cover image Never Too Rich

Never Too Rich

Judith Gould. Dutton Books, $19.95 (477pp) ISBN 978-0-525-24904-7

Two pulchritudinous protagonists, talented designer Edwina and super-model Billie Dawn, seize the limelight in this vervy, sassy novel of the fashion world by the author of Dazzle and Sins. Ravishing redhead Edwina--tossed aside by her haute couture bosses, crass socialites Antonio and Anouk de Riscal--fights back with her own ``Edwina G'' line of affordable ``fast fashion,'' bolstered by an ``Attitude Sell.'' She copes with cute punk daughter, Hallelujah, 13, and resists marrying handsome tycoon R. L. Shacklebury, who adores her. The more timid Billie Dawn (formerly runaway Shirl) has survived a bikers' gang rape led by jealous ex-boyfriend Snake of the Satan's Warriors. Snake is out to get her again, while Billie Dawn's plastic surgeon ``Doc'' Cooper offers big bucks' worth of loving protection. Amidst this flurry of gorgeous people, sex, chic clothing and interiors stalks ``Miss Bitch,'' the drag queen/slasher who scalps women and dons their hair. The climactic grand finale brings the entire cast to the Southampton Decorator Showhouse. Exuberant malice and mayhem are Gould's forte, with action scenes awash in gore. (Oct.)