I find myself often tossing a "cheating wife" story into my reading queue, always in search of that one that really makes sense, that truly comes across with a reasonable rationale why a previously loving wife becomes a cheating slut, whose intentions usually seem to be as much about showing her husband disrespect as they are about getting laid by stange men.
Risq comes close with "Five Little Words." But not quite close enough . . .
But give the author credit for stepping out of a comfort zone (the many-chaptered "Battlemage" series) to try something different.
The marriage at issue is between Jason, a hunky computer expert who seems never to have gotten over the self-esteem problems of being a high school nerd, and Katie, the college hottie he thought was out of his league, but to whom he ends up married. An unexpected pregnancy turns Katie into a full-time mother, but Jason is a modern husband, the type that does his share around the house and makes sure his wife gets time for a little adult contact each week. Unfortunately, in the cheating wives universe, this makes him a wimp.
Enter Teala, Katie's college friend who hooks up with her again when they've all moved to Washington D.C. She has an unreasoning dislike and lack of respect for Jason, an unhealthy influence over Katie, and . . . well, you can see where this is headed.
What Risq does well is to keep a steady drumbeat of tension and discomfort through the first half of the book, as Jason, narrarating from a future point, spells out the road to ruin on which his marriage is heading. The author paints a good picture of a husband who seems to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, and mixes in a little political intrigue.
Unfortunately, Katie goes so far off the rails in such a short time that the eventual rationale for her straying seems a bit weak. Similarly, one never gets a feel for why Teala is the way she is. You might think you do at various points, but those explanations don't pan out.
Political figures who find they have a lot to lose can be pretty darned deadly, at least in fiction. Whether Risq plays that card to it's best or fullest extent is for the reader to decide.
The reason you can't swing a dead cat at SOL without hitting a cheating wife story while there is seemingly a dearth of cheating husband stories is probably explained by the male-to-female ratio of writers on the site. Unfortunately, the inherent point of view leads to one story after another about heartless women who stray at the drop of the hat and the well-meaning husbands left to pick up the mess. And that doesn't tend to lead to any sensible explanation for why the women stray.
"Five Little Words" is reasonably well written and nicely plotted, and will likely leave the better part of its readership satisfied with the resolution. Unfortunately, it doesn't push the standard any higher.
Reviewed: 2011-05-29 - (Review Updated: 2011-05-31)
Great little story. Just a note, this is a shorter story than the ones I normally read but it is definitely written well enough for me to give it a review.
I am always a sucker for stories that are almost impossible to have happened in real life being written into a story that seems real.
This story revolves around a man, Jason, who had what was originally a fairy tale life unravel before his eyes. This gut wrenching novella is beautifully written and it was very moving with some of the decisions and actions that he must do. While the story does revolve around actions that seem a bit stretched, it is still within the realm of probability.
One last note, there really isn't any sex in the book and it actually fits this even better for being a book revolved around what the husband must do.