I've been a longtime fan of Barbara Taylor-Bradford's books, but unlike most of my books, don't tend to read any of them more than once, with the exception of "Act of Will" and the "Woman of Substance" series, which I've re-read more times than I care to remember. Chick lit it may be, but as a page turner, "A Woman of Substance" is hard to beat. I had high hopes that "Breaking the rules" would be riveting and well written.
You'll know by now that the story is about a mysterious English girl, named "M", who has fled to New York to seek a career as a model and also to try to exorcise the demons of a traumatic sexual assault. M gets her big break as a model and - somewhat fortuitously - finds love with Larry Vaughan, a devastatingly handsome actor who M has had a crush on since she was ten. Seemingly, nothing can spoil their wonderful life together, until a terrorist attack destroys a catwalk at one of M's fashion shows.
In the second half of the book, M's identity is revealed, and the attacks by suspected terrorists continue in various locations belonging to M's family. If you've read the other reviews, you will know by now that M is part of the Harte family, and while it is wonderful to have a continuation of the Harte saga (particularly as there were several loose ends left at the end of "Just Rewards"), it soon becomes apparent that Barbara Taylor-Bradford needs to sack her continuity editor (since when did Jim Fairley and David Amory die in an air crash?), read back through her previous books, and perhaps spend less time in the States (an English Police Inspector is referred to as "Inspector Yardley" and then a minute later, as "Captain Yardley").
Sadly, the fact that this book is a continuation of the Harte saga couldn't override the rushed and repetitive writing (at one point I wondered if BTB had employed a ghost writer), the continuity errors, and the new characters, never mentioned before and yet supposedly known to the family since childhood). I finished it and it was a good, easy bedtime read, but the sloppy writing and inconsistencies mean that I probably won't read this one again.
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