Book Review: Flawless (Hostile Beauty #1) by Jan Moran

Verena Valent has everything going for her. She’s smart, successful and beautiful inside and out; she has a handsome, powerful and equally successful fiancé (Derrick); and she has orchestrated the expansion of her family’s renowned skincare company. However, things go bad when the line of credit for the expansion falls through, leaving Verena faced with saving the family business from financial ruin. As Verena does her best to navigate through the ordeal, she begins to realize that her fiancé might not be whom she thinks he is, and she meets a man who makes her think twice about what love really looks and feels like.

This book is well written in terms of mechanics, and Moran did a good job of transitioning from topic to topic throughout. However, I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary information, causing the story to move too slowly for my liking. For example, things like clothes, jewelry, skin care products and fine wine are mentioned often. I understand that Verena’s family business specializes in skin care, but I wasn’t as interested in the services or products offered by the company as I was in whether she was going to be able to save it. I also felt the death of her parents and Verena’s worries over what to do to save the business were rehashed a bit too much.

Earlier, when I described Verena as smart, this was from a career standpoint. From a relationship standpoint, she lacks common sense. About one-quarter of the way into the story, her fiancé does something abhorrent, and she lets it slide. During this scene and every interaction they had afterwards, I thought one or more of the following:

1) How did she end up falling for this jerk in the first place?
2) Why does it seem like she barely knows him?
3) Why does she let him talk to her that way?
4) How can she not see through his charade?
5) She’s giving him another chance?!

Luckily, Moran created Lance to show Verena what she’s missing by being with Derrick. My favorite parts of this book were when Verena was with Lance or when she was thinking about him. He is the ultimate can’t-get-enough-of-him kind of guy in a romance novel. The kind of guy who could be the next Bachelor. (Can you tell I like Lance?)

I like how Verena and her friends are all successful, independent women. In a way, they remind me of the characters from Sex in the City, except I was able to relate to Carrie Bradshaw and her friends in a way that I just couldn’t relate to these women. I can’t put my finger on why, but it could be because Verena and her friends seem so perfect, or maybe it’s because everything we learn about Scarlett, Dahlia and Fianna is surface stuff. Perhaps that’s purposeful since future books in this series will be about them?

If you’re looking for a book with a likeable, independent, career-driven leading lady, then you might enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author.

Rating: 3 STARS

Amazon | Goodreads

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