Review of Mrs. Middleton by Melissa Tereze
If you like age gaps, forbidden relationships, angst and sexy scenes, Mrs Middleton is worth checking out.
When they met at university, Emma Bradley and Lauren Middleton became best friends right from the start. Emma was twenty-one, Lauren was eighteen. Because her relationship with her own family can barely be called a relationship, Emma spent a lot more time at Lauren’s parents’ than with her own and has always been welcomed by the Middleton family. Everything would be perfect if Emma hadn’t been harboring feelings for Vanessa, Lauren’s mother, forever. After ten years of trying to keep her attraction under control, Emma drunkenly confessed her love on the eve of her departure to Ghana for two years. When Mrs Middleton begins, Emma is coming back from Ghana and staying with Lauren at her mother’s house. Then it’s Lauren’s turn to go abroad, joining her boyfriend in Australia for a few months, and Vanessa, now divorced, finds herself alone with Emma, and unwilling to resist their mutual attraction.
This book is full of flaws but I enjoyed it a lot despite them. Yes, some moments are so over the top they might be on another planet, and yet I couldn’t put the book down. Yes, Emma and Vanessa must be extremely flexible to be able to look in each other’s eyes when one is being fucked from behind by the other and it sometimes sounds like they have three hands each. And still these scenes are incredibly hot.
There was a lot of eye-rolling, I won’t deny it. Vanessa mystifies me. She’s dominant one minute, insecure the next. Like when she asks Emma, who just told her how much she loves her and has always loved her, if she’s only in for sex and a good time. Good grief, woman, are you even listening? Emma, on the other hand, grew up feeling unwanted and has been unable to shake the certainty of being unworthy of more than second place. She’s, therefore, always quick to put everyone’s wellbeing before her own, without questioning the reasons. Vanessa’s answer to Lauren’s reaction to finding out about the relationship between her mother and her best friend was bound to hurt Emma immensely.
There’s a lot of angst in this story. Most of it makes sense as the MCs deal with acting on feelings they have hidden for years while trying not to hurt the one other person who means the world to both of them. There’s also a fair amount of angst that feels a tad contrived, stemming from miscommunication – my least favourite issue in romance. A common misconception is that communicating means talking, opening up about one’s feelings – Emma and Vanessa are very good at that – but it’s only half of the work. Talking is pointless if the other party isn’t listening. Both Vanessa and Emma have a lot to learn on that front.
The one thing that works perfectly, however, is the chemistry between them, it’s huge and palpable in every breath.
The first sex scene is not exactly romantic, not those precious moments when the characters discover the other’s body and skin for the first time. On the contrary, it’s like something out of a fantasy and, even if it felt far-fetched, wow is it hot!
The quiet, tender flutters, the awe-inspiring touches, everything that makes the attraction grow and the tension thicken come after. And sex is far from being all there is between Vanessa and Emma though. There’s a scene I really liked where Vanessa tells Emma she wants them to get to know each other as lovers and girlfriends, not in the roles they’ve been in since they met, and it’s rather sweet.
A minor complaint: I don’t really care what pet names people use for their loved ones but I had a hard time with Vanessa calling Emma ”baby” and Emma calling Vanessa ”babe” (which she does very early on, when they’ve been together for about ten minutes), not only because of the age gap but because, whatever happens between them, Vanessa will always be Emma’s best friend’s mother, and that’s how she knew her first. And for some reason, it doesn’t sound classy enough for Vanessa.
I’ll end this review by mentioning the first thing one sees when looking at a book: the cover. I like this one a lot, it’s appropriate, eye-catching and just as sexy as the story.