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Something Dangerous Hardcover – October 14, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Expansively written and lushly detailed, this fast-paced sequel to No Angel follows the Lyttons, a prominent British publishing family, into the mid-20th century. It's 1928 as the book opens, and the Lytton heirs apparent—Giles, Kit and their twin sisters, Venetia and Adele—are more absorbed in their personal lives than in steering themselves toward future stewardship of the family empire. Giles, ensconced in a mid-level Lytton post, feels a professional and social failure; Kit is bright, but only eight; and the beautiful 18-year-old twins are more concerned with their court debuts than with learning anything useful about publishing. Lytton foster child Barty Miller, who graduated from Oxford with honors, might take the business seriously; she shows remarkable intelligence and drive, but not the gratitude that Celia Lytton, senior editor of the house and matron of the family, would like. The business and family survive the Depression as the Lyttons begin publishing cheaper books, the twins lose their virginity, Kit grows into a fine young man and Giles gets married. Then WWII comes along and snaps, if not sense, then at least some backbone into the Lytton children. But is it too late? As family secrets and the Nazis both threaten to crush the house of Lytton, Vincenzi tightens her grip on readers, churning out surprising twists that not only resolve current conflicts but promise delicious future crises.
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From Booklist

Vincenzi continues the lush multigenerational and transatlantic family saga she began in the best-selling No Angel [BKL S 15 03], picking up the story on the eve of the Great Depression. The Lyttons of London are enjoying the zenith of their heyday as the owners and operators of one of Britain's premier publishing houses. Shrewd and socially adept, aristocratic Lady Celia Lytton continues to dazzle both society and the business world with her legendary beauty and clever marketing ideas. Meanwhile, her somewhat musty husband, Oliver, seems stuck in the Edwardian era as he insists, with potentially devastating consequences to his company, that he will remain a gentleman publisher rather than the aggressive book hustler his wife envisions. Of course, most of the requisite rivalry and sexual sizzle is provided by the next generation of Lyttons as they reach their majority. Poor old Giles continues to disappoint his mother with his lackluster performance at the firm; seemingly empty-headed but beautiful twins, Adele and Venetia, flit around London and Paris until unsuitable romantic entanglements and unconventional careers take them both by storm; and brilliant former foundling Barty finds passion and professional fulfillment in the American office. As World War II ravages Europe, Vincenzi is at her best, painting vivid portraits of wartime London and stalwart British citizens making sacrifices and dodging bombs. Old characters die, new characters are born, and intriguing new plot twists are introduced, setting the stage for yet another meaty installment of this irresistibly sprawling multivolume yarn. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books (October 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585674826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585674824
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Annie on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Something Dangerous is the second book in the Spoils Of Time Trilogy by Penny Vincenzi. The first book is No Angel and the third book is Into Temptation.

In No Angel, the novel mainly centered around Lady Celia and Oliver Lytton and how their story began but in Something Dangerous the saga continued with the younger generation in the midst of war with Germany. Many of the characters you will see are Giles, Venetia, Adele, and Kit who are the children of Oliver and Celia. Barty, the woman that Celia took in as a child, Jay their nephew, and Izzy, the daughter of their prized author. Through these people you will see affairs, love, marriage, children, and death. What more could you ask for?

I am sure many of you have never heard of Penny Vencenzi before but if you are a fan of the big family sagas then I would highly suggest you give her a try.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader on November 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite of the "Spoils of Time" trilogy, covering the Lytton family's story from the 1930s through World War II. Watching characters you've become familiar with in "No Angel" respond to the Depression and war is really intriguing, especially since Penny Vincenzi is so good at putting them into interesting tight spots.

Vincenzi writes the Rolls Royces of the big, juicy, substantial family saga, packed with believable characters, excellent historical detail, and complex plotting. After "Something Dangerous," you'll be so thoroughly hooked on the Lyttons that the release date of the third book will seem unbearably far away.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Heather Negahdar on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Something Dangerous is a follow up to No Angel and is the second in the trilogy of The Spoils Of Time, which is full of surprises, wonderful expectations and anxious moments.
This is a long story so if you are like me and like fat books, this one is yours.
Centered around the Lytton Publising House in the UK, we are introduced to the owners of the business; husband and wife Celia and Oliver Lytton.
Celia is the perfectionist and fault- finder while Oliver who is more approachable and less difficult, is in fragile health now after the first war but still has the last word in the firm.
Something Dangerous focuses on the offspring of the Lyttons as the Second World War and the rise of Nazi Germany come into play. You will meet Giles, Celia's eldest son who having never done well in the family business goes off to war much to his family's delight for at least he will make something positive of his life. Also the twins Venetia and Adele who were born with silver spoons in their mouths come into adulthood just in time to experience first hand the ravishes of war, as food is being rationed and the lovely things which were taken for granted are now not within their grasps. Venetia falls into an iffy marriage while Adele moves to France where she struggles to bring up two kids as a single parent; and Barty Miller who is in a category of her own as Celia and Oliver's adoptive daughter.
Circumstances change however when Barty longing for a bit of independence, requests a transfer to the USA Lyttons in New York , and it is in that city that she is truly transformed as she links up with one of Oliver's nephews, and this link as simple as it looks leaves the English company to either sink or swim when it falls into financial trouble and almost goes for broke.
Something Dangerous will be followed by Into Temptation the last in the trilogy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Jamison on February 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I happened to pick up a copy of "No Angel" -- just because it looked interesting. I had never heard of Penny Vincenzi and this was strictly a case of judging a book by it's cover. It didn't take long to get totally engrossed in the story, and I hated to see it end. At that time I didn't know it was part of a trilogy. "Something Dangerous", the second book, is just as good-- the characters are all interesting and easy to relate to-- the Lytton family and their friends live a lifestyle unknown to most people, very rich, but they have the same problems as everyone else. Without reading "No Angel" first, however, some things in "Something Dangerous" are left unexplained, and it makes one wonder why Lady Celia is the way she is. Oh, well. It's a wonderful book, and I can hardly wait for the next one
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on January 17, 2007
Format: Unknown Binding
Something Dangerous by Penny Vincenzi is the second book in the Lytton family trilogy. This book follows No Angel and in some ways I thought Something Dangerous was a better read than No Angel.

This book begins in 1928 when the Lytton children begin to make their way both socially and in workplace. Some go to work for the families publishing empire while others find themselves as mothers or working elsewhere. When war breaks out they find themselves serving in the military or living behind enemy lines. I enjoyed this book which described events leading up to and during World War II through the eyes of members of this prestigious family.

This is the second book I read by this new to me author but certainly not the last. I have always been a sucker for family sagas and in thetradition of Barbara Taylor Bradford and others, Penny Vincenzi is one of the best writers of this genre. Now I am looking forward to reading the third title in this series, Into Temptation, as I slowly collect all of her older books.
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