Upper East Bride by David Kirby

Upper East Bride is just the sort of book that you want to read for a bit of light-hearted escapism. Set in the upper echelons of Manhattan society where money is king and scandal lurks just below the surface, David Kirby creates a world of wealth and snobbery of manic proportions into which he places Megan from small town Michigan, who heads to the Big Apple to make a name for herself as a journalist but find herself attracting the attention of one of New York’s most engaging and handsome bachelor millionaires, Rexford Bainbridge.

Megan is introduced to Rex’s inner circle, which comprises some grandes dames who include Beverly and Wanda who, like elderly aunts, do not approve of the young upstart who has infiltrated their rather exclusive number. To Rex, Megan is refreshing with her sass; to the matrons of Manhattan, she is common.

The book concerns itself with Megan and Rex’s romance in this rather hostile environment as well as the machinations of the ladies with their aspirations to hold their position on their pedestals, where they can continue to look down their noses at others without reproach. But karma is not deterred by the promise of riches and there is a chance that they may have underestimated Megan and regret their treatment of her.

The book moves along at a well-planned pace with luxury destinations as well as the pressures of the press pursuing Rex and Megan. There are other threats to their happiness in addition to bitter cantankerous women, that are hinted at and come in the form of Russian investors of dubious provenance and Rex’s possible wandering eye.

There are definite parallels with Sex and the City here, in the setting and the bitchiness; the gossip and the romance. But what I will take away from this book more than anything is the humour: it is bitingly witty throughout especially in some of the conversations that the older ladies have where, like a coven of witches, they plot over delightful food with wonderful views. The plot is okay but what really set this apart for me is the dialogue: razor sharp, pun infused, relentless in its ability to wound, like a well-thrown dart; it made me laugh throughout whilst also making me relieved that I was not the recipient.

Nothing too taxing here but highly enjoyable nonetheless.

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