Queen Bee - Jane Fallon
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
Welcome to The Close - a beautiful street of mansions, where gorgeous Stella is the indisputable Queen Bee . . . It is here that Laura, seeking peace and privacy after her marriage falls apart, rents a tiny studio. Unfortunately, her arrival upsets suspicious Stella - who fears Laura has designs on her fiancé, Al. When Laura stumbles on the big secret Al is hiding, suddenly Stella's perfectly controlled world, not to mention Laura's future, are threatened. Taking a chance on beating Al at his own twisted game, these two former strangers are fast becoming best friends. But has Laura forgotten that revenge never comes without a sting in the tail?
Jane Fallon’s books are a little like Christmas as they come but just once a year! This really allows you to build your anticipation for them and to savour them while you are reading them. I made sure I was in the right headspace, I had a sufficient amount of time to give to reading it, and I settled in for the long haul! I knew I’d be in for a treat as her writing is so superior and you can tell that she has developed and cultivated the story over the past year. It has been a labour of love. It hasn’t been rushed, it has been created and then presented to us with a big red bow (again just like Christmas!). I was reading this version as an ARC; hence, there was the odd typo which is to be expected, but I just know that the lucky people that will be clambering to buy this in April when it is released are in for a real treat! I certainly wasn’t disappointed! The characters were such fun to read about, and the story was so different from what she has done before. The protagonist has already walked away from her marriage, so it wasn’t about her revenge or misunderstanding. It wasn’t about her immediate cheating spouse. So even though these themes are apparent in the peripheral storylines, they are interwoven in a completely new and fresh way that Fallon hasn’t done before. It was definitely a creative and original storyline. Some of the characters you could really sympathise with and some you just loved to hate. There was a real balance and mix. The only minor gripe I have is that the prologue threw me a little as I thought it was the protagonist finding out about her husband. Especially as the first chapter was her moving out of her marital home and they have just split up. I spent there first 25% convinced that even though she was saying nothing had happened, the prologue was the catalyst behind their split. So, it was slightly confounding to be then catapulted back to the beginning as part of a different storyline. Once I had this cleared up in my head, everything made a lot more sense. Overall, another superb read from Jane Fallon and once again, I have to wait like an over-excited child for next years offering!