Brilliant Hardcover – May 5 2003
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American Kick Keswick has been working for the esteemed auction house of Ballantine and Company for more than 30 years, a position that came by way of Oklahoma and a lengthy juvenile record. She met Ballantine's owner, Sir Cramner, while visiting London as a teenager and was his mistress until he died. Her expertise in antiquities and jewelry propelled her to executive secretary, and she expects to retire comfortably on a trust fund and the money she makes with her secret life--until the new owner, Owen Brace, blows in. Owen is a larger-than-life, brash American industrialist with lots of plans and an overactive sex life. Kick becomes enamored of her new boss and decides to stick around, but gets more than even she bargained for. Owen brings romance and great sex, but Kick's larcenous habit is nothing compared with what he contrives. Kellogg's sophisticated and lavishly fun tale of greed and daring in the high-stakes auction house world presents a full-figured, tough, and atypical heroine readers will cheer for. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Marne Davis Kellogg’s portrait of a world of opulence and decadence is so vivid she must be an insider. Enjoy the guilty pleasures of Brilliant. I did.” –Harry Smith, CBS, Anchor, “The Early Show”
“Marne Davis Kellogg has written an elegant and luscious suspense novel, filled with intriguing twists and turns. As always, Ms. Kellogg’s characters are funny, sexy, interesting, and quirky. Great summer reading. Brilliant is, in a word, brilliant.” –Nelson DeMille, author of Up Country
“Here’s a heroine who loves diamonds, great food, and great ways to get revenge. What more could any woman want? Brilliant is a delicious novel you’ll devour like the most scrumptious meal. I loved Kick Keswick—I wouldn’t want to mess with her but I would enjoy hanging out with her.” –Janet Evanovich, author of To The Nines
Top Customer Reviews
From the beginning of the story she is tough and does what she has to so she can get by. Perhaps that is why she kind of blended into the the side lines at her job with Ballantine Auction house.
She's very talented in art, jewelry and antique appraising, so I didn't understand the fact that a woman who had been working for years under the owners training would still be an Executive Assistant. In one scene in particular she describes that she's the one that makes sure everything is locked up and another time one of the Vice Presidents is asking her where his coffee/tea is. I didn't understand this part of the story considering she is such a dynamic character to begin with. It bugged me. As I said maybe I missed something, but I don't know that bothered me. She's worked at this company since she was about 18 and although she does make sure everything is running well one of the men was asking her that seemed highly unlikely in today's world.
However, I found the story interesting and fun. I wasn't sure that I'd like the story it took me a little while to get into it, but when I did I was eager to know what would happen next.Read more ›
Kick is the Executive Assistant at Ballantine and Company Auctioneers in England. But, she is also a jewel thief. She has learned so much about jewels that she now constructs fakes and expertly slips the real jewels into her pocket and puts the fakes in the Auction company safes. She also burglarizes home and steals only jewelry and leaves a bouquet of shamrocks. She has become the Shamrock Burglar. No one knows about this side of her life.
There's a lot no one knows about her life. She grew up in Oklahoma and had a bad childhood, though this isn't the story she tells of her childhood. Sir Cramner Ballantine found her and helped her turn her life around. She learned everything there was to learn about the items being auctioned. Before Sir Cramner died, he gave Kick a 15% interest in the company as KDK Trust. No one else knew about this but his lawyer.
Sir Cramner had asked her to keep an eye on his son Sir Benjamin as he took over Ballantine and Company and to not let him run it into the ground. This task about did Kick in. Now Ballantine and Company has merged with Brace International. Owen Brace takes when Sir Benjamin kills himself. Kick has her work cut out for her to help Owen gain the appearance and respect worthy of Ballantine and Company.
The undercurrent of her being a jewel thief working in an upscale business constantly kept this story moving. I found myself picking this book up to read to find out what happened next. It isn't your standard mystery by any means, but I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading about more adventures with Kick.Read more ›
But now the auction house has a new CEO. "Owen Brace, a self-made man, Irish-American, one of the most successful international takeover artists in the history of business, was a high-speed adrenaline addict and a notorious slash-and-burn specialist." Owen is a womanizer, on his 3rd wife, and a scoundrel. Yet he somehow manages to open Kick's eyes to a new world of love, romance and a physical pleasure she's never known. She sticks around, postponing her departure although something tells her that Owen's intentions may not be honorable.
Does Owen really love Kick? Does she really love him? Will her secret life be found out? Well, I can't tell you that.
The premise of this story was very cute and fun, at times dangerous and exciting. Good character development as well. My only complaint was in Kellogg's descriptions and explanations, such as jewel expertise and jewelry histories. They seemed dictated straight from an encyclopedia, a laundry list of facts. I'm no writer and can't advise on how I would have overcome this. But as a reader, that was my impression.
Most recent customer reviews
In Kick Keswick, Marne Davis Kellogg has created a heroine with a life that anyone would desire (well, except maybe for that jewel thievery thing). Read morePublished on April 20 2004 by Amazon Customer
This is such a well-written piece! Wow! I loved it! The quotes you get from the critics are entirely right. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2003 by Sofia Loyall
Let me start out by saying I am very much a romantic, which biases me a little. So without giving anything away, I'll say that I wasn't very satisfied by the way this story... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003 by Penny
The first few chapters of this book were great, I had an immediate liking of the character Kick. So I had great hopes this would be a fun, interesting fast moving book, so much for... Read morePublished on July 20 2003 by TheGhostofBelleStarr