2015, 2015 Reviews, ARC, Books

Happily Ever After?!? A review of Conflicting Webs by Darlene Quinn


Sweeping sagas are something I love, particularly because it allows me to go in and read a few books before I have to worry about not having anything else to read by the author. And, when I was given an opportunity by publisher Greenleaf book Group Press to read the newest in Darlene Quinn’s Conflicting Webs (the newest in the Toddman-Taylor saga), I jumped at the chance to read an e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

The Wedding of April Toddman and Kyle Clark should be one of the happiest days of the Toddman and Taylor families, but a vicious attack by the mother of Kyle’s daughter (and flower girl) and a horrific accident the night before shakes the very fabric of the happy nuptials. April and Kyle will need their friends and extended families now more than ever, just to survive their honeymoon and the holidays. But, are the couple strong enough to face these challenges together?

This was a welcome return to the world Quinn created, nestled amongst the world of the rich and luxury department stores (and the people behind them). I loved the focus on April Toddman, whom longtime readers may connect from another novel. April is a very sympathetic and happiness-deserving character. I really enjoyed the focus on her charitable work. Being stuck in between your fiancee/husband and his ‘baby mama’ is never easy, and April juggles this in a mature and believeable way. She handled it so well, and with a grace that was admirable.

I was saddened by the storyline involving Madison, the maid of honor and her terrible accident. The recovery was very real, and I felt like there was extensive research done in order to give this an extra level of realism. It would be extremely frustrating to not be able to use hands or your voice to communicate. And, while I feel like it would be excruciating, Quinn handled it really well. Luckily, Madison was a friend to a fortunate family, but there are many people who are in a very similar situation without the financial help of friends.

Kyle’s daughter, Lindsay was a treat. Raised by her Grandmother, Nora, she’s an honest and real child, who may have grown up a little sooner than normal, based on the interactions she has with her mother, Brittany. Brittany’s storyline is almost ludicrous, but even the most critical reader will have a hard time denying the character’s growth throughout the novel. If anything, Nora’s ex-husband is possibly the only real villain of the novel. Nora nurtures Lindsay’s relationship with her father and stepmother knowing it is for the good of the child—which is a very tough decision to make.

Darlene Quinn creates a dramatic (and very filmic, a la Lifetime) story which compels the reader to not only keep turning the page, but also seek out more books in the series. As someone familiar with her work, I was happy to read this and be returned to that world. I think this is a perfect beach read or a women’s fiction read. The work Darlene has done in the past is detailed at the end of the book, along with real-time social issues and a message that runs as an undercurrent of the book. Which will make even the most savvy reader thing. One of the things I realized was that she was slated to visit my local Barnes and Noble store. And, she and I also live in the same city!

I was happy to read this book. Check it out on April 7, 2015 at your favorite retailer in your favorite format!

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