Klayton Caldwell owns a tattoo shop in Denver, Colorado, and has seen just about everything and met just about every kind of person. And they all have one thing in common. Ink.
He isn’t complicated. What you see is what you get. Sex? Always. Relationships? Never. Pleasantries? He doesn’t do that either. Those who can’t handle his mouth get inked elsewhere. Klayton holds everyone at a distance, even his friends. He doesn’t do “close.”
Until Madison ends up in his tattoo parlor, broken, afraid and alone. There’s something about her, and almost immediately, Klayton’s guard drops. Now, everything he knows about himself changes as his life begins to unravel.
Twenty-year-old Madison Hart’s future was taken from her the moment she was abducted from her college campus and held captive. After escaping, she flees, running into a stranger. A stranger who shares a similar past. Someone who might be able to help her heal. If she’ll let him.
Madi comes into Klayton’s life like a storm. She’s beautiful. Pitiful. Dangerous. Her pain runs deep enough that she may never be able to talk about what she’s experienced. Her refusal to talk takes a level of patience Klayton’s not sure he has.
He must navigate her broken pieces by changing everything he is. Who he’s been all these years won’t work anymore. But Madi fights him, she fights herself. She fights the madness.
She refuses to talk. He can’t control his mouth. She doesn’t want to be touched. He can’t help himself. They don’t want love. Inside this storm, is a love so mad it might destroy them both.
MAD LOVE is book 1 in the Guns & Ink series from Shana Vanterpool. Look for the rest of the Guns & Ink series coming soon from Swoon Romance.
Shana Vanterpool is a passionate writer who finds solace in the pages of a good book. When she walks into a bookstore, she feels at home, and when she reads, she becomes the person she has always wanted to be. With her love for writing, Shana aims to provide her readers with an escape from their everyday lives, just as reading has done for her.
Fabulous cover on this one. Perfect representation of the hero. Excellent composition and title work as well.
I LOVED this book. It was VERY nearly a 5 Star read for me. The only thing that stopped it from being perfect was the "Lynda" stuff. I don't think him hooking up twice with her after meeting the heroine added a single thing to the story and did take away from the romance for me. But honestly, it was just a little niggle in an otherwise phenomenal book.
The writing was fantastic. The pace was great. The plot was engaging and kept me turning the pages. This is not a book filled with sex due to the heroine having been held captive a raped and that was all right by me. It felt real and authentic and heartbreaking. There was only one major secondary character (CAT), and I LOVED her and can't wait to see her get her HEA in the next book (please let it be with BRANDO). Both main characters were PERFECT. Watching Klayton struggle and fall in love with Madison was a joy to experience. He starts off as a bit of a douche, but you will soon be wanting to hug the stuffing out of his cranky ass. Madison broke my heart. I loved her spirit. My heart broke for her so many times. This couple will captivate you from page one and hold your heart in their hands right up to the end. And the final chapter, well that will have you smiling like a loon.
Not much more to say really. It was fantastic, and it gets two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly!
Mad Love is Shana Vanterpool's start to her new series, Guns & Ink. This book follows Madison after she escapes from her abductor and finds a safe haven with a grouchy tattoo artist. Klayton becomes her protector and one of the only people that understand her pain.
I really enjoyed getting to know these characters. Neither of them had it easy in life but that made their connection so much stronger since they could understand each other on a deeper level. Mad's pain was fresher than Klayton's but that didn't make his any less real and I loved those moments that it was Mad comforting Klay and not the other way around. It really showed how she was becoming stronger the longer she spent her time with Klay.
This author did a great job at portraying the pain Mad went through in a realistic way, yet still kept this book from being too dark. I definitely can't wait to get more of her writing and I'm hoping the next book will be out soon so I can get more of the secondary characters we met in this one.
Overall Opinion: I’m bummed. This has been on my tbr list for a while and it seems as though most of my GR friends that have read it loved it. I didn’t love it. I just thought it was just okay. I felt for their damage and traumatic pasts, but I didn’t necessarily connect or get emotionally involved with either of these characters. I just felt kind of meh about it all 🤷🏻♀️
Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Madison and Klayton’s story. Klayton’s friend, Cat, begs him to take in Madison after finding her following an obvious traumatic event. Madison is fearful of men, does not want to be touched, and won’t eat or sleep — so Klayton is not overly eager to take in the damaged girl. They spend more time together and Madison starts to trust Klayton even though he doesn’t trust himself with the big job of helping her heal. There are some sad moments, some sweet scenes, and a few sexy times...and they get a HEA.
Point Of View (POV): This alternated between Madison and Klayton’s POV.
Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well.
Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.
H (Hero) rating: 4 stars. Klayton. I liked him. He was gruff and a jerk sometimes but super sweet and protective inside.
h (heroine) rating: 3 stars. Madison. I thought she was alright. I felt for her trauma, but I didn’t really connect with her.
Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed for me but others might need them.
Heat level: Good. They have some tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story (and not very much because the h is damaged)
Descriptive sex: Yes, but never full intercourse.
OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Yes
Sex scene with OW or OM: No
Cheating: Not IMO, but I’m sure others would classify it as such
Possible Triggers: Yes
Closure: This had pretty good closure with what I would call a HEA, but I would’ve appreciated more time experiencing that HEA with them.
Safety: This one is probably Not Safe for most safety gang readers
My first book from Shana Vanterpool and it was fabulous. The blurb and reviews convinced me and I wasn’t disappointed. Mad Love is emotionally dark and I expected it to be given the trauma Madison experienced. The only part that wasn’t dark was the epilogue and I actually liked that. The trauma Madison experienced was depicted with authenticity that only made the story more raw and real.
The characters Madison, Klayton and Cat were incredible. I loved them all and I was invested in their story. Klayton was a man who lived with an emptiness which he’d chosen himself. The only thing and person that mattered to him was his tattoo parlor Guns & Ink and his friend and colleague Cat. That all slowly began to change when Cat brought Madison to his tattoo parlor. I loved the slowly evolved friendship between Madison and Klayton. It wasn’t rushed and it shouldn’t be because of Madison’s trauma. Her trust in him was her road back to a new Madison. She was also the reason Klayton wanted more in his life besides emptiness.
As difficult as it was at times because of Madison’s reaction post trauma it was a beautiful and raw love story with flawed and honest characters that got under my skin. The epilogue was incredible! It captured beautifully how important Mad and Klay were for each other. Now I’m beyond excited to read Cat’s story.
I won this ARC in a giveaway and this is my honest review.
An emotional story about a girl (Madison) who is abducted and kept for a month. She escapes and that’s how she meets Cat who takes her to Klayton. Klayton agrees for Madison to stay with him and even though they both didn’t like the idea of staying together in the beginning, it slowly changes. It’s an emotional ride, bringing two broken souls together, they are complete the opposite, Madison being a good girl and Klayton being the typical bad boy type.
I loved these two together, I loved how Klayton looked after her and bought her everything she needed. He helps her heal and does what he thinks is best for her even if it means he would be hurting.
I took my time reading this fabulous, dark and beautiful story. I like the characters. The female main character is brave, strong and a survivor of rape. The author didn’t get into the details of this horrible act. But she gave us was the knowledge it happened. We the reader did not experience this horrific violation with Madison. We get the after escape, the healing process. The bond she develops with her savior and friend. I was quivering with emotions from her breakdowns. How a stranger can also be your safety net. I am so glad I got to read this book. I felt each character is described good. The back story about each one was done adequate. After my read I was left feeling happy because we do get a HEA. “Which I also look forward to when the story is done.” Just knowing that the characters had a good future is my reward.
I think I have found a new favorite Shana Vanterpool book, and I need book two stat! Mad Love is more intense and emotional that Shana's other work, but there was a great balance and I absolutely loved it.
Madison was abducted from her college campus, and when she escapes she finds solace with a stranger. She is terrified and rightly so. Klayton doesn't do relationships and doesn't want any complications, but Madison does something to him.
This book had it all and more. I loved the story and the plot. And will admit that I smiled at the end. You will have to read it yourself to see what I mean. The characters were complex and you felt their struggles. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend you one click it today. 5 stars.
Klayton is the owner of Guns & Ink. When Cat, his best friend, walks in one day with a girl in tow that needs Klay's help, not having any choice in this matter, Klay agrees that he can help Madi out. But Madi is more broken than he could have ever guessed. Having suffered horrible trauma at some madman's hands, Madi is a shell of the person she once was. Having nobody to go to, she struck luck when she ran into Cat on the street and now she is in an apartment with Klay, a guy who doesn't want anything to do with her, but that's a good thing.... isn't it? What happens when Klay realizes that he isn't enough to help heal Madi, broken can't fix broken.
This was so good! Giving us a darker read, dealing with a really nasty issue, the author wrote this so hauntingly beautiful. This gave me the feels on so many different levels, as a woman, a daughter, and a mom. I loved that this didn't have the conventional HEA, the type where they fell in love and magically everyone is better again. I give this 5 stars and I will definitely be reading from Shana Vanterpool again.
Let me start this review by saying that I *normally* don’t like first books in series. I don’t know why, but I simply don’t. Shana’s books are ALWAYS an exception. She has the gift of opening a series with EXCELLENCE. So I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t put Mad Love down once I started reading it.
What a fantastic book! Shana’s writing is impeccable, the characters, the pace, the drama and the romance are spot on!
I loved Madison and every broken part of her… I could feel her pain and all the fear. I cried throughout the whole book and at the end, I cried some more.
And Klayton… well, he was just SO PERFECT that I think it’ll be very hard for any other male character that comes after him in the series to be as remarkable as he was. Klay is grumpy and he tries his best to just not care, but he is THE MOST caring, amazing and loving guy.
Get this book and just read it. I swear you won’t regret.
Once in a while a book becomes more than just a story. The words become your world and the rest? Well, everything else becomes the backdrop to a story that unfolds like you are a part of it. Not that I can understand what Madison has gone through. Not at all. Painful, horrific, and seemingly impossible to be dealt with, Mad is not dealing at all. Until Klayton becomes her unlikely saviour.
How does someone who surrounds himself with few people, suddenly find the one person who suddenly becomes his world? Complicated, soul-searching and emotional to the nth degree, their story is beautiful and engrossing, and at times unexpectedly… funny.
How can this be funny? Given the subject matter, and it is dark and disturbing for sure, it is also a testament to the human spirit. How it can be pummeled within an inch of its life but somehow, somehow, it comes back. Bruised, forever changed, but somehow better. Humour finds its way through the cracks somehow and brings these two even closer as they deal with things, one tentative kiss and conversation at a time. While the story seemed awkward at times that in no way took away from the emotional powerhouse that saw Mad and Klay both finding light, for themselves and with each other.
The blurb caught my eye but the heart and soul in this writing will keep me coming back. I can’t wait for more!
Arc provided by author for honest review. Mad Love is completely different from Shanas regular writes. It's completely raw and open. It will make you mad angry and sad and laugh at times. Madi and klay are not perfect by any means. They are strong though and oh so loveable they both deserves the absolute best. When you read there story you will completely understand. Enjoy!
I won't go into a long review here. I will just say the heroine experience extreme sexual abuse trauma and horror. How everything was dealt with from her escape to the epilogue, I did not agree with. The overall storytelling seemed not very well developed or well explained.
This is the first book that I have read by this writer. I absolutely loved it . It was hot at times, sweet at times and breathtaking at times. Everything that you want in a good well written book. Madison(Mad) is a simple girl who went through something that no girl should have to go through.She is found by Cat a friend and taken to Klay's house. Klay is someone that keeps to himself but helped Cat when she needed him. Cat was thinking that he could do the same for Madison. But in the end Klay does so much more for Madison then either one of them realize. I absolutely loved the character chemistry between these two characters. Madison and Klay together were amazing. So very well written. I loved how they each had a past but dealt with the situations together to get through what was needed. As hard as Klay is Madison broke through and made him even better. Very well written amazing book. I loved it and highly recommend it. Shana has gained a fan. I cant wait to read the next book in this series.
I'm emotional wrecked... This has put me through the ringer and I'm okay with it. I'm smiling and crying a little while I write this review. This story will make the coldest black heart melt. I loved how the author allowed the reader to understand Madison "Mad" pov after she was taken and sexual abused. She saw the struggle she had to cope. Mad was struggle with who she was after the ordeal and how to be around people. But mostly she was struggling with being around men. Any type of trust she had was completely shattered. Klayton Caldwell and past issues that he was struggle with as well, which ultimately made him the man he was today.
Even though Mad wanted to be alone, I still believe she wanted comfort but didn't know how to ask for it. Klay sure as hell didn't know how to comfort anyone. He didn't know how to deal with anyone feelings. But eventually he did change because of Mad. I loved every moment of the change. I loved how Mad's trust was growing when at first there was none. Mad put her trust in Klay when he broke with her. Monsters don't cry and were willing to understand your brokeness and break with you.
Quote 1: The pain of her sobs was so deep, so dark; I feel right along with her again. I'd never willingly fallen, and definitely not for another person. But with Mad, I wanted to hold her hand and brace myself for impact when we landed.
Quote 2: Klayton was my hero. Not because he held my broken parts, but because my broken parts book him too. Love wasn't about sex or commitments to us. Love was about never remembering our emptiness. Because together, we weren't empty. Together, we were happy.
Quote 3: Our love was mad. But in our madness, we found the perfect kind of love.
These three quotes, along with many others, did me in. I'm still crying while I type and review over this read. I didn't want the story to end. I wanted more Klayton and Mad. They were imperfection as a couple made them perfect. If you can't tell by now, as a reader, that you should get a copy of this book then you don't know.... What is mad love? God... I want it.
My Playlist: James Bay- Let It Go Linkin Park- Heavy James Arthur-Say You Won't Let Go Julia Michael-Issues Jon Bellion-All Time Low G Eazy- Me, Myself, and I Maroon 5- What Lovers Do Alessia Cara- Scars To Your Beautiful
Mad Love is the first novel in the Guns and Ink Series. This novel tells a heartbreaking story of a girl living in fear that her past will catch up to her and a man hell bent on spending his days alone with no emotional connections.
This novel is going to be one that will stick with me for years. This novel weaves a story about getting through the social fear after getting captured and abused. Madi's story was so heartbreaking, the emotions portrayed in this novel were spot on and flawless. I felt the fear she was feeling.
Klayton is a tough man to watch this complete stranger go through all the highs and lows and still want to be there for her to help and guide her through this mess that is her life.
I loved Mad Love! This novel was gut wrenching and stole my breath from time to time. I cannot wait to continue on with this series!
That's it... It's official... I'm insane.. Insanely crazy and obsess with books. I just can't put them down nor do I want to do so. Shana Vanterpool had started a new series and I'm so happy for it because I love new authors. Her writing is intense, beautiful and raw. Mad Love is the first book from the Guns & Inked series and I can't imagine what's next... This book tells the stories of Klayton and Madison. Klayton had suffered a lot in his life and wants to to be left alone doing his craft. He just wants peace and ink people. One day his best friend brings a girl that needs help and let's just say that it was a bumpy road to do. Madison had a ruff life after being abducted from her campus. She was kept by an insane guy and was abused in every way you can imagine. When she's able to get away she seeks help knocking on Klayton's door. This was a story about two broken souls that had suffered so much and just want to find a happy place. The plot is amazing, intense and sad sometimes. I wad so into the story that I didn't wanted to put the book down. I simply could do so and that made me a prisoner of this plot. Shana you nailed it. I was anxious, sad, mad, furious sometimes and I'm so glad for the chance to know your work. But I'm scared. Lol. Scared for what's about to come. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I started this book thinking this one was going to be a five star read. By 38%, I was bored and found myself skimming.
The heroine was kidnapped and abused. She escaped and finds herself living with hero above his tattoo shop. The heroine was unable to be close to any man, but she felt safe around the hero even though he was not warm to her. This was a great start to the story, but their behaviors became redundant and repetitive.
This one did not work for me and I ended up being very disappointed. You may love it. Reading is subjective.
Once again, Shana has blown me away with her words. This was one emotional roller coaster which I never wanted to leave. This is not by any means a fluffy romance, it's raw, it's emotional, and it will grip you and not let you go until long after you've turned the last page. This is definitely going on my list of top reads for 2017.
The character's aren't perfect, they're broken, damaged, and that's what pulled me in and kept me invested, throughout. They weren't made up, they were real. Shana so easily weaves magic, her words are gripping, they pull you into the story, leaving you needing more.
One click, this is so worth it! If I could give it more stars, I would.
This is my first Shana Vanterpool read and I loved Klayton and Madison's story. I could not put it down.
Mad Love gives you Klayton who is the owner of Guns & Ink. Madison is brought in by his best friend and is in need of help. Klay agrees but at first, he doesn't realize just how broken she is. Shes the shell of who she used to be. Can Klay help her mend the broken pieces when he himself is broken? This book will give you the feels on so many different levels. I know for sure I will be reading more from Shana in the future.
This is a hard review to write... I love Madi and Klay together, but I had some reservations.
Madi was kidnapped and raped, held hostage for long while. She stumbles into Klay's life and tattoo parlor. Klay reluctantly takes her in and tries to help her. Will he be able to help her?
While the story was very engaging, I had some problems with the characters. Klay was a little bit too much at first. Madi was so broken. Some of the interactions seemed off. However, sticking with it, you see Klay really cares and is sort of broken too. We get glimpses of his backstory, but not a lot. I felt like that could have helped.
I REALLY WISH TO HAVE A Klayton Caldwell in my life!!!!
This is the story of a broken doll, a wild angel, a beautiful but damaged girl. Her name is Madison. The nightmare she went through got her into million pieces. She hasn't the strength to fight against the memory and the deep consequences of her nightmare, because she keeps falling down over and over again. She doesn't trust anybody. She doesn't want to see, hear or by touch by men. Men means danger, means fear, means HIM....her nightmare. But Klayton is different. Wow just talk about him, and I can barely keep breathing. That guy is EXCEPTIONAL!!!!! He's the EXCEPTION of the rule. When any other man would escape, he stays next to her, when any other man would judge he understand, when any other man would freak out he still standing and waiting patiently. When any other man would demand for more, he feels lucky and privileged just for a touch or a few words. Kay is PERFECT!!! Really a guy like him is one in a million!!! While I was reading this tearjerker but great story I loved him more and more. Together! This is the only way to heal, to try again, to breath, to feel again, to live, to have a happy ending. I cried for Mad.& Klay, I cried with Mad & Klay, and I smiled again thanks to Mad & Klay!!!!
Mad Love destroyed me in so many emotional ways, that I'm still reeling from it, and I finished it yesterday. Klayton Caldwell is a grumpy/sexy man who owns his a tattoo shop in Denver, and he has not inclination for any sort of relationships. However his world is turned upside down when Madison comes across his path. She's a 20 year old woman who was kidnapped from her college campus, and held for a while. Madison is completely broken, but for whatever reason, she grows to feel safe with Klay. He must learn to not talk so loudly, and she must learn to talk. Yeah, that's a pitiful description of the bring me to my knees angst levels that I just experienced, but spoiler douchery is a no no. Trust me when I say, that even the most hard hearted person will find their eyes leaky while reading this, as there's no quick fix for Madison's pain & terror, which is realistically portrayed. Shana Vanterpool outdid herself with this hard to read awesome piece of dark goodness, and a brilliant writing style shone brightly. I will keep this short, as everyone just needs to experience this story for themselves, so I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
I was scrolling through my feed when I found this book. I was intrigued by another reviewer and I decided to dive right into the book.
Needless to say, I gobbled the book in a few hours.
First, the relationship between Klayton and his best friend Cat was beautifully written, very realistic and quite humorous. I enjoyed their brother-sister banter back and forth.
Like siblings, they pushed each others buttons and called each other out on their bullshit.
At the end of the day, no matter how testy Klayton and Cat got with each other the love and loyalty was always there. Nothing would change that.
Klayton and Madison had a very different relationship.
Madison had suffered significant trauma before Cat took her under her wing and brought her into Klayton's tattoo shop. Cat essentially begged Klay to help Madison or she would die on the streets. Klayton was not happy about the Madison crashing at his place, but Cat wouldn't let him say no.
While the author saved us from dumping Klayton's backstory all at once, as a reader you gather that his childhood was not pleasant; there was neglect and there was abuse. He empathizes with Madison and the trauma she survived. That is their common ground.
However, Klayton is very set in his ways, like an old dog living in a very hot, sexy, tattooed body. Anyway, moving on. Klayton isn't the most patient person and he has a tendency towards anger.
With the trauma Madison survived, she needed a calm environment to heal, ultimately pushing and testing the grumpy-gus Klayton to change the way he reacted around Madison, and to feel his emotions instead of exploding into a rage.
He was patient. He is protective without douchebaggery. He was kind.
Now, did Klayton get it right all the time? Oh no. He yelled when he shouldn't have and he blew things out of proportion. The boy done n' f*cked up plenty of times.
And don't forget Lynda. Lynda who likes to lay down with everyone.
He made poor decisions that some readers will crucify him for. All human mistakes.
Madison literally shows up on his doorstep and Klay finds himself physically attracted to Madison.
A.) He can't act on those feelings given her trauma B.) He can't react how he typically would, which is anger because it will trigger Madison
The boy is all out of coping skills. Except one. Meaningless sex.
Klayton is in navigating unfamiliar emotional territory and chooses to release those feelings in a way that he is familiar with. Klayton realizes his mistake and that old ways of coping don't work anymore, he needs to change and Madison is the motivation for that change.
With Klayton's help, Madison begins to find small comforts & security in her new home with him. She beings to find old & new pieces of herself after surviving trauma. She's lived a relatively controlled and sheltered life before her abduction.
Madison takes two steps forward and another five back. Navigating trauma is painful. The author portrayed such a sensitive topic in a real way.
When Klayton broke down with Madison in his arms. It completely wrecked me.
Klayton and Cat realize that they are not enough. Cat faces her own lesson and its beautifully expressed. Klayton doesn't believe he is good for her and in some ways, he's not, enabling her. Madison is drowning. She needs more help than they are capable of giving.
Klayton makes a heart wrenching and selfless choice to get Madison the help that she desperately needs. Klayton knows that his actions will hurt Madison and that he will most likely lose her as a result, but it is a sacrifice that he is determined to make to ensure that she survives.
That's love my friends. *sigh*
Please note, that this book could be triggering for some readers.
So why not five stars?
There were moments when Klayton blew things out of proportion for reasons that weren't legit to me, and seemed silly. Secondly, kissing her the first time, was unnecessary and didn't seem to fit. I wanted a deeper more meaningful reason.
Uh. Period. You don't do that. Anything but that. Ew. No. Stop that. Unnecessary. That is all I will say about that.
I would have liked to see more interactions between Klay, Madison and everyone else to see how they would have handled that together. There was a point where the understandable co-dependency became stage-five-clinger status and it was a tad much.
I felt robbed at the ending. I'm a greedy little book worm and I wanted more, more, more. Overall, it was a great book and I will definitely be reading more by Shana Vanterpool in the future.