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Sunday, August 7, 2016

(72)One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison

One Less Problem Without You is a story of three women and one man.  Diana is having marital problems. Her husband is receiving dirty texts from other women.  She knows that she needs to make some sort of change in her life, but is not sure if her husband, Leif, will let her go.  He is used to women falling all over him, not leaving him.

Prinny grew up knowing that she was different.   She could sense things about people, including her half-brother, Leif.  She tried to use those skills to build a relationship with her big brother, but he would have nothing to do with her.  In fact he despised her then and he despises her now.  She keeps her distance from her family and used her inheritance to open a shop devoted to crystals, potions, and more.

Chelsea works at Cosmos with Prinny part-time while she tries to get her acting career to take off.   She is hoping that working with Prinny and her "skills" will be what it takes to get her life going down the right track.  And she thinks it has turned her life around when she meets the very handsome Lee at a local bar.  Is he the man she has been dreaming about all of her life?

These three women are living very different lives, but they have one thing in common -a man.  Diana seeks out help from Prinny in her effort to get away from the egomaniacal Leif, for she thinks he will never look for her there.   At Cosmos, Diana discovers something that has been lacking from her life  - friendship and support.  She is able to focus on her passion, teas and drinks.  Will the three women be able to shed this man from their lives once and for all?

I usually love Beth Harbison's books, but I had a really hard time getting into this one. It felt like the author was going for a Practical Magic feel, but fell short.  Leif was a gigantic asshole to anybody who came in contact with him. especially the women in his life.  I liked Diana and thought her decision to reach out to Prinny was a unique one - in fact that was my favorite part of the book. The way they bonded and stuck together. The development of their friendship was the highlight of the book.   There are a lot of books out recently with husbands are controlling and abusive, One Less Problem Without You fell a little short compared to them.  It is such a serious topic that I think an author has to be careful in how they handle it.

Bottom line - I know it is not fair to the author to compare One Less Problem Without You to other books on the market right now. The memories of those books and the emotions they evoked from me still linger.   It is not the author's fault the publisher chose to release the book when they did, but maybe her publisher should have done a little more research before selecting the release date.