From blockbuster bestselling author Jackie Collins comes a sexy, sun-drenched thriller set on a state-of-the-art luxury yacht off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. The Power Tripit's the journey of a lifetime. Take if it you dare…
Come aboard the Bianca's maiden voyage. Here you'll meet Aleksandr Kasianenko, a billionaire Russian oligarch, and his sexy supermodel girlfriend, for whom the yacht is named. Other couples in tow include Hammond Patterson, a driven Senator, and his lovely but unhappy wife, Sierra; Cliff Baxter, a bachelor movie star, and his ex-waitress girlfriend, Lori; Taye Sherwin, a famous black UK footballer, and his interior designer wife, Ashley; Luca Perez, a Latin singing sensation with his older decadent English boyfriend, Jeromy; and Flynn, a maverick journalist, with his Asian renegade female friend, Xuan.You'll also meet Russian mobster Sergei Zukov, a man with a grudge against Aleksandr, and Sergei's Mexican beauty-queen girlfriend, Ina, whose brother, Cruz, is a master pirate with orders to take the Bianca and its illustrious guests for ransom. Ahoy!
"This sea of extravagant creatures, whose sexual tastes lie on the fringe of raunchy, is abashedly rousing, and what more could one hope for from Collins?" Publishers Weekly
|Publisher:||St. Martin''s Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Jackie Collins (1937-2015) has been called a “raunchy moralist” by the late director Louis Malle and “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine. With some twenty-seven New York Times bestsellers to her credit, she was one of the world’s top-selling novelists. Her books include the Lucky Santangelo series (Poor Little Bitch Girl, Drop Dead Beautiful, etc.), Lovers & Players, and The Power Trip. Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.
Hometown:Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:October 4, 1941
Place of Birth:London, England
Read an Excerpt
The Power Trip
By Jackie Collins
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2013 Chances, Inc.
All rights reserved.
The Russian billionaire Aleksandr Kasianenko admired his supermodel girlfriend as she stepped, unabashedly naked, out of the indoor swimming pool in his luxurious Moscow mansion. Her name was Bianca, and she was known across the world.
God, she is a beautiful creature, Aleksandr thought. Beautiful and sleekly feline—she moves like a panther. And in bed she is a wild tigress. I am a very fortunate man.
Bianca was of mixed race: her mother was Cuban, her father black. There was no doubt that Bianca had inherited the best of both her parents' looks.
She'd been raised in New York, was discovered at seventeen, and now, at age twentynine, she was the most sought-after supermodel on the planet. Tall, lean, and agile, with coffee-colored skin, fine features, full natural lips, piercing green eyes, and waist-length glossy black hair, Bianca captivated both men and women. Men found her irresistibly sexy, while women admired her sense of style and raunchy humor, which she exhibited every time she appeared on the late-night talk shows.
Bianca knew how to handle herself in front of the cameras, and she certainly knew how to plug her brand. Over the years, she'd created a mini empire that included a fine-jewelry line, exotic sunglasses, a stunning makeup collection for women of color, and several bestselling scents.
Bianca had mastered the art of the sell, making a fortune doing so. But recently, she'd decided that rather than be a one-woman band who worked hard for her money, she was looking for more. She was looking for a powerful man who would take care of her and parlay the money she'd earned into super-rich status.
Aleksandr Kasianenko was just such a man, because Aleksandr was not only a powerful, super-rich businessman, he was also tough and rugged, with a steely reserve.
Bianca was sick of the long list of pretty boys she'd dated over the years. Movie stars, a clutch of rock stars, a half dozen sports heroes, and a politician or two. None of them had really satisfied her—in bed or out. She'd always been the dominant force in whatever relationship she'd been trapped in. The movie stars were all insecure and fixated on their public image. Rock stars were mostly into drugs and getting fucked up, not to mention totally vain. The sports stars were publicity crazy and never faithful. And as for the politicians—sexually incorrect. All horn and no blow.
Then, at exactly the right time, she'd met Aleksandr. And she'd fallen for his silent strength.
Only one problem.
He was married.
They'd met on Aleksandr's home turf. She was in Moscow doing a cover shoot for Italian Vogue, and since it happened to be her twenty-ninth birthday, the flamboyant photographer, Antonio—an Italian gay man who knew absolutely everyone who was anyone in Moscow—had decided to throw her a massive party.
The party was a blast. Until she was introduced to Aleksandr.
The moment she saw him, he took her breath away with his brooding dark looks and aura of control and power. He was big and strong, and there was something magnetic about him, something incredibly masculine. One look and she was hooked.
He didn't tell her he was married.
She didn't ask.
An hour after their first encounter, they were making fast, ferocious love on the floor in her hotel suite. Their lovemaking was animalistic in its intensity, so overpowering that they'd never made it as far as the bedroom. It was all clothes off and straight at it.
After their night of unbridled passion, they were both swept up and addicted to each other. And so began their steamy affair, an affair that had them meeting all over the world.
Now, after one year, and in spite of Aleksandr's marital status, they were still very much together.
Aleksandr had assured Bianca that he was in the throes of divorcing his wife, but due to several massive business deals that could affect his wife's settlement, it still had not happened. He also had children to consider. Three daughters. "The timing has to be right," he'd informed her. "However, it will happen, and it will happen soon. You have my word."
Bianca believed him. He was separated from his wife, so that was a promising beginning. Still, she couldn't help wanting more. She wanted to be Mrs. Aleksandr Kasianenko, and the less time wasted, the better.
In the meantime, Aleksandr wished to celebrate his love's upcoming thirtieth birthday in a big way. He'd recently taken delivery of a new, luxurious four-hundred-foot super-yacht, and to christen their maiden voyage, he planned on throwing Bianca a once-in-a-lifetime special event she would never forget. The celebrations would include inviting several of their friends on a weeklong cruise to enjoy the best of everything. What could be better?
When he informed Bianca of his plan, she was excited, and immediately started thinking about whom they would invite on this very exclusive trip.
"How many can your new yacht accommodate?" she inquired.
"Many," Aleksandr replied with a dry laugh. "But I feel we should invite only five couples."
"Why only five?" Bianca asked, slightly disappointed.
"It's enough," Aleksandr replied. "You make your list, I make mine. Then we will compare and decide who gets invited."
Bianca grinned. "This is gonna be fun," she said, already planning her list.
"Indeed it will," Aleksandr agreed.CHAPTER 2
Ashley Sherwin stared at her image in the ornate mirror above the vanity for a full ten minutes before her husband, Taye, entered their streamlined bathroom with the marble counters and fancy rock-crystal chandeliers—designed by Jeromy Milton-Gold, one of London's most sought-after interior designers.
"Whatcha lookin' at, toots?" Taye asked cheerfully, taking the opportunity to lean over her shoulder and check out his own image, which was, as usual, totally fine.
"New makeup," Ashley muttered sulkily, annoyed that he'd caught her, wishing she'd locked the door.
Taye had no concept of the word privacy. Well, he wouldn't, would he? He was a superstar footballer used to stripping off and basking in all the glory (not to mention the women) that came his way. Cheap nasty little tarts, ready and willing to chase any famous man. She hated them all.
"Well," Taye said, stretching his arms above his head. "You look hot an' horny."
Ashley had no desire to look hot and horny; her aim was to look like an elegant fashion icon, a fashionista with style to spare. Taye simply didn't get it. He thought he was tossing her a compliment, but as far as she was concerned, it was exactly the opposite.
She sighed. After six years of marriage, Taye still had no clue who the person was that she aspired to be. Didn't he realize that she was no longer the pretty, blond, twenty-two-year-old TV presenter he'd married? She was now the mother to their six-year-old twins, Aimee and Wolf. She was older, more mature. She knew what she wanted, and it was certainly not enough to be known as Taye Sherwin's trophy wife.
They'd gotten married because she was pregnant—never the best of ideas, but better than being knocked up without a husband. And Taye was a major catch. Black and beautiful. A sports hero. A moneymaking machine, what with all his various endorsement deals and superstar status.
They'd met on a TV show she'd been cohosting with Harmony Gee, a former member of the girl group Sweet. Harmony was all over Taye, but it soon became obvious to everyone that he only had eyes for Ashley.
Before long, they were a staple in the U.K. newspapers, billed as the new hot couple. They were even given a nickname by the press: Tashley. It had a ring to it.
Ashley was thrilled; she basked in the attention. For six months she'd been pushed into the background while Harmony scored most of the big interviews, but with all her newfound PR, her bosses at the TV station were suddenly regarding her with new respect, while Harmony was staring at her with daggers in her eyes.
Then Taye had managed to impregnate her, and that was that.
Taye was a superstar in all respects. The moment he found out she was pregnant, he'd insisted they get married. Never mind about his playboy past; Taye was all about doing the right thing. Besides, he loved Ashley. She was perfect for him—a true English peach with her widely spaced blue eyes, flawless skin, long blond hair, and curvy figure.
Taye's mother, Anais, a heavyset Jamaican woman, was not so pleased. "You should be marryin' one of ya own kind," Anais had complained, her accent heavy with disapproval. "This Ashley gal's nothin' but a fancy show pony. She not gonna make ya a satisfyin' wife."
"Your mama's right, son," Taye's dad had agreed. "Ya wanna grab yourself an island woman—more meat on them bones. Juicy dark meat. Delicious!"
The last time Taye's parents had visited Jamaica was forty years ago, so Taye chose to ignore their sage advice. Instead, he forged ahead with elaborate wedding plans.
Ashley's mom, Elise—a faded blonde who worked behind the makeup counter in a department store—was torn. The good news was that Taye was rich and famous. The bad news was that he was black.
Elise tried not to think in a racist way, but, unfortunately, she'd been raised to regard the black race as inferior beings.
Fortunately, Ashley had never harbored any hang-ups about Taye being black. He loved her more than any man ever had; in fact, he kind of worshipped her, which she didn't mind at all. Being worshipped by a very famous man whom every other woman lusted after was quite a kick.
Their lavish marriage made headline news. So did the birth of their twins three months later. Taye bought them all a magnificent house near Hampstead Heath, and everything was well in the world. Except shortly after moving into their new home, Ashley suffered from a bad bout of postpartum depression and refused to go near the twins for the first six months of their lives. This forced Taye to move his parents and Ashley's mother into their house, which turned out to be a most unhappy situation, because the two women soon discovered that they loathed each other—especially when Anais accused the thrice-divorced Elise of making a play for her husband, an accusation Elise hotly denied.
The Sherwin household was not a happy one, with Ashley locked up in the master bedroom refusing to come out, the twins demanding attention day and night, and the mothers-in-law at war.
Taye attempted to keep the peace, but it wasn't easy. And since Ashley shied away from any sexual contact, he was becoming increasingly frustrated, not to mention horny.
So it came to pass that Taye cheated. And as luck would have it, the girl he cheated with (a Page 3 model with outrageous boobs) couldn't wait to run to the tabloids and sell her story for a ridiculous amount of money.
The headlines were relentless:
MY ENDLESS NIGHT OF LUST WITH TAYE SHERWIN
HE'S A STAR IN BED TOO!
IS TASHLEY OVER?
Oh, the humiliation! The fury! The shock that Ashley experienced.
She'd hauled herself out of hiding and confronted her husband in a simmering rage.
His excuses were weak: No sex for months. A depressed wife. Crying babies. Warring mothers-in-law. And a buxom babe throwing herself at him during an aftershave commercial he was shooting.
Taye wasn't made of stone. He'd fallen into those giant tits like a man starved for sustenance. He'd wallowed in them. Then, after wallowing, he'd screwed the random girl, immediately regretted it, and run for his life.
The newspaper story shocked Ashley into action. She'd hurriedly hired two maternity nurses, banished both mothers-in-law to their own homes, and set about getting herself back in shape.
Meanwhile, Taye presented her with a ten-carat diamond ring, assured her his indiscretion would never happen again, paid for the boob job she demanded, and normal life resumed.
Only it wasn't that normal. Ashley forgave; the problem was that she had no intention of ever forgetting.
As the twins grew, Ashley began to think about her future, and what she could do to become more than just another footballer's wife. She'd started by informing Taye that any ads or endorsements he did in the future should include her. He'd agreed. Having rocked the boat once, he was damn sure that he wasn't allowing it to happen again. Ashley meant everything to him, and he wasn't about to risk losing her.
So, ad-wise, they gradually became a team. The Taye and Ashley show. He with the shaved head, muscled body, and killer smile. She with the baby-blue eyes, lush body, amazing boobs, and tumbling blond curls. They got together with the best photographers, and soon created a partnership brand.
Ashley worked hard on her body, toning and tanning, losing any excess fat and gaining muscle, until she looked almost as fit as Taye, only in a womanly way.
She adored her new breasts; they gave her so much more confidence, and Taye loved them too.
Would he ever cheat again?
He'd better not, because if there was a next time, she'd leave him, take the twins, and make his life pure hell.
* * *
Eighteen months previously, Ashley had decided that appearing in ads with Taye was not enough for her—it was time she had her own career. The twins were getting older, and she'd been thinking about doing something that was all hers. Since she'd always fancied herself an interior designer, she'd approached Jeromy Milton-Gold, the designer who'd worked on their house. Jeromy was the older boyfriend of Latin singing star Luca Perez. She'd asked Jeromy if she could be part of his team. Jeromy, who was always looking for ways to up his profile, told her it was a fabulous idea, and that if Taye was prepared to invest in his business, they could definitely work something out.
Ashley went to Taye and asked him to put up some money.
To keep Ashley happy, he'd obliged, in spite of his business manager telling him he was nuts.
Ashley was delighted that Jeromy wanted her to work alongside him.
Before long, there was a new hot show in town. The Ashley and Jeromy show. Interior designers to the stars. Both with famous partners. Both with endless ambition.
It started out as a winning combination. Lately, things had not been so good.
* * *
"Got somethin' to show you," Taye said, waving a large cream envelope in the air.
"What?" Ashley asked, moving away from the mirror and drifting into the bedroom.
"Wouldn't you like t' know," Taye teased, following her.
Taye enjoyed teasing his wife; it gave him a feeling of power. And he was holding power in his hand, for in the envelope with the embossed gold border and exquisite calligraphy was an invitation that, if he knew his wife, she would positively cream over.
"Don't mess about," Ashley said, still slightly irritated.
"Give us a kiss, then," Taye said, putting his arms around her from behind.
"Not now," she said, wriggling out of his grasp.
"What's wrong with you?" Taye complained. "The kids are at me mum's. Nobody's around. It's the perfect time."
"No it's not," Ashley argued. "We're about to go out to dinner, and I don't want to ruin my makeup or my hair."
"I'll make it a quickie," Taye promised.
"Don't be disgusting," Ashley responded. "If we're going to do it, then we should do it in our bed like normal people."
Taye shook his head. Sometimes Ashley acted like a total prude. "Normal" people! What was that all about? Made her sound like her racist mother, whom he barely tolerated.
"I suppose a blow job's out of the question, then?" he ventured, edging closer.
Ashley's look of disapproval informed him that indeed it was.
Whatever happened to the girl he'd married? Free and easy, up for all kinds of sexual adventures. They'd had sex here, there, and everywhere. Now he had to practically plead to get any sex at all. It wasn't right. He still loved her, though; she was his wife, and nothing would ever change that.
"Later?" he asked hopefully.
"We'll see," she responded. "Go get changed, and hurry up. We're meeting Jeromy. He's off to Miami tomorrow, and we can't be late. You know how prompt he always is."
"Jeromy's such a borin' wanker. Do we have to go?"
"Yes, Taye. In case you've forgotten, I work with him, so stop bitching and go get ready."
Excerpted from The Power Trip by Jackie Collins. Copyright © 2013 Chances, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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