I loved Kevin Kwan’s first three books following the lives of the super rich citizens of Singapore. I was excited to see he had a new book published, Sex and Vanity.
Nineteen year old, Lucie Churchill, the daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, meets George Zhao at a friends wedding. She denies having feelings for George. However, when he kisses her, they are caught by her disapproving cousin and chaperon Charlotte. Several years later, George appears in East Hampton where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé.
Kwan’s books are all about romance, glitz, glamour, and high society drama. His newest book meets all those criteria. The Asian characters are delightful, but all the other characters are flat and very unlikable. Lucie’s relationship with her fiancé is so negative that it’s hard to imagine she would agree to marry him. The end of their relationship couldn’t come fast enough. The other weaknesses are the many mentions of real brands and products in the book that will date it quickly.
I recommend reading Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems in that order. They are fabulous, decedent fully realized stories that are worth checking out. I hope that Sex and Vanity is just a blip in Kwan’s career.