When wealthy cosmetics mogul Louise Towers is brutally attacked in her New York mansion, her friends realize that the perpetrator must be someone close to her
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The author of Faces (1989), etc., returns with another improbable tale of big bucks and betrayal in the cosmetics industry--all laced with plenty of semi-explicit sex. The story begins as Louise Towers, the founder of a highly successful cosmetics firm, is attacked and--in a coma--left for dead. It unfolds as an extended flashback, explaining who would (or is it who wouldn't?) have it in for our heroine. Louise starts off as Ludmilla, a struggling beautician's daughter in Prague. She marries a man she doesn't love in order to get to America, where her new husband works for a wealthy middle-aged businessman named Benedict Towers. Towers becomes obsessed with Ludmilla, and the two have a torrid affair until his wife throws her out. Then Ludmilla goes to London, becomes a prot‚g‚e of Helena Rubinstein, and, later, after his wife conveniently dies in a train wreck, Towers hunts her down, marries her, changes her name to Louise, and sets her up in what turns into a thriving business. Yet Towers continues to dominate and patronize Louise, who begins to lust after his sensitive son, Charles. Meanwhile, Louise smuggles her little sister, Natasha, out of Czechoslovakia--but leaves Natasha's husband and baby behind. Throwing herself into her sister's business, Natasha exhibits her own flair for concocting and selling cosmetics, and then some. There'll be seductions, lies, death, betrayals, and power-plays before Louise at last wakes up from her coma; finds out who attacked her; is showered with love by everyone in her contentious family; and finds true love right in her own backyard. The title aside, this has precious little to do with sisterly love--or any other recognizable human emotion. Vogue editor Lord's portrait of the beauty business is generally convincing, but her character and plot need development from the foundation up. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Two assailants bludgeon cosmetics tycoon Louise Towers in her posh New York apartment in the rousing start to the third book by the author of Faces. Who did it? According to the maid, "the Czechs, oh, the Czechs, they've finally murdered Madame." Taking a hairpin curve to 1946 Prague, the book describes Ludmilla Sukova's escape from the Czech capital through the good graces of her then-husband's employer, Colonel Benedict Towers, director of Towers Pharmaceuticals. Once in the U.S., Ludmilla is equally determined to escape her poverty. She enchants Towers's impossible family through her hairstyling capabilities, and the egotistical and domineering Benedict through other talents. In due course, Benedict's wife dies and Ludmilla (now Louise Towers) becomes his wife and, with her flair for merchandising, the creator of a successful cosmetics empire. She makes some formidable enemies in the business world and a few at home as well: Benedict is none too happy at losing control over this once vulnerable woman; and Louise has deeply wounded the sister she brought over from Czechoslovakia. The fiendishly clever characters are never dull and Lord, who is beauty director at Vogue , brings intriguing insights into the creation of new beauty products. Nonetheless, her book is slick and glib, with a conclusion that sets new standards for contrivance.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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