Glitz and glamour, divas and drama, sex and secrets, murder and money, money, money.
Sizzling summer chick-lit doesn’t come with more tantalising temptations than Ann-Lou Weatherley’s aptly titled Wicked Wives, an addictive tale of women behaving badly which is this year’s hottest read for brazen beach belles.
Still basking in the glow of Chelsea Wives, last year’s exciting debut, Weatherley moves up a gear in this gripping, rollercoaster ride into the hearts and minds of three rich wives hell-bent on getting what they want… whatever the cost.
The award-winning journalist is a sassy writer with a fine line in ironic humour, bone-crunching one-liners and cheeky, in-your-face plot twists. Her colourful characters sing, the dialogue sparkles and there seems to be little Weatherley doesn’t know about the labels, loves and excessive lifestyles of the world’s wealthiest jet-setters.
When the Blue Angel yacht is found abandoned off the coast of Antigua and East End boy turned playboy casino owner Tom Black is pronounced missing, foul play is suspected. After all, the serial gambler and love-them-and-leave-them womaniser had made plenty of enemies.
As events come to light however, the finger of suspicion points to three prominent women from his past – and the men they’re married to.
Eleanor (Ellie) Scott is a beautiful socialite married to billionaire property tycoon Vinnie ‘who makes Philip Green look like Del Boy’ and moves in elite social circles where a quinoa vodka Bloody Mary is ‘practically one of your five-a-day.’
But Ellie also has a dubious past that she buried long ago… and has no plans to resurrect it.
Loretta Fiorentino, a fame-seeking gold-digger, escaped the slums of Naples to become a Hollywood star and recently married a prominent – and very wealthy – plastic surgeon from Los Angeles. Love is ‘not part of her repertoire’ but feigning it has always been one of the most powerful weapons in her armoury.
And then there’s Victoria Mayfield, the glamorous, successful author who, by her own admission, has become ridiculously rich and famous. On the surface, she has it all – good looks, talent, intelligence – but Victoria has one vital element missing in her life and, as middle age beckons, she’s getting desperate.
Bound together by one man and his mayhem, it’s not long before secrets begin to surface, forcing the three women to take the biggest gamble of all. But in the game of love there can only be one winner – and the winner takes it all.
Full of intrigue, revenge and decadence, Wicked Wives is the perfect poolside companion.
(Avon, paperback, £6.99)