What they say: Life hasn't quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she's spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees - all paid for by boyfriend Piers - and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.
When the recession hits, its not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that's as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it's the location, but she's also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head...
What's a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents' embarrassing dinner table talk each night?
- ebook (251 pages), self published!
What I say: I should start by saying that I'm not usually a fan of 'chick-lit'. I'm more of a fantasy, mystery, historical or paranormal kind of gal. But, and there's a but coming... I really enjoyed Kept.
After a series of unfortunate and hilarious events Arielle ends up living with and being taken care of by the hot, rich banker, Piers. The story begins fours years after Arielle and Piers meet, and is told in a mixture of flashbacks and current narrative. Instead of working in fashion and following her dreams, as the title suggests, Arielle has spent years living as a kept woman. I'll leave you to discover the rest of the plot because it's both heartwarming and really funny.
Arielle's inner dialogue was really funny, right up there with Bridget Jones. Although I must say as a complete fashion no-go a lot of the designer brands and names she mentions were completely lost on me and at times I think I may have missed the in jokes.
Arielle is ruled by her past and lets previous heartbreak control her actions (or lack thereof). I felt for Arielle because we've all had our confidence knocked and made regrettable choices.
The secondary characters were great. Arielle's best friend Obelix in particular was brilliant. Her parents rather worryingly reminded me of mine. Thankfully we've never had a dinner party conversation quite like the one Arielle suffers through. I would have liked more about Noah and Peter, but only because there seems to be more story there (big spoilers so I won't go into detail).
Kept is a brilliant debut by Elle and although I'm not sure I'll ever be completely converted to chick-lit, I did really enjoy it.
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- Funny because four days ago they tarred him as my pimp, yet now all of a sudden he's Prince bloody Charming.
- Ob is practically salivating, and this is why we would never hook up in a million years. He is such a pervert.
- "Do I really look that bad?" "You look like you're suffering from colour vomit."