In the first novel in the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, Maid for Love, Marie Force tells the tale of Maddie Chester and Mac McCarthy. Mac’s family owns a local inn and are both wealthy and well liked in town. By contrast, Maddie has a much harder upbringing, with an incarcerated mother and a difficult job as a maid that is constantly given the dirtiest rooms in the inn which Mac’s family owns (do you see the connection yet?). Additionally, Maddie is haunted by a tarnished reputation that she has had from her earlier years in school, where a vicious rumor (which was false) labeled her as being promiscuous and a floozy. Upon returning to the island for a reprieve from his over-stressed life, Mac absent mindedly steps out into the street, colliding with Maddie who is riding her bike. He injures her fairly seriously and she faces a long road of recovery, which Mac surprisingly offers to help her with. Nursing her back to health, as well as caring for her young son and job while she is out of work, Mac falls head over heels in love with Maddie despite his original misgivings about even returning to the island. Will Maddie return his affections? Will her reputation be a thorn in Mac’s quest to woo Maddie? Will Maddie be able to put aside the dislike she has for the McCarthy family?
I believe I’ve told you all before that as a child I spent a lot of time in Cape Cod. During my trips to the cape we spent time at both Block Island in Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard. When I heard about the Gansett Island and how it was modeled after Block Island I was immediately intrigued, having always found the island to be a quaint place to have lived. It is the perfect setting for a book series, and I found myself greedily devouring Maid For Love because of it. Force has created a wonderful setting that becomes as much of a character in the novel as the people do!
I LOVED Mac and Maddie! They are complete opposites and so utterly perfect for each other. Of course what kind of romance would this be without its share of conflict, misunderstanding, and redemption? Mac’s willingness to help out this woman he’s never met is not only romantic, but noble. He’s a genuine good guy that deserves a happy ending. Maddie helps him see a future he never believed would happen for him. He left the island years ago and never looked back. His surprise in finding everything he’s been looking for in the place he didn’t think he’d find it was a joy to read. Not only is Mac a great guy, but Maddie has suffered SO much. The teasing she’s suffered as well as the disrespect the other “island natives” have offered her is totally distasteful. Mac’s acceptance of her and her son on her terms was the balm she needed to soothe all the wounds she’s received emotionally over the years. Force does a great job at developing both of these characters really well, albeit their love match does happen over an unrealistic time period; I guess the old saying “you know when you know” comes into mind.
If you have yet to read any of the five novels currently in the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, may I highly suggest you change that ASAP? I read all five consecutively and was drawn to each and every one. They are written as stand alone novels, but I would tell you to read them in order. It adds to the experience when you know everyone’s back-stories already. Happy reading!
5 out of 5 Stars
Maid For Love by Marie Force
Marie Force (2011)
eBook: 636 pages
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