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Back to thethe Rights & Responsibilities Challenge:

15) Open a bank account. Write a check. Get a credit card.
 Read a romance involving someone of extreme wealth, an heir or heiress or someone with a self-made fortune.

Simona Ahrnstedt’s All In was originally published in Sweden in 2014 and was later translated into English.

Seeing as I had never read this author or read a romance originally written in Swedish, I didn’t know what to expect. But, based on this novel, I would say that Simona Ahrnstedt might possibly be Sweden’s answer to Judith McNaught. I can’t speak for her other work, but All In reminds me very much of McNaught’s popular novel, Paradise, in that it deals with the clash between old money and new — the well established vs. the corporate raider — all entwined with past wrongs, infidelities, secret relationships, and plenty of soapy drama.

In All In, David Hammar is a self-made billionaire, a corporate raider taking down the well-connected who had brought a great deal of harm to him and his family in the past. At the top of his list is the De la Grip family who are not only a part of Sweden’s nobility but are also the owners of its most prominent company, Investum. The final move in his plan involves trying to get a member of the family on board to help him. He decides to reach out to Natalia De la Grip, the smart, talented bank executive whose father has kept out of Investum’s management, believing that women don’t belong in those positions. Based upon her father’s misogyny and other “traditional” views, David thinks Natalia might be open to persuasion. Of course, he doesn’t plan to tell her that, once under his control, his true aim is to not only take apart the company, but the massive estate that’s been in her family for centuries. But, Natalia is not what David expects. She’s not only quite attractive, unlike her father and elder brother, she doesn’t hold his working class roots against him. Suddenly David’s long held plans might be running up against new desires and possibly love.

As I mentioned, this story has it all — horrible wrongs, incredible wealth, secrets, lies, love, sex — you name it. In fact, at times, I thought it might be over-the-top, but I gobbled it up like a big bag of delicious buttered popcorn. Besides the two main characters, the author introduces a host of family members, friends, and colleagues, all with their own secrets and hidden agendas and mostly, they work, building on the main story line without taking anything away from it. I noticed that the author has written a sequel to this book, featuring Natalia’s brother. That one doesn’t seem as highly rated, but as for this one, I’d give it an old-fashioned A.


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