23 July 2010

Book Review: Wicked Games by Sasha Wagstaff

Judd Harrington is back in England to cause a stir, and he's intent on succeeding. He brings along his wife Kitty who is petrified of Judd and his awful temper and his 2 sons, Elliot and Sebastian. None of Judd's family actually like him but live in fear of him. Ace, his third son, is the only one who is still in America and is still being controlled by him.

Life for Judd's arch-enemy Lochlin isn't going too well either. His record company Shamrock is struggling against the newly formed Jett Corporation, run by none other than Judd. His relationship with his wife Tavvy and son Shay has seen better days, and he's trying to stall his talented singing daughter Iris from joining the ruthless showbiz world.

Judd, however, has other plans. He's determined to sign Iris to his record label, and uses his son Ace to get her despite what Ace wants. Judd wants to make Lochlin suffer, and at any cost - he wants to ruin the Maguire family once and for all. Will the ruthless Judd Harrington succeed in destroying Lochlin and his family?

This is Sasha Wagstaff's second novel, but I hadn't actually picked up a copy of her debut Changing Grooms yet. When I was sent this by the publisher to review, I was drawn in by the eye-catching red, white and gold cover - it looks very elegant and certainly like a book I'd really enjoy. The book seems to be marked as a bit of a blockbuster, much in the vein of Tilly Bagshawe and Tasmina Perry, and having loved the formers books so far, I expected to enjoy this. Luckily, I wasn't at all let down and really liked the story - it travels around, has great characters and a thrilling story that keeps you guessing until the last page!

I very much enjoyed how Wagstaff doesn't tell us everything about the hatred between Judd Harrington and Lochlin Maguire at first. We're left guessing what happened in the past for a long while throughout the book and I didn't actually get it until it was revealed which was good. There are hints throughout but not enough to be obvious until Wagstaff intends for it to be told, and the puzzle along the way makes it very interesting reading. The book doesn't just focus on the rivalry between these two male characters though, we follow each of the men's children as their lives become entangled in each other, and I spent the book wondering how things were going to unravel and when!

There's quite a few characters in the book, and I have to admit that I did find it a little difficult at first to keep track of who was who, because some of them seemed to blend into each other in some respects! Once I got into the story however, it seemed much easier to tell them apart because of the storyline about them so it became less of a problem. At the beginning I struggled to differentiate between Tavvy and Kitty, Lochlin's and Judd's wives respectively. They seemed similar (although when you read the book they aren't really!) and I had to flick back and remind myself which was which. I also forgot at first which families the children belonged to but a quick flick back helped me out a bit.

I loved the characters, they really were well written. My favourites by a long way were Ace Harrington and Iris Maguire. They were the most realistic and believable of all the characters, you could imagine them both being like someone you know and they were easy to love in the context of their stories. The book did have its token villains though - Sebastian and Judd were nasty pieces of work, and a female character called Lexi was just calling to be hated, and I love how Wagstaff really draws out the readers emotions for these characters with her storyline for them. They all really come alive within the story, and even though they are all quite strong characters, they blend well together and make up a great cast.

Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the twists and turns that the book takes along the way. I have read something about this book that says the plot-twists are somewhat unbelievable, but as with this type of fiction, you have to suspend your reality for a bit and just enjoy the story as it goes! For me, there was nothing too ridiculous about this story, it was a great blockbuster of a book and I really enjoyed the whole thing. There were lots of things to shock, some things to laugh at and a few sweet love stories along the way too. I really enjoyed this book, and I think I'll be on the lookout for Wagstaff's debut novel now, and anything else she brings out too! A great read!

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say an official thank you for this lovely review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book Chloe - I love that you really got into the villains and the heroes (and the heroines!) and that you had fun with all the twists and turns.

    I really appreciate the fab review and I know you and your brilliant site have lots of fans and keen readers of chick lit and blockbuster-style women's fiction - so thanks again!

    Sasha x