Francesca Lucchese was a struggling student, barely making ends meet so she could maintain some sort of independence from her loving but too protective family, when a lawyer changed her whole world. Francesca was stunned to discover that she was the sole heiress to the sixty-plus million dollar fortune of the Bloodworths. Turns out Mrs. Bergstrom, the widow of the last Bloodworth, left all of her estate to Francesca's father, Giovanni, who was her chauffeur for many years. Francesca refuses to believe that her father had some kind of sordid affair with Mrs. Bergstrom, but she doesn't know how else to explain her sudden millionaire status.
Before she knows it, Francesca is living in the lap of luxury at Ca'ad Carlo, the Bloodworth Palm Beach house and she is definitely in over her head. Mrs. Bergstrom's widower lives in one of the guest houses and Francesca finds herself falling head over heels for him, despite his terrible reputation. The moneyed elite of Palm Beach want nothing to do with an upstart like her and the "new money" are willing to be friends, but with a price attached. Then there is her disturbingly attractive bodyguard who refuses to believe that she can take care of herself. However, the sweet, naive Francesca that inherited the fortune can only survive for so long in the debauched Palm Beach atmosphere and Francesca quickly finds herself involved in drugs, amazing sex, expensive luxury spas and other previously forbidden delights. But everything has a price attached and soon Francesca finds herself fighting to save her fortune and to rediscover the person she really is.
This is the second Maggie Davis book that I have read and I was really disappointed. I quite enjoyed the first book, it was nothing spectacular, but it was enjoyable and I thought the whole rags-to-riches Cinderella story contained in Diamonds & Pearls would be equally enjoyable. What I found is a book that was more of a commentary on the excesses of the wealthy and what can happen to seemingly nice girls when they are thrown into the lion's den.
Francesca is a likable character and I was rooting for her the whole time, but about halfway through I realized that Francesca still didn't have a clue and wasn't going to figure it out. So I slogged through the rest of the book and finally, on the last couple of pages, she gets it. All I can say is, I am grateful that I read the book for free and didn't waste good money on this! The only reason why I gave this book 2 stars is that Maggie Davis does have a nice writing style and some of the characters were interesting, otherwise it would be a 1 star book. If you are a big Maggie Davis fan, find a library copy, otherwise skip it altogether!
This report prepared by Debbie