, THE FOURTH SEASON (1983-1984)




Season four of DYNASTY is all about Peter De Vilbis, the jet setting rogue. Well, not exactly but he does take center stage in regards to Fallon’s storyline.  She’s madly in love with him. Or so she says. But we all know that it isn’t true. How can it be?  The guy’s a total ‘mo.  But for the benefit of the plot, we’ll pretend he isn’t. Of course, I don’t have any proof of this but I have a hunch that he likes nothing better than hanging around West Hollywood when the itch beckons. Fallon seems to be fooled, though, except for Claudia and Jeff who, like us, know something’s wrong with him. OK, Jeff’s still enamored with Fallon and will do anything to get her back, including butting heads with the competition.  But that just doesn’t erase the fact that he sees right through Mr. De Vilbis, whose last name, by the way, couldn’t be more… devilish.  


But moving on… After rescuing Alexis and Krystle from a flaming cabin Mark—Krystle’s ex—is accused of starting the fire in the first place.  Though the real culprit is Joseph the major-domo, it takes a few episodes before Marky boy is off the hook. He then becomes Alexis’s bodyguard before someone pushes him off a balcony ledge to his death.  As for Joseph, well, after being discovered as the true firestarter (move over Drew Barrymore), he offs himself with a handgun, turning his pregnant daughter into a vengeful wimp when she discovers he’d been blackmailed by Alexis (over his wife’s—Kirby’s mom—rep). Yes, wimp, because her conscience takes over before she’s able to pull the trigger on Alexis even though the dragon lady deserves it so.  As if that wasn’t complicated enough, it turns out that the father of her unborn child is none other than debonair but rapist Adam.  But don’t tell husband Jeff that.   Though he’s already back shacking up with Fallon, he wants to be a good husband and father. Until he finds out the real deal about Kirby and Adam, that is. Then it’s every man for himself as he fistfights Adam on the rooftop of the Carrington plaza. Since it’s a double whammy for Adam, him being a rapist and a poisoner (tried to kill Jeff with it in season three and Jeff now knows) Adam is almost a goner but not quite. The show needs him to raise more hell, not to mention to support wimpy Kirby whose storyline has gone awry. 
 

But the best reason to watch season four, in my opinion, is to feast your eyes on newcomer Dex Dexter whom I call Sex Sexter on account of his rugged virility. I mean the guy oozes sex appeal even when he burps. “I don’t bend for anyone”, he warns Blake in one episode. Oh I’ll just bet you don’t. Where is Steven when we need him?  Oh yeah, he’s off fighting his dad and Sammy Jo for custody of his son, which he finally obtains after marrying cuckoo Claudia. Although this union doesn’t please mama Alexis she has other fishes to fry like bending for Sex Sexter for instance. Their hook up is the best thing that could ever happen to her.  It makes her almost likable. 

Since she got remarried to Blake (first one was annulled), Krystle wants to be a better wife, which means working for him as a publicist at Denver Carrington (why?  Just enjoy the wealth, honey). Enter Tracy who’s all sweet and doe-eyed as Krystle’s secretary but is really a woman scorned. She wants Krystle’s position and will stop at nothing to get it, even seducing Blake which he does not take very kindly and fires her. Then she changes camp to Colbyco’s but quits when Alexis wants her to bed a client. She is never seen again.

I could go on and on about the plots and subplots but let just say that season four ends up with Fallon as a runaway bride (bid adieu to Pamela Sue Martin who wants off the series), Kirby running off to Europe for good (bye-bye), Alexis getting arrested for the murder of Mark Jennings, and the revelation that a black wealthy socialite singer could be Blake’s sis (oh the shade of it all!); all in all, a strong season, even though the first Fallon will be greatly missed (hint, hint!).  And this goes even for you, Mark Jennings.  You were kind of a hottie yourself.

  

Until next post—Martin