Tag: books about marriage and its difficulties

Filthy Vows by Alessandra Torre

Book: Filthy Vows

Author: Alessandra Torre

Series: a standalone

Release date: 18 July 2019

Main characters: Elle North, young wife to Easton, unsure of where she is headed. Easton North, former sporting hopeful, now struggling to find his way.

Plot: Elle and Easton have been together since college although it certainly wasn’t love at first sight for Elle. She wasn’t interested in the campus player, but somehow he managed to show her who he really was underneath the swagger and his promiscuous reputation. Married for four years, their relationship is the only constant in Elle’s life. Her touchstone – the one thing she’s sure of.

Elle is coming to realise that despite their explosive and sexually fulfilling life together, she has thoughts and fantasies that will not disappear. She’s tried ignoring them, but they refuse to be buried. Her relationship with her husband has always been honest and so telling Easton about her fantasies seems natural. Nothing can prepare her for his reaction – will telling him bring them closer together, or be the catalyst that blows their relationship apart?

Why you should read it: I was excited to read this book, as the premise really intrigued me. I’m always drawn to stories about what happens after the ‘I do.’ Elle and Easton are a very young married couple and they both still have a lot of growing up to do. They’re dealing with professional disappointments but are trying to navigate their way through life as best they can. Their love for each other is clear and it dances off the pages. The sexual chemistry is palpable – the book is very upfront – it deals with very vivid fantasies and you’ll either love it or hate it. The scenes were extremely tantalising and well written. Have a fan handy!

What you may not like: Ok – I have a couple of issues with the book. First, the following dialogue:

“Have you ever been with a black guy?” Chelsea popped the question at normal volume, then stuffed a piece of bread in her mouth. Bread that most certainly contained gluten, despite the interrogation she just put the menu through. I eyed the bread and considered my own avoidance of carbs, one that was on a twelve-day streak. “Uh—no.” “They’re gooood,” she mused through a mouthful of bread, the word stretched out and savored, her head turning to watch as our waiter eased by and to an adjacent table, a pitcher of ice water in hand. “Very athletic.”

This paragraph came out of nowhere. There I was, trying to get into the story and this scene totally blindsided me – it’s spoken by a peripheral character and that particular comment isn’t called out by the main character in any way, which made me REALLY dislike both characters. It didn’t advance the storyline or lead to anything bigger, so I wondered why it was there at all. I don’t enjoy dialogue that treats any group of society as a monolith or somehow fetishises said group. This one paragraph made me question whether I cared about the characters at all, which is a shame. I found them shallow, self involved and vacuous. Perhaps this is how rich and privileged people talk to one another – I’m sure it is, but it doesn’t make me want to invest in them or care about them.

Rating: 3/5 for the more risqué nature of the book – that’s what I love about the author and her willingness to go all out and write a no-holds barred story. 2/5 for the rest of the story. The throwaway comment by a minor character unfortunately spoilt my enjoyment of most of this story. Words and dialogue matter (especially in this current climate) as they reveal an awful lot about who we are. This one just didn’t work for me I’m afraid.

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

ninjaBook: Happily Ever Ninja

Series: Knitting in the City, #5

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 19 January, 2016

Review by: Onnica

 

Blurb:

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband – the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer – is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone – Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except…not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

Why you should read it: I have been waiting ever so patiently for a new Penny Reid release and wasn’t disappointed. Her books are always quirky, well-observed and downright funny, but this one really took me on a journey I did not see coming! I was expecting a domestic story about a heroine who is in danger of fading away under the daily grind of drudgery. Instead, I got taken on a mission to another continent, which included danger and adventure along the way. At the same time, we got a clear picture of a marriage in trouble – the fact that marriage can’t thrive on love alone. It takes WORK. It was smart and I found myself identifying with some of the issues in the book.

What you might not enjoy: Greg is hard work – he is so convinced that he’s right all the time that I wanted to thump him! For such an intelligent man, he can’t see what’s in front of him. His wife is struggling and he isn’t helping the situation. That’s the point of the story: he’s partly to blame, but so is Fiona – the two of them need to make changes if their relationship is to survive. It was a very thought-provoking read.

Rating: 4/5 – for a smart, real look at a marriage under the microscope – it kept me guessing and by the end of all the drama, I felt an immense sense of relief!

Love was never enough, not without mutual respect and a great deal of drudgery and effort. And even then, it wasn’t enough. Wanting each other, being open to change, pushing each other to improve and grow – for the better – working to deserve each other, was the key.