Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Review: Husband Wanted by Charlotte Hughes

Frannie Brisbane knew it was an impossible scheme, but unless she went through with it, the daughter she had given up thirteen years ago and who now wanted to visit, would discover that Frannie had painted a very different picture of her life in the letters they’d exchanged. Frannie’s close friends rally around her, and next thing she knows, she is living in a mansion and wearing designer clothes.

The only thing missing is a husband.

Confirmed bachelor, Clay Coleman, has ulterior motives when he agrees to play the role of loving husband, but Fannie, who nursed a crush on him for years, fears she is flirting with danger in their role of let’s pretend. But Fannie and Clay aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Sooner or later, the truth comes out, exposing everyone involved. Can Frannie ever get past her hurt when she discovers the truth about Clay?

When Charlotte Hughes contacted me about a read request for Husband Wanted, I was excited to get started reading. I thought that the whole idea behind the book was interesting and something I had never read before and I was interested in a new experience. 

Husband Wanted is a simple story about a woman (Frannie) who had given up her infant when she was a teenager and the novel follows Frannie through that first meeting when the child (Mandy) is 13 years old. The only problem is that Frannie has told Mandy a series of lies about her current life and Frannie has to live up to those lies now. 

So that's the premise and like I said, this is a simple story. Even given the details of the book, nothing is too deep. That just guarantees you an easy read and something that you can easily pick up and put down if you've got your kiddos home with you all day. Which I did. So that was convenient. While the story was interesting, I just didn't find it engaging. I felt detached from the book the entire time I was reading it. Something was just ... missing ... and I'm not totally for sure what. I just couldn't find anything to connect to with the characters. I think that may be because the characters themselves, seemed one dimensional. I couldn't imagine them as real people. The moods that the characters would go through changed on a dime ... they were sad, then happy or angry, then laughing. Mood changes like that are absolutely normal. I have a 13 year old. We go through all emotions (quite loudly) just while putting on socks in the morning but the emotions from these characters just lacked ... authenticity, I guess. It wasn't believable. Ever. There were quite a few times in the book where the author had set up the perfect conflict within the story and I would get excited because that would add something spicy to them or even make them a little more gritty but then the scene would pass and nothing will have happened. It was quite unfortunate. 

Then we get to the part that was just weird for me. Oh, this one is a doozy. I was scribbling paragraph after paragraph of notes in my Kindle on this one. Okay ... I'm just going to dive in ... romance novels these days have sex scenes. Well, unless you're reading a Christian romance and that one doesn't or it does and it's just very vague and simple. But this isn't touted as a Christian romance novel. The sex scene was literally ONE SENTENCE. One sentence?!? I had to reread it a few times and then read ahead because surely that wasn't it, was it? Oh, hell no! He entered her, they sighed and then climaxed?!? That was not word for word but it is what happened. I'm telling you, I would be pissed as hell if that happened in real life. There better be some more shit going on or I'm going to kick his ass to the curb! Geez. It felt almost as if the author was afraid and timid. Sex scenes don't have to be erotic or crass or vulgar ... they can be sweet and sensual and innocent ... but you've got to give at least 3 or 4 sentences to a sex scene if you're going to write a romance novel in 2016. 

When I read a romance novel, I want to get swept up in it. I want to lose myself and totally live in the moment with the characters but unfortunately, it just didn't happen this time. I want the book to make me nudge my husband and give him a few notes to study before our next sexy time. I want the book to make me sigh or laugh or cry or get pissed ... anything. I want it to evoke some kind of emotion from me and this just was not the book to do that. Maybe I'm a little jaded and I've read too many raunchy romance novels lately. Who the heck knows but this one just didn't blow my skirt up and I wish that it had. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: February 24th, 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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