Five privileged young woman, all heiresses to the Saybrook diamond empire, are blessed with every luxury. But the family curse—or a vindictive villain—may end their lives prematurely.
Shepard (Everything We Ever Wanted, 2011, etc.), the architect of the best-selling Pretty Little Liars series, has created a PLL for adults. Variously related women (friends, sisters, half sisters, cousins, aunts) fret their way through man troubles, with a deadly mystery on the side. There’s Aster, the partying wild child, and her sister, Corinne, the perfectionist preparing to marry the wonderful Dixon Shackelford. Their cousins include Poppy, the president of Saybrook’s Diamonds, who's a happily married mother of two adorable children; Rowan, the brilliant in-house lawyer who pines after her lost love, Poppy’s husband; and Natasha, a yoga instructor, who curiously disinherited herself from the Saybrook fortune. Five years earlier, a beach party at the family’s glamorous summer house was the site of an executive’s mysterious drowning. An ominous website, appropriately titled “The Blessed and the Cursed,” details the family's every misstep, from wardrobe malfunctions to drunken shenanigans. No one seems to know who supplies the website with compromising photos and tips on the women’s upcoming appointments. On the eve of Corinne’s wedding, it appears the family curse is back: Poppy has fallen to her death. Was it suicide or murder? Why was the seemingly faultless Poppy arranging private meetings behind her assistant’s scheduling book? Where was her husband, James, when she fell? Could the events of five years ago offer clues? As an FBI investigation advances, rumors, secrets and ex-boyfriends abound. Unfortunately, the romances are predictable and the sex scenes, tame.
Perfect for a light beach read, but anyone in search of witty chick lit, hot romance or taut mystery should look elsewhere.