Daily Review: Spouse Trap by Cynthia Hamilton
July 5, 2019
Imagine you have the perfect life: money, position, influence, an enviable marriage. Then you awake in a hotel room – alone, unclothed, a splitting headache, and no idea how you got there. Welcome to Madeline’s world…
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 one horrible night when everything unraveled.
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.
By Jo-Anne B.
Could you imagine waking up in a hotel room (not knowing where you are), naked but don’t know how you got there nor remember much from the night before?
Here was a woman who had life by the tail. She and her husband had lots of money and were well respected in Santa Barbara. Her life was perfect…until it wasn’t. When her husband threw photos at her of her having sex with another man and demanding a divorce, her life went down the drain.
What an incredible story. I’ve never read anything like it. Following Madeline along while she at first tries to make her husband believe she was innocent and later when she investigates who set her up and why kept me fully absorbed in the story. At first I though I wouldn’t be interested in this story because of the setting in such wealth but I loved Madeline. She’s smart, competent and determined to find the truth.
I enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read more of her adventures.
By David Lucero
Madeline is a woman appearing to have it all. She lives in an upscale Santa Barbara neighborhood. Her home is luxurious, well-maintained by professional servants, and her husband is a successful businessman. With freedom to do as she pleases, Madeline works as an event-planner and is experienced in ballroom celebrations hosting for high-society clients.
During one such ceremony, Madeline spends time dancing with a handsome stranger. This catches the attention of her husband, who angrily leaves her at the ballroom. Upset over her husband’s strange behavior, she remains at the ceremony she put together to ensure guests are well-treated. This decision changes her life forever.
When Madeline awakens next morning in the hotel room associated with the ballroom, she is disoriented, drowsy even, disheveled—-and naked! Finding her clothes, she dresses and leaves the strange room wondering what happened. She returns home and is confronted by her husband, Steve, who hands her an envelope with pictures of her having sex with the handsome stranger from the ball.
Madeline denies knowledge of the scenes in the photos, but the evidence is clear and Steve wants her out of their posh home, lock-stock-and barrel. He quickly pushes for a divorce, and Madeline has no idea what is going on, and what to do. After swearing her love to her husband, she follows him through Santa Barbara’s streets by pure chance and witnesses a scene that rocks her to her core.
As Madeline digs into what may have happened that fateful night, she realizes who may have been behind this terrible treachery. With nerves of steel, she swears to get to the bottom of things and find out why her life has been turned upside down. But she needs help, and knows it.
When she hires Burt Latham, private investigator, things seem to start falling in place. Burt knows what he is doing and soon pieces to the puzzle fall in place. But time is not on Madeline’s side. In her marital prenuptial there is a clause stating that adultery will cost her everything, and those pictures are irrefutable evidence for her husband to use against her.
As Madeline and Burt come closer to finding out who planned this treacherous act, and why, Madeline realizes getting to the truth may cost her life!
This is my first book by Cynthia Hamilton I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I mention pleasure because it’s not the typical thriller I read, which is why I enjoyed it all the more. It’s the kind of book which makes readers of specific genres learn there are plenty of other good stories out there. One only needs to open the cover of a new, different genre book.
The author’s description of Santa Barbara makes the reader feel like you’re right there. Her details of Madeline losing her mind over what happens are vivid, and one cannot help wonder if this sort of thing has happened before. I love reading books where the author has done the required research, and this book indicates Ms. Hamilton has done precisely that. It’s full of mind-numbing suspense, and a real page-turner. I’m glad to see this character, Madeline ‘Mad Dog’ Dawkins is in a series written by Cynthia Hamilton. I look forward to learning more about her.
Please click HERE to find Spouse Trap on Amazon.