ForeWord Reviews

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Be "The Other Woman" in Your Man's Life

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

This cheeky guide to keeping your man from looking elsewhere for love lives up to its risqué cover image, offering advice on everything from what to wear around the house (something pretty—at least once a week; matching bra and underpants—always; and no “god-awful” granny panties—ever!), the power of a languorous kiss (“there’s a reason it costs more to kiss a prostitute”), and blow-by-blow (ahem) instructions for performing a much-appreciated sex act. Old-school feminists will find a lot to cringe about, but women who guiltily nose through the latest issue of Cosmopolitan while waiting in the supermarket checkout line may appreciate Karen Holder’s chest-forward embrace of sexuality and her tips for breathing life into moribund relationships.

Brief, engagingly titled chapters explore various ways to use feminine wiles to keep one’s husband from seeking comfort in another woman’s arms. After all, the author warns repeatedly, many single ladies would jump at the chance to be the “other woman.” Holder’s counsel is, if nothing else, pragmatic—particularly if one shares her view of those among our species with a Y chromosome: “Dirty talk is pretty idiot-proof. I mean, we are talking about men here.”

As the proprietor of a boutique stocked with lingerie and sex toys, Holder’s guidance is just the sort one would expect from someone who has seen and heard it all in the course of handing slinky garments over the fitting-room door. Encouraging plus-size women who are uncomfortable with the idea of donning come-hither nightwear, she says, “Your body is the same under that big muumuu dress as it is under a sexy piece of lingerie.” And she offers this pick-me-up for the less buxom among her readers: Wear a bustier with ruffles across the top because “ruffles are flirty and add inches as well.” Still, some suggestions seem downright retrograde and occasionally come off as more manipulative than flirtatious: “Even if you don’t find his material particularly interesting or his jokes all that funny, humor the man. Just keep smiling and give him your full attention.”

While many of the book’s passages are pitch perfect, seeming to come straight from relationship advice columns in glossy magazines, the writing is by no means seamless, occasionally snagging on awkward phrasing or unravelling into tangents. The author follows her own style advice by attending to the visual appeal of the cover and overall design of this volume, including fun, flirty pictures at the beginning of most—but oddly, not all—chapters.

Be “The Other Woman” in Your Man’s Life just might be the kick in the granny panties some gals need to reignite the flames of desire in their relationships—and have a little fun while they’re at it.

Jennifer Moore