Author: Jennifer Peel
Series: More Than a Wife #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Date: January 14, 2018
She’s getting back in the game, one blog post at a time.
Samantha Higgins never thought driving her husband’s car would forever change her life. But one conversation later, heard through his Bluetooth, and Samantha is changing her last name. While trying to figure out who Samantha Decker is, she writes what she thinks is one final post on her blog, announcing her divorce. When the post goes viral, she finds herself with a new title, The Sidelined Wife, and an unbelievable following.
To make matters more interesting, her younger brother’s best friend, Reed Cassidy, who was a thorn in Samantha’s adolescent side, moves back to town as the new head football coach for her son’s high school team. Unbeknownst to Samantha, Reed has harbored a crush for his old babysitter all these years. But, Samantha isn’t keen on dating anyone, much less a younger man that used to booby trap her bedroom with firecrackers.
While Samantha is doing her best to learn and even make up some of the rules of single life and being a semi-celebrity, Reed comes in and changes the game. Now Samantha must decide if she should get back on the field or if she prefers the sidelines.
I think this book is really well written. It was a difficult topic and an emotional trigger for many. I personally have no direct experience with divorce so I can’t really say how realistic everything is in this book but I suspect that as is true for most things, everyone experiences things in their own way. So what Peel has written in the book may be spot on for some people and completely off for others. I can only imagine how I would respond to finding out my husband had created a child with someone else, especially when I had longed for another child myself. I would be incredibly angry and bitter. I don’t know how I would manage to move past it at all.
So what I liked about Sam’s response is that even though she was angry and bitter she still felt her child was the most important in all of it. By the end of the book she is figuring out how to have some kind of relationship with her son’s dad so that he could have a relationship with his father. And I liked that their son was putting his anger toward the person most deserving of it instead of being angry at his mom because she was there and he could. I liked that Sam was able to find a way to forgive her ex-husband and also see how she fit into the demise of their marriage. She learned and grew as she went along.
I think though that if I were in Sam’s circle, I would always fear becoming fodder for her social media posts. It didn’t seem like she did much editing and screening her thoughts but wrote whatever she was feeling in the moment. I would totally live in fear of it. Ha.
I loved the supportive nature of the families. Her ma and Mimsy were something else (a bit of a comic relief) but family was most important to all of them. So much so that Sam keeps her ex-mother in law completely in her life. It might help that the MIL is just as angry with her son.
I liked Reed a lot and thought he was a fun human. I think he maybe pushed Sam too quickly as it seemed he was putting himself into the position of being the “rebound guy”. Doesn’t seem smart. But I’m glad it worked out in the end.
And I even kinda liked the ex husband by the end. I had hope that he might actually become a good person and father. I don’t think he’ll get far in his current relationship and will likely end up as a single dad but I think he might start being a real dad and that is huge.
I think there was something of a moral in this story as well. At least it gave me something to think about. How do I respond to people who have changes in their circumstances such as divorce or maybe death of a spouse? Or a financial difficulty? Or whatever hardship? Do I act with compassion? Do I not act at all because I don’t know what to say or do? Or do I say or do things thoughtlessly that might be hurtful? Do I judge them, mostly likely unfairly?
Sex: There is no sex in this book but there is a lot of innuendo and discussion about sex. Tongue action kisses, and discussion about her ex cheating on her.