Books

Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

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What happens when love and loyalty collide? Two couples must deal with the consequences of their messy love not just for themselves but for those who depend on them. For lovers of passionate romance in the vein of Nicolas Sparks.


When football star Nick Harding hobbles into the Black Salt Cafe the morning after the night before, he is served by Anna, a waitress with haunted-looking eyes and no interest in footballers famous or otherwise. Nick is instantly drawn to this exotic, intelligent girl. But a relationship between them risks shame for her conservative refugee family and backlash for Nick that could ruin his career.
Meanwhile, Nick's sister, Lily, is struggling to finish her medical degree. When she meets Toby, it seems that for the first time she is following her heart, not the expectations of others. Yet what starts out as a passionate affair with a man who has just buried his wife slips quickly into dangerous dependency. 
Through attraction, breakups, triumphs and tragedies, these two couples learn just how much their beautiful messy love might cost. A West Side Story for the modern day.



Hey! Here's my review.

Tess Woods's debut novel, Love at First Flight, stayed with me long after I finished reading it, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of her second novel, especially when I discovered that Beautiful Messy Love was the story of the children from the first book. Beautiful Messy Love is a stand alone novel, though. You don't need to have read Love at First Flight to enjoy it, but once you read it I'm sure you'll fall in love with Tess's incredible writing and rush out to grab a copy. I was lucky enough to receive an advance ebook copy and devoured it within a couple of days. I also received a surprise paperback advance copy too. I loved the story so much that I bought the audiobook the day it released and finished that within a couple of days, too. So now, I have the whole set!

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Wow! This was the best audiobook I've ever listened to - and I've listened to almost 200 audiobooks (you can see them all HERE). There are four different narrators that are perfectly matched to the four different point of view characters. The book was a five-star read anyway, but this extra attention to detail took it to the next level. If you're an audiobook fan - this is an auto buy. If you're not sure about audio then this book is a great place to start. The narrator for Toby - SWOON! 

I found Lily very relatable - in my early 20s, I also struggled with studying a difficult university degree and debated whether to finish it. My heart went out to Anna and I loved Tante Rosa - the grumpy Egyptian matriarch made me smile. My favourite character would be Toby's brother, John - he cracked me up so many times with his inappropriate, self-absorbed comments. He was like the Aussie version of Joey from Friends - but more of a prick (and his girlfriend's name was Renee - I'd never put up with his crap, though). 

I went from laughing at hilarious one-liners to sobbing, on multiple occasions - a roller coaster of emotions. Two intertwining love stories, overcoming issues of race, religion, fame and grief. This book is firmly at the top of my Best of 2017 list.

★★★★★ 

  • Where: Harper Collins, NetGalley & Audible
  • Format: ebook, paperback & audiobook