25 March 2013

Sex, Doug, and a Rocky Road by Michele Bardsley - Review

What they say (Blurb & info): Ellie Johnson is a housewife and mother scorned. Hiring a private detective to check up on her husband Stan’s late nights verifies her long-held suspicions of his outside activities. Her name is Rose. She’s blonde, big-boobed, and Australian. Ellie is almost devastated by her husband’s betrayal. Almost. As she deals with the fallout of her husband’s affair, she begins to realize that she wasn’t happy, either. In fact, she hadn’t been happy in a long time, and the further she gets away from her marriage, the more she realizes how oppressed she’d felt in the housewife role she’d slipped into over the years.

Throw in Ellie’s melodramatic, hypochondriac, alcoholic mother, revelations about her dead father’s lascivious past, a comedy club faux pas, a yoga date gone wrong, the incident where “The Other Woman Almost Killed My Son with Tiny Shrimp,” a very scary divorce attorney, and—well, and you have one messed-up former housewife. And then there’s Doug. Doug is her ex-boyfriend—the man she dated before Stan “Whore-man” Johnson. Doug is a cop these days, older, but with the same muscles and chocolate-brown eyes she remembers from their college days. He’s also made it abundantly clear he’d like to take up with Ellie where they left off more than fifteen years ago.

Ellie, however, is trying to go from married to unmarried, and her journey is messy, chaotic, and fraught with ice cream and booze. A lot of booze. Thank goodness for her best friend, Cindy, who stands by Ellie through thick, thin, and many cartons of Rocky Road ice cream. Sometimes life just falls apart. And sometimes life is sex, Doug, and a rocky road.

What I say: Michele Bardsley's contemporary romance serves as a relationship guide. The protagonist Ellie Johnson receives a life lesson on passion, marriage, family and the consequences of doing things for the wrong reasons.

Ellie has been with Stan for 16 years. She married him after previous boyfriend Doug 'a horny frat boy' (his words not mine) wanted them to see other people. Ellie has recently discovered Stan's affair and faces a custody battle over their son. Ellie thought she was happy as a housewife with boring, controlling Stan until he trades her in for a younger model.

The book is essentially Ellie coming to terms with her impending divorce and reassessing her marriage. A telling moment is when Ellie realises that her only really sexy memory of her soon to be ex-husband actually occurred with Doug. Doug is back in her life and as sexy as ever. Less horny frat boy, more sexy cop. Along with Doug, her bestie Cindy, her alcoholic mother, her patient son Joey, a drag queen, a boat load of wine and buckets full of rocky road flavoured ice cream, Ellie overcomes her issues and looks for real love and happiness.

Cindy was hilarious, as all good best friends should be. The scene with the pervy yoga instructor had me in stitches. I also really enjoyed the scene where Doug presents her with an axe (I'll leave you to find out why). Doug isn't blame free, he represents the 'be careful what you wish for' lesson. I enjoyed the story, although there were many times when I found myself extremely frustrated with Ellie. She repeatedly considers taking Stan back, glosses over all of his bad points (and there are many) and consistently makes excuses for him. A few times she was in danger of becoming a pushover, but she turned it around and progressed massively.

3.5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes: 
  • The old-boobs Pamela or the new-boobs Pamela?
  • That was a wine-cooler induced sexual mistake.
  • I'll tuck you into my bed and kiss you good night. Or? I'll tuck us both into bed and kiss you good morning.

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