I have seen this book around for quite some time and I picked up the audiobook on sale recently for $1.99. At just under 7 hours, it was a great choice to finish out my weekly commute. It was sweet, straightforward and easy to follow. Sometimes, you just need something “light” and this was just that kind of story.
Mac McCarthy has only just arrived back in his hometown when he knocks Maddie Chester off of her bicycle. He is immediately taken aback by Maddie’s beauty and wants to make amends for his lapse in judgment. He is determined to win over this feisty lady and get to know her better.
Poor Maddie gets roughed up pretty badly from the accident and is unable to exert herself physically for a few days. For a single-mother that lives paycheck to paycheck, this is a nightmare. She won’t be able to take care of her infant son or go to her housekeeping job. If she misses work, she knows that she’ll get fired by her nasty employer.
When Mac offers to help Maddie out, doing her work for her until she recuperates, she is suspicious of his motives. No man has ever done anything nice for her without expecting something sexual in return. Ever since puberty, she’s had to fend off the unwelcome advances of lewd men and the contempt of jealous women…not to mention the rumors that circulate around town.
As it ends up, Mac’s parents own the hotel where Maddie works. He’s able to use his pull to ensure that Maddie doesn’t lose her position and he fills in doing her work in the meantime. Sadly, he discovers that Maddie was not exaggerating about the horrible way that she has been treated as an employee of his family’s business.
Although this was a nice story as a whole, I did have some pretty big issues with it right from the start. First of all, with the exception of Mac, most of the characters made a terrible first impression. I kept thinking, “Where did they find these wretched people?”. Nearly all of them were off-putting.
Maddie’s nasty treatment of Mac was absolutely deplorable right from the start. He was bending over backwards to try and be nice to her and she was just being a straight-up bitch. Her sister wasn’t any better, once she was introduced. If I were Mac, I would’ve told her where she could stick it and been glad to be rid of her.
Then, we meet the women in Mac’s family. His sister immediately tells Mac what a bad reputation Maddie has when Mac first mentions that he is helping her out. It was done in a manner that made her seem like a shallow, malicious, gossip-monger.
While I eventually warmed to her, I can’t say the same for Mac’s mother. She was vicious in her treatment of Maddie, all because of her bad reputation. Talk about a slut-shaming old bitty! I couldn’t stand that woman!
Needless to say, my initial impressions of most of these characters left much to be desired. If it hadn’t been for Mac’s kindness and good sense of humor, I would’ve hung it up there. I felt like I stuck it out for him, as weird as that sounds.
Luckily, most of the characters did redeem themselves. I can’t say that I ever came to terms with Mac’s mother’s atrocious behavior, but the others did grow on me. While I don’t excuse her initial mistreatment of Mac, I did come to understand why Maddie treated him the way she did at first.
No big surprise, Mac and Maddie fall in love while he’s taking care of her. He works his way into her heart pretty quickly. Of course, there are some minor conflicts and drama along the way to keep things interesting. However, there was nothing that was especially surprising or mind-blowing in this book.
This was a nice, straightforward, sweet romance. It isn’t the type of story that I’ll re-read or that will stay on my mind for any length of time. It was just a nice way to pass a few hours. Nothing earth-shattering here, but good entertainment.