Picture Perfect by Leslie Ferdinand

PERFECT
Picture Perfect by Leslie Ferdinand
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (292 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Lexis 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.

Businessman Elliot Walker is the youngest, and only adopted, son 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.

“From where he stood on the twenty-fifth floor of his office building, the early morning and the view itself seemed picture perfect.”

Elliot Walker, CEO and founder of Walker Way, may have felt life was picture perfect, but it was anything but until he walked into Accents and Ambience, a business owned by Alexis Morgan. Elliot is engaged to marry Rachel Evans in six months and he hires Alexis to decorate and furnish his home by the wedding date.

Alexis’s bright personality and even brighter clothes opened Elliot’s eyes to way more than he signed up for. With his wedding date approaching he realizes that he and his fiancé do not really share the qualities and spunk he would like to have in a marriage mate. Elliot wants to call off the wedding, but for status and financial sake the lovely Rachel Evans is not having it. She uses her attorney status and jailbird cousin connection to her advantage. But when her cousin takes a liking to Alexis, Rachel turns into a bridezilla and action must be taken to insure she makes it to the altar.

This is a lively tale that caught my attention right off. Elliot is from a wealthy family and his mother handpicked Rachel to be her daughter-in-law. It’s no secret that Elliot was adopted, and to him it seems his mother pushes him harder because of that. Elliot has to be a strong, confident man in order to be the CEO and founder of Walker Way, so it puzzles me as to why he couldn’t decide if he wanted to be married and to whom. I can understand Elliot wanting his mother’s approval and love but it seems his mother was into his personal life a little bit more than a mother should be for a grown man.  It seemed that his mother valued their family image more than she valued what her son wanted or needed. Rachel was all wrong for him and considering his family has so much money and a high-rolling status, it’s odd they didn’t think to investigate or look into Rachel’s past or current malicious motives.

I wanted to like Alexis, but as the story went on I was torn as to liking her and not liking her. She knew Elliot was engaged but she seemed to make herself needy in calling him every day. Maybe I just wanted her to let Elliot resolve his issues with Rachel before she jumped into the mix. Especially if she didn’t want to repeat her mother’s history. Elliot would see her one day and then go days without contacting her and then she would see him with his fiancé Rachel. One evening after seeing him with Rachel, she made it her mission to win Elliot.

The author has secondary characters that add more interest to the novel. I can see a drama-full spin off happening to elaborate on the other Walker family members personal lives and I’m sure they have plenty more family secrets to come.

The setting happening right after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina is very touching and an appropriate setting for Alexis’s business of decorating and design. Not to mention including Alexis’ friends, Jade and Ty, celebrationg their restaurant re-opening all tied into the clean up and rebuilding after their return to New Orleans. One note, there is the mention of attempted rape in this book. This might be a turn off for some, but don’t let it deter you from reading this book.

Picture Perfect is a winning novel that delivers an entertaining read of family secrets and drama. A reader will not go wrong with this story.

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