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Review: The Lifestyle by Taylor Hahn

Title: The Lifestyle
Author: Taylor Hahn
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (NY)

SummaryGeorgina Wagman has it all—a great marriage, a great job at a prestigious law firm, and great friends. She’s living the life she always wanted, and everything is perfect. Until, that is, she walks in on her husband Nathan in a compromising position with a junior associate. Georgina has a moment of crisis. But divorce is not a part of the five-year plan, so she comes up with an idea to save her marriage and recapture the spark. She and Nathan are going to become swingers.
Georgina isn’t going to embark on this adventure alone, though. Her friends Felix and Norah and their respective partners decide to tag along for the ride. They’ve got relationship woes of their own that swinging just might fix. Georgina, convinced Felix and Norah belong together, is thrilled. What better place to reignite romance between two people destined to be together than a swingers’ party? Her plan is foolproof, until she runs into a college ex at the first party. When they reconnect, Georgina will find herself torn between her head and her heart, with her very happiness hanging in the balance. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella, The Lifestyle is a playful homage to Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse and an outrageously fun summer read.

Review:  Ok. A book about swingers? Not my scene, but when I read the synopsis and review in Book of the Month (BOTM) there was something about this that appealed to me. Light and fluffy? Perhaps that was it. A twist on contemporary romance? Maybe. And perhaps it's the fact that Jasmine Guillory (romance author extraordinaire) said, "This book is fun as hell. Hilarious, addictive, moving, and sexy." Yep, that might have been the one that clinched it.

So, I don't quite agree with Guillory. I enjoyed reading this book and found parts of it entertaining and humorous so that's good. But, the book feels a bit superficial. We don't really get into depth on any one person or thing, rather it's a surface look at all of it. A novel about swingers sounds raunchy, but this isn't that. There are a couple sex scenes, but mostly it's about how people feel about it all. At its core, this novel is about relationships, both between couples and with families in general. And, yes, with friends. 

I liked some of the characters, but feel like I didn't get to know them well enough. Georgina, the main character, I can relate to. She is a people pleaser, organized, afraid of failure, and living her life according to a certain set of standards that even she isn't sure she wants. I am glad that by the end she calms down and starts to figure out what's really best for her. And by that, what does she really want in life? What will make her happy? I think that's difficult for people pleasers to figure out.

Challenges for which this counts: none

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