A Perfect Mess by Zoe Dawson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When hiding from the mess you made is no longer an option, facing it head on may be the only way to go.
Aubree Walker strives for perfection in everything she does. Any complications are avoided at all costs. When she left her small southern hometown, she had no interest in ever returning. That is, until an accident with her only remaining family member forces her to come back. Booker Outlaw embodies everything Aubree hopes to avoid. He is the only one who knows Aubree’s darkest secret and the feelings he drums up in her are complex and scary. When someone starts threatening to unbury Aubree’s past, Booker is right by her side just like old times. Aubree wants to deal with her past about as much as she wants to deal with her feelings for Booker, but whoever is threatening her will force her to deal with both, or else.
The chemistry between Aubree and Booker was exactly what I’ve come to expect from a new adult romance. It was hot and unbridled and I could feel it on every page. Unfortunately, my issue with A PERFECT MESS was basically everything else. I got lost in the conversations between Booker and Aubree—usually it’s the conversations that reel me in but in this case I felt like I was walking in on the middle of someone’s conversation and I couldn’t catch up. They were ambiguous and talked in circles that didn’t make a lot of sense or mean much of anything. I enjoyed that Zoe Dawson fully committed to the southern locale but sometimes it felt overindulgent. I thought the foreshadowing of future Outlaw brother romances was also overdone. I could tell with only one hint, the rest felt a bit like an advertisement for the series since none of it actually came to fruition during this story. The climactic ending was rushed and sudden; it seemed abrupt given how little it had to do with the rest of the story. A slow building over the course of the story would have made it seem less like a different story thrown onto the end for an adrenaline rush. I also would have liked more time spent on Aubree’s aunt’s revelation. It was kind of confusing and Aubree took it a little too easily.
I’m not a writer, but I imagine creating believable chemistry could be the hardest, most intangible part of a story. Zoe Dawson’s characters had chemistry in spades. In my opinion, it would only take some tweaks and fine-tuning to catapult the star rating of A PERFECT MESS from good to great.
**Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
**Reviewed by preppea on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews.
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