Chicklit Club
 

ANITA HUGHES

 

Lake Como (2013)

 

Hallie Elliot leads a charmed existence in San Francisco. Her grandmother, Constance, is on every board in the city and her boyfriend is perfect in so many ways. She loves her job as an interior designer and enjoys attending the lavish weddings of friends, hoping one day soon it will be her walking down the aisle. At one of these weddings, Hallie finds her boyfriend in a compromising position with her vixen of a boss, Kendra. Though they both feign innocence, Hallie decides to take time away and visit her half-sister, Portia, at the family villa in Lake Como. While she intended to only go to Italy for a month, it turns out to be much more than that as she uncovers family secrets so big that she couldn't possibly return to San Francisco with the same beliefs she left with. With absolutely stunning and vivid descriptions of everything from the food to the scenery and designer clothes, this is a novel you'll easily get lost in. The only issue comes with the dialogue which at times was a bit choppy. There were points where Hallie talked to her grandmother or someone else and it was as if the other person never heard her. She'd ask questions or make statements and the reply would be inconsistent with what she said. While this issue did take away from the story a bit, if you can overlook it, then you won't be disappointed by anything else - especially the descriptions. There's no doubt that Hughes is a master at making every aspect of the story come alive, she just needs to make the dialogue click. (AS) 6/10


 

Market Street (2013)

 

Cassie Blake, the heiress to Fenton's, San Francisco's exclusive department store, is married to the older and sophisticated Aidan, a UC Berkely professor. Cassie is happy to let her mother take on the glamorous role of being the face of Fenton's as she is more comfortable staying home and working in the garden. When Cassie finds out her husband had an affair with a student, she escapes to her best friend Alexis' mansion and tries to figure out if she should forgive her husband. Cassie's mother wants her to oversee the opening of a high-end food emporium in the basement of Fenton's. To escape the drama in her marriage, Cassie throws herself into the new project. She finds an unlikely ally and friend in James, the architect designing the emporium. This story made me want to visit San Francisco and find a real-world version of Fenton's. The author did a brilliant job of describing the beautiful fashions and gourmet food that abound in Fenton's. If you love food and fashion labels, this is the book for you. The storyline of this novel was very similar to Monarch Beach, so fans of her previous novel will cheer. (AO) 7/10


 

Monarch Beach (2012)

 

Californian heiress Amanda Blick is content as a stay-at-home mom to her young son. Her life is perfect until she walks in on her handsome French chef husband having sex with his gorgeous sous chef. Amanda turns to her widowed mother for advice. Her mother offers Amanda an escape from her problems and an opportunity to spend the summer at the beautiful St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach. At the St Regis, Max excels in surf lessons, while Amanda finds a distraction in the arms of a handsome divorcee. When Amanda's husband returns to apologise for his infidelity, Amanda must decide her and her son's future. Despite being pampered with name brands and her ability to escape in ways that most woman who are faced with a cheating husband and a young child could only dream about, Amanda is still a very relatable and likable character that the reader will cheer for. (AO) 7/10

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