Body of Work by Charlotte Mills begins on a really dark note with the main character (Noa Stevens) having gone through a couple of extremely traumatizing events in her life. Her only brother went missing when she was a child, and her wife died suddenly from an unknown heart defect. Either event would be life changing for anyone, and to have both happen would be devastating. I wanted to empathize with Noa, but unfortunately, because of many of her actions in the book, I had a hard time doing that. She came across as very unlikeable for a good portion of the tale. Regrettably, this is just the beginning of the problems that I had with the characters in this story, and even with the story itself.
The book is supposed to be a combination of mystery and romance. However, most of the book ends up being Noa recovering from her grief with the help of the other main character Paige Clarke. She meets Paige who is a nurse in the small town Noa is sent to by her agent to recover and begin painting again. I’m not sure how the romance started since Noa treats Paige like dirt to begin with, but eventually they do connect. The romance between the two, once they do get together, is probably the best part of the whole book. I did enjoy the romance once the two finally came together.
The secondary characters in the novel are not well developed. They serve little to no purpose, and actually interfere in the story sometimes.
The mystery part of the book really didn’t get going until near the end of the story, and even then, it wasn’t much of a mystery. I really expected more from the author who blew me away with her mystery and intrigue novel Payback.
While I can only describe this novel as average, with a pretty good romance as part of the tale, I know that the author is capable of writing exceptional stories. That is why I will be looking for more from Ms. Mills in the future.
I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.