I admit I took a peek at the title page to confirm my suspicions that this was a re-release. First published in 1991, The Ideal Wife has only gotten a facelift.
And unfortunately, it was pretty apparent that it was one of Balogh’s early books (or fortunate for her that her writing has grown up since the early nineties!).
As always, I love her detailed and less than perfect characters. But where The Ideal Wife fell apart for me was that it was…well, boring. The hero fell in love too soon, the wife just made a few uh-oh bonehead mistakes that he forgave quickly, and there was a lot of unsatisfying (for her) sex.
Recipe for disaster that ends up…well fine. Kind of like an after-school special, in a naseautingly neatly packaged way.
The threads were all there for a classic, but not pulled taut enough to quite eek out the masterpiece Balogh usually produces.
I did manage to read the whole thing, but quickly passed it on to my mother not in the least regretting a missed chance to read it again.