I definitely had a love/hate relationship with this one. I listened to the Audible version of this book and I was immediately pulled into this story. This is a book that is raw and painful, forcing you to confront emotions that you’d rather tuck away and pretend didn’t exist. Life isn’t always perfect…and the grass isn’t always greener. If nothing else, this book will make you FEEL.
This is the story of Tori, a wife, mother and successful romance author. From the outside looking in, her life is “picture perfect”. She has two beautiful daughters and a seemingly perfect husband.
However, things are far from perfect. Tori has obtained just about everything that she thought she wanted. Only, now she’s not so sure that she still wants the same things that she wanted years ago. She’s disillusioned with her life. Her marriage is past the honeymoon stage and she finds herself questioning if she settled down too early. She longs for the passion and excitement that is now missing from her comfortable, stable marriage.
After hearing about a fetish website, Tori decides to check it out for “research” purposes. Soon she begins messaging with a man, Alec that she meets on the site. He is the polar opposite of her reliable husband, Landon. Alec is wild, promiscuous and uninhibited. He is new and represents everything that Tori thinks is missing in her “boring” marriage.
Before long, e-mails become text messages. Then Tori is having intimate, secret telephone conversations with Alec. Eventually, they progress to live chats and in-person encounters.
However, their entire relationship is built on lies. Tori has not been honest with Alec. He thinks that she is single and without children. As she tries to juggle her lies, Tori’s life begins to unravel.
As I was listening to this story, there were so many times where I wanted to shake some sense into Tori. Reading this story was painful because you could see the disaster looming on the horizon, but were powerless to do anything other than listen as it played out and deal with the fallout of Tori’s selfish actions.
More than anything, I felt so conflicted. E. K. Blair did a marvelous job of making you love Tori and relate to her frustrations, even as you despised her self-centered choices and actions. It is real easy to be judgmental and say that Tori was a horrible person. In many ways, she was. However, she was also just a flawed human that gave in to her desires and temptations. Like most readers, I didn’t agree with many of the choices that she made, but I couldn’t hate her.
By the end of the book, I still felt every bit as conflicted as I was at the mid-point. I love that this book made me question things. In fact, I still wasn’t sure how I wanted things to work out at the end and I still had a ton of unanswered questions about the true nature of Alec and Tori’s relationship. There was a lot that was left open for interpretation, which is equal parts fascinating and frustrating.
If you’re looking for a unicorns and rainbows type of story where everything is wrapped up nicely with a bow, this is not that story. This is a story that will make you furious, frustrated, devastated and emotionally distraught. It is incredibly painful, like so many of the best stories are.
If you choose to read this book, I would say to keep an open-mind. It will be absolutely necessary to enjoy this book. This is the type of story where it is easy to pass judgment and “check-out”, feeling like you’re taking the moral high-road by hating Tori. If you can keep an open-mind it is a fantastic, emotional story. While I didn’t agree with Tori’s actions, I did appreciate the beauty and heartbreak of her story.
I love nothing more than a story that elicits raw emotions. This book definitely delivered on that account. For me, it was an excellent choice. The narration was fantastic as well.