When Kim H., a happily married, 47 yr old mother from Louisville, Ky told me that she was interested in a dialogue about Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas for my blog, I jumped at the chance. I had met Kim (a non-blogger) on a forum and I have always found her to have thoughtful things to say about what she is reading. Kim and I had both read Sherry Thomas’s previous two novels (Private Arrangements and Delicious) and greatly anticipated the arrival of NQAH. We both read it on Release Day and each posted separate reviews on Goodreads but we have even more to say about it!
Like myself, Kim is primarily a historical reader and her favorite authors include Marsha Canham, Laura Kinsale, Judith Ivory, Loretta Chase, Candice Proctor, and Connie Brockway. The following is our conversation. Please note that we will be discussing the book in depth and full spoilers will be disclosed, so read forth at your own discretion.
Kim: Yes, I can still stand behind an A- review, because the things that graded it that high for me haven’t, in retrospect, changed. I missed the secondary romance, but I was also glad for the opportunity to read a Sherry Thomas work without one. It’s an interesting contrast, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see it.
Seton: I was sort of surprised that I did notice the lack of a secondary romance this time. I say “notice” and not “miss” because I usually hate secondary romances with the passion of a thousand nuns. In fact, I stopped reading Anne Gracie (a very good writer) cold turkey just because she assured me that she will always do secondary romances in the future. However, ST has a really delicate touch with her secondary romances and I found it really quite charming in Private Arrangements. Like you, I appreciated the opportunity of reading a ST book without one though.
Kim: I also didn’t have any problems with understanding and warming to Bryony as a heroine. It probably sounds odd, but I had complete trust in Thomas from the outset, and I knew that she’d develop this character fully enough for me to sympathize with her. The revelations about Bryony’s feelings for Leo, and what had caused her to withdraw from him and wall her emotions in, didn’t come too late in the story to rescue her as a heroine for me. I had faith that they were coming, and just knew I was going to get choked up when they did. I think this is ultimately why this book worked for me. I very much experienced it on the level of putting myself in the author’s hands and trusting her to show me a good time. I didn’t need Leo to carry the romance for me. I always felt that Bryony loved him just as much as he loved her. Certainly she was terrified of it; most definitely of allowing it show, but I never doubted the depth of her feelings for him.