Publishers: Bird Street Books
Date: March 10th 2014
From: Net Galley
My rating: 3 out of 5
23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair. Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie. Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton's seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgment and actions...
For starters I won't rehash the subtle if a little predictable story. Many other reviewers have done a fine job of that already.
What I liked about Mad Love:
Erik and Orie - The boyfriend and boyfriend sidekicks who give Sophie moral support on her holiday. One is a hair stylist and the other a fashion dresser to the stars. Convenient, especially when the all-important 'date' happens, and not that original. However they do provide refreshing conversation away from Sophie's sometimes naive and obsessive side.
The scene-setting - I want to go to the Maldives now!
Elizabeth (Clayton's friend) - If it wasn't for her I think I would have DNF'd long before.
In general - the writing style was great. Quick paced. A little heavy sometime on the info-dump that wasn't necessarily required in this part of the story. Smart jumps between scenes with regular stops.
What I didn't like about Mad Love:
Clayton - Oh dear, it doesn't bode well when I think the lead male is an idiot. Devoid of any real emotion apart from the male grunts of 'I want you'. His aloofness and reluctance to be any kind of fun took the dazzle out of him. All I can say is he came across as arrogant and unkind. Not sexy or enigmatic in any way.
Sophie - Even worse when the lead female is also an idiot. Maybe that's why I kept on reading. Again, this may be naivety but she also lacked character or a spark in her belly. For a 23 year old with some experience of life she came across as slightly robotic.
Clayton's friends (except Elizabeth) - I can only think they've been included as crowd fillers and have some deep import in the next books. I couldn't get a grasp of Eduard or John's general character. All we know of Jane is allegedly a snotty nosed cow. All I read into her was her dialogue was a little toooo english because english people really don't use words as she used them any more. Maybe in the Houses of Parliament. Or on BBC Radio 4.
Jerry's arrival on the island - All very Shirley Valentine. Here's the ex arrived and ready to dive in and continue where they left off. No, forget SV. It's more of a Bridget Jones thing. Either way it didn't do anything but annoy me. Especially Sophie's delayed reaction. I would have slogged him in the mouth myself before Clayton even had a chance.
'Nuff said. I also hated the cliff-hanger.