On the one hand, it must be nice to be Sophie Walker. An adored only child, she has enjoyed a privileged upbringing, wanting for nothing (nothing material, anyway). She got accepted into law school, and destiny holds that she will take over her father’s successful law firm one day. When she decides to jettison those plans, she doesn’t go live in a fifth floor, roach-infested walk-up in the Bronx; instead, she hops onto a plane and heads first class to the Maldives, where she plans to spend a week relaxing with spa treatments, her gay best friend, and his partner.
On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so nice to be Sophie Walker. She is almost too adored. Her parents strive so earnestly to protect her that they don’t even let her go on a school trip to Washington, DC. Granted, that’s clear across the country from her LA home, but still. They have charted their course for her life, and they expect her to follow it. When she quits law school to become an ARTIST, of all horrors, they threaten to withdraw all financial support. Worse, they withdraw emotional support.
Yes, Sophie (somehow) has the wherewithal to head to the Maldives, but she deserves this chance to decompress. I mean, it must be exhausting hoisting that silver spoon.
Okay, so the premise is utterly contrived. Not many college grads can afford a first class trek to the Maldives, and even fewer can do so knowing that they have no professional support now that they detoured off their career trajectory. You will need to make that logical leap in order to enjoy this story, and it is quite enjoyable indeed.
While in the airport, Sophie meets Clayton Sinclair, a wealthy, older (by eleven years) Brit. (Sing it with me, faithful readers: THEY ARE ALWAYS WEALTHY AND OLDER.) As we are told several times, Clayton’s immediate attraction to Sophie is “new” for him and out of character.
But attracted he is, and attracted she is. Before too long, they act on their attraction.
Naturally, emotional chaos ensues.
I did like this book. In fact, it ends on a cliffhanger that I want resolved, like, NOW. So come on, Colet Abedi, and publish that sequel. (An aside: please don’t traipse down the trilogy path; keep it to two books and buck the trend, would you, please?)
I did not like it without reservation, though. For one thing, I can’t figure out why Sophie’s self-esteem is so low. She’s gorgeous. Her friends, Clayton, his friends – EVERYONE tells her how gorgeous she is. I’m not saying she needs to be narcissistic, but her apparent total unawareness of her looks seems a bit odd, as does her inability to see that she is a valuable, contributing member of the human race. Yes, Mommy and Daddy were controlling, but her conversation with her father makes him seem somewhat supportive of her.
So there’s that.
But the ending … dear sweet mother of Michelangelo, the ending. It is as artificial as they come. I know we need a mechanism to make us want to read the sequel – and it worked, because I do – but I also feel manipulated, and I don’t like that. For one thing, Sophie’s best friend is a Hollywood stylist. He, of all people, ought to know the perils of believing the tabloid press. Yet there he is, cheering along the questionable conclusions she draws.
Still, though, Sophie is likable. Yes, she’s a bit too prone to fits of pique and drama (if I were Clayton, I would have left her because of her immaturity, but then we wouldn’t have the book, would we?), but she’s a loyal friend, and she’s fairly kind-hearted. Clayton is … well … he just IS. And what he IS is hot and gorgeous.
One more complaint: the sex scenes are not detailed enough. Yeah, I’m a big fat perv, but I would have liked MORE, Colet Abedi. More, more, more. This book has an “erotica” tag (per the publisher), by the way. So let’s have some EROTICA. There is a hint that Clayton has a Dominant streak in him, but it is not pursued. Yet, anyway. We do have a sequel coming.