Jake Howards Wife By Anne Mather


Wow, this old school Harley contemporary romance had a lot of the bodice ripper elements in it. We have the heaving bosoms, the cheating hubby, and the forced seduction (Albeit a non descriptive one) the cruel alpha hero, and I think it’s fair to add the Un-Pc smoking from both the hero and heroine! lol

The story line was a twist of the MOC theme. I liked this twist better than the average one. The hero marries the heroine because she was beautiful and he always went for the best of everything. The heroine marries the hero for financial support and for nothing else. They agreed not to sleep with each other and they were in accordance for three years with not even a peck on the cheek. The hero was allowed to roam and sleep with whom ever he wanted and the heroine stayed at home and made a pretty house. Then one day things started to un-ravel…

I enjoyed the book for the most part, but what took away from the spectacular storyline was the sloppy writing. Some of the interaction between the hero and heroine didn’t make sense. Their conversations seemed false most of the time because you know that no one would say the things they said to each other in that particular situation. The weird punctuation marks at places where it didn’t belong grated on the nerve. I always used to roll my eyes when readers complain about that, but this book made me understand how frustrating it could be. I’ll never judge again! I should really be giving this book 2 stars for the horrible writing, but it wasn’t boring so I won’t.

Jake Howard needed to marry a woman that he felt had the right family/background and when he met Helen he felt he found her. He proposes a marriage of convenience to her soon after she is left virtually penniless w/ no prospects. They have been married three years when the story opens and you actually get some of Jake’s POV right from the beginning. Jake despised his wife, Helen, for agreeing to marry him and not trying to go things on her own. I didn’t much care for her either. She seemed to have Jell-O for a spine! He had several OW and he even recalls one that he had shared time w/ while on business recently. He feels that his wife is cold and aloof – aren’t they all – and he never even bothered to push past that barrier that she erects around herself. So of course he takes his animal urges elsewhere and has no problem w/ doing that. When he returns from his latest business trip he is upset that Helen is not there to meet him, but is instead out w/ her ex-fiancé – she can’t be doing this because others will see and speculate about him! She knows about what he has been up to and he thinks that she then thinks that it is okay for her to do it too. Sauce for the goose and all. . . . .

Jake only seems to be interested in Helen because she seems to be interested in OM. He is ALL about appearances he doesn’t want her to be having an affair where they will be talked about – even at the end this is echoed. He doesn’t believe her when she says there isn’t anything going on between her and the ex, but when did she ever give him reason to doubt her? Heck she even played true to form when she married him because she couldn’t take care of herself.

It is hinted around that she is aware of him and OW and he plays like it is all in her “not so innocent mind” that has dreamed up something for him now. Jake is a womanizer that can get any woman that he wants and he even tells Helen that he could get her friend if he wanted too. Jake tells Helen that he knows she wants him and then he acts dumbfounded and apologetic when he gives in to his blink-and-you-miss-it sex scene w/ his wife! It’s a wonder ANY OW would sleep w/ him!!

Jake always seemed content enough when he visited his mother – that’s because he gets his physical satisfaction elsewhere and he has the perfect wife at home! Jake explains that he has to hide his feelings. I can’t buy that because he despised her in the beginning and all his actions backed that up – okay in fairness he probably hid THAT from her! She is his possession and NO ONE else touches what belongs to him while he is out dipping that wick. There is NO resolution about his OW and all of his cheating! NONE!!
9780263805505 So they are married and he has like mistress when he travels and when he come home from a trip after sending his wife some flowers cause Hey he is such a nice guy. Not. He is a cheating bastard and when his he thinks his wife is actually having a relationship of her own he freaks. What an ass and she is just too stupid to live. I hated this book. They are not nice people and I don't care for his ideas or her. Money money money over emotions and people. Worst book I have read this year so far. 9780263805505 This book was so difficult for me to complete,disliked both Helen and Jake,all in all i can say is that Helen is a weak spineless woman,its completely Helen's fault to accept the terms and enter such marriage,then taking on 3 years of his crappy behaviour,she did'nt have a spine at all,every now n then where ever Helen went she was always in fear of bumping into her husband's lover and she kept all her feelings inside her,when she should have fought she kept quiet which made her marriage more hell,she suffered so much pain and humiliation cause of her silence

Jake,he is one cruel,cold,manipulative,disgusting,hypocritical pig ,he has been enjoying his affairs for past 3 years and when he finds that his wife is out he is angry and starts taunting and calling her names,never for once did he apologise for his behaviour,he really dispised Helen and when it was shown he has fallen in love with Helen was really hard for me to believe,when finally Helen starts her onjections he says clearly she is using it to cover her affair with Keith,basically if he does it its fine cause it meant nothing to him all those women it was just normal healthy relationships,i really wanted to smack him

For me,Jake's sudden interest in his wife has arised cause he has always seen his wife as his possession so when he sees that he is about to lose it his attention diverts towards Helen

Both entered the marriage with their own agendas and later both changed their rules and got their HEA 9780263805505 Just so everyone knows... this was the very first Harlequin Romance I ever read... I swiped it from my mother!

Yes..the hero is horrible and so is the heroine....and the story is 'old'...it wasn't that old when I first read it and I was hooked on Harlequin!

I love Anne Mather... no apologies! She is one of my favorites! I adore her bad heroes and whishy washy heroines... I love the locations and the misunderstandings...and the sex!

I have read hundreds of Harlequins since Jake Howard's Wife...but this one will always be my favorite..because my mom loved it too ....and now I smile when I remember her reading Harlequins and her love magazines.... she was a romance lover ....just like me.


Meet the English version of Mad Men's Don and Betty Draper ( without the kids and the smoking ).

OK, they're just as hot and beautiful as Don and Betty but he's a million times richer and she's still a virgin. Theirs is a marriage of convenience and like Betty, the heroine Helen is a cool icy blonde beauty who is the former blue collar H's trophy wife. Jake, the H, cleans up really well but don't let his Savile Row suits fool you. Jake is still inherently a man from the working class. He might be educated, rich and have great networking connections but these are all the means to an end for Jake. Even Helen his wife is a means to an end for him. It's all part of Jake's rise to the top of the corporate mountain and he can only accomplish that if ( in his mind ) he has the right wife. Helen, meanwhile, starts off her marriage with no love for Jake. He is basically her meal ticket. I didn't feel the love between these two.

Jake has mistresses and lovers for the major part of their marriage. It didn't seem to bother Helen for the early years of the marriage but it kinda bothered me. This was a very different type of romance novel, where the actual romance only really starts in the final 2 chapters or so. Most of this novel seemed like more of a unspoken battle between the MC's to see which one would have the stiffer upper lip in the end. I can't say I enjoyed Jake's cynical view of life and marriage but Helen's clueless mindset was also another irritating issue. Her best friend and her former fiance were both backbiting traitors and she never saw it coming. I felt a lot of pity for Helen because her life was lonely. She lived in her rich ivory tower yet she had no one to really share it with. Jake had his whores ( the type that he couldn't exactly walk around with in public ) and his job and he had his mom.

I had started to enjoy the novel a bit while the MC's were on their way to Wales to spend the weekend with a business associate of Jake's. I thought this was a new and wonderful beginning for them: Jake would finally see that there's more to Helen than her superficial beauty and social charm and Helen would send Jake for STD testing and make him sign a fidelity clause before sleeping with him. Well they did end up having sex and Jake did begin to appreciate that Helen was a truly remarkable woman. Unfortunately Helen didn't send Jake to the doctor's to get his dick tested for STD's, nor did she cover herself for the future by making him sign a fidelity clause. But I could have have accepted that since this novel was written way before these types of things were done by wives whose husbands are notorious whorebangers. What I couldn't live with was the sudden emergence of one of Jake's slutbunnies. This average looking OW turns up as the nanny to the couple that the MC's are visiting.

The first thing that crossed my mind was: aren't OW supposed to be really really really beautiful and so sexy that the heroine is slightly envious ? Then, after that automatic superficial thought passed, I got angry at Jake because: HE IS THE ONE WHO HELPED ARRANGED FOR THE OW TO GET HER JOB AS A NANNY. Wtf ? How much humiliation is Helen supposed to take ? On top of that, the average looking OW has the audacity to get all up in Helen's face and make innuendos about how close she is to Jake. I was seriously wanting to crawl into the book and F that impertinent bitch up. It made me hate Jake because he put poor Helen in that situation. On Mad Men, poor Betty Draper had to deal with that OW shit so often that she eventually turned into a bitter cynical shrew. Helen finally gets fed up and leaves his dumb ass. That was something I applauded. She goes to stay with Jake's mom and that dear lady was shocked to see her ice queen daughter in law.

The improved relationship between Helen and her mother in law is one of the nicer parts of this novel. It provided a nice break from all the Jake Howard drama and gave the whorebanger time to see that he really needed Helen because he loved her. The ending was kinda sweet ( for a novel about a whorebanging cheater and a clueless ice queen virgin ) and I was convinced that these 2 will have a HEA with no future adultery. Why, then, can I not rate this novel higher ? I hated the part with the nanny, Helen's traitorous best friend just faded into the woodwork with no comeuppance and the actual romance took a little too long to start developing. However, Jake gets to be a lucky cheater H who makes it to my sexy hero bookshelf and that's only because in my mind's eye he looked like the handsome John Hamm ( aka Don Draper ). 9780263805505 This book is one of the few AM's I enjoy. A lot of readers are completely offended by Jake's callous disregard of Helen and his frequent infidelity but I just find it kinda amusing in a weird sort of way.

I would agree with most in condemning Jake as a dog except that in the beginning of their marriage, Helen frankly doesn't give a damn what Jake does. Helen is still in mourning for her father and their relationship. She is so introspective and trying to convince herself that her father did not commit suicide that when Jake proposes she only sees two things. She sees security, cause she really has no idea of how to live in the real world and she sees a chance for revenge on the family that denigrated her father. This introspection of Helen's goes on for about three years, and it is only towards the end of that time that she even considers what kind of marriage she is in. In Jake's favor, once he returns from his trip to America, he is completely obsessed with Helen and doesn't really think of anyone else. As they haven't even tried to develop a closer relationship yet, the OW don't really count for me.

In the 3 years they have been married Jake reckons they have only spent about 3 months together. They don't know each other really well although I think Helen actually has more insight into how Jake works than he has about her. Helen doesn't like Jake's infidelity initially because her friends are gossiping about it and it makes her uncomfortable to be the subject of gossip. Helen is very naive and kinda snobbish. I don't believe she is deliberately that way, she can be catty but for the most part, she has never been anything but sheltered. First her dad and then Jake pretty much make sure she never has to think about anything. She really does try to get to know and appreciate other people, but she is actually pretty insecure when it comes to conversations and her looks really did not help her when it comes to interpersonal communication. Everyone judges her on them and that is a bit unfair to her, not that she doesn't use her image to get her out of uncomfortable situations, she does but I don't hate her for it.

Even though Helen is 26 at the start of the book, she is mentally about 18 and I think a lot of her naivete comes from the fact that her looks, while beautiful, make her come across as an ice princess and she really isn't. She just can't bear to let anyone who isn't close to her see her personality and her looks only aid in the icy demeanor deception. She was raised to project an image and to subscribe to certain standards and ultimately it is this image that Jake wants even though he is derisive about her so called shallowness.

IMO Helen isn't shallow, just introspective, shy and kinda idealistic about people and she does take steps to make a life for herself by the end of the book. It wasn't easy for her to go to Jake's mum, but she did for two reasons. Ostensibly, she hangs out with Jake's mum to hide but her real motivation is to try and understand more about Jake and how he thinks. She has some insight into his character but not enough to really understand how he works and how she could make a marriage between them work on more than the surface level.

Helen also needs to see how people outside her circle live and develop an appreciation for that. By the end of her stay with Jake's mum, both she and his mother have the beginnings of a better relationship. I think she surprised Jake's mum by showing up and not acting like a haughty witch. Jake's mum finally realizes there is a lot more to Helen than is on the surface and eventually she respects her for it when she implores Helen to try and save her marriage.

Jake's pov is written a lot in this book and that is another one of the reasons I like it. In 1974 there was almost no H pov so this was a new direction. Jake, for all his disdain for Helen and her social class, is really the bigger hypocrite and rather shallow himself. He marries the most upper class icy blonde he can find as a status symbol and then has the effrontery to belittle those same people he wants to impress. Jake really doesn't see beneath the surface, he is a shallow as they come. If he hadn't been, he would have understood why he was so angry with Helen and her friendship with Keith, he would have understood a lot earlier why he missed just talking to Helen so much. Jake really doesn't get until Helen leaves him just how much he relied on her listening to him and exchanging ideas with him. If Helen had really been just the trophy he kept telling himself she was, he wouldn't have been so hurt when Helen wasn't there to talk to anymore.

I like the little flashes Jake gets of how lonely Helen must have been, and I like the remorse he almost feels when he remembers the ladies he has been unfaithful with.

I actually don't hold his affairs against him. He never slept with Helen and it was an agreed MOC, so while there was infidelity on the marriage itself, there was no betrayal of Helen. She neither wanted nor expected to share his bed and for most of the book, she doesn't love him so there is no big heartbreak there either. She does get upset at the thought of him shagging her friend Jennifer but there again, it isn't love at that point more a fact that Helen is starting to realize the few people she thinks are friends really aren't. Helen is growing up and Jake really never figures out how naive she really is.

I also like how Jake falls apart when Helen leaves. Here is Helen finally growing up and making some adult choices and what does Jake do? Cancels his big business trip and gets drunk and wallows around in self pity cause he messed up the best thing he ever had. I laughed at description of Jake all bummed out in bed and Helen telling him to get up and clean up. Jake is supposed to be so smart and yet he can't figure out that his wife knows all about his affairs and assumes she is just another notch on his bedpost? He can't figure out that Helen might need to know that he actually likes her? The drunk Jake scene really redeems Jake, it shows he does care even though he is clueless and it shows that Helen can be equal in the relationship with him. When she has to take care of him for a change, it bodes well for a future partnership. Helen is not without power here and for an AM (whose h's are usually idiot doormats) that is a good thing.

Both Helen and Jake are shallow, status driven people. Helen tries hard but Jake is there to make sure she doesn't really develop a lot of depth. However, I think Helen may actually succeed at giving both of them some purpose other that social status in the future. When Jake wants to take her out to the most expensive restaurant in town for lunch at the end, she just wants to stay in and shag. This may indicate a little less status consciousness in both of them and I think gives a good resolution for their future.

All in all I like Jake Howard's Wife. It was a very different book for the time and it still holds up almost 40 years later with its trophy wife trope and status consciousness.
9780263805505 Jake Howard's Wife - a dramatic re-telling

Hero – where’s my wife?
Servant – out with an OM
Hero - !!!
JHW – I don’t have an identity beyond my relationship to the Jake Howard fellow
Bitchy friend – You know he has OWs all over the place
JHW – meh
Hero – argle bargle – OM – argle bargle
JHW – meh
OM – Let’s go out
JHW – meh
Hero – Go ahead. Go out with the OM. Make my day
JHW – meh
Hero – we’re going to Wales
JHW – meh
Hero – we’re stuck in the mud.
JHW – we have to sleep in the same bed at this quaint farmer’s house?
Hero – You said something besides meh
JHW – meh – hey – are you banging our host’s nanny?
Hero – She’s from the North. I’ve known her since she was 15. My mother likes her.
JHW – meh – oh!
Hero – That was sex and I’m sorry I’m only supposed to bang OWs according to our unwritten marriage contratct
JHW – I’ll go to the hero’s mother who hates me.
Hero’s mother – what the hell?
JHW – meh
Hero *shifts around empty scotch bottles* You’re back! I’ve been on a weeklong bender
JHW – I was slumming with your mum
Hero – what? I mean, I don’t care. I mean, I’m too sophisticated to care. I mean, I love you.
JHW – I love you, too
Reviewer – meh.

Bonus Fanfiction Jake Howard’s Widow

JHW – I can’t believe I spent all of your father’s money, not eating the food put in front of me, buying outfits I only wear one time and relying on servants to do everything.
Jake Howard’s Daughter – Mom. I can’t keep you in this lifestyle. I want to be a gardener like a Lynne Graham heroine
JHW – Well then you’d better find a rich hero to take care of me and you.
Daughter – Why can’t you go on a cruise and find a Texas oilman or something?
JHW – meh
Daughter – Fine. I’ll go design a garden for your bitchy friend. I’m sure she has a son stashed away somewhere.
JHW – Stepson. She slept her way out of her first marriage and then two husbands later hit the jackpot.
Stepson – I hate women
JHW – Perfect
Daughter - *sighs*
Stepson – MOC. I take care of your useless mother. You humanize me.
Daughter – Sounds like a plan. Pass the fertilizer.

9780263805505 Ok..so this book, apparently, was written in the seventies and it reads like a farce, back when cigarettes and fur were cool, and suede trousers could be worn with a straight face. 😂 9780263805505 This is a surprisingly good read, given that the H is a controlling, domineering and a cheating jerk, and she’s a weak, annoying and perpetually indecisive trophy wife.

*Spoilers*He’s one of those uber-dominant Hs who expect everyone (including the h) to jump when he says so. He’s a self made man and cunningly pursues and persuades the poor little rich girl who’s not so rich any more to marry him. He assesses her cool blonde beauty and aristocratic lineage to be assets and ode to his success, while at the same time he dislikes her personally and feels, if not exactly repelled then, definitely left cold by her ice princess routine. It’s an moc and they both know what they’ve signed up for – her, security and him, a trophy wife.
The book opens with his pov as he returns from a successful (no other kind for him!) trip abroad after 3 months, and is eager to get ‘home’. The above info we get from his own ruminations as he travels back. So for all his protestations the reader gets the feel of his impatience to get home and share things about his trip with his wife, and finds it a bit contradictory (as the author wants us to). We also get a hint of the many and interchangeable women on such trips who look after his manly appetites.

Only the wife’s missing when he gets home! She’s out with an old suitor even when she was aware of his arriving on that day. All hell breaks loose. Their calm, tranquil if superficial world gets a good shaking. He breathes fire and lays down the law and dares her to defy him. She does try in her trademark cold haughty way but is no match for his outright nastiness and insults. One might hate his cruel and uncaring conduct towards the h but their interactions/altercations were quite fascinating at the same time.

The h is typical upper class girl (and suitably worthless with it) and her constantly 'not touching' the coffee and sandwiches provided by the very capable housekeeper annoyed me - it almost had a suggestion of anorexia to it. And she doesn't come across as someone with enough wits to decorate a house, forget running it. That is if one discounts her own very 'decorative' self!
Compared to the vital and powerful persona of the H, the h seems really tstl. One look at her ‘friends’ and you know she has no brains – at all. The om with whom she’s spending time and enjoying having ‘stimulating conversations’ about arts and other uppity stuff is the same guy who dumped her like a hot potato when her father died and she lost all the money – as the H points out to her.
And her bff is the most toxic friend in all HP land. She gives her all the wrong advice and the h’s so blind that she can’t see that the bff has the hots for her husband – again the H points it out to her.

They go on a trip to Wales where they finally have sex. Another ow pops up to muddy the already murky waters. The h runs away to her mother in law, as she knows that’s the last place he’d look for her as the MIL's never approved of her and thinks her too frivolous and unsuitable for her dynamic son. Ouch!

The h never really shows any real spark of intellect but after quite disliking her for most of the book, I started to feel protective about her! Poor witless little thing! I’m sure that’s how she won over the H too. And the oh-so-superior H falls hard, with his precious dignity lying shattered all around him.

Enjoyable and engaging. A totally worth it ride despite the negatives.
The only Anne Mather worth reading so far! 9780263805505

He despised her but wanted her as a wife.
Jake Howard and his wife, Helen, were outwardly a perfect couple with a perfect marriage. Jake was immensely attractive, rich and successful. Helen was beautiful, intelligent and wellbred.

But Jake had chosen Helen purely as a lovely possession to crown his success. Helen had accepted him as the only alternative to earning her own living. They both wanted to live their own lives.

What kind of a marriage was that? On such shaky foundations, how could it last? Jake Howards Wife

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