(Madison Square, #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Madison Buchanan’s life has imploded…
Her husband left her for his nineteen-year-old intern, leaving her alone and faced with starting over in her forties. With the help of her feisty best friend, Madison reinvents herself, armed with a new look and open to new possibilities.
Sean Taylor is gorgeous, fun, and young—very young…
He hasn’t had the best of luck. Sean’s track record with women is less than stellar, but when he walks into The Den one day, he just can’t help but be captivated by a dark haired beauty with the sad eyes and killer legs. She’s a little older, but he doesn’t discriminate. More than anything, he wants to be the one to make her smile.
Sean personifies the only thing that has eluded Madison all of her life—joy…
It was meant to be a fling, something fun, with no strings and zero drama, but Sean wants something more, and Madison is just not ready. She’s lived by the rules her family, her friends, even her boss have laid out for her, but her new life is not what she expected. Being with Sean opens feelings she never thought she’d experience.
The the demands of her family and her job throw her boring, simple life into chaos, and Sean is no exception…
Madison is left with a choice. Give in to the expectations of the world around her—or choose to follow her heart and be happy.
But choosing happy is so much harder than it seems.
5***** Breathtaking yet realistic love story
**I read this book with my KU membership**
I decided to read Choosing Happy when I first read its blurb because I immediately related to Madison’s situation. Having been involved with younger men myself, I know too well the hardships and pitfalls. So, if on the one hand my personal experience made me a good judge of the plot, on the other hand, it also made me a harsher one.
But Samantha Harris didn’t disappoint me in the least. Her characters are realistic in their insecurities and flaws. For the average reader of romance, Madison may even seem too indecisive. However, this kind of reader is most likely exposed to impetuous young female leads, whereas Madison is a forty-two-year-old character. She’s got emotional baggage, and a heavy one at that, she’s got a career, friends and family to take into consideration when making decisions. In my opinion, though, what makes her more realistic is her refusal to follow her heart because at this stage in life we tend to follow our head. That doesn’t mean we make better decisions.
As for Sean Taylor, he’s also a realistic character in the sense that his behavior is coherent with his attitude towards life. In spite of his painful past, Sean’s got a joyful, optimist take on life, which is the first thing that attracts Madison to him; but is also what keeps him going. Also, he’s profoundly caring nature is endearing and you can’t avoid rooting for him.
That’s why I was a little mad at Samantha Harris at a certain point of the story. I don’t do spoilers so I’ll be cryptic here. The only part of the plot that made me roll my eyes was one that Madison compares to a ‘daytime soap opera’ and I agree with her, by the way. I felt bad for Sean; then, it dawned on me, it was so powerfully moving because the writing was great. Otherwise, I either wouldn’t have cared or wouldn’t have gotten so far into the book. That’s when I decided to keep the 5 stars rating because I don’t think one should rate the qualities of a book based on the fact that he or she agrees with it or not. I mean, no one can say they agree with what happened to Romeo and Juliet, still we don’t knock off stars because they die, right? Okay, I went too far with my analogy. There’s no tragedy in Choosing Happy, don’t worry. I’m just saying I don’t agree with the plot 100%, which doesn’t make it any less realistic. On the contrary.
Harris does a great job with the secondary characters as well. From the too meddling best friend Margot – seriously, who doesn’t have that annoying best friend who ends up making a total mess when all she wants to do is help, right? – to the too friendly assistant Jeremy, to the to-die-for little brother Liam. These are only on Madison’s part. On Sean’s, fans of the first book in the series will have a chance to revisit with Alex and Drew, plus get to meet Gran and Em.
Finally, the love scenes. As a writer of erotic romances, I know just too well how difficult it is to find the balance between steamy scenes and a coherent plot. Samantha Harris does it and then some. Readers will find their share of mouth-watering action and it’s completely interwoven in the story line, which guarantees that the love scenes are essential to help move the story forward.
I can’t recommend Choosing Happy enough. So I won’t even try. I’ll use the author’s own words through Sean’s point of view. He says about Madison, “I don’t know how to breathe without her.”
Book 1 in the series:
Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.