"Prada and Prejudice" by Katie Oliver

As heiress to the renowned London department store Dashwood & Jones, Natalie Dashwood has been in designer clothes since before she can remember.  And as the girlfriend of famous rock star Dominic Heath, Natalie is living the life many socialites aspire to.  But for Natalie, the perfect life isn’t as it seems.

Her boyfriend has just announced his engagement to another woman and she finds herself both humiliated and on her own.  Her spending is absolutely out of control and with the family business in a financial crisis, she’s facing the dreaded b-word - budget.  And the arrival of sexy, high-flying business executive Rhys Gordon at the store doesn’t help matters either.  

Prada and Prejudice, by Katie Oliver, is the first book in the “Dating Mr. Darcy” series, books with a modern day Jane Austen feel.  This chick lit series packs fun, romance, scandal, and intrigue into three great reads.

I won a copy of the third book in the series in a contest and was really excited to get reading.  But knowing that many characters appear in all three books (though each book focuses on a different character), I decided I had to go back and start at the beginning. And I am so glad I did because I have found a new favourite series.

Lately, I have read a couple of different books set in department stores and when these sort of similarities happen I often wonder if I'm not going to be tired of this device but that is not a problem here.  I absolutely loved the setting and the storyline.  I’m a Daily Mail sidebar addict and this book absolutely hits the spot when it comes to a juicy story worthy of the celebrity hotspot.

When you pick up a book and see that it’s about a spoiled heiress, you kind of think you’re not going to like the character, but I absolutely loved Natalie.  I mean, who doesn’t dream about having so much money, an £11,000 chandelier seems like a perfectly natural wedding gift?  The character could have been overboard, she could have been unlikeable, but she isn’t like that all.  Sure there are some things that make her come across as annoying and spoiled, but who wants perfect characters?

And there are certainly a lot of characters.  This book introduces a whole lot of people who feature throughout the entire series.  It is a lot to keep up with but it keeps any one characters storyline from dragging on or running out of things to do with a lot of pages left.  This book definitely has the feel of a soap opera with lots going on, many characters to follow, and the right amount of romance and drama added to the mix.

If you’re looking for a fun, light read, one with twists and turns that will keep you turning the page, then this is a good book for that.  This is what I would classify as a good beach read - there is nothing better than soaking up some sun with a book like this.  Thank goodness there are more books in the series because I definitely didn’t want it to end here.


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