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21 Reviews
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lust and Marriage
This novel has the most spectacular wedding scene I've ever read, which artfully hints at Brett's mania for excess and the heart of darkness ahead for Nicky and Brett's lusty, whirlwind romance. It's easy to root for Nicky who is down-to-earth, adventurous and open-minded, despite a repressive upbringing. I got swept along as she gets exactly what so many women want: a...
Published on September 16, 2012 by J. Alcala

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Speechless
I really enjoy this book but i gotta say im really dissapointed with the ending.. i really thought they were gonna be able to pull it off get help and have a happy ending.. i was in love when i first started reading it once i was halfway i could tell what was gonna be the ending and i was afraid of it. i cry so much but this is how it happens sometimes in real life.. I...
Published on November 26, 2012 by Rosetta


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lust and Marriage, September 16, 2012
By 
J. Alcala (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
This novel has the most spectacular wedding scene I've ever read, which artfully hints at Brett's mania for excess and the heart of darkness ahead for Nicky and Brett's lusty, whirlwind romance. It's easy to root for Nicky who is down-to-earth, adventurous and open-minded, despite a repressive upbringing. I got swept along as she gets exactly what so many women want: a sexy, fun-loving hunk who also embraces marriage and family life. When Brett's penchant for porno becomes an all-consuming obsession, the author does a terrific job of realistically portraying Nicky's confusion, soul-searching, attempts at understanding and eventual fight for her love life. It's clear how difficult this is when faced with an addictive behavior that is not well understood. It's also great to see the author boldly take on a subject that many women face, but are still ashamed to admit even among themselves. An imaginative, highly recommended read.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relationships are more than pictures in frames, February 20, 2013
This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
Looking at memories in a digital photo frame might revive a marriage, and looking at porn on the internet might destroy it. Both come together in Martha Emms' fictional tale Portrait of our Marriage, which marries graphically sensual romance with the harsh realities and imperfections of life. Just how imperfect can a marriage become before it's time to call it quits? And where is the line between being selfish and being true to oneself?
Outwardly Nicky has it all. After a somewhat repressed childhood under a domineering religious father, she meets Brett, the perfect hunk and ideal date. Soon they're off to the gorgeous scenery of Havasu Falls where myriad mysticisms blend into a beautiful marriage ceremony and the future beckons. Brett's role as the perfect husband is marred only by his love of certain magazines and movies, and the internet, but surely Nicky, determined not to let the past spoil her future, should be able to cope. She protects her children. She presents herself to the world as perfectly happy, and she hides her pain.
Beautifully descriptive passages bring gorgeous scenery to life. Haunting internal dialogs create deepening empathy. And if anyone can be "a nice perv," Brett surely can. But addiction's ability to destroy relationships is hauntingly real and very well-drawn in this thought-provoking novel. Framed by steamy romance, this tale runs the gamut of emotions and reveals those cracks in the balance between image and truth. Sometimes drawing a line might be more important than holding onto a broken memory.
Disclosure: I heard about this novel on the internet and was lucky enough to get a free ecopy.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am glad I read this!, August 22, 2013
This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
A book filled with deep love between a couple that turned into a nightmare. A nightmare of broken trust, destroyed dreams and trying to find self worth. A well written story of a woman trying to figure out where 'do you' finally draw the line and realize enough is enough. Do you stay because of memories and children only to loose one's own individual self or do you end it, no matter how scary the future might be, to live a life of new beginnings. If you have ever been in this womans situation, I'd recommend reading this book. Filled with truths and insites I could completely relate to, this author writes about the reality of porn which affects many women today and the heartbreak it can create.
Disclaimer: I had been wanting this book from the moment I first saw it. As luck would happen I actually won it and man, I'm glad I did.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, October 24, 2012
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This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
I was impressed with the style of writing for this book. It was easy to relate to the main character and empathize with her throughout her journey. It reads like a romance novel with a dark twist. Not every love story has to have a silver lining.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer. I hope to see more!!, February 17, 2013
By 
brenda (LADERA RANCH, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
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Maybe there will be a part two. I hope so. I would love to know what happens with the characters in this story. Emms is a terrific writer whose story is straightforward and easy to digest. It was very easy to get into Portrait of Our Marriage right from the start. The characters came to life and I could relate so some of the main characters frustration over her failing marriage. Her story was touching and realistic.

I wish this author all the success in the world. She deserves to become a household name.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and promising first novel, January 2, 2013
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This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
This one was, as I said, very interesting. I desperately wish more romance novels were this complex and had interesting endings. I really, really don't understand the people who wanted the a different resolution--the ending felt very right. As a person with a degree in counselling and education on sex addiction, I found it a fairly moving and accurate portrait of sex addiction.

I liked the honesty--the narrator is biased and admits to it, and adds competing perspectives to her own, without pretending the change her own ideas. I especially enjoyed the main characters--they are well-drawn, complex, and rich portraits. THe supporting characters felt realistic, very much so, and the ending was realistically dark yet hopeful. There are a few very nice descriptions, such as of a Maine Coon cat near the end.

I didn't like some of the descriptions of the sex--there were very stilted moments, even though most were successful in conveying the passion of a couple still interested and involved in each other. Some of the language, too, was a little too distant for my taste. Still, I didn't see anything glaring that went beyond 'first novel' trial, and I really don't think these issues will be a problem for most people.

In all, it's a pretty impressive first novel, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a realistic, easy look at sex and porn addiction, or to someone looking for a more realistic alternative to the glut of romance novels on the market.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Eye opening Read, February 7, 2013
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This was a very fast paced, and eye opening read! It delved into the horrific effects of porn on a marriage of an average American couple, in a way that was believable and not over the top. Incredibly well written! I look forward to reading more from this talented author!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-wrenching and soulful, August 27, 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
I finished this book yesterday and had to let myself sit and think about it before writing this review, mainly because it stirred up so many emotions in me that I had to wait for them to settle before I could approach this.

My background is in psychology, and I found Brett's years-long descent into porn addiction to be accurate in how it changes behavior, sexual performance, and how it slowly encroaches and erodes the trust and emotional connection within a relationship. The metamorphosis from charming, open, loving husband to secretive, defensive addict was painful to read, but so true. His emotional manipulation of Nicky was another thing that was painful to read about but so prevalent in certain dysfunctional relationships.

The way he villainized her whenever she confronted him, and how he would compare his severe transgressions to her healthy behavior based on minimal similarity is so typical of this behavior. The reasonable party, who is only trying to find common ground, often falls into the trap of admitting to the addict's accusations, the way Nicky does time and again, and is a phenomenal example of how there is no reasoning with a dysfunctional addict or emotional manipulator. They don't operate with any logic or reason, and anyone who engages with them is set up for failure. Nicky learned this time and again, and her resolve to continue believing in her husband for the sake of their marriage and the years of foundation they built together made me ache.

I don't understand the reviews criticizing the ending. Sometimes a happy ending isn't them living happily ever after. Not when one of them is blind to their own addiction and actively demolishing the relationship. Even if Brett had gone to therapy, I think it would have been too little, too late. Nicky fought for her marriage for too long, tried to be forgiving, understanding, tried to only focus on the positives, and lived with shame. The moment she came to the decision that she did, she started living again. Truly living.

THAT is the best happily-ever-after!

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very compelling read!, April 2, 2013
By 
Karazme (Honolulu, Hawaii) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
Wow didn't think I would like this one but wow it blew me away! This book is not for the faint of heart and as the subject of infidelity is bad enough the nature of the addiction in this book is pretty heavy. Very thought provoking.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and a must read!, February 22, 2013
This review is from: Portrait of Our Marriage (Kindle Edition)
This book by author Martha Emms is such an eye opening and very well described look into a marriage that appears normal on the outside and is not at all how it appears. The journey that we as readers experience is one that takes you to so many places emotionally. The author did an amazing job of creating characters that were so deeply profound and they were like everyday people. A must read!

Sylvia Stein
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Portrait of Our Marriage
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