Supermodel Raven is desperate. She is getting older and she is knows her modeling days are numbered, so she books a weekend getaway at the posh Palm Grotto spa, but the next day she is found dead.
Former model Juliette Taylor and disaster expert Marcus Stone have lived a good part of their lives regretting their lost love for each other. When both arrive at Palm Grotto on the same weekend, they both find themselves in the middle of Raven's murder investigation.
The story was fairly well written, there was a lot of conversation which makes a book a fairly quick read. However for a mystery it moved very slowly. I wished that there had been more suspense interjected. There was also a lack clues for the reader to follow in discovering who the murderer is. That bothered me because part of the fun of reading a mystery is trying to figure out who did it.
The police investigation was almost non-existent. We don't read about the police working the case unless they come to arrest someone and then the reader is at a loss at to how they came to that determination. There were also several loose ends in the investigation that never seemed to get addressed, which annoyed me to no end.
The relationship between Juliette and Marcus didn't seem to work well. Rather that people who had once been in love and were trying to reconnect, I felt that they were old friends who just happen run into each other.
I didn't much care for Juliette or Marcus character. Juliette is supposed to be this smart business woman, but I found myself irritated at the fact that she was missing things that were obvious to anyone else. She complains several times about how hard it was being a supermodel, she knows Marcus needs to talk to her, yet she can't seem to find two minutes to speak with him. All this makes her come across as shallow and self-centered in my opinion and there was not anything about her that I could relate to.
Marcus didn't fair much better. From the time he decides to go to the spa, he has one goal, to speak to Juliette, however, it took him a good part of the book to work up the nerve to talk to Juliette and get past his first hello. Oh and he brings his mother with him to the spa because he felt he needed a "cover". He just didn't have any kind of strong male presence to him.
However Marcus mother was a hoot. She brought a lot to the storyline that she was a part of and I enjoyed her character very much.
There was a few cute and heartwarming moments, like the peppermint patties scene, and the ending was good.
I think the characters where Christian, but if that was brought out somewhere I missed it. I didn't find really any mention of God or prayer and I know that Jesus or salvation were never mentioned. I just don't understand how this qualifies as a Christian novel.
While I appreciate all the hard work that goes into writing a book, and I am a huge fan of Mindy Clark's, this particular book was just not for me. Would I recommend it? Maybe, if I know the reader and what books they liked.
This book was well written. I read it in two days. I did not want to put it down. It will keep your interest. I usually figure out murder mysteries but I have to admit I had not clue about this one. Now I want to read other books by Mindy Starns Clark.
Book Summary: Juliette Taylor walked away from her career as a supermodel twenty-five years ago. Now approaching fifty - an emotionally complex milestone -- she co-owns a beauty supply company that makes skincare products for salons and spas. Her niche is pampering Christian women who usually spend more time caring for others than for themselves under the slogan: Isn't it time someone took care of YOU for a change? When Juliette arrives at the Palm Grotto Spa to host a spiritual retreat, she runs into an old modeling colleague, Raven, who had always been disliked in the industry for many reasons. She isn't there for the retreat; in fact, her presence at the spa is somewhat mysterious. Not long after Raven makes a cryptic threat to Juliette, the unsympathetic back-then beauty is found dead, poisoned by something in the green clay of a chai soy wrap. The following morning, a banner for the retreat has been unceremoniously altered: It's your turn to be nurtured, to be restored . . . to be murdered. Suspicion is directed at Juliette who has history with Raven and certainly knows how to use beauty products. But for murder?! Now she must find the real killer before the police really take care of her.
Review: I found some the beginning to be slow. There was much background that merged with the present. That was nicely done overall. I found the mystery to be small in comparison to the romance. The mystery was actually well woven into the story. I thought that the suspense of the mystery could have been increased to make it a page turner. The ending was great and made reading the entire book fantastic. I found Marcus to be a little too good to be true. Didi, Crystal and the Stone family were great. They helped move the story along and were extremely believable. I am looking forward to the next book in the series with great anticipation of how the characters will continue in their relationships with each other, especially Didi and Marcus. While I would like more suspense I do think the way it was written is the way real mysteries unfold with little suspense and a lot of timing. I did guess who did it but more out of pure guessing than sleuthing. The ending brought me to tears and totally changed how I viewed the entire book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and B & H Publishing Group for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
This fun read has much more depth than I was expecting. I enjoyed it a lot. Not only is it entertaining, it is also thought-provoking. The setting is a beautiful and plush, high-dollar spa in the Southwest. The main characters are realistic and I found myself thinking, "What would I do in that situation?" There is a large cast of minor characters with various quirks and interesting personalities. The main plot has many twists, turns, and sub-plotsâ€”definitely not a quick "who-done-it". If you like a good romance mixed with a suspenseful murder mystery, I recommend Beauty to Die For.