A tale of multiple marriages that lacks strong characters.

A Search for Love

In this debut erotic novel, a radio and TV personality looks back on his seven-wife search for love and great sex.

Life is sweet for 28-year-old Matt Matthews; in 1980, he’s “the number one disc jockey in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,” and enjoys plenty of sex with beautiful women. It helps that he gets his dates drunk first, to lower their inhibitions. Plus, he avers, “It’s amazing what some women will believe” when you lie to them. Wife No. 1 is Debra, not only gorgeous, but “she might be an asset to my career. In addition, I’ll finally get between her legs,” he thinks. They have an “ethnic” wedding and honeymoon in the Poconos, beginning a tradition for Matt—he brings every new bride back to the same suite and bed. Why so many weddings? “I fall in love. I want to do the right thing,” says Matt, yet he also believes: “It’s only some words” and a “piece of paper.” In what also becomes a tradition, Matt and wife are soon divorced. Reasons over the course of many failed marriages include infidelity, disappointed expectations, and lies. Matt’s career grows; he hosts radio and TV talk shows in New York City, buys a West Side penthouse, and writes his autobiography. He marries wife No. 6, Dianne, so they can enjoy conjugal visits when she’s in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme, having first set aside an offshore account for them both. Dianne flees the country after her release. While Matt’s skills in bed seldom fail to supply multiple orgasms, the book’s many erotic scenes don’t have much sexual heat: “She was secreting and it was dripping down on my body…she moved [my penis] slowly into her oral cavity,” for example. The author seems to intend this as a comic novel of misadventure that leads to true love, but many readers will likely find it difficult to root for the shallow characters: does a married man concerned about doing the right thing get a vasectomy on the sly? And that offshore account signifies misfortune for those investors Dianne scammed. After a brief seventh marriage (to the mother of wife No. 5), Matt discovers one of his former spouses in Costa Rica. Will he finally find happiness? In the end, this obvious wish-fulfillment fantasy delivers little satisfaction. 

A tale of multiple marriages that lacks strong characters.

Pub Date: June 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-68146-144-1

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Start Romance

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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