Fortune by Megan Cole

Three girls. One life-changing fortune… Madison is so over New York. Her mom won’t let her have botox and she can’t leave the city because her step-father is sick. Snoresville. So when she gets a mysterious invitation to a private party in Capri, held by billionaire music mogul Brad Masters, she’s determined to go. Simonetta wants her mamma off her back. Of course she’s not going to give up modelling in Rome to go back to her fusty little village. When she gets her invitation, she sees the chance to lose her roots forever. Sapphire just wants to write songs and hang out in the London record shop where she works. When she’s invited to Brad’s party, she doesn’t even want to go – but her mum seems strangely excited about it. Madison, Simonetta and Sapphire: three girls from different worlds who are about to find out they have more in common than they think.

Fortune is Megan Cole’s debut novel (well it’s her first novel under that name; as it’s a pseudonym, who knows if she’s already a published author?) and I bought it way back when it first came out, but it’s been sat on my shelf for over a year. I don’t know why I have only just picked it up now – because it is the perfect summer read, for the beach, for in the garden, for in bed… I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.

Fortune is one of the least-taxing books I’ve ever read; it’s not going to win any major literary awards, but for what it is – a beach read – it’s hugely enjoyable. It seems somewhat familiar – as if I’ve read it somewhere before, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where I’ve read it before. It’s about three teenage girls – Simonetta, a model who lives in Rome; Sapphire, an aspiring London musician and Madison, a spoilt New York brat. When they’re all summoned to Brad Masterson’s fiftieth birthday party they all presume it’s for reasons to further their careers but that couldn’t be further from the truth and much fun ensues as the girls vie for a slice of Brad Masterson’s pie.

I knew pretty quickly exactly why Brad Masterson had invited them to his birthday party. I don’t necessarily believe it was a secret, nor was it a surprise. What I enjoyed about the book was the battle between the three girls. They’re all vastly different. Sapphire’s the consummate good girl whereas Madison – and to an extent – Simonetta are total cows. I did find the characters to be hugely stereo-typical but for a teen beach read, I’m not necessarily surprised and there was comfort in the fact I was rooting hugely for Sapphire and that I wanted Madison and Simonetta to be found out for the spiteful people they were. I’d have liked Simonetta to have been a bit more forthright, as despite seemingly being a feisty Italian, she kind of faded into the background the more the book went on. I desperately wanted to stab/punch/scratch out the eyes of Madison. She gave me murderous thoughts. I loved Sapphire though, and I ended up getting hugely frustrated how no one believed her when Madison and Simonetta were trying to get her into trouble.

I hugely enjoyed Fortune. There were a spate of errors in the first 100 pages (“sent” instead of “scent”, “Sapphire” became “Saffron”, Brad was “bought up” by Maggie, instead of “brought up”) but they tailed off, thankfully and I was able to enjoy the book without getting frustrated at a lack of editing and proof-reading. Although why the girl’s are invited to Brad’s party is meant to be the big surprise, I found the big surprise to be what happened at the end. That was something else, I didn’t see it coming at all and I was infinitely surprised. I really, really enjoyed Fortune. It was a quick read and I only wish I had a cocktail and a pool to lie beside while I’d been reading it. It’d have been the perfect setting. Fortune is the ultimate beach read and although the girls are teenagers, Chick Lit fans will still enjoy the book, I know I certainly did and I can’t wait to read Riches, Megan Cole’s second novel.

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