The Fourth Child - C.J. Carmichael 4 solid stars!!What would you do if your husband comes home from work one day and tells you he's in love with someone else?Claire Ridgeway has everything. A seemingly perfect marriage, a successful and handsome husband, three gorgeous kids and a beautiful home. Everything is where it should be until her husband came home and told her he's in love with someone else. And to add insult to injury, Claire just found out she's pregnant with their fourth child and was about to tell her husband the news. Talk about getting the rug pulled out from under you. I was prepared to hate Kirk just by reading the blurb alone. I mean, the man had an affair with his co-worker while his wife was pregnant although he didn't know it at that time. I mean, how could he? Surprisingly, I didn't hate Kirk. I actually liked his charcater, flaws and all. Unlike most cheating books, this one, at least for me, took a frank look at how cheating affects a marriage. Kudos to C.J. Carmichael for keeping this realistic and shall I say, mature portrayal of this touchy subject. I say mature because cheating wasn't swept under a rug or magnified or glorified for that matter, it was discussed and dealt with in an honest albeit emotionally painful, manner. It was painful to watch Claire and Kirk dealing with the aftermath of his revelation. I was a wreck reading this book but in a good way because this was done so well. As I mentioned before, I really didn't hate Kirk's character at all. In spite of his feelings, he was mature enough to realize that he wanted to make his marriage work. He did jump through the hoops to get Claire back. He wasn't always successful but as a reader, I actually ended up rooting for him.Claire was also a great character. You feel her pain. She was, understandably, more reluctant to give her marriage a try. As the book progresses, we find out that even before Kirk's revelation, things aren't quite as perfect as people believed their marriage to be. Kirk's revelation only brought everything to the surface. I know cheating isn't everybody's cup of tea but if you are to at least try to read one, this book is it. Great characters, well written and realistic. Of course, Kirk and Claire did have their HEA and it was a convincing one, IMO.By the way, Kirk didn't sleep with the other woman but they made out, went to dinners together and spent time together. It was, in every sense of the word, an extra-marital affair.