Your cheating heart

Posted by Chantal | 11:00 a.m. | , , | 29 comments »

Last year, when I read Gena Showalter’s Catch a Mate, I really felt for the heroine, Jillian. She thought men were scum and untrustworthy. Yeah she had “daddy issues,” but she had also been cheated on. Having been cheated on, I felt her attitude towards men was justified. Nath however, didn’t. (I have the emails to back this up! LOL) She thought Jillian was too opinionated.

So I want to know, have you read this book and do you think Jillian took it too far? Have you been cheated on and know the horrible feelings that result from the betrayal?

My own story – I was cheated on, a few times. I was very bitter mind you, and I still am a little bit. But not as much as I was. LOL So yeah, I understand where Jillian was coming from and its also another reason why I don’t like cheating in my romances. (Menage a trois or succubae not included.)

Now mind you, this is all fictional. Romances are about the HEA – I’m not judging any real relationships that have come back from the brink. More power to you.

But fiction wise – cheating is NOT GOOD. What’s your stance? Can you imagine a situation where cheating is ok? (A great book that comes to mind is The Stranger I Married, by Sylvia Day.) What about if the hero or heroine thinks their spouse is dead and gets it on with someone else? (Julie Garwood got around this with Saving Grace – remember?)

Guest post by Ames from Thrifty Reader.


  1. Chantal // 4:58 p.m.  

    Hi Amy, thank you for doing this guest post *smooches*.

    I agree with you. I thought that Jillian was totally justified in her man hating. Every single man in her life, from childhood to adulthood was a scumbag.

    I loved 'Catch a Mate' because with the love of the Hero she was able to learn and heal. Forgiveness and a good man goes a long way.

    As for cheating in romance, The most recent was Succubus on top. It's one of the reasons I wasn't able to enjoy the book as much as I did the first one of the series (and no, the cheating was not during Succubus duties)

    I can't really think of any contemporary books that have had a cheating hero or heroine.
    I would hate it though.

  2. ames // 5:01 p.m.  

    Hey you! Thanks for letting me guest post. :P

    Yeah, I'm kind of dreading reading Succubus on Top. LOL On a slow work day I will. :P

    Cheating usually happens more often in historical novels, but I tend to stay away when I know a book has some cheating in it.

    I also kind of feel like a child from someone else is a form of cheating. Know what I mean? Like here's physical proof of getting it on with someone else. LOL

  3. nath // 7:05 p.m.  

    For a moment, I was reading the post and I was like: I talked about this with Chantal?!? What emails?!? LOL :)

    Was she cheated by boyfriends or was it only her father? I hate cheating in romance, that's a huge no-no for me.

    I still stand by my opinion though. I agree that Jillian is justified in being bitter and hating men, but the way she acted and said it and couldn't trust anyone, it just rubbed me the wrong way.

  4. Holly // 9:39 p.m.  

    See, I'm of two opinions here. 1) Cheating in a romance is a BIG FAT NO for me. It just doesn't work. I've read a couple books with cheaters and it just didn't work for me.


    2) I hate it when the heroine punishes every man in her life for the actions of a past one. I was cheated on by my first Rat Bastard husband. But I never once thought that, because he cheated, all men did. I know not all men are horrible idiots. I also could have "daddy" issues, but I know not all men are like my father.

    So when a heroine is so bent on hating all men because of the actions of a few, it drives me nuts. I haven't read this particular book, but I'd probably go with Nath on it.


  5. Isabel // 12:44 p.m.  

    I was cheated on before and I had the boys suck attitude. When I started dating I was very cautious. I wasn't out to punish the poor guy though. It just took me longer to trust him.

    So when I read a book where the heroine is a total man hater, will never get involved with a man again, I want to bitch slap her.
    That's taking it a little too far.

    I don't like cheating in books but.. I've noticed if the hero and heroine are with different and they are cheating with each other, I'm all for it. Like in Walk the Line when Johnny and June were sleeping together. I'm weird that way. But the hero can't cheat on the heroine or vice versa.

  6. Jill D. // 8:46 p.m.  

    Hi Chantal, Nath commented on my blog and sent me over here. I recently read Catch a Mate and I really liked the story. While I liked the story, one of the things that I didn't like about it was the heroine's attitude toward men. I understood where she was coming from, and I can't necessarily say I would act any differently if I was in her shoes, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I think Holly read my mind when she said that the heroine shouldn't put all men in the same category. Not all men are scum of the earth (certainly not my husband!) One of the best things about this book was the hero. I loved how he didn't put up with her bullsh*t and called her on it. Plus the secondary romance was great.

    I don't like to read romances where one of the people cheat. Isn't that anti-romance? I want to read about two people who love each other and come together and stay together.

  7. ames // 10:23 p.m.  

    Further to my post, Jillian works as "bait" for a company that outs cheaters. So her belief that men are scum is cemented by every single one of the husbands/boyfriends that tried to pick her up. That's just the set up of the book. So that's why I don't think her attitude is going too far. That's me though. LOL

    The book is still really good. And the hero was also "bait."

  8. Georgie Lee // 12:51 a.m.  

    I haven't read this book but it sounds interesting. I don't like heroes in romance novels who cheat. It ruins their HEA credibility.

  9. CindyS // 8:09 p.m.  

    I haven't read this book but what Ames just added about the heroine being bait for men who cheat - I could see her being very broken.

    All the same, I don't like heroes who think all women are rotten so I can't like heroines who think that either. They can maybe think it at the beginning but then they have to let it go once they meet their H/H.

    And dang if I can remember JG's cheating.

    And I look as H/H who have relationships outside of their marriage when they believe someone is dead as completely different. That's just one crazy mess ;)

    In the HBO show ROME the heroine had cheated on the hero while he was gone to war - I think he was gone for 7 years and she had feelings for someone else. I could totally understand that as 7 years is LONG.

    Okay, I'll stop rambling.


  10. nath // 7:07 a.m.  

    I think Holly and Isabel put my feelings into words better than I did.

    As for Jillian's job, being bait. She chose to be bait, decided to be bait based on hatred for men, ultimately due to her father. She already had a rotten opinion of men, lumping them all together in the same basket, except for her brother. See, there's a difference here. She didn't develop this opinion/attitude because of her job, but she already had it. Her job just cemented the opinion and men just all became scum. It's just sad.

  11. ames // 9:56 a.m.  

    Cindy-The JG I was talking about was where the heroine's husband dies and he eventually comes back from the dead. However, the heroine was smart enough to get a divorce. So when her first husband came back, her second marriage to the hero was valid.

    Nath-That's true.

  12. Holly // 10:01 a.m.  

    Saving Grace, right Ames? Love that book. :)

    I didn't consider that cheating, did you?

  13. ames // 12:48 p.m.  

    I didn't consider it cheating either. I just mentioned it in regards to the storyline where one husband dies and the heroine marries someone else...only to have the first husband still be alive. :P

    I love that story too.

  14. Chantal // 1:22 p.m.  

    Very interesting replies.

    Jillian wasn't that bad. Sure, she was a man hater, but not to the point where she treated random men like crap. Her man hating didn't even effect her when it came to having a normal relationship..obviously, since it was a very nice HEA.

    In fact, I think the Hero was a bigger woman hater than Jillian was in her man hating. Don't get me wrong, she definitely did some man bashing, but no more than what I have done when dealing with some of the jerks I have been with in the past.

    I don't think that starting a new relationship while thinking that your husband is dead to be cheating.

    I also don't consider having a child from a different man a form of cheating.
    Ames, does that mean you would never get involved with a single dad?
    I have heard of women not wanting to get with a single dad so that they wouldn't have to deal ex issues, step kids from hell, etc. Not getting with a single dad because his children are proof of sex with someone other than you is a new one to me.
    You're such a funny Wench, lol.

    If Chicky got knocked up by man B while still in a relationship with man A then yeah, thats cheating.

    To me cheating is (with another person) that I would not do in front of him.

    I knew a really stupid girl online who freaked out and posted that she caught her boyfriend "cheating on me with his hand".
    She considered masturbation to be cheating, and was livid and hurt that he would dare do it.

  15. Chantal // 1:28 p.m.  

    I forgot to say that I like the storylines were the dead husband comes back to life. I really good one I read is called Strangers when we meet by Rebecca Winters

  16. Holly // 1:45 p.m.  

    LOL @ Ames and Chantal.

    I didn't even notice the comment earlier about the kids showing proof of him being with someone else. That's hella funny.

    See, I think there's a fine line between having a heart that's been broken, and just flat out refusing to trust/love because of it. I've never understood the wo/men who can't separate one bad experience with reality. Drives me batty.

    I'm not quite sure where I stand on the spouse returning thing. I've read a few that I liked, but it's not a favorite.

  17. ames // 2:31 p.m.  

    Chantal - Bookwise, I don't like children from other marriages. LOL And this goes for either the hero or heroine. I think because it means, in some cases anyway, that their heart belonged to someone other than the hero/ine. I guess that kind of ties into why I don't really care for widow stories and kids in romance. :P (And yes, I had some doubts while reading Virgin River, but ended up loving it anyway)

    Personally, I wouldn't date a single dad. But that's because I don't want kids and wouldn't want to raise someone elses. But that's me. :P HOWEVER, if the man's children were grown up, I'd definitely date him. And yes, I like older men. haha

  18. ames // 2:32 p.m.  

    That lady, who's man was cheating on her with his hand - too funny!!

  19. Holly // 3:32 p.m.  

    Ok, let me ask you this:

    What about a hero who's engaged to someone else but lusting after the heroine?

    I'm reading a book right now where the hero is now engaged to someone else, but still carries a torch for his ex-wife. He and his fiance aren't fooling around at all, and I find I'm not at all bothered by the fact that he's engaged. Normally I'd be pissed, but in this case, it's really working for me.

    What do you think?

  20. ames // 3:36 p.m.  

    Why is he engaged if they're not even fooling around?

    I don't think it would bother me either then, if there's no nookie going on and he's still in love with his wife. But it depends.

  21. ames // 3:37 p.m.  

    That reminds me of Swept Away by Toni Blake. The chick went away before her wedding and ran into her first love, and so she breaks it off with her fiance in her mind/heart (but because they're stuck on an island, she can't tell her fiance she doesn't want him anymore) and sleeps with the other guy. I was ok with that.

  22. Holly // 3:39 p.m.  

    Well, he kind of proposed in a spur of the moment type thing, and immediately regretted it. But he's made the commitment and is convinced he needs to honor it. Of course, it doesn't help that he proposed to the president's daughter, and that his ex-wife was hired as the

    But I think normally I'd be thinking he's scum, or that he didn't deserve either girl, and in this case I'm totally pulling for him and his ex to get back together. The author is also sort of leading us into seeing the fiance might want it could all work out in the end.

  23. Holly // 3:40 p.m.  

    Judith McNaught did the same thing in Every Breath You Take, and I was ok with it then, too. I guess it just depends, huh?

  24. ames // 3:41 p.m.  

    Yep, it depends all right. LOL

    And if the fiancee wants another guy, then it would probably be ok with me anyway.

  25. Chantal // 3:50 p.m.  

    Good question Holly. I think it would depend on the circumstances.

    Another thing about cheaters, and I'm sure women will hate me for this, but I don't always fault them. In The marriage bed (historical, LLG)the heroine found out that her husband wasn't head over heels in love with her, so she wouldn't allow him to have sex with her.
    She totally cut him off, and he eventually got it elsewhere.

    Sex is very important and if my Dh stopped putting out I would be pissed. My love for him would stop me from cheating, but his lack of intimacy would effect how I feel about him, and who knows how I would react if the love was no longer there.

    Ames- When I think about it, I would not want to get with an single dad either. Yeah yeah I have kids. Double standard, I know.

  26. Chantal // 3:53 p.m.  

    Ohh, we cross posted.
    Yeah, those circumstaces would work for me. And Holly, that book sounds like a soap opera! lol

  27. nath // 6:34 p.m.  

    Hey Holly... to me, if the hero of your book still carries a torch, but doesn't have sex with the heroine while being engaged, then I'm okay with it.

    As for the LLG book, under those circumstances, I understand why the hero went elsewhere. The thing is, he did like the heroine... sure he wasn't head over heels, but he liked her. She just over-reacted in my opinion.

    Oh and the Every Breath you Take... she did cheat on her fiance, but for some reason, it didn't bother me because 1) we haven't seen the fiance all that much up to that point and 2)the fiance was a bastard.

  28. ·:*¨¨*:·.Mad.·:*¨¨*:·. // 10:01 p.m.  
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  29. ·:*¨¨*:·.Mad.·:*¨¨*:·. // 10:03 p.m.  

    I recently read an older book...have fallen into a slump because of family stuff...but before the slump I read DAY BY DAY by Sandra Steffen. The heroine and hero had been married for over 14 years...2 kids, madly in love, etc etc etc. Then one day the heroine is in a car accident that puts her in a coma. Days and weeks go by with the hero and the heroine's younger sister being at her bedside. About 2 months later, because of no change with the heroine, the doctors tell the hero he needs to decide what to do. He and his SIL went looking at nursing homes but did not like any of them that were recommended to them. The heroine had told the hero that should anything ever happen to her to not keep her on the let her go. So the night he decides that the next day he's going to let her go, he and his SIL end up in each other's arms...grieving for the heroine and one thing leads to another and hello, the hero and SIL get it on...minutes after they come to their senses, the phone rings telling him that his wife is responding to touch. Yep. She came out of the come after 2 months. She goes through physical therapy and her therapist falls for her but she never does anything because she's married. Well, a few months later she notices that her sister is pregnant and that her husband and her sister can barely be in the same room together without one of them leaving...she puts 2 and 2 together and realizes what happened and she's devastated. Drama all over the place and she decides to get back at her husband by sleeping with her therapist but backs out after a couple kisses and goes back home. It does have a HEA but it took a while before it happened. But I felt like she was striking back at the hero because of what he wasn't something she wanted but it seemed like she thought if he could do it and get away with it, she would too, you know?