The Madman's Daughter starts off really well. I was drawn in immediately to the story and really liked Juliet, the main character. Unfortunately, the book took a turn for the worse when Edward, the second love interest, is introduced. The pace of the book slows down so that Juliet can go on and on about the instant connection she feels to him, how inexplicably drawn to him she is, and how attractive he is.
Edward was just very boring and bland to me as a character, and I could not see what Juliet saw in him (other than him apparently being attractive) when she had her first love interest, Montgomery, whom she actually knew well and had liked since she was a child. And I found him far more interesting. Edward was so boring and pointless as a character that I actually guessed his big secret, not because it was well foreshadowed, but because it was the only thing I could think of that would make him not pointless. I think he would have been more interesting if his role as a potential love interest were cut out (which would cut out a lot of Juliet's going on about the insta-love and help to speed up the plot a bit) and the hints about his big secret were played up more so that he doesn't seem pointless for most of the book.
When the story wasn't focusing on Juliet's back-and-forth on her feelings for her love interest (which was far too often), it was interesting. Juliet is the daughter of a doctor who abandoned his wife and her after a scandal, leaving Juliet and her mother poor. When her mother dies, Juliet must take care of herself. Then she meets her old servant, Montgomery, who disappeared when her father did and learns that her father is still alive. She travels with Montgomery to the remote island where her father now works, wanting to learn if the accusations against her father were true. There she discovers that her father has been turning animals into humans (or pretty close at least). However, something has gone wrong, and one of the experiments has become a killer. When the story is focused on the plot, it sets this creepy tone that really fits. Unfortunately, the love triangle kept ruining that tone.
My only other big problem with the book was the very end. A decision is made at the very end of the book (and I do mean very end) that left me just going, "Really? You really think that's a good idea?"
I really wanted to like this so much more than I did. It started off so well, and I was really enjoying it for a while. The love triangle just killed it for me.