Book Review: Maddie's Choice by: Joyce Zeller

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Camel Press

Publication Date: September 1, 2013

Origins:  From Tribute Books Blog Tours for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Order Links:  Kindle / Nook / Smashwords / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Romance writer Maddie Taylor is fed up with New York City. She is getting nowhere with her latest manuscript and does not believe true love exists outside of her imagination. When a friend, Jonah Spartman, dies and wills her half of his Arkansas cattle ranch, she sees the chance for a new beginning. Jonah has also left behind two orphaned great-grandsons desperate for affection and an accounting book in the red.

The other half of the failing ranch belongs to Gideon Spartman, Jonah’s grandson, who believes all capacity for love was torn from him during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Rugged and sexy, Gideon is the enthralling physical manifestation of the hero in Maddie’s current manuscript. He is far from happy to be sharing an inheritance that is rightfully his. As she senses the need behind Gideon’s rough and unwelcoming exterior, Maddie acknowledges her own yearning for love and family.

Jonah’s will requires Maddie to stay on the ranch for three months. When that time is up, will she return to her comfortable but emotionally barren existence or embrace the challenges of her new life, which include cattle rustlers and drug dealers? Maddie’s choice proves to be far from simple.

Author Bio: Joyce Zeller has written articles for a magazine and a cooking column for a chain of suburban newspapers north of Chicago. She has written five books and published two, The Hidden History of Eureka Springs, and Accidental Alien, a work of science fiction, both available on Amazon. Her short story, “Love is a Seed,” is featured in Embrace: A Romance Collection, (2012 Goldmine Press). Joyce has served in the United States Army. As a professional perfumer (School of Perfumery, London, England) and an aroma-therapist, she made custom fragrances in her store. Her creation, Mountain Air, was declared the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Fragrance in 1965. Her latest achievement was getting elected as Alderman to the Eureka Springs City Council. Maddie’s Choice is a romance with her favorite theme, that being human is a lonely business, but for everyone there is somebody to love. It’s a matter of finding them. There will always be kids and animals in her books, and always, humor, “because life without humor is unthinkable”.

Review: Maddie Taylor is a well known romance author and she’s tired of the big city, her writer's block, and her passive aggressive boyfriend. When she gets notification that an old friend, Jonah Spartman, died and he’s willed her half of his Arkansas ranch. The only catch is she has to stay there for three months or she forfeits her half of the ranch to Gideon Spartman, Jonah’s grandson, who was willed the other half. Along with Gideon and the ranch hands, are Jonah’s two great-grandsons, Mark and Abe. Both boys are in desperate need of attention and love now that their parents and their grandpa are gone and all they have left is an uncle with severe PTSD. Will Maddie choose the ranch or will she go back to NYC? ‘Maddie’s Choice’ has characters you quickly get attached to, like Maddie herself, and Gideon’s nephews, Mark and Abe. Ms. Zeller has written a sweet romance with two people who are burned out in different ways. Together they find inspiration to heal not only themselves, but the ranch as a whole. I was quickly caught up in the story and I highly recommend ‘Maddie’s Choice’!


  1. Star, I'm with you. I always enjoy a romance novel where two broken people are able to heal each other. Thanks for your review of Joyce's book :)

  2. I'm glad you liked the book. I took a risk showing Gideon's vulnerabilities, but men, no matter what difficult tasks are demanded of them, are just as needy for approval as women. That's why Maddie loves him. The sex isn't bad, either.

    1. I'm glad you did (and the sex is great!)


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