Slip of the Tongue went live last Thursday. A contemporary romance novel about forbidden love written by Jessica Hawkins. An illicit guilty pleasure, because I can say with certainty that this novel is an absolute delight. Go grab your own copy today (check the end of this article for the purchase links).
Slip of the Tongue by Jessica Hawkins
Published: February 25, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Forbidden
Other books from this author: The Cityscape series, Strictly Off Limits
Hosted by Gossip Girls PR
*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this doesn’t affect my opinion of this book and the words in this review. ***
Slip of the Tongue is one of those novels that grips you and doesn’t let go. Reading the blurb, I was immediately intrigued. Cheating is not something I’m okay with, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to read about it. I wanted to know what could drive someone to cross that definitive line. What thoughts that person would have and how it would make that person feel. So, that’s what I hoped to get in Slip of the Tongue and my wishes were granted. Slip of the Tongue was exactly what I wanted it to be and so much more. Have I already talked about that beautiful cover? That was the first thing that lured me in and I’m so glad it did.
It all starts with a woman who is feeling confused and completely alone in her once very happy marriage. Sadie Hunt. Over night her husband, Nathan, went from doing everything he could to make Sadie happy to not even touching her. Not talking to her. He practically gave her the cold shoulder. It also meant no intimate contact, at all. For the life of her, Sadie can’t figure out why. No matter how hard she tries to think about all that’s happened, she has absolutely no clue. And Nathan isn’t really forthcoming either. After giving him the space she thinks he needs, she decides to bluntly ask him about it. You would think that would give her some clarity. Except it doesn’t, because Nathan refuses to answer. His only response is that she needs to give him the space and time to figure things out and that he would come to her when things in his head were clear. Which confuses her even more, because what kind of answer is that? That’s when their new neighbor, Finn, comes in the picture. He offers Sadie something she doesn’t get at home anymore. He offers her warmth, understanding, attention and a shoulder to cry on.
From the first moment Sadie and Finn meet they have a certain comfortability with each other. An easy nature. There’s an instant connection, but luckily it’s not insta-love. They just click. Without even knowing each other’s names, they have two casual conversations. They even share a pleasant dinner. Even though Sadie thinks Finn is handsome, she doesn’t feel anything. Their contact increases because Nathan becomes colder to her every day. She just wants someone to be there for her. Someone who is willing to listen. Finn gradually grows into that someone. What I’m trying to say here is that I got where she was coming from. Ms. Hawkins’ writing afforded me to really understand Sadie’s line of thought and her motives. I, personally, would never cheat on my boyfriend or husband (when I find him), but I apprehended her struggling and path to Finn’s arms. Though, after reading the whole book, Nathan’s behavior made complete sense. While reading I kept thinking there is no excuse in the world for the things he does and the things he says. But it turned out that there was. It was something I didn’t see coming at all. I had a feeling it had to do with a certain part in their relationship. A crucial part that was also something Sadie had problems with. (A very sad part that made me cry, btw). In the end I was right, but not in the way I thought I was going to be.
I think one of the reasons why Sadie turned to Finn was because she thought she couldn’t talk to her friends about her marriage troubles. She was scared to let her friends see that there were cracks in her marriage. In the five years she was married to Nathan, even the whole seven years they’d been together, their friends perceived them as the perfect couple. Sadie let them, because she honestly believed her marriage was perfect. She put their marriage and both of them separately on pedestals. Finn was a stranger. He didn’t know Sadie and Nathan in the happy years. She could tell him without getting the feeling she was going to be judged. That brought them closer together. Finn had his own problems. He just decided to quit his job, move to a new city and pursue a whole other career. He was alone in the city and he found someone he could share it with. Sadie. Still, I think Finn should’ve known better. It’s not like I’m judging only the male part of the affair. But his situation was different and he actually pursued Sadie in the beginning, even though he knew she was married. Then there were also the lies, or you could say the things he conveniently omitted. The further the story progressed, the more naïve he became, or so it seemed. (“You have the body of an angel,” he continues. “Or a devil. I haven’t decided.” I shift my eyes from the painting to his profile. “Is that a compliment?” “No,” he says, looking back at me. “It’s trouble.”)
One thing I loved was the relationship between Sadie and her brother, Andrew. We didn’t get to see a lot of him, but we did get to know his heartbreaking story. He was so protective of Sadie. It was sweet. After everything they went through together as children, he had the urge to care for her. There is so much love between the two of them. He’s an amazing brother and father to Belle, his daughter. No matter what Sadie tells him, he tries to listen objectively. He doesn’t judge and he gives her the best advice ever. I really wished she would have come to him sooner. Maybe it would have solved a lot.
I just loved everything about Slip of the Tongue. There actually isn’t anything that irritated me. Ms. Hawkins’ writing is exceptional. Her ability to bring the characters to life and to make you feel like they are your best friends is pretty remarkable. The balance between the sex parts and the actual story is perfect. It’s all about the story and the sex is just complementing it. But sex is also playing an important role in both Sadie’s “relationships”. It shows how different approaches can mean something. How you can talk with being intimate without using words. And although the novel was a little bit lengthy, the length was dead on. No parts were dragging or too descriptive. Ms. Hawkins used exactly the right amount of words to tell this special story. She also gave the story a perfect ending. First I was rooting for both of the men, but that changes very soon and I’m very happy with the decision Sadie made.
Slip of the Tongue is a captivating, heart gripping and fascinating tale about feeling lonely, making mistakes, misunderstandings, and forgiveness within a marriage. Love, passion and warmth are the pillars of Sadie’s story. No one is perfect and you should never strive to be. Ms. Hawkins pleasantly surprised me and I will gladly read her other novels. Too bad Slip of the Tongue isn’t a series, because I would love to read about Andrew’s story. I also wouldn’t mind if Slip of the Tongue would be made into a movie. I am certain that this story Ms. Hawkins created would be a pleasure to see on the big screen. If you’re looking for a story that will show you that you’re allowed to make mistakes and when you’re not opposed to reading about infidelity, you should get your hands on Slip of the Tongue immediately, as this is a absolute must read!
5 SLIP OF THE TONGUE STARS (★★★★★)
In his dimly-lit kitchen, Finn lays a comforting hand on my shoulder. “I have to tell you something.”
My hairline prickles. I can sense whatever he says will be heavy, and I’m not sure I want to hear it. I force a crooked smile that probably looks as awkward as I feel. Since I just fed Ginger, I joke, “What? I smell like dog food?”
“I want to kiss you,” he says without missing a beat. “I won’t, but I just thought you should know.”
My stomach drops as if I’m in free fall. I bite my lip involuntarily, then release it, afraid it’ll look like an invitation. Can he really come out and say that? Without prompting, without wavering? You can want to kiss someone and not say it. Should I be angry he confessed that? I’m not. I’m curious. Stirred, even. And because we’re being honest, I ask what I want to ask. “Why?”
“Why do I want to kiss you? Or why did I tell you?”
My heart rate picks up. I lose my nerve. “The second one. That’s not the kind of thing you just come out and say to a stranger. A married stranger.”
“I like you.” He absentmindedly caresses the nape of my neck with his fingertip. “So I want to be honest.”
I put my hand over his wrist, and he stops. Now, and for the last hour, it’s as if we’re the only two people on the planet. The Bad Wife and the Stranger. If I let him kiss me, nobody would ever know. After all, Nathan might be kissing someone else too. Why else would he have lipstick on his tie? Finn doesn’t wear lipstick. Neither do I. It would be our secret.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” he asks.
Am I? I have to. I don’t trust myself to stay, and I don’t trust myself to speak, so I nod. I don’t have to pull his hand away. He takes it back willingly. And he walks me to his door.
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