22 July 2010

Book Review: Desire by Louise Bagshawe

Lisa Costello is leading a charmed life - until she wakes up the morning after her glamorous Thailand wedding to find her new husband Josh dead in their bed, the murder weapon in her hand. She remembers learning at the wedding that Josh had been unfaithful, but she certainly doesn't remember killing him. As Lisa flees the scene for Europe, ex-FBI trainee Sam Murray is on her trail. Catching up with her, he's quickly convinced she's been set up, and they start to work out which of movie producer Josh's many enemies could be behind the hit. It's a race against time to unearth the truth and keep Lisa out of jail - or gunned down by the professional assassin tailing them. And the danger only adds to the excitement of the passion brewing between them...

I've been a huge fan of Louise Bagshawe's books for a long, long time. It was actually her books that got me into Chick Lit quite a few years ago, so you can say I owe my obsession with the genre to her a little bit! Louise has recently taken a bit of a shift in the direction of her books, and perhaps she is all the better for it. Her latest two books, Passion, and now this one, Desire, have been a little darker and grittier than her previous releases and I must say that I really loved this one far more than I was expecting, and I just couldn't put it down!

Desire begins with a fairly shocking beginning, with the introduction of a mystery assassin and the storyline leading up to the murder of Josh. I love that from the beginning, the audience is in on who the murderer is, whether we know the assassin's identity or not, but this just makes it more exciting because you want everyone else in the book to know too, and therefore I just wanted to keep reading and finding out whether it would dawn on people what is going on. The pace of the book is very quick, with a lot happening very fast, and this continues right the way through the book.

The characters are all fantastic, especially the leading lady Lisa. She is a British character in amongst an American setting so she stands out immediately and that's important to the people reading the book as she is the one that requires our sympathy, and you have to want it to work out right for her. She is very likeable, and I enjoy her character development throughout the book. She starts off as a bit of a bimbo trapped in a world she doesn't understand, but as the story moves on, so does Lisa as a character and I really enjoyed this. Bagshawe has also written a great relationship with Sam, the American journalist who tries to help Lisa, and he's also very likeable, and a bit of a "hero" character!

As well as following these characters, the book moves across several different countries as well, and I really enjoyed this aspect of it. Bagshawe really translates each of these places onto paper really well, and I had no difficulty in imagining them in my mind when I was reading which made it all the more exciting. There were some great action scenes in there, which weren't too over the top and fitted well into the whole book. There are two big dramatic scenes which went really well in the book right near the end, and I was literally on the edge of my seat reading them, it was really well done and I couldn't believe how much I loved them!

I was a little worried about a chick lit book about an assassination because the two don't really go hand in hand but for this book it definitely works! Bagshawe definitely has a real talent for writing and I think that if this is the direction she is going to take her books in from now on, then it's going to be very successful because I can't think of anything else like it out there at the moment! The characters were all well written and believable, the plot was fast paced and exciting, and the book as a whole was just great. I loved it, and cannot recommend it enough, particularly if you like something a bit different from your normal chick lit! Fabulous! 

Rating: 4/5

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