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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
The story of Madness revolves around professional mistress Madeleine Holbrook who, at 27, is about to become a retiree. Tired of taking care of whiny men and their problems, Madeleine has decided it is time to focus on her and her own problems as soon as she figures them out. Ian has been watching her for years and now that she’s a free woman he is ready to make her his. Unfortunately, Madeleine isn’t interested, at least that’s what she keeps telling herself. But whatever chance Ian might have with Madeleine may be ruined by his meddling best friend with questionable motives. Catherine Winters has created a powerful tale of madness in its purest form. Madeleine’s life is true madness, Ian’s past is his secret madness, and Jacob is literally mad about Madeleine taking his place in Ian’s life.
What I found most appealing about Madness is the authenticity of the characters. Madeleine is who she is without regrets or apologies and Ian actually loves that about her instead of trying to change her. Loving a woman with a freezer full of cigarettes and vodka takes a special man like Ian, who has been waiting for her brand of perfection to become part of his life. Catherine Winters has shown great skill at developing flawed characters like Madeleine who are easy to relate to, despite the perceived audacity of her career. She calls herself a whore and Jacob calls her a whore, but that isn’t the woman Ian sees and that is…beautiful. The tragedy of Madness is also the beauty of it; misguided love, love realized too late, and love that transcends reality into madness.