Maddie’s Choice by Joyce Zeller –Book Tour and Giveaway

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
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Gideon Spartman may be exactly what Maddie needs to break out of her current rut as a blocked romance novelist and as an unfulfilled woman.  Struck by powerful passions and emotions that until now have been limited to fantasy conjured for her books, Maddie must decide if Gideon is worth the risk to her heart.  Uncomfortable with his new and unwanted roles in life as father figure and rancher, Gideon struggles from PTSD and questions whether he can ever dare welcome anyone close to his heart.  A bull named Big’Un with an addiction to chocolate energy bars may just help them find the answer in this delicious Western romance you won’t want to put down!

Maddie, a successful romance novelist from New York is all out of real life leading men to inspire her fictional heroes.  Stuck in an unwelcome, boring pattern with current, lackluster boyfriend Donald, nothing and no one in her day to day existence is able to compete with the fictional characters to which she devotes all her time.  Now, even her safe haven of writing is in jeopardy as she struggles with writer’s block that tilts her ever closer to clinical depression and anxiety attacks.

Gideon hasn’t had much use for women lately, particularly not city dwelling romance novelists.  Brought back to his childhood ranch by will decree of his deceased grandfather and begrudged guardian to his two young nephews, Gideon is horrified to learn that half of the ranch has been bestowed upon a female New Yorker he’s never met.  Battling traumatic memories from his war days that have resulted in PSTD, Gideon doubts his ability to love and trust anyone; especially a woman as unnerving as Maddie.

Maddie’s Choice is a delightful romance with likeable, fallible characters that quickly engage the reader.  One of the biggest positives of this novel is the author’s development of both the leading male and female characters.  Often in romance novels there is a tendency to have a very well developed female character reacting to a dark, mysterious stranger.  That’s not the case here.  Although Gideon is certainly sexy enough, his character is well rounded and contains enough human elements to make him truly vulnerable and likeable.

Another pitfall in many romances is plot twists and turns that can become distracting from the primary romantic plot.  Maddie’s Choice does enlist the use of a mystery of stolen cattle and drug running, but the additional plot lines serve well to develop the romantic plot line and further engage the reader and do not undermine the romance.  As an avid romance reader, I don’t mind telling you that I finished this entire book in one setting and would be delighted to read additional books by this author.

Reasons to Read: Maddie’s Choice will speak to the heart and true romance lovers who enjoy well rounded characters with unique imperfections will quickly be able to lose themselves in these pages.

Reasons to Pass:  This is an excellent romance, but there are moments common to many romance novels where the characters seem to move very quickly into romantic entanglements.  This is very much a tale of attraction at first site.

Category:  Western Romance

Suggested Rating:  R  This is an adult romance novel intended for mature audiences.  There is violence and sexual content.

About the Author:

Joyce Zeller has written articles for a magazine and a cooking column for a chain of suburban newspapers north of Chicago. She has written five books and published two, The Hidden History of Eureka Springs, and Accidental Alien, a work of science fiction, both available on Amazon. Her short story, “Love is a Seed,” is featured in Embrace: A Romance Collection, (2012 Goldmine Press). Joyce has served in the United States Army. As a professional perfumer (School of Perfumery, London, England) and an aroma-therapist, she made custom fragrances in her store. Her creation, Mountain Air, was declared the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Fragrance in 1965. Her latest achievement was getting elected as Alderman to the Eureka Springs City Council. Maddie’s Choice is a romance with her favorite theme, that being human is a lonely business, but for everyone there is somebody to love. It’s a matter of finding them. There will always be kids and animals in her books, and always, humor, “because life without humor is unthinkable.”

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 274
Publisher: Camel Press
Release: September 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60381-959-6

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