Cover Image: The Freedom Clause

The Freedom Clause

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book was predictable and the main characters were unlikable. Two stars because I finished it and the idea behind the book is interesting, if not a little outside many people's comfort zone.

Daphne and Dominic were college sweethearts who got married after graduation. Now they are in their mid-twenties and their marriage is in a slump. Dominic suggests The Freedom Clause: one night a year, they each can have sex with a stranger, no questions asked. Daphne adds a few rules, but agrees to it.

I'm sure we can all see where this is going. Dominic has one mishap after another; the clause sure didn't work out the way he thought it would. Daphne has an amazing 5 years: great sex with strangers, a dream job, a successful cooking column. She really came into her own, while Dominic kept sinking.

Neither of the main characters are pleasant people. They are both self-involved and shallow. I'm sure the book was supposed to show us what can happen when we come out of our shells and ask for what we want. It was pretty heavy-handed.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book has such a great premise - it was so ridiculous that I had to keep reading to see how it would all turn out for the main characters! I went into this book completely blind and was so not expecting what I got myself into!

I was rooting for Daphne the whole time and seeing how she grew and changed year over year was fascinating. Dominic gave me slimy vibes from page one and I loved how their pact turned out by the end of the book.

I really enjoyed this book, it was like nothing I’ve ever read before! It also has some hilarious recipes to follow along with as you read!

Read this if you:
- Have ever thought about having a hall pass
- Read the blurbs before a recipe on a food blog
- Married your first love

Dominic and Daphne have been together since college and although they’ve only been married for 3 years, they’ve lost the spark in their relationship despite being completely in love. When Dominic brings his idea of opening up their marriage to Daphne, she agrees with conditions - one person, one night per year, for the next 5 years. This becomes The Freedom Clause and it brings big changes to their relationship and to themselves.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the concept of this book and overall I really enjoyed it. I do wish that Dominic's storyline didn't rely on him become the villain.

Was this review helpful?

I read the blurb and instantly thought 'Well nothing good can come from this".

A couple who needs a little spice has a freedom clause which means that one night, once a year for 5 years, they can each sleep with someone else. But they can't tell each other or their friends about it. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I will say this was a quick read. it wasn't my favorite, but it was a good book.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars!

WOW! What a debut novel!

I picked this ARC because the premise sounds absolutely thrilling to me. I can honestly say that I cannot wait for whatever Hannah Sloane writes next!

Dominic and Daphne meet their first week of college and immediately get married after graduation. It's three year into their marriage and things have stalled out for them sexually. Having only been with each other their entire lives, Dominic proposes they open up with marriage to explore sexually with other people. Daphne at first feels like this is Dominics way out of their marriage and is against the idea. Slowly, she agrees but with conditions. They are allowed one night a year, one person, no repeats or friends/family, they tell no ones, and they have a 5 year time-frame where they will reassess the terms.

This book fascinated me because we start off by feeling empathy for Dominic. He clearly is portrayed as this patient, kind, thoughtful husband who wants to be connected with his wife and feels that the lack of sex in their life is a reflection upon himself. We can empathize with him on his feelings of insecurity as he believes Daphne is far out of his league and if he cannot please her sexually, someone else will. He also shows his hand a bit in being eager to explore sexually when his first encounter is with a young coworker that goes terribly wrong and he is forced out of his job.

Daphne represents women in marriages as a whole. I felt so strongly connected to her as the story went on but in the beginning she states she just isn't into sex. She doesn't know what to do, doesn't know how to orgasm, and cannot speak with Dominic about what she wants because she's never experienced anything outside of him. Her first night with a stranger at a hotel felt so painful as the observer, but as a woman, we have all had a similar experience. She takes to writing about her life and mixes in her passion for cooking on a blogging website as a way to express her feelings during all of this change. Since she cannot tell her friends about what is going on, she turns toward her blogging and it eventually gains a strong following as the years go on.

It felt like a peek into any young 20 year olds life as they try to find themselves and become who they want to be, but with more to risk due to the marriage. Both Dominic and Daphne go through so much internal and external change during the course of the 5 years. Daphne grows to love herself, become more confident, take more risks, changes careers, and eventually publishes her own book about the whole experience and cooking. Dominic in many ways, found himself at a great life cost. He states it plainly when he tells Daphne that the Freedom Clause worked for her and not for him. And that is sort of the point of the novel.

Women are often told how to feel and base their value on the opinion of men. Daphne was able to find her true self, her true voice, and despite overcoming her fear and trust issues with Dominic, grew into and accepted herself within the freedom of the freedom clause. Dominic, like many men, took advantage again and again of the clause and paid the ultimate price, his marriage.

Beautifully written, wonderfully done. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC & PRH Audio for the audiobook in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Okay, so I’m the type of person that loves playing the “what if?” Game with my friends, often making up weird questions about our relationships and friendships and what limits each person has. Then I found this book and it hooked me from that perspective. I love the story idea of a relationship with set rules, which may be totally weird to most people, and how those lines change and the tension it created. Great read!

Was this review helpful?

I appreciated the almost taboo nature of this book, I do love a story that pushes the envelope. While I can't relate to the characters, I can appreciate the story for what it is.

Was this review helpful?

I loved the unique plot and I enjoyed the book so much. And I hope to read more books from this author.

Was this review helpful?

The Freedom clause gives this couple the option to sleep with someone else once a year, with rules. After three years Dominic and Daphne create this for their marriage. What happens when the rules are broken, or when they grow in their own lives. It is an interesting idea for a book. It was also fun to read. It has some emotions in there as well. It is an all over well rounded good book.

Was this review helpful?

This book ended up being much deeper than the fluffy romance I was expecting, but I enjoyed it! The main characters were ones I wanted to befriend and support, and this was an easy and fast paced read. Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

What a premise of a story.

A couple who are each others’ firsts in everything end up plateauing too quickly add an amendment to their marriage vows, that one night a year to have their freedom with a stranger.

I enjoyed it but was not very much invested in the characters but still a good read overall.

Was this review helpful?

This was a tough read for me personally - a lot of topics within their marriage hit home for me in regards to my ex-husband. Liked it, but it made me look inward and think about things I'd long forgotten about

Was this review helpful?

It was certainly a good read and an easy one. I finished it in a short time at a very busy time of the year which is to say ‘I couldn’t put it down’. There was a lot about the book that was entertaining but also had a message. However, I thought some of the family complications were unnecessary. I can’t say any more about that without giving away too much information. I was really impressed with the character development. I felt like they were REAL people and I LOVED the recipes that are interspersed throughout the book.

Was this review helpful?

This book was amazing. I loved the premise and honestly, loved the ending. Was not what I was initially expecting but as the book went on it was exactly what I was hoping for.

Was this review helpful?

At first, given the premise of this book along with the very visual and vibrant cover, I thought this would be a steam-filled book filled with spicy situations and adventurous relationships. It was much deeper than that, with a very well developed story line, and characters that grew and developed from start to end in very mature ways. Lessons learned by both Dominic and Daphne about compromises, love, confidence, and self-worth are lessons we all work through ourselves in life as well. I really enjoyed this book a lot and couldn't put the book down! It was modern, funny, sweet, sad, certainly adventurous and steamy at times, and awkward all at the same time. Just how life is. And very happy the story went the route of a strong main female character. The addition of the recipes along the way was a very clever twist to the story as well.

Thank you #dialpress and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Can taking one night off of your marriage save it? That’s the question that this book is focused on. As someone who’s been married for twenty years I really had to throw out my personal opinions to enjoy this book. While I don’t agree with their choices I did still enjoy the story.
Thank you #dialpress and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

Was this review helpful?

A stale marriage, a Freedom Clause to be with someone else 1 day per year for 5 years, then revisit. At first thought this book might be sexy, silly, funny, romantic. It is all of those but with lots of thought and emotion and consequences. I enjoyed the journey of Dominic and Daphne!

Was this review helpful?

Daphne and Dominic meet cute in university and immediately become a couple, marrying after they both graduate in The Freedom Clause by Hannah Sloane. After a few years, though, their marriage seems a little stale, so Dominic suggests the Freedom Clause, basically a hall pass that allows them both one night per year to have a dalliance with someone else. They'll conduct this experiment for five years and then revisit the clause at that time.

This book surprised me. The vibrant cover hides the intelligence and substance of this book. I thought that this novel from a new author would be your typical romantic comedy, but I felt that there was so much more to the book. It's engaging, humorous, sad, sexy, and entertaining. You really get into the backgrounds and motivations of the two main characters and see them grow and change throughout this book.

I wasn't a fan of the recipes that accompany most of the chapters. After the couple moves forward with their new arrangement, Daphne starts a private, anonymous blog that details her dalliances and Dominic's, and she incorporates a recipe that goes along with whatever currently may be happening with her marriage. They're real cutesy and not just recipes with comments about life thrown in. It just didn't work for me. That's partly why this book isn't five stars for me despite me loving this book.

I also liked how this book examines marriage and the compromises both parties make in keeping a marriage together. It really was eye-opening in many ways. Some truly feminist views come through; some more hard-hitting than others. Sometimes, it intimated that marriage isn't a great institution, but I think that's very subjective. It's ripe for some good conversations for a book club or just between friends. Even if you don't agree with the arrangement or don't approve of it, it's entertaining, and I found it hard to put down the book because you're racing to see what comes next.

As for the ending, I think it will appeal to some readers while others may not like it at all. I wasn't a fan but thought it was the best way to end the book although it felt a little flat. You'll see why, and I feel like it could be an opening for a sequel. In that case, or even if the author doesn't write a sequel, I will be there for the author's next book. I really enjoyed her writing and see a bright future here.

Was this review helpful?

I thought the premise of The Freedom Clause sounded really interesting - a couple taking one day a year to each be with someone else. They agree to it for five years and then reassess. Unfortunately the execution didn’t work for me and I decided to DNF. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free book to review.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars
I started out seriously disliking this book. A young couple, married for a few years, feels their marriage lacks oomph, so they decide on a one night per year break from fidelity. Riiight. However, the book actually improved for me as it went on and we saw how this night of freedom affected each of them and how they changed over time. I must say I enjoyed Daphne's story arc more than Dominic's--seems like the author neglected him a bit. Some aspects were still annoying, but not too bad overall.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC of this book.

Was this review helpful?