Six women battle for control of a giant cosmetics empire--and the assorted men who also run it--in this shamelessly glitzy debut by a London-based magazine writer. When Julian Morell returned home to England after WW II, he bought with him a creative intellect and a burning desire to use it to found his own cosmetics company. His mother, Letitia, helped raise seed money and took over the financial reins, insuring Morell Industries' success as manufacturer of top-of-the-line cosmetics and perfumes and as owner of luxury salons worldwide. On the way to the top, Julian collected a bright, beautiful ex-wife, Eliza; a sullen but steamily sensual daughter, Roz; a humorless but impressively business-minded mistress, Camilla; and Phaedria, his very young second wife. All his life Julian has delighted in playing these women against one another. His game continues after his demise when he leaves 49 percent of his empire's stock to his daughter, 49 percent to his wife, and a critical two percent to someone named Miles Wilburn--whom nobody's ever heard of. Roz and Phaedria pass the time until the mysterious heir is found by squabbling mightily over past and present lovers, playing hardball at the office, and spreading nasty rumors about one another. When Miles turns out to be a harmless California boy who wishes nothing more than to sell off his windfall and return to his surfing life, his high-living, hard-bitten fellow shareholders really go to town. Too much business and not enough sex for some readers' taste perhaps, but this could do very well--given the carefully calculated premise and glitzy packaging.