Two middle-aged sales reps head off to a conference together. This is an event that they attend every year, and they look forward to the four-star accommodation and two days away from their regular family responsibilities. This year, something out of the ordinary happens, something that will challenge their relationships and change how they view themselves. Trust, by Mike Bullen, is the laugh-out-loud novel from the creator of Cold Feet.
Dan is married to Sarah, and they have one teenage son. They have a stable relationship but the fizzle is gone and their sex lives are virtually non-existent. They are living together happily enough, with neither party feeling sufficiently miserable to change anything. Ho hum is what they have in spades. Sarah does not work outside the home because she wants to be around for her son. She accidentally discovers that the home computer has been used to view risqué websites, and assumes that it is her son who is developing an interest in bondage.
Greg is in a long term relationship with Amanda, and they have two young daughters aged eight and ten. Their world is a cheerful place with plenty of love and happiness all around. Amanda works part time as a vet, leaving her time to spend at home with the girls. Amanda has never been keen on marriage because she witnessed her parents’ dysfunctional relationship, where her mother ignored her fathers’ constant philandering. She has promised herself that this will never happen to her, she will end a relationship before tolerating any infidelity.
Dan and Greg have quite different personalities. Dan is a quiet and unassuming tech expert who has the answers for his business clients. He is able to help them get a plan together and sell them the products that will do the job. On the other hand, Greg is an outgoing guy who loves to network and brings in sales with his charisma. Greg usually has the highest sales figures in the company, and both guys have sales targets that they have to achieve every month if they want to avoid trouble with their boss.
Also at the conference is the regional sales manager of another area, Paula Stratton, who is also referred to by the guys as Strap-On, a reference to her competitive nature and take no prisoners attitude. Towards the end of the book Paula, Dan and Greg are competing for a choice new position of sales manager. Greg questions whether he really wants to spend time away from his family in the new job, which will mean much more away from home travel to go with the increased pay packet.
A couple of young ladies named Lynda and Liz are attending the conference as well. As luck would have it, they sit right behind Greg and Dan, so that when the regular getting to know you game is held at the first get together (introduce yourself to someone you don’t know and tell them something that most people don’t know about you), they choose to introduce themselves to the guys. It didn’t help that Liz’s little-known fact that she revealed to Greg was ‘that she purred like a cat when she was sexually aroused’. After this flirtatious statement, I guess you can deduce that the theme of this novel is the effect of infidelity on the participants and their partners.
I enjoyed this book, it was light hearted and an easy read. By the way, the author is the creator of the television series Cold Feet. If you liked this show as I did, you will love the book. Thanks to Hachette Australia for my advanced reading copy, I think it’s a gem.
Trust by Mike Bullen is published by Hachette Australia and available now from Dymocks.
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