Plot: Pullen's intriguing series starter with pitch-perfect pacing begins with the main characters already in jail, setting the stakes and encouraging readers to follow along and discover what happened. Romance readers will be disappointed, however. Less romance and more firmly in the women's fiction category, this story of four relationships is drawn with compassion and nuance but doesn't land on happily ever after.
Prose: Pullens’s prose is fluid and smooth. Each of the characters has a unique and nuanced tone that readers would identify even without the helpful section headers identifying the POV. The writing never calls attention to itself, instead, it uses authentic dialogue and succinct phrasing to delve into the characters’ inner lives.
Originality: This book relies on a premise that is at once hard to believe and easy to swallow. Would four women who love their husbands hire a male escort to bring the spark back to their marriages? While a far-fetched idea, Pullen develops it smoothly, bringing readers along for the ride without a hitch.
Character development: Despite their similarities, the four main characters clearly came to their current lives by different paths, and their marriages have unique hurdles—and each relationship finishes in a different place. The uniqueness of each relationship and the differences in outcome for four women in the same situation work to showcase Pullen’s ability to understand and grow her characters.
Date Submitted: June 27, 2018