Book Review: Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

I don’t usually read romance, but I heard so many good things about this book from people I know that I decided to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed.

Beautiful Messy Love is the story of two couples, Nick and Anna, and Lily and Toby, whose lives are interwoven in multiple, complicated ways. Nick and Anna meet in the café where Anna works, and seem an unlikely match – a football star and a refugee. Lily and Toby meet in a hospital cafeteria with the most awful timing – while Toby is supporting his wife through the end stages of cancer. Each character is struggling with their own tragedies, disappointments and failings, and must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to make things work.

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The story is told from the point of view of each of the characters, alternating between chapters, and it works well. Each character has a distinct voice, and the reader gets an insight into each person’s perspective of the situations that arise. The reader feels for each and every one of them. As evident by the title, their lives and loves are not simple. But it seems destined to be.


If I had any criticism for this book, it is that, while the characters are well drawn, they are somewhat larger-than-life. Nick is not just a professional football player, but the star of the team upon who the Premiership depends. Anna is not just a refugee, but the daughter of a strong female presidential candidate from her homeland, and a world champion swimmer as well. It makes the characters a little less relatable initially, but as the story unfolds, the reader still becomes invested in the characters and feels their pain.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it, not just for romance readers, but for anyone looking to escape for a while. A great holiday read.

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