The Escape by Alice Ward
She needed to escape. I needed to be saved.
Like an angel, Madalyn Durand swoops into my life, rescuing my little girl while I fight for my son. And how is she thanked for her bravery? By having every damn thing she owns taken from her.
Even in her most desperate hour, she’s perfect. Majestic. Me? I’m nothing like her. I’ve failed. At my marriage, at being a dad. I made the Hottest Billionaire Bachelors list, but I can’t protect my kids.
Then I get a second chance.
When my children need me the most, I become a full-time dad, and Madalyn, like some miracle, is by my side. What I didn’t count on was how she would feel in my arms. Under me. Next to me. Maybe forever.
But someone else wants her forever too. Someone she tried to escape, but who won’t set her free.
Can I save her from this evil? Can I save my kids? Myself?
This is a historical romance set in modern times. It has Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses and greedy grabs for money and power. And, I kind of expected the evil Prince, I just didn’t expect her father to be so much of a bastard.
I thought this was just going to be a light romance. I was not prepared for the heavy subject matter attached to Xander’s kids. I do think Ward handled the tough subjects well, and I loved Xander's response to the whole thing, I just wish he’d eliminated the threat, including his ex wife, when he first found out.
Kylian was a sweetheart and that kid was dealing with way more than any seven year old should ever have to. I liked Kenzie but she seemed a little too self aware for a four year old. Both were lucky to have a father like Xander. That man was awesome. I can even forgive him for his semi-absence from his kids lives due to work. He still remained engaged with them and tried to keep a relationship with them regardless of the distance between them.
Madalyn didn't really evoke any strong feelings in me one way or another. She was amusing, as she tried to learn how to live on her own, but it wasn’t enough to win me over completely. I just never felt like she took an active roll in her own future. She had brief moments of defiance and seemed willing, a few times, to stand up for herself, but quickly caved to outside pressure. Her mother took on the majority of the risks to win Madalyn’s freedom. Madalyn didn't risk nearly as much and struck me as way to passive, especially at the beginning.
As for Madalyn’s father… I didn’t buy the emotional epiphany he had at the end. It wasn't believable. He knew the Prince was awful, he knew he was selling Madalyn for wealth and power, he didn’t hide the fact she was a pawn, and to think that changed just doesn’t track.
I’m not saying the book isn’t entertaining. I love Xander, Kylian and Kenzie And I get that there had to be a love interest in Madalyn to move the story along and give it a direction. She’s also an objective party for the kids with no past baggage to get in the way. But, this could have almost been written without her and still been just as good.