The Road to Madison by Elle Spencer

I fell in love with Elle Spencer’s writing style after I stumbled open Casting Lacey. Such a fun read with a fabulous push-pull dynamic between the two leading ladies, it really had that something special that makes a book memorable. The Road to Madison is no different, this book will break your heart, make you smile and have your fingers crossed that true love wins in the end. A damn fine read!

When we meet the two main characters Madison Prescott has just buried her father. This is a man she despised with her whole being. She is standing by his grave glad that he is gone and can no longer control her life. Ana Perez picks that exact moment, graveside, to reappear fifteen years later. Ana and Madison were childhood sweethearts. Star crossed lovers from a different class, madly in love but torn apart by the cruelness of George Prescott and the power and influence he yielded. In Madison’s dreamworld, once her father was out of the picture, she could reclaim the love the heart of the girl she once let go. The only problem is Ana’s heart has never healed and she has never forgiven Madison for turning her back on their future.

Elle Spencer weaves a tale of full of sadness, remorse but one filled with those little moments that make you have the flutters. Her characters are well developed, the dialogue is seamless and natural, you really get thrown right into Madison and Anna’s world. You feel what they feel. This book grabbed my attention and had me turning the pages through the night. A delightful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I cannot wait for the next adventure Elle Spencer takes me on.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson

I like the idea of a romantic thriller, and when done right you have two amazing genres converging for those final moments to keep you riveted to your seat. Will the heroines survive the vicious maniac and live happily ever after? Gripping, right? In my very humble opinion, you need those two plots points to be really tightly woven. The romance needs to pull in the reader. That couple has to ring true, their love must conquer all. The thriller part needs to increase your anxiety level, get the blood pumping. I think for me in Mine to Keep both parts fell short of really capturing the reader’s attention on both fronts.

Erin is this stoic, enigmatic character that you want to love because she has had so little of it in her life. Abigail, the local chef, feels a bit unsettled in being the chef at her parent’s castle turned hotel. Could she have been a renowned chef like her ex if she had left this sleepy little town? So you have two interesting characters and the beginning starts off so well, then just meh. Meh, because once they admit their attraction out loud, there was no more push/pull until you introduce the ex, who just happened to show back up after being gone years. Come on! How much more contrived can you get. The romance between Erin Carter and Abigail Miller felt bit flat and uninspired.

The thriller, you could see coming from a mile away. No twists and turns, you knew what was going to happen and the book just stayed the course. I wanted so much more, anything, just a tiny swerve would have made a huge difference. Not to mention the character decisions that just didn’t totally add up. The thriller was flatter than the romance and the ending was way too glossed over.

I thought Wendy Hudson had an amazing first book. This one is a good one, it just needed more thriller or more romance. Neither was done to full potential. I left me wanting more.

3 out of 5 stars