Book Review: Glass Ceilings by A.M. Madden

It actually took me some time to confirm my opinion of this book. I liked parts of it, but I think my mood might have affected my perception. While well written with some good sexy parts, I really wasn’t feeling the whole baby thing. Still, just because I was feeling a little off doesn’t mean there weren’t things about it I didn’t appreciate.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
Two years after an intense night together, an FBI agent and a woman with an abusive ex find each other again when the ex is murdered. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Two Years Prior
When Angela and Nick meet, it takes only the span of a week for them to fall in love. Angela is skittish as a result of a freaky stalker ex, and Nick likes to keep his options open, especially because when they meet, he’s working undercover to take down a mob-led drug ring at the bar he’s “working at. One night of passion leads them to decide they want to be together, and since they’re both going to New York, it seems like everything is falling into place for it to happen.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. A series of events keeps Angela from going to New York, including the death of a family member. But then she receives pictures of Nick’s slashed tires from her ex and finds out she’s pregnant, and instead of telling Nick any of this, she just freaks out and goes into hiding in Ohio, supposedly to keep safe from her ex, who she’s found out has ties with the mafia.

Here and Now
Two years later, Angela is brought in for questioning regarding her ex’s murder, and she and Nick are reunited, though it’s anything but a happy reunion. Nick is bitter and still angry at the way she ended things. His anger only gets worse when she reveals that he’s a father because condoms and hot tubs don’t go together so well. Oops.

Things I’m Grouchy About
Let’s start with the things that didn’t work for me.

First, instalove. Though I liked the passion between Nick and Angela, I kept thinking that maybe they should get to know each other before committing to anything. I mean, they were both going to New York anyway, so sure, they could have planned to date, but other than physical attraction, I wasn’t sure there was much of a basis for a relationship there.

love at first sight

Second, I realize that Angela was scared, but not telling Nick about the baby? Kind of a dick move. Then later when he does find out, some of the interaction between him and the kid was sweet. Okay, all of it was. But after awhile, I kind of got tired of it. Full disclosure though, I’m kind of heartless when it comes to literary babies. Like I said, it wasn’t that it wasn’t good, it just didn’t push my buttons.

But On the Other Hand…
On the flipside, there were a lot of things I liked about the story. For all my minor complaints, I liked Angela and Nick, and when I didn’t think about the speed in which their original relationship progressed, I wanted to see them get together. I also enjoyed the smaller details and conflicts between them. The touch with Nick’s current girlfriend was great, especially because it wasn’t an easy breakup for Nick. Though his feelings for the GF weren’t as strong as they were for Angela, he cared about her and was torn up about the whole thing.

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I also liked that even when they finally got together (again), he still admitted to feeling bitter about her not telling him that he had a son. Kudos for that detail, because realistically speaking, no matter how much you love someone, it doesn’t erase the stupid crap they did and it doesn’t erase negative feelings one has about that stupid crap. Especially when it involves bebehs.

A Splash of Intrigue
As for the whole murder investigation thing, I thought there was going to be a little more danger to it. In actuality, it took a back seat to the relationship Nick and Angela were trying to rebuild. Which was okay, and there was still a little bit of action, but there wasn’t that edgy, adrenaline rush feeling that sometimes comes with a story where someone might be in peril.

The Romance Factor
Though the instalove diminished it a little bit for me, I still enjoyed the intensity between Angela and Nick and I appreciated how painful it was for them to have ended the way they did. Even though I might not completely buy the “in love” aspect, I do think it’s possible to develop strong feelings for someone in a short amount of time, and it was kind of tragic they didn’t get to explore them under different circumstances. 3/5

The Steam Factor
There’s sexy times at the beginning and sexy times at the end, and the middle of the story is spent catching up with what happened to them in the two years they were apart while also waiting to see how they were going to proceed. Though the sex was fairly sparse, it was hot when it happened. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Overall, I’m going to say that I liked the story. It had some great things about it, and the little realistic details really stood out for me. The unrealistic details can be easily overlooked as part of the genre, so in hindsight, not a deal breaker. As for the baby, I don’t normally mind babies, so we’ll chalk that up to a mood thing. The writing is solid and while I can’t rank it as a favorite, I would still recommend it as a good read.

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