BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

Laura Spinella

Mia Wells’s eco-friendly career goals are about to become a reality, but her life-altering moment is interrupted when an unexpected call ushers in a tremulous past. The man who’s never left Mia’s memory, the one whose disappearance broke her heart, has mysteriously resurfaced.

As a college student in Athens, Georgia, Mia lived a predictable life. It all changed when Flynn arrived—a man with a doubtful past, half a name, and no ties to anything earthbound, except Mia. His edgy appearance has a story to match, pushing every boundary Mia knows. Fiercely passionate, deeply sensitive, Flynn’s dark past isn’t enough to stop Mia from trusting him with her dreams and her life.

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Mia Wells’s eco-friendly career goals are about to become a reality, but her life-altering moment is interrupted when an unexpected call ushers in a tremulous past. The man who’s never left Mia’s memory, the one whose disappearance broke her heart, has mysteriously resurfaced.

As a college student in Athens, Georgia, Mia lived a predictable life. It all changed when Flynn arrived—a man with a doubtful past, half a name, and no ties to anything earthbound, except Mia. His edgy appearance has a story to match, pushing every boundary Mia knows. Fiercely passionate, deeply sensitive, Flynn’s dark past isn’t enough to stop Mia from trusting him with her dreams and her life. And she will keep his secrets long after he vanishes.

Now back in her life and in the hospital, Flynn is gravely injured. Mia keeps a bedside vigil—terrified that he will die, awestruck at the prospect of his survival. Since the day he disappeared nothing has sparked such a passion in Mia—not even her husband.

In a story filled with sweetness and suspense, Mia’s what-ifs are endless. Flynn’s return ignites an achingly powerful tale about the most enduring love, one that is greater than honor, or friendship, or the passing of time.

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  • Berkley
  • Paperback
  • January 2011
  • 384 Pages
  • 9780425238608

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$15.00

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About Laura Spinella

Laura Spinella lives in a 100-year old house with her husband, and three children, two dogs, and one super-size cat, outside Boston.

Praise

“Can this really be a debut novel? In Beautiful Disaster, Laura Spinella weaves the past into the present with a sure hand as she tests the boundary between love and obsession. With its evocative Southern setting and finely drawn characters, Beautiful Disaster confronts the reader head-on with this question: What would you risk for a love you know is right and true?”Diane Chamberlain, author of The Shadow Wife

“Beautiful Disaster is a beautifully crafted romance set against a southern backdrop. A powerful tale about the power of love. A wonderful read.” —Wendy Wax, national bestselling author of
The Accidental Bestseller

Who can resist a dangerous man with a complicated past and a sweet side that exists for only one woman? Laura Spinella takes the fabric of this familiar scenario and twists it into unexpected knots just for fun. I loved following Mia and Flynn through their passionate beginnings and into their uncertain present. Beautiful Disaster is a lovely, sexy, soulful debut.” —Jean Reynolds Page, author of Leaving Before It’s Over and The Last Summer
of Her Other

Discussion Questions

Does Mia’s wealthy background contribute to her sense of identity? Do you think it has any kind of sway over some of the life choices she makes? What motivates her?

How does Mia’s father’s spirit and legacy animate Mia’s life? What pressure does it exert on her, and how do you think he would feel about her life choices—both of career path and her men?

What is Mia’s first impression of Flynn? What does Flynn see in Mia? How are these assumptions challenged? Why do you think they were drawn to each other?

Why do you think Mia stays after witnessing Flynn’s mental collapse at the motel? How does this choice mark a turning point in her life? How might things have been different if she left?

Does knowing early on about the murders influence your experience of the story—or Flynn? Did you suspect he was guilty? What clues were offered by Roxanne’s research? Were you surprised by the outcome?

Do you think Roxanne’s protest over Mia’s relationship with Flynn was justified? Have you ever had to dissuade a friend from getting involved in a seemingly unhealthy relationship? How might you have reacted?

Why do you think the author chose to set the story half in the present and half in the past? What effect did this have on your experience of the story?

How has Flynn’s complex past shaped him? Where you surprised to learn of his military service as a commanding officer? What after effects still linger for him? What did the loss of Alena do to him?

What influence do Michael and Roxanne have over the course of Mia’s life and decision making? Do you think the control they have over her is healthy? Were any of their actions—hiding the letter, the “sweetheart deal” with Hough—out of line?

Do you think Mia ultimately made the right choice between Michael and Flynn? What do each offer her—especially security, and passion-wise?

By the end of the novel, how do you feel about Flynn as a character? Were you surprised by all the dramatic reveals in his background—his underlying altruistic nature, beneath the gruff, intimidating exterior? Does Mia bring out the best in him?