In Couples Wanted, two pairs decide to swap partners for the evening. The sex is pretty good, but what isn’t is the nightmare that occurs afterward. The book offers readers a fun, juicy, surprising, and ultimately uplifting story.
Bridget and Roman Pierce are a happy, affluent couple who decide to indulge in a bit of partner-swapping. They place an ad, and the couple who answers, Corrine and Patrick, seem to be ideal. They don’t know that Corrine and Patrick’s marriage is floundering, that Patrick models some abusive behaviors, and that Corrine has been through a lot. The swap provides a night of fun for one and all, but neither couple expects what happens next.
One doesn’t expect a novel that starts with a hot partner swap to end with warmth and sisterhood, but Couples Wanted does take that surprising turn. You think you’re headed for an erotic romance, then that you’re watching a thriller unfold, then all of a sudden, you’re reading women’s fiction. These twists and turns are quite exciting, and are ably helped along by the book’s wonderful heroines.
Bridget seems to be the controlled one and Corrine the messy, needy one but by the end of the story both women defy character stereotypes.
I immediately bonded with Corrine – whom, as Bridget eventually and correctly states, had been dealt a bad hand by life and continues to be handed worse and worse cards by fate. My identification with her only grew stronger as the book progressed. Bridget was harder to access in her content perfection, but soon all of those layers of flawlessness melted away to reveal an all-too-human core.
I will say that the men in the book are rather underdeveloped – but in a novel like this they’re almost beside the point. This book is about how Corrine and Bridget encourage each other toward improvement and change, versus their relationships with these two men. In the end the girls triumph, and that’s all you really need in a story like this one.
The setting is well-detailed, the women’s jobs well-defined and written about. I liked Nikki, Bridget’s friend, whose relationship with Bridget becomes more and more strained the closer that Bridget gets to Corrine. The pacing and plotting overall are both wonderfully handled and carefully strung out to bring about maximum tension.
Couples Wanted definitely shouldn’t be judged by its blurb, and those looking for romance between the named hero and heroine will probably be a bit disappointed. But if you like a good mystery and a good story about women becoming friends in the most unexpected places, you’ll love this book in the end.