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Rivals (Rutshire Chronicles #2)
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(Rutshire Chronicles #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  4,050 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Into the cut-throat world of Corinium television comes Declan O'Hara, a mega-star of great glamour and integrity with a radiant feckless wife, a handsome son and two ravishing teenage daughters. 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 Coriniu
Paperback, 716 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Corgi (first published 1988)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,050 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Catherine Robertson
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jilly, my affection for you has lead me to keep reading, way, way past the point when you became unreadable. (There's debate about when this occurred. For me the tipping point was Pandora. For some it was SCORE! The exclamation mark was too much to bear.) For me, Rivals is the ultimate Jilly, though I know many would say Riders cannot be bettered. But Rupert finds love. How can you beat that?
Tanja Berg
Rating 3* out of 5. One star deduction for excessive length. The previous book in the series "Riders" was even longer - over 900 pages - but I did not want it to end. "Rivals" wasn't as interesting. The format probably contributed as well, reading books over 500 pages on kindle is quite dreary in itself.

I wish I would have read this when I was 17! The sleazy decadance would have rid me of any romantic illusions, or rather, delusions, and perhaps prevented me from learning the hard way. "Rivals"
Oct 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Original thoughts:

I first read this in my teens in the 80s and loved it. Riders was good, but Rivals was goooooood. Bonkbusting mayhem at it's best, with the added adorability of the romance between Rupert and Taggie, awww!

Today's thoughts:

Continuing my re-romps through the works of bonkbuster queen Jilly Cooper, Rivals was second only to Polo back in my teens. Bastard bad boy Rupert from Riders is finally tamed by the young, shy, quivering, dependable, adorable Taggie, and true to my old memor
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I always come back to Jilly Cooper when I am sad, ill, dealing with a little hearbreak..her writing is exactly what i need as an easy escape from reality but it is not superficial or badly written by any means. All of her novels are intensely researched and the characters are great. Her books are satisfying, and I can never put them down. They've helped me through some crappy times. Riders, Polo and Rivals are my favourite from the chronicles. The O'Hara's are such a loveable family, and I am no ...more
Liz Barnsley
I've been SO thoroughly enjoying my re-read of my pile of Jilly Cooper books - Rivals is one of my favourites (although the next one up Polo is my *absolute* favourite) due to the character of Declan and the fact that in this one Rupert meets the love of his life for the first time.

Fast, funny and so entertaining I really recommend these - for all people of all ages (ok perhaps 14 and over - I read them first around then!) The perfect pick me up reads.

Sadly I have to put the re-read on hold for
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In some ways this is very much more of the same from Jilly Cooper as Riders, but in general Cooper has tightened up her act. The writing is more snappy and less rambling, the characters seem more vivid and certain of them are far more likeable then in her first book.

The plot this time involves a large franchise battle between Corinium - the incumbent television company, led by Tony Baddingham - and Venturer, formed by a number of larger than life characters who have had various run-ins with Tony
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Following on a few years from where Riders leaves off, Rivals throws us back into the saddle (see what I did there) in Rutshire, where Rupert Campbell-Black is now Tory (of course) Minister for Sport. Freshly divorced from Helen, he is literally shagging anything that comes within a ten-metre radius of his penis and casually sticking two fingers up to his conquests' husbands while he does it.

New to Rutshire is Declan O'Hara, an Irish talk show host with a gloriously shambolic wife and three teen
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My favorite! Because Rupert finds true love! OK, OK, it's only partially a favorite because of that. It's also a favorite because it was my first JC and also wickedly hilarious. But yeah, the romance between Rupert and Taggie made me swoon - (view spoiler)

Anyway, this is set a number of years after Riders and involves a TV franchise run by ruthless, dictatorial and evil Tony Longbor
Natasha Hadleigh
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The date should read, read in August 1990, again in 2005 and every year since. I love this book. It was the first Jilly Cooper I ever read and although I've read them all since it remains my favourite.
Set in the world of television it heaves with strong, handsome,talented men and glamorous, intelligent women.The plot is strong and carries the book and the prose is tight and very witty. It's set in the Rutshire countryside and Jilly gives us a wonderful feel for the area and the remarkable people
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You cannot go wrong with a Jilly Cooper during your summer holidays and Rivals is no exception to that rule.

It does what it says on the cover and is thoroughly entertaining from the first page to the last. The only slight dissapointment is the lack of references to horses and show jumping compared to Riders. Fear not, I hear Polo rectifies this and it is certainly on my list of books to read next since technically it is still summer eventhough I am no longer on holiday.
Found my copy, read it ages ago, brought home to re-read sometime.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
Reading the American version, which is titled _Players_.

Update: I wonder why they changed the title--Rivals was a much better title.

However, regardless of the title, a terrible book. An 80's corporate soap opera that's very dated. Characterization is terrible--I had to really concentrate to remember which one was Declan and which Rupert and which Tony (the women were a little better differentiated), but worst of all was the ridiculous inconsistency of them. My favorite was Cameron, the high-powe
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I went on to read this after Riders as it shares many of the same characters. Again I loved the lack of regard for authority and rules. A romp through the trials of bidding for a tv network which is fantastically written. I cannot say this is a classic but it is really well written and Jilly's choice of language and phrasing is great. You think it's 'trash' until you read something written by someone without Jilly's skill and then you realise what a good writer she is.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oh, the shame: I actually loved this. It was utterly barking, and bears no relation to real life, but it's really awfully funny. There are a lot of horses, dogs, quails' eggs, muddy range rovers, agas and one hilariously snobby woman who puts toilet cleaner in her garden fountains. Honestly, it's great fun.
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I gave this 5 star purely for nostaglic reasons! My first Jilly Cooper book as an impressionable 20 year old and i remember my eyes almost popping out as i turned page after page - and I rate the rest that feature Rupert Campbell Black with his wife 5 star because they are still happily together :D
Paula Constant
I read this on and off whenever I need a brain holiday. WHo can beat Rupert and Taggie????
The bonkbuster that popped my Jilly Cooper cherry and therefore my favourite of all her Rutshire Chronicles. Set amidst the heights of 1980’s excess, former Olympic show-jumper and all-round SEX GOD Rupert Campbell-Black (so good they named him thrice) has retired from the circuit and become Tory MP for Sports. He’s bored with bonking and boozing, he needs a new challenge.

Enter the O’Hara family, who move in across the valley at Penscombe. Following the career of brooding talk show interviewer
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So there is a bonkbuster before anyone had heard about Christian Grey. What I love about Jilly Cooper is that her books are sexy without having to resort to detailed anatomical /gynaecological descriptions of the act and everything around 'it'.

This time, in the second book of the Rutshire Chronicles, she takes us into the world of television instead of show jumping. But fear not, Rupert Campbell-Black is back and his story continues. He bordered on the unpleasant in the first book, but here, he
Noël Cades
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: age-gap romance fans, UK romance fans
Shelves: older-man
Still a glorious romp of a read, Jilly Cooper's Rivals features one of the best age-gap romances ever: 37-year-old Rupert Campbell-Black and 18-year-old Taggie O'Hara.

As with all Jilly Cooper's "bonkbusters" there are multiple plotlines going on and we get involved in the lives of many different characters. And the main plotline - the TV franchise battle - is a wonderful story in itself.

Of course all the various affairs and romances are entwined with this, generating divided loyalties and leaked
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tony Baddingham runs Corinium TV with an iron hand, but is more interested in making money than making programmes. He charms Cameron Cook, a young American producer, into coming to the UK to work, both as his mistress and for her TV talents. Declan O'Hara is also poached from the BBC, but he is harder to bully. When Tony goes too far one day, Declan walks out. Along with his friends, disgruntled Corinium employees and people Tony has pissed off too often, Declan sets up a rival station, determin ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not really a fan of "chick-lit" but Rivals had some truly hilarious moments in it. I read Riders and found the most often light and humorous style of the author worth trying another one of her books. Rivals didn't disappoint. After reading some heavy duty historical fiction novels, I wanted something on the lighter side and the two books filled the bill. The women are too weepy at times and the men to much of being bastards.

What I did enjoy was how the author was able to set up some truly aw
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read until my eyes are bleeding. My second in the series and I really appreciate Ruppert more by having read that stinker in both books. He's easily more mature in second book but still a rutting rascal. He does seem to have a few too many moments of softness for a neighborhood girl. She's so unlike anyone he'd be interested in.

There is a whole big thing about a television station bid that, my goodness, could of been pared down except the author seems to want to impress us with her research o
Lisa Norcross
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Re-reading Rivals immediately after re-reading Riders, I was reminded of the crushing disappointment I felt when I first read it. The thrilling world of show jumping is completely abandoned, favourite characters from Riders barely even get a mention (Fen, Tory, etc...), others experience complete personality changes (Rupert) and I was so sad that Billy seems to have lapsed back into alcoholism. Why, Jilly, why?? On top of that, the story is often unbelievable, there are far too many characters, ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had a short love hate relationship with this book. I loved the story and thought the writing style was absolutely fantastic. I hated many of the characters, but they made the book what it is. I found it hard to put the book down once I had picked it up. I overcooked my potatoes because I thought a couple more sentences and then I'll concentrate on dinner. Ended up having to have mash potatoes! I found the characters reactions to a few situations to be unbelievable. Everyone is sleeping with ev ...more
The very best of Jilly's fiction IMO. A friend who's a connection of hers told me some of the best lines were overheard in real life by Jilly. You can tell she has a wonderful sense of humor and an insider's knowledge of the world she describes. The stories are completely (& deliciously) made up, but the world is real.

If you have a horribly long flight, this book is the perfect distraction. You'll be happily in Jilly's world instead of airplane hell. My copy's been across the Atlantic so ma
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy broad satire, have a bit of a clue about the British class system and are open to novels that lead you on goose trails with hijinks and shenanigans all the way to a neatly and delightful ending, you can't do better than Jilly Cooper. Her books are, to use the English expression, "a lark ", filled with high comedy, pretentious snobs, salt of the earth types, love stories, romps, successes and rightful devastation of the villains in the plot. The plot, however, is always so serpentine ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have read this many times before... I LOVE Jilly Cooper and how she writes... You love to hate the people in the book but then you find yourself liking them in the end... She bring many Characters together and keeps them flowing from start to finish... I started reading these in my late teens and still read them now... Only 2 of the books i have struggled with as they were to do with Classic Music and Opera but the story's themselves kept me hooked... I do hope there are few more Bonkbusters t ...more
Adele Dube
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody who wants a hillarious book
This was my best read by Jilly Cooper. It brings out the unproffessional conduct of some mega players like Tony, who has an affair with a subordinate. The infidelity that takes place in the community of gloucestershire makes the novel so interesting. The novel is generally entertaining and hillarious.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first Jilly Cooper I read was "The Man who made husbands jealous", so I've kind of read it all backwards. So finally I read the Rupert and Taggie love story - not quite how I expected it to come about. It makes me disappointed that Taggie doesn't appear more often in later books, she's a lot feistier than I thought.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much there are no words! Utterly compulsive reading and so entertaining, I adored the entire cast of characters and the great rivalries set up so perfectly by Cooper. And of course Rupert and Taggie - that says it all. Taggie's one of my all-time favourite heroines. If anyone could have redeemed Rupert it's her.
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Jilly Cooper, OBE (born February 21, 1937) is an English author. She started her career as a journalist and wrote numerous works of non-fiction before writing several romance novels, the first of which appeared in 1975. She is most famous for writing the six blockbuster novels the Rutshire Chronicles.

Other books in the series

Rutshire Chronicles (10 books)
  • Riders (Rutshire Chronicles, #1)
  • Polo (Rutshire Chronicles #3)
  • The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous (Rutshire Chronicles, #4)
  • Appassionata (Rutshire Chronicles #5)
  • Score! (Rutshire Chronicles, #6)
  • Pandora (Rutshire Chronicles, #7)
  • Wicked! (Rutshire Chronicles #8)
  • Jump! (Rutshire Chronicles, #9)
  • Mount! (Rutshire Chronicles, #10)
“To bring the balloon of the mind that bellies and drags in the wind, as Yeats had so perfectly put it, into its narrow shed.” 1 likes
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