Beautiful Messy Love: a gorgeous, hard-hitting novel about sport, celebrity, asylum and family

by Tess Woods

On Sale: 24/07/2017



About the Book

'Not since Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi has an Australian author presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite so beautifully. Beautiful Messy Love is my pick for 2017 book of the year' AusRom Today

When football star Nick Harding hobbles into the Black Salt Cafe the morning after the night before, he is served by Anna, a waitress with haunted-looking eyes and no interest in footballers, famous or otherwise. Nick is instantly drawn to this exotic, intelligent girl. But a relationship between them risks shame for her conservative refugee family and backlash for Nick that could ruin his career.

Meanwhile, Nick's sister, Lily, is struggling to finish her medical degree. When she meets Toby, it seems that for the first time she is following her heart, not the expectations of others. Yet what starts out as a passionate affair with a man still grieving after his wife's death slips quickly into dangerous dependency.

Scarred by tragedy each in their own way, these warm, hopeful couples must overcome prejudice and heartbreak to prove just how much they will give for beautiful messy love.

A gorgeous, hard-hitting novel that touches on celebrity, asylum, cultural integration and family tragedy, this is a book with heart and soul.


'Not since Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi has an Australianauthor presented the cross-cultural challenges of new Australians quite sobeautifully. Beautiful Messy Love ismy pick for 2017 book of the year' AusRom Today

'Tess Woods writes with unusual intensity about relationships between men and women. There are few authors who can dramatise high-voltage sexual attraction in the way that she does. It is a rare and precious gift in a storyteller who is also not afraid to tackle serious issues and I love it' Rosie de Courcy, UK editor of The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough), Circle of Friends (Maeve Binchy), and It Was Only Ever You (Kate Kerrigan)

'a story that does everything a publisher says not to do in such a way that has you laughing and at the same time reaching for a box of tissues to wipe those stray tears away' Lana, Goodreads

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781460753835
  • ISBN 10: 1460753836
  • Imprint: HarperCollins - AU
  • On Sale: 24/07/2017
  • Pages: 416
  • List Price: 29.99 AUD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / General


Tess Woods lives in Perth, Australia, with one husband, two children, one dog and a cat who rules over them all. Her debut novel, Love at First Flight, received acclaim from readers worldwide and won Book of the Year in the AusRom Today Reader's Choice Award. Her second novel, Beautiful Messy Love, was a 2017 Better Reading Top 100 pick. When she isn't working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea and tending to the veggie patch. She's also moderately obsessed with the TV series Nashville and Buzzfeed quizzes. Tess loves connecting with her readers on Facebook: @Tesswoods.harpercollins and Instagram: @tesswoods_author 

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