STORYLINE: Grace Mills co-owns a café with her sister and is great at making pastry. She likes her life and business, but she wants other things - the perfect figure, a life in which she’s somebody important and the guy from the gym with the hot body. She’s in lust with him and would give anything for him to notice her.
Somehow, the unthinkable happens and Grace’s life turns perfect. She hovers in between her present life and the one she craves. In her perfect life, she’s a celebrity, has a perfect figure and the stud from the gym to boot. But all that glitters is not gold and Grace’s old life beckons. Sweeter than the pastry she’s so good at making is the man in her real life, Carlos. Grace has to decide which life suits her best.
Grace Mills – a likeable, klutzy twenty-something woman who equates perfection with being at her ideal weight and having the attention of a good-looking man.
Carlos Flores – A sweet guy with a hot body. He sees in Grace what she doesn’t see in herself. He’s the kind of man a woman wants in her life – solid, dependable, supportive and good looking too.
I LIKED: the characters in Craving Perfect. I can’t say enough about what a great job the writer did with characterization. Don’t get me wrong, but I fell in love with Grace a few seconds after I met her while she was spread-eagled on the floor of the gym. I related to her on every level and loved her voice. She had me chuckling and sometimes laughing out loud in her quest for and obsession with the perfect figure. Which woman -- except the ‘perfect’ ones out there -- cannot relate to having a crush on someone who has next to no clue she exists?
Grace’s sister Kathryn was conflicted and it showed in her moodiness and the change in the close relationship both women shared.
Tattoos and all, Carlos was wonderful, but not cloyingly sweet. He had his own challenges and a tough side to his character that kept me from thinking he was all sweetness and light.
I really liked the book cover, as well as the recipes included at the end.
I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: Alexandra Summers bitchiness. I wondered how long it would take Grace’s alter ego, Callie, to find out her supposed friend Alexandra was a skank. Anyway, I’m a realist, so I understand the conflict and intrigue another interesting character provides.
OVERALL COMMENTS: I had a look at the Carina Press website just to be sure how the book is categorized. It’s chicklit/contemporary romance. It reads quickly and might feel like a lighthearted story at the outset, but there are layers to this novel. I saw in it so many of my friends and acquaintances and of course, myself. I sometimes say that we want everything that God didn’t give us.
We want perfect - hair, face, and body - and we’ll punish ourselves to achieve our version of perfection. At some point though, reality hits and many of us are forced to make adjustments and accept ourselves for what we are. Some of us also never get to that point.
Craving Perfect makes me think about what it would be like to search for the end of a rainbow when it’s perfectly okay to appreciate its beauty where I am. And to use a fitting cliche, the book shows that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
SOURCE: I received an advance copy through the writer.
RATING: Craving Perfect was truly awesome. Get a copy when it comes out next month!