Review: Sweet Madness by Heather Snow

Filed in 4 Stars , featured , Heather Snow , Review , The Latin Lover Posted on April 10, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 9 comments

Format read: ebook copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Series: Book #3 in the Veiled Seduction series
Release Date: 1 April 2013
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Number of pages: 384 pages
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s WebsiteAmazon, Kindle,  Book DepositoryRead an excerpt


There’s a fine line between love and insanity.

An Untamed Mind

Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door.

Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him.

Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost.

My Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Heather Snow’s Veiled Seduction series (Sweet Enemy was one of my favourite reads of 2012), so I was awaiting April and the release of the 3rd book Sweet Madness impatiently. It is finally here and with this final instalment of the series Heather Snow brings us another unique, intelligent and remarkable heroine.

We have first met Penelope as the airhead but kind socialite cousin of Liliana in Sweet Enemy, but since then many things have happened to her: she fell in love, got married and became a grieving, devastated widow within 6 months of her wedding, and despite her sunny disposition and youth has experienced the darker side of life. Since her loss she has dedicated herself to treating soldiers suffering from battle fatigue (= historical term for PTSD) and other mental problems. That’s how she comes to meet again the hero, Gabriel, the cousin of her deceased husband. Gabriel a war veteran has been suffering from episodes and has been locked away in a remote asylum, and Penelope visits him to try to find a cure, a treatment for his bouts of madness and help him recover.

Gabriel was a heartbreakingly tortured hero, his struggles brought tears to my eyes, Heather Snow really put him through a lot. Penelope was much more likeable than I remembered her from Sweet Enemy and her mission to treat emotionally scarred soldiers was truly remarkable (especially how she educated herself in the matter), but despite my admiration and respect for her there was something that hindered my connecting with her, from all three Heather Snow heroines she was my least favourite. I didn’t dislike her, I just felt rather indifferent towards her.

I reckon that it is quite brave and challenging to have a mad hero and keep the reader in suspense biting their nails, not knowing whether it is an illness that can be cured or something that he and the heroine will have to live with. In Sweet Madness I suspected the reason behind Gabriel’s madness quite from the beginning but when it was confirmed in the end, I found the ending rushed and the resolution of the mystery and the conclusion of the story happening too swiftly.

Once again Heather Snow’s writing flew smoothly and was just as captivating and poetic as in her previous books:

“After Michael died, I was . . .” She looked off for a moment, as if searching for the right word. “Devastated,” she finally chose. The way she uttered the word sent a shiver through Gabriel. The inflection in her tone and the desolation that flashed briefly in her eyes rumbled through his heart like thunder after a streak of lightning.

And the enormous amount of research and historical references were amazing. I found the descriptions of the illnesses, their symptoms and their historical treatments fascinating.

Verdict: With Sweet Madness Heather Snow concludes her amazing Veiled Seduction series in style. With another modern and independent heroine who doesn’t let the constraints of the period and society limit her, an irresistible and heartbreakingly tortured hero and their sweet and compelling love story Heather Snow captures the reader’s attention, interest and heart irrevocably. Due to her captivating and beautifully poetic writing style, Sweet Madness has everything one could want from a great historical romance: depth, suspense, heart and emotional substance. 

I give Sweet Madness 4 stars!

Order of the series:

Book #1 – Sweet Enemy

Book #2 – Sweet Deception

Book #3 – Sweet Madness

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • draconismoi April 11, 2013 at 2:25 am

    You surmised the cause of the illness at the beginning, eh?

    Let me guess….

    He is being poisoned at the behest of a conniving relative who wants him declared incompetent ASAP in order to evilly acquire the family’s vast fortune.

    The evil head of the remote asylum’s complicity in this plan is bought – and will be unmasked when there is a mix-up in the food, causing the heroine to also go temporarily insane.


    Though I admit I find little room for sexcapades in this story. Not a lot of alone time in an asylum. I must be missing something.

    Ah-ha! A daring escape when the poisoning is uncovered? The two pass as a poor married couple taking on an abandoned farm while he sweats the drugs out of his system, returning JUST in time for his trial!

    How’d I do?

    p.s. – If I was writing this book they would storm the asylum with dragons to free the other inmates. FIRE AND BLOOD!!!!!!

    • Stella April 12, 2013 at 3:26 am

      Lol Cass, I guess with most madness as a premise in HR you wouldn’t be far from the truth, but in Sweet Madness there are no sexcapades in the asylum, it really takes time for the relationship, trust and affection to develop between the characters (once the heroine has spirited the hero away), so in this case there are quite a lot of plot elements deviating from your premise 😉

      ps. But I would SO love to read your story with the dragons storming the asylum, would be quite a story that’s for sure 😀

  • LSUReader April 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I enjoy Heather’s books and am looking forward to this one. I have to admit, though, that I have no recollection of Penelope from Sweet Enemy. And I sure hope the plot is more inventive than Draconismoi fears!

    • draconismoi April 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      What, you don’t think freeing the wrongfully imprisoned asylum inmates with DRAGONS is inventive enough?!

      I’ve totally written the dragon chapter to this book in my head. It’s awesome.

      • LSUReader April 12, 2013 at 1:34 am

        Well, of course if there were dragons in the escape plan, that would be amazingly inventive. I was thinking more of the “poor married couple, abandoned farm” version. Write on!

        • Stella April 12, 2013 at 3:30 am

          I can reassure you there is no abandoned farm. 😉

    • Stella April 12, 2013 at 3:29 am

      LSUReader, have no fears, it was quite different than Draconismoi’s premise 😀 I just had a sliver of memory of Penelope in Sweet Enemy, she was Liliana’s kind and bubbly cousin who enjoyed attending balls and all the frills and gowns and stuff. But she has since grown up and matured. And Heather’s writing is just as wonderful!

  • Lori Meehan April 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for the review. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series.

    • Stella April 12, 2013 at 3:34 am

      Heather Snow became one of my favourite HR authors with her debut novel Sweet Enemy, her Veiled Seduction series is truly a not-to-be-missed series! I just love how her heroines are intelligent, braniac smart women! 😀 and her writing is enchanting.

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