Dammit my first guess was right, The Secret Heiress was HORRIBLE. As Scobberlotch commented the title was intriguing and doubled with the innocuous cover and the provocative back-cover summary I picked it right up at the library. EPIC FAIL in that the blurb was totally misleading…
In fact the more I read the more I felt like this book was written on opposite day. Sadly I did finish it, although I starting skimming after the first half. The only thing preventing it getting an F is that I happened to glance at the acknowledgements on the last page and apparently Ms. Gould was inspired by Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask. As I have not seen the movie nor read the book I will rate this book a D as I might not have been able to appreciate the parallels.
But look how alluring the cover is:
And how non-horrible sounding the back cover is:
Separated at birth by a tyrannical father and reared continents apart, Nikki and Ariadne are twins with only their beauty in common. Nikki, raised by the mad tycoon in luxury, is heiress to his empire. Living in obscurity is the brilliant Ariadne, unaware of her bloodline-until she’s given an opportunity to reclaim her share of the family fortune. Seduced into a deadly masquerade, she finds he only protection in the arms of a bodyguard. But in the mysterious shadows of this privileged new world, can she really trust the passion of a stranger?
And here begins my rant, spoiler and curse filled… The Secret Heiress was written on opposite day and here is why:
- It is not about the “heroine” Ariadne (that whore is lucky she even gets heroine in quotation marks, I detested her the more I read). Ariadne gets less page time than her evil twin sister Nikoletta, less dialogue, less point-of-view time, less character definition.
- The character definition evil Niki does get is still very shallow, in fact other characters in the book even remark, “She must have been born evil.” If the damn book is all ABOUT her maybe her motivations should have been explored at some point.
- After 150 pages of investing in the only character I liked/felt like I got to know/was rooting for she was FUCKING MURDERED in a rated R scene. Niki orchestrated her death. Hello, do NOT kill the good guys in gruesome ways in my chick-lit/romance novels please?
- I have negative blood-lust in me, just not who I am, (well except for morons on the DC metro) but by page 151 I wanted to SLAUGHTER Niki myself and was egging on the assassin who was sent by an environmentalist group to off her just so I wouldn’t have to read one more page about her.
- Ariadne was a total Mary Sue, began hating her as soon as she started getting page time. It’s harped on that everyone knows she is a genius because she goes to Williams College. It’s a top tier school, but not good enough to teach you how to run a multi-billion dollar international firm after 6 weeks of crammed studying.
- Next thing you know the booked tricked ME into behaving/thinking like it was opposite day. My non-blood thirsty self was hoping, praying, wishing the assassin evil Niki hires to kill good Ariadne DOES KILL perfectly idiotic Ariadne. As he crept upstairs to where she slept I was clenching my jaw thinking, “Get her, kill her, git ‘r done. Slaughter all the twins!!!”
Let me pause my list of rant to explain why I kept reading (and also to let my blood stop boiling). Before I realized the book was written on opposite day I was excited to read it to find out how Ariadne transformed, how would she fit in when she took over the multi-billion dollar company from Niki (btw they are fucking 21 YEARS OLD and running a Trump/Hilton type empire), how would she learn about the industry, how would she wow people, how would she adjust to the new luxurious world?
I envisioned scenes of her razor sharp intellect and natural business acumen impressing and silencing her doubtful board members, a fun make-over scene, maybe some gauche yet charming and funny society mistakes that just serve to endear her to the elite with the “fresh and sweet” qualities they have been lacking in their circles.
But MOST OF ALL I wanted to read The Showdown Scene. Two gorgeous identical twins, the good one about the replace the evil one, the SS was gonna be great! I was mentally rubbing my hands together.
NONE OF THESE SCENES CAME TO BE. After 316 out of 370 pages they hadn’t even met and Adriane had done nothing interesting to me. That’s when I really started skimming, when I realized the book was all about the build up to Ariadne taking over the company and taking her evil twin sister’s place BUT NOT ABOUT THE INTERESTING STUFF like what happened after she took over.
When Ariadne finds out she has an identical twin and that she is an heiress to a multi-billion dollar empire she is told that due to her twin’s evilness she has NO CHOICE BUT TO REPLACE HER AND HER EVIL TWIN MUST “DISAPPEAR.” The must disappear part is just farcical. Miss sweetness and light Ariadne agrees that this is their only choice, and they will lock Niki away in a mental institute. The whole “no choice” thing just seems satirical, it reminded me of the romance-novel-parody I read on a few blogs called The Italian Gourmet Baby Food Baron’s Ironically Pregnant Virgin Mistress.
I have MUCH more to say, and although this rant has been a great purge I think I’m on dry-heaves right now, and don’t think I can type anymore. Most of the bile is out.