Reviewed by Emma Crowley
Never trust the face in the mirror . . .
It’s no surprise to anyone that Jeffrey Sachs, billionaire CEO of his own hotel chain, has a drop-dead gorgeous Estonian mistress. But stepping down to spend his retirement years with her? No one saw that coming – least of all his wife!
So now the prize of becoming Sachs CEO is up for grabs – and Jeffrey’s four children have until the day of his wedding to compete for the job.
The front runner is Conway, the older son and golden boy. But Charlotte, a glamorous social media star with an Instagram-perfect family, is hugely ambitious, fully prepared to scheme and backstab to get to the top. Then there’s the dark horse: Bella, her mild-mannered, hard-working twin sister. Or could Bart, the youngest child, a sexy, incorrigible playboy, somehow catapult himself into Daddy’s good books?
In a game where the ultimate prize is power beyond your wildest dreams, you should never underestimate your competitors, even if they are family . . . and, it turns out, twins can be the most dangerous rivals of all . . .
Many thanks to Pan MacMillan via NetGalley for my copy of Bad Twins to review and to Sharon for having my review on the blog.
Wow can Rebecca Chance certainly write a book that will leave you reeling in shock when the big declarations occur whilst at the same time leaving you open mouthed at some of the sex scenes too. I mean you think you might have read everything in previous bonkbusters you have read and then the antics in Bad Twins just ramp everything up a gear. If you have any inhibitions leave them at the door before you begin this roller-coaster of a ride that the author has delivered. Yes some of the plot may be over the top and slightly unbelievable but really who cares when the story is this good that it keeps you rapidly turning the pages so fascinated are you by what is unfolding before your very eyes. Admittedly this genre is a little bit outside of my comfort zone but every now and then I like to step outside my usual reads of choice and dip my toes into a genre where you know you are guaranteed a sizzling summer read. A book packed full of characters you love to hate, eye opening, steaming sex scenes and characters who are ruthless and who will walk over everyone and everything in their path to achieve their goal.
I wouldn't say this book is full of glitz and glamour, yes the family in question and their various associates are rich and beautiful and everything is at their beck and call. But instead, we enter the corporate world where the characters actually do have a brain and a work ethic where they strive to make their business a success and expand their empire to every corner of the world. That's one thing that made me enjoy this book so much, the characters were actually well developed and not the typical blonde with not much going on that I have read about in books of a similar nature in the past. Right from the get go ruthless ambition plays a key role as Jeffrey Sachs calls a meeting at his house to announce something very important to his four adult children. This is very unusual considering Bella, Charlotte, Conway and Bart had all been more or less banned from the house when Jeffrey dumped their mother for wife number two. But to their delight Jade has been kicked to the kerb and in steps 'mummy' number three and of course a much younger model Adrianna. That’s not all, Jeffrey lays down a challenge to his children.
In six months he will marry Adrianna, once his divorce has come through and then he will retire. the question remains who will take over as CEO of the Sachs hotel empire? Instantly everyone's hackles are up, the game has begun and the players circle each other awaiting who will make the first move in a six month long game where the stakes are so high. Blackmail, sabotage, underhand dirty tactics, plots and ploys become the norm. Perhaps Charlotte and Bella want the ultimate reward more so than their brothers but who will eventually emerge victorious and at what personal and professional cost? What trail of destruction will be left in their wake as everyone battles for a prize that has long been dangled in front of them? Who has worked the hardest or who can come up on the inside line with something that will catapult and extend the fortunes of the company and therefore Jeffrey will make them CEO? Who knows but the journey to discover the final answer was one hell of a ride that kept my attention throughout as there was such an assured pace, rising tensions and crafty twists.
Strangely for me, the characters I take it you were meant to hate I actually found myself liking some of their traits. Adrianna for example initially came across as just another pet for Jeffrey to show off. But she was observant and astute. She could have walked all over her step children and gone straight for the money excluding them but instead beneath it all I think she was genuine in her intentions but yet there was a little daredevil side to her where she overstepped the boundaries but didn't fully let go until safe to do so. She became an ally when she could have very easily have undertaken the enemy role and become bitter, twisted and evil in her intentions and I was glad for a change that this did not happen.
Bart and Conway seemed to float around on the periphery therefore allowing the twins Bella and Charlotte to take a more prominent role. Bart was the typical playboy and was more so the face of the brand attending charity functions etc around the world. Conway was the one most likely to get the top position but not if the twins had anything to do with it. Any little chink in Conway's armour would be exposed and so what if families were torn apart in the process. Feelings don't come into it at all, money and power are the long term goals. The battle really ensued between Bella and Charlotte and it certainly was a thrilling experience observing as they attempted to out manoeuvre one another. You would have thought they would have worked together but it seems sibling rivalry was a term they were determined to test to the max.
I favoured Bella over Charlotte even though there were certain things she did that I felt went against her character and work ethic. Bella was viewed as being the quiet one of the family but when push comes to shove she can show her metal and she wasn't going down without a fight. She was a workhorse who had put so much into her side of the business and with her innovative new idea that she thinks will win her the position of CEO she is going to keep going until she gets the ultimate prize. Bella certainly underwent a transformation, it was almost like the challenge and the short time frame in which to achieve it opened up another side of her. She was sick of being placed a second best, as not quite good enough for the top role and she was determined to prove to her father that she had what it takes.
On a more personal note the challenge inspired her to sit up and take stock of her marriage to Thomas. Thomas was a terrible character and I fervently wished that Bella had the guts to stand up to him. Bella surprised me time and time again with the journey she goes on. She really did step out of her comfort zone and throw caution to the wind and proved she did a have a slightly more reckless, bad side to her nature. I loved when she started to share her truths and thought I've been kept down for long now is my time to step into the spotlight and shine. But will following one's heart lead to destruction or will victory be hers once and for all?
As for Charlotte, she presented such a front to the world and also provided the reader with some of the most shocking and astonishing sex scenes I have ever read. Rebecca Chance certainly let her imagination run wild here and it demonstrated that although Charlotte would like her family and the wider world to think she has the picture perfect Instagram worthy life with a doting husband and children really she is looking for that little bit more. Charlotte was the total opposite to her twin and her motivations were strong as she saw the position of CEO within her grasp. Lies, double dealing, underhand manoeuvres, dirty deceptive tactics and slippery dealings all seem like second nature to Charlotte. She is successful with regard to her luxury hotels section of the business empire but she always wants what she hasn't got when really she should just be happy with her husband and children. She had a full view of the game that was being played out and her role yes was played to perfection but still I didn't like her and I wondered would my feelings regarding her character be justified or where there lots of red herrings and twists and turns to come before all could be revealed?
Bad Twins was an epic read full of scandal, double crossing, deception, deviousness and dishonesty and I loved every minute of it. You just never knew how it was all going to play out and the ending was just brilliant. There were two major twists that I applaud Rebecca Chance for, to some they may seem excessive but I just thought oh my god that deserves a clap for being so twisted. They certainly set the cat among the pigeons and showed how cruel and wicked certain characters were and that maybe the players were the ones being played after all? Rebecca did mention there was a third twist that she had to take out for fear of going way overboard and now I am dying to know what it was and how it slotted in with the eventual climax and the ensuing fall out. I guess I'll never know and she might save it for a future book. This book is just the kind of read you want for the summer months so do get it and read it soon before the summer leaves us once again. You'll enjoy the journey that Charlotte and co take you on in their campaign as they vie for top dog. I know I certainly did.