Friday, 28 March 2014


When I decided to venture into Sally Beauman’s mega-hit DESTINY, I was expecting to be mesmerized by its sheer effectiveness. How could one not be? This is the woman who’s managed to sell her novel for a million bucks. A million. Supposedly, the publishing house was so impressed that they handed her the money before she even had the time to finish it. Talk about a sure bet. And you know how I am with lengthy sagas of the rich, I just can’t turn my back on them. Oh, I’ve tried often, believe me, since concentrating on them takes so much time and energy, but the trooper that I am just couldn’t do it. Now I sort of wish I had.

Not that DESTINY is anything but grand. Ms. Beauman presents it all with a Panavision view worthy of any big-budget Hollywood movie. I mean, the woman can write her tail off. The first half of the novel breezes like you wouldn’t believe. Dead-on narrative, characterization and pace. You can’t imagine doing anything else but investing yourself in the lives of our two lovable protagonists, he, a rich but oh-so lonely man; she, a down on her luck beauty from the wrong side of the track. When they unite, which is a few times throughout the novel, fireworks. That’s how hot their union is, but we believe it, for Beauman is a skillful craftswoman.

But like any well-trained marathon runner, hitting the wall can be in one’s cards, and DESTINY does exactly that in its last third. What held me enthralled for 700 plus pages suddenly became a chore. Redundancy and a sudden lack of interest best describe its symptoms. The author, though passionate and dedicated still, just loses her touch. Nothing can bring back the happiness of yesteryear, not even a big well-thought out tearjerker of a climax. Call me insensible, but I just couldn’t wait for it to end so I could move on to another novel. Which is sad, really, for Sally Beauman deserves all the attention. Just perhaps not mine.


DESTINY is now available digitally from Open Road Media Romance. And for those interested, the author also wrote a couple of Harlequins under the pseudonym of Vanessa James.


Until next post—Martin

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