Tuesday, July 14, 2015

REVIEW: A Pretty Mess (Astonvale #1) by Carla Caruso

Title: A Pretty Mess (Astonvale #1)
Author: Carla Caruso
Publisher: AUS Impulse
Publication Date: October, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Sometimes, to come clean, you've got to get your hands dirty ...

Celeste Pretty, a self-confessed neat freak, has found the job she was born to do: a professional organizer, de-cluttering people's homes and workplaces. Her new business gets off to a cracking start when she lands her first client, health and fitness guru Natalia Samphire, in the well-heeled suburb of Astonvale. But things get messy at Natalia's mansion when Celeste finds a blackmail note and other mysterious items. And then there's Lenny Muscat, the sexy builder renovating the place, whose constant presence is muddling Celeste's usually organized brain.

When things get decidedly suspicious at the mansion, she and Lenny have to team up to investigate. But will Celeste emerge with her heart and professional reputation unscathed?

My Thoughts: I like books that feature strong, independent characters that aren’t too headstrong or unable to lower the walls to let people in. A Pretty Mess by new to me author Carla Caruso introduces us to Celeste Pretty, a former interior designer who has branched out into her own business of professional organizing. Her first client is local fitness celebrity Natalia Samphire, who has hired Celeste to declutter her home. Things become quite complicated for Celeste when she discovers her employer is being blackmailed by an unknown person and the presence of building contractor, Lenny Muscat, to whom Celeste finds herself strongly attracted to.

I enjoyed this book and the premise of a professional organizer and pseudo-detective. Celeste is a very likable character with some very painful scars from losing her mother as a child. Her passion to be a professional organizer gives her the ability to maintain control and order in her life and she is quite good at it. When Celeste discovers a blackmail note and some other suspicious items, she confides in Lenny and they team up to investigate who is behind it all. Lenny comes across as a ladies man and a player and Celeste tries very hard to keep him at arm’s length, but the attraction she feels is mutual. I thought Lenny was perfect for Celeste. They are both committed to their respective careers and Lenny is not interested in any serious relationships until his business is thriving and successful. I don’t usually care for “big misunderstanding” plot devices and was a little apprehensive when one happened in this book, but it played out really well and was quite enjoyable. The story moves at a good pace, kept me entertained and held my interest.

My Final Verdict: A Pretty Mess is the first book in this series and is a good start. I look forward to the next book in the series to see what is next for Celeste and Lenny and getting to know the supporting characters better.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of A Pretty Mess from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

New Additions To The TBR Pile In June

I have been struggling to read with my usual voracity for several weeks, so fortunately, I don't have the added guilt of several new arrivals reminding me how much I am not reading. Hopefully, this will turn around soon and I can dive back into my favorite pastime. Only one new arrival in June and I really like the cover. It has a lot of charm and whimsy...

Title: Pippa's Cornish Dream by Debbie Johnson
Description: Since Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parent’s farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for love. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.

When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!

But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … even if you are in Cornwall.

Set on the gorgeous Cornish coast at the height of summer, this is the perfect romance to take on your hols!

Debbie is the author of Cold Feet at Christmas, the #1 Christmas bestseller!


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at sharalsbooks@yahoo.com Happy Reading! :o)