Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
English | 2020| Romance, Contemporary | ePUB | 2.4 MB
The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men.
On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa.
The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, she finds herself drawn to him again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé and ultimately herself, as she tries to deny George entry into her world – and her heart.
Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
Lucie might have grown up in the same prewar Rosario Candela–designed building as her friend, but Isabel’s life was several notches more glamorous. For starters, her father was a diplomat who, according to the building’s elevator men, hailed from one of Asia’s most successful business dynasties, so the Chiu family occupied the sprawling eighteen-room duplex penthouse, while the Churchills lived in a classic seven on the tenth floor.fn2 Likewise, the doormen whispered that whenever the Chius went away, it was always via Teterboro Airport, which was a dead giveaway that the family only flew private.
With her striking beauty, effervescent charm, and academic drive, Isabel was easily one of the most popular students at the Lycée Français. When she turned eighteen, she made her debut at Le Balfn3 in Paris and graced the cover of Taiwan Tatler, and by the time she graduated from Brown, she had more than thirty thousand followers on Instagram. Nowadays she worked in Los Angeles for a film production company, and Lucie mainly kept in touch by following her on social media, admiring the places she got to travel to—London for the Frieze Art Fair, Park City for Sundance, Bahia for a party at Caetano Veloso’s—and the cool friends who surrounded her wherever she went.
Charlotte interrupted her reverie. “Tell me the name of Isabel’s fiancé again? The count?”
“Dolfi. His full name is Adolfo De Vecchi. I don’t think he’s a count—that’s his father.”
“And he plays polo?”
“Yes, he’s got a nine-goal handicap. His whole family has been into polo for generations.”
“The polo-playing son of an Italian count marries a Taiwanese heiress. My, Lucie, you’re really running with the international ooh-la-las these days,” Charlotte teased.
Soon they arrived at the town of Capri, which was built high on the mountain overlooking the harbor. Waiting by the bustling taxi stand on Via Roma was an Italian man in his twenties wearing a short-sleeved white shirt and white trousers that appeared at least two sizes too tight. “Welcome to Capri! I am Paolo, from the Bertolucci. Please allow me to escort you to the hotel. It is just a short walk away,” the man said.
They strolled into the main public square, where a gleaming white clock tower stood opposite from the historic Cathedral of Santo Stefano. Four competing outdoor cafés lining the square bustled with chic patrons sipping their cappuccinos, chatting, and people-watching from their bistro tables.