Tailgates & Heartaches is the second book in the wonderful The Locals series by Haley Rhoades and it sure lives up to its title. Oh, how my heart aches for Madison!
This series follow a group of friends from their High School graduation in small town Athens as they are about to start their lives for real, and in this second book, Madison’s past affects every part of her future. She has left her friends and the love of her life, Hamilton, to keep a BIG secret, but the weight of the secret grows heavier with every passing day. Madison is such a brave, kind and unselfish person and that sacrifice she does is remarkable. I don’t agree with her decision to keep the secret, but I can understand her reasoning for it. I just hope that she will change her mind in the next book in the series…
I really liked the way Madison and her friends were growing up and dealing with their new lives. There were some great character developments in this book, Madison of course, but also Bethany and Troy after the hardship they go through. I also liked the way Haley Rhoades described Madison’s struggle to come to terms with the way her life has changed. She who always wanted nothing but to leave Athens behind, now comes to realize how much her home town and friends means to her and how she wishes to come back, but her secret makes it impossible. Haley Rhoades describes this so beautiful in this quote:
“It’s the whole “opposites attract” saying coming to life. From middle school to high school, Athens and I were south-pole magnets; we repelled one another. In high school, my only goal was to leave town after graduation and never return. One year has now passed since my graduation, and I’m not the south-pole magnet I thought I was.”
All in all, this is an enchanting, sweet story about a lovely group of friends and I cannot wait to continue the series to find out what will happen to them all, and if Madison and Hamilton will get their happily ever after and become a family in the end.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Haley Rhoades