12 March 2010

Book Review: Daughters of Fortune by Tara Hyland

The Melville sisters might have money but does it always lead to happiness? Eldest daughter Elizabeth is determined to succeed in her family's business, despite the fact her father and owner William Melville doesn't seem to be very supportive of her plans. Elizabeth isn't about to back down but is she one to work behind the scenes without the glory? Amber isn't blessed with the business brains of her sister, but has the looks to carry her through. Amber doesn't have any plans to work for the family company but she's decided that modelling is the career for her. She moves to LA without her family's blessing and meets up with some bad boys and gets into things she knows she shouldn't. Unfortunately for Amber, she doesn't know a way out.

Finally, illegimate daughter Caitlin is still coming to terms with the death of her beloved mother when she's sent to live with her father William and his family. Caitlin soon feels she doesn't belong in the opulent world of the Melville's and breaks free as soon as she can. She's determined to make her own way in the world without using her family name, but is she going to get the success and recognition she's always wanted? And what about the family too?

The gorgeous proof of Tara Hyland's debut novel Daughters of Fortune landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago, and I was really curious to see what it was going to be like. It sounded very much in the vein of Tilly and Louise Bagshawe, Lulu Taylor and Olivia Darling, all authors that I love so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this book. I adore the gorgeous blue cover, and think it will really make it stand out in bookshops simply because it looks so elegant and the blue is just divine. Tara also revealed the American cover on her website, and we featured it in a Cover Wars post a while back, but I definitely prefer the UK cover! Anyway, back to the review.

It's a huge chunk of a book at 400 pages, but I found these whizzed past quite fast because you can absorbed into the book very quickly. It begins with a look into the past at Caitlin's mother Katie and how she was born. I was a bit surprised by this because I expected the action to begin with the 3 sisters quite quickly so it was nice for the author to take a different route. The book moves through a few time periods throughout the book so we can see the development of these characters throughout their lives from young teenagers to adult women working with the Melville company. Therefore, I was able to develop feelings for them and actually care about what happened to them.

Hyland creates the wonderful world of Melville really well, but doesn't dwell too much on the shop side of things, rather choosing to focus on behind-the-scenes of the company and the personal life of the 3 girls.Caitlin seems to be the main character of the 3 as it is her feelings we encounter first of all, and she is the one that the sympathy of the reader is aimed at. As the book progresses, it moves onto a deeper look at the lives of Elizabeth and Amber, but I still found myself what Caitlin was up to! I liked how different the 3 sisters were, it made for 3 very different stories, and the way they weaved together towards the end was perfect.

Hyland's writing is very easy to read, and progresses the story very well. She writes in the third person which is the most logical writing style due to the amount of main characters used. This allows Hyland to jump backwards and forwards between characters easily, and gives an overall cohesion to the book. This book is definitely a bonkbuster - there's sex, drugs and a whole lot more besides, but I found it was done in a very tasteful way and wasn't out of place in the book at all. The sex scenes were well written, and I didn't cringe at them as I sometimes do so well done to Tara for writing these scenes well. The scenes with Amber were at times a tad awkward to read because of what is hinted at, but this is acceptable because of the plot around it, it doesn't feel too gratuitous or out of place.

If you are fans of the Bagshawe sisters, Jo Rees or any of the other "bonkbuster" authors out there, then you'll love Tara Hyland's debut. It's story sucks you in and keeps you hooked until the last page, and even then you're not sure everything is going work out okay for the Melville family. There are characters to love and hate, storylines that you will love and it travels the globe too so there's plenty in here to keep you going. It's gorgeous cover will jump out at you and rightly so, it's a superb read that I loved. Yes, it is long but don't let that put you off, it needs each of those pages to make the story. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I think Tara Hyland will have a great career ahead of her if this book is anything to go by!

Rating: 5/5


  1. Stacey Bennett31 May 2011 at 12:31

    Bought this over the weekend, started it yesterday and am absolutely loving it!! If you are a lover of Tasmina Perry or Lulu Taylor then you will definately enjoy this book!

  2. Bought this book for my holiday in June but never got round to reading it. Just picked it up last night and I am hooked. Very much in the style of Tasmina Perry and easy to read and hard to put down. At last I have found another author that I can choose from

  3. I just finished reading the book. Loved it. However, it's more like a flat line story. You could sense what will happen before u read and it did. There weren't much revelations or climax but a story about three sisters and their lives and how they got together as a family at the end. I loved reading it.

  4. I just read it, and I like it very much! Of course, it's not heavy, intellectually-stimulating classic literature but it's of a higher quality than what I expected. Great style, attaching characters, surprising plots..., I am even impressed at how the author makes finances and economics make sense! Haha. And of course, the sex scenes are very well written. I am quite sorry I didn't get the British cover, it's far better than the American.