Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: "Madly" by Ruthie Knox

An impulsive trip to New York City, a heartthrob from London, and a scandalous to-do list turn a small-town girl’s life upside down in this sultry romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Truly and About Last Night. Allie Fredericks isn’t supposed to be in Manhattan, hiding in the darkest corner of a hip bar, spying on her own mother—who’s flirting with a man who’s definitely not Allie’s father. Allie’s supposed to be in Wisconsin, planning her parents’ milestone anniversary party. Then Winston Chamberlain walks through the door, with his tailored suit, British accent, and gorgeous eyes, and Allie’s strange mission goes truly sideways. Winston doesn’t do messy. But after a pretty stranger ropes him into her ridiculous family drama with a fake kiss that gets a little too real, he finds out that messy can be fun. Maybe even a little addicting. And as the night grows longer, Allie and Winston make a list of other wild things they could do together—and what seems like a mismatch leads to a genuine connection. But can their relationship survive as their real lives implode just outside the bedroom door?
Thanks so much to Loveswept Publishing via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I really loved Ben and May in "Truly", so the bar was set pretty high. Unfortunately, "Madly" missed the mark for me.

This is very much a story of Allie and Winston. The meet cute in the beginning was just that - "cute". The relationship between Winston and Allie builds from there, and we see some things happen involving both their families, we're introduced briefly to some interesting side characters, there's a revelation of sorts, and then everyone gets their HEA. (Uh oh, did I spoil that for you? Come on, it's a romance, you knew it was going to have a happy ending, right?) Anyway, my point is, none of the plot is all that memorable. A few years, (or months) down the road, and I might remember that Allie had crazy curly hair or made tons of money as an entrepreneur (probably not), or that Winston was a handsome, wealthy, older British gentleman with an adult daughter, but I didn't feel much connection with them other than these surface details. I tried to empathize with Allie's conflict with her mother, but mostly I was just frustrated with the lack of transparency shown between them. As for Winston's past transgressions, they didn't pull me into the story much, either.

On the other hand, the connection and steam between Allie and Winston was really well done - I enjoyed the sexy bucket list they came up with together! Winston's relationship with his daughter was another highlight, as were any interactions he had with his employee - she was quite the spitfire! It was also nice to see May and Ben from "Truly" again, even though my impression of them changed somewhat after viewing them through Allie's eyes. All great things, right? Still, I wasn't getting that punch to the feels like I was expecting to, so I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed.

I'm curious to see if other Ruthie Knox fans will feel the same. Maybe it's just me? Like I said earlier, my expectations were pretty high. Either way, I'm not giving up on this author, not in the least. I'm just hoping that "Madly" was a one-off.

My rating: 3 stars

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