Tzippy's Reviews > Not Quite a Husband

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
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** spoiler alert ** This book is very nicely composed, with three-dimensional characters and good plotting and emotionally-compelling writing, and it makes me physically sick and I wish I hadn't read it.

The book has an official description, but here is the plot of the book that I read, in chronological order as opposed to the order presented by the book:

The hero and heroine are betrothed. The heroine has only known the hero for a short amount of time, but she really likes him, they get along great, and he seems like a good guy. The hero, meanwhile, has supposedly idolized the heroine from afar since he was young. And yet, the day before the wedding, the hero sleeps with some other woman. (As one does, when one is engaged to a woman one is supposedly infatuated with!) This is not a misunderstanding, a kiss-and-then-he-comes-to-his-senses, a heat-of-the-moment action, a drunk-out-of-his-mind mistake, a blackmail issue, or anything like that. He purposely goes to this woman's house for exactly one reason: to cheat on his fiancée one day before the wedding. And cheat he does. He has maybe half a second of maybe-I-shouldn't-do-this doubt, but then, sure, what the heck, why not -- goes ahead and does it. (The only reason given for the cheating is that the hero is intimidated by the heroine's competence at her job. Just thought I'd throw that in there.)

The heroine happens to see the cheating (the hero doesn't notice), and, instead of being angry, she is embarrassed and ashamed. She totally thought that this would be one of those marriages where the husband would be faithful! How silly of her! She's in fact so embarrassed and ashamed that she pretty much freezes in response. She doesn't call the wedding off, doesn't confront him, doesn't even let it slip that she knows. She resigns herself to living in one of "those" types of marriages, until the day she realizes that she can't live like this, and she asks the hero to have the marriage annulled.

Meanwhile, the hero also sweeps this under the rug. There is no guilt here on his part. He does stop sleeping around, so from his perspective, he's good, on the up-and-up, a totally stand-up kind of guy. For some strange reason, his wife doesn't seem too fond of him, though, so he starts having various types of sex with her in her sleep. She asks him not to -- she's okay having to fake it with this philandering liar while she's awake, but she doesn't want him near her when she's vulnerable. Understandable? Understandable.

Not to him! "Well, there is just no legitimate reason why she would make this request!" he says to himself. "As if she doesn't trust me! Me! Doesn't she know I'm a totally stand-up kind of guy?" (He doesn't bother rationalizing the cheating to himself at this point -- it's as if his offense is so minor that it doesn't even need rationale. Engaged ain't married!) so he ignores her request -- what rape? It can't be rape if you're a totally stand-up kind of guy! -- and eventually the heroine is forced to bar her door at night for protection.

And then she asks for an annulment, and the hero is shocked. (Shocked!) He's such a victim! How could she possibly want to leave him? After all he's done for her? (You mean cheat and then lie about it every single day for their entire married life? No, he means buying her a microscope. Because presents are so much better than fidelity and honesty!) What a bitch!

Anyway, two years later, he tells her how angry he is at the way she treated him. (Unironically!) And so finally she tells him, Hey, I know you cheated on me.

And all of a sudden, he feels just terrible. "Oh!" he says. "I feel just terrible! Yes, it sure was awful what I did to you! Why didn't you just tell me about it sooner?"

Why didn't she tell you? WHY DIDN'T SHE TELL YOU? Because you already knew about it, you big stupid jackass; you're the one who DID it! Why the hell didn't YOU tell HER?

This is the first time in the book where the hero shows any type of remorse at all. Apparently, it's not cheating if you don't get caught. Or something. Who even knows, with this guy.

Then he says something about how she won't forgive him since she holds people to impossible standards because she hasn't gotten over the death of her late stepmother. And then she chokes the everloving life out of him and smashes his skull to dust with the heel of her shoe. Oh, no, that's the book I wish I had read.

Anyway, something about a war and she forgives him and they live happily ever after, the end.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 5, 2012 – Shelved
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: rant
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: rage
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: wish-i-could-unread
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: warning-cheaters-prosper
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: hard-to-read
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: scared-me-off-the-author
August 5, 2012 – Shelved as: reviewed
September 21, 2012 – Shelved as: love-interest-is-a-jerk
October 18, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-romance
January 1, 2013 – Shelved as: inspired-me-to-invent-a-shelf
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: era-edwardian-england

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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message 1: by Jeanelle (new)

Jeanelle After reading this, I'm failing to understand why this book has so many 4 & 5 star ratings. Your review was hilarious, by the way.

Tzippy Thanks!

And the reason for all the high ratings is that the author is extremely skilled with the pen. I just didn't like the story she was telling.

message 3: by Jeanelle (new)

Jeanelle Ah, that makes more sense.

––––•(-•The Insomniac Book Hoarder•- Thank you for saving me the time of actually reading such a pathetic hero as well as saving the life of my beloved kindle- I might've thrown it while reading this in anger, lol. Loved the review..

message 5: by Nf (new)

Nf Thanks. Will definitely not read this book. lol

Rosver Thanks for saving me from reading this awful book. Hah! Writer these days. They make the most horrible of stories.

message 7: by Denise (new)

Denise Tzippy, I haven't even read the book and you've summed it up great! We think the same and I will not waste my time reading this book. Your review ending was FREAKING FANTASTIC!!!

Roshio I stop
Ed after the atrocious rape scenes

message 9: by Berenice (new)

Berenice Rodrigues Thanks. I just removed this book from my to-read list.
From your review I know I would have hated it. So, thank you for the honest review.

message 10: by Daniela (new)

Daniela How do you people know if the summar is any good or even lies for that matter If you haven't read the book. P.S, Tzippy what you in the last part about the book you would have like to have read is Very funny.

message 11: by Winter (last edited Aug 09, 2015 11:57AM) (new)

Winter Wonderful Review. Hate when the Hero / Heroine cheats. Won't be reading it. Thank you for saving my time.

message 12: by N (new)

N Thank you for your review, definitely won't be reading this (I adore your review by the way, made me giggle).

message 13: by Dísir (new)

Dísir Brutally honest. Thank you. I'm truly having second thoughts about this book now.

message 14: by Bree (new)

Bree Nice review:) Not my type of story either.

message 15: by MagicalDoodler (new)

MagicalDoodler This was probably the most precise and clear (and not to metion HILARIOUS) review I've come across regarding this story! Thanks for the warning!

message 16: by Leyla (new)

Leyla Thank you. No more words

message 17: by Janice (new)

Janice Thank you for the spoilers, because I had already decided not to finish this book, but at least now I know why she acted the way she did! Thanks for saving me the trouble of suffering through the whole thing :D

message 18: by SMR (new)

SMR grey This is really funny.

message 19: by Ana (new)

Ana Thanks for the warning.This review just made my day!haha.

message 20: by Kiki (new) - rated it 1 star

Kiki I have added your review link to review. I hope it's ok. I found this book extremely offensive to my good senses!

message 21: by Kiki (new) - rated it 1 star

Kiki Also no, you stupid son of a bitch, she won't forgive you because you fucking cheated, which you're NOT supposed to do, which is a VERY possible standard, actually that is the BARE MINIMUM standard! So her potential unforgivingness had NOTHING to do with impossible standard. However it had everything to do with your impossible lack of morals and remorse you fucktard.
Please do excuse my French! At this point, I CANNOT be bothered with asterisks anymore. Let's call the spades spades!

message 22: by Tandie (new)

Tandie Oh my goodness! You wrote an excellent, entertaining review. I have a big smile on my face!

V. PARENTAL GUIDANCE ALERT:  A Court of Wings and Ruin is NEW ADULT/EROTICA but Goodreads editors won't tell you (As one does, when one is engaged to a woman one is supposedly infatuated with!)

hahahahaha, great review. I'm so skipping this one.

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