Book Review: Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

Beautiful Messy Love By Tess Woods

Pages: 366

Publisher: Commercial Women’s Fiction Harper Collins Publishers /(August 1, 2017)

Publication Date: July 24, 2017



What happens when love and loyalty collide?

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 still grieving after his wife’s death slips quickly into dangerous dependency.

Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful couples must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to prove just how much they will give for beautiful messy love.

A gorgeous, hard-hitting novel that touches on celebrity, asylum, cultural integration and family tragedy, this is a book with heart and soul.


BEAUTIFUL MESSY LOVE by Australian author, Tess Woods is a fast-moving romantic story dealing with life experiences such as trust, honesty, forgiveness, trust, and fulfillment.  The author helps readers follow each of the key characters as they explore issues of their relationships and how they deal with problems clashing with dreams and plans for their future. The storyline follows all four principal characters as they cross paths with each other.  Woods develops a subplot detailing how Lily meets Toby while doing rounds at the hospital oncology ward.  They connect after Toby’s wife dies to find an instant romantic connection with each other.  Toby and Lily’s relationship is very passionate and also secretive. Toby works hard at keeping his love a secret as he tells Lily about his concern for backlash from his ex-wife’s family, as well as his own.

The main storyline focuses on Nick and Anna as they seem drawn to each other even though they are from different lifestyles.    Anna is young Egyptian woman with strong cultural and family commitments creating conflicts within her family and her Muslin community.  Woods skillfully describes how Anna balances her private life, working two jobs, caring for her depressed mother, volunteer work at the Asylum Assist and her support and caring for Ricky and his fight with cancer. Nick is a famous star football (footy) player with a bad reputation.  Nick and Anna find they have to deal with mounting problems of the media interest in their love affair and the effects their relationship with having on his career. Woods creates food for thought on such matters as treatment of refugees – particularly the young children in detention facilities without representation.  She weaves issues of religious/cultural persecution, terrorism, media corruption, complicated moral issues, and treatment of depression. Readers will not want to put Wood’s book down until they reach the emotional heart-wrenching ending.  BEAUTIFUL MESSY LOVE is a must read earning a five-star ranking.

Review by John Kurtze                                                           


Click on Tess Wood’s website for ordering options



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s