Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sideboob Reading Challenge: Deceptions by Judith Michael (Spoilers)

See the entire Sideboob Reading Challenge List!

I took advantage of a non-stop cross-country flight to read the first book on my Sideboob Hour Reading Challenge, Deceptions by Judith Michael. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had seen the miniseries based on this novel many, many years ago. It still amazes me, after all these years, I can remember details about the program and how it differs from the novel. Ask me who's sitting on the Supreme Court now; I'm a total dunce there.

Anyway, if you don't want to be spoiled, go visit my website and check out my books. I just released Daringly Delicious in audiobook and Closer to the Heart should be out this winter.

Deceptions is the story of identical twin sisters, Stephanie and Sabrina, who grew up traveling the world due to their father's position as a diplomat. Stephanie longed for permanence and went on to marry a professor and have children, while Sabrina married and divorced a titled scoundrel and started up a successful antiques/design business. Now in her thirties, Stephanie feels the pull of freedom and longs to take a break from domesticity. She and Sabrina concoct a plan, while they are on an antiques hunting trip, to switch places for a week and live the other's life.

So there's a touch of Prince and the Pauper going on here. With Stephanie's marriage on the rocks, Sabrina doesn't have to worry about sleeping with her brother-in-law, and with Sabrina being single Stephanie can live out the week freely. Of course, you know things are going to happen according to plan. Sabrina injures herself, forcing the twins to prolong the charade, and Stephanie discovers she enjoys the high life and male attention from more than one suitor. Along the way, Stephanie uncovers shady dealings connected with Sabrina's shop, and is killed in an explosion set up by some baddies before she and Sabrina can switch back.

Having seen the movie, I knew the general story going in, so very little in this book surprised me. To my memory, these are differences between the miniseries and book:

  • In the book, Sabrina breaks her wrist riding a bike. In the movie it's a car accident.
  • In the movie, Sabrina is sleeping with a man to repay a debt. No mention of that in the book.
  • In the book, Sabrina is pursued by a Brazilian billionaire and she rebuffs him. Stephanie has nothing to do with him. In the movie, the man is Italian and Stephanie has an affair with him.
  • In the movie, Stephanie's children learn their mother was killed and Sabrina lets people in on the switch. In the book, Sabrina and Stephanie's husband Garth agree to keep up the charade, so nobody else knows. I imagine it was done that way in the movie for a resolution - and it's possible the sequel was not out yet.
Now, to the book: I liked it. The book offered more backstory on Stephanie and Sabrina and gave them more depth. You understand better Stephanie's restlessness and Sabrina's independence. What annoyed me most about the book was the constant head-hopping, often between paragraphs - I found it unruly and distracting. I imagine this was a common device for the time, because I don't see it so much now, and when I take on A Tangled Web I expect I'll have the same complaint. 

For a long plane ride, Deceptions helped pass the time. Looking forward to knocking out the rest of the Sideboob list.

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