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Beautiful Disaster Paperback – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romance trumps suspense in Spinella's feverishly soapy debut. A phone call from a doctor friend at a Silver Spring, Md., hospital interrupts Mia Montgomery Wells in the middle of her pitch to a potential major investor in her eco-friendly office concept. Mia rushes to the hospital, where she finds her former biker boyfriend, Peyton Flynn McDermott, in a coma in the ICU, the victim of a serious road accident. Thirteen years earlier, Peyton fell in love with Mia when she was a design student at the University of Georgia, but later dumped her because he thought she would be better off without him. As she begins her bedside vigil, Mia flashes back to her turbulent relationship with Peyton, whom she knew to be a dangerous drifter and possibly a serial killer. While Mia realizes her revived passion for Peyton will have serious repercussions for her marriage, she believes fate has given them a second chance to sort out their earlier issues. Some readers may find Mia's actions less than credible. (Jan.)
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"Laura Spinella creates a hypnotically spun tale of romance, mystery and redemption. Warning: Beautiful Disaster will keep you up reading way past your bedtime!"
--Maria Geraci, author of The Boyfriend of the Month Club

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425238601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425238608
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Biographies are a tough sell. John Nash, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller--people who led very readable lives, and yet the movies did better. I'll tell you now, I have no big-screen moments, not even the hint of a Lifetime movie. That said, here we are.

I grew up on Long Island in the 1970s, the daughter of 1940's parents. I was fortunate to have older sisters. They were more convincing in the part, following rules, politics, and parental advice. I bucked the system. I wanted to be a singer, devastated to learn I couldn't carry a tune in a trough. Instead, I wrote. This was something I had an aptitude for, something that pressed boundaries, and I liked that. Looking back, my pedestrian childhood was probably a good thing, having spent more time making up stories than anything else.

Life picked up pace as I went off to college, outlining the idea for my first novel, Beautiful Disaster. Interestingly, I wouldn't write the book for another twenty years. I attended the University of Georgia where I fell in love with a boy, a friend, and the South. It fashioned me into a chameleon of sorts. The North is home, but that evocative place changed me, giving me license and a classroom far beyond J-school where they actually did give me a degree. The South plays an integral role in Perfect Timing as well, though it's a Jersey Girl who wins the day. I suppose it's "write what you know," coming to fruition, and certainly geography has influenced me.

One of my favorite book club questions is, "When did you finally decide to write a novel?" I know there's a dreamier answer than: "When public education took over childcare." But that's the truth. Novel writing is demanding and success is relative. So for now, I'm happy to be in the game and excited for the chance to bring a second novel to readers. An older wiser me says real success is more about heading to my laptop every morning, content and grateful just to be there. In between those marathon writing sessions, Matt and I continue to live with our three exceptional children, two dogs, and two cats in a 100-year old house outside Boston, where there's always a book in progress.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Jensen on January 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the first chapter of Beautiful Disaster I was hooked. Ms. Spinella's debut novel will keep you reading, start to finish. She does a masterful job of weaving the past and present while bringing you characters and a story that are equally mesmerizing. I have not enjoyed a novel this much in some time. Although the book features a Southern backdrop, readers from anywhere will be drawn to Mia and Flynn's story. Reading a book where you find yourself truly rooting for the characters is a rarity. Beautiful Disaster accomplishes this and a great deal more. The author's descriptive talents and dialogue are vivid and genuine, adding to this turn paging novel. In a character driven book, the story is also complete with plenty of twists and turns. My only regret is that there isn't another Spinella novel on the shelf!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lyn Meadows on March 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Let me start by saying, I am not a huge fan of Romance books. In the case of Beautiful Disaster I am more than willing to make an exception. This book captured my interest from page one and held it throughout the entire book. More than just a romance book, Laura Spinella's debut novel contains an intriguing back story that grabbed the mystery/thriller loving portion of my brain and left me chewing on several theories as the story progressed. While this part of the story was by no means the main event, nor really even entirely fleshed out, it kept me reading through the more formulaic romance aspects of the book. And even that portion of the book was above average. Rather than being one dimensional, Spinella's characters were flawed, which only added to their allure. At some point in the book each character was poised to make choices that left me shaking my head and saying, "What were you thinking????" Did the story contain all the formulaic pieces of a typical romance? Yes, it did. BUT -- this was much more than just a boy and girl meet, fall in love, become estranged, get back together, and live happily ever after story. It was a richly told story about people, they choices they make, and the impact throughout their lives of those choices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Married Mia Montgomery Wells persuades a customer to invest in her eco-friendly office set-up when she receives a call. Her former boyfriend Peyton Flynn McDermott lies in a coma in a Silver Spring, Maryland hospital following an accident. She apologizes to her potential investor before rushing off to the hospital in a panic.

Thirteen years ago when Mia attended the University of Georgia as a design major, she and Peyton met and fell in love. However, he dumped her when he concluded his beloved deserved someone better than a troubled soul like he was. While her spouse is upset with her bed vigil, Mia stays by Peyton's side while musing back to when they were a couple. He was a biking riding drifter who she feared might be a serial killer. Now she believes she has a second chance to at least learn why he left and how he feels though at the cost of her marriage regardless of what Peyton does after he recovers; which she expects though his doctors are much more cautious.

This is an interesting second chance at love tale with the twist that Mia apparently nukes her marriage and her business on a wing and a prayer that Peyton will tell her why he left and admits to her he loves her. She has no doubt he will recover even when he suffers setbacks that shake her soul; as Mia believes fate would not have used the emergency to bring them together. Although Mia's flushing her marriage and business are difficult to accept as reasonable actions; that is why Beautiful Disaster works as love makes people obsess into doing strange things seemingly out of character.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Lane on August 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a great debut novel from Spinella.

Mia Montgomery (Wells), who is going to college to be an eco-friend designer, meets Flynn, an older, motorcycle riding bad boy. Flynn is running from something but Mia doesn't care. She loves being with him through good and bad and he promises never to just leave. He does just that and it shatters Mia.

Mia goes on to marry and is on the verge of realizing her eco-friendly dream when her best friend, Roxanne, calls her to tell her that her lost love has been in a motorcycle accident that he might not survive and is at the hospital where she works in the trauma unit. Mia rushes to the hospital and keeps vigil over Flynn in the hopes that he will recover.<spoiler>

Mia's husband is away on various business trips while Mia continues to work at Flynn's bedside. Roxanne continues to warn Mia off, but Mia will not listen.

When Flynn awakens and confronts Roxanne about a letter he wrote that Mia obviously knows nothing about, everything begins to unravel.

Can love survive years later after all the pain Flynn has inflicted on Mia by just leaving? Can the friendship between Mia and Roxanne survive?</spoiler>

In the end second chances are possible and love can survive.

I was very satisfied with this read. It has a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery and just enough intrigue to keep me guessing.

4.5 out of 5 stars
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