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Madison's Song by Christine Amsden

Madison's Song

by Christine Amsden

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Being raised in a family that views magic as inherently evil - in a town where magic rules supreme - Madison Carter once believed that learning that she was adopted was the only knowledge that could truly shock her. As a child, her father had always told her that her musical talent wasn't a magically-gifted affinity, but a devilish curse that she must never use. Her friendship with Cassie Scot may have given Madison the needed strength to defy her adoptive father and become an elementary school music teacher; but nothing could have possibly prepared her for learning the true identity of her birth father, or for being kidnapped by an evil sorcerer.

Madison has been terrified of Scott Lee ever since the night that he saved her life - then melted into a man-eating monster right in front of her. She actually hasn't had a good night's sleep since her rescue, and the nightmares that plague her aren't only about her kidnapping. The werewolf may be ruled by the moon, but Madison's nightmares definitely are not.

Despite her own fears, when Madison's brother Clinton is bitten by a werewolf, she knows that there is only one man who can possibly help him. He is the one man who frightens Madison to the very marrow of her bones, all the more so because even in her nightmares, he thrills her. Now Madison must swallow her fear, and turn to Scott Lee for his help. Clinton's very life may depend on it.

Together for the first time since that terrible night, Scott and Madison drive to Clinton's apartment. Learning from Clinton's roommate that he hasn't been there for close to a week - and hasn't been seen anywhere else in the community - Madison begins to worry that her brother has completely vanished. Frantic now, she must overcome her fears and discover her inner strengths if she has any hope of finding her missing brother and saving him.

Madison may feel utterly alone as she struggles with her internal demons, but she is not the only one who is fighting them. Scott's inner demons are entirely too real for him; too literal. And they have him utterly convinced that he will never be worthy of the woman he loves - that he will never deserve her love, no matter what he does.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This is a standalone companion to the Cassie Scot Series - and while I loved the character of Cassie Scot - I often found myself wanting to know more about the character of Madison Carter. In my opinion, Madison was such a poignant character to watch throughout this story.

She was so painfully shy and had such a low self esteem at first, that I felt sorry for her situation. I must say that I never felt sorry for Madison as a character, and was delighted to see her development throughout the story. I give this book a definite A+! ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Mar 20, 2017 |
Madison is a very real, believable character, caught up in an urban fantasy world and struggling to align her self-image with reality, her self-worth with the possibility of love, and her Catholic faith with the possibility of magic. The story comes near the end of the author’s Cassie Scott series, and takes one of the side-characters on a journey of her own, but readers don’t need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy this book. There’s a large background of town and people sketched in with just the right amount of depth. But there’s also a firm sense of the here and now in the way the story unfolds, as Madison learns that power might be God-given responsibility, and love might begin with the gift of loving yourself.

I love the series and I’m only sorry I didn’t read this one earlier. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Nov 14, 2016 |
"4 out of 5 stars! A spin-off from Ms. Amsden’s Cassie Scot Mystery Series about Cassie’s best friend Madison who deals with coming to terms with her “magic,” using her gift of song as something more than the kids she teaches, finding a way to help her brother, and finding out to deal with her feelings towards Scott, the local Alpha werewolf.

I found this novel to be intensely riveting, especially with how Madison goes through the process of being a “little mouse” of a woman to standing on her two own feet. The changes Madison goes through throughout this novel are dramatic..."

Read more of this review, THREE TEASERS, & an EXCERPT here: http://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com/2015/07/blog-tour-feasted-on-madisons-... ( )
  fromjesstoyou | Mar 21, 2016 |
I was so sad when I finished the Cassie Scot series.

Then I was so excited to get my hands on Madison’s Song. It’s a companion book to the series and features several characters I wanted to know more about.

Christine Amsden is a master at hooking you into the story from the first couple of sentences. The prologue captivated me right away. I pressed on, anxious to get to the whole story and excited to enter this world again.

I always thought Madison was stronger, more than she thought she was. Her power of song, her gift of evoking emotions through her singing, is a powerful gift. She is just discovering how handy it can be. Especially with werewolves slathering to eat her.

Her fear of werewolves is well founded. An encounter with Scott, the local pack leader, left her riddled with nightmares and dealing with lots of anxiety. To be around him terrifies her.

This is where she shows her toughness though. Her brother Clinton has vanished after calling and telling her he’s been bitten by a werewolf. The only one she knows might be able to help him is Scott.

Imagine Scott’s surprise when he opens the door and there stands Madison. He knows how she feels about him. He can’t blame her after what he put her through. That shes’ there at all stuns him.

Of course he’ll help her. He’s Clinton’s only chance at surviving the transformation and attacks from other packs. Plus it gives him time to be close to Madison. Maybe to change her fear of him to something else. Something more romantic.

But that’s a problem too as his best friend, Evan, a powerful wizard, is Madison’s half brother. His threats to rip Scott limb from limb if he so much as looks at Madison are not to be taken lightly.

I couldn’t wait for the road trip with Scott and Madison. These two are perfect for each other and I’ve been waiting a long time to see if or how they finally hook up.

Things get strange when they run across a rogue werewolf, Clara. She’s a werewolf but she wasn’t bitten. Using her to track down who took Clinton, they stumble onto something. It could be good for the werewolves, or it could be disastrous. I had a feeling it couldn’t be good so I read late into the night to find out.

I found out. I found out a lot of things by the end of the book.

I loved every bit of this and sure hope the author continues with more companion novels. I can think of many other characters who I’d enjoy getting to know better. ( )
  laura-thomas | Feb 1, 2016 |
Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…

One haunting sentence, perfectly describing the entire underlying struggle in this book. A story full of tension and suspense, and completely finger-wringing worthy.

Madison was a remarkably mysterious and interesting side character in the Cassie Scot series. She was an important piece of that chess game, and it's wonderful to read more about her, exploring what happened after the dramatic ending of Cassie's story. She was the character I found myself identifying with the most in that series, and was eager to have the opportunity to read more about her.

Scott was the same way. I felt intrigued by his character, and kept hoping he would be explored a bit deeper during the original series. I love that they have their own story now, and a final conclusion to their connection. Understanding them each a bit more adds depth to the original story line, and answers several questions previously raised and left unanswered.

The book starts out intense, and honestly made me slightly uncomfortable and overwhelmed. No light or subtle preamble about it, simply thrust into the depths of anguish and heartache. We dive into the tormented lives Madison and Scott have each endured both before and after an agonizing turn of events, that leave the pair in excruciating pain. The desire to feel both compassion and judgment for them is overwhelming, quickly pulling you into the raw emotion of this story.

I would definitely say this is a book for upper Young Adult, or New Adult readers. The entire book is intense, with constant scenes of gore, violence, and mature content, as well as sexual scenes which, while not entirely graphic, are intense and overwhelming to the reader, leaving little to the imagination. The mixture of religious themes from Catholicism, completely intertwined with supernatural (and unnatural) creatures, magic and folklore may also make some uncomfortable, but is a core part of this story.

Christine Amsden is definitely a writer with superb talent, and I've enjoyed every book I've read from her. She is a gifted storyteller, never failing to pull me into her stories, connecting me with the world she's created, and the characters living, fighting and dying there. This book is probably one of my favorites from her so far, and it has certainly left it's mark on me.

The ending though - agh, the ending!! Exactly the opposite of what I was hoping for, but most likely what Madison would have wanted. It did leave me feeling a bit let down honestly, after such an intense and emotional book. An anticlimactic finish to thirty four chapters of build up and suspense.

Having such a disappointing ending however, is really the only thing I didn't like. It's a wonderful read, especially for fans of this series. I think a lot of the depth would be lost on someone reading it without first devouring the Cassie Scot series, and while the majority of the back story is explained, it would be difficult to follow if you don't know the original story.

It is a book I'd recommend to anyone, however, and I think can be enjoyed by any fan of this genre.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Rose.Wallin | Jan 20, 2016 |
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