Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beauty to Die for

Title:  Beauty to Die for
Author:  Kim Alexis & Mindy Starns Clark
Pages:  340
Year:  2012
Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group
                Beauty to Die for is the beginning of the new spa mystery series.  The story uses Kim Alexis’ supermodel background and Mindy Starns Clark mystery writing skills.  The setting is the Palm Grotto Resort and Spa in California.  The novel is classified in the Christian mystery/suspense genre.  There are two main storylines that are neatly wrapped up in the end.
                Juliette Taylor is a former supermodel from the 80s.  She is now 49 years old, single, and part-owner of a skin care line.  As part of her ministry, she offers retreats at various spas for women to rest and relax with a weekend of pampering, God-centered lectures given by Juliette, fellowship, and dining.  Upon arriving in California, Juliette runs into an old colleague.  After a quirky exchange, Juliette is off to the spa with her business partner Didi.  Who arrives at the spa and what do Didi and Juliette witness taking place between this guest and one of the employees?  Never far from her thoughts are thoughts of TOTGA…the one that got away.  She reminisces about Marcus Stone, the man who encouraged her to change her life, stole her heart and then left her high and dry for 25 years.  What is he doing now?  Does he ever think of her?  Why did he never contact her after their brief meeting like he said he would?  Juliette also has launched an internal investigation within her company to find out how counterfeit products are being distributed to clients.  Why is her company targeted?  One of the spa guests is murdered and Juliette’s skin care product may be the culprit.  Juliette wants to clear her name, her partner’s name, as well as her company’s name.  How could this have happened?
                Marcus Stone is a handsome, 50-something, single father.  He has just finished working on a case with the FBI involving a terrorist group using counterfeit products to earn money to support their activities.  They successfully capture the criminals, but find a list of names with no explanations as to why the criminals were targeting these particular people.  Juliette’s name is on the list.  Marcus recalls their brief meeting 25 years ago and how Juliette gave him the strength to leave his job and start his own business.  She also won his heart in that short time.  He eventually tries to contact her, but never makes a connection.  Why?  When he sees her name on the list, his protective instincts kick in.  He wants to see her again to protect her, but also to see if what they had so long ago still exists.  How is he going to handle their first meeting?  Can he keep her safe?  Will God finally bring them together again?
                I’ve read several of Mindy Starns Clark’s other mystery books and found them very good, but this one was just so-so.  It just seemed to drag at the beginning.  Hopefully, the next book in the series will have improved on the pace of the storyline.  This was not my favorite mystery, but I haven’t written off the series.  I’ll await the second book and give it a try.
                My rating is 3 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

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