He was the geek. She was the homecoming queen.
Now he's the only one who can help her...
Meredith Sanders was the golden girl in high school - a homecoming queen with a trail of worshiping minions. Now she's all grown up with a trail of failed marriages. The only good thing she has in her life is her brilliant and beautiful teenaged step-daughter...who's missing. But the best man for the job has a serious hate-on for her.
Back in high school, queen bee Meredith made Travis Brennan's life miserable. Since then, he's gone from class geek to a hardened, former SEAL, specializing in private security. As much as he wants to help Meredith's step-daughter, he can't help but clash with the gorgeous woman who once made his life hell.
But as they investigate the increasingly mysterious disappearance, their conflicted past threatens to turn into a very provocative present...
In high school, Meredith was the head cheerleader, the sweetheart of the school, the most popular and the most vicious. She terrorized other kids at her school and has paid for it dearly ... she lost her best friends, the people she thought she couldn't live without turned on her and she can't seem to keep a man by her side. She thought that she had it all figured out, she thought she knew who she was and what she wanted but that never turns out to be the case and Meredith realizes this as she is thrown into the most difficult time in her life.
When I picked Love You Madly up, I was thinking it would be a lighthearted love story with a bit of intrigue due to her daughter missing but that most certainly didn't turn out to be true. This story was deep and to be honest, a little startling.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you about how amazing the characters in this book were. I was super conflicted with my feelings on Meredith ... I felt so sorry for this woman and really didn't care for her at first. I thought that the author wrote her perfectly! You could really feel how everyone kept her at a distance because of how Meredith was growing up. It was interesting to see a character written like this, it was definitely intriguing. And Travis. Oh, Travis. I can't say enough how much I loved his bossy, take-no-shit attitude that started at the beginning of the book. It was sexy as hell and I just couldn't get enough of this character. I enjoyed watching these two morph and change into something else and you never really knew where they were going to end up. Ugh. I could just go on and on about how much I love these characters and how they were written. But you need to find out on your own!
Now, onto the gooood stuff. EEK! I just want to say so much but I know that I can't. Let's see ... I'll start off with this ... I've read hundreds and hundreds of mystery/romantic suspense novels. Hundreds. I'd say that around 75% of the time, I can tell within the first three chapters what will happen at the end of the book. It really stinks but it is what it is. It isn't often that I am caught off guard by a twist happening or how a book ends. But I was TOTALLY caught off guard by things that happened in this story and the ending was surprising for me. Completely surprising. So much so, that I found myself wondering if I had missed some clue that the author had left for me in the previous chapters. Things can't just come out of COMPLETELY nowhere, right? Well, they did. And it ... was ... AWESOME!
Ashlee Mallory will be on my favorite authors list from now on. I'll gorge on all of her books and then anxiously (but not patiently) wait for the next thing to come out by her. Fabulous. Basically, you have to get this book. I know it is a #2, but it's a standalone, so don't let the series thing put you off if you haven't read the first one.
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *