Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review of Deception

Title: Deception
Author: Selena Montgomery
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Release Date: April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-137605-4
Format: Paperback
Amazon Link:

Genre: (and sub-genre) mystery / romance / detective
Age Group: adult

An ace female poker player, Fin Borders, is an arrogant, selfish and insecure pain in the butt. Her tough exterior is only a paper tiger fa├žade because of her parents neglect and abandonment has never left her soul. Though, when it comes to her adopted family and personal honor she finds within herself the power to change. On a moment’s notice she is called away from her gallivanting and cavorting around the world to help Mrs. Eliza Farady. Mrs. Farady rescued Fin Borders when Fin was a child. Mrs. Farady made a vow to never give up on this wild child. The willingness of Fin Borders to change produces a ripple effect that in turn creates a family bond and a romantic commitment that she never believed she would be able to have in her life time.

Fin Borders returning to her past in Georgia brings with it an emotional joy and pain as well as the real possibility of death. Her two childhood friends Julia Warner (doctor) and Kelly Jameson (lawyer) who were also rescued by Mrs. Farady are loyal and devoted to Fin. Kelly and Julia both have careers that contribute to society and Fin is ever envious of their sense of belonging and purpose. These three characters are built as believable. The small talk and girl cat fights are realistic and honest in feeling. The only somewhat stretch of character construction is that all three women are the best in their careers. But then, who is to say that three women who are friends cannot be at the epitome of their career?

The mystery and suspense is created by the poker playing and drug trafficking of a ring of thugs going by the name of Stark. The romance filters in by way of the good guys who happen to be law enforcement. Fin Borders is immediately attracted to Caleb Matthews assistant district attorney / undercover FBI agent. Mathews law enforcement character is the predicable handsome, brooding and lonely soul. Then again, this predictability works because the attraction and tensions between Fin Borders and Caleb Mathews is intriguing. The routine or expected character actions are present but seem to only linger as an annoying afterthought.

This story is romantic with just enough danger tossed in to make the pot boil. If you appreciate usual or diverse characterization this story is not your cup of tea. But if romance, good guys versus bad guy and female heroines are of interest to you then defiantly this story has that recipe.

Review of The Ex Mrs. Hedgefund

Title: The Ex Mrs. Hedgefund
Author: Jill Kargman
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-525-95098-1
Format: (Hardcover)
Amazon Link:

Genre: (and sub-genre) fiction / humor / women rebuilding life after divorce
Age Group: Adult

As Fitzgerald once said, the rich are different from the poor – he could not be more spot on than with this novel by Jill Kargman. Kargman gives a valiant attempt at trying to show that even rich people have feelings. The story is shown through the eyes of Holly Talbot soon to become the Ex- Mrs. Hedgefund. Holly wants us to believe that she is different from all the other spoiled, arrogant and condescending hedgefund wives. Holly Talbot wants us to believe she really has a pure non capitalist soul and she will still wears, at times, non designer clothing.

The story is a predictable saga of girl meets rich boy. A quick marriage, a baby, falling in love with money and baby and finally the gun fight at OK Corral. Divorce happens because - Holly has become the neurotic stay at home wife/mother and Tim has become the quintessential - I am interested in a younger version of my wife. Kargman brings no new spark to this age old story except the exorbitant spending excesses of the current hedgefund families.

Holly Talbot is self absorbed, whiny and insecure. Kargman places Holly in numerous situations some comedic and one extremely dangerous. It is obvious Kargman is attempting to connect with all women who have experienced the pain of divorce. Holly explores the feelings of losing friends, single parenting, extreme loneliness and finally the fear of entering the dating scene. But this falls short because Holly never experiences any true life change. She still lives in her cozy huge apartment, her young son is at the same private school and she does not need to work.

Though, her friend and ex-sister-in-law helps her to find employment. Holly lands a job that is a little more than three days a week and requires her to listen to music and write reviews for the hottest up and coming artists. Tough gig for a rich ex-hedgefund wife.

The story ends with Holly’s ex-sister-in-law finding the man of her dreams. Holly finds the man of her dreams. Oh, and did I forget to mention that both men are wealthier than the first husbands and of course just all around better guys.

Jill Kargman writes a fine story. It’s just that this story has been told many times before. This story takes place in the lives of the richest of the rich. But then, it’s very difficult to identify with and have empathy for people who pay a half a million dollars to have a 10 second spot as a corpse on the TV series Law & Order. But then again, that would sum up the type of people that Kargman is writing about – very rich and very emotionally dead.