Bestselling U.K. author Bagshawe (The Devil You Know, 2003, etc.) visits the world of high-end jewelry in her latest tale of ambition, scandal and romance.
Sophie Roberts traded a middle-class English life for one of luxury when she married the charismatic jewelry entrepreneur Pierre Massot. Judy Dean scrabbled her way from Oklahoma to the Paris offices of House Massot—and into Pierre’s bed. Hugh Montfort abandoned all pretense of a personal life after a romantic tragedy and channeled all of his energy into transforming a fusty jewelry company into a hot purveyor of gems. These intersecting lives take an unexpected turn when Pierre leaves his chateau and disappears into the Paris night. Will Sophie successfully transform herself from meek—if couture-clad—housewife to triumphant businesswoman? Will the rivalry between Sophie and Hugh turn into passion? Will Judy do whatever it takes to get rich? Will all Pierre’s terrible secrets be revealed? The answers to these questions should be obvious to anyone familiar with the author’s retro glitz-and-glamour style. Indeed, Bagshawe displays an almost fetishistic interest in the material culture of extreme wealth, describing every Chanel jacket and pair of Christian Louboutin pumps. She also lavishes attention on rubies, emeralds and colored diamonds, as well as meals and home furnishings. She gives far less attention to describing the characters: Again and again, she reminds us that Sophie is elegant, Hugh is well-muscled and Judy is trim and athletic. The plot offers plenty of business intrigue and romantic thrills, and the easy fun of clearly delineated heroes and bad guys, but the writing is overstuffed.
Like an imperfectly cut, bargain-basement gemstone.