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4.3 out of 5 stars88
4.3 out of 5 stars
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Somehow I have never yet managed to pick up a copy of any of Tasmina Perry's 5 novels, even though they actually look like the sort of thing I really enjoy to read - a proper blockbuster type novel. I really can't pinpoint why this is so when I was offered the chance to review her latest book, Kiss Heaven Goodbye, I jumped at the chance. The gorgeous cover screamed summer at me, and I was really excited to get stuck in and find out whether it would live up to my expectations. It's a huge chunk of a hardback book at well over 500 pages, but rest assured, it's definitely one you're going to want to make room in your suitcase for.

The book begins in the present day, introducing us to the rich and powerful Miles Ashford finding himself in trouble after many years over something that happened with his school friends. He brings up their names and then the book flies straight back to the 1980's when Miles, Grace, Alex and Sasha were all 18 year olds and eager to go off to University after one last special holiday to the private island of Angel Cay. I didn't expect this jump back nearly 30 years, so it was an intriguing way to start the book and I have to admit it really grabbed my attention right away.

In fact, the book doesn't come back to 2010 until right at the end, and instead goes through the lives of Miles, Grace, Alex and Sasha as they grow up, and find out how the secret of Angel Cay affects all four of them. The book skips between just months, sometimes a year or two before it picks up again but I really loved this because I didn't know what was going to be introduced at the start of each chapter when a new time period was introduced. The book chops and changes between the characters, but Perry is careful to keep all of the characters in the loop, even if it's a mention from the other characters which is really interesting.

I really loved the way it was written, the flashbacks were fun because the reader is kept the dark for 95% of the book as to what happened at Angel Cay and I liked the mystery element of it. The characters were all really well written as well, with 2 clear likeable ones (Alex and Grace) and 2 despicable ones (Miles and Sasha). They all exist in their own worlds in the book yet Perry finds ways to keep them in touch with each other and I loved how the characters were all linked like this. I really loathed Miles but at the same time, he was brilliant for the book and his storylines were fun to read! Sasha is completely ruthless, but I found her growing on me as the time went on. Grace was lovely, probably the most realistic character of the bunch, and her friendship with rockstar Alex was touchingly written, and very different to the brashness of the rest of the book.

The setting of the book moves around a bit too. It starts on the paradise island of Angel Cay, which I imagine looks something like the gorgeous cover of this book, moves back to England where the characters initially start living, then separates to Spain, America, and several other places along the way too. I would love to know if Perry was lucky enough to visit all these places as she describes them so well, I especially loved her descriptions of Spain with Grace, I was able to imagine the places so well.

If you can't tell already, I think this is a super summer read and would most definitely recommend it to fans of chick lit! After reading this book, I really don't know why I haven't read anything by Tasmina Perry before because she writes fantastic blockbusters which are extremely readable, with great characters and fantastic locations too. The beautiful cover will certainly attract attention, and don't let the size of the book put you off because it is fast-paced and keeps your attention for every single page. I loved how it kept my interest, the mystery element was quite exciting and the characters were brilliant enough to keep the story moving and the reader into the book. Definitely recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When I was growing up, my friends and I would all read Scruples and Lace and we would love the doorstop sized novels that took us all over the world and showed us unimaginable riches.

It's been a long time since I have tempted back into that sort of reading but what a thrill it has been to discover Tasmina Perry's books. I started with Private Lives (kind of the opposite of the Noel Coward play of the same name!) which contained a tale of injunctions, celebrities, affairs, wealth and Hollywood PR.

I then graduated to this novel, Kiss Heaven Goodbye. It's got everything: a murder mystery, a baddie you love to hate, an ambitious self made fashion mogul, a billionaire, a Caribbean Island, revenge, sex, wealth, New York, London, country piles, you name it, it's there.

The story jumps around amongst the four main characters in manageable, readable chunks and has a great twist that I never saw coming.

All in all, I would recommend this book, and am on the hunt for my third Tasmina Perry. My guilty pleasure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2010
I'm a huge Tasmina Perry fan but Kiss Heaven Goodbye is, without doubt, my favourite novel of hers so far. She has created four really intriguing, strong lead characters - not always good - but captivating nonetheless. It was also great to read a book like this where the male leads were as well developed as the female characters - I was desperate to carry on with their stories each time a chapter ended on a cliff-hanger.

There's a very clever twist in the tale too which I didn't see coming at all and one which kept me turning the pages very rapidly until the very end. It was a fantastically exciting read with all the favourite things that I expect from Tasmina Perry novel - but just better than ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Another holiday tradition continues, I took this one away to Kos and devoured it whilst sitting in the sunshine and drinking a cold beer or two.

I loved it and thought it was one of her better stories. I really enjoyed the way that the main characters were developed throughout the story, they started out as a young, very close knit bunch of friends and gradually lost touch over the years.

Each character developed really well, but each one had that cloud over them - the 'incident' that happened on that holiday all those years ago.

I love the high glamour, sex and celebrity liftestyles that Tasmina Perry's characters lead - pure escapism for me and I loved every page!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 August 2010
As usual when I receive a Tasmina Perry book I prepare myself for the sheer weight of it as all four of her previous novels have been hefty. This current one was no different and I was eager to get started.

We meet four very different characters in this story that will sway your perception of them very early on. Miles and Grace Ashford are brother and sister and could not be more different. They are spending their summer on their parent's private island and have both come to enjoy the summer. Miles has brought his friend Alex Doyle along who is almost like the class geek, but they have somehow become firm friends. Along with Alex is Sasha Sinclair who is currently dating Miles and has her eye on becoming the future Mrs Ashford.

The book is written in stages and we see the story from that first summer in 1990 where all four of them become part of a dark secret that they will all carry with them. Each of them goes their separate ways and the book progresses with each of them over the next twenty years bring us to the finale set in 2010.

As usual Tasmina Perry has surpassed my expectations and produced a first class book which is everything you want from a great Chick Lit novel. The story itself was so well written with the progressing years for each character. We see snippets of each of their lives and how their successes are affecting each of them. Their lives cross many times over the years and that dark secret is the cause of pain and suffering for all of them in one sense or another.

The characters are written with such insight and I found myself loving Alex and Grace almost as much as I disliked Miles and Sasha. The story was a great pace and each little nugget of information relating to the past kept me curious about the original incident until the very end of the book.

Although the story is considered Chick Lit, I loved the fact that there was a very dark side to both the story and characters. There was also a very surprising twist at the end which was very discreetly hidden and made perfect sense once the story was complete.

Although this book was hefty I devoured it over a day and a half. All the key ingredients for a great chick lit book were in here, glamour, tragedy, success, power and sex. Yet again Tasmina Perry has produced an absolutely brilliant book and right now I cannot think of many authors that write as well as her consistently. Each of her 4 previous books has rated no less than 4 stars on Amazon and in my opinion that rating is well and truly deserved. If you have never heard of her and like this genre of book I cannot recommend her highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2011
I have read 3 of her earlier books and loved them and this one was highly recommended to me.
I found it difficult to put down, I loved the characters as always with her books and the island setting was relevant for me so loved it even more. I may not have been concentrating but I didn't pick up the 'who-dunnit' until it all came out so it was a good read for me!
I have since been given Private Lives but warned it's not as good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2010
This is another absolute cracker from Tasmina Perry, I couldn't put it down, definitely worthy of 5 stars! I've read all of her books and she just gets better and better. Money, sex, private islands, it's got it all, plus a great twist at the end. A real treat!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2010
Alex Doyle, Miles and Grace Ashford and Sasha Sinclair are toasting the end of their exams with a decadent vacation on the private island of Angel Cay. The whole world is at their feet when a horrible tragedy threatens to ruins their lives. Kiss Heaven Goodbye explores the repercussions of that fateful night as the four go on to glittering careers - will their dark secret ever come to light?

Kiss Heaven Goodbye is the perfect beach read - five hundred odd pages whip past before you know it as you're sucked into the lives of the four privileged students and watch how they become successful. Perry uses an excellent format - showing us first that twenty years down the line the secret is about to be uncovered, then taking us back to that night and introducing us to Miles, Grace, Sasha and Alex. The rest of the book uses dates as chapter headings to show time unfolding, which meant reading compulsively in the knowledge that, however right their lives might be, everything is about to come crashing down.

My main complaint with this manner of dipping in and out of the characters' lives over twenty years is that often key events would be skipped over and we'd simply be shown the aftermath. I think at times Perry used this technique almost lazily so that she wouldn't have to write difficult scenes - much easier to show a fait accompli.

I also found it far too cutesy that in the book a film being premiered was called "By Midnight", the novel that Perry has released under the nom de plume Mia James. We also visited Highgate Cemetary in this novel, which features prominantly in By Midnight. To most of Perry's regular readers, this won't have any impact at all so it is far from a negative point but it jumped out at me.

Kiss Heaven Goodbye is as predictable as you would expect, although Perry threw up a successful curveball at the end which, I have to confess, I didn't see coming and that I enjoyed immensely. It's always nice to be surprised by this sort of novel!

All in all, Kiss Heaven Goodbye was a blistering read - fast, sexy and glamourous with larger than life characters. If you're heading on holiday, you can't go far wrong packing this novel. Perry knows how to write the perfect beach read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2011
This book is fantastic thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I have read guilty pleasures by the same author if you have read that and enjoyed it you may enjoy this book as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2013
Just what you need for a brilliant holiday read.
Sheer escapism, glamour & intruige in one great book. It's been a long time since I read a real blockbuster novel like this & I loved it.
Won't elaborate on the plot or characters involved as other reviewers have covered these.
My only complaint was that I was unfortunately not reclining on a sun lounger when reading it. Will definately make room in my case for another book by this author when I next go away!
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