Start your review of Adored Write a review Jun 12, Carolyn rated it did not like it This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bagshawe is an unimaginative, creativity-challenged author who can barely assemble a readable sentence. First of all, I fully realize that "Adored" is a so-called "trashy novel". Please, shoot me. That was my first mistake.
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Jesus Christ, these young guys all looked like shit. Sideburns like a pair of hairy runways, a brown velour jogging suit, and more gold jewelry than the fucking Mafia. No wonder so much Hollywood pussy was out there looking for an older man. Still, Mikey was right about one thing.
Duke was looking great. He sat up and took a satisfied look at his reflection in one of the floor-to-ceiling mirrors that plastered the room. He hated working out with a passion, especially the goddamn sit-ups, but was infinitely vain. In his six years with Duke, Mikey had never known him to cancel a single session. Not to mention your hair.
Get a fuckinghaircut! Duke loved his Stones. It was a long time since the trainer had seen him in such a chipper mood. Evidently the new girlfriend was working wonders. Sure, the old man was a bastard. An addictive womanizer, he treated his poor wife, Minnie, like dirt and was so right-wing-anti-gay, anti-women, anti-blacks, anti-taxes-it was totally outrageous.
But he also had this incredible energy, a lust for life that seemed to draw people to him. Mikey had a lot of wealthy, famous clients-although none quite as wealthy or famous as Duke McMahon-and none of them could touch him for raw charisma.
Emerging dripping and naked from the shower, Duke strode over to the window and looked out at the California sunshine.
Although the estate itself had been built in the twenties, when Hancock Park was first starting to become popular with the swelling ranks of movie actors and musicians who had moved west to find fame and fortune, the interior was a bizarre milange of modern and traditional styles. A central workout square of polished wood was surrounded by a sea of cream shag carpeting, fitted wall to wall beneath the ubiquitous mirrors, and a disco ball hung in pride of place from the vaulted ceiling.
They were almost exact contemporaries, but Seamus looked nearly old enough to be his father. His hairline had receded so far that he appeared completely bald from the front, and a lifelong penchant for "the odd dram," as he put it, had contributed to both his florid complexion and his spreading waistline. Seamus was a gem. Immaculately manicured lawns rolled down the hill away from the house as far as the eye could see.
An Olympic-size pool flashed and shimmered in the morning sunshine, surrounded by a haphazard collection of orange and lemon trees, all groaning with fruit. Tiny hummingbirds, their brilliant streaks of color clashing with the unbroken blue of the sky, flitted from flower to flower, enjoying the sunshine.
It was hard to imagine that such a Garden of Eden could be completely man-made; that without ceaseless irrigation, planting, and tending, the whole of Hancock Park would have been nothing more than a lifeless desert.
But then that was precisely what Duke loved about L. It was a place where you could turn a patch of dirt into paradise, if you worked hard and wanted it badly enough.
Any one of the legions of Mexican gardeners and handymen on the lawns below could have glanced up and seen the master of the house stark naked, surveying his kingdom from the window, as they had on so many mornings before.
It was his house. He had worked for every square inch of it, and he could shit on the fucking floor if he wanted to. Besides, he liked being naked in front of the staff, because it drove Minnie insane with embarrassment. Chewing the fat with Duke was a whole lot more fun. One day, if you find you really like her, then maybe you marry her and she becomes your wife. Now, a mistress-a mistress is something totally different. Nobody owns nobody else, Duke.
How come he could never talk like this to his own son, Pete? The boy was always so fucking uptight, a stuck-up little prig like his mother. Duke used to say that Pete Jr. This must be quite some girl. As if reading his mind, the old man continued. As of today. But how could Caroline possibly be moving in? Did you guys, like, separate or get a divorce or something? How come I never heard about this? I just told her. This is my house, and I want Caroline to live here. McMahon was concerned. Suddenly Mikey felt awkward, guilty.
And when you looked right into that hole, it was black. Frankly, it scared the shit out of Mikey. All of a sudden the room seemed to become terribly cold. The sweet scent of the cyclamen creepers that grew around her dressing-room window never failed to relax her.
She took a deep, calming gulp of the warm morning air and sighed. Lavish vases of flowers covered every available surface, and a slightly battered but charming old bookcase beside the door was filled with books, not only collected but read by generations of Millers. Some had belonged to her great-great-grandfather and Minnie loved simply to hold them, stroking the spines and thinking of all of her ancestors who had held them and read them before her.
Thirty years in Los Angeles had done nothing to diminish her homesickness for the East Coast. But through her flair for interior design-Minnie had that rare ability to turn a house into a home without diminishing its elegance, with a style that combined traditional conservatism with real warmth-she had created a miniature East Coast oasis inside the estate, which had become a huge comfort to her in her frequent times of trouble.
Having arranged her pearls carefully in the mirror, she picked up the silver-backed clothes brush on the dresser and swept a few stubborn strands of lint from her skirt.
Today would be a difficult day. But as her mother had always taught her, a lady never loses her composure, no matter how trying the circumstance. Whatever it took, she must maintain her dignity, draw it like a shield around her in the face of this Ten years younger than Duke, at fifty-four Minnie had embraced middle age as enthusiastically as her husband had fought to keep it at bay. She looked like his mother. That is to say, she dressed like his mother.
Her daily uniform had barely altered since she and Duke first married over thirty years ago. Thanks to a rigorous, no-nonsense daily beauty routine consisting of soap, water, and a good dollop of cold cream at night, her handsome patrician face was not excessively lined. The years of suffering she had endured through the latter stages of her marriage to Duke had etched themselves only faintly around the eyes, where other, happier women had laughter lines.
Still, Minnie reminded herself grimly, she had a lot to be thankful for. And of course, she had her children. Her husband might be insisting on moving his cheap little tart into their home. But, by God, if he thought he was going to drive her out with his vindictive little games, her or the children, he had another think coming.
Oh, Mother, there you are. Her full gypsy skirt and loose shapeless Moroccan blouse did nothing to conceal the rolls of fat acquired through decades of comfort eating.
With her greasy brown hair scraped back into a severe ponytail and her face bare of makeup, it was almost impossible to believe this timid, trembling mouse of a girl could be the natural child of such fine-featured parents.
This morning her appearance was further hampered by a bright red shiny nose and eyes dreadfully swollen from crying. I mean, how could Daddy do this to you, to all of us?
It really was disgracefully undignified. The rosewood creaked as Laurie eased her sniveling bulk into it. Minnie wished her daughter would show just a bit more self-discipline when it came to food, but she smiled at her kindly and tried not to show it. Just as he has with all the others. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc.
Books by Tilly Bagshawe