Once upon a time…

…there was a beautiful woman called Cynthia, queen of glittering Manhattan, who had everything she could ever want. Including a handsome king, otherwise known as her husband, sexy Jack Powers – the wealthiest man in New York, and (apparently) devoted to wife and family.

But wait a minute, isn’t that a wicked witch in the distance? Cynthia’s just discovered her husband’s playing away with beautiful TV anchor Lara, who’s fallen head over heels in love with Jack herself. Now both women must decide whether their personal fairytales are worth trying to save. But with such a tangled web of deception, intrigue and scandal, can any of them emerge to live happily ever after?

‘Fairytale Ending’ centres on the lives of divorcing New York billionaire couple Jackson and Cynthia Powers. The book begins as the couple celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a lavish party. It’s the day after the celebration when Cynthia discovers that Jackson is having an affair with Lara, a beautiful television presenter. Cynthia demands a divorce and sets about reclaiming her life – rediscovering herself and her long-forgotten passions and dreams.

Though not keen on the bad publicity, Jackson would be glad for Cynthia to divorce him so that he can finally be with Lara properly if it weren’t for the property and money which he is likely to lose in the split. What follows is an often very funny series of events in which Jackson and Cynthia both do their best to outsmart the other.

Sub-plots are provided by both Jackson and Cynthia attempting to fix their relationships with their only child, Vivienne, as well as by Jackson’s relationship with Lara – who certainly isn’t prepared to become his next trophy wife – and Cynthia’s seduction by a barman masquerading as a rich businessman.

The game of chess is the major theme of the book – Jackson and Cynthia first met whilst he was playing chess and now their ‘moves’ against each other also draw comparisons to the game, with Jackson and Cynthia often being referred to as the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’.
When I first began reading this book I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to like it. The two main characters just seemed so out of the realms of my experience that I didn’t know if I would be able to relate to them, which is a very important part of enjoying a book for me. The characters also come across as a very unpleasant bunch at the beginning of the book which put me off them a bit. However, although it did take a couple of chapters, the characters quickly became far more rounded individuals and I was completely hooked. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Cynthia and her daughter Vivienne and how it really develops during the story. It just takes the two of them to let down their guards a little bit for them to begin to really enjoy each other’s company and come to rely on each other more than ever before.
I ended up enjoying this book far more than I had originally expected to. The characters, though very rich and glamorous, were certainly not as one-dimensional as I feared they might be. Cynthia, in particular, is brilliantly written, and when her craftiness begins to show itself fully it is a joy to behold! The story is occasionally sad, often very amusing and consistently original and entertaining.

4 and a half stars.

Available from Amazon UK and Waterstone’s