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X in Provence is a novel about obsession, betrayal and survival set in a place that normally conjures up paradise.

Soon after English journalist Rai leaves a thriving career in Hong Kong to live with Alain, a brilliant French sculptor in Provence, she is delighted to discover la dolce vita. But she also encounters a darker demimonde – the sex-sodden underbelly of this region of southern France. Call it the “other” Provence. Rai is captivated by the novelty of it all and the loving reassurances of her charmer beau and is thrilled when he proposes. After marriage, however, Alain turns chilling, and conflict ignites between Rai’s intellect and her internal dysfunctions – a treacherous teetering depicted with stark clarity. Alain has a brother – two if you count the dead one – and the dynamics between these divergent characters deepen the plot.

The novel offers a new take on an age-old theme: the perils of addiction to highly charismatic, highly narcissistic personalities and what women will do to cling on. Combining splashes of erotica, psychological suspense, mystery and wonderlust, X in Provence is women’s fiction at its best.