Book Review: A BEAUTIFUL MESS by T.K. Leigh (@TK_Leigh)

February 24, 2014 Adult, Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense 0

About the Book




Title: A Beautiful Mess (Beautiful Mess #1)

Author: T.K. Leigh

Release Date: August 28, 2013


My Rating: 4 Stars


What happens when you lose everyone that promised they would always be there for you? How can you protect the few pieces of your shattered heart that remain?

Olivia Adler is a woman with a troubled past. After losing her parents at the young age of six and being raised by an uncle who she lost years later, she refuses to get attached to anyone, including friends. For the past decade, she has been able to remain unattached to any man, too worried about losing someone to get too close. Until Alexander Burnham walks into her life one night and changes everything. But he has issues of his own. And he’s keeping a secret that could turn Olivia’s world upside-down. Will Olivia let Alexander in enough for him to get close and protect her from a force threatening her very existence, or will she push him away, scared of letting Alexander in, in order to protect her heart?

A Beautiful Mess is the first installment of a three part series sure to captivate the heart with a story of secrets, courage, and love.

Recommended for ages 18 and up due to sexual situations, language, and mild violence.


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My Review

“Alexander didn’t care if she was the girl from all those years ago; the one who stole his heart when he was a little boy and he never really got it all back. Because the girl sitting in front of him now was filling the pieces of his torn heart. And she was worth getting to know.”

As a whole, this book intrigued me. It has a hot leading man, an (understandably) unbalanced female lead, sexual tension, relationship drama, and hot sex. I enjoyed all of those aspects of the story but that added element of suspense is what truly kept me flipping the pages. There’s a mystery behind Olivia and Alexander’s seemingly intertwined pasts, and the author slowly fills in some of the blanks, giving hints and facts, keeping the reader interested, all while  enjoying the intense chemistry and drama of a budding romance.

Any romance that involves Alexander Burnham is bound to be exciting. Gorgeous, rich, and down-to-earth ex Navy SEAL with a penchant for music, sexual domination, and a beautiful young woman with potential ties to his past.

” ‘People only have to call me Mr. Burnham in the bedroom,’ he whispered in her ear. She gasped, her eyes growing wide. He smiled, rubbing his thumb over her bottom lip. ‘Call me Alexander… For now.’ ” 

BUT, he also keeps secrets, secrets that could destroy Olivia, and the stress of having to watch him keep something so important nearly drove me to drink.

I will admit, some of Olivia’s craziness made me want to shake her. I get it, she’s damaged and it’s not her fault. I understand, even empathize with her, but it’s incredibly frustrating to watch her struggle with her emotions. The thing is, despite her issues, I like her character very much and want to see her happy. This book left me wondering if I ever will.

“And that was the one thing that scared Olivia the most. Love. It chilled her to the core. Because once you loved, then you could lose, and she didn’t know if she could deal with that pain.”

When it comes down to it, these characters frustrated me because I connected with them. The author made me care for them and the outcome of their story, both their romance and the bigger picture of their pasts and potential futures. This is one of those books that as the pages wound down and I realized there was way more story than book left, I nearly panicked until I remembered that book #2 is already out… Thank the book gods!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


About the Author



T. K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is a producer / attorney by trade. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre.

When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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