With five kids, a part-time job and a husband who barks orders while not actually helping, Claire Doolittle's life sucks. Because of her resentment toward her once loving husband, Claire has come to hate sex and allows her husband access to her body once a week, if he behaves.
When she receives an email from an ex-boyfriend, it conjures up memories of the past and Claire realizes just how far off the mark her marriage has gotten. Though she loves her handsome husband Jack, she doesn't like who he's become but feels powerless to change things.
She writes the ex, Todd, back and the pair are soon trading emails of enlightenment (even if Todd's goal is to get into her pants). Meanwhile, Julia, a young, beautiful colleague is hot for Jack.
When Jack goes on a business trip to Miami, Claire gets an unexpected offer from her in-laws to watch the kids so she can join him. Jack is not pleased with the idea and soon Claire learns that Julia will be going too.
Claire backs off, but follows Jack to Miami to see if he's cheating. While in Miami she gets more than she bargained for.
While the plot, a middle-aged worn out mom who's sick of her husband, does not crackle with intrigue and may hit too close to home for many, the story manages to be a page-turner.
Jenny Gardiner brings to life Claire Doolittle with such vibrancy that I feel I know her. Such was my concern over Claire's and Jack's happiness, that I couldn't put the book down which is a rarity for me.
With her sharp wit and hilarious descriptions, Ms. Gardiner has a delightful voice that left me wanting more.
Claire Doolittle realizes her life hasn't quite met up with her expectations. Overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood and life in general, it doesn't help that the funny, romantic and thoughtful man she once married has turned into a real-life version of Ward Cleaver, the famously dull, bossy father from the 1950's sitcom Leave it to Beaver. And the last person in the world Claire ever imagined having to sleep with for the rest of her life is a man whose sex appeal more closely resembles that of George Washington than George Clooney.
Winner, American Title III contest*2nd place, MMRWA Happily Ever After contest
Throw in an ex-fiance who returns via e-mail to try to woo Claire back with promises of what was, and a sexy young colleague of husband Jack's, whom Claire suspects of some sort of hanky panky, and you have the ingredients for a mid-life crisis that threatens to plunge Claire's world into chaos.