I have read both the old version and the new one. And even done a comparison now, by rereading some of the old chapters and the new parallel - I was curious.
An URGENT REQUEST first: Out of respect for readers, I would appreciate knowing precisely what "updating" means. In this case, it means shortening the original by about 50 to 100 pages by streamlining it a lot (an estimate just looking at print size, amount of text on page and page numbers), and adding a few smallish things to make it flow. For other books, it may just mean adding one scene, or an epilogue. Please, be very clear about it - it is my money!
I like these 80-ies types books, Judith Krantz, etc. and I do not mind rereading them now. So much juicier, so much less p.c., with flesh and blood people who manage to be accomplished and happy to some degree while being fallible and messed up and making horrible mistakes. And some of the oversized guts and glory stuff of ultra-rich people is fun too, from time to time.
Just so other readers know where I come from.
Now to the book itself:
I love the character and growth of the Glitter Baby herself. She works for me very well, I can easily connect to her. In both versions. SEP made the new one a bit better, as to her motivations, just a shading that was good, more modern, less victim to a small degree.
I can respect Jake, although he is a hard man, and quite unpleasant in a lot of moments. However, for me to believe in his "breakthrough" and HEA, I would need a bit more showing of how he has changed and moved on from his traumata. This was all too much a "quick fix" at the end for me. I would not trust him not to fall back into very destructive behaviour that hurts the heroine, again.
So unfortunately, the HEA does not really work for me.
A minus, but not a total dealbreaker.
Which brings me to the book's immense flaw:
I feel that SEP never actually has the courage to bring justice for Belinda. She is weak, and in her own way, quite evil by allowing truly evil people to do horrendous stuff to innocent children and to take relentless revenge over years for despicable motives. She actually stands by and profits from it, never for a moment giving up her luxury life. And the ending shows her forgiven and happy. Unbearable. And she so much dominates the book, she ends up being the main character, or very close to it.
This does not work for me as a romance, it does not work as a women's fiction, neither now nor then.
This book would have better stayed where it was than be re-written and getting a second chance at a wide public who loves SEP. Which I do.
I give two stars for the lovely Glitter Baby, and for some wonderful secondary characters and scenes (the whole rock bank passage, Kissy) but this is a deeply flawed product.