5 November 2009

Review: LUXURY by Jessica Ruston ****

"MAKE IT
Sexy, smart New Yorker Logan Barnes knew how to take what he wanted to get where he wanted to be. But you can’t win the girl, make the money and live the high life without picking up enemies along the way …
BREAK IT
There’s only one enemy who matters, and that’s the friend Logan betrayed years ago – Nicolo Flores. He got mad, but better still he got even, waiting in the wings to pull the plug on Logan and and see his fortunes come crashing down.
BUT SAVE THE BEST CARD FOR LAST
Now Logan’s back, in London with a perfect wife, perfect family, and the perfect jewel to crown his rebuilt hotel empire: a stunning island getaway for the truly über-rich. Niccolo’s crazy to find a way to crush him again – but with gambling, addiction, sex and scandal all knocking on the Barnes’ family door, maybe they’ll destroy themselves before he even has a chance to …
A DEVASTATINGLY GOOD LOOK AT LIFE LIVED IN THE LAP OF LUXURY"

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this novel. The blurb made it sound like it was about two men (?!) and the cover suggested something more chicklity (the cover is pretty but quite deceiving, by the way). I was confused but even more intrigued, especially after reading glowing reviews pretty much everywhere online. I wasn't entirely sure if this would be my cup of tea, but I decided to give it a try after being offered a review copy by Headline (Thank you!) and I certainly don't regret my decision - reading this book was one hell of a ride!

The story doesn't quite sound like something I typically go for, but I was surprised how quickly I was sucked into it and the pages just flew by ... I have no intention of posting the detailed summary as it would take forever - there's just too much going on! But to quickly recap: Once upon a time in the 1980s, there were 3 guys, Logan, Johnny and Nicolo. They were best friends with very big plans, but they fell apart after Logan stole Nicolo's girlfriend Maryanne. Nicolo vowed to get his revenge. His sabotaged his enemy a few times in the next couple of decades, but hasn't quite managed to ruin him despite his best attempts. However, when Logan embarks on his most ambitious project yet, the opening of the exclusive and private hotel on a picture perfect island called Luxury (hence the title), Nicolo recognizes this as the perfect opportunity to finally get even for the pain he suffered years ago, but he will need quite a bit of help to succeed ...

I could be said that this is mainly a story about revenge and rivalry between two incredibly successful and ruthless men. In this story of betrayal, manipulation, blackmail, dark secrets and sinister plans among other things, the stakes are high and absolutely nothing is off limits. The ultimate revenge plot severely affects many lifelong friendships and seemingly perfect families; by the end of the book, the lives of everyone involved are changed forever and only a few survive the consequences of the devastating actions ...
The main story may be about two middle-aged men (it's honestly far more interesting than it sounds!), but on the other hand, there are also numerous subplots regarding Logan's wife Maryanne and her addiction problems, their children Charlie and Lucia, Logan's friends Johnny and Mark, a mother and daughter who have their own reason for revenge, a woman's who's trying to escape her violent husband and many others.

This is certainly not a fairytale about the lives of the rich and the famous - if anything, it's more a tragedy and shows that the lives of these people are less enviable than they may seem ... Nonetheless, the novel does provide fascinating insight into the lives of the incredibly rich people and your jaw's bound to drop several times when you read about the "things" these people come up with, hehe. Being richer than rich may have plenty of advantages, but on the whole it may not be all it's cracked up to be seeing how the price these people have to pay to solve their problems is sometimes even more than they can afford.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book far more than I expected. The writing as such may be just above average, but the fascinating story with its twists & turns and the passionate characters make this bonkbuster unputdownable - escapism at its best!

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 4/5 | writing: 3/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 3/5

7 comments:

Chloe @ chicklitreviews said...

Great review, it does sound good!

Bookalicious said...

Chloe - yeah, it was a great read indeed! I saw on the author's site that you girls will be posting a review and an interview next week - can't wait to read both!! :)

Sarah Prior said...

Loved the review, I've almost finished it and have really enjoyed this book - far more than I thought I would as I never saw myself as a 'bonkbuster' lover! Hoping to set up an interview with Jess Ruston this week.

Sarah Prior said...

Interview with Jessica is now live on the BookRabbit site: http://www.bookrabbit.com/blog/interview-with-jessica-ruston-and-win-a-copy-of-luxury/

Also done a link to your review from her author profile page: http://www.bookrabbit.com/author/index/authorid/16/

Our review of Luxury will be up there soon too!

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