The Replacement Wife - Rowena Wiseman

Luisa has met the love of her life ... now she just needs to figure out what to do with her husband.
Luisa has fallen madly in love with sculptor Jarvis, so she comes up with a plan to find a new wife for her husband Luke so she can exit stage left. She wants to screen potential stepmothers for her 8-year-old son Max and has strict criteria: the woman must be a single mother; have no more than two children; she can't be authoritarian; she must be creative, nurturing and not much prettier than Luisa.
After a few carefully orchestrated meetings with different women that fail to raise a spark, Luke finally connects with a potential replacement wife. However, Luisa isn't prepared for the fact that Luke's interest in the other woman makes him a better man and a more attractive husband. After suffering for years in a half-dead marriage, Luisa starts to remember what it was about Luke that she originally fell in love with. But is it too late?

 

Though the blurb of this book had me envisioning a cute romcom with some poignant moments, this book ended up making me feel very uncomfortable.

 

I don't know if a different person might have enjoyed this, but I'm a really big believer in communication in my relationships with everyone and in trust and honesty. Luisa was the complete opposite, scheming and manipulating to get what she wanted. She stooped so low as to make her son hang out with a kid he didn't like just so that the kid's mother could meet her husband.

 

I thought there might be some fun anecdotes on how to rejuvenate a tired relationship, but no. Luke grows a beard, and all of a sudden Luisa finds him attractive again.

 

Maybe I'd have a bit more empathy for her if Jarvis had seemed like a respectable character, but his character felt like a role that anyone could play, as long as they knew how to write soft porn that pleased Luisa and didn't mention thighs. She had moments when she realised how creepy his messages could seem, but then the next day she was once more infatuated with him.

 

Not even Luisa's friends should have stayed with her; the second her friend Hattie gave Luisa an honest opinion, Luisa got mad and left.

 

There was also a very insensitive reference to asexuality that I found made the characters look very uneducated. I personally thought that was demeaning.

 

Seeing their poor son, Max, getting caught up really just sickened me and I didn't find any of the amusement or fun that I was hoping for in this book. If I hadn't been received this book in exchange for an honest review, I doubt I would have gotten further than the first few chapters.

 

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.