Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Series Review ~ MADLY, by M. Leighton

Today I have such a fun post! I have been dying to read the MADLY SERIES by M. Leighton for quite some time now. And now, I've finally gotten the chance to tackle all three books. Check out my series review of MADLY.
Madly (Madly, #1)Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is. Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both? This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime. ~From GoodReads

MADLY, the opening novella to the Madly Series was a nice introduction to the world created by author M. Leighton. In it, we meet the main players for the series: Jersey, Aidan, Jackson, and of course, Madly.

Madly is a mermaid princess, and attends the Veritas Academy in Slumber. Madly is joined by her two best friends, Jersey and Aidan, and Jersey's brother, Jackson. As a princess, Madly is bound by certain rules of her society, namely who she can love. But the heart wants what it wants, and Madly's heart wants Jackson, a Sentinel. When Madly's family is taken captive, Madly and Jackson team up in their effort to save their true home, Atlas. But will their professional relationship survive when chemistry ignites?

I found this novella to be quite charming. Madly, in addition to her friends Aidan and Jersey, are fun characters, true friends, who display a great amount of heart. Jackson is pure swoon, a character who can make me melt page after page. The lore Leighton employs in MADLY is truly inventive and I can't wait to read more.

Favorite Quote:

"Jackson's lips pursed as he kissed my fingertips, sending a shockwave of electricity scorching its way along my nerve ends. My eyes flew back to his. The sky blue was nearly imperceptible now, eclipsed by his ever-widening pupils. And in them there was a heat, a want that resonated somewhere deep within me. It fluttered in my stomach like a thousand butterflies, butterflies that knew something I did not. It burned in my chest like the age-old flame of recognition." (ebook, 23%)

Published June 2011

You can purchase MADLY (MADLY #1) at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Source: Personal Purchase

Madly & Wolfhardt (Madly, #1-2)Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is. Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well. Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves? ~From GoodReads

**While there may be spoilers for MADLY, there are no-spoilers for MADLY AND WOLFHARDT in this review.**

After reading MADLY, I was eager to continue the series. MADLY AND WOLFHARDT, book two, is where the adventure truly begins. In effort to capture the escaped Lore and free her family, Madly must find Wolfhardt, more commonly known as The Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. With the help of her best friend Jersey, and Sentinel, Jackson, Madly must piece together the clues, putting herself and her friends in danger. And though her royal lineage leaves her promised to another, Madly's heart continues to yearn for Jackson.

I don't know how I managed to stay in the dark on this, but I had no idea that the Madly Series includes fairy tale lore.  I mean, the word "Lore" is included in the synopsis and in the story. But until it was almost explicitly stated, I was clueless. What a dummy I am! If I had known, I would've been even more eager to read the series. M. Leighton's use of fairy tale legend was clever and fun. Even though, like I stated before, Wolfhardt is based on wolf from Red Riding Hood, Leighton loosely used the tale we know from childhood, and created her own legend. It was so cool!

As much as I love the story, I would be a big fat liar if I didn't come clean and admit that what truly makes this series such a fantastic read is The Love Story. Madly and Jackson. Sigh..
The story of Jackson and Madly proves that Leighton has a brilliant flair for writing chemistry. The tension between the two is nearly combustible. The longing for one another they share made me ache for them. And then, Jackson uttered the words, my favorite passage (thus far) in the series:

"When Jackson leaned down and pressed a sweet kiss to my cheek, he whispered in my ear, 'I love you, Madly James and if I never see you again, know this: someday, whether it's today or a hundred years from now, I'll die with you on my mind.' " (ebook, 82%)

Thud. <----The sound my heart made when I read that. My eyes burned with tears, my heart felt ready to burst. If nothing else, characters with that depth of emotion should sell you on this series.

MADLY AND WOLFHARDT was a joy to read. Full of fun characters, adventure, and great story-telling, who could ask for more?

Favorite Quote:

"I couldn't help the moan that escaped my lips. At that moment, I was lost to all else but Jackson. There was no right or wrong, no should or shouldn't, no do or don't - only feeling. Strong, all-consuming  feeling that I had neither the strength nor the desire to resist." (ebook, 38%)

Published July 22nd 2011 by M. Leighton Books

You can purchase MADLY & WOLFHARDT (MADLY #1 and #2) at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Source: Personal Purchase

Madly & the Jackal (Madly, #3)How deep does love run? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than memory? Deeper than magic? Following their plan to save Atlas, Madly and Jackson return the spirit of Wolfhardt to his prison beneath the sea. But even the best laid plans couldn’t account for the surprises they find. This time, Lore aren’t their only challenges. Madly is special in ways no one could have guessed and dark forces seek to control her. They want her power, but first they must weaken her. They need her beaten. Vulnerable. Near death. And alone. But that task isn’t an easy one with Jackson at her side. The strongest of their kind, the only way to separate Jackson from Madly is to destroy his love for her, to erase it from his mind. And his heart. Is it possible to steal Jackson’s love from Madly? Or is their love the only truly unbreakable thing? ~From GoodReads

**While there are no spoilers for MADLY AND THE JACKAL, there are spoilers for books one and two in the Madly Series.**

Picking up immediately where book two left off, MADLY AND THE JACKAL opens with Madly and Jackson headed to Atlas, with a plan to return the captured Lore and free Madly's family. But their journey to Atlas results in events beyond expectation. Jackson and Madly's lives take a truly wonderful, yet unexpected turn. But when more of the evil Lores are unleashed, their love may not survive.

Once again, Leighton gives us her unique spin on fairy tales. I continually find her brand of story-telling inventive, refreshing and fun. Her ability at descriptive writing is terrific. Even though Atlas is a place that exists only in her imagination, with her words, I could "see" that world under the sea. Beautiful.

Okay, I'm going to assume that the only people reading this review are the those who've read the series, or those who like spoilers, since I have an alert at the top of this review. This means that I can do this: OMSQUEEE!!!! MADLY AND JACKSON!! *tries to calm down* *fails* You guys!! I didn't see that coming!! The "ceremony" at the waterfall! Jackson's Bedroom! Then the shower!! *shoves head in the freezer* Okay, I'm cool now. Ahem. So, what I mean to say is, I really, really hoped Jackson and Madly's story would take the turn it did, but Michelle definitely went above and beyond my expectations. So. Freaking. Happy. And, oh wow, can she ever write a HAWT love scene. That Jackson, he's got skillz, yo. Stories like theirs, of true love and devotion in the face of all obstacles, is why I love romance.

As you can see, I loved MADLY AND THE JACKAL like crazy. With the action, the dramatic twists and turns and gorgeous romance, this story gave me everything I love in a book. I am going to be anxiously awaiting for Madly's next adventure.

Favorite Quote:

" 'There is nothing and no one on the face of the Earth that can take me from you. As long as you want me, I'm yours. Always.'
'But there are-'
'Shh,' he whispered, laying his index finger over my lips to still them. 'Nothing, Madly.'" (ebook, 2%)

Published May 29th 2012

You can purchase MADLY AND THE JACKAL AT:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review.

Find author M Leighton at:
her website  |  GoodReads  |   Twitter  |  Amazon


  1. I loved your reviews!! I can't wait to read these!! I got them a little while ago but I'm thinking I need to push them higher on my TBR pile. Great job my love!!!

    1. And yay for being the first to comment! Haha

  2. I only read the first review since I haven't read the series and don't want to read anything I shouldn't about the following books. This series sounds awesome and I want to read it eventually.

  3. You have me really looking forward to reading these. I signed up for a blog tour for Madly and now I am really excited. Great review.

  4. Eep! I've had the first novella for a while, but I haven't read it yet. Now, I really want to! I love all of the quotes.

  5. I like the covers, very alluring. Great reviews, so honest and to the point. Thanks for the boost.

  6. Oh how I love Jackson and I loved the waterfall ceremony too. The love between these two is so incredible! Man - head in freezer is necessary for this book!!

    Nice post girl.


  7. I've never heard of this series, until now and what a great review of the series! Usually
    I'm put off by mermaid stories but the mix of fairy tales and the fact that you enjoyed it makes me want to give this series a go!

  8. GREAT reviews! I am on the Madly Blog Tour and can't wait to read this series for myself. I am so glad you loved these books :-) I appreciate you sharing your thoughts! <3

  9. Sold! Seriously great reviews! I haven't read any of this series yet, but I'm dying to now. And I am in awe of the covers. Love!

  10. Okay, I am totally smitten by these covers. Amazing! Gorgeous! Totally unique! I only read your first review because I don't want to spoil the other stories. I am totally going to check these out. Thanks for posting!

  11. so I stopped by to read the review for Madly book one. It just went free on Amazon. Wee! I will be trying it out for sure. :0)I'm excited now, because I had no idea that madly was a mermaid. Mermaids for the win!!

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