Whatever It Takes - L. Maretta
First things first, infidelity is not something I want to read about. I have been known to chunk a book in the trash due to cheating. I like to read outside my comfort zone. The author was upfront that cheating had taken place and the book was about the road to recovery. I can handle that. The characters were authentic. The emotions they felt were believable. They were not always good, but they were honest.

The reactions the couple had through out the book were ones I thought I might have in the same situation. Two examples of this are the slap and Gavin's irritation.
The slap - Emma, a normally non violent woman, lashes out at Gavin in one scene and hits him. She is hurting deeply and angry. Her husband is supposed to be the one who loves and cherishes her but instead he is the source of her pain. The slap comes from a place of such intense emotion that she was not even thinking clearly any longer, just reacting to her pain.

Gavin's irritation - Gavin loves his wife. He is genuinely sorry and knowing he is the source of her pain is tearing him up. Even the most apologetic person will eventually become defensive. It is a emotional survival mechanism. How long will I have to do this before we can move on? He knows deep down that it is going to take time to heal but his guilt turns to irritation a few times. It was a natural response.

The reason behind the infidelity and the professional diagnosis of why Gavin cheated were well thought out. I do not think the story would have been as good if Gavin had cheated for any other reason.

Over all, the book is well plotted, has an organic development of the story, and characters that you can empathize with. L. Maretta made a anti-infidelity reader fall in love with a cheater. I stayed up way, way past any respectable hour to read the whole book in one sitting. What am I going to do now?