The Fires Within by Loren Beauchamp
A desperate housewife yarn. Not as engaging as Silveberg’s other Beauchamps, but a good guilty pleasure read…
She’s 37 but books 27, married to a man ten years her senior who is a big time Manhattan lawyer living in a giant house on Long Island, two cars, lots of money…and no sex life…
A yoing auto mehcanics sets the fire within her loisn and she has an affair with him; one day they go to a motel where the owner is a former client of her husband’s. This sleazy motel owner blackmails her: have sex with him or he’ll tell her husband. Seems he does this to a lot of married women who come to his motel for a romp. But he likes to spank and hit and bruise. She only does it once. He threatens to tell. She tells her husband the truth and he forgives her, but her husband and the motel owner have it out, the motel guy falls down the stairs and dies and her husband has a heart attack.
Now she is a rich widow and can sleep with whomever she wants…this is not a morality play, obviously, and does not have the patent “happy” ending the other books have.
Robert Silverberg must have had, or still does, a thing for busty red-heads, and many of this heroines thus far are all that — Connie, Meg, Wayward Widow, other womne in the Don Elliott books…just an observation.
(Sidenote: the woman in this novel reminded me a lot of a certain married woman I had an affair with in the late 1990s, who was also 37, older than me at the time — I was 29-30 — and well off. She was an actress ad hung around my theater crowd at The Fritz Theater in San Diego. She was in a sexless marriage, but also on a crazy binge after the death of her mother. But she was just like the woman in this book, so I find it…curious and odd I suppose…and she was a red head! I write about this affair in semi-autobio fashion in my novel Drama (Blue Moon Books, 2002), reprinted as Bad Karma and Kinky Sex (Ophir/OlympiaPress, 2009).