Kate Fox is a gold-digger. And she's not ashamed of it. After a tough childhood, fulfilling her mother's wishes for her to marry well suits Kate down to the ground. While she does have a job as a contributing editor on Cutie magazine, she's not out to work for a living and it's not long before she lands every socialite's dream man: super wealthy Marcus Broder. Having got what she wanted, she realises her mistake and tries to rebuild her life. Trouble is, walking away from Marcus Broder is not easy. Not by a long shot. He will do anything to destroy her.
I've really enjoyed one or two of Louise Bagshawe's books but others have been hit and miss so I wasn't really all that sure whether I'd like this one or not and having now finished it, I must admit that it's more the latter. Kate is gold-digger, pure and simple. She trades on her looks to get the right men and by right, I mean suitably wealthy. There are only so many times that you can read how gorgeous, sexy and totally perfect someone is supposed to be and these constant descriptions of how desirable Kate is supposed to be got very grating. She's not a totally one-dimensional character - underneath the gold-digging exterior, she does care for her friend Emily and is very committed to her various roles in the magazine sector. She's not the kind of character who really inspires any sympathy though and even when Marcus sets out to destroy her, I just couldn't summon up much empathy or sympathy for her. In short, I didn't really care what happened to her, which is never a good thing for the central character.
The characterisation wasn't the only reason I couldn't take to her. Although the cover blurb makes it sound as though the story starts with the marriage to Marcus, this is actually not true. We first meet Kate way before this when she's still at school. Usually I find this scene setting a way to get to know the character but here, it felt slow and tedious and dare I say it? Irrelevant. Kate is shallow and no amount of backstory is going to change that. The marriage to Marcus is quite a brief part of the plot and feels very much glossed over. Again, this makes it hard to feel too sorry for her.
So, do I recommend this book? Not particularly. I got to the end but I wouldn't say that it ranks very highly on my must read list. If you love chick lit, you probably won't want to add this one to your list as quite frankly, I've read much better ones in the genre! I could not warm to Kate and had no strong interest in her fate ... quite ironic for a book named Destiny! Not for me I'm afraid.
I always look forward to Louise Bagshawe's latest book out and this one did not disappoint. About halfway through you can usually predict what's going to happen at the end, but it's how she gets there I like. This story in particular is about a girl called Kate who had a hard childhood after her father left, with only her mother to look after her. Kate worked hard and then married money in the hope that she would be satisfied once she was rich. This was not the case. She made one friend along the way and lots of enemies who couldn't wait to tell her and everybody else what they thought of her when Kate's world fell apart halfway through the story.
Kate learns the hard way how to get what she wants, having to start again on her own with no friends or family. The journey to the happy ending has lots of twists and turns which I thoroughly enjoyed. I couldn't put this book down. Louise's description of the characters make you feel like you know them, hence why I couldn't put the book down. You learn to love and hate the different characters, it was a brilliant holiday read.
The only bad thing I have to say about this book is that sometimes the very detailed description about what the people are wearing can be a little much.
Orphan Kate Fox is determined to make her mark in the world, and with her gorgeous looks, what better way to secure her future than to marry money? When she attracts the attention of media mogul Marcus Broder - sophisticated, powerful and wealthy beyond measure - it seems as though all of Kate's dreams have come true. But marriage to Marcus isn't everything she imagined. A closet filled with designer clothes, and nothing to do with her time but shop, lunch and be beautiful, does not bring happiness. Before long, Kate wants out of her marriage, a career of her own, and a chance at love. But Kate's reputation as a gold-digger is sealed. Ruthlessly pursued by Marcus, who will stop at nothing to destroy her, Kate knows she has to defeat her past if she is to win the trust of the man she loves.
Louise Bagshawe is a Chick Lit staple. She brought out her novel eons ago (1995) in fact and has regularly brought out novels since (only missing 1999 and 2002). I haven't read all of her novels, but I generally see a new Louise Bagshawe as a book to look forward to. Particularly since I absolutely loved her novel Passion that she brought out a couple of years back. But I must admit, recently I've begun to feel her books are a bit lacking. I thought her 2010 release Desire (I had to go to Amazon to find out the name of the title, it's so generic) was just a re-hash of Passion and was very disappointed. I had higher hopes for her new book Destiny (can you see a theme with these titles?) and I was pleased to receive a proof copy to review, but, unfortunately, my high hopes were unfounded.
Kate Fox is a gold-digger. She doesn't want to have a career, she doesn't want to earn her own money, Kate wants to marry a rich man and be looked after. After months of searching for the man with just enough money for her - trust fund baby's just won't do it - she's immediately enticed when Marcus Broder shows interest. After a whirlwind romance, and after Kate proves she's worthy of being Mrs Broder, they marry, but for Kate marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be, and she splits. Marcus isn't happy, Kate decides she wants to have a career after all, and she falls in love again, not that the man she falls in love with cares, because he thinks she's nothing more than a gold-digger (which she is/was). With the greatest of respect, that's not the best start to any novel. As much as I understand Kate's desire to be married rich, I find it repulsive at the same time. I'm no raging feminist, but to go out hunting for a rich man, with the intent of marrying the richest one available whether you love him or not makes me want to weep.
Even more so than that, I wasn't entirely sure what the main plot of the novel was. It wasn't that Kate is/was a gold-digger, nor was it that she was trying to forge her way into a career in magazines or that she was trying to prove to a man she wasn't a gold-digger anymore. It seemed to be a mish-mash of all three culminating in a plot that seemed a bit thin on the ground quite frankly. Kate marries Marcus, but is then surprised when her days are filled with air-head-like tasks. What did she expect? She married for that exact reason, but got sick of it pretty quickly. I just found it tiresome. She married for money and then got offended because Marcus tried to mould her into something she didn't want to be. I found that I just didn't care and I felt, in some ways, Kate deserved everything she got. The book just seemed to flounder, with nothing anchoring it down and not even the twist in the middle forcing Kate to make some tough decisions made it any better.
I found it very difficult to warm to any of the characters. I couldn't take to Kate for very obvious reasons that I've explained above. I couldn't care less if she realised gold-digging was wrong, or if she made it right in the end, because she did it in the first place. I feel like I'm preaching, and forgive me if I am, but it rubbed me up the wrong way and it's not something I will ever agree with. The men in the novel were, it has to be said, deplorable. Marcus was just plain horrible, there are no words to describe just how horrible I found him. As for David Abrahms, I couldn't take to him either. The only character I even remotely cared about was Emily, Kate's best friend, she was wonderful, and she was the only character that interested me so I was gutted with what happened.
Destiny is set in America, in New York, in fact and for once, it stays there for the duration of the novel. Usually Bagshawe novels flit from country to country (adding a lot of excitement into the mix). Some of the terms used in the novel jar a bit because Louise is a Brit writing as an American and there's a lot of "chicks" and "dig"ging going on which I must admit, seemed wholly out of place. There's something very 90s about people saying they "dig" each other. I don't even think people say that these days, except perhaps American teenagers. I also got really tired of hearing about Kate's glorious body. At least every five pages we heard about how good her butt was or her boobs and after the first fifty times, I was like "OK, we know, she has a fantastic body. Let's move it along now." It truly felt as if I was being smacked over the head constantly with just how stunning Kate was, but the fact is I already knew that. Duh. Of course she's stunning, so we don't need to constantly shoved into our faces. So this book didn't really work for me. At all. The plot bored me, the writing was very 90s, and the constant references to Kate's body drove me up the wall. But most of all, I just didn't like Kate period and that's a bad bad thing because if you don't like the main character, what hope do you have? The answer is, very little.