Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

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source: free ARC via AmazonVine
title: Married Sex: A Love Story
author: Jesse Kornbluth
published: Open Road Media (August 25, 2015)
pages: 246
genre: fiction
first line: The most beautiful woman in the world is a woman reading a book.
rated: intriguing and thought provoking
4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
When a husband convinces his wife to join him in a tryst with another woman, there are unintended consequences in this sharply observed erotic tale about the challenges of modern marriage

As a divorce lawyer for Manhattan’s elite, David Greenfield is privy to the intimate, dirty details of failed marriages. He knows he’s lucky to be married to Blair—a Barnard dean and the mother of their college-age daughter, she is a woman he loves more today than he did when they tied the knot.

Then seductive photographer Jean Coin asks David to be her lover for 6 weeks, until she leaves for Timbuktu. Tempted, David reasons that “it’s not cheating if your wife’s there.” A 1-night threesome would relieve the pressure of monogamy without wrecking their marriage. What harm could come of fulfilling his longtime sexual fantasy?

My Thoughts:
Another AmazonVine find that I have been meaning to review,  Married Sex: A Love Story pleasantly surprised me. I like stories that delve beneath the surface and bring up hidden truths and desires from its characters.

David and Blair have been married for over two decades. Now in their mid-forties, their careers are successful, they live in Manhattan and their daughter is off at college. David is a divorce lawyer and Blair is a school Dean. From the outside looking in, you would think they have it all, but two years into their marriage David had an affair. When Blair caught him, she made him promise if he were ever be tempted to stray again, he would have to bring the person home to her first. It became somewhat of a pact between the couple.

When David meets photographer Jean Coin, there is instant attraction. Jean is sleek, sophisticated and worldly. She makes David an offer. She wants him to be her lover for six weeks before she leaves for Timbuktu. At first David declines her offer, but he finds himself unable to get Jean out of his mind. Eventually, he decides to bring the offer to his wife, proposing the three sleep together for one night.

Told from David’s point of view, Married Sex had somewhat of a slow start but once the momentum picked up, I was up late reading.

Although I was not attached to any of these characters, the David/Blair/Jean triangle intrigued me and I just had to know how it would all end. Not only is this couple married, but all three of these people are in their forties. These aren’t some young college kids experimenting. Without giving away too much, the author surprised me with the turn of events in the story. I found myself even laughing aloud during David’s reaction to something, because well, sometimes people do crazy things and you just have to laugh about it.

There are some sex scenes, but they did not overtake the story and I wouldn’t classify this as erotic fiction. This was about a married couple and a choice they make together and the consequences of that choice.

What I kept coming back to: This great taboo event was a small social experiment. A local adventure, two cab rides. How could three hours-not even a night out-have any aftereffect?
p.133, Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

I did not particularly like David’s character. He seemed selfish to me. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. I did like Blair, I felt like she was intelligent and some of the observations she makes later on in the book about David and her marriage were really in depth. Jean was the temptation, this wasn’t about her, it was about them. I would actually like to see this story unfold through Blair’s eyes.

David puts his wife in a no-win situation because even if she said no to his proposing a threesome, the fact would still remain that he proposed a threesome. Either way, their marriage would have been affected. In a way, it reminded me of the film Indecent Proposal.

I found this story to be multi-layered, intriguing and sexy. I also enjoyed the New York setting. I recommend it if you enjoy stories that not only push the envelope and stray from convention, but that are also about relationships and change.

You only regret what you say no to.
p.49

————————————–

About the Author:
I’m a recovering journalist who now writes books and movies and edits HeadButler.com.

As a magazine journalist, I’ve been a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, New York and Architectural Digest, and a contributor to The New Yorker & New York Times.

As an author, my books include Airborne: The Triumph and Struggle of Michael Jordan; Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken; Pre-Pop Warhol, Notes from the New Underground, and The Other Guy Blinked (with Roger Enrico). I collaborated with Twyla Tharp on The Collaborative Habit. I collected some favorite books, movies and music in HeadButler.com: The 100 Essentials. And now I’ve written a novel, Married Sex.

On the Web, I co-founded Bookreporter.com. From 1997 to 2003, I was Editorial Director of America Online. In 2004, I launched HeadButler.com, a cultural concierge site that focuses on the best — not just the newest — books, music, movies and the occasional product. -quoted from Amazon.com

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth via AmazonVine. Nothing in this post is available for download, the book photo is my  own.

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16 thoughts on “Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

  1. I like that first line:  “The most beautiful woman in the world is a woman reading a book.”

    Hmm… not sure what I’ll think about this book but I thought it has an interesting premise and subjects, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the first line, too. But it does sound as if David is a selfish character, trying to justify his actions-to-be. (The consequences of the actions are what’s become most troublesome.) Your review is terrific, Naida. I’m glad you found this novel absorbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoah, what an interest premise. I don’t know how I would react were I Blair. And yeah, I would definitely like to read the story from her perspective, as well as Jean’s. This is an interesting premise, and I know there are lot of couples who openly and willingly engage in poly-amorous relationships. I feel kind of sorry for Blair, I’m hoping she got something from it in the end, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great commentary.

    If handled with intelligence, stories like this can be insightful and interesting character studies.

    It sounds like this one was.

    David certainly sounds unlikable. Such flawed characters do help to make story better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Naida,

    I’m with everyone else in praising that first line, although that is probably the only good thing I would find to comment on about this book!

    I’m afraid that contemporary romance isn’t really my thing at all and I doubt that I would ever accept this one for review, even as an author request.

    I did think that you handled your review very nicely though. It was well considered and objective and as a follower of the genre, I can see how you would have enjoyed the unique and interesting premise and the character interactions 🙂

    I hope that you have had a good week,

    Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Yvonne. I like that first line too and David’s character mentions again how he enjoys to watch is wife read. I wouldn’t call this one contemporary romance as there really wasn’t much romance in here at all.
    Thanks for your thoughts and enjoy your weekend!

    Like

  7. What a unique read! I can already tell that I wouldn’t care for David’s character but that is just me. I found your review to be a very intriguing despite the fact that I know this is a book that I wouldn’t enjoy. It was interesting to read about (to say the least). Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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