By Madeline Iva
Sometimes the thrill is gone. Blake and Miranda broke up this week. The week before it was Ben and Jennifer. Aggggh. I liked both of these couples a lot.
Some people say when they break up for good it’s like they can’t ever remember feeling that thrill in the first place. On the other hand, Huffington Post reports that “Sex With Your Ex” is a hot new trend.
Meanwhile, in romance the focus is usually on the beginning of the relationship. The finish line is commitment and/or marriage. It’s like a restaurant that only served appetizers. (Yeah, yeah, tapas bars are great, I know. But sometimes you hanker for a main course–and dessert.)
Here are three books that focus on these round-and-round intense relationships where the couple is spellbound long after they meet and mate.
I just love the beginning of the OUTLANDER series– Claire has so much to cope with and the world is so different for her, but Jamie tumbles for her from the moment she’s sitting between his thighs on his horse. They have to overcome a lot to be together. Yet even in book two and three when they are together, the fun and romance doesn’t end there. Events and old scars draw them apart, they are driven to betray each other in certain ways that they don’t quite mean to.
What’s great is how like giant magnets they are always sucked back together. They resolve what happened, get past the ugly, get back into that magic circle of need, confidence, passion, bliss. A+ Gabaldon! (And A+ any of you out there who have mastered this in your own relationships.)
Speaking of Ben Affleck–If we want to go to the other extreme–the twisted side of this bonding –there’s GONE GIRL. A lot of people hated the ending. I get it. To me the most fascinating part of the book dealt with the onion peeling that occurs in a relationship. Even when the husband is despising his wife, there’s still this itch of curiosity.
He knows her in a unique intimate way that no one else does and vice versa. Yet even so, mysteries lurk–mysteries so deep that only he can spot them. He becomes obsessed with getting to the bottom of who she really is. Only he can read the clues, only he can solve the puzzle. The police don’t know it but she’s been a bad girl and is getting revenge on him for being a bad slacker husband himself. Now that she’s missing she’s definitely regained his interest.
I liked the intensity and depth of his focus on how smart she was, how she knew him like no one else and he knew her like no one else. It reminded me of a hot, dirty tango, one with hair pulling and bodies dragged across the floor. Alas, the author took things in a completely different direction at the end of the book. Did you read it and hate the ending? Most people I know did.
Finally, there’s THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE. If GONE GIRL is about the bad side of marriage, then THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE is about the really ugly side of marriage.
A woman wakes up to discover her husband has raised her from the dead–and is having sex with her–in another body. How did he make this happen? How did she die? Why is she in a different body each time? The answers are ultimately unhappy ones, even as the plot underscores an undeniable sexual pull between this couple–and the secrets that lurk underneath.
What is this book? Who knows. It’s not a romance–there’s no HEA in site. Revenge porn? People do spend quite a bit of time naked in the book and it moves right along, following through on the how and why the wife is brought back to life by her husband after she’s dead. Yeah, revenge porn is probably the best description for it.
After reading THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE I was left in a contemplative mood. Why do I love what I’ll call the “deep relationship” couple trope so much? Is it the sensuousness of OUTLANDER? Jamie’s uxoriousness? Definitely! Is it the moment in GONE GIRL when the husband desperately wants to see his wife again–if only so he can throttle her? I actually found that part kinda hot.
But I think I’m in love with the idea that some people are just chemically combustable together. A good marriage is never perfect, but it’s got magic in it.
While you’re perseverating on that, you can take a peek at THE NECROMANCER’S WIFE on Amazon –click on the cover.
Meantime follow us at Lady Smut — we get all sweaty just for you. (I’ve blogged three times this week already.) Subscribe to our newsletter!