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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Thursday, June 2, 2016

All In---- Translated from the Swedish

All InAll In by Simona Ahrnstedt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A perfect summer read--fun, interesting, not particularly deep. Although it takes place in Sweden, other than a few Swedish surnames, school names and place names, the plot could easily be set in any American seacoast area where the rich and influential spend summer vacation. The heroine is a countess who does not use her title, though all know who she is, and is trying to establish herself in the financial world that is dominated by men, her father and brother most prominently. The hero is supposedly a self made man from a poor background who has become a billionaire through corporate takeovers and dismantling of old hereditary finance companies.

In this instance, David Hammar, handsome, ruthless, smart and rich has his sights on the De la Grip family owned investment firm, Investum. Hoping to enlist the aid of one of the family members in the take over he sets out to charm the daughter of the racist, misogynistic owner, Gustaf. To that end he invites Natalia De la Grip out to lunch and finds he enjoys her company a great deal. She is as brilliant, ambitious and dedicated to her job in finance as he.

She is in the midst of a large financial deal herself and hopes her success will impress her father and that it will cause him to give her a position on the board of directors of Investum. Within a very short time she impresses David and so begins an affair fraught with secrets and emotional conflict.
While these two and their relationship are central to the plot, the machinations of a corporate take-over are fascinating as are the secondary characters: Natalia's family, David's secrets, David's partner Michel, Natalia's best friend Asa.

Less fully developed but still intriguing are J-O, Natalia's boss and Malin, David's PR manager. Other characters appear as secrets are revealed but to mention them here would be to ruin the revelations--which keep the story moving--though after awhile it becomes rather a tiring ploy. There could have been a few less and still been interesting but I suppose they serve to provide a suitably apt happy ending--the rich girl stays rich and her regal standing remains, sort of.

The only strange thing about the book is the final scene, which is jarring to say the least, since it seems to have no relationship to the 400+ pages that have gone before. Unless, hmmm, it is a precursor to the next book(?), which will have two new star-crossed lovers. If so, it may be worth reading next summer on a lazy, mindless day.

This review is of an advanced uncorrected proof received from Goodreads with hopes of an honest review.

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