Review: She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop

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☆☆➹⁀☆4.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth,the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

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My Thoughts:

In Andrea Dunlop’s She Regrets Nothing, the author studies the upper echelon of Manhattan. These uber-elite socialites hold all the power and make all the rules. It seems there are no consequences to their actions that money and power can’t eliminate.

When long lost cousin, Laila, finds her way to New York, her cousins pity her and take her in. The disembodied third-person narrative made me vacillate in my opinion of Laila. At times, I found her empathetic and deserving, and at other times she appeared cunning and manipulative. Is the poor country mouse really a sly, street-smart shark?

The people Laila throws in with are far from innocent and pure, however, with each move in her game she creates a more tangled web of deceit and heartache. The dynamics between Laila, her cousins, and the cousins’ “set” are varied and interesting. Laila so deeply wants to be not only accepted, but also taken care of (in the manner to which her cousins have become accustom), but she doesn’t have enough game or patience to execute a plan that will bring her dreams to fruition. Each time that Laila “regroups” she makes matters worse. In her desperation she makes one bad decision after another; she is too needy and she too strongly covets her cousins’ wealth and lifestyle.

The story is intriguing, albeit a bit slowly paced. The cast of characters is rich (no pun intended); there is but one good, worthy soul in the bunch. I fully enjoyed the author’s voice, and her very shocking twist left me pondering the author’s intended message. The ending is equally expected yet somewhat dissatisfying. This family story truly is filled with betrayal, deceit and greed. It reminded me of an addictive serial drama, like Dynasty: the situations are preposterous, you love to hate the characters, and you can’t stop watching!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Andrea Dunlop is the author of Losing the Light and Broken Bay, a novella. She lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, where she works as a social media consultant.


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