Sunday, March 20, 2011


Review For:
Winner Takes It All, by Karen Mason
ISBN: 9781445201528
Publisher: Lulu Inc.

Author Karen Mason placed second in the Me! Magazine, Write a Blockbuster competition, and since has gone on to publish her novels, Summerset, Mad About the Boy, and Two Become One. She resides in London where she was born.

In this sequel to her first novel, Summerset, Winner Takes It All continues the story of the Sheridan and Cusak family’s bitter rivalry. In 2007, Louisa “Lou” Cusak has died, leaving behind a family struggling to cope without her, and wondering just what secrets she’s buried. Her son, Christian, has turned the Sheridan’s brewery into a global success, but when he decides to retire, he challenges his two eldest children, Alexandra and Michael, to prove to him who deserves to run the company. The Sheridan’s have their own plan to steal back the company they see as rightfully theirs. But the plan to have Tom Montague, (grandson to the Cusak nemesis, Sorcha Sheridan), infiltrate the company goes awry when Tom falls in love with a member of the Cusak family. Deep rooted secrets begin to emerge and now everyone is questioning not only where their loyalties lie, but who to trust in this sordid family saga.

Though this is a sequel to another book, this book stands alone and it is not necessary to read the first one in order to understand it. However, I highly recommend reading the first book, as you’ll get more out of the story if you do.

There are a lot of characters in this book and, at times, it can get pretty confusing, especially the first two chapters, keeping track of them. Luckily the author laid out each one and a bio before the book begins so readers can keep track. The author is also from England, so some of the phrasing and jargon may take a bit to get used to for US readers. There were a few grammatical editing errors, but I had the advanced reading copy.

Though I did really enjoy the first book, Summerset, I found this one more engaging than the first. The characters were strong and you won’t find any over-romantic mush in this tale. The feud between these families, and the lengths they go to to destroy each other, make for a fascinating read. Karen Mason has an unusual writing style in which dialog propels her books along, seeming as if you are listening in on a secret conversation. The setting was superb and the plot flowed smoothly. A recommended read.

Kelly Moran,
Author and Reviewer

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