The setup of this novel bears some similarities to another book I read this summer: The Pretend Wife, by Bridget Asher. In both novels the protagonist is a young woman whose life has been somewhat scarred by her mother’s early death. After a passionate, whirlwind romance that ended badly, both protagonists married men who they felt safe with, despite a sneaking suspicion that they were “settling” for something less than true love. Then, early in the marriage, a chance encounter with the old boyfriend brings that former passionate love back into their lives and makes them question everything — especially the marriage.
Despite these obvious similarities, Love the One You’re With takes a different direction from The Pretend Wife, and one I enjoyed more. I found the characters, the dilemma they’re confronted with, and the resolution far more nuanced and believable in Giffin’s novel, and I got quite involved with all the characters while reading. This is good-quality chicklit — an enjoyable and engaging read.