I feel compelled at this stage to mention the continuity with this series of books. They shine out both as individual reads, and as a series, but full credit to Liz Hurley for maintaining such continuity between the books; it is a remarkable feat even to just remember what has previously occurred between the characters, let alone develop them further. I must confess however, to being thrilled at the mention of characters from previous instalments, such as the eclectic Otto and Louis. It feels a little like hearing about how old friends are getting on. As I mentioned previously, each of the books in this series can be read as a standalone piece, but when I read little snippets that relate back to other tomes, I experience a sense of delight at my loyalty being rewarded, with news of characters past, that only hardened fans will fully appreciate.
What I do love is the dynamic between the Sisters. The love and affection they have for each other is palpable; indeed it feels so real, that as a reader you find yourself wishing that you could be part of this amazing family of beautiful, strong women. Furthermore one feels that they deserve every single gram of their success and good fortune, having hailed from very humble beginnings. The Sisters that have partners all now seem to be in glorious relationships with very eligible young men and I can’t help but wish that Nick would find a special ‘someone’ to spend her days with.
All the Sisters are such likeable characters, and Nick is especially likeable; an honest, hardworking, respectable business woman. I felt disproportionally affronted at the idea of the Harrington Brothers trying to exact revenge on Nick, when she had done nothing wrong. I felt as though Nick was the most straightforward of the Sisters and the notion that she would be involved in any fraud was ludicrous. I did so feel for her though, as you don’t need to be found guilty of anything, to be tainted with the suggestion of scandal. I just hoped the truth would out, although I did feel slightly bonkers for caring so much; Liz Hurley just makes her characters seem so real, that you find yourself genuinely caring about their welfare! The only saving Grace was that Nick had a supportive family and supportive friends, like George.
The Byrne Sisters are a feel good family, and the book was also full of humour, for example when Nick buys a new bag for Miss Gableforth, and when Nick is invaded by cows! The feel good factor was kind of catching and despite what Nick was going through, her strength and character shone through like cats eyes at dusk. I was so bought into Nick’s character that I just knew she had done nothing wrong and I felt personally affronted that such a thing might even have been suggested – and it seemed fairly obvious where that suggestion had come from.
The situation with Gabe was just cringeworthy; awful. However he seemed so much nicer than his dreadful Brothers – Nick’s unknown nemeses – one could only hope that good would prevail; perhaps Nick could even follow in the familiar tradition amongst her Sisters; managing to forge a relationship with a thoroughly decent, eligible fella. Nick truly left herself vulnerable to Gabe though, when she exposed some of her more sensitive side, when she got upset about the past. (‘Upset’ is somewhat an understatement).
Things are never, of course, quite what they seem. Amongst other burning questions:
– Who has set Nick up so spectacularly?
– Who gifted Nick the puppy, and why?
– Why did Nick get so upset over a Disney film?
This was, yet again a thoroughly feel-good tale of triumphing over adversity and good old fashioned fun and romance, although it was utterly heartbreaking at times. I defy you to find a more novel-worthy family (oops, yet again I forget that these amazing Sisters aren’t real)! I simply feel sad that there aren’t more Sisters to portray! I sincerely hope that this is by no means the last we hear of the Byrne Sisters.
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