Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Review: "Crazy for the Competition" (Cindi Madsen)

Every family has a black sheep. Someone who just never quite fit the same mold that everyone else seemed to come from.

Quinn Sakata is the black sheep in her extremely conservative family. According to cultural tradition, her father's say-so is law and to be respected and obeyed, and she's always had problems with that. Enter more stress and tension: she works for his real-estate business, like he's always wanted, and she hates it. She'd rather go into business for herself, which is why she bids on the restoration of the Mountain Ridge Bed and Breakfast in her hometown.

Then she finds out she has competition, in a major way. Her high school crush, Heath Brantley, has also bid on the B&B ... to turn it into a hunting lodge. Horrified at the prospect of seeing her fond childhood memories reduced to animal heads on the walls, Quinn determines to fight back, even if it means working alongside Heath on the town's behalf.

And even if it means she might lose not only her heart but also her dreams to her fiercest competitor.

Cindi Madsen's sweet, small-town romance, Crazy for the Competition, is a stellar Entangled Publishing title, just released this month from their Bliss imprint.

A stellar story starts with stellar characters: fascinating, three-dimensional people who have hopes, dreams, fears, hang-ups, underlying motives, and things to celebrate.

Quinn Sakata is really the most intriguing character, the one around whom the majority of the story revolves. She's got this past about which she isn't proud ... a lot of trouble back in high school as she tried to define herself apart from her demanding, well-behaved family. Heck, she's still getting in trouble with them, practically every time she opens her mouth. (See really funny opening sequence for the details!)

Further, Quinn is a complex amalgamation of conflicting desires and dreams. She wants nothing more than to honor and respect her parents and their Asian culture, but she's tested the boundaries enough growing up that by now she realizes she won't be able to be genuinely herself and keep her family happy. She also wants to please her father --- not surprising, given his patriarchal rule --- but can't do that without denying her own goals.

And then, as the cherry on top of a particularly messy situation, she finds herself up against her bad-boy long-time crush, Heath, who's back in their hometown after a hiatus, looking to make a new name for himself, since he spent most of his high school years tarnishing his own.

Heath has his own demons to exorcise in his return to Hope Springs. His loyalty to his deployed brother is evident in his determination to get his hands on the B&B, so he can give his brother a place to come home to. Their home life growing up wasn't spectacular ... and who can't relate to that these days? A less-than-ideal childhood is all too common, and Madsen mines that background for all kinds of tensions in Heath's current life.

Sweet attraction, impossible situation, sexy romance ... Crazy for the Competition has it all and more!

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Author: Cindi Madsen
Title: Crazy for the Competition
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
ISBN: 978-1-63375-285-6
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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