Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARC 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?

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What I thought about Madly

Allie (May's sister from Truly) is in New York City, but she isn't there to visit with her sister, at least not right away.  It's her mother she's stalking.  It seems that Nancy Fredericks disappears from her life every now and then and Allie needs to know what she's doing.  There's more to this story, but I don't want to spoil it. I thought it was very cute how the story opened at Pulvermachers again. 

Allie meets Winston while at the bar, and he becomes her "mailman" -- someone she can tell her secrets too without worrying about judgement because he really doesn't know her.  It's clear from the start there's a spark between them, even though he's a bit stuffy and older than Allie. Their friendship grows quickly and they end up making a bucket list of "activities" that provides some seriously sexy moments for these characters.

I wasn't sure if I liked these characters right away, which only made me love them all that much more by the end of the story.  At first, Allie is all over the place, and Winston seems beaten down.  As they reveal truths to each other about their lives, that spark between them continues to grow into real affection and something more.  

Winston is the first to realize how lucky he is to have met Allie and his recognition of what she brought into his life made me start to love him. He wasn't really different when he was with Allie, it was like he was more himself. I loved that he learned from his past relationships and worked on his relationship with his daughter, who is a terrific secondary character in this story.

And the same went for Allie.  She beats herself up over and over about not doing the right thing and feeling inadequate which is helped along when May is incredibly hard on her after Allie reveals the "truth". It's Winston who really sees her and tries to get her to see herself the way he does without pushing her.

What I loved most of all in this story was how the story started out with a big moment and then leveled off for a while as the characters got to know each other.  It was really this pacing that intrigued me bit by bit until the big, wonderfully beautiful ending that left me with a smile, happy tears and oh so many feels.
If I had any complaint, it would be that I wanted to spend just a little more time with these characters.  I was sucked into this story and couldn't put it down.  It was all just perfect and fit very well as a followup to Truly.

This is a book and series that I'd buy for my friends and recommend to anyone who likes romance.  So happy to have this author on my e-reader again!

ARC provided for review.  

 About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.

Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.

Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.

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