November 23, 2012

Book Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

At First Sight: After a year and a half of hellish marriage, Theresa de Lucci has had enough. Even though she was completely in love with her husband Alessandro when they first married, his treatment of her - and the constant pressure to give him a son - have finally gotten to her and she realizes she can't go on the same way. 

Alessandro never actually pretended to be in love with Lucia, and he was under the impression that she knew this, but once she asks for a divorce he begins to wonder just how much she actually knows about the deal he struck with her father and which resulted in their marriage.

Just as Alessandro starts to mend his ways - even though Theresa keeps telling him it's too little too late - Theresa realizes that she's finally pregnant, which leaves her more unsure than ever. 

Second Glance: Okay, confession time! Stories like The Unwanted Wife where the 'hero' acts like a big ol' jerk are a guilty pleasure to me so when I picked up this book, I couldn't stop. I had such a good time reading it, even though Alessandro was such a jerk and it took Theresa forever to find her spine. 

In the end, they were both victims of her father's ploy to get a grandson - because he's the kind that thinks girls aren't good for much other than marrying them off at his convenience - but they weren't innocents in their situation, particularly Alessandro. 

On one hand, Theresa justified his every hurtful-rude move for months - like never introducing her to his family or friends and his jealousy - while Alessandro treated her like crap because he thought she was a spoiled rich girl that got her daddy to buy her the husband she wanted. 

Seeing them dig themselves out of the situation was interesting, there were some parts that were really well done, like when Theresa has the baby. Other parts were a bit melodramatic but I knew what kind of story this was so it didn't bother me. 

There were three things that did bother me though: a) we got almost no background story as to why Alessandro acts the way he does, and then even less on why he decides to start acting like a decent human being, b) there were continuity issues and the timeline seemed to jump back and forth, c) there was an overuse of exclamation points at one point it seemed like every sentence was ended by a !!! 

Bottom Line: All in all, though, I enjoyed The Unwanted Wife as a guilty-pleasure read. It wasn't perfect but it made for a good time. Oh, and by the way, the story takes place in South Africa, which I thought was rather cool even if it wasn't played up all that much. 

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