Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Horny Housewife by Melissa Wright

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Some points may be considered as spoilers.

I want to first point out that the book is very British. I read a lot of British fiction and usually don't have an issue with it. In this book, the differences were severely noticeable. The numerous grammatical errors don't make it easy to read either. "She sent the kids out to the back garden to play while the two friends had a cup of tea and a chit chat, and then while Sam went off to take a shower, Chole read them both a story." This is a non-functional sentence. I was told that I may like this book because it's "like 50 Shades of Grey." It's not - whether you like 50 Shades or not - this book is nothing like it.

The characters are very one-dimensional. The book follows a standard housewife porn plot (cheated on by her husband the woman goes in search of some sex god) but the story is very drawn out. Rather than start with meeting the new romance, the book starts with Sam finding out about the affair her husband is having. Because this part of the story is a lead-in for the real story it's rushed and not well thought out. That part could have easily been dealt with during a memory or a conversation rather than taking up a quarter of the book. Particularly since she doesn't do any reflecting or even speak to the husband for almost the entire time.

The author tells us a lot of things about the characters, sometimes to the point of wondering if the author is giving a moral lesson. But the characters don't reflect the traits that we are told they have. For example, we are told that Sam doesn't drink much. Were we supposed to forget the that she drank several bottles of wine on 2 occasions prior to the announcement that she "doesn't drink much" after her husband is kicked out? Then she proceeds to have several drinks followed by several more bottles of wine.

The book is written in the third person but from Sam's perspective. She comes across as mostly helpless and very morally superior, right up until she's willing to do exactly what her husband did. Sleep with someone while she is still married. Admittedly she hasn't let her husband in the house for 6 weeks when she decides to sleep with her co-worker, but she is still accepting his gifts and apologies. I don't know if it would be considered better or worse that her tryst was intended to be a one night stand while her husband's offense was a romance with a coworker that lasted several months. I will say that it's telling that Lachlan, the new lover, has no morals of his own. After hearing that Sam is married, a fact that slips out once everyone is naked, he makes no effort to stop or discuss the issue. He's not concerned that he's about to sleep with a married woman, or that he is going in completely unprotected, or even that she's one her 3rd or 4th glass of champagne when he seduces her. Oddly, she doesn't seem too concerned about it either. Immediately after this encounter she goes home and opens another bottle of wine to drink while she tells her friend all the details of her office antics.

The sad fact is that once the sex finally starts, about halfway through the book, it's standard for the Bodice Ripper genre. It's all stuff that she wouldn't normally do, positions she never been in, and her acting completely different then she did with her husband. Which somehow makes her realize that she's been having bad sex with her husband and it's his fault. The real shocker for me was when Sam's friend, Chloe, tried to justify Sam's behavior with a standard "but everyone is doing it" (having one night stands) response.

The book displays cheating and one-night stands/F*** Buddies as a normal and romantic notion. The female lead has no strength or personality of her own and the male lead reads like a frat boy whose only interest is in getting laid. Not really a romantic concept. To be clear I am not against the book based on the sex. I'm against it because it is poorly written, not well thought out and has some very confusing moral concepts (cheating is ok, letting one man send you gifts while you sleep around with another, unprotected one night stands, drinking to excess as a way to deal with your problems).

Overall I can't recommend this book.