#READ EPUB ⚡ Not Quite a Husband ⚷ eBook or E-pub free

Well I had to CREATE a did not finish shelf for this one I started this book I was like, huh, these characters sure are casually racist But I mean, like, if an author especially an author who s a WOC wants to be like yeah no, these white old timey British people were probably fully on board ye olde colonialism train, and I m not gonna downplay the ugly truth of that for the sake of this romance novel, that s their prerogative, you know No holds barred No softening the nastiness of Empi Well I had to CREATE a did not finish shelf for this one I started this book I was like, huh, these characters sure are casually racist But I mean, like, if an author especially an author who s a WOC wants to be like yeah no, these white old timey British people were probably fully on board ye olde colonialism train, and I m not gonna downplay the ugly truth of that for the sake of this romance novel, that s their prerogative, you know No holds barred No softening the nastiness of Empire Tell it like it is I feel that.Then there was a scene in which the dude, in the throes of a malaria attack, just starts making out with the lady, and then just Enters Her Suddenly No consent at all, and like, it s not even implied she was like kissing back it s just all very sudden andwhoa But she s like, I liked it tho, and I was like uuuughhhh but you know what, the sad thing is that when you re reading trash romance you kind of learn to wade through the bad consent narrowed eyes wait was that rape shit because that s the way like 90% of the genre is So I was like well that was gross but I ll move on, because like, this book is actually very well written I was moved by their tragic longing and misunderstanding and mutually brought about desolation and heartbreak and all that shit So I was just like oh well, I guess I brought this on myself because don t I remember feeling an uneasy ehhhh about the other Sherry Thomas I read yet started this one anyway Also okay so I went and checked and it was Private Arrangements that I read, and I gave it 3 stars and remember that I loved the same like tragic curdled love thing that was similar to this one but I don t remember why I dinged it And then Ho ho ho Ho We get to the MASSIVE AMOUNTS of SLEEP RAPE Leo and Bryony I even loved their names I feel personally affronted have awkward, cold sex awkward and cold on Bryony s end and Leo doesn t know why so Leo stops coming to her for sex and instead get this starts raping her in the middle of the night No, really She s dead asleep And he comes and has sex with her because when she s being sleep raped she s not so frigid her frigidity, by the way, is because he cheated on her, and she knows, only he doesn t know that she knows, so he s like wah I don t understand I m such a good guy She only realizes when it wakes her up one night And then she s like hey can you not please we can have sex when I m awake but not when I m asleep thanks and is like WAY POLITER ABOUT IT THAN HE DESERVES, and then he says nothing to this, and then rapes herspectacularly than ever that night As retribution And then THE NEXT DAY she s like DON T, FOR FUCKING REAL and then he serves her up some extra strong rape as punishment for that Literally just fucking kill me Oh, and he likedoesn t think there s anything wrong with what he s done Cool Even though she LIVES IN FEAR and ALMOST KILLS A PATIENT DUE TO EXHAUSTION FROM THE EXTENSIVE NIGHTLY SLEEP RAPE and BARS HER DOOR AT NIGHT OUT OF FEAR.According to other reviews on here, she goes on to sleep rape him later in the book LikeI just can t do this, y all And it s weird, too, because half of me is actually like but the writing is good and I almost want to finish but then I m like what the fuck, no Three strikes Be firm I don t know, I m fucking tired This book makes me want to never have sex with a man again and to bite the head off any who tries Tbh.UGH UPDATE BECAUSE I HATE MYSELF I went back to it She asks for an annulment He s like, I ll rape you again while awake as punishment for that Sorry ROMANCE WHAT Oh yeah and also earlier she like gave him a weird bad consent handjob Okay I return because I hate myself It s such a treat to pick up a book by an author I ve never read before and fall in love with their writing, their characters, and the entire world they create Such is the case with Sherry Thomas and Not Quite a Husband It was not just a book, but an adventure that took me to another time, one we don t often read about late 19th early 20th century in the British Indian Empire, also referred to as the British Raj This is one of those epic novels that had me questioning exactly what it means It s such a treat to pick up a book by an author I ve never read before and fall in love with their writing, their characters, and the entire world they create Such is the case with Sherry Thomas and Not Quite a Husband It was not just a book, but an adventure that took me to another time, one we don t often read about late 19th early 20th century in the British Indian Empire, also referred to as the British Raj This is one of those epic novels that had me questioning exactly what it means to be civilized, and just how far we should go in forcing our version of civilization on others A similar book which I also enjoyed, Duke of Shadowsby Meredith Duran, had me thinking along the same lines, and those books that get me contemplating and asking questions are the ones that stay with me long after I ve finished reading Not Quite a Husband is a second chance romance, though I found the relationship between the hero, Leo Marsden, and the heroine, Bryony Asquith to beangsty than sweet But being the hopeless romantic that I am, I held to the faith that they d come to their senses and see that they belonged together Eventually though, the problem for me was that there was such a lack of communication between them that there came a time when I started thinking that maybe they really were better off apart, so while I loved them both, I had a tough time staying connected to, and invested in, their happily ever after The ending was sweet and definitely romantic, and getting there was quite a journey.Over all, this was an enjoyable read and a wonderful introduction to an author who I m definitely looking forward to readingof #READ EPUB ⚣ Not Quite a Husband ⚹ Their marriage lasted only slightly longer than the honeymoon to no one s surprise, not even Bryony Asquith s A man as talented, handsome, and sought after by society as Leo Marsden couldn t possibly want to spend his entire life with a woman who rebelled against propriety by becoming a doctor Why, then, three years after their annulment and half a world away, does he track her down at her clinic in the remotest corner of India Leo has no reason to think Bryony could ever forgive him for the way he treated her, but he won t rest until he s delivered an urgent message from her sister and fulfilled his duty by escorting her safely back to England But as they risk their lives for each other on the journey home, will the biggest danger be the treacherous war around them or their rekindling passion What she said cannot elaborate any further.Guys, you who are on my friend s list and have loved this book, I hope you don t get offended Bad news this book offends me It repulsed me If you think the hero deserves to be forgiven, that s your prerogative, but as per my opinion he does NOT deserve ANYTHING Not forgiveness, not compassion, not even a spare thought He s just no longer significant Heroine shouldn t have married him She SHOULDN T have f What she said cannot elaborate any further.Guys, you who are on my friend s list and have loved this book, I hope you don t get offended Bad news this book offends me It repulsed me If you think the hero deserves to be forgiven, that s your prerogative, but as per my opinion he does NOT deserve ANYTHING Not forgiveness, not compassion, not even a spare thought He s just no longer significant Heroine shouldn t have married him She SHOULDN T have forgiven him She should have stayed divorced He was a cheater, a rapist, an abuser and one without slightest remorse This is NOT a romance book, this is a book about a cheater getting EXACTLY what he wants Moral of the story if you cheat, you might get things a little late, but you still get it So no I m not touched by his sensitive love for his wife I m not touched that he s hurt by her leaving her I m NEITHER touched NOR impressed by the fact some people may think the wife is cold hearted and unforgiving There is NOTHING to forgive He cheated No forgiveness should be given, she should have stayed cold hearted I m not touched how it has affected him This is me at HIS anger over the broken marriage HE cheated, WITHOUT even a valid reason WITHOUT a second of consideration of her WITHOUT an ounce of remorse AND he NEVER felt ANY remorse UNTIL he was caught on the headlight I am offended and disgusted by this book This is is the second book I ve read of this author.The first experience had been less than pleasant, but at least without cheating, but after this book, it s confirmed her characters are going to lack a certain standard of morals that i live by, she is going on strictly an avoid list.To quote Alex cheaters do NOT deserve second chances and f k cheaters Also no, you stupid son of a bitch, she won t forgive you because you fucking cheated, which you re NOT supposed to do, which is a VERY possible standard, actually that is the BARE MINIMUM standard So her potential unforgivingness had NOTHING to do with impossible standard However it had everything to do with your impossible lack of morals and remorse you fucktard Please do excuse my French At this point, I CANNOT be bothered with asterisks any Let s call the spades spades rant over Spoilers below Not Quite A Husband was one of the romance novels I d already read when I joined Goodreads and I actually bothered to review it on here to get my account started I did that because it was one of my favourites, it had stayed with me and I gave it five stars It was a quick review, typed out in about five minutes I ve frequently returned to excerpts from the book and re read it a couple of times, but I wanted to re read for the purposes of reviewing it in a detailed way and Spoilers below Not Quite A Husband was one of the romance novels I d already read when I joined Goodreads and I actually bothered to review it on here to get my account started I did that because it was one of my favourites, it had stayed with me and I gave it five stars It was a quick review, typed out in about five minutes I ve frequently returned to excerpts from the book and re read it a couple of times, but I wanted to re read for the purposes of reviewing it in a detailed way and to check that it still holds up as a five star read.It does This is not an easy book and it has some significant points of controversy But to me, it is brilliant and I will now attempt to make my case for it The plot is a Sherry Thomas special Former lovers in this case, former husband and wife their marriage was annulled who were wrenched asunder by some events in their past history which we ll slowly uncover, naturally and who are thrown back together to battle their mutual enmity and continuing attraction No one, absolutely no one does this as well as Thomas I have come to believe in my travails through romance reading that this is one of the most difficult romance premises to pull off Transitioning from I hate you to I love you is difficult enough, but one must also explain how the hate came about and thus establish a backstory as well as everything else Thomas does so muchthan pull it off, she defines the very premise.To compound the brilliance of that, she does it with a challenging heroine One of my absolute favourites because she s difficult, brilliant, aloof and prickly Bryony is a doctor, which in late Victorian Britain is no mean feat, especially as she s a lady and thus subverting a significant number of societal expectations A sudden dearth of affection at a young age because of the death of her beloved stepmother causes her to retreat inside herself, medicine becomes her absolute focusBut for Bryony it was too late By that time she d already turned resolutely inward Humans, herself included, held no interest for her except as living machines, mind bogglingly intricate, beautiful systems that somehow housed individuals not quite worthy of the miracle of their physical bodies In due time, she left home without a backward glance, studied with the single minded focus of those who cared for little else, and practiced with a cool, impersonal dedication And forgot that she d once wanted pageantry, companionship, and love30% Then she meets our hero, Leo I say meets , they re acquaintances of some duration, but Bryony has never really seen him before And suddenly, she has cause to want somethingthan her impersonal career.That s because, on the face of it, Leo is perfection itself Handsome, a brilliant mathematician, he wrote a play as a joke and it was a runaway success, he isuniversally admired1% Ordinarily, I would roll my eyes at such perfection, but, in reality, Leo isn t perfect because he fails Bryony He fails to appreciate the cause of her coldness, both in respect of the innate coldness of her character which came about because of the death of her stepmother and in respect of her attitude during their marriage, which is caused by his cheating Perhaps his struggle in expressing himself and properly appreciating and exploring Bryony s flaws arises from the fact that he s been in love with her since he was a small boy,Just that I have loved you, even when I was nothing and no one to you, when you didn t know my name and barely knew my face45% They fit, Leo and Bryony, but it takes them the length of this remarkable book to see it They love one another, that s apparent, and declared relatively early at about the 50% mark But the fact that their love is worth fighting for, takes them some time to appreciate In fact, they have to do some actual fighting to get there.This is a foreign set romance until the last 20% or so when we return to London and Cambridge More than that, it s a road trip romance Bryony has run away from her marriage or,precisely, the annulment of her marriage and is in deepest India Leo turns up out of the blue because she is needed back in England And so begins a trip that takes them across hundreds of miles through stretches of a country completely unknown to me as a reader Thomas makes this setting come to life I was there, alongside our H h in the difficult conditions and the heat The descriptions are succinct and beautiful and, I assume, fairly accurate I ve never been to this part of the worldBirds sang in rhododendron bushes that would have been wild with flamingo pink blooms in spring Water wheels creaked productively Kalasha women in their elaborate shell headdresses and deep piled bead necklaces prepared dinner around fire pits on the verandas of their tiny houses Whilst this journey is undertaken Bryony and Leo are forced into close quarters They travel together Eat together Drink together They play chess There s no society to distract them, no one else to chat to it s an intense examination of them as a pairing She nurses him through a bout of malaria One sees the continuing affection between them even when they re being awful to one anotherCasually, he picked up her hat and turned it in his roughened hand The knuckles of his other hand grazed across the brim She swallowed The gesture was intensely intimate, almost as if he were touching her hair Her skin He set the hat down, went to his horse and came back with another hat I took the liberty of buying you this You can get sunburned easily in the lower altitudes if you are not careful His presumption galled her He d known precisely how he d bend her to his will, long before he ever set foot in Rumbar Valley.She returned the hat to him I cannot accept articles of clothing from a gentleman It was a convenient excuse He was not related to her or married to her And therefore had no business buying things for her.He glanced down at the rejected hat That rule, if I m not mistaken does not apply to a gentleman who has fucked you At the last two words he lifted his eyelashes Such a current of heat jolted through her that she was unable to slap him as he richly deserved You, sir, are no gentleman, she said And no, thank you I will not wear that hideous thing He looked at her a minute, his gray eyes the color of morning mist and she could not tell whether his expression was disgust or amusement, or something too dark and raw for easy labelling8%Dinner was a mulligatawny soup, chicken cutlet and curried lamb over rice Bryony ate with her eyes on her food, cutting a trench around herself with her demeanour But he did not take the hint9%Are you suffering from a suppressed appetite I would have thought that to be a natural result of seeing you, he said, in perfectly polite viciousness14%He felt as if he were up in a dusty, cobwebbed attic, opening creaky, ancient trunks, only to find inside perfectly bright, undiminished jewels Did they tell you about anything else from those days She was hungry for it Her tone reminded him of the way he used to ask obliquely about her And Callista s sister, is she still cutting people open28% And amidst being thrown together, they fall back into a fraught, problematicon the problems later sexual relationship which also serves to illuminate their difficult pastAll of a sudden her tongue was in his mouth He reacted with equal abruptness In the space of a heartbeat he had her under him She tasted sweet, so sweet, pure and delicious And her body how he coveted her, an unholy lust, like burning in hell She trembled, his little piece of heaven So cold, so distant, beloved and despised He would worship her if she but let him But she would never let him, would she She would always remain out of reach, on her icy perch, indifferent to the struggles of mere mortals such as he She set her hands on his shoulders He expected her to push him away, but she didn t Instead, she rubbed her palm across his cheek And he was lost He shoved her shirts aside, free himself from his trousers and sank into her with one push22%Bryony, on the sex described above that she d let him and that she d derived such a fierce, if incomplete pleasure from that brief intense joining And that she wantedAll this remarkable writing serves to draw the reader into them as a couple It generates a genuine mystery, a burning curiosity about what happened during their marriage In short snippets and longer vignettes Thomas peels away the shrouds from their background She does it in a non linear structure, which works marvels you read about their last interaction before their separation during the opening pages and Leo s acceptance of Bryony s proposal before you read about their first kiss and what a first kiss it is You see how wonderful they are in the beginning and how it all goes terribly wrong The whole awful picture is finally revealed Two people who are meant to be and somehow, in that innately human, fallible way, manage to royally mess everything up He cheats, and she finds out, and they don t talk Bryony goes cold, and Leo wonders why and it all festers She s cold in bed and he feels as though he s forcing her So he comes to her room at night and makes love to her in her sleep and proves that they are sexually compatible, but she eventually denies him that connection too, barring her door, as well as her heart.I want to pause here, somewhat artificially, to discuss the sex in this novel Because that concept the sleep sex I ve just described, is very controversial I ll call a spade a spade, because I consider myself competent to do so, given what I do for a living this is rape in 2017, in any event Between a man and a wife in 1897, it wouldn t have been rape You cannot have sex with someone when they are sleeping, because no consent has been established Do not do this Teach your sons and your daughters not to do this Thomas describes that Bryony s practice suffers as a result of these nightly visits and that she asks Leo to stop and he does not The behavior only stops when she locks her door.I have thought long and hard about this and the impact it should have on my view and rating of this novel I ll start by saying I find these scenes to be very well written Thomas can write sex, and these scenes are some of the hottest in the book It s made clear that Bryony has orgasms These scenes are not about Leo mindlessly exercising his legal rights His desperation to forge a connection with his new wife, his confusion at her behavior are all made clear to the reader that these are the desperate measures of a desperate man is clear That s one of the benefits of being the reader as opposed to being the prosecutor you get to know the people involved in the act, you know their motivations, their thoughts, their feelings The sex scene quoted above, is also pretty close to rape a less clear cut case, I think Leo describes his inability to have Bryony, that she s remote and isolated, and then, based on a mere brush on the cheek, penetrates her But the reader gets to know Bryony s reaction too She enjoys it, she wantsof it And a few nights later she goes into Leo s tent and has sex with him in his sleep too These are flawed characters, muddling their way through a relationship which they assumed would be easy because they loved one another and isn t In that context the sleep sex is not a point of controversy for me nor is the other sex, which skirts, or roundly ignores the concept of consent The relationship between these two people is challenging and complicated and so is their sex life Leo has hope until the very end that he might be able to rescue their relationship He pulls out all the stops and at the very same moment Bryony asks for the annulment It s an absolute wreck And, you re left wondering how, on earth, they re ever going to patch it up even though this is romance, and you know they willExcept she d never forgiven anyone in her entire life Her heart was made of glass It could break, but it could not expand40%For the thousandth time he wished he d just met her That they were but two strangers traveling together, that such lovely, filthy thoughts did not break him in two, but were only a pleasant pastime as he slowly fell under the spell of her aloof beauty and her hidden intensity But no, they d met long ago, in the furthest reaches of his childhood Their chances had come and gone All they had ahead of them were a tedious road and a final good bye43% The amount of emotional intensity Thomas packs into this novel is an absolute marvel Her talent for concise but detailed and expressive prose is second to none Leo and Bryony s journey takes them into the middle of an uprising And they find themselves plunged into the fighting Leo shooting at rebels from the British fort and Bryony in the surgery treating the wounded It s a genuinely perilous situation and Thomas manages to convey those fears This is not some mustachioed, villainous villain, skulking in the shadows with a Cunning Plan and 15% of the book left to execute it This is late 19th century India and the locals are pissed If the fort falls, and it probably will they both die And so, finally, in slow increments and with some great sex and actual talking to one another and beautiful language and realisations, they get it togetherTears stung the back of her eyes She rose to her tiptoes and kissed him on his chin Just come back62%He instinctively turned away from the images his mind generated But fragments cut through Her upturned hand on the ground Her cheek, pale as marble Her shirt, caked in blood He could not breathe For the first time he understood what it meant not just to lose her, but to lose her And he was not strong enough for it63%What stupid children they had been, to cause each other such pain and then to hold on to their wounds so fiercely69%Sometimes limbs must be rebroken to set properly her heart too needed to shatter anew before it could truly heal 86% Cheesy as this sounds, this novel does that to you it shatters your heart and then pieces it back together, bit by agonizing bit Thomas breaks you down and builds you up, and you are changed It s a wonderful romance It expects a lot from the reader, but it gives a lot back too and I wholeheartedly recommend it My original review, for those who are interested I love Sherry Thomas I recognise that some of her books are better than others but in the world of historical romance there aren t many authors writing better stuff Not Quite A husband is probably my favourite I adore Bryony and Leo and the effect they have on one another The chemistry is hot and the sex is hotter It gets a bad rep because of the sleep sex stuff and one of the earliest sex scenes in which consent has a limited no role My feminist brain battles with those issues, but I ve decided Not To Care I still love it Most of the book sees Bryony and Leo travelling through India and it s extraordinarily well written You can feel the heat, the dust, the danger all of it It s very, very, very good I have re read it and I don t do much re reading Warning Spoilers ahead I recently re read Not Quite a Husband, and it occurred to me again, what an utterly brilliant writer Sherry Thomas is, and how much I miss her historicals.Ms Thomas knows how to push boundaries, and push them hard Not only does she create questionable characters, she also uses tropes only few authors have the guts to pursue that fall under the unwritten laws of no no of the romance genre Further, her clear and very unsentimental prose leaves me squirming, as if she Warning Spoilers ahead I recently re read Not Quite a Husband, and it occurred to me again, what an utterly brilliant writer Sherry Thomas is, and how much I miss her historicals.Ms Thomas knows how to push boundaries, and push them hard Not only does she create questionable characters, she also uses tropes only few authors have the guts to pursue that fall under the unwritten laws of no no of the romance genre Further, her clear and very unsentimental prose leaves me squirming, as if she knows where the pressure points are and forces me to look a little harder, a little closer and think again before I pass on judgment Her heroine, Byrony Asquith, is a character I thoroughly dislike, throughout the book It s her unforgiving and unyielding nature that is uncomfortable There s nothing sweet, sentimental or warm about her Not before she meets Leo, certainly not during her first marriage to Leo and not at the end either She is what she is, molded by her experiences, strengthened by her character And yet, when I take a step back, look at what she felt when she first met really met Leo, the hopes she s had and the crushing defeat she experiences thanks to Leo s incredibly hurtful behaviour, I can t help myself but believe that she has every right to be the way she is I don t think Byrony could have been portrayed any differently and I m grateful that Ms Thomas doesn t make it easy for the reader Ultimately and strangely Byrony is one of my all time favourite heroines, and I know if it weren t for the extreme situation she finds herself in with Leo in India, these two wouldn t find their way back together For a person like Byrony, only the most dire of circumstances will make her revisit the painful memories, look at Leo as he was and as he is now and take a leap of faith Incredibly well done, Ms Thomas As for Leo A lot of readers can t get over his betrayal, that he would cheat on Byrony a week before their wedding It is definitely the most painful part of the book when he explains what and why it happened, and I had to stop for a moment, unsure whether I wanted to continue with the book or not At the end of the day, I was in Romancelandia and I wanted to give into my escapist mood, so his explanation of cold feet didn t sit very well with me But I reread that part, and again, and again, and then I looked back at my 24 year old self, knowing that I had made some very questionable choices myself Very sneaky of the author to hold a mirror in front of my face asking Have you never made a mistake in your life And if you have, haven t you been simply weak and you know very well there is no other excuse Why don t you push me a little harder, Ms Thomas Leo s explanation is not an excuse He did what he did, and the bitter truth is not lost on him Ironic, that in what he d done out of fear that they might be unhappy together lay the cause of the greater part of their unhappiness Not Quite a Husband is full of these breathtakingly painful moments of clarity For a man like Leo, who has loved Byrony ever since he was a teenager, this moment is full of shame Powerfully put into words, I felt his shame No wonder, really Sherry Thomas prose makes me feel all the pain, hurt and towards the end, thankfully, hope.That s why I find Sherry Thomas to be such an outstanding author If all I ever wanted were perfect fairy tales, I d stick to the fluffy, funny romance novels But then, I d miss out on books like Not Quite a Husband.By the way, I m really looking forward to her new series Lady Sherlock Somebody s been watching the BBC series, I think What can I say I LOVE SHERRY THOMAS Okay, I love her work and because of that I love her She has the most beautiful prose I think I ve ever read She writes so evocatively, making you feel things and understand emotions so true and so pure I loved this book It was not only a HR, but featured an older woman younger man, which I normally don t enjoy that much but ST makes it worth reading It had two people so in love with each other but because they lacked communication, their marriage broke What can I say I LOVE SHERRY THOMAS Okay, I love her work and because of that I love her She has the most beautiful prose I think I ve ever read She writes so evocatively, making you feel things and understand emotions so true and so pure I loved this book It was not only a HR, but featured an older woman younger man, which I normally don t enjoy that much but ST makes it worth reading It had two people so in love with each other but because they lacked communication, their marriage broke down.I loved Leo Marsden, he made a stupid mistake before his wedding to Bryony She found out, unbeknownst to him and let it fester and grow a bitterness that took over her life Now, normally with what Leo did I wouldn t be so forgiving, but because I knew what he was doing, what he felt, what he ALWAYS felt, I didn t write him off completely He loved Bryony, always have and despite trying to be the man good enough for her he could never fight her cold demeanor So an annulment was inevitable, and requested by Bryony which crushed Leo 3 years later, Leo tracks down Bryony and relays some sad news But the love and passion from before rises again and Leo and Bryony soon realize nothing has changed about how they feel for each other, but they have to sift through the past and finally communicate to move forward There s a scene where Bryony tells Leo why she suddenly changed before they married Leo s reaction was so powerful not because of it s intensity but by how ST wrote it I felt his anguish and deep regret over doing something so stupid But Bryony was also at fault She shut down so completely and just ignored Leo instead of ducking it out So before they could move forward they had to face the ghosts of the past.I can t say how much I loved this, loved the emotion, the intensity, the beauty of it all It was touching, frustrating and perfect all at once Bryony grows so much and Leo finally captures the woman he d loved all along Goes to show that without proper communication things can go very, very wrong These two could have saved so much pain and hurt for themselves had they spoken to one another, but sometimes time gives us clarity and fate once again intervenes.The epilogue was exactly what I wanted for Leo and Bryony, they were truly perfect for each other, sigh.I can t recommend this author enough, she s brilliant and her prose is unparalleled Loved this, loved This 4.5 StarsAlso reviewed at Lady Jayne s Reading Den Sherry Thomas books have been highly recommended to me by my Goodreads friends newuser and Quinn Thank you both I decided to start withNot Quite Husbandbecause I saw that the We Love Lisa Kleypas Group had read it as a Group Read and also because I thought I d read the red covered one to pop my Sherry cherry LOL Plus, the cover is pretty sexy I wanted to say thank you to Beanbag for urging me to not get distracted from rea 4.5 StarsAlso reviewed at Lady Jayne s Reading Den Sherry Thomas books have been highly recommended to me by my Goodreads friends newuser and Quinn Thank you both I decided to start withNot Quite Husbandbecause I saw that the We Love Lisa Kleypas Group had read it as a Group Read and also because I thought I d read the red covered one to pop my Sherry cherry LOL Plus, the cover is pretty sexy I wanted to say thank you to Beanbag for urging me to not get distracted from reading this by Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward, which was calling to me like a siren s song I m so happy I stuck to my path and kept reading this, as I became hooked Not Quite A Husband is a second chance romance It begins in 1897 in the Rumbur Valley, North West Frontier of British India, and today is part of Pakistan Quentin Leonados Marsden Leo is a brilliant man at age 24 he had numerous papers read at the London Mathematical Society, a play read at St James theatre, and a Greenland expedition under his belt Bryony Asquith is also brilliant a gentleman s daughter who pursued a career at a time when it was frowned upon, and a career in the medical field, to boot Leo and Bryony s marriage failed about 3 and a half years before, after only a few months Leo has been dispatched to fetch Bryony home to England by her sister Callista because their father is ill I was actually fascinated to find out WHY their marriage had failed WHAT had happened to them Ms Thomas unveils this slowly through weaving flashbacks, revealing their past, and then moving the reader forward in their present relationship, teasing with bits and pieces of the puzzle, as they journey through the breathtaking setting of British India I love this setting, as I did in Meredith Duran s, The Duke of Shadows, and appreciated getting to experience different areas in British India in Not Quite A Husband.As the layers of the characters of Leo and Bryony were revealed, my perceptions of them changed, and as I gained insights into their story , my heart began to truly ache for them However, one really needs to push through the first few chapters, as it is difficult to read due to the angst between the two, and initial perceptions of the characters are not flattering This is a dark and complex romance.As I learnedandabout Leo and the depth of his love for Bryony, he stoleandof my heart, and I truly fell in love with Leo He was not flowery with words, but his actions from the past when they knew each other as children, and after their marriage was annulled, spoke volumes And yet he hadn t truly known her before they married or even during their marriage And neither did Bryony truly know Leo.I found it quite difficult to relate to Bryony, at the start of this story, because she seemed to be such a cold and closed off character When I came to see that she was actually a woman who felt so forcefully that she could shatter, and had to build a fortress of walls around her heart to protect her, I wanted to hug her.I heard this song today and the lyrics made me think of Bryony, and her relationship with Leo Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North So you thought you had to keep this upAll the work that you doSo we think that you re goodAnd you can t believe it s not enoughAll the walls you built upAre just glass on the outsideSo let em fall downThere s freedom waiting in the soundWhen you let your walls fall to the groundWe re here nowThis is where the healing begins, ohThis is where the healing startsWhen you come to where you re broken withinThe light meets the darkThe light meets the darkAfraid to let your secrets outEverything that you hideCan come crashing through the door nowBut too scared to face all your fearSo you hide but you findThat the shame won t disappearSo let it fall downThere s freedom waiting in the soundWhen you let your walls fall to the groundWe re here nowWe re here now, ohThis is where the healing begins, ohThis is where the healing startsWhen you come to where you re broken withinThe light meets the darkThe light meets the darkhttp www.youtube.com watch v SpjUIqSometimes limbs must be rebroken to set properly her heart too needed to shatter anew before it could truly healBryonyI loved going on this journey with Leo and Bryony from strangers who had married quickly and whose marriage had failed before it even began, to two wiser people who came to truly TRUST each other and be OPEN and HONEST to each other, and not just love each other One issue I did have with the book was the waxing lyrical language that Bryony used to describe Leo in the flashbacks, which seemed incongruent to her character and had me rolling my eyes , for exampleThen he did smile, one of his dazzling smiles that restored sight to the blind and instilled music in the deaf a smile beatific enough to bring about peace on EarthIt was like she saw him as some sort of God Then I realised that she had, and when he fell in her eyes, he had a long way to go How beautiful it was, though, when they found their way to a TRUE marriage and the last paragraph in the Epilogue had me all misty eyed I look forward to readingbooks by Sherry Thomas, and let me say, how impressed I am with her writing, especially considering that English was not her first language Also, I had not realised that Delicious is connected to this and occurs earlier in time, and involves Leo s brothers, Will and Matthew Marsden Some of my favourite quotesShe was both surprised and not surprised to feel tears roll down her face He kissed her tears It doesn t matter where I am I m yours And that you will remember me not as a failed husband, but one who was still trying, til the very endNot Quite A Husband Book Trailer It is cute, if a bit kitsch, but it has some great images of the places Leo and Bryony travelled Thomas has a map of trail that Leo and Bryony took in India which I would have liked included in the book , as well as some amazing photos of the locations, and shares her inspiration for the story on her website Valley, Pakistan Swat Valley, The Switzerland of Pakistan My Leo Martin Henderson and My Bryony Rachel Weisz COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER I do not hold the copyright to any of the images used in this review They are posted to add visuals to the review and for fun If any of these images are yours and you would like me to remove them, please let me know, and I will do so as soon as possible If I can identify the copyright, I will do so. This was a Buddy Read Square of different Sherry Thomas books with 3 other hapless victims Warning GIFs GIFs GIFs PLOTLESS PICTURES PRESENTS An R U F ing Kidding Me ProductionTHE SMASH HIT OF THE CENTURY Critics Say I laughed I cried I wanted to kill myself No, seriouslywhere s the cyanideNot Quite Much of Anything A HusbandFEEL your mind expand with hot atlas action It was 370 miles from Gilgit, where he d been peacefully minding his own business, to Leh, that much again ba This was a Buddy Read Square of different Sherry Thomas books with 3 other hapless victims Warning GIFs GIFs GIFs PLOTLESS PICTURES PRESENTS An R U F ing Kidding Me ProductionTHE SMASH HIT OF THE CENTURY Critics Say I laughed I cried I wanted to kill myself No, seriouslywhere s the cyanideNot Quite Much of Anything A HusbandFEEL your mind expand with hot atlas action It was 370 miles from Gilgit, where he d been peacefully minding his own business, to Leh, that much again back to Gilgit, then 220 miles from Gilgit to Chitral QUAKE with excitement as the hero and heroine play chess Her king knight leaped over the four pawns that had neatly lined up in e4, f4, g4, and h4 His king knight joined the battle Her king knight dashed back and took out his king knight pawn He removed her king pawn.She picked up her king rook, set it down, picked up a pawn, set it down, picked up her queen, and set it down SCREAM with the triumph of the feminist spirit as a wife goes frigid because repeated sleep rape makes her horny and unable to concentrate on her day job as a successful female surgeon TREMBLE to the heated desire of oral sex and handjobs in a world gone mad THRILL to the sighting of flares as hordes of the rebellious colonized swarm outside the fortress The hospital assistant came back a minute later The flare has been lit What flare Leo and Bryony asked in unison The Khan of Dir s men promised to light a flare from their position in the hills to warn us of an attack And now the flare had been lit Here s your flair flareWEEP with sorrow as letters are written and read SIGH with relief as you get that high school anatomy lesson at long last I know a great deal about the penis, she said I can name its every last component, from the fundiform ligament that anchors it to the pubic bone, to the fascia that covers and binds the entire structure She laughed Now, the column of the penis is composed of three cylinders a pair of corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum, which is this ridge along the length of the penis She rubbed her finger along that ridge His poor captive member jerked with the stimulation Blood comes down the aorta, flows into the internal iliac artery, passes under the pelvic bone via the pudendal artery, and finally enters the common penile artery for engorgement Then, through the corporoveno occlusive mechanism, the veins are blocked and the influx of blood kept in the penis, thereby maintaining the firmness needed for penetration EMERGE from this epic story with a smile on your lips and a song in your heart Bless my little heart, I am a changed woman after reading this And my guts were rent asunder So here s what I know do not listen to these books on audio One must read Sherry Thomas to really go where she wants you to go And this journey, my friends, is painfully amazing Setting Time Genre 1890 somethings, India and some in England Trust me, the India travels are amazeballs.Length 354 pages of some of the most beautiful writing I have come across in a romance novel This woman, she kn Bless my little heart, I am a changed woman after reading this And my guts were rent asunder So here s what I know do not listen to these books on audio One must read Sherry Thomas to really go where she wants you to go And this journey, my friends, is painfully amazing Setting Time Genre 1890 somethings, India and some in England Trust me, the India travels are amazeballs.Length 354 pages of some of the most beautiful writing I have come across in a romance novel This woman, she knows her way around a simile or seven Even a few metaphors Series One before this book and it s now on my wish list Sexy times Lordy, lord, she a scorcher And she s awkward and she s hot she being the book and she s poetic and she s beautiful Plan on readingby the author I have already answered that question Synopsis My god Where to begin Byrony, the brittle, and Leo, the something Apparently, these two have grown up near each other and from a young age, Leo has worshipped been in love with everything that is our dearest, mentally broken Byrony In Leo, B thinks she has found her light, someone who brings her back to life, for she is brittle, protected, harsh, andOf course, asking someone to be that thing that brings light into one s life, is asking them to fail, which Leo does After the failing, Leo is sent to bring B back to England to attend upon her father We journey with them and watch them fold together the fabric of some type of a relationship We watch them endanger their lives I am looking at you Ms B what the hell and we re part of a siege And we watch them both knit themselves back together Heroine Byrony At the start of this book I sincerely disliked B There was not a single redeeming quality to be had She was so damned angry and bitter Have I mentioned bitter Byrony is the one who pushes Leo away She never gave herself the chance to live in the light, as it were But as the book goes on, we learn that her upbringing caused her emotional growth to be stunted There simple was not enough love to around And B, she had to protect herself Hero Leo Crimeny Leo breaks my hearts as much as B does He, too, has put her on a pedestal albeit an entirely different pedestal I cannot even begin to explain how much I adore this terrible, broken character F k I got no words for you here Why it did or didn t work for me Blew my a away There That s what worked To watch these two people who destroyed each other and themselves in the process, fumble their way back to each other, was gut wrenching and beautiful That the h h had to work so hard made the payoff of a happy ending mean so muchto me I loved every damned thing about this book And I bow down to Ms Thomas It s time for me to go back and re read The Luckiest Lady in London now that I have grown up a littleSherry Thomas convert, see me