I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
There are lots of things that can make a good romance work, and by the same token, there are plenty of things that can make a book not work. One can have idiot characters, weak writing, implausible plots, etc.. Sometimes, as with Bringing Maddie Home, the issues are a bit more subtle. As with every book of Janice Kay Johnson's I've ever read, the writing is fantastic and I mostly like her characters. The problem here is that their story just doesn't work as romance.
As a rookie officer, Colin McAllister found himself haunted by the disappearance of local teen Maddie Dubeau. Now a police captain, he has never given up on finding her, and when he sees her image on TV, he just knows that the woman he's seeing is Maddie. She may live under another name in Seattle, but Colin just knows that he has found the missing Maddie Dubeau and he sets out to convince her to come back to the small town of Angel Butte, Oregon.
However, solving this missing persons case isn't as easy as Colin might think. First of all, Maddie has lost a great chunk of her memory and since she's blocked out what happened to her, she cannot tell Colin who she really is or what happened to her. Secondly, Maddie suffers from a great deal of anxiety and trauma related to her ordeal and she's not exactly thrilled about the idea of giving up her anonymity and coming back to Oregon.
In the end, Maddie is persuaded at least in the short term. Upon her return, she sees her family and it becomes apparent that someone out there is not thrilled with Maddie being returned home. At this point, Bringing Maddie Home becomes quite an engaging mystery read. Things are obviously not as they should be both in the home of Maddie's family and in Angel Butte in general, and I enjoyed watching Colin try to unravel some of these goings-on. However, as Colin tries to figure out Maddie's past and some of the secrets in Angel Butte, a romance also starts to blossom between Colin and Maddie, and that's a bit more problematic.
This is a partial review. You can find the complete text on All About Romance.