Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 40167
date submitted 04.05.2009
date updated 20.12.2013
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Erotic...
classification: adult
incomplete

Diary of a Bad Housewife

elle

To save her marriage, pampered and spoilt Julia enters Hillis Academy, a marital correctional institute where clothing is a privilege earned and misbehavior brings punishment.

 

Throughout her life, Julia has been treated as a princess, spoiled by well-off, controlling parents. They granted her slightest wish, whether it was cars, clothing, or a catamaran on the Côte d’Azur. Now a suburban housewife with two children, a mortgage, and a hardworking husband, life isn’t going as planned.

Julia is still spoiled, still selfish, and still dreaming, but instead of a romantic life of leisure, she’s reduced to reading about knights errant, adventure, romance, and even sex, while ignoring her real-world problems: her marriage is adrift, her husband is alienated, her children squabble, and her parents demand she divorce. Julia wants escape.

Beset with dead-end decisions, Julia accepts an ultimatum from her husband: a three-week marriage retreat. She doesn’t realise their escape is to a remote castle in the British Isles, where sex education is by surrogate, discipline is paramount, and clothing is a privilege earned.

Julia finds herself cast in the adventure of her life, thrust into exploring the depths of her heart, the mysteries of sex, and ultimately an intrigue that threatens everything she holds dear.

73 000 words; cover: Philippa Rice

 
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tags

adult, bdsm, bondage, discipline, dominance, fantasy, love, marriage, oral sex, romance, sex, sexuality, spanking, submission

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553 comments

 

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CMTStibbe wrote 180 days ago

Authonomy doesn’t give a book anywhere near enough stars to exemplify good writing. And yes, this one’s darker than Alice’s mad Wonderland. The pitch tells us it is probably a little salacious which is why everyone gave it a try.

How many of us read steamy romance? Hands up now. Don’t be shy. I read more in my teens than I had dates. The books were so much fun. The dates sucked. The fantasy world offers glitz, glamour and you are the princess for as many pages as the rugged Heathcliffian hero has you hooked. Or in this case, is it Rasputin?

The question is: Can men be strong and dependable and girls, softer and more nurturing? The reader’s pulse goes up a notch here (around Chapter 26) and we have a taste of what’s to come. The sooner Julia gets with the program the sooner she can reap the benefits. So what is a spoilt princess supposed to do?

Diary of a Bad Housewife is a page-turner. That’s why it’s ranked at #7 and gaining rank. One reader pointed out its moral message and I agree. This is the driver. There’s a little voyeurism – only pointing this out to the unsuspecting and the steam gets thicker around Ch 28. So those of you starting the book around that point, shame on you!

Poor Julia is suffering from disillusionment. We want to kick her over the money and more so at her forgetfulness. Her mother’s entertaining advice only adds to the drama and her husband’s mercy is, well, remarkable. But something has to be done. Julia is staying at Dress-Up Manor, only she must learn to reinvent herself.

This book should have high stars for originality. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

Claire
The Snare of the Fowler.

Kate J Squires wrote 188 days ago

Hi elle,

This was such an unexpected read - and wonderfully so. Looking at your tags, I'm not sure what I was getting myself in for, but in many ways, this is a tale with morals and heart. I read everything you've posted in just a few hours and would still be reading if there was more. Julia is simultaneously despicable and sympathetic - there's threads of her personality that ring true for every woman on the planet. I'll admit it - more than once I've dived into a romance to escape my real life! The idea of the Hillis Academy is genius, and there are many deep themes running through the institute, like the reclaiming of feminine roles and the freedom which comes from submitting to the one you love. I was surprised by the sadness I felt for Julia and her hubby - the expectations before and after marriage, the poor communications, the arguments over money, it was beautifully portrayed. I actually found the sex took a backseat to the story, which was intriguing because I had literally judged your book by its cover, and thought it would be a big silly sex romp - and it's so much more than that. You've made me think and made my evening - thank you.

Kate J. Squires
Feather Light

Anthony Brady wrote 202 days ago

I admire your book. If I was a still practising relationships counsellor, I would offer it as required reading. It has a "not in your face" moral underpinning. Tony Brady. - SCENES FROM AN EXAMINED LIFE - Books 1,2 & 3.

Bren Verrill wrote 1805 days ago

I trawled through the comments on this and I wasn’t sure whether it was me or your many reviewers who have missed the point. Since I’m in a minority of one, I guess it may be me. Just about all your comments are of the “Wow, steamy!” variety, with a bit of additional information about the reviewer’s personal like/ dislike of erotica.

To me, however, this was first and foremost a very moral book: not in the old-fashioned sense of defending traditional values, obviously, but in the sense that the author has a very clear idea of right and wrong, and the reader gets a very clear idea that the author’s on the side of right.

Julia reminded me a little of Emma Bovary:

“She buried herself in the ‘Corbeille’, a woman’s paper, and the ‘Sylphe de Salons’. She devoured, without skipping a word, all the accounts of first nights, race meeting and fashionable ‘at homes’ … She gloated over the descriptions of furniture of furniture in the novels of Eugene Sue; she read Balzac and George Sand, seeking some imaginary balm for the longings of her heart. She would even bring her book with her to the table and go on turning the pages while Charles ate and talked”.

Diary of a Bad Housewife is moral in a modern sense, of course. Right in the first chapter, we’re introduced to all Julia’s shortcomings: she’s selfish, she’s living in a make-believe world, she couldn’t care less about her kids, and – crucially, because I think this is where her journey of self-discovery towards becoming a better person is going to happen – she’s selfish in bed. Her selfishness in bed seems to be a function of her selfishness more generally – or maybe it’s the other way round?

In chapter 2, we see a different side of her entirely, when she’s on the phone to her parents. This is quite psychologically astute, apart from anything else: most of us are one thing with one set of people, another with another. Julia’s no different. In front of her parents, she’s defends Colin, and it’s obvious she likes and loves him. Then her parents get off the phone and she’s back to hating him again.

And then there’s the enigmatic Aunt Sadie, about whom we don’t hear too much. But it’s obvious she’s a kind of conscience-in-waiting. I’m guessing she’s going to become more central as the novel progresses.

Anyway, I may be wrong about everything I’ve just said. But I don’t think so. Bookshelved.

CHarrington wrote 76 days ago

Oh dear...yes!

I am a fan of chic lit and romance, but this was my first indulgence in something more salacious. The LP is something we fellow housewives sympathize with...and the contents of the book are something we dream about.

There is moral message in the depths of the read that isn't preachy or meant to judge. It's refreshing and tantalizing.

~CHarrington 'Drinks at the Devil's Well'

ItzJannat wrote 98 days ago

Hi!
I have read the first three chapters. Julia is behaving like a child and a brat just like Colin said. I love the way you write. Your descriptions are very good. I like your writing style. The story is quite unique. Usually the lead female, is a shy or strong character but overall a god girl. But Julia is not our usual lead female. And I like that abut your story. That makes the story more unique and interesting.
I like it so far. So good luck.

secretbanker wrote 102 days ago

This is a fascinating book high on romp factor and extremely rollicking. The opening "plunges" you so to speak right into the action with open mouth and thumping heart but then immediately snaps you back to the real world of children and housewifery. It is like a Jackie Collins novel crossed with the very famous one that came out recently. whose name I dare not speak.
I hope that this will live up to expectations and will continue to read at my pleasure. My own book is erotic in milieu and it is hard to capture the essence of sexual writing without becoming mundane, cliched or jocular.
I am certain this book does none of these. Hurrah!
HD

Willow Fay wrote 114 days ago

Elle, I've finished reading all you've uploaded. You are an amazing write, and if HC don't publish this, they are idiots. Enough said :) .. I do wish you well with it. I have high hopes that, even if not by HC, this book will be snapped up, no doubt. I' wont bother giving a really long review, i suppose its not needed at this stage, seen as though you've made it to ED. I just wanted to let you know I've really enjoyed it, its been my night time read for the past couple of weeks :)

Now what will I do?

Best of luck hun x

Willow x

I backed you long ago, but I failed to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. It was brought to mind recently as I was reading a Jane Austen biography. About her novel Emma, she wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." The result is history.

But you've done the same thing, my dear. You've taken a spoiled rotten b*itch and not only made us like her, but enjoy her. Great character development. Good plot! Erotica done right.

kabiba wrote 139 days ago

'Diary of a Bad Housewife' review

I sat down to read the first three chapters and found myself at the end of chapter ten - your ability to hold your reader, indeed, make them unable to stop reading, is really impressive. I can see why the book has done well. The snappy dialogue, dry humour, and characterisations are all excellent. The erotic elements are no-holds-barred, you don't hold back, and I'm sure for readers of the genre, this is a good thing. Very strong visuals there - in fact, I felt like I was actually watching it rather than reading it. Julia is well portrayed as a pampered spoilt brat, disillusioned by life and her marriage to the rather sweet Colin. Her parents were also well drawn and hilarious. At the point I read to, she had just started to fall for the scammers, and I found this process gripping - she was the perfect candidate.

High stars from me and congratulations on your medal - well deserved.

Kate
Stone Circle

flnaturelover wrote 139 days ago

congratulations, elle! I've been waiting for Diary to reach the Editor's Desk and deservedly so.

Frank Talaber wrote 141 days ago

WEll based on that I'll add my erotic novel to this site and see how well it does. I"ll send you a message when I've downloaded it and let me know what you think.

Frank

KristinVan26 wrote 141 days ago

Read Swap of Diary of a Bad Housewife by Elle

Hi Elle!
My initial comment was I don't really like the opening as a dream. But it's short and not sure if there may be more dream sequences throughout the story. If so, then I don't mind the opening then (make sense?). Some of the writing style and words feels like UK versus US lingo. This feels short for an adult novel. I'm thinking that some of the chapters could be combined b/c it feels choppy. I am instantly sucked in and am wondering about Julia and where it's going to go. Is she going to divorce Colin? You have set up good conflict with her but I'd like to feel more of it. Is she more like her parents and Colin is the down to earth one?

Overall, you have a very nice writing style, strong likable characters and an intriguing plot!

Chapter 1 Comments
- Not sure what Côte d’Azur is?
- Ford vs Escalade. if this is UK, do you have them there and maybe Land Rover is better. if this is in the US, then maybe just say a 'domestic' vehicle or something
- during their fight, I wanted to feel his anger and hers along with frustration.
- I didn't want to be told she's a thrower but only the showed that she took items and threw them at him. If it is a lot of stuff, then the reader knows she is one
- maybe play up the bubble bath with a shower cap, high end salts/fragrances, candles set my a 3-person jaccuzzi, etc.

Chapter 2 Comments
- she's remembering back to her time of picking Colin and marriage. She also remembers a lot of the specific dialogue, too.
- Not sure how many years she's been married at this point, but I sure don't remember full convos said to me when I was dating/engaged-not that specific. I probably would remember feelings and a few general convos
- chapter is short for an adult

Chapter 3 Comments
- I wanted to see/picture her taking an index finger to the corner of her eye and checking for crows feet, pinch her belly to check the amount of fat, slap her thighs to see how much giggled
- I also want to know what she's wearing besides her hair up in a towel or whatever. maybe a silk robe that her parents got her for xmas/b-day from Nieman Marcus?

Chapter 4 Comments
- is that really the AmEx phone number? I don't think it's really needed
- I love how her mom is so pushy with her
- liking her character being a little naive
- double check this. If you call your credit card, would they tell you or do you tell them the info? Man, I haven't done that in a long time so I think the way you have it would be correct since they have the info, they should tell it to you so it's not a scam
- wondering if she tries to live extravagantly or not. maybe have her recall where she got the bottle from. if it's just any old bottle, then maybe would suggest have her think about a special one (b/c she's hurting) that she was saving for a special occasion that she cracks open.

Kristin
The Guardian

Tina Bell wrote 142 days ago

Oh, very well done! I am absolutely in awe and love this story. There is simply nothing better than a smart writer, someone who understands people on a level like this. This isn't just a sexy romp, it is a true learning experience. Something that gets the heart of who we really are, under all the bullshit of modern culture. Diary of a Bad Housewife should be required reading, for men and women alike.

chelsea woodlawn wrote 142 days ago

Sorry I didn't finnish before you earned your gold medal, but someone gives you pleasure you should let them know.

Where do I begin? Like most readers, I bought into the opening and enjoyed the exciting atmoshere. I hadn't yet started to wonder about the housewife when poof, I surface and find myself in the present world. Quite a neat trick, two tricks really when you catch on the one story is a delicious bodice ripper. I was deligted to find out that story seems to continue (hopefully to the end?) and gets even hotter in the little piggies scene. (By now those who haven't read it are wondering about the little piggies!!!)

Here I should say when talking about tricks, the whole book is kind of a magic act. From the title and chicklit tag alone, you might expect the main character to be married to a rotten husband and she spends the rest of the book sleeping accross the land in search of Mister Right. But the opposite is true.

Julia! What an aggravating selfish bitch. I'd use another word, but I'm probably not allowed, but "cuntacular" if you don't mind an Australian phrase. And her mother is worse and her father awful. So while I dislike Julia, I begin to feel sorry for her and the sham of her values. Elvira is something else! The writing is so good I can easily picture her. She reminds me of the saying that good people enjoy what bad people do, not that I'm saying she's really bad. It took me three days to read that chapter, thanks to what you might call constant interruptions. Just sayin. The scam is genius. Obviously it works because they keep trying so you know some people buy into it. I saw a television documentary how they set the hook and play on emotions and vanity. Very sophisticated really and we wouldn't have a story if Julia didn't fall for it. At that point I wanted to strangle her. Putting her family at risk like that?

So the scammers make their kill and Julia's bubble explodes. I commend Colin's restraint of not punching her into next week. So they make their trip, love the inflight dream. Had to read that two or three times to make sure the words spelled right, ha ha.

The castle is amazing. That little part with the scrubwoman, wow. Only a couple of sentence but what a vivid picture! Same with Reggie. After the introduction, I wanted to curl up with him and a bad book. The dinner scene, Julia's change of mood totally believable. SHe finally starts getting her desserts, ha ha. THe second dinner much better and I love the movie part. I thought I saw a typo but couldn't find it when I went back later.

The subitted part ends with a delicious cliffhanger. I mean, the author cut off the book but gave us a lovely morsel about the executive's wife and then dropped in a tease at the last line that more's to come.

This review is longer than the book but I want to say many chapters end in little cliffhangers so you're sipping your coffee and you think you'll stop at the end of a chapter and find you've read another three or four or ten without intending to. You might say the novels very seductive.

c. s. woodlawn
A Dragon's Dream

MazMarik wrote 144 days ago

Not my genre, but I enjoyed that. It was teasing and funny. Very well written, and flowed at a good pace.
The characters are varied, and it offered a lot more than just spanking and bending over desks!

JB Wilson wrote 144 days ago

Diary of a Bad Housewife


Reading as promised out of my normal genre, if a genre is normal.

Having said that, I enjoyed the opening of the book, with a pirate ravishing a lady in not much distress in a book within the book. Reminded me of last weekend (we watched Captain Blood and followed with an argument) and overall, the book is well written and practised and is easy to follow without stalling on the usual errors that many writers on Authonomy relish.

The story moves along quickly thanks to short chapters with plenty of dialogue, but a small gripe on my part would be that some of it I found to be a tad unrealistic. When the husband comes home and asks where the kids are, for instance, the bad housewife replies in a panic, 'Oh no. Bart's got soccer practice and Jenny has dance lessons.”

All this information from someone in a panic. It might instead come across as there simply to give us all this information, in the midst of panic and argument we find out the kid's names and interests. Perhaps more realistically would be, 'Oh, shit, it's practice night. I forgot.' and the kids names can come out later:

“You forgot again, you mean. Bart's already on the sub bench for being late...”


As I say, just a minor gripe on my part.

There are some very funny insights, for instance, our heroine admires her husband for not instilling terror. Always a good thing in marriage, I expect, and with her parents always on the sidelines to help out with sage advice, where 'wrongful impregnation' is looking on the bright side of things, comedy is never too far away.

I can see why you have a large following, and how your book will fit nicely into the genre. Happy to help you along onto the imminent Editor's Desk with plenty of stars and a place on my WL. Best of luck, I hope it goes well for you.



Cheers
John

Chip Walter wrote 144 days ago

This book is not just sexy, but smart, sophisticated and loaded with ironic insights into human nature. The humor is subtle and it deserves to make the Editor's Desk. A first rate send up.

jrevino wrote 145 days ago

A good first chapter. You immediately get a feel for julia and colin' s tension filled relationship. Reading on.

Ornithograph wrote 145 days ago

Other people's lives are literature.
Their hobbies, their work, their fantasies.

Those who have run a marathon, listen interested as you tell of your run.
Those who have children, are interested in the stories of your children.
Only those who have no facet of their own existence to interest them, will yawn;
puzzled at the incomprehensible narratives of others.

S. Plant wrote 146 days ago

Other peoples' sex lives...boring.

Ornithograph wrote 146 days ago

I first read about sex in a paper-back fantasy novel called 'Witch Queen Of Locklan". I was in the middle-school cafeteria at the time, munching on PB&J and reading like a good future authonomite, while a herd of illiterate peers thundered around me. I approached the usual scene where the narrative traditionally fades to a smirking dark.

But it didn't fade. The lights stayed on, so to speak. Bright krieg lights showing details and parts and placements that had only been rumor to me.

If anyone has ever approached heat-stroke from blushing, that was it. My hair turned red. My teeth flushed pink with embarrassment. Not that I stopped reading.

I am an older, more sophisticated man of the world now. I've seen birth and beds and the backs of cars; clothes-tearing passion and sunday morning languor. It's all good.

But it is old news to me, and no doubt to you, that a straight description of sex is dull. There must be a buildup, and a story, and a surprise; more importantly, there must be people involved. Not body organs; but people.

There is no doubt that Sensual Elle has this truth written on fluorescent ink on the frame of her lap top. Or at least writ in permanent marker on her typewriter.

It is not for nothing that she begins this novel with a cliche-read of a bodice-ripper.

Diary of a Bad Housewife is a fantasy, not remotely realistic. But it is about real sexual fantasy, and the difference between that and the average writing about sex, is the difference between a youtube vid showing an anonymous couple in an anonymous room demonstrating copulation, - and the first time you read about what you were daydreaming about.

story of oh my! wrote 146 days ago

very funny, very smart, very sexy, and not necessarily in that order.

Sue Harris wrote 146 days ago

OMG am loving this!

Elle, this is brilliant, the naivety of Julia, her stunted social and sexual development as a result of her doting, domineering but wealthy parents and her scewed values and priorities. She is a victim of her upbringing but appears to have a decent core.

I like the way you write, you grabbed my interest like a magnet. It is very addictive, a real page turner.
I am up to chapter 13 and have had to tear myself away. I will be returning to indulge myself asap.,

Best wishes
Sue Harris
The Contest

Sue Harris wrote 146 days ago

OMG am loving this!

Elle, this is brilliant, the naivety of Julia, her stunted social and sexual development as a result of her doting, domineering but wealthy parents and her scewed values and priorities. She is a victim of her upbringing but appears to have a decent core.

I like the way you write, you grabbed my interest like a magnet. It is very addictive, a real page turner.
I am up to chapter 13 and have had to tear myself away. I will be returning to indulge myself asap.,

Best wishes
Sue Harris
The Contest

Anthony Brady wrote 146 days ago

Most marriages are founded on love and sanctified with ceremonies that bind the committment as holy and permanent. But many turn out to be car-crash relationships. However, if the marriage is failing because of sexual incompatibility, you will be surprised when I offer the considered opinion, that it is the easiest one to fix of all the multiple problems that can occur. In every situation though, one partner has to take a lead. In this case the author makes that key individual - Colin the husband.

The Diary of a Bad Housewife provides a tool kit of approaches, insights and a means of maintenance providing the spouses face up to their individual faults. Too often lack of consideration for each others personal feelings is neglected by indulgence in selfish sexual gratification and love making is reduced to unsatisfactory sexual intercourse.

Once the couple in trouble bravely and jointly face up to their inadequacies and failings, they can be helped by experimenting in areas that lead to both parties appreciating and (communicating) each others physical and emotional needs. With patience and tolerance they can recapture the pleasure of love making with a repertoire that can be varied and mutually inclusive. Though far from being a sex manual, these aspects are the point and bedrock of Sensue Elle's book. The erotic is not about performance but is for enhancing the depth and richness of connection and heightening the anticipation of experiencing and making love in it fullest capacity.

No surprising then, that the conclusion of this book finds Julia and Colin well on the way to recapturing their love and the reader sensing their future relationship will work in the ways they always wanted it to. Tony Brady. - SCENES FROM AN EXAMINED LIFE - Books 1,2 & 3.


AnnaLStephens wrote 146 days ago

Okay, I was going to read the first few chapters and then come back to it. I've just read the first 14 without a pause!
The tone is engaging, even if I was yelling at Julia for being so DIM about the money. You've got a nice balance of steamy and plot, so it's not just pages of flesh and all that. It's definitely something I'll be coming back to read the rest of.
There are a few typos here and there, nothing a professional edit couldn't cure. Best of all, you've made me grudgingly like Julia, even though there's very, very little about her that's likeable. That's quite an achievement.

Well done!

Anne Moore wrote 147 days ago

Well, I have to say, after reading the first 3 chapters in my break between a lecture and a seminar, I can't wait to get home and keep reading. Despite the fact that I find Julia overly annoying because of her "princess" attitude, she is a likeable character. I am still new and maybe my review is not as "professional" as the rest but I really like the idea of this story. I would say is very well written, witty style and interesting personalities animate the characters. I think books like this still make us give men a chance. And oh, boy! I wouldn't have expected the atmosphere to get so...hot right from the beginning. I will fome back with more comments as I read more chapters.

Anne Moore wrote 147 days ago

Well, I have to say, after reading the first 3 chapters in my break between a lecture and a seminar, I can't wait to get home and keep reading. Despite the fact that I find Julia overly annoying because of her "princess" attitude, she is a likeable character. I am still new and maybe my review is not as "professional" as the rest but I really like the idea of this story. I would say is very well written, witty style and interesting personalities animate the characters. I think books like this still make us give men a chance. And oh, boy! I wouldn't have expected the atmosphere to get so...hot right from the beginning. I will fome back with more comments as I read more chapters.

mysty blue wrote 147 days ago

Good luck elle. To echo the words of one character but in a better context, you deserve the best.

Chip Walter wrote 147 days ago

Elle,

Gave you extra high stars. Meant to do that earlier. Good luck making the Editor's Desk! may it lead to a sweet publishing deal. Will continue reading.

Best,
Chip

C. A. Thomson wrote 147 days ago

Yo! What can I say?
Nothing, except, I never read Sexy, glitzy, steamy books like this! But then comes the moral bits, which I didn't expect. What a cleverly written story. You deserve to be number one! Good luck with the editor.
All the best, Craig.

Frost Like The Weather wrote 147 days ago

Hahaha, this is genius. I am hooked. This is not usually my thing, but wow what a talent you have. Sorry, too busy to continue with this comment I am off to read chapter 2.

Colin Gibson wrote 148 days ago

Sexy, dirty S&M literature... and I do enjoy the male protagonist sharing my name.

shillae fan wrote 148 days ago

I love the "scenes" and their crazy relationship. wowie, it even contains supermodels! but it's great story.

blonde appeal wrote 148 days ago

I understand why this is so amazingly popular. 8 chaprters in and the hot flashes are coming thick and fast.

Love it. Can I say Kudos?

Morven James wrote 148 days ago

Diary of a Bad Housewife, elle:

Good cover, great title.

It was obvious from the “age” part of your profile that you have a great sense of humour. That, on my opinion, lifts many genres provided it is in keeping, and as I found later, your humour is a perfect foil. Sometimes, I write comments as I read and then later upload – this is one such occasion. I believe this can give an insight into the mind of your reader, as they read – so hope it’s helpful.

Brilliant beginning, and SO funny when she is interrupted. I loved chapters 1 & 2, maybe they weren’t meant to be, but I thought they were hilarious. Of course never having been a little princess myself, I see her as a spoiled brat who is heading for her comeuppance, big time, although of course she does get under your skin, I want her to do the right thing by her husband and children, but she needs her dreams to come true, don’t we all?
Your writing style is so right for this, easy to read, easy to imagine the situation.
# 3 – Her good point was that she was at least imagining her husband, not some movie star, but then – oh the humiliation, poor girl. So now, you are building on my empathy for Julia. And then you twist the knife – she doesn’t know why her life has gone wrong.
Love the short chapters – they really fit this book.
# 4 That mother of hers! Planting seeds of doubt, and Julia falls for it, she has to investigate. Now in a trusting marriage, we know that a credit card with the address being work related, is just that, work, but for Julia, she cannot imagine a normal explanation. Good place to end chapter, is he, isn’t he?
# 5 Julia at least had the sense to ignore Elvira’s suggestion. Liked the comment about money not buying happiness “poverty buys a world of despair”. £54.2 million! Wow! To her credit, she doesn’t immediately start spending the money.
# 6 Kinko? Who’s Kinko? I scrolled back 5 chapters and scanned to see what I’d missed. Nothing. I guess they’re maybe a secretarial agency, or possibly law firm. It might help, for us ignorant non-Americans to say who they are.
# 7 It does happen. People do inherit from someone they’ve never heard of. But, she is being set up for a fall. Upfront expenses, mmm dodgy. The current British version is based in Nigeria – apparently.
# 8 Elvira: great descriptions, had me giggling. But the remained of the chapter wasn’t for me. No complaint, we were adequately warned.
# 9 This “inheritance” is looking more dodgy by the minute.
#10 I’ve written a similar “con” short story and I can feel the bad vibes getting stronger, he’s coming in for the kill.
#11Great suspense, but the end is nigh. Loved the idea of the bar staff thinking she was touting for business – nice touch. It proves the point that dressing up doesn’t make you a lady.
#12 Oops! Didn’t see that coming – poor old Colin’s going to the cleaners too. Another Martini – bad idea. No cell phone for Harry – the con’s on track. And she still hasn’t caught on that they are convinced she’s on the game. Arrested, the penny finally drops.
#13 Julia phones Elvira, love her solution. That great sense of humour kicks in: Colin: “soliciting what?” priceless! Elvira is a great character – “soliciting no sound too bad, not like whoring”, fantastic. “Mom” echoes Elvira, but up market, of course.
#14 Finally, she realises they’ve conned her. But bad, gets worse. Colin cannot understand why he’s lost his job – embezzlement. “Colin, I have something to tell you”. Good chapter ending. Will she finally get what she craves: Colin becoming dominant, but not in the way she hoped.

Great writing. Perfectly fits the genre. I will try to make time to read more.

You certainly deserve to be at No1, and I don’t have a moment’s doubt that you will stay there for the next few days. Hope my top star rating carries a little weight.

Morven James
The Buck Stops Here

Chip Walter wrote 149 days ago

This is very good after reading he first several chapters. Smart, sexy, a wickedly clever twist on the well-worn bodice ripper. I think that's what I like best. The clever twist and the almost cinematic, Woody Allenesque dialogue. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. First rate work. Backed.

spidey sense wrote 149 days ago

ooooo, my spidey senses tingle!

Eloïse wrote 149 days ago

Great read thus far. I wouldn't change a thing.

Kaychristina wrote 150 days ago

Elle, just popped by to return the read... and here I am, 15 chapters in and stunned. Who would have thought a literary Deep Throat was even possible? I'm thinking of Elvira's shenanigans really, with that reference - the rest being a truly wonderful, involving story, narrated by a woman who's a mixture of Scarlett O'Hara, Maggie the Cat (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Little Miss Sunshine never-grown-up, and herself, a one-and-only Julia James.

Great hook of an opener, followed by a mother to out-do the Devil who wore Prada, a Godfather of a father, and an innocent poor sap of a husband... At least, I think that's what he is - not sure yet.

All this comes along with Harry and his Charlie's Angel voice... oh, Julia. How could she?

Well, I had to stop at 15 for now being very late...but you've got a real page-turner. Apart from all of the above, I can see a moral undercurrent, wondering whether Julia will mend her ways, her marriage and her heart. And wonder whether her mother and father will ever approve if she does all that mending. Or even her husband, never mind the poor kiddies. Perhaps he'll turn to the magnificent Elvira. I think anyone would forgive that one anything...

I think you've shown every writer of erotica, chick-lit and comedy how to do it, and done it with a noir edge for which the old masters of film noir would've paid a high price.

Six stars and a backing a.s.a.p., Elle, wishing you the success you deserve.

From Kay with love
(The Fortune Of Annacara)

Anthony Brady wrote 150 days ago

Elle,

Being serious for a moment: your book is brilliant. Not surprising that it is so highly rated. It's so tasty, that conditioned in youth by deferred gratification, I'm minded to wait until it is published as reading any book off a computer screen is demanding. It's bound to find a publisher. As soon as I know its ISBN number, I am going to get my local library board to buy it. I have done that with several books on autonomy.

Acinorev wrote 150 days ago

Elle, you are sooo right; it is difficult to approach family and friend to get support for a book full of shagging. My partner's mother would have a fit if she thought that I was writing about her son. I can’t approach my best friends because it is a secrete that my partner has made me swear that I wouldn’t ever tell anyone. He is right of course, people don’t understand. So like you, I have had a difficult time trying to get people on here to see the story for what it is and not just pornography. That’s what is so special about you getting to the desk. You have made it against the odds, because your book is bloody good, and very well written. I don’t expect mine to get there, but I have got some valuable feed-back, and I hope to self publish in a few months. Anyway, my partner does help with the male sex point of view, and it is exciting trying it out to see if it is possible, LOL. I keep saying. I don’t know about that hun: we had better try it again. Writing erotica has got perks hasn’t it. Oh well, only three more chapters to write. Should be finished in a few weeks. That’s if I don’t wear him out first. Nice to have a chat with someone who understands. See you, big hugs, Kylla si Vengo.

VioletHeyes wrote 150 days ago

Hi Elle,

All in all, this is an interesting story with a cool concept. Your writing is smooth and flows at a fast pace. I can see that you already have a lot of enthusiastic readers, and hope you’ll get more in time. Good luck with the book. :)

Best Wishes,
Grace

sensual elle wrote 151 days ago

elle says:

"Men are horrible beasts. Why can't I have one?"

One resource I drew upon came from sexual relationship researcher and author of Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel. Perceptive readers might deduce she influenced inspiration for Lady Elizabeth. Her thoughts on ‘erotic intelligence’ found their way into some of the discussions. She promulgates the concept that the erotic mind is not politically correct. As James suggests, women want the opposite of what we think we want. Perel sums it up this way (and this is key to Diary):

"What turns us on at night are the same things we protest against during the day."
http://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_the_secret_to_desire_in_a_long_term_relationship.html

Jamed wrote 152 days ago

WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE
Pride and Prejudice for the Post Baby Boomers
A Review of Diary of a Bad Housewife

I’ve just returned to the site after a bout with health issues and found an offer to swap reviews from sensuous elle. It seemed as good a place to start back to work as any but given that her book "Diary of a Bad Housewife" was already safely ensconced in the number one position on the editor's desk, I wondered why she wanted a review from me. I plunged in reading and found it such a pleasure that I didn't reemerge until I ran out of material to read after part 40.

Just to get this out of the way: this review will have nothing to say about her writing style, which is great, or spelling since no one should ever rely on me for spellchecking. In fact you will find it completely free of any of those nitpicky little criticisms which make up a traditional critique. Instead, I'm going to take a more grandiose view of the scope and importance of this work. Am I qualified to make such a judgment? Damn straight. In fact, I may be the most qualified person in the known universe to comment on this book and that is because sensuous elle has done nothing less then write the "Pride and Prejudice", "The Great Gatsby" the sine qua non of my love life. Or if you insist on being inclusive, my life and the lives of others in the baby boomer generation.

I got laid for the first time in 1964, was a senior in college in 1968 (think "Animal House") and my first marriage broke up, along with the Beatles in 1970. The result... I was back in the dating game just in time to be blindsided by a completely new definition of masculine and feminine roles. The first time around was in a possibly flawed, but time-tested system where it was clearly understood that the girl's was to say no while I continued my nefarious advances undeterred,until the dainty young thing removed my head with a roundhouse right which was construed to indicate a true and meaningful NO! Now I was expected to be sensitive enough to understand that no meant no, and maybe probably meant no, and yes might likely also mean no. We men cleaned up our act, spruced up our wardrobe with the latest in leisure suits and started wearing cologne. We missed key NFL games for performances of The Well-Tempered Clavier and scintillating evenings of Icelandic blank verse.

Oddly enough, all of this effort went singularly unrewarded in the bedroom. We hapless males tended to cluster in bars trying to understand in what way we had been insufficiently sensitive and why was it that the chicks always went for the bad boys. The painful answer, which Elle has stumbled on is that they didn't go for bad boys, they went for the old-fashioned unreformed, unrepentant normal boys of a decade or so earlier. In other words, the women had absolutely no intention of matching behavior to their words (go figure!). Understanding that for the male of the species, any relationship is a difficult challenge even under the best of circumstances, the result was a confusing and unhappy time for men.

Given the centuries of oppression and brutality visited on women by men, (evidence of which was dug up by the many new women's studies courses), I'd like to think that my nobler side would have been willing to make this or any sacrifice to free these oppressed women and throw open the gates to their happiness. But unfortunately our sacrifices were in vain because the more that women got their wish the more frustrated and unhappy they became. The only group of women more miserable than those that wanted it all and couldn’t have it were those who wanted it all and got it.

Elle has mined this rich field of material with remarkable wit, some delicious titillation and glorious comeuppance at the price of hitting a little too close to home for some of us.
The first part of this book is all too believable. Julia is remarkably selfish and self-indulgent but certainly I have known her equal. Elle has written this so well that we quickly learn to despise and hate Julia and yet somehow she remains surprisingly sympathetic. The real villains of the piece are her ex-military father, "I'll send over some of my Blackwater friends and teach him a lesson" and enabling mother, "remember dear nothing is too good for you." Once again not too different from persons I have known. Her frequently neglected sometimes even forgotten children are almost stereotypical.

The second part of the book takes place in what has to be one of the most remarkable couple's therapy camps ever. There are definitely more fantastic and humorous elements here. There are also some of the trappings of sadomasochism which usually leaves me dead cold, but in this case the punishments fit the crime like a Dior gown and are thoroughly delightful. Her long-suffering husband, a poster child for feminist propaganda gone bad, judging by his infinite patience. I would have had to rip her throat out when she bankrupted the family and cost him his job by falling for a lame Nigerian bank scam. Unfortunately the story runs out just as he is rediscovering his manhood as she is rediscovering her need for him.

Whatever your chosen genre or interest, I guarantee you won't find this book boring. Even if you don't adopt my boorish chauvinistic interpretation you will find enough erotica here to amuse you. And if, like your humble reviewer, you come from a certain generation you will find it even more engaging.

I've left Bethlehem
and I feel free...
I've left the girl I was supposed to be
and some day I'll be born.
~Paula Cole

William Holt wrote 152 days ago

In reading this unusually fast-paced novel, I found myself not merely wanting to know what would happen next but reflecting in almost every other chapter upon the observations T.S. Eliot made in one of his best known and perhaps best loved essays, "Tradition and the Individual Talent," which I had not read for several years but was happy to find online. First published in his collection The Sacred Wood in 1921, the essay has been so often anthologized that an old professor of English like me might be pardoned for assuming that everyone has read it, though a moment's thought will instantly dispel that silly assumption.

In any case, I read the essay again, and looked for one passage in it that I recalled word for word. This is the passage: ". . . the difference between the present and the past is that the conscious present is an awareness of the past in a way and to an extent which the past’s awareness of itself cannot show.

"Some one said: “The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.” Precisely, and they are that which we know."

Diary of a Bad Housewife is on the one hand the very modern uninhibited tale of full sexual awakening in a woman whose life has been circumscibed as much by her wealthy parents' indulgences as by her present straitened circumstances. But on the other hand, through the intense program of the marriage retreat in England, it is instruction in tradition, which in a quasi-medieval milieu takes modern women back to the traditional roles of men as strong, dependable people that women can trust for courage and leadership, and women as genuinely receptive and nurturing, reveling in their status as lovely and desirable, wanting their husbands as much as their husbands want them.

I was happy to see that neither the present nor the past is permitted to overwhelm the plot, and that the story moves smoothly from one to the other via strongly delineated characters who preach little but mostly embody the ideas they embrace.

When I started the book, I did not expect to be reminded so strongly of T.S. Eliot, whose essays and poems I have long enjoyed without fully mastering. I close with another quotation from Eliot's essay. The writer, he says, " . . ,is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living."

Bill, A Stony Path, Faust's Butterfly

Colleen MacDougall wrote 152 days ago

I can understand now why Diary of a Bad Housewife is on so many bookshelves and watch lists and #1. It is very, very good.

I read chapters 1-8 and sincerely wish I had more time to read the rest today. The characters, plot, pacing, dialogue, all of it is excellent. I've backed the book and have absolutely no doubt I will see this on the newsstands selling like mad.

My only suggestion to improve the book would be to cut down chapter one's opening romance novel passage. As I don't read romance I skipped past the last two-thirds of it. As the lengthy passage is not integral to the plot, it could stand to be shortened considerably. As long as the nature of the book, and the excellent back and forth between alternating lines of the novel and her husband trying to get her attention are kept, it will have a much better chance of the editors getting to the end of the first chapter. This is just my opinion only, so please take it with a grain of salt.

The MS is very clean. I only found one thing that seemed awkwardly worded and that was "intact dignity" in chapter 5 -- "dignity intact" might flow better.

Very very well done. Highly rated and backed.
Colleen
The Patron Saint of Dogs

evwalker wrote 152 days ago

I've just had a peek at your book, as I always do before agreeing to a read swap. Okay, more than a peek, because I had to stop myself at chapter twelve with Julia foolishly trying to get a $93 million inheritance from Nigerian scammers and being taking into custody for prostitution.
Your book has a rare ability to draw in the reader and make them oblivious to the passage of time. Definitely deserving of a spin on my shelf.
Best of luck!
EV

JaneGorman wrote 153 days ago

It's easy to see why this book is top ranked and waiting patiently on the editor's desk. It's well written, easy to read, with vivid descriptions and a plot with momentum. It is erotica, no question, but more as well, as the reader gets drawn into the the story of the characters and their development. Well done, and good luck!

A.J.Bakke wrote 154 days ago

Julia cracks me up. I dislike her, but in a good way. She is skillfully depicted as a spoiled brat. Very well written. I think she's great! She is a very engaging character and I enjoy her thought process and following her through her experiences.

Her parents make me both giggle and cringe.

I love the line 'Tens of millions of dollars and a sumptuous baritone work up to a wonderful aphrodisiac.'

Your description of Elvira is amusing and awesome.

Beautifully seductive writing for the erotic scene (and I assume scenes). *giggles* I read to chapter 8. I hope to see this published so I can buy it as a physical book and read it comfortably before bed at night. :)

karelkoninkrijk wrote 154 days ago

good writing and exiting. Karel

C.O'shea wrote 154 days ago

Hi Elle,

What can I say. I'm around 15 chapters in and intend to read on. It's easy to see why this story has been so popular. I'm not really sure how to critique it because it is already very polished and I don't really think you need to change very much. If there was areas that could do with tweaking then I feel like you would know where perhaps more then I would. Does that make sense? I guess I mean that you would have the most critical eye in relation to this story because I feel a bit blinded by the positives. It reads great. The way slips so nicely in an out of erotica and comedy is pretty neat work. I would be backing it only I don't think you need me to make ED. Will ply this with high stars instead.
Cheers, Cj.

Jjkendrick wrote 154 days ago

Hi Elle, 

This was a great read. I gobbled up 17 chapters is one sitting.  I fully expected to find Julia shallow and easy to hate, but was pleasantly surprised to both like and feel great sympathy for her.  You have masterfully written her as someone who is a product of her upbringing struggling for redemption, albeit in a misguided way.  One can't help but hope she gets her shit together, and root for happiness.
There were a lot of LOL moments for me.  I loved the descriptions of Elvira's breasts. 
"The fool who said money doesn’t buy happiness missed the point poverty buys a world of despair."    LOVE THAT

I think you are safe for the desk this month.  My shelf is a bit crowded since I have put Kirk's book  up to help with his dilemma, but I will keep a close eye, and if your ranking slips, find a spot for it. All the best, JJ