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HaBO: From an Excerpt in a Magazine

Ann is looking for a book she read long ago that was from an excerpt in a magazine. She's been searching for it for awhile, and is hoping one of you might recognize the description. 

I have been trying to find this romance novel where a woman is given
permission by her husband to cheat, after she finds out he has cheated on
her. He wants her to see it's just physical. So she goes to this skanky
sounding resort. She almost hooks up with this random guy but then she
realizes random guy is married. Then this older but still handsome type,
either the bartender or the owner of a bar, is obviously into her, though
she remains oblivious. A excerpt of it was published in some women's
magazine my friend randomly had. I tried to search for it via google but all
I got was lots of hits for christian marriage advice sites, take from that
what you will.

Now, my first thought was that it might not be a romance novel, or that perhaps it was an erotic short story, but Ann says it was likely a romance, though not likely erotica given the magazine she thinks it may have been in:

The part that was excerpted in the woman's magazine (Redbook or Woman's Day -kind of magazine) was sex-free so I don't really know if it was erotica. I just thought it was more likely to be romance since I didn't think erotica was excerpted in those magazines. It starts off with the woman going to the resort. Her husband's cheated on her and he wants her to go find some stranger to even the score, I guess. She meets this bar-owner guy at the resort who she finds very attractive but thinks he's too good-looking/too much of a player to be interested. She flirts with this other less attractive guy and eventually goes back to his room. Somehow while in his room (I think it was something about his computer or phone), she figures out he's married before they have sex. She confronts him and leaves.

She ends up back at the bar where the bar-owner is cleaning up and just starts joining him with wiping down the bar. I remember specifically she says that since she's a mom she's used to cleaning up automatically. She tells the bar-owner about her husband cheating on her and how it was his idea for her to have sex with someone else so she could see that it was just “physicial.” The bar-owner tells her that he knew that the less-attractive guy was married but thought she would be ok wth it. It is also strongly implied the bar-owner's annoyed at her for not seeing how attracted he is to her.

So that's the story. Thanks for your help – it's been driving me crazy! 

I'm not entirely sure this is a romance, but perhaps it was. Anyone recognize this story?


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  1. 1
    Guestygu34est says:


  2. 2

    I think this must be Susan Kay Law’s Just Sex. It was featured as a “Red Hot Summer Read” in Red Book magazine in 2007 and having had a look at the Amazon look inside feature, I’m fairly sure the main character goes to a beach resort.

  3. 3
    Emily A. says:

    I think I read the excert. Good Luck!

  4. 4
    Nicky C says:

    Not the answer to this HaBo, but The Seven-Year Itch by Ruth Jean Dale has a related plotline:
    “When Ivy finds her husband, Jack, obviously scratching his seven-year itch, she refuses to listen to any lame excuses. Instead, she decides to even the score by taking their anniversary cruise alone. But Jack wasn’t about to be left behind, and soon finds himself a stowaway watching his wife make him crazy.”

  5. 5
    Ann. K. says:

    Hey This is Ann and thanks so much for helping me out! It was Just Sex by Susan Kay Law. Just ordered a used copy on Amazon. Thanks again!

  6. 6
    azteclady1 says:

    Please tell us what you think, I’m not sure I trust any of the reviews at amazon these days.

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