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Madison's Miracles

Author: Joye Ames
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Susan DiPlacido

10140401Maggie Madison is a beautiful, caring young woman who runs a local children's shelter in Atlanta. Her mother died when she was only four, at which time her musician father left her in the care of her aunt and he was never heard from again. Because of her past situation, she knows exactly how important it is for youth in crisis to have someone there to lend a hand from time to time. And because she and her best friend, Delta, run the shelter between themselves, their responsibilities include not only caring for the children, but also community fundraising. In most instances, this isn't an unpleasant chore for Maggie, except when it comes to The Ogre. Adam Fuentes is a successful local businessman with a brusque attitude and tight pockets. But Maggie always seems to weasel what she needs from him. Perhaps, as Adam bitterly tells her one day, it is because of her big eyes and short skirts.

So begins Madison's Miracles. Although Maggie's vexed at his accusation, she's also flattered. And although Adam is flustered at his admission, his attraction to her is evident even as he pushes her out the door – after giving her the requested donation. Before long, Adam finds himself on Maggie's doorstep when his niece runs away. He's a single man who idolizes his father's work ethic and believes that no one should ever ask for a handout or help. His brother and sister-in-law died in an accident, and he subsequently took over as guardian for their daughter, Jordan. So when she runs away, he finds himself in the curious position of having to ask Maggie to help him find her.

What transpires is a tight, fast-paced story with plenty of pleasing plot turns both comic and dramatic. Once the immediate crisis is resolved when they find Jordan, safe and sound and hanging out at the mall, Maggie and Adam turn up the heat on each other. Although both admit terror at the prospect of a relationship, they're unable to avoid each other once Jordan maneuvers herself into moving in with Maggie.

In such close proximity of each other, despite their misgivings, the sparks fly. Joye Ames has crafted a lovely novel with interesting and funny twists along the way. The main characters heat up the page, and both have personality to spare. Though a seemingly tough- cookie, pain-in-the-ass, rude, dismissive bore at first glance, Adam soon becomes a loveable lead and you'll be rooting for him to break through Maggie's walls. For her part, Maggie is nicely layered and her generous and spunky spirit will keep you rooting for her. The secondary characters are well-developed and endearing. The back-and- forth, on-again-off-again pull of their relationship will keep you turning the page, though it happened so frequently that I did start to get annoyed with it and with Maggie when the tension would flip over into frustration and my patience would lag. However, it worked overall and kept me reading and for the most part enjoying the rest of the story, all the way to the satisfying conclusion.

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June 14, 2004 in Romance | Permalink

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