30 November 2012

Book Review: Bad Angels by Rebecca Chance

"Step into Limehouse Wharf, the new, uber-luxury apartment building in Canary Wharf where celebrities who have had 'work' done can hole up until they have healed and which is about to see its most glamorous and scandalous Christmas yet. Staying there over the festive period is Melody Down, an actress whose career is in tatters after too much plastic surgery and who has fled LA to get her body and her boyfriend back. But is a 'well-meaning' friend about to sabotage all of Melody's Christmas wishes? Meanwhile, Aniela Fatyga, the nurse in residence, finds herself falling for the unlikely Jon Jordan, an assassin for hire who is also convalescing there. Will her feelings be reciprocated or will their sizzling relationship remain purely physical? And who is he on the run from? And then there's oligarch Grigor Khalofsky, the owner of Kensington football team, whose legendary Christmas party is about to get a whole lot more exciting when murder, blackmail and scandalous revelations decide to pay a visit along with Santa."

Rating: 4.5/5

I love Rebecca Chance's books, and luckily for me and everyone else who enjoys her books, we've been treated to not one, but 2 new books from her this year! Earlier this year saw the release of Killer Heels and now Rebecca is back with a more festive-themed offering called Bad Angels. I loved the cover as soon as I saw it, featuring a gorgeous Kandee shoe as always, but with a bit of festive sparkle about it too. I was curious to see if this one would live up to her previous bonkbusters, but it certainly did that and a bit more on top of that too, this one was quite an eye-opening read in lots of ways! It's a bit of a fun read at Christmas-time and certainly breaks away from the other festive reads I've had the pleasure of reading so far this year in terms of naughty-but-niceness!

Melody is an actress whose last movie bombed after her ridiculous plastic surgery. Thanks to that, she's also lost her beloved boyfriend too, and now she's determined to get back both her career and the love of her life. This has meant trying to get the old Melody back, and she's now held up in Limehouse Wharf recuperating from yet more surgery. Joining her is Jon Jordan, an assassin who is trying to change himself for the better. He's in hiding and determined not to be found, but can a man with a price on his head ever hide for good? Looking after them is nurse Aniela, someone who is very good at her job. But Aniela doesn't count on falling for one of her clients, something that's never happened before. The last resident left at Christmas is Russian oligarch Grigor who happens to love and embrace Christmas more than any of the other residents. What festive treats are in store for the Limehouse Wharf residents courtesy of not only Grigor, but other people hiding in the background too?

I have to say this book is a huge breakaway from any of Chance's other books I have read to date. While there is the usual cast of larger than life characters, and naughty scenes thrown in for good measure, this book had overtones of a thriller about it due to the scenes with the character of Jon and things that happen as the book develops. I found myself getting really involved in the book, and it was a very exciting read in parts that I really enjoyed. It wasn't at all what I expected from the cover and the blurb, but it definitely made it more interesting to read, and I think Chance certainly did the scenes justice. It seemed believable as I was reading it, and I think Jon was my favourite character in the entire book, there was something so likeable about him, he was a bit of an enigma and I just wanted to know what made him tick!

Chance also gives plenty of page time to the other mini stories going on throughout the book as well. Melody, the actress, had a good enough story about her career and the consequence that too much plastic surgery had on her life in all ways, and while I liked this story, it didn't quite seem as good as the one involving Jon and Aniela, I wasn't quite as drawn in to it, I did find her a little whiny at times! She seemed a bit too easily led for my liking as well. Finally, there's Russian gazillionaire Grigor, and the building's doorman Andy, who provide a bit of light entertainment for the reader. I enjoyed these two as they made me smile, and certainly added new dimensions to the book... Andy in ways I had never expected! The cast though are all well written, and make for good reading.

I really loved Chance's lavish descriptions of Limehouse Wharf and the luxury that the guests are treated to when they are there. Grigor's apartment in particular sounded quite grotesque and OTT, but it seemed to suit his character! Even though the book is basically set in one place, it doesn't feel too stagnant at any points, and the flashbacks to the characters lives before they set foot in Limehouse keep it fresh, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters slowly in this way, this worked especially well for Jon. As you'd expect in Chance's books, there is quite a fwe sex scenes in the book, and they are quite explicit, so if that isn't your kind of thing, then this book isn't for you! They're scattered throughout the book, and there's a few scenes that I found quite surprising, and didn't expect, although I wasn't too bothered by them, I feel some readers may be so do exercise a bit of caution when reading.

I really enjoyed this book, and found myself whizzing through it quickly once I was into the story. I liked the characters, and found that the addition of an exciting character like Jon really upped the level of the book, and made it stand out for me amongst all the other festive books I've read this year. I liked how the Christmas mentions were scattered throughout the book, from mentions of trees and wreaths, to the huge Christmas parties that Grigor throws... there's certainly a good splash of festive spirit in there! It was a thrilling read, with a plot that surprised me and had me glued to the pages, simply to find out what was going to happen next to this crazy cast of characters! I'd definitely recommend this for Chance's fans, and for new ones too, it's certainly an eye-opening read, and I loved it!

You can buy Bad Angels as a paperback or an eBook now!

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