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~Inappropriate Men~

by Stacey Ballis

Heroine: Abundant


          What's crazier than a married woman having a little something on the side? When the little something is her father's business partner!


          Thirty three year old Sidney Stein is stuck in a marriage that has fizzled out, with no chance at having its former sizzle rekindled.  So sassy Sidney latches onto the nearest opportunity for spice in her life, an attentive older man from her father's firm.  At first she has no trouble with playing it cool in public, pulling the wool over her husband's eyes, and dodging Geoff's wife at social events.  But is sneaking her lover in and out of her house in the dead of night any life for a self-respecting modern gal?  When she breaks her own "how to have an affair" rule about not letting her heart get involved, Sidney becomes convinced that it is not.


         Making a clean break from her husband, Sid is nudged by her pal Parker into dating others, as he points out that it is only fair since her "bit on the side" is juggling two women of his own: her and wifey.  Yet despite posting a clever personal ad, Sid despairs of finding the man who could make dumping her secret lover seem worthwhile, or even a single guy who could qualify as "normal".  Instead, she seems to attract every misfit, jerk, and creep in the greater Chicago area.


        And when Prince Charming finally does appear on her doorstep, Sidney is completely unprepared for him.  What was Fate thinking?


What worked for me:


            I am not generally a fan of bed hopping or affair stories, I think because I am a wife and I take that sort of thing a bit personally.  However, I found that it worked in this novel because Sid is just so real.  We suffer right along with her when she realizes the mess she has gotten herself into.


            The book's format can be a bit dizzying until you get used to it: what's happening now, flashbacks, and asides all mingled with some fabulous poetry. But everything comes together to make for a really rich storytelling.


            The recipes included in this book look like they are out of this world.  If only I was a competent cook!  (And kudos to the author for mentioning Nigella when bringing up the culinary arts. Is there a lovelier chef to be found anywhere on TV?)


             I never knew that particular fact about pineapple juice, though I did hear the opposite about coffee. (And no, I won't explain this further, but I bet you will remember this note when you read about it in the book.)


            Size-wise Sid was short and fat--a very round and sexy size 24 and unapologetic about it.  She certainly had no trouble securing dates.


What didn't work for me:


             Oh, I admit it.  I am terrible about skimming forward in books to find out what happens, so I didn't take the time to savor much of the poetry.


             There is a nightmare of a sex scene in this book.  I mean, oh man am I glad I've got my guy good and trained!



             "Inappropriate Men" is wickedly funny, fresh, and real. 


Warning: there are some coarse words and sexual scenarios in this book.


If you liked "Inappropriate Men" you might also enjoy "Love at Large", "The Way It Is", "Having it and Eating It", "The Fat Friend", "The High Price of a Good Man", "Good in Bed", "Etta Mae's Little Theory", or the "Odelia Grey" series.

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