Meet Me on the Riviera by Fliss Chester – sun and the mega rich on yachts in the Monte Carlo

Meet Me on the Riviera (The French Escapes) by [Chester, Fliss]

If you enjoy the idea of the mega rich in Monte Carlo, sunning themselves on luxury yachts, spending large amounts of money, this may be a great read. However, this is more than just a romance in the sun novel, as an element of mystery and danger is introduced as Angus faces real danger. There is also a cynical and realistic note as Jenna realises the truth behind the shiny and hugely expensive facade. There is humour, hangovers and general hijinks as alcohol, desire and romance contribute to what is really a very funny book. Several of the characters, as well as Jenna and Angus, have appeared in other novels, so for some readers the demanding Bertie, helpful Emma and pregnant Sally are well known, along with their sometimes hapless partners. This book stands alone as an adventure in an unusual setting which requires no previous knowledge of the main characters’ exciting past, though some themes are picked up. The dialogue is particularly rich, especially as Jenna narrates some of her adventures to Sally back in London, and all types of language is used. The research into the lifestyle of the mega rich is sound to my limited knowledge, as the contrast between inherited money and those who have come to money later in life is explored. Jenna’s down to earth observations on the contrast between the impoverished and the multi millionaires makes this a deeper novel than first appears. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book.  

 

The book opens in the house which Jenna Jenkins shares with her boyfriend Angus Linklater in london. She has lost her job in an art gallery, so Angus has paid for the deposit on the house and everyday expenses, and she is finding that getting by on her small income from a pop up gallery. She still has some rich friends; Sally is married to a man who works in the city, and their mutual friend Bertie is independently wealthy and a determined socialite, whose extravagant lifestyle her fiance is struggling to maintain. Happily, another friend and her husband have bought a yacht currently moored in Monte Carlo, and Emma feels the need to employ Jenna as a PA as she launches her fashion range. While this is a most welcome well paid summer job, Angus is sad to be told that she will not be accompanying him to his summer contract in Hong Kong. As Jenna discovers the lifestyle of the rich and famous, Angus is told that he must take action to avert disaster. To confuse the issue, a billionaire businessman, TG, is attracted to Jenna, and soon establishes that he will do many things to ensure her affections. Against a background of clothes, cash and deceit, can Jenna do the right thing?

 

This is a book which is easy to read and has mysteries set against luxury, shiny yachts and “Bertie’s barbs” as she subtly insults her friends despite her essential friendship. Some of the mystery is a little unlikely, and the plot is a little dependent on coincidence, but this is essentially a good hearted book with much to recommend it. As a gentle novel with a little spice and some tensions, I enjoyed this as an easy read with interesting detail concerning a very alternative lifestyle, with a lot of humour and realism.    

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