She had to do something to show him just how much she really desired him - had always desired him.
Gina is beginning to sense that Reid is withdrawing from their marriage and is fearful that he might be having an affair, or about to start one. Alarm bells start to go off for Gina and she decides to seduce her husband, hoping she can stop him from having an affair with his PA and keep him fully committed to their marriage. However, he doesn't realize that Gina wants more from him than a marriage on paper. Being in the love suite, along with his PA makes Gina come face to face with Reid's duplicity. She wished Reid would leave her alone to come to terms with a marriage that could be far more fractured than she'd realized. Gina walks out on Reid deciding to spend time in London on her own. She needs time to come to grips with her wrecked marriage and decide on the next steps for her. Somewhere on the flight over to Europe, Reid realized that he wanted to fight for Gina and for his marriage.
We start with 28 yr old Gina, nice Italian Catholic girl and mother of three after six years of marriage. The book starts with Gina contemplating Reid over the dinner table, while he ignores her diligent efforts to make him a nice home life, and realizing that if this how an HEA is supposed to work out, she isn't down for it. Gina is hurt by this accusation, she didn't get married for some 'cozy set up and cushy life', she married Reid because she fell head over heels in love with a handsome prince. Reid is resentful that he feels he does all the work and Gina barely responds to any of it. Reid is actually angered by the attempt and Gina's insistence that there needs to be a change in their relationship leads to very angry, but passionate boudoir moments. So Gina sends Reid a basket of roses, much like he did in the early days of their marriage to thank her from some thoughtful thing or upon the birth of their daughter, thanking him for the night of her life. Reid's potential affair partner, his assistant Paige, is glaring daggers and then Gina shows up. Gina shouts that she has been sweet and accommodating and trying hard to make their marriage work, but if Reid can't do better than this, well she wants more in her life than that and she will work to get it. Reid once again threatens Gina that she better not mess up his business trip. Gina gets to the airport and she isn't wearing a bra, because Reid was all about liking the jiggle when an unfettered woman walks around. There is a big kerfuffle as Paige tries to make Gina seem like an imposition taking up Reid's business time when Paige offers to switch seats. Gina feels belittled, cause she earnestly promised Reid she would NOT interfere with the serious business he was going to conduct. Even if Reid isn't shagging her silly every chance he gets, he and Paige were certainly planning on it based on the suite setup and Gina knows that she isn't going to live like that. Then Gina asks about Reid's first wife, because it seems that Reid is making assumptions and blaming her for behaviors that he attributed to his first marriage. Reid doesn't want to talk about it, but Gina doesn't back down. Gina knows she is carrying the baggage for another woman's actions and she wants this resolved if the marriage is going to continue. But Gina isn't done, she has more to say and this time Reid is going to be able to repeat it. In a lovely smackdown for Reid's smug complacency about passion moments, Gina hits the hard notes. If Reid had put even a fourth of the effort Gina put into saving her marriage, this would have been a much shorter book. I also thought it was well played on how Gina let Reid off the hook about his actions and his continual blaming of the OW for making him think about straying. Yes, Gina was right and she could have hammered it home that it was HIS behavior that got them all into this mess, but she wanted her marriage and she wanted to keep her family together for her children and she really did love Reid.
I think she succeeded in many ways as far as addressing the things - mostly never spoken of - that get between a husband and wife. Then again, as the heroine pointed out, it's not fair to make assumptions about someone and never give the other person a chance to make an effort. HOWEVER, infidelity is taking things a disgusting step too far. I wanted more than 2 pages of suffering on the H's part and, in the end, never felt he truly deserved her.
I was further struck by how the hero really didn't know how to have sex with someone he loved. I don't think I picked up on his immature view of relationships the first time around. He and the heroine were a matched set in not really knowing what they wanted or how to get it - but they did see it through. The hero picking up the slack after the heroine had given up. I also liked how the story opened with the heroine's point of view and ended with the hero's. (view spoiler) I liked his dawning understanding of what he was missing by keeping Gina in her little box.
Because she loves him she decides to fight for him and try to be more of what she thinks he wants her to be but in true Harlequin style the path to happiness is never quick and easy.
Still I loved all the angst. This book has all the things I love in a harlequin romance: intrigue, drama, complicated characters and relationships, passion, alpha hero, vulnerable heroine.
Both of them really made me mad because it was just pure frustration when Gina was all submissive and pathetic, while Reid was being one of the biggest fictional douche bags I have ever read. But gosh, the way Reid said about how Gina was a passive participant in the relationship made it sound like he tried to keep score or something. This is a classic tale about a pathetic wife and a rich and handsome douche bag husband.
I love the book despite hating the theme and I believe in the HEA despite knowing that it's not quite right. Seven years of marriage and three children later, our heroine feels like her marriage is falling apart and she's been reading articles trying to figure out ways to fix it. She feels like she's being put into a box in his life labeled Mother of His Children and that's not where she wants to be. He feels like the heroine doesn't like sex with him and has really only suffered it because it was the way to get the children she wanted and then to keep him happy to ensure her role in his life. He's decided that he's going to go outside of the marriage for sex, and he'll probably start with his PA since she's been giving him plenty of signals that she's all for it. Now his wife is pretending that she wants him and he prides himself on his honesty *eye roll anyone?* and hates the fact that she's trying to placate him in that way. But while on the trip and her doing her best to not get in his way, he realized that what he had been planning on was dishonest and he wanted this chance with his wife. You have the husband who feels that having sex with other women is just something to do because his wife doesn't like it and doesn't want it with him. Everything is going good and the heroine is fighting in her corner and winning until she is actually at the cozy little love nest hotel that the hero and PA were going to conduct their affair in. The heroine leaves, the hero as we know and as the heroine knows and as he knows had been planning on having an affair, was going to start the affair, basically gave all the right signals to the PA that the affair would start without actually making any promises *so he could always back out later without being held accountable if he so chose* and then he has an epiphany that he wants to try with his wife and he was being dishonest in his actions. He further has an epiphany that having sex with other women was actually giving them a power of him that he didn't want.
Emma Darcy's life journey has taken as many twists and turns as the characters in her stories, whose international popularity has resulted in over sixty-million book sales.