Friday, August 9, 2019

Book Review: Fifty, Four Ways

By Sara Steven

What happens when four middle-aged baseball moms with kids on the same team begin reading the sex-fueled book Fifty Shades of Grey? As countrified Lynn would say, they get "hotter than a June bride" and are catapulted into unexpectedly assessing their sex lives, desires and satisfaction with their husbands.

Kelli feels neglected by a spouse who'd rather prep for doomsday than be intimate. Her best friend Mel struggles to find the courage to overcome her shyness and body issues in the bedroom and reach the promised land. Candy, already isolated with her trophy wife status, suspects her husband is having an affair. Lynn, whose candid confessions in the concession stand got the whole ball rolling, wants to take things to a kinkier level but will have to convince her man to go along for the ride. Inspired by true events and told from each woman's perspective, you'll experience their lives firsthand-including that delicious peek behind closed doors! (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Steamy in its own right, Fifty, Four Ways starts out with four women who bond over a shared interest in the Fifty Shades of Gray book series, yet their own personal stories come into play between the lines and scenarios that made Gray the sensual hit it is. As indicated within the synopsis, all four give us their own perspective, offering the reader a deeper and more honest take on what can happen when the edges of fantasy begin to blur within the realm of reality.

What often parallels the need to seek out alternatives in order to spice up their marriage, are the women’s own ideals and personal opinions on who they are, what makes a woman attractive. What will not only please their husbands, but bring self-fulfillment, too. I appreciated that each woman had her own insecurities and were not perfect characters, not even Candy, who has it all, given outer appearances. Everyone has baggage, and this was illuminated and only added to the realism presented for each married couple. It provided a chance to relate and identify with what they’re going through, digging into what most of us have felt about ourselves at one time or another.

Nothing said was veiled or shy. There are plenty of moments within Fifty, Four Ways that are steamy and hot and would easily push some outside of their comfort zones, which is what I appreciated most about the novel. While most of us are content to live within our own wild imaginations, we’re given a chance to live vicariously through Kelli, Mel, Candy, and Lynn. There are realistic reactions from their spouses, only adding to the depth of the story and the characters within it.

My only gripe would be Lynn’s verbiage. Given her background and, as the synopsis states, that she’s “countrified”, I understand the need to give her more of an accent, but it felt a little thick and heavy-handed in certain situations and scenarios. It distracted a bit from a few of the scenes. However, all of the primary characters are so well-rounded and well-written, it was easy to overlook that, and with good forward momentum, the story never lagged and kept me more than interested, particularly with Candy’s situation. It’s a strong, sexy, empowering story- one worth reading!

Thanks to Katherine Cobb for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Katherine Cobb:

No comments: