This month’s book club book was picked by Denise and is The Bitch Proof Suit by De-ann Black.
By: De-ann Black
Published Year: 2010
Publisher: Toffee Apple Publishing
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): When Blue (Bluebell) Byrne is up against the odds in the world of New York fashion marketing, she needs the ultimate in accessories - a bitch-proof suit. Her marketing experience has helped her create the perfect suit. She had it made by bespoke tailors, cut with twice the precision at half the price. No labels, no trends, just sheer cutting edge class.
The story starts in Manhattan. Blue is about to put her suit to the ultimate test when she vies against a boardroom full of conniving business rivals to win the top job assignment - to work in the company’s office in Dublin, Ireland, and settle a few scores at the same time.
The suit, her negotiating skills and gutsy determination helps Blue win the job. Within hours she sets off for Dublin. It’s the one place she swore she’d never go back to. Six years ago she’d left that city behind, along with Morgan Daire, the man who broke her heart, sure she’d never return. It had almost destroyed her once, but hell...she loves a challenge!
She’ll be working with the unspeakably glamorous and influential Verde Valmont, and Verde’s Irish assistant Emer. Blue will also be facing up to the formidable Dubliner, Morgan Daire, the man whose past is inexorably linked with hers. Then there’s her friend, Dublin designer, Murphy, an incorrigible rogue whose flirting causes jealousy and all sorts of trouble. She also encounters the sexy and handsome Sears Pearson, a New York coolhunter, who takes an interest in her. With Morgan and Sears vying for her attention, and Murphy causing misunderstandings, her love life is anything but smooth.
I thought the name made it sound like a cute book. I was intrigued when Denise shared the summary with us even though it wasn’t something I would’ve picked up on my own. The cover is also very blah and I wouldn’t have picked it up based just on the cover.
What I thought
This book was so frustrating. The beginning wasn’t bad. I liked the voice of the character and it seemed like a nice refreshing change from what I had recently been reading. Then I started learning everyone’s names and they are just completely ridiculous. I felt like the author just started making up the most ridiculous names she could imagine. Bluebell, Verde (pronounced Verdi), Sears, Magenta?! I know it’s petty, but things like that irritate me.
Bluebell (aka Blue) is the main character. She is a futurehunter which is someone who searches for the future trends in fashion. She takes on the world with her Bitch-Proof suit. I feel like this aspect of the story was so weird. Like she was so protective about the suit, and it was almost like it had magical qualities but this wasn’t a book about magical things. It just seemed like it could’ve been part of a different story or if it had been toned down it would have made more sense. It just was odd.
Then on top of that, Blue moves to Dublin to work as a futurehunter and confront her past. The relationships in this story were just wonky. She claims that Sears was one of her closest friends when she was in Dublin the first time, but the minute she gets back he’s madly in love with her and she has no relationship with him whatsoever. On top of that is Morgan, who was her ex-lover and the reason she left Dublin the first time, and Verde who is her evil co-worker. The only person that I actually liked in this story was Muphy and he wasn’t in it much.
I just felt like this story was very underdeveloped with minimal character development and plot line. I wanted to like this book so much more than I did because I felt like it had great potential. But in the end it was boring and predictable and I found myself skimming to get to the end just to finish it.
What book club thought
It seemed like everyone was on the same page with this one. We all seemed annoyed with the same issues (mostly what I talked about above) and some additional issues came up as well. One of the members talked about how she didn’t understand what kind of company Blue even worked for. Was it marketing? A fashion company? It was a little unclear who exactly these future fashion ideas were going to, but I didn’t even notice this completely until she mentioned it. Some people seemed more annoyed than others, but it was kind of funny to have all the same opinion as we normally vary. There was one member who enjoyed the book more than the others, but I think the general consensus was that it was a cute story, but underdeveloped which caused a lot of irritation and general dislike of the book.
We did also discuss that the concept, if developed properly, could make a really fun Lifetime show. I think it would be similar in tone to UnReal in the level or drama and cattiness, so it could make some great trash TV. We didn’t discuss who we would pick to play the different characters, and because it wasn’t a heavy book we didn’t have many poignant questions.
Book Club for February
The Lake House By: Kate Morton
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Book Club Date: February 7th