Review

Madily in Love

by Lynda Lee Schab

Madi Lee McCall is looking for romance --- a little candlelight, some soft music, and a night of passion --- with her husband. The problem is, she has a new job, three kids, a mischievous dog and an even more mischievous mother-in-law. Mix them all together, and romance becomes an elusive fantasy, always faintly visible on the horizon, but just out of reach. Those who enjoyed the wit and relatable antics of MIND OVER MADI won’t want to miss the continuing saga of a suburban mom’s struggle to create family harmony and marital bliss in MADILY IN LOVE. Even those who have not read the first Madi book will easily fall into this one without missing a beat.

"Author Lynda Lee Schab masters the art of combining poignancy and humor.... MADILY IN LOVE will give you those occasional laugh-out-loud moments in between tugging on your heartstrings and making you want to choose reading over dinner."

Madi is happy to have her marriage back on track after surviving a rough patch, but longs to re-ignite the spark of those first years together. Lately, though, her time and energy are consumed with keeping watch over her 16-year-old twins, Christina and Max, along with her preteen Emily, who’s using her big sister’s attitude as a behavior model. It doesn’t help that Nancy, Madi’s mother-in-law, moved in with them while recovering from a fall and isn’t showing any signs of returning home. The icing on the cake? It appears that Nancy is stealing little items from every place she goes. Butter patties from the buffet, which melted all over her coat pocket, were just the beginning. When expensive makeup goes missing from the spa where Madi works, our heroine does some sleuthing and finds them in Nancy’s purse. The discovery serves to further inflate Madi’s list of quandaries. How will she guide her kids on the right path, get Nancy to behave, and rekindle her marriage? And come to terms with her best friend marrying her brother? It’s just too much for one woman to handle.

Enter Claudia Boeve --- sleek, manicured, slightly obnoxious, and a member of Madi’s church. Claudia teaches the Revitalize Your Marriage class for couples and invites Madi to attend. Despite her initial instinct to run for the hills, Madi signs up after being encouraged by her therapist and friend, Sarah. While her husband, Rich, initially agrees to attend, he bows out when a local widow hires him to do some handyman work. Madi goes it alone, feeling awkward but hoping to discover ways to ignite the marriage flame. Unfortunately, she ignites more than her marriage as one blunder after another has her failing and flailing Claudia’s suggestions for spicing things up.

Those who read MIND OVER MADI experienced our heroine’s faulty but ultimately successful attempt to get her marriage on a better course and trust God to provide guidance and wisdom. In MADILY IN LOVE, she’ll have to decide if she can take the next step by completely handing Him the reins.

Author Lynda Lee Schab masters the art of combining poignancy and humor. Who can resist reading more after an opening paragraph like this?

I hate buffets. Not only because I'm on a diet and the temptation to overindulge is irresistible, but because of what I'm witnessing right now. A five-year-old kid stands at eye level with the desserts and sneezes. He moves to the side, grabs a plate holding a brownie and races off. An elderly woman approaches and reaches for the cheesecake now decorated with five-year-old phlegm.

Madi is the kind of fun, somewhat insecure, loving, smarter-than-she-realizes woman you’d want to befriend. She and the rest of the characters will surely remind you of someone you’ve met. MADILY IN LOVE will give you those occasional laugh-out-loud moments in between tugging on your heartstrings and making you want to choose reading over dinner. This is a great book and the perfect gift for the women in your life.

Reviewed by Susan Miura on November 19, 2012

Madily in Love
by Lynda Lee Schab