A cheeky exposé on gold digging (the marital sort) from the British bestselling author of Beautiful People (2009) and Filthy Rich (2008).
A large cast of characters searching for something—money, excitement, love, ancient Roman toilets—all show up at the novel’s glamorous royal wedding finale, but it takes a lot of scheming and luck to get them there. Polly, an archaeology student, is on Lord Shropshire’s estate unearthing Roman artifacts when she meets the dashing Max. A veterinary student spending the summer at Shropshire’s manor (he’s a bit vague on the connection), he and Polly begin an easy summer romance. Meanwhile, Alexa MacDonald (formerly Allison Donald, only child of an embarrassingly working-class couple from the Midlands) is looking for a rich husband. She studied hard and made it to St. Andrews but squandered her time at university attending parties, hunts and weekend soirees—all in search of a marriageable title—but now she is both without a degree or a husband. If only she could have been born into Lady FlorenceTrevorigus-Whyske-Cleethorpe’s high-heeled Manolos. Lady Florrie, a fixture of Socialite magazine, is beautiful, fashionable and innocent as only the superprivileged can be. She has no interest in marriage or money; she just wants some fun, life as an endless banquet. Just as Max and Polly are falling in love, he has been summoned back to Sedona, a principality on the Riviera. Turns out Max is the heir apparent, and his father is insisting he marry. Sedona needs to attract investors, and there is nothing like a royal wedding to court publicity. While Max is fighting his father, Alexa has the help of Barney, an equally dedicated social climber and hanger-on. Alexa, an odious character from the beginning, has to sleep with so many ghastly lords (and one Russian oligarch) that, by the end, even she deserves a little happiness. As for Max, he’s been fixed up with Florrie, but not if Polly can steal him away before the wedding.
Holden, a former writer for the Mail on Sunday, certainly knows her way around snarky royal gossip and delivers here a very guilty pleasure.