Abigail Rosen, nicknamed Appassionata, was the sexiest, most flamboyant violinist in classical music, but she was also the loneliest and the most exploited girl in the world. When a dramatic suicide attempt destroyed her violin career, she set her sights on the male-dominated heights of the conductor's rostrum.
Given the chance to take over the Rutminster Symphony Orchestra, Abby is ecstatic, not realising the RSO is in hock up to its neck and is composed of the wildest bunch of musicians ever to blow a horn or caress a fiddle. Abby finds it increasingly difficult to control her undisciplined rabble and pretend she is not madly attracted to the fatally glamorous horn player, Viking O’Neill, who claims droit de seigneur over every pretty woman joining the orchestra. And then Rannaldini, arch-fiend and international maestro, rolls up with Machiavellian plans of his own to sabotage the RSO.
Effervescent as champagne, Jilly Cooper's novel brings back old favourites like Rupert and Taggie Campbell-Black, but also ends triumphantly with a rampageous orchestral tour of Spain and the high drama of an international piano competition.
There was no doubt about it — Bella Parkinson was the most promising actress and a success. Rupert Henriques was rich enough to buy her every theatre in London if she wanted it and couldn’t wait to marry her. But Bella had a secret in her past and the one man who knew it was about to come into her life again. Soon she found herself in real danger. .
Shy, dreamy, and incurably romantic, Harriet Poole was shattered when her brief affair with Simon Villiers, Oxford’s leading playboy undergraduate, ended abruptly, leaving her penniless, alone and pregnant. She becomes a nanny to the children of an eccentric scriptwriter and a whole host of visitors begin to arrive to disrupt her routine including of all people, Simon.
As a librarian, Imogen read a lot of books, but none of them covered real life on the Riveria. Her holiday included a glamourous group; a tennis ace, a journalist, a playboy and a photographer who were all full of revelations – and so was she. A prize worth winning – a wild Yorkshire rose among the thorny model girls. Imogen began to wonder if virtue really was its own reward.
As soon as Octavia caught a glimpse of Jeremy in the nightclub, she knew she just had to have him. It didn’t matter that he was engaged to an old school friend of hers, Gussie. An invitation to join them on a cozy weekend is the perfect opportunity. But the the whizz-kid business tycoon Gareth Llewellyn come along too and manages to thwart her plans…
In Jilly Cooper's third Rutshire chronicle we meet Ricky France-Lynch, who is moody, macho, and magnificent. He had a large crumbling estate, a nine-goal polo handicap, and a beautiful wife who was fair game for anyone with a cheque book. He also had the adoration of fourteen-year-old Perdita MacLeod. Perdita couldn't wait to leave her dreary school and become a polo player. The polo set were ritzy, wild, and gloriously promiscuous. Perdita thought she'd get along with them very well.
But before she had time to grow up, Ricky's life exploded into tragedy, and Perdita turned into a brat who loved only her horses - and Ricky France-Lynch.
Ricky's obsession to win back his wife, and Perdita's to win both Ricky and a place as a top class polo player, take the reader on a wildly exciting journey – to the estancias of Argentina, to Palm Beach and Deauville, and on to the royal polo fields of England and the glamorous pitches of California where the most heroic battle of all is destined to be fought – a match that is about far more than just the winning of a huge silver cup...
The trouble with the Mulholland family, Prudence decided, was that they were all in love with the wrong people. She'd been overjoyed when Pendle, her super-cool barrister boyfriend, invited her home for the weekend to meet his family. At least she might get some reaction out of him - so far he hadn't so much as made a pass at her, after the first night when he'd nearly raped her. But home turned out to be a decaying mansion in the Lake District, and family were his glamorous, scatty mother who forgot the mounting bills by throwing wild parties, and brothers, Ace, dark and forbidding, and Jack, handsome, married and only too ready to take over with Pru if Pendle didn't get a move on. It was only when she noticed the way Pendle looked at Jack's wife Maggie that it began to dawn on Pru that there was more to this weekend than met the eye. It looked like a non-stop game of changing partners...
Jake Lovell, under whose magic hands the most difficult horse or woman becomes biddable, is driven to the top by his loathing of the beautiful bounder, Rupert Campbell-Black. Having filched each other's horses, and fought and fornicated their way around the capitals of Europe, the feud between two men finally erupts with devastating consequences.
Sir Roberto Rannaldini, the most successful but detested conductor in the world, had two ambitions: to seduce his ravishing nineteen-year-old stepdaughter, Tabitha Campbell-Black, and to put his mark on musical history by making the definitive film of Verdi’s darkest opera, Don Carlos.
As Rannaldini, Tristan, his charismatic French director, a volatile cast and bolshy French crew gather at Rannaldini's haunted abbey for filming, it is inevitable that violent feuds, abandoned bonking, temperamental screaming, and devious plotting will ensue. But although everyone wished Rannaldini dead, no one actually thought the Maestro would be murdered. Or that after the dreadful deed some very bizarre things would continue to occur.
Lysander Hawkley combined breathtaking good looks with the kindest of hearts. He couldn't pass a stray dog, an ill-treated horse or a neglected wife without rushing to the rescue. And with neglected wives the rescue invariably led to ecstatic bonking, which didn't please their erring husbands one bit.
Lysander's mid-life crisis had begun at twenty-two. Reeling from the death of his beautiful mother, he was out of work, drinking too much and desperately in debt. The solution came from Ferdie, his fat friend: if Lysander was so good at making husbands jealous, why shouldn't he get paid for it?
Let loose among the neglected wives of the ritzy county of Rutshire, Lysander causes absolute havoc. But it is only when he meets Rannaldini, Rutshire's King Rat and a temperamental, fiendishly promiscuous international conductor, that the trouble really starts. The only unglamorous woman around Rannaldini was Kitty, his plump young wife who ran his life like clockwork. Soon Lysander was convinced that Kitty must be rescued from Rannaldini at all costs, even if it means enlisting the help of the old blue-eyed havoc-maker: Rupert Campbell-Black.