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The Book Club :
Romances that survive infidelity?

Topic is Sleeping.

 TheRedQueen (original poster new member #57851) posted at 8:14 AM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Call me an idiot as someone who has been cheated on multiple times by the same person rolleyes , but I used to be an avid romance reader and dabbled in writing some as well that have sat on my computer mostly untouched since this all began due to my now lack of inspiration and lack of belief in fairytales.

But I’d LIKE to believe in fairytales (and I need something to keep my mind occupied at times) so I’m wondering if any members can recommend a romance / love story fiction book that specifically deals includes recovering from an affair, cheating etc, preferably in the main characters relationship but also in one of their pasts maybe ok.

Fingers crossed for a response!

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Me - BW (40) Him - WH (42) 2 Teenagers, 1 Younger Child

D-Day Feb 2016 + .. Most recent D-Day Nov 2021

Still married, not feeling it.....

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2017   ·   location: Australia
id 8699017

LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 1:13 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021

This reply comes with a massive red flashing warning that the problem with cheating romance redemption books is they don’t really exist, I’ve yet to read one that delivers that exciting feeling of a happy ending. the authors have a hard time writing the hero, they need to paint them as a selfish cheater but miss the mark at writing any redeeming qualities and in the end, as some one who knows the pain IRL, it comes across as the doormat heroine forgiving the giant douche hero because "it’s the right thing to do for the family"and there is no reconciliation growth, no ground work or story development that leaves you thinking it won’t happen again. Definitely no romance. That and they’re so angsty every second chapter is one painful trigger because it’s so easy to fill in the gaps.

If you’re still determined punch into google ‘goodreads cheating redemption romance books’ ‘goodreads cheating grovel romance books‘ ‘goodreads adultery cheating grovel books’ ‘goodreads cheating husband grovel books’ and the likes and what you will get are goodread members book lists of allllll the cheating redemptio/grovel novels out there. Please oh please, read the reviews, narrow the search to one star then two star and read those instead of the four or five star review, why? Because the lower star reviews are often betrayed partners and they list the triggers, the top reviews only romanticise the cheating and reading these books are a mind fuck, truly.

start with Laura branchflower’s white picket fence series, the WH gets the AP pregnant and shift blames, there are two books and you want to rip the bandaid off so when you finish the first start the second.

but honestly I have never found a decent fluffy romantic reconciliation book yet, either the hero is so unworthy of reconciliation you will throw the book across the room, or the heroine is a two dimensional doormat or the other woman is painted in such a crazy horrific way... which may sound fine but that tactic is used to forget the hero’s role in the affair and as such offers no logical reason why he cheated with that person in the first place then excuse the couple remaining together.

Yikes... just be prepare for those triggers and a massive let down and you should be fine 😆🤞

Edit: same goes with the mills and boon, most of those are... so bad lol they’re not romantic and the hero is mostly cruel but excused as “alpha” rolleyes

At least, after reading a few romance grovel your creativity might kick in and you can write a truly redeeming hero that the reader wants reconciliation for him and a strong female that gives the gift of R, not one that is pressured into it by family, commitments, fear, bullying etc.

[This message edited by LostInHisFog at 1:26 PM, Thursday, November 18th]

They can make as many promises as they want, but if they don't put action behind it, it doesn't mean anything.

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 311   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
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icytoes ( member #79512) posted at 8:47 PM on Sunday, January 16th, 2022

I just listened to The Vacationers by Emma Straub on audiobook and really liked it. Not a romance per se, but I think fits what you are looking for. A quick read with a satisfying ending. I will keep looking and post more if I find some books with reconciliations.

posts: 58   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8710199

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:38 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

A book written by a writer in England is NEVER GREENER. It takes place in Scotland. He is a 37 year old teacher married with two and one one the way. He meets a 22 yr old and about an hr later they have sex. An affair starts. At some point the wife finds out. Barely reconciled they stay together for 17 yrs and it starts up again. At that point the wife is done.
I read Branchwater’s books. The husband needed a brain transplant.
I don’t know of any book that has a realistic portrayal of the agony of finding out your SO has cheated. It’s like being shot in the stomach but dealing with the open wound for years.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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id 8711869

SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 7:47 AM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

I have several for you. During the pandemic I've been spending time reading novels involving infidelity. Yep triggers, but it's somehow cathartic for me to yell and get angry with the cheater, usually wife. I find them quite entertaining when there's groveling and when the chickens come home to roost.

Cheat Day by Liv Stratman. A 30 yr old wife is unhappy, despite a loving husband. OK he works too much, but loves her, his family embraces her. But it's not enough, she's restless and dives into diet after diet searching for ??? Lady needs therapy. Begins affair with handsome carpenter renovating her sister's bakery. Has sex with this jerk during the day, then back to her husband at night. Thinks of leaving marriage, will she stay? This heroine made me very angry, well written story though. The book title is a play on words - cheating on her diets, cheating on her husband.

The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson - This was quite good, skillfully weaving past and present together. He's a young professor of history, she's a young artist. Marriage of opposites. He works too hard, she has too much time on her hands. Starts affair with his best friend(!), a writer. She doesn't work, so she and hubby's BF have all day for well you know. Leaves husband for best friend, husband tells her don't come back (yea!). She goes to train station to run off with her lover, best friend never shows, he's staying in his marriage. And she's on her own. After 15 months? wins husband back. Husband insists they move from NYC so that they get away from best friend and so that he doesn't have to work so much to help their relaionship. Fast forward 23 years later, their daughter in NYC is having a baby, wife is restless (oh oh) and moves to NYC to 'look after daughter'. Runs into old AP, she promised her poor husband NC forever with this jerk, but you know it's been 20 years so statute of limitations is rationalized. Can their marriage survive this new 'friendship' 20+ years after she cheated on her husband with this same guy? Someone needed to shake sense into the husband for putting up with her and the wife for well everything.

Playing Away by Adele Parks. A golden couple in their late 20s. Married 9 months(!). He works way too much for a newlywed. She has a history prior to marriage of lots of men, lots of sex, and now gets itchy britches. Starts affair with someone like her, a player who seduces many women. She's head over heals for this asshole, he tires of her after seducing her, cools things off, calls her occasionally for a booty call when drunk. Wife is distraught her boyfriend doesn't love her enough. In a brilliant bit of writing by the author the wife wishes "if only he treated me as well as my husband does". Husband finds out. Oopsie. Leaves her. Can she win her husband back?

Any Way You Want Me by Lucy Diamond. The heroine in this story might the 'champ' when it comes to doing her man wrong. Whoa. 30 yr old woman has a newborn and a toddler with her partner, not married, but he really loves her and they've been a couple for 8 years. He's the breadwinner, she gave up work after their first was born. They've drifted a bit in their connection to each other. Never a good thing in stories of this genre. She's bored, starts trolling the internet for her old flames, on the lookout for a boyfriend. Finds one - the sexy, dreamy, architect husband... of her man's boss(!). Puts in jeopardy her man's job, and jeoparizes the future of her toddler kids. But you know a gal's gotta pursue what she wants. I won't go into all the nasty ways she betrays her husband, but it is very bad. Husband finds out. Oopsie. Can she win her husband back?

Running the Bulls by Cathie Pelletier. A long married couple, both just retired 55ish in age have 3 adult kids. Wife is restless with her marriage. Wakes up poor Howard her husband in middle of the night and tells him she had an affair 20 years ago. Gee thanks wife, crashes their retirement. Howard storms out of the house, can't stay with her. The rest of book is pretty much Howard stumbling about trying to look after his new bachelor self, because well, men just can't survive without their cheating wives. Will their marriage survive? Contains a very hurtful cheating episode, told in flashback from 20 years previous. Wife tells Howard she wants to spend a week out of town visiting her mother. Howard agrees and dutiful husband he is, drives her to the airport. It's a sham, she walks into the terminal, watches husband leave, then runs out and jumps in her boyfriend's car. They spend the week in a motel. End of week boyfriend returns her to the airport 1 hour before her return flight was scheduled to arrive. Husband shows up at airport to pick her up after her week 'visiting her mother'. The sham is complete, she's cuckolded poor Howard.

Here's two other stories with a plot close to what you're looking for. I enjoyed them both, in each story the married couple agrees to an open marriage. In both cases it goes sideways big time, what train wrecks you get to see here, lots of angst.

The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland. Cass and Jonathan have been married 6 years, golden couple, brilliant future ahead of them. He wants children. They've had one miscarriage, she's hesitant, not only of becoming a mother, but her doubts snowball into just how much does she love her husband, her husband now seems boring and unsexy. He on the other hand really loves her and is afraid to lose her. Cass is pretty selfish, she leverages his love and his fear of losing her when she fast talks him into staying married with her while they (meaning she) takes a 6 month 'Intermission' from their marriage. She's gone, flies from NYC to LA and lives like a single woman. Can their marriage survive? A lot of fun to read, I was torn between hoping they'd get back together and Jonathan telling his wife that his life was now better off without her.

The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. A couple in their early 30s see all their friends' marriages falling apart. One couple seem to have the solution, they describe how wonderful their open marriage is. These two dummies think their friends' open marriage is the answer for them, too - have some fun, some extra romance now and so preserve their marriage long term. Complications - they have a young autistic son who requires both their care, so there's no question they must live together... I mean they're happily married, they'll just chug along as they always have, what could go wrong? Oopsie, things don't quite go as planned. Liked this book a lot, what a train wreck. Both of them evolved into being quite cruel to one another, the husband in the beginning of their 'Arrangement', later on the wife returns the favour, with interest.

[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 12:35 PM, Wednesday, February 2nd]

posts: 531   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8713237

SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 7:50 AM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

A book written by a writer in England is NEVER GREENER.

Coincidence, I just finished this yesterday, really liked it. Kate (the actress) was quite the character.

[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 8:03 AM, Wednesday, February 2nd]

posts: 531   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8713238

Walkthestorm ( member #72157) posted at 6:43 AM on Saturday, February 19th, 2022

I just finished "If you only knew" by Kristan Higgins. It's about two sisters and what happend after their "happy ever after". One of the story lines includes one sister (a suburbian SAHM) getting cheated on and her attempt at R. No spoilers about the ending :)

It was a great read. Well written book with great great great dialouge. It was a book that containd a lot! New beginnings, sorrows when life kicks you down, uplifting, funny, witty and raw. Highly recommend it. I stayed up the whole night reading it. smile

[This message edited by Walkthestorm at 10:01 AM, Saturday, February 19th]

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icytoes ( member #79512) posted at 10:42 PM on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

Thank you everyone for the book recommendations. I'm looking forward to reading them.

I agree with LostInHisFog that it is hard to find a fluffy, romantic reconciliation in literature. A real reconciliation takes consistent change of character and behavior over a long period of time. That does not make for an exciting story.

The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan is very good. I just finished it yesterday and really enjoyed it.

Slight threadjack: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is a contemporary romance with a fake dating trope. Absolutely no infidelity, so it doesn't fit in this thread, but I loved, loved, loved it and highly recommend it. I just read it three times. End threadjack.

posts: 58   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8720993
Topic is Sleeping.
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