Okay. This book is kind of different for me as a romance reader. Corinne’s husband, Jack, wants an open marriage. She reluctantly agrees because he seems to be unhappy in their marriage. Corinne is sure this will be an awful experience for her. But as Jack explores other options, Corinne also meet someone. So, there is deliberate and consensual betrayal on the part of these characters. Jack may be Corinne’s husband but he is not the traditional romance hero. That role falls to Cole Blackwater, Corinne’s paramour and Jack’s boss. So, off the bat, if you don’t like romance stories where there is cheating, I would say avoid this book unless the idea of an open marriage romance intrigues you as it did me.
I didn’t particularly like Corinne (and I did not warm up to Jack at all!) in the beginning but as she begins to explore who she is outside of her marriage, my interest in her grew. As she tells herself, she is finally taking the time to be selfish. I’m not a fan of the word selfish, especially when it’s applied to a woman who has up to a certain point in her life, given everything she has to other people. But, I don’t think Corinne initially has the language to describe just why she has decided to go along with the open marriage idea. I think meeting someone outside of her marriage who attends to her needs and desires really opens her eyes to how Jack has been treating her. (It is seriously hard to believe they were ever in love except for the fact that Corinne insists they were. He even cheated on her during college.)
Let me add another warning. At one point during the story when Jack starts to realize that Corinne is happier and has met someone she really likes, he gets angry. So angry in fact that he punches the wall next to her head. I really thought he was just going to outright hit her but the author decided to avoid that thank goodness. Still, Jack is a jerk. He is not kind and I had no sympathy for him.
Cole is kind of the standard romance hero. He is kind, sexy, a playboy. He quickly comes to care for Corinne (as they always do) and really wants her to leave Jack. But throughout the course of the story, that just isn’t a step Corinne is ready for. Fortunately, Cole accepts this for the most part. I don’t have much to say on Cole despite him being a major character in the story. He is a standard romance hero archetype but at least he was kind to Corinne.
It takes Corinne awhile to learn who she is outside of Jack. She starts taking interior decorating classes and discovers it is something she really enjoys. When she gets a job offer, Jack is furious and insists she doesn’t need to work. Again, I really did not like Jack. Cole is supportive on the other hand. I feel like even at the end of the story, Corinne is still getting to know herself and what she wants for her life, but that’s not a bad thing at all.
This story is filled with drama and some non-standard romance tropes. If this review and the synopsis intrigues you, I would definitely give this book a try. It’s not bad at all and once I started understanding Corinne more, I did find my enjoyment in the book increased. Still, it’s not what you will want to read if you’re looking for a more traditional happily-ever-after.
We are thrilled to be sharing with you the release of TEN REASONS TO STAY by Candace Knoebel. TEN REASONS TO STAY is the first standalone in the Risky Hearts duet and fans of contemporary romance won’t want to miss this one! Be sure to grab your copy today!
About TEN REASONS TO STAY
One day a week—Thursdays—my husband and I could do whatever or whomever we pleased.
Protection was non-negotiable.
And no matter what, we had to be home by midnight.
Jack was the one who wanted an open marriage, but we were supposed to keep things simple. No strings. No commitments. It seemed so easy…until it wasn’t.
Devilishly handsome Cole Blackwater was only supposed to be a fling, but everything about him made me feel alive. Wanted. Seen. When I realized he was my husband’s boss, I should have broken things off right then…but I didn’t.
One day a week, I could pretend that I was his and he was mine…until Cole wanted more.
But how could I decide between the man I’d promised to love, honor, and cherish, and the man who tempted me to break every single vow I’d made?
Add TEN REASONS TO STAY to your Goodreads TBR here!
Don’t miss FIVE REASONS TO GO, book two of the Risky Hearts duet, out October 25th!
About CANDACE KNOEBEL
Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.
With two completed series, her work ranges from paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently she lives in Florida with her husband and two children, and has just completed her thirteenth novel, The Taste of Her Words.