This book is set in Mallorca in an area where a middle-aged couple Greg and Jenn have been coming for years, before it was as well known as it is now. Deia, a village on the island off the southeast coast of Spain is where they have had many enjoyable holidays in the past and their haunts include a villa and several restaurants where they have taken Greg’s daughter at different stages of her growing up. Greg was widowed when he met Jenn and as their relationship developed they married but never had a child of their own. Jenn scrimps and saves from her wage to fund Emma’s private school education but this annual holiday is Jenn’s treat to herself. Emma, however, has fallen in love with Nathan and, feeling that she will lose him if he doesn’t come on holiday begs Jenn to let him come along to the villa this year as well.

Jenn acquiesces but this leads to misery for all concerned. Jenn’s suppressed desires are reawakened by the sight of a honed male physique and gradually his natural propensity to chase attractive females leads to Jenn feeling more and more desire to have sex with Nathan. 

Seldom have sex scenes been so uncomfortably repulsive for the reader. Desire for the forbidden seems sickening and completely alien to women the same age as the protagonist. The lines which have been crossed are variously explained by Emma’s truculence, lack of blood ties between Emma and Jenn and even the approaching storm but there is no doubt that Jenn needed a good shake and, if this were not fiction I suspect she would have given it to herself at an earlier stage.

The ending is strangely satisfying. 

Lemon Grove

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