The Anatomy of Cheating by Nesly Clerge

“There are some consequences of our actions we could never anticipate.” (Clerge).

The Anatomy of Cheating takes you in to the lives of two couples with many marital problems. But it doesn’t just stop there. The actions of these two couples affect so many around them. Be prepared for deceit, adultery, and murder.

The Plot: Chelsea Hall is a lonely, neglected housewife trying to hold it all together with the knowledge that her husband, Garrett, may be cheating on her for the third time (that she is aware of). Garrett Hall is a successful, handsome doctor who deals with more than just patients. When Chelsea begins to suspect the cheating again, she turns to her best friend Penelope, who suggests she find some extra-marital activities of her own to pass the time. Chelsea begins corresponding with author Luke Thompson, innocently at first, until his own marital unhappiness pushes him to pursue the same thing Chelsea has been recommended to. As things intensify, Garrett begins to suspect that he is not the only playing the field. When the paths of all intertwine no one can predict the violence and betrayal that ensues.

I was contacted by Mr. Clerge’s editor to review this free book and give my honest opinion. Though, it is not a genre I normally gravitate toward, I found the book to be entertaining, intriguing, and emotion inducing. I usually tend to avoid books of the sexual nature, as a personal preference, but found that the sexuality in the book fit where it needed to, and was not too over the top. The plot of the story and the twists and turns were well written and kept me turning the page. The characters were both believable and unbelievable and sparked an emotional response during my read through.

The relationship between Luke and Chelsea began innocently enough, and was pretty convincing. The relationship between Chelsea and her husband was a tough one for me. After finding out that he had cheated twice, that should have been the end of things, but she still stayed with him.

Chelsea, as a main character, seemed innocent enough at first. I felt like she was pushed to the very edge, and though I would never condone cheating in any situation, I felt like she did what she felt would make her happy. She was a good mother, and tried to be a good wife, but she was definitely weak willed to stay in her situation. I hated the negative body image her husband forced her to feel and the fact that she felt that she needed to cheat instead of leaving him. I was also quite surprised to learn her secrets toward the end of the book, and saw a major emotional transformation in her throughout.

“Mrs. Hall, the first thing I want you to understand is that you’re a beautiful woman… The second thing I want you to understand is that those women are not perfect.” (Clerge).

Garrett was my least favorite character. I felt such anger and hatred toward him and his attitude toward women! The fact that he has been cheating on Chelsea for YEARS, and got angry and violent when he found out that she was cheating, was repulsive and hypocritical. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but he certainly had no right to feel upset in the least bit when he found out about Chelsea’s secrets. He certainly played the role of the antagonist well. I hated that he claimed to love his wife and daughter, and was “trying to set a good example” for his daughter, but he led a shameful, disgusting, secret life.

“Men like us don’t know how to love. At least, not at first. Maybe not ever, for some. Possessiveness isn’t love.” (Clerge).

This book had some predictable moments, and some shocking twists. Though it was full of characters who made horrible, disgusting decisions, it had a good moral message. I would rate this book 3.5-4 stars because, even though I still did not enjoy the sex or the decisions to commit adultery, I enjoyed the plot twists and the underlying theme that adultery is wrong and hurts more than the 3 people involved.

“…I’ve seen the damages infidelity can cause…There are some terrible stories in there, including about how children are affected.” (Clerge).


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