Carolina Mountcastle is so successful and her life is so perfect that she should envy herself. She is beautiful, stylish, smart, personable and ambitious. Her loving, studly husband is a successful international businessman. Their passionate appetite for each other is equal to that of two young lovers alone on a tropical island left to their own devices. She has a smart, well-adjusted teenage son with whom she has an open and honest relationship. The client list for her florist shop and party decorating business is beginning to look like the New York City Social Registry. It seems as if Carolina couldn't have a bad day, on the surface.
Delve below that surface, however, and the water gets a little murky. Her husband stays away for weeks at a time in Amsterdam on business. Their relationship is gradually deteriorating, and he is rarely present for family gatherings or bonding. Her son is in need of fatherly guidance and is becoming distant because of his father's absence, engaging in questionable teenage behavior. As if that were not enough to deal with, someone is trying to ruin Carolina's reputation among her high society (and high paying) clients.
A late night call shatters everything she knows with one blow. Her husband has suffered a fatal heart attack while on a business trip in Amsterdam. Just when it seems as if Carolina will crumble under the burden of grief and sorrow, she discovers at the reading of her husband's will that he has betrayed her beyond anything she can comprehend. He had been having a long-term affair with a woman in Amsterdam, and it doesn't stop there. He shared a home with this woman, and they share a daughter.
Carolina fights for her past, her present, her business, her life, her son, and her sanity in this tale of love, loss, and deceit. Judith Gould has created a woman of unbelievable strength in Carolina. Even the most unjaded of us would need psychiatric care after being dealt blow after blow simultaneously in our private and public lives. We would barely be able to keep our minds together, much less put together a matching outfit. But such is the beauty of fiction.
Be not mistaken, there are generous portions of those delicious and lusty sex scenes with a side of hard bodies and lascivious activities, the best I've read since Jackie Collins's HOLLYWOOD WIVES. They make the breath short and the body temperature rise, which may or may not be a good thing in the summer heat, but it was certainly enjoyable!
Do not read this book expecting a life changing experience or striking social commentary. This novel is purely for enjoyment and escape. The characters are fairly one-dimensional, and the uncomplicated language and plot keep the story moving. The subplots are simple, as are the secondary characters. THE BEST IS YET TO COME is a quick read and perfect for those moments when you need to jumpstart your libido, have bit of free time from running your own crazy life or need to cleanse your literary palate.
Reviewed by Elisa Kai Smith on August 1, 2002