Ah, the glitzy, glamorous novels of the ’70s and ’80s! From Judith Krantz’s classic Scruples to Danielle Steel’s timeless Passion’s Promise, these deliciously decadent classics were all about wealth, power, seduction, and indulgence. Take a look at our glam recommendations below, along with the publishers’ descriptions, and indulge yourself!
Passion’s Promise by Danielle Steel
Smart, beautiful, and very rich, Kezia Saint Martin leads two lives: One as a glamorous socialite jetting between the poshest places in Europe and America; the other, under a false name, as a journalist committed to justice and her profession.
But the two worlds are pulling her apart, leaving her conflicted about her identity and the lies she tells to every man she meets. Then she meets Lucas Johns, a bold, dynamic crusader for social change — and an ex-con. Their attraction is immediate, but their love may be just one step from tragedy at any time.
Scruples by Judith Krantz
Scruples is the novel that created publishing history, the first — and widely acknowledged to be the very best — novel ever written about the staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique and the people who work in it. Scruples was translated into 20 languages and made Rodeo Drive famous around the world. The New York Post said that “Scruples was born to be a smash bestseller. It has more inside information about the worlds of high fashion and Hollywood than you’d find in a dozen manuals.” With Scruples, Judith Krantz earned her reputation as a blazingly talented and original storyteller. She takes her readers behind the scenes of wealthy and fame to show them the real people and the real emotions that exist at the core of even the most high-powered lives. Scruples is the leader of her #1 bestselling novels.
Chances by Jackie Collins
The book that made Jackie Collins one of America’s favorite authors sweeps you from the sophisticated playgrounds of Europe to the glittering gambling palaces of Las Vegas.
It plunges you into the reckless, dangerous world of the Santangelo crime family. It introduces you to Gino Santangelo, the street kid who makes it all the way to the top.
And then brings you Lucky — his sensual, stunningly beautiful, and passionate daughter; a woman who dares to win her father’s empire for herself; a woman unafraid of taking… Chances.
A Glimpse of Stocking by Elizabeth Gage
Annie Havilland is Hollywood’s rising young superstar. Christine is New York’s highest-paid call girl. Without knowing it, the two astonishingly beautiful young women are sisters — locked in a twisted web of deceit and ambition shaped by their cruel mother!
Sins by Judith Gould
Judith Gould’s powerful first novel, a classic among modern commercial fiction, tells a take of murder revenge, blackmail, and a multitude of deadly sins.
As a child in Nazi-occupied France, seven-year-old Hélène Junot witnessed the brutal murder, rape, and violence that tore her family apart and left her orphaned. Vowing to repay the sins visited upon her family seven-fold, she swore vengeance — and throughout the tumultuous decades that followed, committed her own share of sins as she ruthlessly built a fashion empire and clawed her way to the top, climbing to the peaks of glamourous international society, money and power.
But vengeance can carry a price all its own. Relentlessly pursued by more than her share of wrathful enemies — all of whom have personal reasons to destroy, or even kill her — she discovers that love is a far more powerful potion than retribution and that it is the only salvation that can make her life whole.
Vivid in its details, and with a plot sprawling across decades, this epic, atmospheric and quick-moving novel weaves together sins and counter-sins in a brilliant, electrifying and masterfully told story that contains all the elements and alluring characters that have become the hallmark of Judith Gould at the height of her storytelling powers.
Lace by Shirley Conran
“Which one of you bitches is my mother?”
Four elegant, successful, and sophisticated women in their 40s are called to New York’s Pierre Hotel to meet Lili — a beautiful, young, and notoriously temperamental Hollywood movie star. None of the women knows exactly why she is there; each has a reason to hate Lili and each of them is astonished to see the others. They are old friends who share a guilty secret and who have for years been doing their best to keep that secret quiet. Their lives are changed forever, however, when Lili suddenly confronts them. When the women refuse to answer her, Lili proceeds to travel around the world through the playgrounds of the rich and famous, seeking to answer the question that has obsessed and almost destroyed her.
From Paris to London, from the boardroom to the bedroom, Lace takes the reader into the rarified world of five unforgettable women who are as beautiful, as complex and as strong as… lace.
Paradise by Judith McNaught
Ruthless corporate raider Matthew Farrell is poised to move in on the legendary department store empire owned by Chicago’s renowned Bancroft family. In the glare of the media spotlight, it’s a stunning takeover that overshadows the electric chemistry between Matt, once a scruffy kid from steel town Indiana, and cool, sophisticated Meredith Bancroft. Their brief, ill-fated marriage sparked with thrilling sensuality but ended with a bitter betrayal. Now, locked in a battle that should be all business, dangerous temptations, and bittersweet memories are stirring their hearts. Will they risk everything for a passion too bold to be denied?
Riders by Jilly Cooper
From the queen of the British bestseller lists comes the classic hit every Englishwoman remembers with a sigh — Riders, the steamy, scandalous tale of sexual and equestrian competition within the heroic world of international show jumping.
Welcome to a world of cutthroat competition populated by fearless athletes, wealthy sponsors, and beautiful starlets and set against the glorious Cotswold countryside and the playgrounds of the world. Within this arena we meet the brooding gypsy Jake Lovell, under whose magic hands the most difficult horse or woman becomes biddable, who is driven by his hatred of Rupert Campbell-Black, the handsome and supremely confident star of the show ring. They steal each other’s horses and love each other’s women as they push themselves and their mounts to impossible extremes, until their feud erupts, with devastating consequences, at the Los Angeles Olympics.
A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford
This record-shattering New York Times bestseller was Barbara Taylor Bradford’s breakout novel. It tells the story of a determined woman who will face betrayal from those closest to her, as well as the loss of a great love, only to emerge triumphant.
From the servants’ quarters of a manor house on the brooding Yorkshire moors to the helm of a profitable international business, Emma Harte’s life is a sweeping saga of unbreakable spirit and resolve. Rising from abject poverty to glittering wealth at the upper echelons of society, there is only one man the indomitable Emma cannot have — and only one she yearns for. The novel was also the subject of a popular 1984 miniseries starring Jenny Seagrove and Deborah Kerr.
Deceptions by Judith Michael
In a glittering world of lazy luxury, Sabrina reigns supreme. Invited to the most elegant parties, pursued by the most desirable men, she yearned for something more… Her twin, Stephanie, is safely married with two adorable children and has everything in life that Sabrina lacks. But Stephanie longs to live like her rich and carefree sister. Changing places was to be their little secret. The game was never meant to get out of control. Neither of them dreamed how easy it would be to get lost in a maze of deceptions.
Destiny by Sally Beauman
Edouard’s story begins in London in 1940. At 14, he’s the son of a baron and second in line to a dazzling jewelry dynasty.
Hélène’s story begins in Alabama in 1950. An only child, she lives with her mother in a trailer park and dreams of escaping her hardscrabble life.
Their paths cross in France, and a brief, passionate affair follows. They are separated by fate, and that seems to be the end. But Edouard cannot devote his life to business… not before finding Hélène again.
Destiny is Sally Beauman’s masterpiece about a man and a woman and their once-in-a-lifetime love.
Family Secrets by Rona Jaffe
Adam Saffron — builder, patriarch, and autocrat — has built a family empire. The Saffron family is successful, prestigious, and closely knit, and their great Windflower estate has kept them safe from the dangerous and enticing world beyond its gates for many years. The Windflower is superior and all-inclusive, much like the Saffrons themselves — but how long can their dynasty last?
Family Secrets is an epic three-generational saga that follows the fascinating Saffron family as they strive to keep their legacy alive, despite the separate paths each family member will inevitably take.
Dreams Are Not Enough by Jacqueline Briskin
Alice Hollister grows up a migrant crop picker so desperate to escape the many abusive men in her life that she runs away from her beloved sister to make a new life for herself. Shortly after, she marries Barry Cordiner, an aspiring lawyer who is part of a close-knit family in the movie business. Although her new in-laws take every opportunity to remind Alice that she isn’t good enough for Barry or their family, Barry’s uncle agrees to let Alice work as an extra at his studio, and she jumps at the chance. Alice is quickly noticed by directors and executives for her beauty and allure. Over the span of only a few months, she transforms herself into Alyssia del Mar, the ultimate screen love goddess. Her husband, however, is not supportive of her success, and their relationship deteriorates into his making constant emotional ploys forher attention. Meanwhile, Alyssia is pursued by Barry’s cousin, Maxim, in whom she has no interest, but she finds herself falling in love with Maxim’s handsome and unassuming brother, Hap. Despite a steamy affair, Alyssia and Hap are repeatedly separated by fate, and Alyssia realizes that fame is by no means the key to happiness.
From the glitter of Los Angeles to exotic and idyllic European locales, best-selling author Jacqueline Briskin takes readers behind the scenes of Hollywood’s hottest scandals — to a world where passion is power, money buys everything, and… Dreams Are Not Enough.
Which glamorous novels have you read? Share in the comments!
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