If you want to lose yourself in the privileged world of the elite, TOO DAMN RICH (1996, Signet) by Judith Gould (pen name for Nicholas Peter Bienes and Rhea Gallaher) is far from being a bad choice. I remember the exact moment we caught glimpses, the novel and I. I was on another book hunt somewhere near my place, and there it was glowing proudly with its big lettered title and diamond sheen. I already had too many unread books in my possession but I just couldn’t take my eyes away from this one. I mean look at this baby. It was doing everything in its power to lure me into buying it and I did, of course. I had already invested happily in SINS (the authors’ first novel and later on a miniseries) a few years prior and I certainly thought that the time had come for me to immerse myself yet again into one of their best-selling efforts.
TOO DAMN RICH centers on a high-class auction house called Burghley’s where a bunch of colorful characters battle for the chance to win, amongst the many sought-after artefacts, the happily ever after pill so coveted when love is involved. In between this quest and the many business affairs of the rich we get sins from the past, unforeseeable futures, but most importantly a Machiavellian plan underway via the people at Burghley’s. All told in the Judith Gould’s signature approach, meaning a lot of champagne and caviar and sexual situations. Gould’s three main heroines (Dina, Kenzie, and Countess Zandra) do their best to stay above water despite a school of dark-clothed sharks roaming their turf. And not once did I find myself bored with their soapy but so intricate cosmopolitan lifestyles.
In fact, TOO DAMN RICH seals the deal for me as a must-read when it comes to the Judith Gould’s name. Though a hefty treat (624 pages), the time just flies by at the hands of this effective duo team. Glamour is their game and kudos to them for still sticking with it. Yes, some of their characters are more developed than others, and love does unsurprisingly conquer all by the last page but it’s the unapologetic goings-on of these protagonists that really are the showstopper. Besides, how much fun it is to lose oneself in wealth and have a story crackling with dedication, plot twists and effective narrative; a sure-fire combination that will definitely leave fans of the sub-genre wanting more.
You can still catch TOO DAMN RICH wherever digital books are sold.
Until next post—Martin