zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Bertrice Small – Private Pleasures

The first book in the Channel series, published July 2005.

Private Pleasures

Nora Buckley's worst nightmare has just come true. After years of being a devoted, dutiful housewife, she's found out her husband is leaving her for a younger woman. Her only comfort comes from her friends-the women of Ansley Court, who meet every Monday morning for coffee and gossip.
Seeing Nora's desperation, her friends decide it's time to let her in on their delicious and dirty little secret. It's called The Channel... and it lets every woman unleash passions beyond her wildest dreams. Suddenly Nora is living out her most intimate and sensuous fantasies- and before long, she realizes she can have everything she ever wanted. But she’ll soon remember the old saying: Be careful what you wish for...

After 26 years of marriage, right out of college, Nora Buckley knows her husband is having an affair. He is home less and less, and she just feels he is wanting a divorce. The kids are leaving home for college this fall, so it would be the best time to takes his leave of his family and start anew. But what is she to do? Everything they own is in his name, the house, the cars she doesn’t even have a bankaccount. She has never worked a day in her life, she has a useless degree in English lit, and a minor in home ec. All those years she has been busy helping his career along, giving parties and raising the children.
And now Jeff is wanting to cut her off without a penny, or a roof over her head. He has stolen the kids college funds so he can buy his new ladylove a condo, without having to go for a mortgage, he has stopped their insurances, their health care polices, the car leases, everything. Nora’s lawyer is just in time to stop him from using their one joint account, which Jeff monthly puts money on which Nora is to use for the household expenses. She is frugal, as Jeff wants to know where every penny goes.
Her friends and her mother are astonished to learn that Nora did not look out for her self better, that she not has a bankaccount or credit cars in her own name. They never knew Jeff kept her on such a short lease, and that she just put up with it. And now, now she has to fight for herself and her children. Jeff doesn’t want to pay for their college tuition any more, they will have to apply for loans and work their way through it, and he wants to sell the house. And that is the one thing Nora wants: the house. She spend her life there, decorating and furnishing it to her desires, and to Jeff’s career advantage, and she loves her garden. She will not give that up to move to some small two bed room apartment!
But Jeff has hired the best divorce lawyer there is, and she has the help of her neighbour, the husband of her best friend, who is only a small town lawyer. But still, they will fight for every penny. No matter how hopeless it is.

Nora realises she doesn’t love Jeff anymore, and hasn’t for some years. They haven’t had sex for over 5 years now, not that that was ever worth mentioning. All he wanted was for her to lay on her back in the dark and be quiet. Moaning is not ladylike!
So, when her friends introduce her to The Channel, her sexlife is about to turn around! An exclusive t.v. channel for women, interactive, where they can life out their secret fantasies. It is only available at night though, so it doesn’t interfere with their daily lives to much, as the Channel is very addictive! Nora doesn’t know what to think of all this, how can this exist? But she tries it, what does she have to loose? And in the Channel she meets this gorgeous dream guy, who introduces her to all the pleasures of sex, together, and with a third addition. It is Nora’s fantasy, and she is in control, and it affects her real life as well. She is getting more determined, she knows what she wants.

And when Jeff is about to get everything he wants, she pulls one last stunt on him. He and his bimbo will not get her house!

After my great reading experience yesterday, I really could not settle with a new book. After starting a few, I just picked an old and beloved book of the shelf, and contentedly read that. Again. For the 5th time. And still it does not bore me. But then, there is a reason that among the many many favourite authors I love and follow, Bertrice Small is still my number one favourite.

Nora is a great character. Totally devoted to her husband and kids, and with really not much for herself. She has taken care of them as best as she can, and just how her husband wants her. And that is why he picked her out at 17 for himself, to be a little obedient wife, who would sacrifice herself for him and his career and the children. And she did. That is, after all, what a woman did in those days. But she learns to come up for herself, and do things just for her. And I admire her for that.
Jeff is ofcourse a total jerk, thinking to dispose of his wife and children fast and without a fuss, without it costing him a penny. Even his own lawyer despises him. So what his new girlfriend sees in him, no idea. He is bad in bed, a cheapskate and way too controlling. And if she thinks he will help her with her career, she is wrong.

The secondary characters are the children, and Nora’s friends and neighbours, who are totally there for her. They only tolerate Jeff in their lives because of Nora. Who is nothing but kind and caring and giving.

Of course, the book is also full of advice for woman: take care of yourself. Don’t believe marriage vows are really forever. You have to have a fallback plan. If not necessary, no harm done. But without skills or money of your own, you will fall back into poverty.

Now, ofcourse this book is not about the lecture, it is about great sex, and temptation, and revenge. This series is really awesome. And I know I don’t like reading erotica, but I love this series, for its strong heroines, and great plots. And ofcourse you know who is behind the Channel, don’t you? Temptation? Invitation to sin?

9,5 stars

4 opmerkingen:

  1. I used to read the heck out of Bertrice Small back in the day. I loved her historical hottie romances.

  2. Above was Vickie, by the way

  3. I didn't know that Bertice Small wrote contemporary romances! I am really going to have to start reading her again.

  4. @Vickie: I still love her books Vickie, you really cannot go wrong with them. Timeless.
    @Colette: Yes, it is a great series, but also marketed as erotic. Perhaps a little bit more than her historicals, but those are pretty hot as well.