‘The road to Madison’ is a bit bumpy.

As a teenager, Madison Prescott, the sole heir to her family’s banking empire, falls in love with Ana Perez, the maid’s daughter. Madison’s father doesn’t approve of their relationship and, through threats and lies, he forces Madison to break up with Ana. Fifteen years later, when her father dies, Madison is determined to make amends but Ana feels betrayed and hurt. It seems that time doesn’t heal all wounds, or does it?

This is the third book by Elle Spencer whose writing career started with the acclaimed bestseller ‘Casting Lacey’. I find her books on the angsty side and this one was no exception. ‘The road to Madison’ is, in my opinion, her weakest novel and, by far, the most dramatic. I know that many readers like a good amount of drama in their lesfic romances and might disagree with this review but I think that this story is borderline with melodramatic.

The novel is told by multiple points of view, which is not necessarily a problem, but in this case, it seems that some characters only have a voice to urge the mains to get together. As a consequence, some secondary characters sound too unrealistic and excessively honourable. Of course, there is nothing wrong with ethical characters, but their widespread presence in this story makes their voices sound very similar.

As the story takes place in two time periods, now and fifteen years ago, there are a few flashbacks intertwined with the present. I felt that they were a lost opportunity to showcase the strong bond and love between the characters that justified such amount of heartbreak and angst. In my opinion, Ms. Spencer fails in building up their chemistry at the start of their relationship. ‘At seventeen’ by Gerri Hill, while not perfect, is a prime example on how to describe the intimacy between teenagers, a long-lasting love that makes it worth fighting for in adulthood, despite the dispute that separates them. In ‘The road to Madison’, however, pain and conflict outplay love and chemistry, which sometimes made me wonder if their relationship was really worth fighting for.

Overall, an ok romance with a great amount of drama and angst. 3 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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