How To Un-Marry A Millionaire by Billie Morton
Publication Date: July 30, 2014
Format: Paperback - 208 pages
Kindle - 872 KB
Nook - 592 KB
Genre: Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: How To Un-Marry A Millionaire
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Inspired by Basia Johnson, a penniless cook who married into the Johnson and Johnson fortune, Ricky sets in motion a plan to get inside a rich old man’s house. Once there, she will do the rest. She is twenty-two years old, blonde and unashamedly brazen.
And she is ready to make a deal with the Devil.
What she hasn’t counted on is seventy-year-old Sandford Keane, the Arizona Copper King, a notorious sonofabitch with an agenda of his own, and a family with a long history of other ambitious wives.
One of them is Suzanne Nelson-Drummoyne-Graff-Carmel, a serial marrier who has finally found love. Unfortunately it is not with her latest husband. At war with her mother-in-law, Philippa, a legendary old viper and trophy wife of another era, Suzanne is thirty-seven and terrified that she is about to hit her “use-by” date.
From the richest enclaves of Connecticut and Manhattan to the wilds of the Arizona desert and New Mexico, the novel brings these women together on a raunchy, life-changing encounter that will make them question the roles they have chosen for themselves, and the high price they have all paid to live the pampered life of a rich man’s wife.
The afternoon heat was baking the Southern Arizona classroom like an overdone pot roast, and Mr. Tomkins was droning on and on about JKF this and JFK that. But all Ricky Hart could think about was Jackie.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
The biggest class act to ever pull on pantyhose.
If Ricky could have picked any woman from history to share a pedicure with at The Doris Day and Night Beauty Parlor in downtown Wilcox, it would have been the former Queen of Camelot. Cleopatra and Carla Bruni were close runners-up, followed by a long list of other famous man-magnets whose biographies she hauled home every week from the library and devoured.
Lately she’d been reading snippets from Jackie O to her sister Pearl in the tiny bedroom they shared and had transformed – with Pearl’s artistic talents and Ricky’s imagination – into a French boudoir.
“She stole her own sister’s billionaire?” Pearl had screeched from her canopied bed hung with floral shower curtains. Ricky nodded solemnly.
“That’s right. Lee Radziwill had him first.”
“I’m surprised Jackie didn’t snatch her bald-headed,” Pearl snorted.
“Maybe she did. Maybe that’s why Jackie was always wearing them headscarves,” Ricky had laughed.
“You’d need more than a head scarf if you ran off with my man,” Pearl added. “You’d need a whole new head. There’d be fur flying all over the house.”
“But it wouldn’t be mink,” Ricky sighed. “More like squirrel.”
Ricky dragged her wandering brain back to the stifling school room. Mr. Tomkins’ buggy eyes behind his big black trifocals were flitting up and down the rows and came to rest on the best looking girl in his history class.
“So, Ricky, would you agree that the Cuban missile crisis was the most serious problem of President Kennedy’s office?”
Ricky shook her head hard sending her long hair flying the way she always did to buy some time and distract unwanted attention.
Now the whole class was looking at her. “I said how would you rate the Cuban Missile Crisis in the overall scheme of JFK’s presidency?”
“Well, Mr. Tomkins,” she replied, spritzing her face with a little bottle of Evian she’d started taking everywhere, just like Kate Moss. “The flap about them missiles was turned into a big international imbroglio.”
“In what?” spat Sally Reynolds at the next desk, her face all scrunched up and her buck teeth bared like she was sizing up a field of lettuce for lunch.
“Imbroglio,” Ricky said, glaring at her. She hoped she was pronouncing it right. Mr. Tomkins, she noticed, did look kind of impressed. Least he yanked his pants higher, the way he always did when anything took him by surprise.
“In my opinion,” she went on, like Angelina Jolie at the UN, with every delegate glued to her hooters, “the Cuban Missile Crisis was just another pissing contest between two guys who couldn’t keep their peckers in their pants.
Mr. Tomkins gave her that disappointed look of his that was meant to make her feel all guilty, but screw it, sniffed Ricky. Who the hell could think straight in this heat on a Friday afternoon? It was enough to make you start speaking in tongues.
As Rose Harris’ hand shot up to give some whiny kiss-my-ass answer that Tomkins just loved, Ricky checked the clock on the wall for the ten thousandth time and leaned back in her chair to peer out the window. The sky was a swirling tantrum of storm clouds, dark as the blackheads on Joe Grantley’s neck at the desk in front of her. One of these days, Ricky thought, I might even let him take me to the drive in, and while he’s watching some dumb action hero blow things up – like Kennedy and Khrushchev nearly blew up the goddamn world – I’ll nip on in and pop them suckers right outta their sockets before he knows what’s hit him.
At the desk behind her Cody Radden, busting for a Marlborough, flicked his lighter, sending a gleam onto the little diamond on Ricky’s finger, and she suddenly remembered that her days of going to the drive-in with Joe Grantley, or anyone else, were history.
She was an engaged woman.
Sally Reynolds at the next desk over was turning five shades of green with jealousy as Ricky swiveled her hand around, playing games with the light on the first precious stone of her life, and slipped back into daydreaming.
She and Pearl had chosen the ring in the antique store in old downtown Wilcox, right next to the candy store where Geronimo used to come down from the hills to buy his sugar. Dolan had told her, “You go ahead and get it if that’s the one you have your heart set on. I’ll pay you back soon as my insurance payout comes through.”
Ricky felt kind of weird about buying her own engagement ring, though Pearl said she’d pay for it out of her Christmas savings. But Dolan had got all forceful about it. It had taken him a month, and a valium he’d stole from his boss at the co-op, to get up the courage to ask her to marry him. Like he said, “Two Ricky Harts don’t come along in a lifetime. I’m not let lettin’ some dumb accident get in my way.”
It wasn’t the money that was starting to wake her up in the middle of the night with a feeling of dread, like the sheriff was hauling her off to jail in handcuffs. Dolan was her man, everybody said so, and she was one lucky girl. He was good people, and he was going places. In seven-and-a-half months, when the baby came, they’d have their own house. It wouldn’t be a whole helluva lot, but at least it’d just be the three of them. Eight people crammed into one crappy house like at home was not feasible, Ricky had long ago decided, if a girl wanted to stay sane. You just had to take one look at her mother.
Feasible was probably Ricky’s favorite word of all. She had it typed out in big letters and stuck on the wall next to her bed in the boudoir.
FEASABLE: CAPABLE OF BEING ACCOMPLISHED OR BROUGHT ABOUT.
As far as she was concerned, that covered just about everything if you put your mind to it. Well nearly everything. Those four missing fingers on Dolan’s hand weren’t ever coming back no matter how hard she put her mind or anything else to it. Their stumps didn’t disgust her so much now. Just so long as he didn’t try sticking that lonely thumb any place she didn’t want it stuck.
What worried her most about Dolan was that not only was he not part of The Plan, he was ripping it up and tossing it in the trash. And the kicker was he didn’t even know therewas a plan.
Thirty minutes left, thought Ricky. Thirty long, boring-as-shit minutes till I get outta here. She yawned. Pearl would have the truck ready and they’d take off, splitting the mud and chasing storms like they’d been doing every weekend since Pearl’d saved enough money to buy those old wheels. Sometimes Ricky wondered if she should’ve quit school too and be earning a proper full-time wage instead of sitting inside this stinking hot school room learning a bunch of bull.
“I bet they had air conditioning at Jackie Kennedy’s school,” she whispered to Sally, giving her a mercy squirt of Evian. “Not some old crappy fan blowing BO into your face. I bet Jackie never even smelt BO in her whole life, though, come to think of it, Ari Onassis looked like he could’ve stunk. Still, for all that money, I’d have put up with some stink too.”
Suddenly Pearl’s old white Ford screeched into the parking lot. Hallelujah! She must have got out of the store early. Ricky watched through the dusty window as Pearl jumped down from the leopard-skin-covered cab, tipped a bottle of water over her head, and shook like a dog. Then she dug into her coveralls pocket and pulled out a nice little thin doobie - one of her “racehorses.” Pearl liked to come up with her own name for things. With a flip and a flick of her Zippo, the one Ricky had given her last year for her twenty-first, she fired it up, tipping her head back to watch the smoke rings she was famous for around these parts.
Ricky unglued her spray-on-tan legs from the seat, smoothed down her pencil shirt, tucked in her blouse and stood up. “’Scuse me, Mr. Tomkins,” she said, real ladylike, “but I gotta get to the little girl’s room.”
Then she was out the door running like a flop-eared hound towards Pearl, the storm, and a whole weekend of no goddamn high school.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, How To Un-Marry A Millionaire, author Billie Morton weaves a humorous and thoroughly entertaining tale that follows the trials and tribulations of three generations of women who live in the world of the rich and famous ... a lifestyle where having a lot money doesn't always bring happiness, and not everything they thought it would be!
The reader is easily drawn into the alternating and interwoven drama laden lives of three ambitious women: twenty-two year old Ricky Hart, a nurse who wheedles her way into the affections of seventy-year old Arizona Copper King, Sanford Keane's life when she helps him rehab from a heart transplant. Then there is thirty-seven year old Suzanne Nelson-Drummoyne-Graff-Carmel, a gold-digging serial-marrier whose lifestyle is all about the money. And last but not least, there is elderly socialite Philippa Carmel, Suzanne's current mother-in-law, who cannot stand her daughter-in-law yet yearns for a grandchild.
Author Billie Morton's quick wit weaves an amusing story filled with enough drama, humor, and intriguing plot twists that will tickle the reader's funny bone. Her insightful portrayal of these three women, whose desire to live a wealthy lifestyle is filled with enough hilarious trials and tribulations that makes one wonder if their quest is really worth it, and is it everything that they thought it would be. Like the old saying goes ... money doesn't always buy you happiness!
How To Un-Marry A Millionaire is a fast-paced enjoyable story that will keep you in stitches, and leave a satisfying smile on your face.
RATING: 4 STARS
About The Author
How To Un-Marry a Millionaire is her first novel. It was inspired by meeting young – and not so young – women across the globe all busily performing a colourful array of mating dances. Some were dancing as fast as they could. Others were looking to take a little time and add love to the dream. And some were grabbing the microphone at the nearest karaoke bar to belt out Tina Turner’s classic – What’s Love Got To Do With It?
These were the ones she chose to write about from her new home in the rainforest of northern Australia.
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