Book review: Chelsea Wives by Anna-Lou Weatherley

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If you’re counting down to a sunshine holiday in foreign parts, there’s a guilty poolside pleasure awaiting in Anna-Lou Weatherley’s sparkling summer novel.

Chelsea Wives, Weatherley’s first foray into adult fiction, is the perfect escape route, a glamorous and glitzy cross between Desperate Housewives and First Wives Club which will have bathing belles chuckling and chortling all the way to the bar.

If sweet revenge on cheating husbands floats your ‘love boat,’ then here it’s served up icy cold on a gilt-edged dish from the most expensive Versace dinner service that money can buy.

In true Hollywood style, this is a twisting, turning tale knee deep in deceit, drama, high society, exotic locations and the kind of designer label name dropping that would make even the footballing WAGs green with envy.

Three vengeful trophy wives turn the tables on their rich but dirty dealing ‘other halves’ whilst enjoying the benefits of an Aladdin’s cave of Cartier watches, Lloyd Loom furniture, Stella McCartney frocks, Lanvin jewellery and Bentley Continentals.

In fact, there’s nothing these three ‘ladies who lunch’ don’t have ... except, of course, a happy, fulfilling marriage.

At 18, Imogen Forbes was the youngest ever UK Vogue cover girl. She was wined and dined on multimillionaires’ super yachts and had the world at her feet but then she married super rich, control freak lawyer Sebastian who killed her career stone dead with his selfish demand that she choose between marriage and motherhood, and her modelling work.

Imogen is 36 now, has a beautiful and adorable 13-year-old daughter, but her marriage and her life are both empty shells.

Calvary Rothschild, a glamorous, former fashion editor, bears the cross of being married to philandering Douglas. His infidelities have become a constant humiliation and, unfortunately, Calvary is not the only casualty of his latest outrage. She must use all her wit and wiles to make sure it never happens again.

Last but not least is Yasmin Jones, or rather Lady Belmont, new wife of ageing playboy and property tycoon Lord Jeremy Belmont. A platinum blonde whose skin is too tanned, jewellery is too gaudy and skirts too short, she has been dubbed by the style press as the epitome of ‘chav Sloane.’

But there is a certain vulnerability beneath all that brassiness that brings out the nurturing instincts in Calvary. And Yasmin has far more on her mind than some regulation gold digging.

Plagued by personal tragedy and united by their failing marriages, the three women join forces to mastermind a shocking and risky plan to teach their husbands a lesson they will never forget...

Chelsea Wives is Weatherley’s first foray into adult chick-lit and it successfully ticks all the boxes – lashings of labels, fabulous, feisty women, romance, humour and a big, beautiful ending.

Red-hot reading for girls who love scheming and dreaming, credit cards and canapés, champagne and shenanigans.

(Avon, paperback, £6.99)