Wicked Wives – Anna-Lou Weatherley

What to expect:

Sometimes it just feels good being bad… A tale of intrigue, revenge and excess….. Playboy Casino owner and serial gambler, Tom Black, leaves a trail of broken hearts behind him wherever he goes. So when he disappears, it’s no surprise that foul-play is suspected.

The finger of suspicion points to three women from his past; Eleanor, the beautiful socialite with a dubious past, Loretta, the fame-seeking gold-digger, and Victoria, the glamorous, bestselling author.

Bound together by one man and his mayhem, it’s not long before secrets begin to surface, forcing the three women to take the biggest gamble of all. But in the game of love there can only be one winner – and the winner takes it all….

Firmly aimed at the Bonkbuster market, it’s inspired me to make a tag for this genre- they’re still out there, and still wildly popular.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Some are down to earth- albeit rich and well dressed- some are almost caricatures, especially Loretta the aging Italian diva. She even wore a turban in one scene, you can’t ask for more than that. Ellie was easier to relate to, she just wanted to open a dance studio, she had the talent and her husband’s billions, but Tom wants the same property- and he knows about her past. Ellie’s spoilt daughter Tess is turning eighteen and wants to be famous, unfortunately it could turn out to be for the wrong reasons. Victoria is friends with Ellie, and mourning the daughter she lost in infancy; she’ll do anything to get pregnant again before it’s too late, but she could be barking up the wrong tree. Tom is a gambling addict, and on the whole he cares for no one but himself and money, although Ellie is the only one he ever loved, so long ago, and she’s still in what’s left of his heart.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Victoria has a brush with this when she feels the need to do something silly to clear up a mess- thankfully most of the time all the characters are strong to the point of toughness, and not afraid to make things happen.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The action is on both sides of the Atlantic, but the majority of the main characters are Brits. There’s plenty of opulent detail for your escapist needs, from a high-end casino in Vegas to a private yacht in Antigua and billionaire homes around London.

Nookie for your Nook?– Even that’s larger than life!

Provoking your Inner-Pedant– I’ll assume Loretta intended to veer off into Spanish and French in places and is multi-lingual. On another topic, I’m familiar with Bahrain and can tell you the nationality should be Bahraini, but couldn’t possibly comment on the subject of vulgar taste.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The author’s previous offering, Chelsea Wives, was pretty over the top, but this one pumps up the glam factor even more. It’s hilariously far-fetched, as it should be, and well fleshed out when it comes to the luxury and name dropping- I imagine it was fun to research! I must confess to guessing the whodunnit earlier than I wanted to, but really, Tom is such a nasty one that it could have been anyone. Definitely good for a summer read, or anytime you want to feel like you’re on the beach.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.99

US: Not currently found on Amazon, but Kobobooks have it for $7.29.

Chelsea Wives- Anna-Lou Weatherley

Remember ‘Trashy novels’ and ‘Bonk-busters’? Pretend the recession never happened and get some true escapism from the Brit side of the pond. Meet three women of very different origins, the rich and spoiled of London’s Chelsea. Imogen was a successful model before her rich husband put her in a gilded cage for fifteen years. Lady Yasmin appears to be your typical surgically enhanced, social-climbing young trophy wife to her crusty old Lord- but who is she really? Finally, Calvary was born into this life, but can she retain her position and find happiness with a younger man if she finally divorces her serial-philandering husband? These three become unlikely allies when they realise they can all get what they want: If they have the guts and luck to pull off a spectacular heist.

Kooks for your Kindle?-For such an unashamedly frothy book the main characters are surprisingly only a little over-the-top; even the seemingly ‘gold-digging-bimbo’ has an agenda of an entirely unexpected nature. Some of the supporting players are suitably wacky.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– All three ladies have suffered in the past at the hands of their husbands, but this is the story of them taking matters into their own hands and breaking the rules to get what’s due. Who doesn’t love a good revenge story? In that respect there are shades of The First Wives Club, but it’s not derivative of that.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The world of the overprivileged is explored, namely expensive shopping on the King’s Road, dining, traveling, parties, yachts, name-dropping, and some extremely outlandish behaviour. It’s all good excessive fun.

Nookie for your Nook?– I believe this type of book used to be known as ‘sex and shopping’ in the good old eighties era of Judith Kranz. There’s plenty of both to keep you entertained, although be warned, a lot of the bedroom action is between unattractive rich men and plastic younger women with ulterior motives, which might put you right off your Veuve Clicquot.

Evaluation of your eBook?– If you’re not bemused by point of view switches between the three leads within the same sections, and have the imagination to suspend belief for a while, you’ll love it. It’s flashy, trashy and pure escapism, and everyone gets the ending they deserve.

Frothy Ranking: 3/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Totally worth it for £1.99 at Amazon, Waterstones, and WHSmith.
US: Kobobooks for only $2.61.