105 of 119 people found the following review helpful
Gabby is 43 and loves her husband Elliott dearly. He is her soulmate, even though he refused to have the third child that she badly wanted. They never fight. Oh, except about the absence of the third child. And he never annoys her except when he works long hours. Or when he snores. And they hardly ever have sex, except sometimes when they have sex twice a day. Even then, she doesn't make much of an effort, except sometimes when she does. So after 20 years together, maybe things have lost a little of their magic. Her teenage and pre-teen daughter keep her at a distance, except sometimes when they don't. She is intimidated by a very organised mother that she knows and dislikes her because once Gabby lied to her to look better but got caught out so now she feels like she's not as good a mother as she should be. She doesn't work but judges mothers who help out at school a lot because they don't have a life. Can you tell that I disliked her intensely?
One night out with the girls, Gabby gets chatting to a handsome younger man who just happens to be the multi-millionaire founder of a famous website - oh and crazy about her. But she's happily married, so she should be immune to attraction - or is she?
If this description hasn't driven you crazy, you may well enjoy this novel. It hums along at a good pace and probably most women in long term relationships will identify in some way with Gabby's dilemma. However I couldn't get past my dislike of the lead character. She's incredibly self-centered and shallow. We keep being told how confident and amazing she is, but we never feel it for ourselves. However it is very much the kind of book where everything gets spelled out for you, what people are thinking and feeling and lots of information about the brands they use or wear. There are so many good books out there that I'm annoyed with myself for wasting a day of my life in this one. Jane Green has definitely written better.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Penguin Books (UK) and Netgalley.)
43-year-old Gabby is flattered when on a girls-night-out she is chatted up by a younger, good-looking man. Gabby is happily married though, with two daughters, and she isn’t about to have an affair.
Then Gabby receives an email from this guy – Matt, and suddenly they are exchanging flirty emails and texts, and Gabby agrees to meet with him again.
Gabby isn’t going to cheat though is she? Could she really live with the guilt of being unfaithful to her husband? And if she does, what will the consequences be?
This book was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – one that I certainly hope to never have to ride personally!
Gabby was an interesting character, but I was so mad at her for the situation she got herself into! It wasn’t even as if she had a bad marriage or a bad home life, admittedly she had wanted a third child and her husband had not, but still – she loved her husband, and he loved her, they had a beautiful house, 2 beautiful kids, and a great relationship, and she had to go and ruin it.
The storyline in this book was okay, but I have to say that I really hate it when people cheat, and I really hate reading stories about people who cheat. I immediately felt uncomfortable at the way Gabby was behaving in the bar with this other man, and I felt that her emails to him, their texting, and meeting was as much of a betrayal to her husband as was her sleeping with him. Although they only actually slept together once, the relationship went on for a lot longer, and being emotionally unfaithful is just as bad as being physically unfaithful, maybe worse in fact because she had allowed feelings to grow.
As the story went on I couldn’t help but be mad at Gabby for the situation she had put herself and her family in, and I hated that even in hind-sight she didn’t really regret what she had done! Even though she knew that what she had done was wrong, she didn’t really seem to appreciate that the difficulties she was facing were basically all her own doing!
The ending of this one was thankfully happy, and I could see how that would happen, because even if a person has been unfaithful it doesn’t immediately stop you from loving them. I can honestly say, that even though this book had a happy ending, if a random guy in a bar tries to chat me up in the future, I am getting the hell out of there, and going home to drink alcohol and eat ice cream instead!
Overall; a chick-lit story about infidelity and love.
7.5 out of 10.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2013
I've been a fan of Jane Green for more years than I can remember. She's always wrote great chick lit novels, but these days they have a bit more of an edge to them.
Tempting Fate revolves around Gabby, a 40 something English housewife living in the U.S. Married to an American Man, Elliott for over 20 years with two daughters, one about to hit her teenage years and the other almost at adult age, Gabby sees her life is a bit dull and she can feel herself getting older. Restless and tired of her routine, Gabby dolls herself up and goes for a night out with the girls. It is here she meets Matt, a rather dashing Man ten years her junior but with the power to make her feel special again.
Gabby slowly becomes more obsessed with Matt as they flirt via text and email. She convinces herself it's harmless fun, she loves Elliott and isn't one of those women that have an affair. Finally, they can no longer resist each other and spend a fleeting, reckless moment together which results in shocking consequences.
Tempting Fate is possibly the most honest book I've read around this subject matter. Instead of glorifying an affair or night of cheating as something wonderful, yet risky it's made blatantly clear that Gabby and Matt's moment was a guilt inducing mistake. The aftermath they leave in their wake is emotional and heartbreaking. It's a real and truthful tale of "you don't know what you've got til you sleep with someone else and blow it all apart".
I really liked Gabby, you can really understand how she was feeling and how she somehow stumbled from mild flirtation to regrettable night of passion. How she copes with the after effects of her mistake show her to be a strong, yet ultimately human Woman who despite making a terrible error in judgement, will do anything she can to repair her marriage and her family.
The network of characters around her are great, you can completely understand why Gabby loves Elliott so much whilst acknowledging that Matt isn't a bad person. Her Mother, Natasha is fabulous - in my head she is just like Bernadette Peters! Throughout the story we're introduced to both old and new friends and acquaintances, each with their own story in some way mirroring the events of Gabby's life.
My Rating - 4/5 - Tempting Fate isn't an overly dramatic, on the edge of your seat kind of book but it does keep you gripped until the end, craving a Happy Ending in whatever way that may be found. It's an achingly, honest story of family, love and life changing mistakes with great characters and several viewpoints on the story. Emotional and moving at times, this story may bruise your heart a little but it's unlikely you'll be reaching for the tissues as it is balanced nicely with good humour. A great read for existing Jane Green fans as well as those being introduced to her novels.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
I cannot believe that Jane Green, MY Jane Green, whose novels I have enjoyed for years, wrote this hackneyed, ridiculous book. I don't even know where to begin...the premise is ridiculous, the characters are clichéd and unreal, the writing is mediocre. I have the feeling that Jane is now on some sort of horrendous deadline forced on her by her publisher, and is racing to "create" books at top speed. That's the kindest explanation I can think of.
I won't belabor the plot here, as many have done so, but suffice to say that I didn't believe a word of it. Yes, OK, housewife hits her 40s, sees her life passing by, becomes infatuated with a younger man, OK...been there, read that, I get it. But the outcome? REALLY, Jane? REALLY? Can this be the same author who has used insightful, witty humor for years to describe women's everyday problems? Or is this some sort of fantasy. If so, it fell flat.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
A dull read, the characters were completely one-dimensional and the story line transparent. I have enjoyed others by Jane Green but this was disappointing.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2014
*** Review contains a couple of spoilers
I found this book to be very predictable - I could spot what was going to happen at the very beginning. It also had a cheesy 'happy families' ending, that felt like a G rated sitcom. The characters were mostly boring and unlikeable. Gabby, the main character, a middle aged stay at home Mum that doesn't seem to do very much at all except lounge around on the couch all day and obsess about getting older. Oh and restore furniture apparently, although you never really hear about her doing it. She came across as lazy, superficial and entitled. I loved how when her husband leaves her it dawns on her that she'll have to get a job - oh the horror! And then there's her 'best friend' Claire, a judgemental busy-body, who dumps Gabby and then sets up her husband with her nemesis. Gabby's husband comes across as a nerdy door-mat - used and abused first by Gabby, and then Trish. He's a successful doctor but apparently doesn't make enough money for Gabby's liking. The only interesting character was Gabby's billionaire toy boy. The silly thing was though, that a man like that would never pursue a woman like Gabby - it sounded more like a middle aged woman's fantasy, a Mills and Boon story.
There were also themes in the book that started but never actually went anywhere, such as Gabby's love of restoring furniture becoming a business and Alanna having issues at school. It felt like the writer just got lazy and tried to finish the book without putting any effort into wrapping it up properly.
I used to enjoy reading Jane Green's books, I identified with the characters and the themes in the books. This latest read was disappointing so I doubt I'll be purchasing any of her books again.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2014
This book, the first I've read of Jane Green's novels, was a huge disappointment after reading so many positive critic and reader reviews. It's poorly written, with narrative and dialogue that is often so trite and repetitive it's almost as if a middle-schooler wrote it (on more than one occasion I actually caught myself rolling my eyes). The characters are mostly shallow and uninteresting, with an extremely unlikable, annoying and self-absorbed protagonist Gabby; the only one with a hint of spark and creativity was Gabby's mother Natasha. The plotlines were predictable and unfortunately some of the more potentially interesting ones were dropped (e.g. whatever became of the bullying storyline?). And the ending was so far-fetched and unbelievable that it triggered another eye-rolling moment.
I read a lot of book and have never dropped one mid-stream, but this one almost became the exception. This is one of the worst books I’ve read in a long, long time, but at least it was a quick read and I did not pay anything for it! Don't think I'll take a chance on another Jane Green book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2014
I can't even give this one star. I read this to the end thinking that somehow it would improve- become more believable, have some character development, or even just stop being a list of places in town that the imaginary Westporters (heavy on the imaginary) bounce between. I won't be a "spoiler", but if you have more than a third grade education you will find the ending unbelievable, in the literal sense of what happens to real people on this planet. Really? Young, hot internet billionaire likes her for herself? Whatever. If you want an actual interesting story set in this town with actual characters with struggles and repercussions for their actions, try Land of Steady Habits by a guy named Ted Thompson. I know neither author and read each book for a local book group as I live in the town where each novel is set. I actually can't believe Jane Green is paid for this, and can't bring myself to try another book by her. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2014
I love Jane Green usually, but this book was awful. Gabby is 43 and feels something is missing, so she allows herself to be pulled into an affair. The problem I had with it is, she has a wonderful husband who's telling her how beautiful she is all the time, yet keeps saying no one notices her. Ummm, hello your HUSBAND does! She's got this great life with two beautiful kids, but that's not good enough because she wanted a third. This was the most selfish character I have ever encountered, and she disgusted me so much I couldn't even get half way through the book. If you're into a total selfish person throwing over her loving husband and wrecking her family, this book is for you.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I really enjoyed Jane Green's writing style and her POV for her characters. I am 45 and finding the "afternoon" of my life an interesting time and her observations were often spot on. I cared about the characters and I thought the story was relevant and worth reading. I look forward to trying more of her work.