SWING SET was not what I expected. It is a story of a woman who has hit a rough patch in her marriage where ennui has set in. In an effort to get back to the days of her honeymoon she searches for something that will bring a spark back into her marriage and sex life.
This is a literary novel. It is well written and well researched. It was not a bodice-ripping romance. It is a woman who searches for solutions and discovers so much that has been undercover. She learns that she is not this bland, boring woman who will settle for the status quo. She tries sex classes to learn techniques unknown to her. She agrees to check out swinging sites online to see if having multiple partners will bring back the halcyon days of her early marriage. She discovers her husband has his fantasies and is willing to fulfill them with or without her.
I felt Shelly's pain. She is hurting. Her husband, Steve, does not help with his non-communication and his put-downs and belittlements. He is happy to have the chance with other women but he does not care about her needs in or out of the bedroom. He is insensitive. I do not know why she stayed with him. At times I wondered if he was having affairs. Shelly had some opportunities to leave him but she stayed. No matter what she did, it was never enough. I had to wonder why she put up with Steve's behavior and why she had such a hard time telling him about his behavior. I also wondered why she was so insecure about herself. She was successful in her career. She had friends and was able to make new friends. I wish she would have walked out on Steve.
Joanna Kadish has created characters you love or hate. There is no bland characters here. I liked that as Shelley explored her sexuality that she took the time to learn what was right, that she did not play at it. When she considered BDSM, Shelley studied and learned what was involved. She did not go in blindly. Ms. Kadish did her research well and conveyed that knowledge through her story.
If you are looking for a light BDSM romance, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a well thought out read of a woman learning who she is and what she wants this is the read for you.