It has been a long-time since the first book in this series came out. After I dug up my review of Truly, I realized I hadn't imagined the long wait, I had in fact read Truly back in 2013 when Loveswept was experimenting with serialization on WattPad. Thankfully, I am extremely happy report that Madly was worth the wait.
Madly is the story of Allie Fredericks, May's impulsive little sister. It has been more than a year since she broke up with her long-time boyfriend on their wedding day and now she is in secretly in NYC not to visit May and Ben but to stalk her mother.
Allie is watching her mother Nancy, share drinks with stranger, a man she has disappeared to meet up with again and again throughout her long-marriage, this time only days before her 30th Anniversary party. Angry, confused and regretful Allie is not sure what to do, but she doesn't want her mother to spot her across the bar till she figures out what to do next. Enter, Winston.
"Listen, I know this is going to sound kind of crazy, but if you can just kind of bear with me, I think you'll eventually decide it's the good kind of crazy."
"There's a good kind of crazy?"
"If there's not, people have been lying to me all my life."
Winston Chamberlain is quite possibly the least likely person to ever get caught up in Allie's potentially tawdry, and certainly ridiculous drama. Winston is a buttoned-up British banker, whose marriage recently imploded under the weight of all the artificial expectations of what a proper marriage should be. (He is also Neville' s older brother, from It Happened One Night). His ex-wife is across the world climbing the mountains and his nearly-grown daughter is deftly ignoring his presence in NYC. But Winston does get caught up in it, especially when he realizes he knows just who the man Nancy is sharing drinks with is his client, his very rich and very secretive client.
Madly is oddly an extremely sexy romance about divorce. It is also a story about mothers, daughters and the big and little compromises women make when trying to balance their ambitions, marriages and families. Allie and Winston are both exactly who they seem to be and also more. While they superficially seem like an unlikely pairing they are actually at the same point in their lives, evaluating what went wrong, what they want and what comes next.
It was a delight to read Knox's thoughtful prose again and to enjoy Allie and Winston antics as their romance rockets from unexpected attraction to come to something truly special, something worth taking a chance on even if it seems a little mad to everyone else.
Loveswept (Random House Publishing Group) provided a ARC copy of Madly for review consideration via NetGalley.