- Author: Karen A.Miles
- Published: by Austin Macauley
- Purchase: Amazon | Austin Macauley
- Reviewed: 17th July 2017
- Tags: Contemporary Romance | Erotica (mild) | Dark (ish)
- Recommended to: Fans of chick-lit that includes sexual content
- Content warning: Occasional (Vanilla) sex | Dark themes |Swingers parties
- Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Note after the last page: Right, okay. I’m not entirely happy with that ending. Go & talk to ******** damn it!
Bubbly and down to earth Melissa Harrison is invited to go and live in Singapore with her boyfriend Rob, who has a new job there. Excited about living the expat dream, she excuses his immaturity and inattentiveness and begins the process of settling in to her new life.
What she hasn’t bargained for is that Rob wants them to join the Singapore Swingers’ Club, a private wife (and husband) swapping monthly event among the expat community. Mel becomes torn between two worlds, that of her straight-up moral code versus a luxurious life of drinking, parties and… sex with strangers.
When she begins to feel attraction towards Harry, one of the participants, things become even more complicated. Should she stay, or should she go?
- First step: Go to a party with posh people.
- Second step: Pick one of their names from a bowl.
- Third step: Go spend an hour doing them.
First impressions of the characters weren’t good. In fact, I noted down, ‘Rob is a dick’
At first, I sometimes had trouble reading when he was on the page. The tits jibe, the hair jibe, to which the latter received a timid apology from Mel… How he spoke to her and treated her. Man, I’d slap the shit out of him in all kinds of creative ways, let me tell you! Maybe not, but my opinion was she should have run for the hills.
The reasoning behind Mel leaving the UK to join Rob in Singapore was blurred for me for a while. Was it really all for the love of Rob? Or was it for the adventure? Perhaps I was leaning more towards the adventure side of things because I wanted that to be the reason. There are flashbacks to times in her life that were sometimes dark, and most definitely sad, it helped create the character that was Mel. She was fiery, sure, but not where it counted sometimes. If it was to do with Rob, she was the timid push-over she didn’t want to be. I don’t want to give away too much, but she pretty much leaves her home country to be with a guy that wants her there so he can participate in the Swingers Club and tells her to piss off home when she says no (after being blindsided at an actual party!) It’s easy to say, sheesh, no thank you, get the hell out of there, girl! The simple fact is, love does blind folks sometimes, and so it was believable all the same. I think most women have a bit of Mel in them.
The plot and the pace were good and kept the pages turning. The supporting characters were as vivid as the leading ones (poor Sue!) and added dark elements of their own. It was some time before Mel participated in her first Swinger’s party, but when she did, it spiralled from there until you really couldn’t wait to see how it would end.
I was torn with what rating to give this. The characters, the story’s ending, & that it needs a few editing tweaks were taken into consideration… But I did read this in one day… and I won’t forget it. What would have bumped up the stars for me would have been Mel coming full circle and gaining a backbone. That comes down to specific thoughts on story enjoyment & has nothing to do with the writing/ style.
The tags above are brief, the dark-ish elements aren’t on Kitty Thomas, K. Webster level, but enough to make you scrunch your face at times and perhaps a little uncomfortable if you’re not used to that kind of content. I am, and it fit well with the plot, adding the danger and angst. The sexual content isn’t overdone, there isn’t too much, with a disturbing scene that shakes it up.
I liked Torn Between. What I’d like more is there to be a part two, follow Mel’s journey in ********, have ******** pop up in her life again. And include a side note that Rob at least got a kick to the balls. Or two.