When Rachel invents the perfect husband, she thrills her friends with tales of his wonderful cooking, enthusiasm for housework and amazing sex! Until her invention takes on a life of its own and her fantasy husband appears on her sofa. Suddenly married to a man with only three things on his mind, she finds out why you should be careful what you wish for.
Elizabeth Kyne has created a brilliant romantic comedy in the tradition of Bridget Jones.
Rachel re-invents herself when she moves back to her home town of Aylesbury; with a new job, a new house and a new haircut. But people’s eyes glaze over when she tells them about her life as a forty-something singleton who works in accounts. So why not spice things up a bit? Why not tell her new hairdresser and her new friends about her fantastic husband? Everyone wants to hear about Darren, the man who cooks her amazing meals, cleans the house and takes her to bed for orgasmic sex three times a night! What a shame he doesn’t exist…
…Until she comes home one night and finds Darren sitting in her lounge. And everything she said becomes true: from his sensuous food to his skill in bed. So real, that she believes it.
Not as if living with a perfect is man is… well, perfect…
She can’t find anything because every time she puts something down, he tidies it away. Then there’s the shock of the credit card bill from buying all that gourmet food. Not to mention the sex! Three times a night is great at first, but sometimes all she wants at the end of the day is a sandwich and some sleep.
Then Rachel decides that Darren has to go – and that’s when her troubles really begin.
Elizabeth Kyne takes the absurdities of the modern woman’s quest for love and turns them into an enjoyable romp. She finds the comic in every day situations, from buying a dress to experimenting with hair dye at home. While, underneath, she comments on the pressure to find the perfect husband and how that quest is doomed for us all.
If Wishes Were Husbands was described to me as a ‘hilarious read’ and though I do like a good rom-com, be it film or book, I’m always a little wary of anything that is described to me as hilarious. Nonetheless, the description for Elizabeth Kyne’s tale seemed genuinely funny so I decided to check it out and I’m so glad I did.
While I’ve yet to read a fiction book that had me rolling in the aisles, this fun and funny read did have me laughing out loud. The concept of a woman somehow magicking up a husband from her imagination has an edge of Bewitched to it, but subsequently finding out that her perfect man is actually far from what she wants in reality? Well, that definitely adds a whole new comic element.
As well as a funny premise, Kyne offers something that many authors struggle to provide: a genuinely humorous voice. I doubt I will ever forget the scene that sees Rachel helping her mother test-drive bondage gear (don’t ask!) or berating her husband for his wayward willy! Elizabeth Kyne has a way with words and it’s certainly a very amusing one.
So, what didn’t I like? I would genuinely love to say ‘nothing’ but there were aspects that frustrated me slightly. I didn’t find Rachel a particularly likeable character at times, which I suspect is partly the point but she really annoyed me. Yes, she was planted in a mind-boggling situation and had her whole world turned upside down overnight and you have to give her allowances for that. However, even with allowances aplenty, she behaves appallingly for large chunks of the novel. Rachel also accepts her newly married status with a remarkable minimum of fuss, quickly quelling any doubts for the sake of having this new sex-bomb in her life. However, the doubts are quickly resurrected when she decides she’s not happy. Again, this doesn’t particular add to her likeability as a character. She’s a strong woman – independent and feisty – but her behaviour belies that and instead she ends up coming across as a stroppy cow. That’s a technical term, by the way.
That notwithstanding, I’m pretty impressed by how much I enjoyed this novel, considering I couldn’t bring myself to like the main character. Perhaps this was because Darren too frustrated me (but for completely different reasons – grow a backbone man!). I didn’t really enjoy some of Rachel’s dramatic actions (such as throwing his clothes out of the window) but only in the same way as it isn’t particularly pleasant to see someone step on a slug. Thankfully, as the novel progresses, both Darren and Rachel mature and become considerably more grounded and, thus, more likeable.
I won’t spoil it for you by revealing the outcome. Let’s just say that there’s a lot of laughter in this book and the odd tear or two as well. Dealing with Darren may not be the easiest way for Rachel to learn valuable life lessons but it’s certainly an effective one.
Kyne’s novel offers two very clear messages: 1) be careful what you wish for as you just might get it and 2) nothing worth having comes easy. She’s an excellent writer and capable of producing very realistic, well paced dialogue, alongside a fantastic storyline. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in picking another of her novels and am fully confident that there is more to be seen from this wonderfully witty storyteller.
Title: If Wishes Were Husbands
Author: Elizabeth Kyne
Source: I received a review copy in exchange for my fair and honest review