Review of What a Tangled Web by Melissa Brayden
This was a good ending to the series. The first book is still my clear favorite but this was a nice step-up from book 2 Two to Tangle, which I struggled with. Book 2 was still a good read but it was my lowest-rated Brayden book ever so it had issues for me. I felt like this book had that magic Brayden spark back that book 2 was missing and I think fans of the series will be happy with this ending.
One of the main issues I had with book 2 is that Madison’s body had been taken over by an alien and acted so unlike who her character used to be. I’m so happy to say that Madison was back to normal Madison in this book. It was such a relief. Madison was the most interesting character out of the three friends that I had been eagerly awaiting her story. I have to be honest that Brayden almost ruined her character for me in book 2, but this was the bounce back Madison needed. And in the end, Madison really was the star of this book. Her love interest was okay, but Madison stole the show for me.
Another issue I had in book 2 was the group of old “Biddies”. They were so annoying and just drove me nuts. I was hoping that Brayden would forget about them in this installment. While they were still a part of this story, this book mostly centered on just one Biddie instead of the whole group of them. Dealing with just one Biddie, most of the time, was much easier than dealing with the whole group. I’m quite happy that Brayden improved on this problem.
When it came to the romance itself, I enjoyed it. I liked that this book did not have that insta-love feeling at all. If anything, Brayden really took her time to get to that level which made the relationship better for me. I don’t like when the “I love yous” pop out way too early and they didn’t here. While you could see the big conflict moment coming a million miles away, I didn’t mind it so much here. I’m not a fan of always having an 80% moment. I wish romance authors would change up the types of conflict and when it happens, more often, but if we have to have an 80% moment, I want it to mean something. I want it to rip my heart out and stomp on it. While there was no stomping here, I went through five tissues just in the last 20% of the book. What Madison was going through choked me up and made me feel, which is what I want from a good book.
For readers new to this series, you can start with this book if you really want. The story is self-contained enough that you would be okay. However, to get the most enjoyment out of the series, I would recommend reading it in order or at least reading book 1 Entangled first since it is the origin story about how this group of friends came together to work on a vineyard.
It’s funny but I always love the first book in a Brayden series, have some bumps in the middle books, but then am always happy with the finale book. It never falls to work out that way and I’m glad that Brayden is good at closing out her series. This is an easy book for me to recommend and I think fans of this series will enjoy this finale book. I’m going to miss certain characters like Madison and Joey, but I’m excited to see where Brayden will take us all next.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.