'Thirty-nine-year-old Kate had almost given up on love when she met her fiancé. Now she’s planning for the wedding she never dreamed she’d have. But things seem to be slipping out of her control. Diana, born on the day of the 1981 Royal Wedding, never doubted that one day she would find her prince. Newly engaged, and with daddy’s credit card in her grasp, she’s in full Bridezilla mode.
Against the backdrop of the other couple getting married in April 2011, both women prepare for the most important day of their lives. But will each bride get her perfect day? Or will it all become a right royal fiasco?'
Kate Williamson is getting married. At 39 our Kate was beginning to think that her ‘prince’ had forgotten to turn up for their ‘happy ever after’, but then she meets loyal, dependable Ian, who proposes to her at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Kate is thrilled, though pretty soon she’s finding that her family are organising a far bigger wedding than she had planned, and Ian isn’t exactly being the supportive fiancé that she’d imagined. Ian’s seeming indifference to anything to do with the wedding, combined with Kate changing job and her mum’s illness, mean that Kate begins to wonder whether getting married is really worth all the hassle.
Buying her dress from the same bridal shop as Kate is Diana, who, we learn, was born during the 1981 Royal Wedding. Diana is proposed to after she issues her boyfriend Ben with an ultimatum – we get married or we’re over. She’s determined that everything should be princess perfect on her big day, but will Diana’s quest for wedding flawlessness push Ben away for good? Just how many Titantic themed photos will he pose for before he begins to seriously reconsider his relationship?
An interesting sub-plot is provided by the story of Melanie, who got married on the same day as Prince Charles and Diana and who runs the bridal shop which Kate and Diana both buy their gowns from.
The 2011 Royal marriage served as a brilliant and original backdrop, and didn’t overpower the story at all. I thought it was a very clever idea to tie such an iconic, contemporary event into the book and thought that it worked well, especially in the case of Diana’s story, as the Royal Wedding means so much to her and is the benchmark against which she measures her own nuptials.
The contrasts between the two brides were wonderful: Kate just wants a simple wedding, surrounded by her closest family and friends, whilst Diana has to be one of the finest ‘Bridezilla’ characters ever created: poor Ben is well and truly henpecked and Diana’s plans make those for Kate and Will’s wedding look positively understated. I particularly liked the scenes where they were having their engagement photographs taken
The only complaint that I could possibly have about this book would be that I wasn’t overly enamoured with either of the romantic leads: Ben was too much of a wimp for my liking and Ian was a bit useless when Kate’s mum is ill. However, this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest as the female characters were so fantastic.
‘Kate’s Wedding’ is great, frivolous fun complete with tiaras, tantrums and runaway unicorns rampaging through a town centre. Chrissie Manby at her finest.
“International singing star Cosima has it all. Talent, fame and a super-sized overdraft. Will the promise of a big pay-day tempt her to embark on a six week tour where she'll be forced to share the stage with her ex-husband, the only man who ever broke her heart?
For the past five years, high-flying banker Juliet has been sleeping with her married boss. She thinks it's love, but when his empty promises are revealed, will she be tempted to risk her life to use a dangerous secret against him?
Mercy is struggling to make ends meet as an office cleaner while longing to follow in Cosima's footsteps and make it big as a singer. Will she be tempted to break the law to take the first step towards her dream?
Three very different women set their worlds on a collision course when they give in to their desires. Love, jealousy and intrigue are all-consuming in Olivia Darling's sexy, glamorous new novel.”
“Tempation” stars three women, each from different walks of life, but connected by some very fine opera. Firstly, enter the flamboyant Cosima, star of a new production of ‘Tosca’ which is touring Europe throughout the Summer. Cosima is forced to take the role because she really needs the money but is worried about singing alongside her co-star and ex-husband, Nolan, the only man to ever break her heart. How will she cope when feelings for Nolan that she’d thought were long dead are reawoken?
Juliet is a banker who’s been having an affair with her boss. Their business trips to Italy, where they use the opera to smooze clients, provide a perfect cover for their liaisons. When she finds out something she shouldn’t, will Juliet be strong enough to turn against her lover?
Finally, there’s Mercy, a cleaner with one GCSE in music to her name; she works in Juliet’s offices and dreams of becoming an opera singer like her heroine, Cosima. Can she find a way to make her dream come true?
I thoroughly enjoyed so many aspects of this book, it really was a great and entertaining read.
Cosima was the archetypal spoilt and volatile diva; a fantastic protagonist – fiery, passionate and talented, she was a joy to read about. She and Nolan are obviously meant for each other but their relationship is so turbulent that I couldn’t help but wonder if really they’d be better off staying apart!
I really liked Juliet as a character: she’d obviously made a very big mistake when she started an affair with a married man, but she was intelligent, strong, and stood up for what was right, even if that meant getting herself in trouble.
The opera world made a really fascinating backdrop to this wonderfully entertaining story full of colourful, engaging characters. I was hooked on the each of heroines’ tales from the word go, and loved the intertwining of the three, seemingly very different lives of opera star, banker and cleaner. Mercy in particular is so perfectly contrasted with the glamorous and privileged opera world that it seems almost impossible that she could ever be a part of it; she’s just such an engaging character that, despite the odds, I couldn’t help rooting for her!
The outline of ‘Tosca’ is provided in the book, which I thought was a great idea, but I felt it would have made more sense to put it before the story begins rather than at the end of the book, so a reader unacquainted with the opera can get to grips with it before it’s referred to in the novel.
It’s well known that Olivia Darling is a pen name of the very successful romantic comedy author Chrissie Manby. ‘Temptation’ is a very fine, and entertaining example of the bonkbuster genre which retains a lot of the elements which I enjoy in Manby’s work – great characters, interesting settings and intriguing storylines – but with an added extra big dollop of sex and glamour – just fabulous!