Beach reads don’t come sexier and sassier than the brilliant bonkbuster novels of Rebecca Chance, an author with a knowing twinkle in her eye, a mischievous skip in her step, and a pen that unleashes pure unadulterated entertainment.
With a string of high-octane bestsellers like Bad Brides, Mile High, Killer Diamonds and Killer Affair safely tucked under her belt, Chance – more familiar to some as crime writer Lauren Henderson –dishes up another rollercoaster, raunchy romp set in the opulent world of London’s super-rich.
Growing up in the exclusive millionaire’s row surroundings of the capital’s St John’s Wood and having experienced for herself a wild and privileged bohemian lifestyle has made Chance the perfect purveyor of stories that drip with glitz and glamour. Add on her rapier wit and the result is sheer magic.
Jeffrey Sachs, billionaire CEO of his own hotel chain, has called a surprise family meeting with his four children – all employees in his company – at his mansion in Maida Vale. Conway, the eldest son and ‘presumed heir apparent,’ chalk-and-cheese twins Charlotte and Bella, and sweet-talking Bart know his summons is completely out of character.
The ‘four little von Trapps who didn’t need the whistle to get in line’ might have been trained from birth to anticipate what their father wanted but even they never could have guessed that their father is planning to ditch both his top job and his current wife, marry his drop-dead gorgeous Estonian mistress Adrianna and spend his retirement years with the new Mrs Sachs.
What all that means is that the prize of becoming Sachs CEO is up for grabs. A master of the game of divide and conquer, Jeffrey is giving his four children until the day of his wedding in six months’ time to compete for the job.
The front runner remains Conway, the handsome, golden boy with a not-so-handsome attitude, but older twin Charlotte, a glamorous, coolly confident social media star with a surgically enhanced body and an Instagram-perfect family, is hugely ambitious and fully prepared to scheme her way to the top by foul means or fair.
Then there’s mild-mannered Bella, ‘the sturdy workhorse’ to her twin sister’s ‘show pony.’ Bella considers herself to be ‘a distorting mirror version of Charlotte’ and is used to being ‘the second violin in the quartet,’ but could she also be the dark horse?
Or could Bart, the youngest child, a sexy, impulse-driven, incorrigible playboy, highly skilled at coaxing others into giving him what he wants, somehow catapult himself into his father’s good books?
In a game where the prize is power beyond your wildest dreams, you should never underestimate your competitors, even if they are family… and, it turns out, twins can be the most dangerous rivals of all.
Chance is an acute observer of life in the fast lane – and the people who inhabit that stratified world of untold wealth – and here she has a ball in a superbly executed, cleverly plotted story that explores a vicious sibling rivalry in ruthless pursuit of the ultimate prize.
From the no-nonsense, calculating Jeffrey Sachs and the seductive mistress with brains as well as beauty to the cold-hearted Conway, gorgeous but greedy Bart, and the warring, estranged twins, this is a blockbuster to set holiday reading on fire.
So expect sizzling sex scenes, backstabbing in bucketfuls and giggles galore… but don’t expect to put down the book until the last page has turned!
(Pan, paperback, £7.99)