Mad About Matt (Red Maple Falls #1) by Theresa Paolo was a okay read that, for me, was a little bit of a mixed of love, hate, slow burn, turned WTF to, okay will that escalated quickly. I have to say I’m a little mixed, there is good, there is ugly, and there is, sad to say some bad.
This is a first time read for me from this author, so as always I go in with a open mind, and at the start everything was going pretty good. The writing is engaging, it has a nice rhythm and it flowed nicely from one scene to the next. As for plot, it wasn’t anything new, I mean I have read similar ones before. But all have their own quirks and charm that makes you keep coming back. This book is no different. The fictional town of Red Maple is right out of a hallmark TV movie, sweet, country and all the shops seem to being doing well. I liked that feel, it set the stage, and it was familiar. So very easy to form a picture, even if there wasn’t as much detail on the town itself.
Now, as for why I have very mixed feels. As a romance, it in itself was a little all over the place. It’s a slow burn, but with the MC’s already knowing one another, and had previously date as teens. It was a summer loving type deal (Did Grease pop into your head?… ahhaha) They parted, Matt was heartbroken, never got over it, blamed every failed relationship on it, and so on. Shay’s story follows pretty much the same. This wasn’t a problem for me, I like these second chance romances, cheese and all. It was the way they both acted. For people in their 30’s they were damn immature (I’m in that zone, so yes I can judge.)
Shay, I wasn’t a fan, she portrayed a tough girl persona, but cracked under pressure. She failed at knowing when you should call for help, ask for help, and simply not growing a set and talking to Matt. Two years she was back, and neither one made the attempt to reconnect, instead they pined and wished they would. Both could fill the ocean with their excuses. Matt also was, wow, he had a big character shift half way through, and I don’t know how I feel about that. It was so out of his, build up character, that I was taken back and a little mad.
Things do work themselves out, and they run off into the sunset. I know it seems like I’m harping, but those things stood out to me. Not all is on the down side. The story itself isn’t bad, it has great conversation, witty banter and it hooks you right away. This book, is a little rough around the edges but it reads well and as I said it keeps you engaged and entertained. And frankly, isn’t that what we want from a story? So don’t get discouraged, give this book a shot, you might like everything I didn’t.
With that being said, I give this book my recommendation and my stamp of approval.
-Review by @eawalsh