Much like a Harold Robbins novel, the first few pages of Cinderella and the Carpetbagger, Grace Robbins’ recollection of what it was like to be the wife of the mega-best-selling author, reach out and grab you by the shirt collar.

Robbins explains that back in the day, she and Harold threw two kinds of parties. The first were in the grand old Hollywood tradition, packed with A-listers and well-covered by the press. The other were secretly convened bachanals, often abetted by the bartending of Scotty Bowers and a large crystal bowl full of cocaine. It is one of these parties that anchors Robbins’ prologue and helps launch her fantastically entertaining throwback memoir:

“Here” was the master bedroom of our ten thousand square-foot mansion in the famous hills overlooking Beverly Hills – a bedroom so enormous most apartments would easily fit within its space…

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