Source- Review copy courtesy of DCPRmedia
Publisher- MIRA/ Harlequin
Publication date- June 2012
Synopsis- Welcome to Paradise. Only the rich are invited…only the strongest survive. But is it heaven on earth or a devil s playground? Fame. Money. Success. Lori wants them Aurora is being destroyed by them, and Stevie s got them at her best friends expense. These three women are all drawn unwittingly to the shores of Temptation Island, all looking for their own truth. But they discover a secret so shocking there s no turning back. It s wicked, it s sensational. Are you ready to be told? The island promises the one thing money can t buy – but the glittering waters drown dark secrets… The price is devastating.
Review- Temptation Island is quite a lengthy book which initially I thought was chic lit, but probably leans more towards women’s fiction given there are three female protagonists and it spans several years of their lives until the present day. Three fascinating women: Lori Garcia, Aurora Nash and Stevie Stellar are attractive and young and in the spotlight, all for different reasons.
Lori’s story begins very much like Cinderella’s; her mother is dead, her father has remarried to a horrible woman with two daughters who become Lori’s evil step-sisters. But that’s where the similarities cease, because Lori isn’t whisked away by a handsome prince, rather she encounters the dangerous Jean-Baptiste Moreau who runs a successful modelling agency in the public domain and a more sordid business behind closed doors. The moment he steps in and saves her from the grasps of her ex-boyfriend’s threatening gang, Lori becomes infatuated with him. But it is some time before they meet again. When holidaying in Spain with her grandmother, she is scouted by a modelling agent from JB’s company and leaves behind her squalor to become a successful, well-liked model in LA. Her virginity becomes a huge media speculation and works to her favour.
Aurora, daughter of Tom & Sherillyn Nash-successful country singing duo- has been in the spotlight for less admirable reasons- sex scandals and partying (think Lindsay Lohan…) and she’s just fifteen. When she is sent away to a boarding school in England and befriends mysterious Pascale a French student she develops her first, real intimate friendship in her life. Their friendship leads to a sexual relationship but Aurora’s fascination with Pascale’s cousin JB drives a wedge between them. Aurora is certain Pascale is hiding something and when Aurora overhears a conversation between JB and Reuben van der Meyde she realises her whole life may have been a lie.
Stevie becomes a Hollywood celebrity when she flukes an acting audition and hits the big time after fleeing a relationship breakdown in the UK. She befriends vivacious Bibi Reiner who soon becomes caught up with the Hollywood porn industry in her desperate attempts to become a movie star. Stevie becomes involved in a whirlwind romance with movie director Xander Jakobson marries and plans to start a family. But Xander’s hiding something from his past and it has something to do with the business JB and Reuben are involved in.
The island of Cacutra seems to weave threads throughout the book with the author creating a mystery about its purpose and what exactly JB and Reuben are involved in. Temptation Island explores how money can buy anything, even babies. It explores the resourcefulness of the wealthy and at times I wondered whether the author was inspired by some Hollywood headlines such as Lindsay Lohan’s party antics and Keith and Nicole’s ‘gestational carrier’ used for their second baby.
It took some time for me to align myself with each of the protagonists despite the author delving straight into juicy scenes, especially with Aurora. Though the author has included a prologue to get the reader to think about the island of Cacutra and who will inevitably die there, it wasn’t up until the half-way point that I really knew where the story was going. I wasn’t sure if Virginia Fox was going to be able to pull off all this glamour and scandal to create a story with depth and engaging characters- but she did! If you enjoy the celebrity and glamour of some chic lit on the market but would like a bit more depth, suspense and intrigue then I’d recommend picking up Temptation Island. It’s a saucy read, sure to be liked by a variety of readers!
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