How To Keep A Husband For 10 Days | By Jessica Hatch
NetGalley E-ARC | Contemporary Romance | Book Review
Pretending to be married to the man you were married to… How hard can it be?!
When Lina’s oldest friends unexpectedly announce they’re coming to stay, she has to think fast. No one knows she and her husband Brown are breaking up, and so she persuades him to act as if they aren’t… After all, how hard can it be to pretend to be married for ten days?
Turns out, a lot harder than she thought. On day one, she strikes so many couple poses that she throws her back out. On day two, she gets muscle spasms from smiling too hard at her husband’s jokes. On day three, she almost has a heart attack when she puts her hand far too high up his thigh at the dinner table. And on day four, when she accidentally grazes Brown’s lips when aiming for his cheek, she almost passes out in the middle of the restaurant.
By day five, Lina is starting to realise there’s a thin line between love and hate. And while she can try to fool her friends, she can’t fool her heart. Was she too hasty calling time on her marriage? Is this more than make believe? And does she even have enough time to find out if Brown feels the same?
Narrative and Plot
How To Keep Your Husband For Ten Days was a fun romantic comedy that dwells deep into the nitty gritty of a second-chance romance. It wasn’t exactly a “laugh out loud ” comedy as advertised. You expect some kind of situational comedy when there is a husband and wife fake dating in front of their friends.
While the plot was along those lines, it did not focus on the comedy but the romance. The narrative is a little bit non-linear about how Brown and Leena’s story blossomed before and during the pandemic and how it all went downhill from there.
Characters and Conflicts
Let’s begin with Brown because he is an adorable main character. He isn’t the perfect fictional husband. He is just as flawed as any clueless husband who doesn’t have a clue about what is being communicated. Beyond that, however, he is charming and loyal and the kind of hero you root for in this kind of story. You would root for the relationship immediately.
Leena is a bit wound up with herself and is equally bad at communicating things. Thankfully, the story takes its time and acknowledges this fatal flaw. It explores how this couple faces their relationship once their honeymoon period is over and they actually need to work on their relationship. Whether they stand the test of time or run away at the sign of conflict forms the story. This strong conflict contributes to a strong character arc, especially when supported by a vivacious ensemble cast.
Now that being said, the foundation of the whole fake relationship scenario was quite weak. Not that they didn’t have a valid reason. They need to fake-date to support a cause which only comes up after 40% of the book. It makes the majority of the first half of the story look like it was lagging and truly unnecessary. However, once it gets going, the story picks up the pace and gets your attention.
I enjoyed the book. It was fun and entertaining, and I finished it one sitting during a 7-hour train ride. I would say, don’t expect it to be a laugh-out-loud comedy, but if you like a second-chance contemporary romance that explores some aspects of it with a light tone, this is a quick, entertaining read.
I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.