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Gone Too Far

Terri Schichenmeyer | 8/4/2010, 5 p.m.

Who said relationships were easy? Whoever he was, he was wrong.

Your beloved has good traits and bad, which mesh with yours only sometimes. There's give in a relationship, and there's take, and it's balanced if you're lucky. Some days, love fills you up and other days, you wonder what you were thinking when you chose that man. Oh, it's so complicated.

Now throw scads of money and power into the mix, stir with a little revenge, and watch what happens in the new novel "Gone Too Far" by Angela Winters.

Beautiful Avery Jackson had gotten herself into a mess.

Not long ago, Avery was happy in love with Carter Chase, lawyer and son of billionaire Steven Chase. She and Carter had a daughter and life was good, but then it wasn't, and their relationship was broken. Devastated, Avery married Anthony Harper on the rebound and now she was stuck: Anthony was wheelchair-bound due to an accident. What kind of woman leaves a man like that, even if it's to reunite with the man she still adores?

On the rebound himself, Carter was engaged to sultry Julia, who should be everything a man wants in a woman. But as much as he admired Julia's body, the truth is that Carter still loved Avery.

Strangely, he hated her, too. He hated her for leaving him.

Carter wished he could confide in his brother, Michael, but Michael had problems of his own. His ex-wife, Kimberly, had custody of their twin sons and although he knew he should leave her alone, he couldn't. She was bad news--Steven Chase warned his son of that quite often--but Michael still wanted her.

Nobody ever said "no" to Steven Chase for long--not even his eldest daughter, Leigh, who took her name and inheritance and founded free clinics for the state's poor; and not his youngest child, Haley, who married a beach bum in exchange for $30 million. A man couldn't grow a business on the word "no," and he couldn't control his family by accepting it, either.

Even though Steven Chase had tried to run Kimberly out of town, she just wouldn't go. No matter how much money he threw at her, she was determined to stay in California, partly because her boys needed their daddy, and partly because Kimberly knew that revenge would be so sweet ....

Got a pad of paper? You'll need it, and a pen, too, because "Gone Too Far" is overfilled with so many characters that note taking may be necessary.

In this, the latest in the View Park series, author Angela Winters revisits the next generation of rich, pampered Chases and their manipulating parents. The surprising thing to me was that everybody seemed to be softening in this installment. Will Steven rediscover his meanness mojo?

Will the twins take after Grandpa? Will I have an easier time telling characters apart in the next novel?

If you like a soap-opera atmosphere in your books, you'll love "Gone Too Far" (c.2010, Kensington Dafina. $14 / $16.95 Canada. 336 pages with reader's guide). Just be aware that, like any good relationship, it's complicated.