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Guilty Wives
Guilty Wives
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 031609756X
$27.99/U.S.
448 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455506664
$14.99/U.S.
480 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 0446571881
$10.00/U.S.
528 pages
Grand Central Publishing

No husbands allowed

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they're free to live someone else's life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

What happened last night?

In the morning's harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened—something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime—for survival. GUILTY WIVES is the ultimate indulgence, the kind of nonstop joy-ride of excess, friendship, betrayal, and danger that only James Patterson can create.

Guilty Wives
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 031609756X
$27.99/U.S.
448 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455506664
$14.99/U.S.
480 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 0446571881
$10.00/U.S.
528 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Book One | THIRTEEN MONTHS EARLIER: JUNE 2010

Chapter 2

IT WAS ONLY minutes before we were at the entrance of the Hôtel Métropole. It was near dusk and it looked like the light had been turned down on a dimmer switch. The air was warm and thick. Porters in gray jackets and hats took our bags and cheerily greeted us, first in German—mistaking the heritage of the blond Serena—and then in English.

The hotel was fabulous. We walked through an ivy-covered granite archway that made me feel as though someone should be trumpeting our arrival. The patterned stone path was lined with candles in ornate glass holders, potted Japanese plants, and tall, manicured pine trees that probably had a fancy name but looked like anorexic specimens to me. The hotel loomed before us, basking in the low light. The next thing I knew, I had a Champagne glass in my hand and the bubbles were tickling my nose as I drank and walked. Someone from the hotel was explaining about a recent remodeling, someone named Jacques Garcia, and I nodded importantly and said, "I love his work," even though I had no freakin' idea who he was. Winnie was sashaying in front of the pack, singing something and waving her arms, probably attracting the attention of all the male porters in her tight green sundress.

"So exciting!" Serena hugged me close and we clinked glasses.

The large, airy lobby smelled and looked like money, from the checkered tile floor to the skylight to the elaborate lamps hanging from the ceiling—picture candelabra covered with tents—to the guests, the men in tuxedos and many-thousand-dollar suits, the women in evening gowns and pearls.

"I could learn to like this," I said.

"Schofield," said Serena to the man at reception.

The man hit a few keys and said, "Simon?"

"Simon?" The three of us said it in unison to Serena. Simon was her husband. Think: rich and dull. Nice enough, I guess, though I never saw the connection between those two.

Regardless, the point was that we were escaping this weekend. Four days, just for us—meaning no husbands. That meant something different to each of us, I thought, but something nonetheless.

"Buzz kill," Winnie sang.

Serena laughed. "His assistant booked it for us. Force of habit, putting Simon's name down."

"I can't wait to see this room," said Bryah.

"Forget the room." Serena clapped her hands together. "We're going to the casino. I feel lucky!"

"Forget the room?" Again, the three of us, almost in unison. We overruled her. We wanted to see this suite we'd heard so much about.

"Wow," I said, as though it were a two-syllable word. The presidential suite, a double penthouse. They called it the Carré d'Or. It sounded like a perfume. It looked like a palace. Fresh roses everywhere. Complimentary Champagne and macaroons. Expensive artwork. A view of half of Monte Carlo. As I may have mentioned, I could learn to like this.

I didn't come from money and I didn't have any to speak of, by which I mean that Jeffrey and I were perfectly comfortable—but we had no summer villas, no private jets. And no complaints, either, by the way. Still, it differentiated me from the others. Winnie had grown up with money in London. Bryah and Serena had married into it.

They'd probably seen penthouses like this one before, though the way they scattered like cockroaches to explore it, maybe this was above even their typical expense level.

It was the most opulent thing I'd ever seen. The lounge area, probably suitable for a helicopter landing, was all dark parquet with rich gold and maroon accents. The floor-to-ceiling windows revealed the Mediterranean and a terrace that called out to me. First, I took a peek into a bathroom—marble and sandstone, a delicious ivory-colored tub, a shower big enough for a small family—"Yes, that will do," I decided.

Then I looked into one of the bedrooms, the front one, twice the size of mine in Bern, the walls decorated in flowers and light shades of green and opening to reveal a dressing area and table on one side. I directed the bellman to drop my and Winnie's bags here; we'd be sharing this front bedroom, while Serena and Bryah would share the back one.

Then to the terrace. Winnie was already out there, cutting quite a figure as she looked out over the Monte Carlo Casino, the Mediterranean, and the pink sky beyond. The breeze carried her dark hair off her back.

"This terrace, alone, is bigger than my first apartment in Georgetown," I said. "Twice the size."

"I know, mate. It's just lovely." Winnie turned and opened her arms, as though she were showcasing herself. "Hello, Monte Carlo!" she said.

Serena popped her head into the room. "Get dressed, ladies," she said. "We're going gambling."

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Guilty Wives
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607884682
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by January LaVoy

January LaVoy is a New York-based voice, stage, and television actress. She has performed on and Off-Broadway, and appeared extensively in regional theaters across the country. She is best known for her role as Noelle Ortiz on the long-running ABC daytime drama, One Life to Live.

Guilty Wives
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 031609756X
$27.99/U.S.
448 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 1455506664
$14.99/U.S.
480 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market
ISBN: 0446571881
$10.00/U.S.
528 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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