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Spouse Trap (A Madeline Dawkins Novel Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Cynthia Hamilton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99
 
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Book Description

Madeline Ridley had all she’d ever dreamed of: a handsome, successful husband, a place at the top of Santa Barbara society, every luxury money could buy. In all respects, her world was perfect…until she awoke in the early morning hours in a strange hotel room, alone, unclothed, with a splitting headache and no clue how she had gotten there.

When Steven Ridley comes home in the middle of a weekday and throws a sheaf of damning photos at her, Madeline’s comfortable world collapses in a swirl of blackmail, sabotage and deceit. Hoping to convince Steven of her innocence, Madeline drives to his office and unwittingly stumbles onto a scene that makes her realize who the real enemy is.

From that point on, Madeline Ridley deconstructs herself, reverting back to Madeline Dawkins in order to salvage what’s left of her life. In the process, she discovers where her true strengths lay, and with those, she steels herself for the battle of a lifetime.

Spouse Trap is the first installment in the Madeline Dawkins series.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Some years ago I reviewed Cynthia Hamilton's novel, "Lucky at Love" and since then she has published three more, the latest of which is Spouse Trap in which Madeline Ridley, a Santa Barbara fundraising socialite sees her perfect life collapse in a swirl of blackmail, sabotage, and deceit...This is the first installment in a new series and provides lots of provocative, interesting reading.
              --Bookviews.com

About the Author

Cynthia Hamilton has recently embarked on a mystery series and has become hooked on working in this genre. The author does extensive research for all her books and her latest are no exception. To gear up for "Spouse Trap", the first book in the series, she took a detective course and spent countless hours investigating Guam, "virtually" living there so she could navigate her protagonist through a quickie divorce, with a little mayhem on the side.

"Spouse Trap," set in her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA, is the prequel to the series. It tells the story of how Madeline Ridley becomes Madeline Dawkins, and the dual careers she forges after going to hell and back. It was released in February 2013 and has received very enthusiastic feedback.

Because of what she put her heroine through in the first installment, the author realized Madeline needed to have martial arts training in the subsequent books. To that end, she has taken up karate, a discipline she has fallen in love with - so much so, she incorporated her instructor into her latest book. 

The author's other works include "A High Price to Pay: A Madeline Dawkins Novel," "Lucky at Love," "Alligators in the Trees," "Golden State," and her first non-fiction "Once Upon a Lyme..." which chronicles the onset of a mysterious illness and the unexpected dividend of becoming a writer. To learn more about the author and to sign up for updates to the series, please visit cynthiahamiltonbooks.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 731 KB
  • Print Length: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Woodstock Press (February 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BDB63AQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable thriller! March 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love a good mystery; whether it's pulp, neo-noir, urban fantasy, or sci-fi, I will gobble it up. But a solid mystery is hard to find, especially one that has the gripping momentum of Spouse Trap. This novel brings to mind the early Kinsey Millhone books by Sue Grafton, but combines a quick witted heroine with the lavish lifestyle found in stories by Mary Higgins Clark.

I loved that Madeine was human. She broke down & cried, she numbed herself with scotch, & chowed down on comfort food. But she also has the vulnerability of a socialite sheltered from "real" life. Whereas Higgins Clark's characters drive me crazy with their bubble baths & tea, Madeline's self deprecating bewilderment at having to cope without unlimited credit & hired help was actually endearing.

The plot of Spouse Trap shot out of the gates at a dead run, & was gripping enough for me to read in one sitting! The pacing did falter a little at the end, with a few scenes that felt overly dramatic a la Dynasty, so I knocked it down half a star (if only Amazon let me give half star marks!). But don't let that dissuade you from reading this fantastic book, you won't be disappointed!

The ending hints at a possible series, & I will definitely be picking up the next novel!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good and the bad April 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Good read with lots of twists and turns. The relationship between Mike and Madeline was not developed well enough to be plausible as the only one she could turn to. The evil husband was done very well. However, it was very distracting to see the author gushing over the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It would have been just as interesting without the constant spending sprees.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious March 11, 2013
By Arkypam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave this book 3 stars because the premise is good. In fact, I was so intrigued by the first couple chapters, I stopped reading and went to the computer to see if a sequel existed. I was happy to see that one was in the works. However, about a third of the way through the book, I found myself checking my Kindle to see how close I was to the end. In my opinion, the book bogged down in detail. The story takes place over the course of a few weeks and during that time, we are privy, in tedious detail to every meal the protagonist eats and every thought that passes through her mind. I believe this book could be shortened by half and be a better book. I may give this author another try if I can find a free book, but I probably wouldn't spend money for one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars starts out slow but picks up nicely September 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After the first several pages I was questioning my decision to purchase this book. I mean, the heroine came off as a self absorbed rich society snob and I never really felt too much sympathy for her situation. A couple of chapters in however I found it hard to put down. The mystery of who was really behind the whole set up intrigued me and out weighed the lack of character development -almost. Overall, it was interesting, a decent "beach read".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear. May 1, 2014
By Carey K
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The novel started out well, interesting premise. But it quickly turned into a paean to shopping-excess and then hit the skids. A spoiled Montecito housewife turns to the internet to learn how to debug her hotel room after the P.I she hires is ... well, no spoilers. I'll say no more than this: thank the literary gods that it was free.

I suppose the subtitle (A Madeline Dawkins novel) suggests that there will be more. Kinsey Millhone she ain't.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No question who did it, but why? February 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A terrifying and terrific ride through the upper echelons of Santa Barbara society. Madeline is a survivor. Just have to say that I'm sorry that... well, we'll just say I liked Burt. Great characters and a great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked Spouse Trap May 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: won this book through Goodreads.com.

Pros: This is a very good, pretty quick read; maybe quick because it’s hard to put down. I even tried reading it at work before everyone else got in, with the book on my lap under the desk just to see where this was going and ultimately winds up! I don’t take that chance with too many books.

The plot is written kind of like an episode of “Columbo” in the sense that you know at least one of the antagonists pretty early on, and that the immensely wronged Madeline Ridley (Dawkins) will probably ultimately prevail. But you still go along for the ride to see how she’ll prove it.

Unfortunately, there are a few cons. But as you can tell from the pros, they’re certainly not deal breakers. And let me say up front, some readers may not find these cons, reading a book is partially subjective. First there – again for me – was just too much designer name-dropping. I understand initially it helps define Madeline – and the life she had before it all fell apart. But it needlessly goes on throughout the whole novel. Second, we get a description of every meal she orders over the course of 291 pages. We get it: she was used to the best clothes, accessories and foods life had to offer. No need to carry this through the whole book.

Lastly and this is the biggest flaw. Madeline vacillates – often within the same paragraph! – between a resigned-to-be-strong, independent, newly-single woman – out to avenge being unjustly wronged - and a whiny, blubbering mess. No one will question that what happened to her is totally unjustified and I’m not discounting the seriousness of her initial ordeal, nor that her husband is a total sleaze-bag.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars would like to read the second installment
A lot of detail but the story kept you interested...would like to read the second installment.
Published 2 days ago by Lilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read. I thought the characters were colorful. Madeline' s character had a lot of sass . Read more
Published 4 days ago by Pamela Garner-Tibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spouse Trap....
I really didn't see it coming! That is, the surprise event in this book. A very different kind of plot here and one that holds you down so that you can't let go of it. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Helen M. Harrington
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A lot of surprises and suspense. A fast read,
Published 13 days ago by Donna Mullin
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great
I really enjoyed the first 1/3 of this book. It was fast paced & kept me reading. When Madeline went to Guam, the book became very boring, a lot of useless detail about clothes,... Read more
Published 19 days ago by tanqueray cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Very very good and intense. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 20 days ago by Judy
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow
I liked the book and the characters but found the story a bit slow. I found myself wanting to skip ahead to hurry up the story.
Published 24 days ago by Kathryn Bicigo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery
The lengthy that her husband will to, get rid of her. But she hires a detective and gets to the bottom of her husband's shady deals. The ending is a good one.
Published 1 month ago by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars This one holds your attention right until the end!
This was a book that I couldn't put down until it was finished. The main character is a rich, spoiled woman who finds strength she didn't know she possessed and takes back her... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JudiB
3.0 out of 5 stars but up to that point it was a great read!
The ending was not satisfying, but up to that point it was a great read!
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer L Harper
Search Customer Reviews
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More About the Author

Cynthia Hamilton has recently embarked on a mystery series and has become hooked on working in this genre. The author does extensive research for all her books and her latest are no exception. To gear up for "Spouse Trap", the first book in the series, she took a detective course and spent countless hours investigating Guam, "virtually" living there so she could navigate her protagonist through a quickie divorce, with a little mayhem on the side.

"Spouse Trap," set in her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA, is the prequel to the series. It tells the story of how Madeline Ridley becomes Madeline Dawkins, and the dual careers she forges after going to hell and back. It was released in February 2013 and has received very enthusiastic feedback.

Because of what she put her heroine through in the first installment, the author realized Madeline needed to have martial arts training in the subsequent books. To that end, she has taken up karate, a discipline she has fallen in love with - so much so, she incorporated her instructor into her latest book.

The author's other works include "A High Price to Pay," "Lucky at Love," "Alligators in the Trees," "Golden State," and her first non-fiction "Once Upon a Lyme..." which chronicles the onset of a mysterious illness and the unexpected dividend of becoming a writer. To learn more about the author and to sign up for updates to the series, please visit http://www.cynthiahamiltonbooks.com.

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