Let’s take a break from Reverse Harem, shall we? I just finished a book called The Divorcee by Treena Wynes which is a contemporary romance, not a reverse harem, and a standalone book. It is not my usual jam, but we all have to venture out every once and awhile don’t we?! Plus that cover is to die for! Let’s get into it!
Allie Madison is in a horrible marriage. Her husband Steve is manipulative, grumpy, lazy, and seems to want nothing to do with her anymore. He goes to work and spends the rest of his time in front of the TV ignoring his wife and their two children and avoiding helping her with housework or the kids at all costs. I feel like this is a typical American household set up, maybe not in this day in age although it is still probably the norm. It makes me feel very lucky to have such an amazing husband that not only cooks, but cleans, and is an amazing dad. Allie is not so lucky, but she isn’t ready to give up on her marriage. She prepares a night of excitement for New Years Eve by buying some very sexy lingerie and presenting herself on a platter to her husband. Every man’s dream right?! Well not Steve’s. He is obviously way past the point of return because he sees this as an opportunity to fight and put her down completely humiliating Allie. Not okay. She promises herself that she will give it one more year then she will leave. The whole time I’m yelling at my Kindle, ‘this bitch doesn’t deserve one more year! Kick his ass to the curb!’.
A little over one year later Allie has really hit her max with Steve. They are no longer sleeping in the same bed and their conversations always end in a fight. Allie has finally had enough and has been preparing to leave him. Luckily for Allie she has a wonderful support system, as she is a counselor at a local school and is surrounded by coworkers that are very supportive of her. Namely her friend Leah who is a teacher and Drew who is the Vice Principal at the school. This also gives her the opportunity to meet Marcus, a local therapist. A tragic accident happens at Allie’s school so she enlists the help of a local therapist to help counsel the students during this tragedy. Marcus is very good looking at the spark between them is immediate. She can’t act on her feelings because she hasn’t left Steve officially and she is unsure if someone like Marcus would want to jump into something with a newly separated woman.
Allie has a very difficult time separating herself from Steve has he is very persistent in his attempts to get Allie back as well as his attempts to sabotage her relationship with Marcus. He stalks Allie, hires a private investigator, harasses Marcus through phone calls and even coming to his house. Allie also gets the time to explore her newfound single life. She goes on some dates and meets some very interesting and gorgeous men. It really shows that a woman leaving her husband isn’t left to be a single mom/cat lady for the rest of her life. We are hot! We can get back out there 😉
Allie is a very intelligent woman and has more means than most women in her situation. She is able to line up a rental house for herself and her children while she is in the planning stages of leaving Steve. Most women in her situation are unable to do this as they do not have the funds. I found it surprising as a school counselor at a public school would be able to afford such things, but it doesn’t distract from the story. I did find some things very uncomfortable and I believe that they would be very triggering to a woman that has gone through a situation such as this. Steve is very psychologically abusive and although he isn’t physically abusive to her or the children the damage is just as severe. I spent some time during and after college working at a domestic violence center in a town near my home. I spent a lot of time working with women going through very similar situations as this but sadly most do not have the means to leave their husbands nor are they able to break the abusive cycles they experience with their husbands or partners. There are a few situations Allie experiences with Steve that made me particularly uncomfortable. One visit she has at her old house with Steve he attempts to rape her in hopes that she will come back to him as well as an attempt to put her down and undermine her efforts. There is another situation that he blackmails her into having sex with him in order to sign the separation papers and come upon an agreement for visitation with the children. These situations could be very triggering to someone that potentially has PTSD from living through a horrible situation such as this.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think that there are a lot of things that happen behind closed doors in the homes of abused women that the overall population doesn’t realize. This book is meant to be light and romantic but it also brings a lot of light to these situations. Allie is a very strong and intelligent woman and I really enjoyed reading her story. I fell in love with the men she fell in love with and constantly rooted against the evil Steve. There are some very steamy scenes in this book that had me glued to the pages waiting to see what would happen next. Plus the end, #swoon, to die for. I really loved how it turned out and I felt that all loose ends were tied. I would definitely recommend this book!
**I was given a copy of this book from the author but was under no requirement to leave a review. These are my honest thoughts on the book and I truly appreciate Treena Wynes for giving me the opportunity to read her wonderful book.**