I’m slowly being tempted back into the chick-lit* genre by Sophie Kinsella’s recent books, but it’s been a very long while since I’ve read what’s now called “bonkbusters” (is this a uniquely British term, by the way)? The latest one making headlines is from Victoria Fox – the cover of her new book WICKED AMBITION appears to be everywhere nowadays, so I decided to take up an offer to find out what today’s bonkbusters are all about (as an aside, that term makes me laugh – can’t believe I’m actually typing that on my blog).
If not victory, revenge!
Some will do anything for fame.
Others will do anything to bring the famous down.
Three superstars. Three secrets.
For Robin, Turquoise and Kristin, the spotlight shines brightly. They’ve reached the glittering heights of stardom, and are adored the world over. But in the shadows lies the truth… An expose could be their end.
Because not everyone is happy about their success. Not everyone wants the best for them. Some people want to reveal the real stories behind the luxury parties and gorgeous men, and bring their dazzling worlds crashing to the ground.
Who will fall first?
So a bonkbuster obviously opens with a bonking scene (okay, I’ll stop now – sorry!), and the story takes off at full speed from there. Victoria Fox’s main characters are loosely based on real-life celebrities, with just enough hints that you think you know who she’s using as inspiration, but not enough to guess for certain. Or maybe I’m just not up to speed with the latest going-ons in Heat magazine (which is more probable, I admit).
Despite the alternating POVs and the fast-paced plot, I had no issues distinguishing between the characters or keeping up with their drama-filled lives. This is not a subtle book – Victoria Fox doesn’t hold back when it comes to unveiling dark secrets and their consequences (cue the occasional dropped jaw), and everything (and everyone) is full-on. Obviously, there is some very satisfying comeuppance for the villains in the end, but I admit to feeling faintly dissatisfied when I closed the book – the very black-or-white approach to characterisation meant that the story lacked a certain something, and despite Robin, Turquoise, and Kristin triumphing in the end, I felt that the women lacked empowerment for much of the story.
Perhaps I was expecting a bit too much from this – if you’re looking for something with substance, this won’t be one for you. Having said that, WICKED AMBITION kept me entertained over a long train journey, and I suspect it’ll fit the bill perfectly if you’re into bonkbusters and want an escapist holiday read.
Review based on an ARC courtesy of the publisher/NetGalley.
*Are Sophie Kinsella’s books chick-lit? What is chick-lit nowadays anyway?