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What happens when love and loyalty collide? For readers who love moving, epic romance in the manner of Nicholas 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.
Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful characters must face prejudice and heartbreak to learn just how much beautiful messy love can mean.
About the Author
Tess Woods is a physiotherapist who lives in Perth, Australia, with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love At First Flight, first released as an eBook, has received worldwide critical acclaim, hit the bestseller charts in Australia and was voted Book of the Year in the AusRom Today Reader's Choice Awards 2015. Tess was also in the top ten Best New Author nominations.
Usually go for Nicholas Sparks books however I've nearly read them all. When I read somewhere this book was a cross between Nicholas Sparks and someone else I thought it would be right up my alley!
And it didn't disappoint....read it on holidays and couldn't put it down! Not your traditional lovey dovey book where everything turns out good either, few twists and turns! Highly recommend it!
Port Macquarie NSW
an entertaining read
Beautiful Messy Love is the second novel by Australian author, Tess Woods. When fifth-year med student, Lily Harding finds herself looking across the hospital café table into the beautiful blue eyes of a gorgeous blonde man, she's not expecting to fall in love. After all, she still carries a flame for Ben, her ex, now doing charitable things in Kenya. And when she sees blue-eyes again, in the oncology ward, at the bedside of his terminally ill wife, well, it may be beautiful but she knows it's all wrong.
Aussie Rules football star, Nick Harding is sick of the debauchery: he vows to turn over a new leaf. But is that even possible with his reputation? When Anna serves his coffee at the local café, he's instantly smitten. But Anna (Anwar) is a good Muslim girl who's way too busy (two jobs, volunteer work for asylum seekers, caring for a six-year-old orphan refugee, about to start a Law degree) to spend any time with Nick. But Nick, even new-leaf Nick, can be charming and persistent.
Four narrators relate the events of their lives and loves over a seven month period, with an epilogue two years on to tie up the loose ends. The plot is foreseeable, but only for Part One and then it twists and turns and ventures into uncharted territory. It's gotten messy. The characters are appealing for all their flaws and emotional baggage, and even the somewhat stereo-typical minor characters are not wholly predictable. The dialogue is natural and the banter between certain characters provides plenty of humour.
This is a novel that touches on both topical and age-old themes: the plight of asylum seekers, grief, survivor guilt, being stuck in the wrong career, media scrutiny, the clash of cultures, and effect of preconceptions about those cultures on established loyalties. Because it's a book about young lovers, yes, there's quite a bit of sex as well as gratuitous use of expletives. But also fidelity, fiery passion, football and fun. Even a bit of Harry Potter. An ent
A favourite new romance read for me
I absolutely adored this book, and gobbled it up in two days. I was actually surprised that I connected so viscerally with both couples and their stories – especially because one romance, between med-student Lily and the very tricky coupling with a grieving ex-husband Toby, sounds absolutely shocking in theory … but on the page, Woods teased this couple out with so much heat and sensuality, it was hard not to fall for them and root for them, even as all their biggest problems and obstacles were still painfully obvious.
The stand-out in this book though, is the romance between footballer Nick Harding and young refugee woman Anwar 'Anna'. Tess Woods has written such a beautifully complex romance between them – that I also appreciated for how thoroughly Australian it is, and the bigger discussions it allowed Woods to have.
Anna has an awfully painful story of how and why she sought refuge in Australia, and coupled with the combustible media-landscape for AFL celebrities – Woods was really able to peel back a rather ugly underbelly to Australian society, media and politics that made for higher stakes in this romance, coupled with really thoughtful discussion about much bigger issues. There's no lecture here, just a very human story that was all too believable and heartbreaking.
Beautiful Messy Love
ISBN: 9781460753835 ISBN-10: 1460753836 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 416 Published: 24th July 2017 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4
Weight (kg): 0.51