I think this has to be hands down one of the worst books I have ever read. I’d never read any of Joan Collins’ novels and didn’t really know what to expect, but I had thought it would at least be better written than this was.
The title is completely misleading – apart from being set in St Tropez, it had absolutely nothing to do with romance or any ‘lonely hearts’ club of any kind. There was no main character and this wouldn’t normally have bothered me were it for the fact that there were way too many background characters that Collins gave centre stage who added nothing to the plot.
There was no cohesive plot as such – Collins tries to create a murder mystery set in St Tropez but this didn’t come across as one at all. There were far too many characters for a reader to know what was going on, and you had no idea where Collins was taking the plot as by the next chapter she had completely dropped the previous chapter’s ‘plot line’. The chapters did not fit together at all and Collins was more concerned with trying to make it as scandalous as possible which just made it fall flat on its face – it was just dull!
The characters were all 2D and horribly bland – not a single one of them had any substance, and Collins was more interested in giving the reader every single characters’ back story that it completely detracted from the story she was trying to tell. We were still having tons of exposition shoved in our faces towards the end of the book! The characters were in no way rounded or believable, and were written in such a shockingly mysoginistic way – I cannot believe this was written by a woman.
Ignoring the lack of plot to draw you in, or any kind of interesting characters, the writing was incredibly poor. Collins was constantly explaining even the most mundane things, going against the golden rule of “show don’t tell”. Some of the descriptions of things that happened in the novel were just downright vulgar and in no way “scandalous” or entertaining. If there’s one thing I absolutely hate, it’s loads of completely unnecessary exposition – trust in your reader’s intelligence!! The novel as a whole was just bland – there was no voice to it and it didn’t knit together as a well written and well plotted novel would. Collins clearly hasn’t done much writing!
I’d give it a 1/5. It was just dire. It was so poorly written and clearly had not been thought out at all. It read like a very poor first draft as if Collins was making it up as she went along. I doubt I will ever read anything by her again. In my defence it was a book I picked up in the library.