Adult,  Big Book

Shopping With The Enemy

Carmen Reid
shopping with the enemyFashion-guru Annie’s well-dressed world is falling apart – first she’s lost her legendary sense of style, and now her daughter Lana seems to have become her worst enemy. Even her multi-millionairess friend, Svetlana, is having daughter trouble.
A trip to a luxurious Italian spa seems like the perfect way to forget her problems. But celery juice and Pilates can’t solve the disasters that are about to strike…
Will Annie rescue her passion for fashion?
And can mothers and daughters ever truly be friends?

I’ve not read any of Carmen Reid’s ‘Annie Valentine’ series before so probably need to hunt down some copies to catch up with Annie’s past as I really liked her as the main character and her whirlwind lifestyle and clear ability to get herself into various capers and adventures.
In this light-hearted and fun story, Annie is feeling down and seems to have lost her sparkle. But life conspires to send Annie on an adventure which helps her to recover her passion for fashion and life in general.
At the beginning of each chapter there is a run-down of one of the character’s outfits, where it’s come from and the cost. Not being that much of a fashionista, it was quite interesting to me and I’m wondering if my own wardrobe needs a bit of a re-vamp!
But back to Annie – her daughter Lana is in New York and very happy there working for NY Perfect Dress but there are concerns about sales being down and Svetlana, Annie’s best friend who has invested into the company, is quite clear that if this downward trend continues she will pull the plug and Lana and Svetlana’s own daughter, Elena, would have to return to the UK. In the midst of this Annie makes a big mistake doing a makeover on her TV show and gets persuaded by Svetlana to take some time out and go on a spa trip to Italy with her.
This is where I began to enjoy the book more. After looking forward to her trip – done Svetlana style, with luxury all the way – Annie makes the awful discovery that she wasn’t to be laying around being pampered every day and fed delicious foods, but more that this was a hard core detox treatment involving cabbage soup and enema’s. She tries to escape but gets called back by Svetlana with the terrible news that Svetlana’s ex-husband Igor has kidnapped her two young boys. This then leads Annie and Svetlana on a wild trip across Europe to try to get the boys back. I enjoying this part of the story and I liked swapping to and from the chaos that Annie was involved in and the story of what was happening in New York with Lana, Elena and Perfect Dress.
Verdict: This was a great read that got better the more that I read. If you are a Carmen Reid fan, and a lover of the ‘Annie Valentine’ series then this is a must have!
Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Corgi Books
Publication Date: November 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British Book

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