Title: Picture Perfect
Author: Leslie C. Ferdinand
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 20 May, 2013 PreOrder Here
About the Book:
A Woman Determined to Rise Above Heartache and Ruin.
Alexis Morgan returned to New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Determined to focus on rebuilding her interior decorating business and saving her home, Alex has no time for relationships. She refuses to fall into the same trap that her mother fell into and become involved with a married man. Then the soon-to-be married Elliot Walker storms into her life, tempting her to forget the hard lessons she learned as a child.
A Man Determined to Prove Himself
Businessman Elliot Walker is the youngest and only son, though adopted, of a wealthy and prominent New Orleans family. The Walkers’ natural children are models of society and Elliot will do no less. Once his older brother marries, Elliot knows their mother will push him to marry the woman she believes is perfect for him, a high-powered attorney with a thirst for money, power, and sex. With six months to go before his wedding, Elliot hires Alex to redecorate his home. Suddenly, keeping his mother happy by marrying Rachel, a woman he’s beginning to realize he barely knows, isn’t as important as having Alex in his arms. But Rachel intends to have it all, and she’s willing to murder to get it.
Out of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, secrets are revealed, relationships tested, and true love born.
Take one overbearing and beastly mother, a free spirited and outspoken woman, a stiffly controlled and apparently docile good son, and a shark in stilettos lady lawyer who also happens to be the controlled son’s fiancé, and you are just starting to unwind the multiple plot points, relationships and characters that inhabit this novel before they invade your thoughts.
What appears is a love quadrangle of sorts: Alex loves Elliot despite his wishy-washy behavior, uptight and almost rigid belief in ‘how things are done’, and his obsequious behavior and coddling of his mother’s wishes and whims. Rachel is the woman Elliot’s mother has determined he shall marry – the two have zero chemistry and nothing in common. Rachel wants nothing to do with Elliot as a person, only his bank account and what the Walker name can do for her standing in New Orleans society. To that end, in her efforts to manipulate Elliot, she is constantly angling for sympathy, friendship and the ear of Elliot’s mother, Julia. Lastly, there is New Orleans: the center of the story, and the place all have chosen to return to and reclaim lives, rebuild businesses and encourage new growth after Katrina devastated her. She is a breathing, living, battered character in the story: described lovingly with an eye to her ‘future potential’ and less focused on her damaged past.
Uptight, interfering, controlling, withholding, domineering, emasculating, Julia. SHE is the woman that give others nightmares, Leslie C. Ferdinand has a talent for writing and developing the most horrid matriarchs, with few to no redeeming qualities beyond the money they are willing to throw at problems and issues to have their way. Julia has a deep and dark secret that she is struggling to contain and constrain (although there are hints throughout the text as to what this secret is) and she does have some redeeming qualities that are not revealed until near the end.
Through the steamy sex that highlights the connection between Alex and Elliot, to the action and gamesmanship to keep them apart, verbal confrontations and a few actual physical fights, the story has several ups, downs and twists before the final showdowns. While most of us will never encounter as many obstacles in our journey to love, the characters in this story do, and you like them all the more for their persistence and determination to have it all.
I received an eBook ARC from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Leslie C. Ferdinand and her mother, Shirley H. Ferdinand, have been writing together since 1991. Leslie is divorced and the mother of three daughters. She is Shirley’s only change. Under their pen name, Christine Holden, they sold five books to Berkley/Jove between 1998 and 2001. In 2010, they began writing Picture Perfect. They are represented by D4EO Literary Agency and are hard at work on their next project.