Review: Time of Want by Amanda Bianco & Stacie Jacobs

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☆☆➹⁀☆3 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

Samantha Bennett has the perfect life. A beautiful home, a loving husband, and all the designer labels a girl could want. But she is lonely. Feeling trapped at home while her husband John works long hours, Samantha craves love and attention. She is desperate for the one thing she can’t have – a child.

Following one let down after another, Sam questions her existence. Her lonely lifestyle drives her to want more. She looks to fill the void from John’s hectic business schedule.

That’s when the Millers move in across the street.

Derek and Elizabeth have moved to Long Island so that Elizabeth, a successful pediatrician, can take up a new post close to her family. She is expecting their first child, and Derek, a former sports writer, has given up work to stay home with the baby and write a novel. Quickly, the Miller’s become friends with the Bennett’s, and cracks soon appear in their marriage as Elizabeth works long hours at the hospital.  Derek’s head has been turned and now he too is faced with his own demons.

As temptations grow, Sam begins to slip back into her old mischievous ways. She is willing to risk everything she and John have worked for, because for Sam it is all about the thrill of the chase.  However, Derek has his own agenda and is playing by a different set of rules. This leaves Sam even more confused. She begins to question if it’s all worth it…

***Disclaimer***This trilogy touches on difficult subjects such a child loss, adultery and self-esteem issues.

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Time of Want is the first book in a planned trilogy by writers Amanda Bianco and Stacie Jacobs. Although touted as a romance by some, I didn’t find anything romantic about it. I’d call it contemporary fiction.

The story is primarily about Samantha. She’s a pampered stay-at-home wife with nothing to do. She is a cat on the prowl looking for a distraction. She doesn’t want to leave her husband or his wealth; she just wants a diversion. Her perpetual dissatisfaction is probably a symptom of her dissatisfaction with herself. Sam’s husband John is not fully developed; he is almost a tangent to the story as his work keeps him frequently on the road and out of the story. You can sense the underlying discord in their relationship and that John expects Sam to be unappreciative and difficult. Sam’s eventual diversion comes in the form of new neighbors. Elizabeth (Lizzie) and Derek are happily married and expecting a baby. Lizzie’s job brought them to Long Island; Derek had to leave behind his job and friends, but he happily supports his wife’s career. He seems like a great guy, however, his stay-at-home status makes him an all-too-eager target for Sam’s not-too-subtle advances. Lizzie, like John, is for the most part on the fringes of the story. I have a feeling, that they will have bigger roles as the trilogy progresses given the ending of Time of Want.

I really disliked Samantha from the start. I’m certain that her miscarriages and loneliness were supposed to make readers feel empathy toward her, but she did nothing to deserve empathy. I’m not a fan of adultery in real life or novels, but sometimes it is a necessary plot point. I didn’t see it as a necessary stepping-stone in this book until the end when it became apparent that Time of Want mainly sets up the story and the characters. I’m letting go of my disgust about the adultery, for now. The story would have been richer if some of the tertiary characters were introduced earlier in the story instead of springing up toward the end just to present the obstacle/trigger for the story culmination.

Time of Want was not a page-turner for me, but I was compelled to continue reading in the hope that karma would catch up to Sam and Derek. In this case, karma might be named Mrs. Kowalski. Would I continue with the series? Yes, I’d read more just because the ending of Time of Want was a clear segue to the possibility of multi-faceted drama. I think there is much potential for the rest of the trilogy, and  I’ll be hoping for a redemptive ending.


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