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AN Outrageous Affair Hardcover – October 2, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest sexy, overblown saga from Vincenzi's British backlist tracks Lady Caroline Hunterton over 30 years, from the thick of WWII to the height of the counterculture. Her story is framed by an about-to-be-published tell-all from elusive yellow journalist Magnus Phillips, whose book unearths Caroline's tragic and scandalous past, threatening everything she holds dear, especially the memory of Brendan FitzPatrick, her first love, and their daughter, Fleur. Brendan, given custody of Fleur, is lured to Hollywood and his doom, while Caroline marries Lord Hunterton and raises three other children, including Chloe, who has no idea of her mother's past until she discovers the long-buried secret. When scandal-author Phillips is increasingly threatened, Caroline understands, perhaps too late, that the story he's writing is more than a tawdry airing of family laundry and could quite literally be a matter of life and death. Vincenzi provides plenty of heat and intrigue, but the story bogs down in episodes from Fleur's work life and excerpts from Phillips's unpublished book. A significant number of the multiple twists are exasperatingly expected, but Vincenzi gives the sprawling whole enough oomph to carry one all the way through. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

The author of No Angel (2003) and Sheer Abandon (2007) offers another sprawling saga, this one centered around a spirited Englishwoman and her two daughters. Caroline Miller falls hard for dashing American soldier Brendan FitzPatrick, but his disappearance during World War II leads her to give up the baby she conceived shortly before he shipped out. By the time Brendan returns, Caroline has married another man and is expecting a child with him. Caroline refuses to leave her husband, but she implores Brendan to reclaim their baby. He does, naming her Fleur and taking her back to New York with him, while Caroline raises her other daughter, Chloe, in England. When they reach adulthood, the girls’ fates intertwine in unexpected ways when Chloe’s husband appears to be tied to the scandalous death of Fleur’s beloved father. Fans of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s multigenerational stories will likely flock to Vincenzi’s latest, and although some might be put off by the sometimes turgid prose and stock characters, the mystery will likely keep them turning the pages. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; First US Edition edition (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590201019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590201015
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,270,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Overlook Press, the small publishing house that first introduced American readers to the epic novels of Penny Vincenzi, is committed to bringing all of Vincenzi's backlist in print in the United States (even as another, larger publisher has snatched up her newest titles now that the word is out). AN OUTRAGEOUS AFFAIR, first published in the United Kingdom in 1993, is another terrific example of Vincenzi's ability to bring together a couple dozen characters (and just as many subplots) in intriguing, titillating and outrageous ways.

The novel opens in Great Britain in 1942, in the middle of World War II, as aristocratic (and sexually frustrated) Caroline Hunterton falls desperately in love with American fighter pilot Brendan FitzPatrick. After Caroline becomes pregnant, she tries to reach her lover to tell him the news; distraught when he does not reply, she (at the urging of her mortified parents) gives the baby girl up for adoption and marries a man she does not love. When Brendan, who has been wounded and unable to be contacted, finally returns to Suffolk, a heartbroken Caroline tells him it's too late for their love. But it's not too late for one thing --- adoption proceedings have not yet been finalized, and Brendan can take their daughter, Fleur, for his own.

He does so, and the doting young father takes the girl back to New York City. After the war, Brendan turns his eyes westward --- to Hollywood, leaving his beloved daughter in the care of relatives while he pursues his dreams of stardom. Brendan might not be much of an actor, but he certainly does have star quality --- that is, until the threat of exposing a salacious scandal destroys him utterly.

As for Caroline, she and her husband have three children in quick succession.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another page turner by excellent writer Penny Vincenzi. The plot is drawn out to almost unbearable lengths that at times becomes tiresome. But the characters, as always with this writer, captivate and you care about their outcome. I wish Penny would return to the historical milieu, her trilogy about the Lytton family was so superior to this women's jargon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My brain is still reeling. I cannot believe how Ms. Vincenzi can make ordinary throwaway lines and everyday events into such great plots. If you are not paying attention to every single word, you may miss the basis of a whole plot. There are so many stories in this one story and then she somehow manages to weave and intertwine the whole thing together. And if you dare to think the plots are too preposterous to be true, when you pause to really think, you realise they are very possible and highly probable. Her play on the word 'affair' in the title is genius.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outrageously book. I hate when I get to the end of one of Penny's books, yet I always know I just have to pick up another of her fabulous books to be taken into another saga. The characters, places, storylines are the best. I have yet to be disappointed with any of her novels. She's a gifted author who writes each character as if you knew them personally. This book had great people, complex relationships and interesting places. Trust me...you'll love it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read and enjoyed the majority of Penny's novels but this one fell short for me. Too many sex scenes, too much detail, too long, boring ... it's up there with "Windfall" which I did not enjoy either ...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once you open this book from Page One, you might as well settle in for a long cuddle, as you'll soon be enmeshed in the deliciousness of a richly told tale by this master teller of stories. You begin to meet the family and friends - and before you know it, you're unable to stop being with these amazing characters. Rich in detail of town and country homes only those of privilege in the English manner of the post-WWII era captures. You'll care for these people and won't want the story to end. Addictive, well-written in the smooth and clever way only Ms. Vincenzi makes happen. P.Walker June 2016.
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Format: Paperback
She is such a great writer that I have ordered and read all of her books.
Delivery time was excellent as usual. Wish local bookstores would carry more English writers. All her books get a 5 star rating from me.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book by this author that I have read, and it will be the last, regardless of the other reviewer's comments. Reading this book was a total waste of time. Indeed, toward the end of the book, I just simply quit. I agree with another reviewer. I didn't care about any of the characters enough to finish this this long winded tome. I continued to read the book in hopes that I would eventually become interested or caught up in the story, but it never happened, and in fact, the story and characters just became more annoying and aggravating with every page.There are so many other great books out there that a reader does not have to waste days on end reading this book that doesn't provide any excitement or suspense to hook the reader.
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