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REVIEW: More to Life Than This by Carole Matthews

Dear Ms. Matthews:

More to Life Than ThisMarriage in trouble is a favorite theme of mine. I am always interested in seeing how an author can bring a couple back from the brink of disaster without irreparable harm. But marriage in crises require a delicate balance, particularly if one character is going to embark on an adulterous relationship. You really need to provide an excellent reason for infidelity and boredom is just not a very sympathetic reason.

Kate Lewis is bored with her life. She is a 35 year old housewife with a successful and caring husband and two very well behaved children. She decides that because her sex life is lackluster and her children don’t do drugs and peruse dirty magazines, that her life has no meaning. Instead of volunteering or reaching outside herself, Kate books a week long Tai Chi class. Kate feels badly for abandoning her family and arranges to have a bombshell Australian au pair watch over Jeffrey and the children while Kate is gone.

You aren’t much into sublteties as you hit us over the head with the meaning of tai chi and how Kate should find a center within herself. Tai Chi is her road to self discovery. Fortunately, Kate has help in finding herself when she meets up with fellow classmate, Ben Mahler. Kate, who has a great body and is dramatically gorgeous in an understated way (your words, not mine), attracts Ben immediately. She must be one hot mama because after only two days, Ben is on the precipice of falling in love with her (again, your words).

Ben, a successful ad exec, doesn’t understand why he finds himself falling in love with Kate after watching her struggle with her suitcases and prefer bad Tai Chi for two days. I didn’t understand the attraction either. He apparently likes the way she blushes and the way she uses her fork. Ben is such a studly hunk that a “millon or so mini-skirted women … mince[] past his offices every day in teetering high heels, their wiggling bottoms saying: I’m available! Come and get me!” Kate and Ben do end up in bed together toward the end of their week at the Tai Chi getaway. That’s one way to find one’s center.

Then there’s Jeffrey and his au pair. At first, Jeffrey resists Natalie’s long legs, glorious har, and big chest. But ultimately, after they flirt in front of his chidren, particularly his preteen impressionable daughter, Jeffrey and Natalie give in to their lusts. Fortunately, Ben and Kate end up together in the last chapter even though they both seemed to have fallen in love with other people. The other people are heart broken, but do they really deserve better for participating in these adulterous affairs? Of course not. *being sarcastic here*

Basically, your message is that infidelity can be the cure to an ailing marriage no matter who gets hurt in the end. The entire cast of characters from Kate and Jeff, to Kate’s best friend, and Ben and Natalie, are completely unlikeable. Your readers are the real losers in this story. D for you.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

4 Comments

  1. Karen Scott
    May 31, 2006 @ 17:11:40

    Jesus, Effing Christ. Methinks this book would have driven me to do something rash like read a Bertrice Small book and appreciate it.

  2. Jayne
    May 31, 2006 @ 19:09:49

    Karen,
    Jane and I both read different Carol Matthews books. My review is finished and should be posted in the next few days. I’m not sure about Jane, but this is my first and probably last time to try Ms. Matthews. Well….you’ll see.

  3. Jane
    Jun 01, 2006 @ 07:19:17

    I actually have one more by here that a friend gave me a long time ago: Meet Me at Platform 8. It is another infidelity book. I read some other reviews that are full of praise for Carole Matthews. I think it must just be you and I, Jayne, who aren’t getting her.

  4. Jayne
    Jun 01, 2006 @ 08:22:30

    I think it must just be you and I, Jayne, who aren’t getting her.

    Really not getting her. Is she Women’s Fiction Lit? Or in the case of the one I read, Women’s Fantasy Chick Lit? Your review combined with my thoughts on the book I read don’t make me enthusiastic to waste any more of my precious reading time on her.

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