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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Counting Stars is a novel written by Jordan Deen. Madison Nottingfield is from a family of snobbery and high class. Her parents had become extremely wealthy at the expense of others, with their belief being that if you don’t profit from something in life, don’t do it. Each time a social event arises, Madison is hired out by her parents as an escort to the highest bidder to keep the money coming. Should Madison dare protest, her mother physically attacks her daughter if her father is too drunk to do so, leaving Madison swollen and bruised. After Madison develops feelings for rich and handsome Liam Ellison, she is stunned when he openly asks her out on a date, which she quickly accepts. Much to her dismay, her father has other plans for her with Rand McDaniel – the brother of a girl Madison’s drunken father had recently hit with his car, leaving her fighting for her life in hospital. With the threat of being disowned, cut off from the family name and everything she owns, Madison has no choice but to seduce Rand, but her sexual advances are quickly rejected. She also starts doubting herself after Liam treats her as less than worthless each time he is with her. Feeling emotionally isolated, Madison makes her way to the hospital – a decision which changes her life forever.
Jordan Deen has written a most interesting story which not only shows that money does not buy happiness, but also opens up the sad life of an abused young heiress who must do the unthinkable in order to keep her parents’ wealth increasing. Counting Stars is an incredible book; the title refers to the moment Madison’s life changes from one of material wealth to her feeling true love for the very first time. The tale runs at a steady pace from start to finish and the characters are very believable. I questioned several times why Madison would not go to the police when assaulted, but quickly realized that her parents would buy their way out of that situation also. Counting Stars is an emotional roller-coaster, bringing a tale of love, lust, passion, abuse, corruption and desperation which results in a shocking truth. I look forward to reading this story again and again, and recommend it to readers over 15 years of age who like their drama to be touched by intrigue and discovery.