BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blog Tour Review of Maddie's Choice by Joyce Zeller & GC Giveaway

Publisher: Camel Press
Format Read: Kindle 
Source: Tour Company in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
* affiliate link; the blog receives a small commission for purchases made through this link.

Blurb from the tour company:

Romance writer Maddie Taylor is fed up with New York City. She is getting nowhere with her latest manuscript and does not believe true love exists outside of her imagination. When a friend, Jonah Spartman, dies and wills her half of his Arkansas cattle ranch, she sees the chance for a new beginning. Jonah has also left behind two orphaned great-grandsons desperate for affection and an accounting book in the red.

The other half of the failing ranch belongs to Gideon Spartman, Jonah’s grandson, who believes all capacity for love was torn from him during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Rugged and sexy, Gideon is the enthralling physical manifestation of the hero in Maddie’s current manuscript. He is far from happy to be sharing an inheritance that is rightfully his. As she senses the need behind Gideon’s rough and unwelcoming exterior, Maddie acknowledges her own yearning for love and family.

Jonah’s will requires Maddie to stay on the ranch for three months. When that time is up, will she return to her comfortable but emotionally barren existence or embrace the challenges of her new life, which include cattle rustlers and drug dealers? Maddie’s choice proves to be far from simple.

Bea's Thoughts:

Maddie is a successful romance writer, living in New York, who's dealing with writers block, stress, and depression. She inherits half of a cattle ranch in Arkansas and decides that staying there for a few months while her condo is renovated might be what she needs to get out of her rut.

She's so excited to move out to Arkansas and the ranch that it never occurs to her she might not be welcome. The other co-owner is not happy that she's there or even involved and he's reluctant to be there. Gideon is there only because of family obligations and he's dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress. Unlike Maddie, Gideon is not good with words and he accidentally offends her on several occasions. Then there are times when he deliberately offends her, trying to drive her away. She learns to read him and comes to understand him better. Maddie starts to relax at the ranch, makes friends and becomes involved and Gideon slowly starts to open up and to trust Maddie.

There's a lot of drama in the story - domestic abuse, cattle rustling, meth dealing, PTSD, familial problems, and grief - and sometimes it feels like too much stuffed into one romance novel. Additionally, while I enjoyed learning about cattle and cattle ranching, I wish the information had been incorporated more smoothly instead of via several info dumps that occur under the guise of Maddie learning about them. At times Maddie is unbelievably naive, such as when she is shocked at the fact that Arkansas has violence, and the big city girl meets country life was sometimes written stereotypically but other times her reactions were delightful and I loved that she quickly moved past her preconceptions and saw the life and the people for what and who they really were.

Although Maddie and Gideon are physically attracted to each other from the time they meet, their relationship builds slowly and then picks up steam after Maddie helps him through a PTSD attack. Initially Gideon tries to talk Maddie into a fling and she refuses; later when decides that what he really wants is a relationship, it occurs abruptly. I kept wondering what I'd missed. But, they work well together and they respect each other and their scenes together spark. 

"Maddie's Choice" is a love story, a story of forgiveness, and a look at what really matters and the choices that we make. The more I read, the more I was drawn in and I ended up staying up late to finish. "Maddie's Choice" was an enjoyable read and a sweet romance.


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.”

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  1. Bea, I'm glad that you couldn't put Joyce's romance novel down! You can't help rooting for Maddie and Gideon. Thanks for the review :)

  2. would like to get blog by email at

  3. Thank you for your review. The message, which you stated so well--that there is somebody for everyone--was proven over and over in my retail store where, for thirty years, I often marveled at how some of these couples managed to find each other.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book with a lot going on in it. Good review!

  5. Maddie and Gideon sound like a great couple, I can't wait to read this book! Awesome review Bea!


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