Book Review: Married Sex – A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth

When a husband convinces his wife to join him in a tryst with another woman, there are unintended consequences in this sharply observed erotic tale about the challenges of modern marriage

As a divorce lawyer for Manhattan’s elite, David Greenfield is privy to the intimate, dirty details of failed marriages. He knows he’s lucky to be married to Blair—a Barnard dean and the mother of their college-age daughter, she is a woman he loves more today than he did when they tied the knot.

Then seductive photographer Jean Coin asks David to be her lover for 6 weeks, until she leaves for Timbuktu. Tempted, David reasons that “it’s not cheating if your wife’s there.” A 1-night threesome would relieve the pressure of monogamy without wrecking their marriage. What harm could come of fulfilling his longtime sexual fantasy?

I was intrigued to read Married Sex – can a marriage survive a threesome to fulfil one partner’s desires?

The writing is beautiful and sensitive, and is written from the point of view of David, the husband. The sex scenes are descriptive without being pornographic, and Kornbluth conveys David’s feelings for his wife with great honesty and insight. I found it surprising that a man who adores his wife and still has great sex with her, should be tempted by another woman. In general I believe infidelity was a sign of problems within the relationship, but this reinforces the idea that some men only think with their dicks.

The story takes an unexpected turn which David finds unsettling, and perhaps this can be seen as his comeuppance. I feel some sympathy to both David and his wife Blair, although I found her to be distant and cool, perhaps not reciprocating the depth of her husband’s love. I found Jean Coin to be an unlikeable and manipulative character, who got what she wanted pretty quickly. But it provokes thought provides an insight into a ‘perfect’ marriage, showing that no one is infallible.

I enjoyed reading Married Sex, and found it hard to put down. Four out of five stars.

ARC provided by Open Road Integrated Media through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Available August 25th 2015

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