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RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox kicks off a steamy new series set in the city that never sleeps—alone, at least.
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
I first became a fan of Ruthie Knox’ writing when I devoured her NA duology written under the pen name, Robin York. It was sexy, emotional and addictive in every way. For some reason though, I never got around to picking up her adult romance books. When the opportunity to review Madly, the second book in this series, arose, I didn’t hesitate one bit. After pretty much gobbling down that book in one sitting, I decided that I NEEDED to read Truly or I’d be missing out. I was right. Words can’t express just how much I loved Truly, and how easily it turned me into a Ruthie Knox.
This was a book that was so easy to sink into, mostly because the characters are endearing, and the writing has a certain something to it that makes you not want to stop once you pick it up. I adored May, who was strong and courageous and breathtaking. I found her insecurities to be very relatable. She has never really felt feminine in her life because of her tall height and that has affected her perception of herself. It was refreshing to see a heroine in a romance novel who wasn’t the typical petite and feminine woman. Don’t worry, she doesn’t wallow in self-pity or anything of the sort, but she doesn’t think she’s a beauty. Enter Ben. Oh Ben! <3 What a dreamboat. I was initially quite wary of his brash and acerbic personality (he has anger issues – he is ALWAYS respectful of May though), but I grew to love him so much as the book progressed, and we got to see glimpses of the real beneath all that roughness. Not to mention he was a chef and a beekeeper! Who would ever thought that would make for a sexy combo?
What’s truly fantastic about this romance was how well Ben and May fit together despite seeming like an unlikely couple. They bring out the complete best in each other, and the trust, and mutual love that grows between the two is the kind of romance that has my heart racing just at the thought of it. From their very first meeting, the chemistry between the two sizzled and the steamy scenes are an absolute treat. Ruthie Knox also brings New York City to life as she takes on a journey with Ben and May. I also can’t forget to mention just how hungry this book made me. The food descriptions are mouth-watering and yet another great aspect of the story.
Truly is the kind of book that I’m always for craving in the romance genre, a story that manages to be subtly sexy and focuses on the characterizations. I can guarantee that this is one book I will find myself re-gravitating towards whenever I’m in a book slump, because it’s just that good.
Madly (New York, #2)
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An impulsive trip to New York City, a heartthrob from London, and a scandalous to-do list turn a small-town girl’s life upside down in this sultry romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Truly and About Last Night.
Allie Fredericks isn’t supposed to be in Manhattan, hiding in the darkest corner of a hip bar, spying on her own mother—who’s flirting with a man who’s definitely not Allie’s father. Allie’s supposed to be in Wisconsin, planning her parents’ milestone anniversary party. Then Winston Chamberlain walks through the door, with his tailored suit, British accent, and gorgeous eyes, and Allie’s strange mission goes truly sideways.
Winston doesn’t do messy. But after a pretty stranger ropes him into her ridiculous family drama with a fake kiss that gets a little too real, he finds out that messy can be fun. Maybe even a little addicting. And as the night grows longer, Allie and Winston make a list of other wild things they could do together—and what seems like a mismatch leads to a genuine connection.
But can their relationship survive as their real lives implode just outside the bedroom door?
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As with Truly, Madly was yet another crack-worthy story from Ruthie Knox. Again, she has crafted a couple that not only has intense chemistry together, but also work incredibly well emotionally.
The heroine here, Allie, is May’s sister who we also happen to meet in Truly. I liked her as much as I liked her older sister. Worried that her mother is about to abandon her family, Allie runs after her to New York City to try to talk some sense into her. On her first night, she happens to encounter a handsome stranger, who helps her out of a difficult situation. I thought it took real guts from Allie to actually go after her mom to a foreign city. She was smart, motivated, and just a big ball of emotions, basically completely endearing. We get to see major growth on Allie’s part in this book, and I thought her character development was absolutely fantastic. Winston too, I almost immediately fell in love with – funny isn’t how much I despise insta-love, but have no qualms falling in insta-love with book characters? He was kind, a little quiet and a truly loving father. He’s one of those heroes that makes you a little bitter because you know that in the real world, it’s going to be difficult to find someone like him.
His relationship with Allie was gorgeously written. They obviously had lots of steamy chemistry between them, that’s heightened thanks to a sexy to-do list that they come with together, but for me, the best part about their romance was how much they talked with each other about anything and everything. It’s so rare to find couples in books that communicate before taking off their clothes, so reading the dynamic that Allie and Winston had was exhilarating. I don’t know why, but part of me has vehemently been opposed to reading romances with age-gaps, but this year, I’ve become a complete sucker for them, so that was another aspect I really loved about Madly. I will say that if I had to compare the two, I most definitely preferred Truly, only because there were times when I felt like the romance got side-lined by Allie’s mom’s story. Again, we have the NYC setting that Ruthie Knox absolutely brought to life. I also have to briefly mention Winston’s daughter, who I adored. She’s a quirky, passionate and loving college student who added another layer of complexity to the story, but was never an obstacle to Allie and Winston’s relationship. In fact, she grows a kinship with Allie and it was great!
Madly is another hit by Ruthie Knox that is compelling and wholly worth the read. I’ll be sure to pick up her backlog while I wait for the next book in this series, Completely, to be out.