"Spa Wars" by Chris Manby

Emily Brown is a beauty therapist who has just made the plunge into owning her own business. With a leap of faith and all of her money she has opened up her own salon called The Beauty Spot. But the business is struggling and Emily needs to find a way to gain new clients quick. Carina Lees has just placed second on a wildly popular reality show is looking for a way to turn her fifteen minutes of fame into a permanent spot in the limelight.

One night, on her way to an awards show, Carina suffers a beauty nightmare and pops into The Beauty Spot for emergency treatment. Emily helps her out and Carina is so grateful, that she mentions Emily and her salon at the awards show that night. Overnight, The Beauty Spot is buzzing with new clients, packed appointments and desperate for new staff. But just as things start going better than Emily could have imagined, the salon quickly takes a bad turn. Emily can't figure out why but strange things are happening in the salon and her business is spiralling out of control. Who is trying to sabotage Emily's salon?

Spa Wars by Chris Manby (who also publishes as Chrissie Manby) is a quick, fun book that will interest any woman who enjoys (or dreams of) a day at the spa. It falls into the chick-lit genre but doesn't feel formulaic as you read it and brings something new to the genre, rather than using what it is already there.

I really liked the narration of the book. The entire time I was reading it, I felt like I was listening to the voice over of a show or documentary. It was an added effect that really worked for me. I also love the way the book poked fun at the reality entertainment celebrity world without being overly mean. There were quite a few moments in the book that had me laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all.

The characters are all well-written. You can't help but cheer for Emily and want the best for her. She is exactly the type of person I would want working at the salon when I show up. I even found Carina a bit endearing (just a bit.) As much as she was that annoying reality celeb, you could tell that there was more to her story, something behind her that was driving her to be that way.

While I did feel that the end of the book wrapped up a little too quick and neat, I really enjoyed reading this book. This is the second book I have read by Ms. Manby and I can now say that I am a big fan of her work, and I will definitely be seeking out more of her books in the future.


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