A few years ago I read Mindy Starn Clark's Million Dollar Mysteries series and loved it. Even though Mindy typically writes first person, I've been a fan of hers ever since. So when Beauty to Die For came out, it definitely caught my eye. Only this time Mindy wrote her book in third person (for me that was like sprinkles on frosting).
Here's a blurb about the book:
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.
I loved the premise of this book. Not only the idea that you need to take care of yourself, but also that beauty is more than what we see on the surface. The idea of a model walking away at the height of her career intrigued me. Plus, as you all know, I love romantic suspense and being familiar with how Mindy writes, I knew there had to be romance in this book someplace! So I picked it up and started reading and wasn't disappointed. Juliette is reintroduced to TOTGA (The One That Got Away). His name is Marcus and the angle of their story was incredibly sweet.
While I enjoyed both the romantic and suspenseful moments of this book, at times the plot moved a tad too slowly for me. It took a bit to get into the book, and there were a lot of "remembering" moments, or deep reflections that seemed to kill the forward movement of the story. Still, Mindy is a strong writer, and I loved getting the glimpses into a model's life that I'm sure Kim Alexis added. A great pairing between the two that produced one fun book.
Overall, I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
If you'd like to see a break-down of what my stars equal, check out my page My Ratings System to the right there. And a big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.