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A Perfect Marriage

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Broken Vows To their friends, family and neighbors, Celine and Max Archer had a perfect marriage. Only the Archers knew they'd never been in love, and that nights of passion were few and far between. Still, both thought the other happy with the dry-eyed deal they'd made instead of vows. Until Max broke the bargain—by wanting more. And suddenly, after twelve peaceful years, t Broken Vows To their friends, family and neighbors, Celine and Max Archer had a perfect marriage. Only the Archers knew they'd never been in love, and that nights of passion were few and far between. Still, both thought the other happy with the dry-eyed deal they'd made instead of vows. Until Max broke the bargain—by wanting more. And suddenly, after twelve peaceful years, the perfect marriage was over. But when Celine realized how much she loved her husband, was it too late to get him back? For unbeknownst to Max, they'd been blessed with a new beginning….


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Broken Vows To their friends, family and neighbors, Celine and Max Archer had a perfect marriage. Only the Archers knew they'd never been in love, and that nights of passion were few and far between. Still, both thought the other happy with the dry-eyed deal they'd made instead of vows. Until Max broke the bargain—by wanting more. And suddenly, after twelve peaceful years, t Broken Vows To their friends, family and neighbors, Celine and Max Archer had a perfect marriage. Only the Archers knew they'd never been in love, and that nights of passion were few and far between. Still, both thought the other happy with the dry-eyed deal they'd made instead of vows. Until Max broke the bargain—by wanting more. And suddenly, after twelve peaceful years, the perfect marriage was over. But when Celine realized how much she loved her husband, was it too late to get him back? For unbeknownst to Max, they'd been blessed with a new beginning….

30 review for A Perfect Marriage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chantal ❤️

    Skip it. You will thank me! Spoiler alert, the Hero is a Zero cheating ass Just an asshole of a hero with very little to redeem him in fact I would start a hate page on a guy like that. Ah the double standard bullshit and then not only cheating but with a younger woman and then telling your wife what she does for him! Really? Is anyone buying this one here? Cause I am NOT! Omg I could go on but I have a life and I wasted enough of it on this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    boogenhagen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Infidelity. When it comes to the Romance genre, that word starts the ground shaking as readers rush for opposite camps as to whether a book with an unfaithful partner can ever be called a Romance Novel. I believe a romance novel can have an unfaithful spouse and still be a believable and satisfying HEA. I confess I did not always feel this way, but that changed when I read Laurey Bright’s A Perfect Marriage. Max and Celine have been married for 12 years. To everyone on the outside, it looks as if Infidelity. When it comes to the Romance genre, that word starts the ground shaking as readers rush for opposite camps as to whether a book with an unfaithful partner can ever be called a Romance Novel. I believe a romance novel can have an unfaithful spouse and still be a believable and satisfying HEA. I confess I did not always feel this way, but that changed when I read Laurey Bright’s A Perfect Marriage. Max and Celine have been married for 12 years. To everyone on the outside, it looks as if they have the ideal marriage, but both Max and Celine married each other on the rebound of broken hearts. Max’s fiancée died and Celine found herself in love with a married man who eventually rejected her for his wife. In the aftermath of lost love both of them marry each other and the bargain is for companionship, trust and affection. Both know that they are not in love with each other. Celine feels they have a satisfactory marriage. She thinks they know each other well, as they are old childhood friends, and the companionship and support they have built over the years is something that she takes for granted will always be theirs. There is some regret that they have never had children, but on the whole Celine feels they have a good life and a good marriage. Max starts to feel differently, he feels there is something missing in his life and his marriage and eventually he comes to the conclusion that the passion he is missing can be found in a romantic relationship with Kate, a new young lawyer who works in his office and looks upon him as a mentor. Max starts an affair and eventually has to tell Celine he wants to leave her and begin a new life with Kate. Celine is in shock because she never saw it coming. She had vague warnings of Max’s restlessness but in 12 years they have never really talked about feelings or anything that might lie under the surface of their relationship. Celine is wounded, angry and betrayed, but through this period of turmoil while Max leaves her, she realizes she really is in love with Max and never knew what she had until it was gone. When an unexpected encounter with Max leaves her pregnant, Celine pulls herself together and starts to build a new life for herself and the child she has always wanted. Max wants love and he tries to tell Celine this, but he isn’t good with emotions and he isn’t able to relate his dissatisfaction with his life into words that Celine can understand. He wants to respect their marriage agreement, but he is lonely and really wants more passion, and he can’t figure out how to get it until his infatuation with Kate. When he does get what he thinks he wants with Kate, he realizes that what he threw away was more precious than he realized and this feeling compounds when he finds out that Celine is having a baby. Max is by no means a shallow or selfish Hero. He is a good man trying to do the best he can with a marriage that he thinks has no love or passion, but only friendship, and he wants a second chance at happiness when it looks like romantic love has finally come back into his life. When he wakes up and realizes that his true love is actually his wife, Max is willing to do whatever it takes to get her back, baby or not. He knows he threw away the truest love he had. He knows redemption is difficult to attain and may never happen. He accepts that Celine may never forgive him, but he has to try. This is where the true strength of the book becomes apparent, in the long slow process of Max and Celine trying to rebuild a marriage bond in the face of such devastating betrayal. Max and Celine finally learn to communicate and look deep into themselves and each other for meaning in their relationship. I won’t lie, this book is emotional, messy and the ugly truths about infidelity hurt both the characters and the reader. However when Max decides to try to repair the damage he has caused and we read about how both of them come to affirm their deep commitment to each other, this book reaches into the heart and carves a special place there. Celine is a strong heroine in rebuilding her life, drawing boundaries with Max and his family, and positively facing life on her own. Max is a very humble and empathetic hero trying to earn Celine’s forgiveness and to start a new romantic relationship with her. Max and Celine both learn to appreciate the years of friendship and emotional bonds that each has brought to their marriage and to really cherish and value the long term knowing that a true love needs to last. This is a book of new beginnings, second chances and true love. It shows that HEA’s don’t always start at the wedding and it shows the value and beauty of a long-term relationship that manages to survive and overcome the challenges. This book totally changed my ideas of infidelity in Romance and it made me appreciate the fact that true love really can conquer all with grace, understanding and forgiveness. In A Perfect Marriage, Laurey Bright has brilliantly demonstrated that the bonds of true love are strong and that a marriage can be rebuilt and renewed even after the most unforgivable betrayal of all. ****** I wrote this almost ten years ago and I can honestly say that I still feel the same way about this one. I am not by any means comparing this to real life BTW, I am approaching this from a complete romance reader's POV. But it is a good story, tho with a bit of a more conservative mind set, mostly tho I believed the HEA and was rooting for both of them by the end and still do so many years later.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves

    One of my absolute top go-to book for re-reads. And it never disappoints. I have dubbed it 'The Saint and The Sinner and The Goat that nibbled over the fence'! July 2019: Gawd, this book packs so many punches and they come in a slow drip drip fashion throughout the book. (view spoiler)[And that's the way it draws you in - for a book about cheating and a broken marriage, the husband is never really gone and there are so many conversations between the couple - mostly hurtful and humiliating for the One of my absolute top go-to book for re-reads. And it never disappoints. I have dubbed it 'The Saint and The Sinner and The Goat that nibbled over the fence'! July 2019: Gawd, this book packs so many punches and they come in a slow drip drip fashion throughout the book. (view spoiler)[And that's the way it draws you in - for a book about cheating and a broken marriage, the husband is never really gone and there are so many conversations between the couple - mostly hurtful and humiliating for the wife but she gives back good many a times. The guy is a selfish loser who wants to label his mid life hots for a younger, prettier woman as 'true love' while belittling his quiet 'comfortable' marriage. Wanting best of both worlds or women, he tries to 'friend zone' his supportive wife of 12 years, completely crushing her sense of self-worth. All this while assuming the mien of a nice guy. Actually everyone is 'nice' here - even the ow. The author seems hell bent on establishing that. Also that the h/H are better off having gone through this upheaval as the ow fiasco woke up the H to the possibility of love! Ummm okaaayyy!!! (hide spoiler)] Old Review: This is a book about out and out cheating, no pulled punches here. Cheating husbands is one topic which evokes strong emotions and it has always been my strictly to be avoided trope till now. But recently having read a few such books, I realized I can take them on with some equanimity when I am somewhat prepared for the shock of betrayal and take it on as a read on human relationships. In real life, lots of couples go through this and then get back together too and same holds true for the opposite results, but this being a HEA Romance the h/H have to find a way back to each other. DO NOT read the *spoilers* if you want to read the book. (view spoiler)[Here, the h/H have grown up together, had some bad/tragic relationships in their early twenties, vowed off love, agree on a moc built on practical and realistic expectations. Now 12 years on, at 36 and 38 years of age respectively have a nice, stable and comfortable marriage. He is a lawyer, she, a housewife dabbling in interiors as an amateur. They are childless and she doesn’t conceive even though there is no medical reason. Enter a young (aged 25), beautiful, flirtatious assistant lawyer at his firm and he strays. We get hints but for the h, it is a sudden and devastating bombshell. The poor h was too busy caring for her sick stepmom who eventually dies and then caring for her depressed father. This is shown as a convenient excuse and an opening for the beginning of this affair. So, one night when she realizes it has been a long time since they were intimate, she goes to his study to seduce him and after some making out he shoves her off telling her that he cannot do it as he is in love with someone else and is moving out. His excuse is that although he doesn’t want to hurt her, he has fallen in love again (the first was with his dead fiancée all those years ago) which he never thought could happen again. God, the bastard! You feel so hurt on the h’s behalf. How easily he has fallen in love with this girl while never developing such feelings for his amazing wife of all these years. She is devastated, shell shocked but rallies herself and is quite reasonable -no tantrums, no big scenes - and he takes that as further proof of her lukewarm emotions. So things are amicably done and he moves out promising he will always be there for her blah blah. He keeps coming back to collect his stuff and she tries to talk to him but he is adamant on his decision. There is one more very hurtful, very angsty scene when he lets on that the last time they had sex and it had been an explosive session, he had actually come back home from a party very turned on after kissing the ow! :o I could have killed him! She is, of course devastated (again) and completely breaks down, lashes out physically and there is a scuffle and they end up having sex again! OMG, you stupid woman, you. Things actually get interesting from here onwards. She decides she is well rid of him, gets on with her life and fledgling career, there is an om (a prerequisite to shake up any erring husband) and yess, she is pregnant - a no brainer again. The H does eventually come to his senses and does a prolonged (albeit undeclared and unapparent to the h) wooing/crawling but she wants none of it now as no 'half loaf' for her from now onwards, thank you! The final confrontation brought on by the ow is good too and things become clearer for all of them. We are told that the ow is not a bad person but a young virginal girl who truly did fall for a married man (no excuse that, girl) and you do feel sorry for her in a way but also want her to leave so that things can move on for these two. So, the louse is forgiven and taken back but not quite immediately. In the end, they are back to their comfortable marriage. For all their statements to the contrary, I saw no stars and I think it suits them too. Crazy people, running after the moon (and the stars). His family and friends have an interesting take on his straying. Apparently, it is because he is such an ‘honorable’ guy, he simply couldn’t see himself as having a classic midlife crisis like everyone else and falling for a younger woman. He just had to wrap it in I-am-in-love-again excuse. But the fact is that this sorry excuse for a man hurt two women callously and selfishly and got away with it. (hide spoiler)] This super angsty book may not be everyone’s cuppa and you will either hate it or like it. I loved it because it is very well written, gripping and so close to how things actually work out in real life. The h is relatable and doesn't let the reader down. Having read some such similar stories you realize it is how the author moves the story along after the betrayal and how the wife decides to deal with it, which makes the difference to a reader.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Megzy

    2.5 Stars I give the writing 4 stars. The characters 1 star. The angst 2.5 stars. A 12 years marriage of convenience was shaken when he announced to his wife that he couldn't have sex with her because he was in a relationship with a much younger woman, (view spoiler)[25 years old virgin beauty who happened to be a junior partner in his law firm. (hide spoiler)] They were married because neither wanted to love their spouse but wanted a family and an amicable marriage.. fortunately or unfortunately 2.5 Stars I give the writing 4 stars. The characters 1 star. The angst 2.5 stars. A 12 years marriage of convenience was shaken when he announced to his wife that he couldn't have sex with her because he was in a relationship with a much younger woman, (view spoiler)[25 years old virgin beauty who happened to be a junior partner in his law firm. (hide spoiler)] They were married because neither wanted to love their spouse but wanted a family and an amicable marriage.. fortunately or unfortunately they didn't conceive during their 12 years together. (view spoiler)[He lost his beloved fiance and still kept her picture on his desk... She was bamboozled by a married man with two children. They became engaged after spending a night together to test and see if they were sexually compatible. They practically knew each other their entire lives. Their mothers were best friends and neighbors.. his sister was her best friend. Later we found out his mother and her father carried on an emotional infidelity for over a year. During their marriage, she found hobbies to keep her busy when he was working late at the office... book club, badminton, charity, etc She also attended a night class for interior design and was working part time on commission in a design firm. The story starts when he notices the OW while away on a conference. She was talking and what appeared to be flirting with a much older senior partner. They hold eye contact and he notices her interest and he had to adjust himself before remembering he was happily married...so it was obvious to us that he was very much physically attracted to the OW. He even told his wife upon his return that he as well as many other partners would have loved to see the OW, a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Bo-peep, to jump out of a cake which his wife laughed about. The OW was hired shortly after and he started spending less time at home and more time in the office and she took bulk of his work while he took over a senior partner so they were basically spending a lot of time together... something he ignored to tell his wife. He did ask his wife out of the blue few times when it was convenient for him to spend some times together but she either had prior commitment or had to go out of town when her step mother was at the hospital or before and after she passed away. Then her fragile father had to move in with them while waiting for his house to be sold and searching for a new place to live in their town. A month after her father was living with them she realized they have not been physical for few weeks, so she decided to surprise him.. she took a bath,put of lotions and perfume..wore on a skimpy lingerie that he had purchased for her and went to his home office and that is when he told her he already had sex with the girl 6 times in so many months, he wasn't going to tell his wife after the first time it happened, he was completely in love with the OW, she was a virgin and he wanted a divorce but he planned to keep their friendship for the sake of his family and he was planning to marry the OW after their divorce became final in two years. He was moving out the next day. He also told her not to tell anyone as to why they were separating. You know what she did after hearing all these crap? She laughed. (hide spoiler)] Here are my big problem with the story. I got tired of hearing what an "Honorable" man he was by the idiot wife or his mother or his sister. (view spoiler)[No one who cheats has any honor in my opinion. A man who cheated with a virgin who according to him was saving herself for the man she loved and decided it was a one time affair and to not say a word to his wife and act like nothing ever happened is not an honorable man. He himself said a man sleeping with two woman at the same time was a scum. Well, if we go by the diarrhea of his mouth, he slept with both woman for a while before he left and he did have one more fling with his wife which resulted in getting her pregnant and even though he attempted sex with the OW on many occasions, the poor bastard couldn't finish as he wanted and only had two satisfactory ejaculations! A scum is not an honorable man. A jackass delivering the final blow by saying to his wife he was picturing the OW while they had passionate sex is not an honorable man. A coward telling his wife not to tell his family, their friends, his colleagues why they were separating and therefore even taking a way any comfort she could have been given by those who loved her is not an honorable man. A prick telling the OW not only the most intimate details of his life with his wife for their entire length of marriage but what she did or said at the lowest point in her life when he dropped her like last week garbage and continued to stab her with his words is not an honorable man. A dickhead knowing how much it effected his wife's life to give herself to a married man and later be discarded and do the same exact thing to the OW is not an honorable man. An asswipe taking the OW virginity knowing she was saving herself, giving her false promises, parading her in his office and in front of his family and giving her false hope is not an Honorable man. (hide spoiler)] The wife had 0 personality. (view spoiler)[Who goes through all that shit and finds out she is in love with her cheating scumbag husband to cry only once and accept everything so calmly. Everyone assumed they had a perfect marriage because they never fought, well.. I thought she couldn't be bothered to care. We were told many times by the schmuck, his mother, the stupid wife that the OW was an innocent. I didn't think so. The bitch knew what she wanted.. She was very smart don't get me wrong. She focused on the youngest senior partner with no children. She saw the wife few times, she knew he was married and happily by all accounts. She was using him as much as he was using her except she didn't think he would go back to his wife. (hide spoiler)] Every couple in this story had a man who went through an extramarital affair and it was so nonchalantly explained as it is every man's right of passage and it was the wife's job to fight for the marriage. Having sex with someone other than your partner is a decision and not a bodily function that you have no control of. Infidelity is very serious.. it is about breaking trust and trust is a very fragile thing...once broken it will never be as strong as it one day was. He told her when he looked, he had nothing in common with the OW except (view spoiler)[fantastic sex and physical attraction, how much they loved their jobs, how much they loved law, how easy it was to talk to her, how much they respected and admired each other, their ideology about law... Yeah I guess he had more in common with a wife who had complete separate interests than him like checkers, gardening, badminton, book clubs, charity or interior design! Or maybe it was because his stupid wife would cook, keep a nice home, finds things to occupy her time when he wasn't around, hardly talked when they were together in the car or by the beach where we could observer their interactions and would gladly take a backseat and let him inform her as how to live and feel... When the OW came to her house about 6 months after she was dumped if we are to believe his lies, he told her, she is my best friend when referring to his wife. .. not the woman I love but my best friend so I basically didn't see ANY change in their relationship from his point of view. Whereas how many times we had to hear he loved the OW. (hide spoiler)] I didn't believe in their HEA!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vintage

    Another I should have listened to the reviews. In some ways I enjoyed reading the horror that the so-called hero inflicted on his wife and his girlfriend, kind of like poking at a sore tooth. Stories like this are where cliches are born. Cliches A dog with two bones None so blind as those who will not see. Dog in the manger Wants his cake and eat it too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. aka Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. Apple didn't fall far from the tree. Like looking in a mirror. If you c Another I should have listened to the reviews. In some ways I enjoyed reading the horror that the so-called hero inflicted on his wife and his girlfriend, kind of like poking at a sore tooth. Stories like this are where cliches are born. Cliches A dog with two bones None so blind as those who will not see. Dog in the manger Wants his cake and eat it too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. aka Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. Apple didn't fall far from the tree. Like looking in a mirror. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Tis better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all. How the tables have turned. You want what you can't have. You can't always get what you want But if you try sometimes well you might find You get what you need. Woo hoo. Random Thoughts Hero cheats on his wife with the 25 yo attorney at his office, but he’s not having a middle age crisis and he is not a cliche. Sure. At least his lover wasn’t his secretary. None so blind as those who will not see. The hero gets jealous when he sees the wife he kicked to the curb all dressed up and another man is attracted to her. So, she must be doing it to get him back as apparently the world revolves around him. Dog with two bones. The h finds out that her father had an affair with the H's mother years ago when she was the h's mother's best friend. That little crab-apple didn't fall far from the tree. What's worse, the h's mom told her friend, thank you, I'm glad it was you. Now we know where the h got her spine from. Apple didn't fall far from the tree. He drops by ALL the time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. He admits their very best sex was because he had been turned on by his precious. I have nothing for this one except Yuck. He takes his precious’ virginity then says thank you, but he made a mistake. Tough toenails chica, guess you shouldn’t have knowingly slept with a married man. Tis better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all for me, says the married man that it all worked out for. The mistress/girlfriend/precious/side-piece actually comes to the house to accuse the heroine, HIS WIFE, of being deceitful by sleeping with her own husband, of having taken the pill for years to wait until now to get pregnant, of being too cold to the H and pushing him away, to foisting another man’s baby on the H. Well, she IS a lawyer. In what may be the most ludicrously ironic thing said ever by a wife to a mistress, “We didn’t mean to have sex. It just happened.” Like looking in a mirror as well as How the tables have turned. The h runs after the weepy mistress to make sure she’s all right and if she needs a cuppa. Please shoot me now! What lesson have learned today? That a married man may be separated, but he is still MARRIED until the divorce comes through. That and this boring couple deserve each other. Preferred title: I Made My Wife My Mistress

  6. 4 out of 5

    StMargarets

    5 stars for a compelling read 1 star for the romance So many good reviews and discussions. I think this is a very realistic look at two immature people who married to protect themselves from big feelings and ended up having big feelings anyway. They married to protect their egos - and it worked - for awhile. It's only after heroine had her life blown apart that she stopped living in a world of trivia (bridge night, souffle might fall, etc . . ) and finally felt *something*. It's only after hero ac 5 stars for a compelling read 1 star for the romance So many good reviews and discussions. I think this is a very realistic look at two immature people who married to protect themselves from big feelings and ended up having big feelings anyway. They married to protect their egos - and it worked - for awhile. It's only after heroine had her life blown apart that she stopped living in a world of trivia (bridge night, souffle might fall, etc . . ) and finally felt *something*. It's only after hero acknowledged to himself that he was capable of making mistakes and then showing that flawed self and all of his regret to his wife that he finally grew up enough to even be in a marriage. They were both so superficial and scared to express themselves at the opening of the story. Only a hero-worshiping bombshell OW could have made the hero secure enough to leave the warm predictability of their non-demanding relationship. And he was so delusional that he thought he'd still have his ego blanket even after chasing his romantic dream. I think they now have a chance at a real marriage - where they actually talk to each other and acknowledge their feelings. That numb opening - highlighting their shallowness - goes a long way in selling their HEA to me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dwayne

    Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf. I'd like to think I'm a reader who do not demand perfect characters. As a matter of fact, I like finding the faults in the characters that makes them so human. However, when I come across a character who barely has any redeeming quality, I also do not hesitate to flog the aforementioned character. And Max Archer is such a bastard of a character I swear he more than deserves some serious flogging. I don't think the book executed the plot well at all in itself, Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf. I'd like to think I'm a reader who do not demand perfect characters. As a matter of fact, I like finding the faults in the characters that makes them so human. However, when I come across a character who barely has any redeeming quality, I also do not hesitate to flog the aforementioned character. And Max Archer is such a bastard of a character I swear he more than deserves some serious flogging. I don't think the book executed the plot well at all in itself, but by God the characters! Weak, laughably ludicrous and without any ounce of self-respect! Max, in particular was an arrogant ass who revelled in the knowledge that he has two women in his bed. One, his wife Celine. The other, his mistress Kate, a younger work colleague. For goodness' sake how many times do middle-aged men have to be warned about their endless attraction to ambitious, independent women decades their junior? They never learn, do they? Max certainly did not get the memo, because this cheating husband did not only get himself the stereotypical mistress, he threw his wife to the gutter and thought himself in love! His complacency about the severity of his infidelity sends the wrong message, as well as his poor treatment of both Celine and Kate. His actions show no regret or payment for it, only self-confidence that he can apologise once and with clever words ease what he did to Kate and that a little wooing would earn him back his wife. Sorry, life doesn't work that way. Sorry is only too light a word. He seemed completely assured that because his wife is a woman without a pride, he can easily go back to the way things were. Like I said, no redemption. I was utterly disgusted by his behaviour - if he was a real-to-life person and I was in Celine's shoes, I'd divorce him without ado and file an injunction against him! What a despicable character this one is. Celine - although the victim here - is no better. By God woman, have some dignity! She is so blinded by her love for Max - which, in turns out, she only realise when he left - that she simply continually begged him to come back. Really begged him to come back. Her pride is practically inexistent, and she cannot seem to function without Max. Pathetic. I happen to find it very difficult to find some women like her, who is content to grovel when she has all the resources to move on with her life, forget the episode and find someone who deserves her more. Celine is portrayed as a pushover with no real power in this book, and I think as a female reader that is seriously degrading. And Kate - well, Kate has no real presence in the book, only at the beginning and end. Although I think she is also a victim of the disgusting Max, nothing whatsoever justifies breaking up a marriage like she did (and moreover, begging Celine to let Max go). For goodness' sake, how many times do we also need to remind young, ambitious females to keep their hands off a married man? Motives be damned, if you have enough decency you'd know that ruining a marriage is one of the worse kind of sin! Since the main protagonists are abhorrent, well the secondary characters are just as bad. They seem to be all happy and contented the marriage eventually gets back on track - no talks to Max about anything, or lectures or what nots. Nothing. Very disappointing - everybody was just oh-so-ready to let every wrong slide. Despised this!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leona

    I really debated about reading this one for sometime, because infidelity isn't my idea of romance. But something caught my eye the other day, and once I started to read, I could not put it down. I gave this 5 stars for three reasons: 1) intensity, 2) it was extremely well written and a very realistic portrayal of human failure, 3) I was so mesmerized by it, that I read it in one sitting. This is a story about a marriage that is in serious trouble, yet from an outsider's perspective it is "a perfec I really debated about reading this one for sometime, because infidelity isn't my idea of romance. But something caught my eye the other day, and once I started to read, I could not put it down. I gave this 5 stars for three reasons: 1) intensity, 2) it was extremely well written and a very realistic portrayal of human failure, 3) I was so mesmerized by it, that I read it in one sitting. This is a story about a marriage that is in serious trouble, yet from an outsider's perspective it is "a perfect marriage". It's about two people who end up being complacent and putting other priorities first. It's about the worst betrayal a person could suffer and it's about how to heal and go on with life when you are given a bitter blow. Even though this is a 5 star read, there were a few messages the author delivered that I found I didn't like. 1) that in order for a marriage to survive, it has to start with passion. Love is so much more, it survives when all else fails. I felt the author trivialized the meaning of love. 2) It was incredible to me, that his infidelity was so easily chalked up by his family as "an itch" that all men go through. That she needed to go fight for him, because, after all they had a perfect marriage. I guess it wasn't surprising since his own mother carried on an affair with her best friend's husband. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. As far as I was concerned, he and his family were morally bankrupt and the heroine would have been wise to run for her life. (view spoiler)[ 3) Though, I didn't care for either the H/h...the hero took the prize for scum. Not only did he violate his marriage and hurt his wife, he also tosses aside the OW. He doesn't care how deeply he hurt her. It was always about him and what he wanted. (hide spoiler)] I do actually recommend this book. I don't agree with the author's position, but I respect the quality of her work.

  9. 5 out of 5

    EeeJay

    This would have gotten 5 stars were it not for one thing: a cheater H. Yeah, that's right. The whole basis of this book is a bloody cheater who didn't have the f-ing guts to tell his wife he wanted her to show more of her emotions. He cheats and we're reading this, accepting it and letting him get away with it. This book is someone's life and it's stupid that this book had a happy ending when I can imagine 1000s of women who never get the happy ending and are stuck with a bad taste in their mout This would have gotten 5 stars were it not for one thing: a cheater H. Yeah, that's right. The whole basis of this book is a bloody cheater who didn't have the f-ing guts to tell his wife he wanted her to show more of her emotions. He cheats and we're reading this, accepting it and letting him get away with it. This book is someone's life and it's stupid that this book had a happy ending when I can imagine 1000s of women who never get the happy ending and are stuck with a bad taste in their mouth when their exes desert them for a shiny new model. phffff! P.S He f-s his wife AND his gf and THEN also tells his wife about it in the end... like he says ['After you f-ing changed your looks and attitude and I fell for you']... "I wasn't able to perform with my mistress/gf but I tried my darndest and I succeeded a coupla times...be proud of me!" SWINE!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Naksed

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Haha, what an amaaaaaaaaaaazing little joke from the author in naming the title of this two day old piece of dried up turd of a story (where "hero" not only cheats on his doormat wife but rubs her nose in it) a "perfect marriage." So funny I forgot to laugh. Haha, what an amaaaaaaaaaaazing little joke from the author in naming the title of this two day old piece of dried up turd of a story (where "hero" not only cheats on his doormat wife but rubs her nose in it) a "perfect marriage." So funny I forgot to laugh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Saly

    Even today I remain conflicted about this book. The hero and heroine loved other people and were hurt(hero's fiancee died and heroine's turned out to be a jerk), so they married for convenience(MOC) and it's been 12 years and their lives are okay if not spectacular when the hero asks for a divorce from the heroine because he has been having an affair in his office with a 25 year old, she makes him feel young and loved and important which the heroine doesn't apparently. Both of these people wante Even today I remain conflicted about this book. The hero and heroine loved other people and were hurt(hero's fiancee died and heroine's turned out to be a jerk), so they married for convenience(MOC) and it's been 12 years and their lives are okay if not spectacular when the hero asks for a divorce from the heroine because he has been having an affair in his office with a 25 year old, she makes him feel young and loved and important which the heroine doesn't apparently. Both of these people wanted to change the status quo but did not have the courage so the hero found it outside, the heroine is very hurt, apparently the husband Max thought that it wouldn't hit her that much since it was a MOC and she didn't seem to care that much about him and his lovemaking but well still waters run deep. These two people were in a rut. They move forward, the hero with the Kate(OW) and Celine as well, her father comes to live with her because of some problems. One days things happen b/w the h/h and Celine becomes pregnant. Yup marriage sperm during crisis!!She was unable to conceive before and is able to now. BUT she doesn't use it to get Max back, she is all satisfied to raise the child on her own and even goes out on dates and changes herself, the way she dresses, Max notices and is jealous. The PIG!He gave her up so why should he care what she wears?She doesn't tell him the kid is his and she doesn't give up the relationship she shares with Max's side of the family and Max's family are pro-Celine. Finally some nice in-laws. What a heroine, she was strong. And Max I can't really say about him. This book shows that marriage requires time, effort, communication and nurturing. Max starts coming around later on and we later find out that over time he found out that Katie was just an infatuation of sorts, because he got something from her, he didn't from Celine and that he ended his relationship with her long before he found about the baby and when he felt it was sufficient time, he would start wooing Celine and making up for what he had done to them and start afresh. The way he starts wooing her is great, you can see Max's hesitancy and remorse as well I think. He wanted to leave things upto Celine. And man it was hilarious that Celine had no idea that she was being wooed. Let me clear everyone may not like this book and when I read it first I didn't as well. You can see the agony and the hurt of characters, what is the impact of infidelity, so it may not be your cup of tea. And I guess since I read this book such a while back, I may have missed some things. I liked this book because of the heroine Celine. Max was never re-deemed much or enough for me especially after the things his OW Kate said. And goody for Max or Oscars for Max that he couldn't get it up or satisfy Kate after being with Celine?And that pig tells Celine all of this bravo, telling your wife or ex whatever what you do in bed and how and expect her to be glad?But this books get more stars for effort, and especially in a category romance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fre06 Begum

    This guy one of the worst cheaters I have read yet! What a selfish ass!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    bookjunkie

    You ever do that thing where you see reviews that are all saying Do Not Read This Book and describe all these things that you hate and are guaranteed to make you angry and sickened and furious, and you go, Hmm I think I'll read this book? No? Well then you're a heckuva lot smarter than me. I dunno man, I guess I thought I would just take a peek at the ending, but instead of flipping to the end I started at page 1. Then I thought, well for sure I'm definitely skipping all the hateful parts, but i You ever do that thing where you see reviews that are all saying Do Not Read This Book and describe all these things that you hate and are guaranteed to make you angry and sickened and furious, and you go, Hmm I think I'll read this book? No? Well then you're a heckuva lot smarter than me. I dunno man, I guess I thought I would just take a peek at the ending, but instead of flipping to the end I started at page 1. Then I thought, well for sure I'm definitely skipping all the hateful parts, but instead I accidentally read every word. So here I am, having read the damn thing, all of it, and hating myself because it's not like, Surprise, you're upset and unhappy! I knew what it would be. It's just this, what is it, perverse, masochistic curiosity. My mother has often warned me of this character flaw. I'm working on it. So basically, this book has a cheating husband who turns out to want his wife back, but only after he puts her through a wringer of every mental/emotional torture possible. His crimes are extreme: -throws away his long-time wife for perky, blonde, much younger co-worker -has explosive sex with his wife and tells her later it was because he was horny for the OW whom he'd just kissed before returning home -tells her repeatedly how in-love he is with the OW, AND how physically attracted they are to each other -causes his wife to sleep on the floor by letting her believe he and the OW had sex on both his bed & his couch -takes the OW's virginity that she was saving for her true love and lets her believe they are going to get married and start a family (heck, he believes it himself) -tells OW (in front of his pregnant wife) how it meant so much to him that she gave him her virginity -tells his wife details about when and how often he has sex with the OW, including how after he & the wife made love again he had difficulties in the bedroom with the OW- in fact, he could only have sex with the OW two more times after that! How embarrassing! I could go on about other outrages, because this book had LOADS of them, not least of which the heroine's pining, pathetic, I-just-want-you-back behavior, but whatever. I did this to myself. Make smart choices, friends. P.s. It was well-written. She's a good writer. 3 stars for holding my interest and riling me up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adensanti

    this isnt an easy read. it's hurt. even days after i read this. it kept bugging my mind. why? how could he ? was the first 2 question hangiing on my mind. i dont expect max to not falling inlove w/kate. but the fact that he betrayed celine, the girl that he knw almost all her and his life, the girl that shared his childhood life, everything that happened in his life, why did he has to betrayed her at her back like that? i mean, he can respect her to at least make the break up clean bfore he slep this isnt an easy read. it's hurt. even days after i read this. it kept bugging my mind. why? how could he ? was the first 2 question hangiing on my mind. i dont expect max to not falling inlove w/kate. but the fact that he betrayed celine, the girl that he knw almost all her and his life, the girl that shared his childhood life, everything that happened in his life, why did he has to betrayed her at her back like that? i mean, he can respect her to at least make the break up clean bfore he slept w/kate. heck even he can say that he love kate to celine as the reason why they should parted way, BEFORE he slept w/kate. after he drop that bomb, then go ahead and burried your d*** as long as u want into that young girl of yours. but spare celine some respect! for god sake! and i giving celine a standing ovation for what she dealt w/and still took him back without even a single bit of a groveling act. woah.. celine is the perfect/ideal wife to all those cheater outthere. max was practically insulted her.hard. deep. unforgivable. yes i knw there's no sparks fly, but he can respect her, for lord! this book isnt for anyone, specially for those who interested in reconsiliation of a wife and a cheating husband who wants to see how sorry the husband was and how much he done to EARN his forgivenes from his wife. this book hasnt had all that. so, those without a hard heart, can leave this book and walk away to search other one. i find it even funny how max after his pure-love declaration to celine that he infact inlove w/kate and never felt that way after his first fiancee died, can turn back his heart in months to realize that he was inlove w/his wife. this isnt make sense at all. he have her for 12 years in marriage bond. and he known her for all his life. yet he didnt has the restraint to save his marriage first bfore he sleeping w/kate ? unbeliavable. aND even more funnier how honourable max was when he refused to slept w/celine the night when he finally confessed his affair to her, bcoz he said he's now commit to kate and cant have sex w/celine who still legally his wife, but just in paper. how honorable of him! did he got worm in his brain? HE SLEP W/KATE WHILE HE ALSO SLEPT W/HIS WIFE LONG BEFORE HE CONFESSED HIS AFFAIR TO CELINE! and he even USED CELINE AS HIS SEXUAL pleasure when he was all aroused after he was kissing kate!!! for god sake! he put his own wife in a very loe level than his GF. his freaking wife who also his bestfriend for his/her entire life. im insulted after reading this. ughhhh... and why all novel about infidelity put the guy in a high position? i mean, the guy cleep around w/his new GF, while all the wifes in this kind of story cant even have 1 freaking new BF and dont sleep with anyone. it sucks! i demand equality! ughh... i need to forget this story and delete it from my laptop now. i hate it. loath it, disgust w/it. No sin cant be forgiven, BUT HE HAS TO EARN IT, WORK FOR IT, SORRY FOR IT, FIGHT FOR IT. THEN HE CAN COME BACK. what maz did, done and being accepted again ISNT WORTH forgiveness

  15. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Don’t come @ me for why I love this book. The hero cheats and leaves the heroine for a younger woman, believing he loves her. But there was so much depth to this book. It was so angsty and made me angry sometimes, but this author did a fantastic job of making me want the H and h to be together. Best cheating book to date!

  16. 4 out of 5

    reeder (reviews)

    At its core, this is the story of a man who goes through a very stereotypical midlife crisis and has an affair that hurts two good women, his family, and possibly his business. What makes the book exceptional are 1) narrative choices that inspire a lot of thinky thoughts, 2) an incredible heroine, and 3) a hero I can’t hate despite the fact that I would describe him as selfish, egotistical, and (non-maliciously) cruel. (view spoiler)[1. Narrative choices While most romances featuring cheating spous At its core, this is the story of a man who goes through a very stereotypical midlife crisis and has an affair that hurts two good women, his family, and possibly his business. What makes the book exceptional are 1) narrative choices that inspire a lot of thinky thoughts, 2) an incredible heroine, and 3) a hero I can’t hate despite the fact that I would describe him as selfish, egotistical, and (non-maliciously) cruel. (view spoiler)[1. Narrative choices While most romances featuring cheating spouses (The Marriage War (ugh), The Ultimate Betrayal, The Fourth Child) start with the husband in full cheater mode, Bright uses the first 25% of this book to take us on a gradual, sideways walk through the hero’s growing attraction to the OW and discontent with the state of his marriage before the affair begins. It’s like watching a horror flick or a slow-motion crash: the heroine, who thinks her marriage is secure and happy, makes a number of innocuous decisions that ultimately have dire consequences. (Note: she is in no way to “blame” for his infidelity. While the heroine claims at the end of the book that she now sees he was trying to signal he needed more from their marriage, she would honestly have to have been psychic to interpret his emotionally closed-off indicators. The first time he communicated the issue openly was when he told her he was leaving her for another woman.) The protagonists are in a marriage based on friendship, not love. This is offered as the underlying excuse for the hero’s affair: he found a passionate love with the OW that he felt was lacking in his relationship with his wife. (I also got the implication that the infidelity is supposed to be somehow less cheaty because he didn’t fall out of love with his wife and in love with a younger woman. He just discovered a love he had never, ever experienced with the wife. I call BS on this shoddy excuse for devaluing 12+ years of companionship, but ymmv.) Bright’s resolution would have us believe that such a marriage was always on shaky ground, but I’m not buying it. Everything we’re told about enduring marriages says that relationships based on mutual respect and compatibility inevitably outlast starry-eyed romance and passion. The heroine’s reason for agreeing to this marriage was a failed love affair with a married man during her early twenties. This man was supposed to be separated from his wife, but it turns out he lied to the heroine and didn’t reveal he had two kids and probably had no intention of divorcing his wife. This backstory is genius. It explains why she agreed to a loveless marriage (though both protagonists seemed a little young at 24/26 to get married NOW just because they believed they would never love again). More importantly, it accounts for her empathy toward the younger woman when she shows up for The Confrontation. Most importantly, this backstory shelters the OW from the instinctive moralistic reader response to blame and shame her for sleeping with a married man. If you’re going to dismiss the OW as a Tarty McTart homewrecker, then the very sympathetic heroine is tarred with the same brush. We’re watching a karmic wheel in progress. The heroine's husband is going to become the lying liar who lies in the OW’s own tragic backstory. As we approach the novel’s conclusion, there’s a very satisfying confrontation between the OW and the heroine in which the hero makes it clear that he doesn’t love the OW, the affair was a mistake, and he is choosing the heroine. This is the point at which the heroine learns that her husband is the one who ended the affair, and she really deserved to know that. And, though the heroine is empathy personified through the whole excruciating scene, she also deserved to see the OW get her comeuppance. (Geez, this woman attended a party in the married couple’s home. The wife was not some faceless monster when the OW fell into bed with her husband.) Unfortunately, the confrontation takes place while the heroine still believes her husband is only interested in resuming their marriage because of the shock!baby. The shock!pregnancy is the least satisfying plot element for me, because it shows the heroine in a really morally ambiguous light. She had yet to make a decision about what she was going to tell the hero when he discovers the pregnancy for himself and immediately assumes the baby is the wannabe-OM’s. (I hate this moment because the hero just walks away, even though we later learn he had left the OW by this point and had been sounding out his wife about a possible reconciliation. No. This was the moment for the hero to demonstrate the depth of both his remorse and his love by asking his wife to come back to him regardless of whose baby she was carrying.) Without actually lying to him, the heroine decides to let him believe it’s someone else’s baby because she doesn’t want him coming back to her for the baby’s sake. But then she tells his mother the truth, and suggests that maybe the hero can be told the truth after he and the OW are married. First, way to place your beloved mother-in-law in a difficult position. I’m pretty sure she has a greater obligation to her son than to you. Second, no. Springing a secret baby on your ex-husband and his new wife is NOT a noble choice. He deserves to know the truth before the divorce, and definitely before he remarries and possibly starts a second family. If he lets the baby come between him and the OW, that is his choice, not yours, and you are not obligated to take him back even if he tries to reconcile for the baby’s sake. Maybe the wife’s handling of the pregnancy news is supposed to echo the husband’s mishandling of his marital discontent. He should have told his wife he was unhappy and exited the marriage before starting his affair. She should tell him they're having a baby before hypothetical divorces and remarriages happen. 2. The heroine is dignified, empathetic, and human. • During the agonizing buildup to the affair, she sees a conversation between her husband and the OW at a party where their body language indicates a certain romantic interest. While she mostly dismisses it because she trusts her husband (I refuse to ding this woman for trusting him), she still casually raises the issue on their drive home, trying to get a feel for what is actually going on. • Although 90% of her behavior is freakin’ saintly, she is not above pettiness. While he’s telling everyone their split was a mutual decision, she makes it clear to the people who matter that he deserted her. At her husband’s new apartment (for sex-free reasons), she picks up the phone when the OW calls and takes a spiteful pleasure in informing the unidentified caller that’s she’s his wife. After a bout of post-traumatic sex with her estranged husband, she threatens to tell the OW about the encounter. • She has enough self-respect and backbone to establish meaningful boundaries. Shortly after they split, he encounters her at a party celebrating some interior design work she did for a mutual acquaintance. She’s dolled up and receiving some attention from another male guest, which makes the hero jealous. She makes it clear that his reaction is inappropriate. When the hero keeps pressing for a renewal of their longtime friendship (as if their 12 years of marriage were no more than a casual roommate relationship), she soundly rejects him and suggests this rejection will probably extend to his family as well. (But let’s be honest. Although she is NEVER the one initiating their encounters, she sees an awful lot of the hero after he moves out. Getting him to actually respect her boundaries isn’t very successful.) • She feels her feelings without being mopey. There’s a moment where she’s processing that hurting her is probably difficult for the “honorable” hero, but he is nevertheless grabbing his and the OW’s happiness at the expense of her own. Later, there’s a magnificent emotional venting scene where she rails at her husband for wanting their divorce to be pleasant and nice when he made her feel humiliated, belittled, and betrayed. 3. The hero is awful, but I can’t hate him. Whyyyyy? • AWFUL: He first sleeps with the OW when the heroine is away taking care of her recently widowed father. • AWFUL: Once the affair is revealed, he immediately shifts all loyalty to the OW. The heroine has a horrifying moment where she fears they may have had sex in her bed, and the hero replies, “I wouldn’t do that to Katie [pause] or to you.” Always nice to be an afterthought. • AWFUL: everyone (well, the m-i-l, s-i-l, and wife) explains the hero’s choices as the inevitable outcome of his being such an “honorable” man that he couldn’t just have a midlife crisis affair; he had to imagine himself in Love and overreact accordingly. (Everyone needs to stop crediting him with honor when what he displays is an egotistical need to be perceived as a good guy when he is actually despicably selfish.) • AWFUL: Buoyed by the awesome force of his newfound love, he says cruel things to justify himself to the heroine. Such as “One day you may fall in love -- really in love -- yourself. Then you’ll understand.” • AWFUL: When he decides to woo his wife back, he still doesn’t expose himself emotionally. First, before he discovers she’s pregnant, he asks if the heroine loves him now, though she didn’t love him when they were married. I can think of only two explanations for that question, and I don’t like either one. Either he is unwilling to put himself in an emotionally vulnerable position first (HE OWES HER THAT), or he is unwilling to resume the marriage unless it comes with the love he suddenly decided he was missing (which I can concede is wise, but I think he owes her a decade of unrequited love after his infidelity). When he realizes the baby is his and returns, he is still so opaque about his emotions and intentions that the heroine thinks the OW broke up with him and he is only hanging around her in his heartbreak because of the baby. Which basically puts us back at the beginning of the book, where the hero couldn’t/wouldn’t communicate his feelings and ended up cheating because it was easier to connect with someone new than with his own wife. This is not a promising HEA. • LESS AWFUL: This is the only cheating husband romance I’ve read where I sincerely believe there’s no chance of the husband straying again. He used the one excuse he had to cheat, and his ego wouldn’t allow him to break his vows again without similar self-justification. ••• THE ABSOLUTE WORST: I am convinced that if the heroine had been willing to maintain a friendship after he moved out, the hero would have married the OW and lived a life where he split himself emotionally between the ex-wife’s companionship and the new wife’s passion. This realization is the only time a romance novel has given me fridge horror. (hide spoiler)] A Perfect Marriage is a story that packs an emotional punch, and I rather wish I had never read it because I can’t stop thinking about it but the ending doesn’t make me sufficiently happy to overcome the hurt I had to endure to get there. A book that can make me feel this strongly is probably worth 5 stars, but I have to subtract a star for all the pain it leaves behind.

  17. 5 out of 5

    SallyB

    The 3 stars was for how well it was written and how compelling the author made her case. I almost swallowed it.....almost. The cheating hero, the perfect heroine...cough......where do I begin? The heroine was almost too perfect. If it would have been me as her, the story would have ended up wwwaaay differently with perhaps some garden tools and lots of blood involved. Some of the marriage issues brought out happen to everybody in a long term relationship. You get bored, busy and life happens. Th The 3 stars was for how well it was written and how compelling the author made her case. I almost swallowed it.....almost. The cheating hero, the perfect heroine...cough......where do I begin? The heroine was almost too perfect. If it would have been me as her, the story would have ended up wwwaaay differently with perhaps some garden tools and lots of blood involved. Some of the marriage issues brought out happen to everybody in a long term relationship. You get bored, busy and life happens. That doesn't mean everyone runs out and accidentally falls on someone's penis or vagina. And honestly, I think Hero was being a big, fat baby "wah, poor me, my wife doesn't love me" when all he needed was to get laid more regularly and heroine needed her inner slut to come out and put out more and probably have a good screaming match once in a while to shake out the cobwebs. I need to get laid more. what..🙄

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julz

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 stars. I could barely forgive the H in this one and that is only because they were upfront with each other TWELVE YEARS AGO when they first got married and she treated him like a shoe. IMO, he really hurt her with all the luuuurv he professed regarding this other woman. He really should be left to the curb but, eh.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This book was really quite interesting. Celine and Max have known each other since they were kids, growing up almost as close as siblings. Max had been engaged to be married but his fiancee died. In mourning he turns to Celine for comfort and the two drift into a relationship. They are very sensible about it. Max acknowledges that he probably won't love Celine as deeply and passionately as he had his now dead fiancee. Celine, for her part, is fine with that. The two of them embark on a very sens This book was really quite interesting. Celine and Max have known each other since they were kids, growing up almost as close as siblings. Max had been engaged to be married but his fiancee died. In mourning he turns to Celine for comfort and the two drift into a relationship. They are very sensible about it. Max acknowledges that he probably won't love Celine as deeply and passionately as he had his now dead fiancee. Celine, for her part, is fine with that. The two of them embark on a very sensible married existence. Twelve years later Max informs Celine that he has had an affair and is in love with the woman in question. Celine forces Max to move out and begins her own process of re-invention. But even though the two seem to come to terms with the marriage being over, Max finds himself unable to stay away from Celine especially when he sees that other men begin to move on her once the break-up becomes public knowledge. And Celine can't seem to keep herself from accepting his help when she knows she should be turning him away. One thing I found very interesting about this book was that, despite it being in the Harl/Sil line, they actually allowed the husband to be very unsympathetic. Usually in the category romances (especially what I have found in my recent foray into cheating husbands plots) they generally allow the man to go only so far. He can have an emotional (or imagined emotional) attachment with another woman but not a physical one. Also they are careful not to make him more of a jerk than he has to be. But in this case, Max really crosses the line on many levels. Not only is he in love with this other woman (he reminds his wife that he was never in love with her) but he also had a physical affair with her. The other woman in question, isn't a villainess. She is as much a victim of Max as his wife is. Also, we are allowed to see him interacting with his wife while he is supposedly in the throes of this deep infatuation. There is one scene where Max is making love with Celine (this is before he confesses his love for the other woman) and as a reader you are intensely aware that he isn't just making love to his wife, he has more going on in his head. Later in the book after the two are separated, Celine confronts him about that lovemaking and I don't think he acquits himself very well in that explanation. While Max is definitely in the wrong here, Celine is problematic too. She is entirely too much in her head. Imo, she make things way too easy for Max. After he has confessed about his love for this other woman, at one point he is gratified that she is taking it so well. I thought she took it too well. It was too matter of fact. It was almost as if they were discussing a contract or something. of course, inside she is hurt and ragey but she doesn't let that really show, so Max almost feels justified in his decision. Her practical reaction in the wake of his confession seems to confirm the luke-warmness of her feelings for him. I felt very bad for Celine. I wanted her to rail, and call him a son-of-a bitch and to throw his clothes on the lawn and set them on fire. But she was way too civilized for that. Instead she had a lot of inner dialogue and suffered a lot. Of course the two get back together and I wondered how they'd reconcile his supposedly awesome love for this other woman with him staying with Celine. I think it was a somewhat typical solution but it actually worked for this book. One thing that stunned me in a good way was the scene with the other woman. She wasn't some red fingernailed hoochie. She was quite sympathetic herself and I felt very bad for her. While I wasn't a great fan of Max, I respect what the author tried to do with him. She did a good job of conveying his complex and often confusing feelings. This is really a 3.5 star book for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Izzie d

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a good story. The book is a bit dated, ideas of motherhood, careers are old fashioned but the issue of cheating is explored well. The Hero and heroine had a happy marriage but they were best friends rather than swept away with love. Both had been bitten in the past so were happy with that. The Hero starts to feel dissatisfied with their relationship and tries to sort things out but difficult circumstances and life get in the way so instead he is flattered by the attention of another woman. Th This is a good story. The book is a bit dated, ideas of motherhood, careers are old fashioned but the issue of cheating is explored well. The Hero and heroine had a happy marriage but they were best friends rather than swept away with love. Both had been bitten in the past so were happy with that. The Hero starts to feel dissatisfied with their relationship and tries to sort things out but difficult circumstances and life get in the way so instead he is flattered by the attention of another woman. There are no intimate scenes other than the Hero and heroine. The Hero does cheat but although issues and feelings are discussed thoroughly there are no intimate scenes of the other woman with him. We have one confrontation scene with the other woman. I liked that the author didn't have the other woman as a psycho type as an excuse for him being manipulated. The other woman was younger but due to miscommunication between the Hero and heroine she thought she could have a future with the Hero. Whether you would forgive him or not the issue of cheating is thoroughly discussed, its effects on not just the couple but the families and friends of the Hero and heroine, which not all books do. Spoiler. He does grovel. It's the heroine's POV so at first you are not sure of his motives. HEA. If you are convinced there is recovery from cheating, I believe that depends on each readers view on the situation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Booklover

    Had read this book long tyime back but still my feelings for Max-Disgusting good for nothing pig headed selfish mean man are as same as the time i read the book It is a real emotional roller coaster and while reading i had only one emotion that is anger so much anger god for Celine more cause she was 2 good,forgave that pig headed husband of hers so easily Don't even wanna go to write abt Max or else my cursing won't stop and that Kate she was tried to be shown a naive virgin in her twenties but Had read this book long tyime back but still my feelings for Max-Disgusting good for nothing pig headed selfish mean man are as same as the time i read the book It is a real emotional roller coaster and while reading i had only one emotion that is anger so much anger god for Celine more cause she was 2 good,forgave that pig headed husband of hers so easily Don't even wanna go to write abt Max or else my cursing won't stop and that Kate she was tried to be shown a naive virgin in her twenties but she was one manupalative B**** when started sleeping with Max she knew she was breaking a marriage and never even once she was shown to regret and later when she shows up and says things that Max told her abt Celine how she is cold and had no emotions n all ohh come on you are not born tom ,she must have a idea how men manupalates to get in skirts and Celine after hearing everything she still forgives Max Max set the rules for the marriage when Celine abided by it he was angry and frustarted and potryaed himself as victim, he said so many cruel things to Celine,most disgusting thing was when he was having that mindblowing sex with Celine he was thinking of Kate and how conveniently later when he finds out Kate is way too young for his sexual apetite he comes back to Celine I was very disapoointed cause Celine forgave him way too easily Good read not a keeper for me

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince

    It's difficult for me to give "A Perfect Marriage" a review because it's a romance novel that deals with adultery. Max and Celine have had a comfortable, friendly marriage for 12 years, but with no passion nor love. The hero "falls in love" with another woman, sleeps with her, and then leaves his wife. But after a night of unexpected passion with Celine, Max gets his estranged wife pregnant. Finally, he realizes, almost too late, that it's his wife he's loved all along. The heroine is way too goo It's difficult for me to give "A Perfect Marriage" a review because it's a romance novel that deals with adultery. Max and Celine have had a comfortable, friendly marriage for 12 years, but with no passion nor love. The hero "falls in love" with another woman, sleeps with her, and then leaves his wife. But after a night of unexpected passion with Celine, Max gets his estranged wife pregnant. Finally, he realizes, almost too late, that it's his wife he's loved all along. The heroine is way too good for the hero, a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Despite the fact that the author tries to make Kate, the other woman, seem like a naive, beautiful virgin who is as much a victim as Celine, in my eyes, she's a manipulative b****. Kate is no innocent schoolgirl; she's an educated attorney who has no qualms about breaking up a marriage. Max never sufficiently redeems himself. It is only through Celine's love and forgiveness that reconciliation is possible. The book was an emotional roller-coaster as the author does a wonderful job showing how separation and divorce can affect the whole extended family. Ultimately, this book deserves a positive rating because of how it portrays the healing power of love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roub

    i hated max. he was a big bastard.. how could celine let him come back so easily !? the book was well written (i mean the author has talent, she has very good skills of narrating a story) but i hated the way celine let max walk all over her. i mean she was too nice. she had to move on but it seemed she waited 4 him when over n over again he told her dat it was kate he loved n on a night when he was very passionate, he was infact using her as he could not have kate. how horrible !! where's ur pri i hated max. he was a big bastard.. how could celine let him come back so easily !? the book was well written (i mean the author has talent, she has very good skills of narrating a story) but i hated the way celine let max walk all over her. i mean she was too nice. she had to move on but it seemed she waited 4 him when over n over again he told her dat it was kate he loved n on a night when he was very passionate, he was infact using her as he could not have kate. how horrible !! where's ur pride woman !? things were way too easy 4 dat asshole

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diya

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just wish she was more expressive it all very calm at the beginning when it all began to unravel before her that her marriage was indeed over but being cool as cucumber really sealed it for her. Max leaving all on of his own accord took wind out of sails yet it was tragic reading about it and respected her dignified way of battling with raw her emotions. The hero was so polite it was brutal and they were two civilised people that needed a wake up call and the authors writing was very compelling I just wish she was more expressive it all very calm at the beginning when it all began to unravel before her that her marriage was indeed over but being cool as cucumber really sealed it for her. Max leaving all on of his own accord took wind out of sails yet it was tragic reading about it and respected her dignified way of battling with raw her emotions. The hero was so polite it was brutal and they were two civilised people that needed a wake up call and the authors writing was very compelling to read finished it in one sitting. Loved this one yet the hero should have suffered more! The only thing that salvaged it a bit was their marriage was not grand passionate story to begin with, if it was then I would not have liked it as much tbh. Recommend !

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lu Bielefeld

    GREAT REVIEW HERE GREAT REVIEW HERE

  26. 4 out of 5

    Seline

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have never hated a male character as much as I hated this man here. His cheating ass deserves to be alone for the rest of his life. The female character was also pathetic and desperate. I wanted her to meet another man have hot sex and forget about her stupid piece of shit husband but of course we didn’t get that. I did this to myself I knew this had cheating and I still decided to read it. That’s my fault right there and I don’t think I’ll be reading books similar to this because I might just I have never hated a male character as much as I hated this man here. His cheating ass deserves to be alone for the rest of his life. The female character was also pathetic and desperate. I wanted her to meet another man have hot sex and forget about her stupid piece of shit husband but of course we didn’t get that. I did this to myself I knew this had cheating and I still decided to read it. That’s my fault right there and I don’t think I’ll be reading books similar to this because I might just explode.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lydia's Romance

    4 Angsty Stars Reread: Feb. 2021 This one hasn't lost one ounce of the angst I felt when I first read it. Still incredibly gut-wrenching. I read it in one sitting. Out of all my angsty reads, this is up there with Unbreak My Heart. Both make you want to cry for mercy. Check out 'boogenhagen's review. Marriage in Trouble...with a cheating hero. Yikes, I know! >>>>>Not at all for the faint of hearts.<<<<< What in the heck would attract me to these books? The angst and a groveling hero. I FLOVE a good 4 Angsty Stars Reread: Feb. 2021 This one hasn't lost one ounce of the angst I felt when I first read it. Still incredibly gut-wrenching. I read it in one sitting. Out of all my angsty reads, this is up there with Unbreak My Heart. Both make you want to cry for mercy. Check out 'boogenhagen's review. Marriage in Trouble...with a cheating hero. Yikes, I know! >>>>>Not at all for the faint of hearts.<<<<< What in the heck would attract me to these books? The angst and a groveling hero. I FLOVE a good grovel. It's catnip to my drama-loving heart. The bigger the angst, the bigger the grovel it requires. I hoped the cheating hero in this one would redeem himself enough to give me a satisfying HEA. Some reviewers didn't think he had, but I gave him a shot anyway. The negative reviews had me preparing for the worst of the worst, and I think that helped soften the blow. I gotta say though...I know what a punch to the heart feels like. I felt it at the 56% mark, to be exact. Ouch! Yep, I realize I asked for it. The author doesn't sugarcoat shit, and I won't either. It was brutal. Read the other reviews for the gory details. They're kind of right but also not really *lol* When you take things out of context, sometimes they sound worse than they really are in the book. In short, Celine & Max had a marriage of convenience. And it took losing Max for Celine to realize she was in love with him, and it took another woman for Max to realize he couldn't live without Celine. I can't deny the perceptions some of the characters had about relationships were bonkers but I also know that, unfortunately, it's not uncommon in the real world. Fact is, relationships are fucking complicated. A Perfect Marriage had me reading practically nonstop. That's what a good angsty book does to me. I do feel Celine went easy on Max and sadly (for me), he never really had to grovel. Good thing Max constantly doted on her so it made up for it. All in all, I feel I needed more convincing. I also needed more blissful times between them. The ending wasn't as satisfying for this hopeless romantic, but the book was enjoyable nonetheless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lotus

    Five Nerve-Wracking Stars for sure This book just totally below me away.. its not an easy read it was heart breaking, made me cry and made me feel utterly devastated and down and sooo angry. the topic is indeed very sensitive but so damn realistic and its very very well written. I think it was the best classic novel I read so far Well I despise Max. he showed how 90% men actually r in real life that's why I prefer fictional heroes more coz damn.. reality sucks! Celine was such a strong character, Five Nerve-Wracking Stars for sure This book just totally below me away.. its not an easy read it was heart breaking, made me cry and made me feel utterly devastated and down and sooo angry. the topic is indeed very sensitive but so damn realistic and its very very well written. I think it was the best classic novel I read so far Well I despise Max. he showed how 90% men actually r in real life that's why I prefer fictional heroes more coz damn.. reality sucks! Celine was such a strong character, I just could imagine how it would feel that after 15 years of wedding, all of sudden, ur husband tells you that he never loved you and now he has truly fallen in love with another woman and he wants divorce. I just wanted to kick his ass, most of the book! but Celine tend to be such a saint at times... and at the end she just forgave Max and took him back, just like that! I couldn't forgive him the way he rejected her and humiliated her. it was cruel! she should've given him really tough time before accepting him back. I mean, why should men feel like they go to another woman and then after some time, when they realize it was a mistake and get back to 1st one, just as they please? I felt bad for Kate too in the end, Max was sooooo unfair with her too... he didn't have any right to play with her feelings and then just withdrew. he was a sensible man for crying out loud and not some stupid teenager who just got carried away! anyways I loved this book but it made me very upset but its worth to read once

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bess

    Its me, not you famous line. Yes, I blame the fall of their marriage on both and how they arrange that years ago. That was not a good way to start. The h was too good and yet she was so cynical that I almost almost felt bad for the H and I remember what he did. I love her sarcasm and how that she dealt with the pregancy. She did not comeback to him and I really believe that will do a good marriage after all. Its me, not you famous line. Yes, I blame the fall of their marriage on both and how they arrange that years ago. That was not a good way to start. The h was too good and yet she was so cynical that I almost almost felt bad for the H and I remember what he did. I love her sarcasm and how that she dealt with the pregancy. She did not comeback to him and I really believe that will do a good marriage after all.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie♥

    Still a few tears and 5 stars for the re-read. Original review: WOW! 5 stars. This book made me cry. One of the most emotional books I have read in quite a while. ps this is the one where the other woman is a virgin.

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