Review by Leslie Farin
This month’s pick of the month from Andrea Peskind-Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS is “Beneath the Surface” by Kaira Rouda.
What is “Beneath the Surface” About?
“Beneath the Surface” by Kaira Rouda is the first book in the series about the Kingsley family, an extremely wealthy and dysfunctional bunch. Billionaire Richard Kingsley, the aging patriarch of the family, invites his adult children and their partners to join him and his new young wife on his new luxurious yacht for a weekend trip to Catalina Island. The purpose of the trip appears to be for the family to reconnect and spend time together, but the real reason is for Richard to assess which one of his heirs is fit to take over his real estate empire.
The three power-hungry siblings, who all have different mothers, dislike each other immensely. They compete ruthlessly with each other for their father’s attention, each believing they are the best choice to run the company. Serena, Richard’s 38-year-old wife, also throws her hat in the ring as a contender, especially now that she is pregnant with a baby she says is Richard’s.
The water is rough, and the weather is stormy. What should be a happy family gathering turns out to be full of tension which increases as the weekend progresses. A major storm causes outages on the yacht and rocks an already unstable group to commit acts that add to the turmoil. Who knows if everyone will live to enjoy their fortune?
My review of “Beneath the Surface
I enjoyed reading about this dysfunctional family on a luxurious yacht with a controlling, billionaire father and his fifth wife, along with his greedy offspring. As tends to be the case with Kaira Rouda’s books, none of the characters are particularly likable, and some are more outrageous than others. I found myself gasping in parts and laughing in others. Rouda, with her characteristic snark and humor, exposes the ugly underbellies of her characters with seemingly perfect lives.
The author presents the story with alternating perspectives from various members of the family. I enjoyed learning how the different people felt about the same situations, though at times the narration seemed unnecessarily repetitive. However, the book kept me guessing from beginning to end and it was a fun read. It’s definitely a great summer escape!
SparkpointStudio.com provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author: Kaira Rouda
Kaira Rouda is a multiple award–winning, USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her novels of domestic suspense include Beneath the Surface, The Widow, Somebody’s Home, The Next Wife, The Favorite Daughter, Best Day Ever, and All the Difference. To date, Kaira’s work has been translated into more than twelve languages. She lives in Southern California with her family and is working on her next novel. For more information, visit www.kairarouda.com.
Connect with her on social media here:
- Website: https://kairarouda.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KairaRoudaBooks/
- Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/KairaRouda
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kairarouda/
Other Books by Kaira Rouda
Here are a few other books by Kaira Rouda along with brief summaries.
“The Best Day Ever”
This psychological thriller follows the perspective of Paul Strom, a seemingly perfect husband and father, as he plans a weekend getaway with his wife Mia. However, as the story unfolds, Paul’s controlling and manipulative behavior begins to surface, and the idyllic facade of their marriage starts to crumble.
“In the Mirror”
“In the Mirror” tells the story of Jennifer Benson, a woman who seems to have it all—a loving family, a successful career, and a beautiful home. But when a sudden accident leaves her with facial disfigurement, she must confront her changed appearance and the challenges it brings, while also reevaluating her relationships and her sense of self.
“The Favorite Daughter”
In this novel, Jane Harris returns to her family’s beachfront home for a celebration, a year after the death of her daughter. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Jane’s relationships with her remaining family members are strained, and she must navigate secrets and tensions to uncover the truth about what really happened to her daughter.
“The Next Wife”
“The Next Wife” centers on Kate Nelson, who seems to have found happiness with her second husband, blended family, and successful career. However, when her husband’s first wife suddenly dies, Kate finds herself entangled in a complex web of secrets and suspicions that threaten to unravel her life.
In, “The Widow”, Jody Asher had a plan. Her charismatic husband, Martin, would be a political icon. She, the charming wife, would fuel his success. For fifteen congressional terms, they were the golden couple on the Hill. Life was good. Until he wasn’t. And there’s nothing the ruthless widow won’t do to secure the future she’s entitled to. Even if she has a secret of her own.
“Somebody’s Home” is the story of two families who have one house in common. When Julie leaves her wealthy and negligent husband and moves to a suburb, major problems ensue with her teenage daughter. The previous owners, a pastor and his wife, left their son behind. Tom Dean hates his father who considers him a lost cause, and also despises the woman who moved into their family’s house. It’s the only home he ever knew and he’s never going to leave. She thinks he’ll be gone in three days. For a newly single mother and her daughter, the fresh new home and fresh start is the beginning of a nightmare. Before the weekend is over, somebody will get exactly what they deserve.
About Andrea Peskind Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS:
Andrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5,000 prolific readers and authors interact. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high-pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family and reading good books.
Images published with permission from Sparkpointstudio.com