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Secrets in the Marriage Bed - Nalini Singh

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1 Review

Genre: Fiction / Author: Nalini Singh / Edition: First THUS / Mass Market Paperback / 192 Pages / Book is published 2006-03 by Silhouette Books

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      18.11.2010 11:27
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      Boring, boring, boring

      I have never liked Mills and Boon style romance novels. I'm sure that most romance fans know the kind of books I mean. The woman is usually passive, the man is usually domineering, the plot generally non-existent and readers like me often offended by the portrayal of women and romance. They're basically your stereotypical romance novels. Some people love these kinds of books and good for them, I personally don't. However, when I found out that one of my favourite paranormal romance authors, Nalini Singh has written a number of these kinds of romance novels I wanted to read them. I adore her Psy/Changeling series and want to read absolutely everything she's ever written.
      The book arrived in the post and I was actually looking forward to reading it. I don't want children and I'm not particularly interested in reading books about people having children. It's not that I have anything against parents or that I don't think it can be romantic but as a childfree person it's just not something that I enjoy reading about. So when the first line of a book is "I'm pregnant" it's not a good start for me. The book is basically about a Caleb and Vicki, a married couple who have recently separated. When Vickie discovers that she's pregnant they decide to give their marriage another go and throughout the novel we learn of the many complex reasons why they separated.

      I really wish that I could say that I enjoyed this book but I just didn't. It's not fair for me to say it's a bad book. This isn't my kind of novel and I would usually avoid a book with a plot like this. The book was reasonably well written, the focus was firmly on the relationship between the two main characters and there were plenty of romantic sex scenes. It basically ticks all the romance novel boxes and for this reason I can't really fault it but I can't say that I enjoyed it either.
      The main problem for me was that it was just so painfully boring. The whole book is just about two not particularly interesting people working through childhood problems and marital problems. There are a few other things thrown in, like some concerns around Caleb's business and Vicki getting a new job but the main issue is that none of these things are very interesting. I'm sure there are some people out there who want to read about ordinary people doing ordinary thing and if you're one of those people you might enjoy this book.

      This book is a Silhouette Desire book which made me believe that it would be one of their more sexual books. Of course I wasn't expecting erotica but you can get some pretty hot books without crossing the line between romance and erotica. There was a lot of sex in this book but like everything else it was boring. Vicki is a very reserved person at the beginning of this book and part of the story revolves around her becoming more open and liberated sexually but I think that unless you are like Vicki in this respect the sex scenes aren't going to be very interesting or stimulating. I certainly didn't find them erotic. They are quite romantic and do at times move the story along but this becomes repetitive. If the sex scenes aren't going to be erotic I don't see the point in having so many. One or two to show the physical side to their romance would suffice in my opinion. Again a lot of fans of these kinds of books may disagree with me and if you like your sex scenes romantic and vanilla then this book may interest you.
      I didn't feel particularly attached to either of the characters which I feel is a major failing on the part of the author. When a book focuses almost exclusively on two characters I think it's fair to expect to feel something towards them, even if you really dislike them at least it's something. I just feel quite apathetic towards them both. As I said, they're just ordinary not very interesting people. They're the kind of people I would avoid sitting next to at a dinner party, the one's who only ever talk about their business or their children. They just seemed to have so little in their lives. They have money, Caleb has his own business, Vicki's just getting a job and they have a baby on their way but surely there's more to life than that? What about friends and hobbies and travelling and social events (other than business dinners)? Their life just felt empty to me and although I know that some people live like this and are very happy I just don't want to read about them, it doesn't fit my idea of what happiness is. Again, if you think what I've described sounds like bliss and you're wondering why I want to read about people who have friends and social lives outside of their marriage then this book may be for you. I like romance novels to leave me feeling good, this one left me feeling like both characters had a long way to go in order to achieve happiness.

      I'm going to give this book 2 stars although one star would more accurately reflect my enjoyment of this novel. I'm giving this book an extra star because it does tick all the romance boxes and it's not fair for me to be too harsh on this book considering it's not something I would usually read. I am disappointed because this is a Nalini Singh book and she's like a literary Goddess to me but at the same time I feel like I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up so much. This is a silhouette desire book and as such isn't my thing, even when written by the wonderful Ms Singh. Fans of the Psy/Changeling series may find themselves disappointed if they read this book. It's nothing like her paranormal romance stuff and if I hadn't read the name on the cover I never would have guessed that she had written this book.

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