Set against the glorious Cotswold countryside and the playgrounds of the world, Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles offer an intoxicating blend of skulduggery, swooning romance, sexual adventure and hilarious high jinks.
This special 2-for-1 collection features two of these classic titles: Riders and Rivals.
Riders takes the lid off international showjumping, a sport where the brave horses are almost human, but the humans behave like animals.
The brooding hero, gypsy Jake Lovell, under whose magic hands the most difficult horse or woman becomes biddable, is driven to the top by his loathing of the beautiful bounder and darling of the show ring, Rupert Campbell-Black. Having filched each other's horses, and fought and fornicated their way around the capitals of Europe, the feud between the two men finally erupts with devastating consequences during the Los Angeles Olympics.
Into the cut-throat world of Corinium television comes Declan O'Hara, a mega-star of great glamour and integrity. Living rather too closely across the valley is Rupert Campbell-Black, divorced and as dissolute as ever, and now the Tory Minister for Sport.
Declan needs only a few days at Corinium to realise that the Managing Director, Lord Baddingham, is a crook who has recruited him merely to help retain the franchise for Corinium. Baddingham has also enticed Cameron Cook, a gorgeous but domineering woman executive, to produce Declan's programme. Declan and Cameron detest each other, provoking a storm of controversy into which Rupert plunges with his usual abandon.
As a rival group emerges to pitch for the franchise, reputations ripen and decline, true love blossoms and burns, marriages are made and shattered, and sex raises its (delicious) head at almost every throw as, in bed and boardroom, the race is on to capture the Cotswold Crown.
The inimitable Jilly Cooper may be known for her racy novels, but she started her writing life as a marriage columnist, meaning she has plenty to say on love, relationships and life’s biggest questions
If you’re a Jilly Cooper fan, it’s vital to know the difference between being ‘ravishing’ and ‘adorable’ in the desirability stakes. Here is the ultimate guide for surviving a long weekend in Rutshire