Book Reviews

The Househusband's Guide to Domestic Bliss by Lance Lansdale

Genre Gay / Futuristic / Future Earth / Robots/Androids/AI / Romance
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 06-May-2024

Book Blurb

At Ms. Broussard's Home for Bountiful Beaus, even the unlovable can find a love story for the ages. She offers custome-made automatons, fully trained in the art of keeping a home.

Arthur Price is not looking for love. The lonely librarian clings to his work and routine to keep himself functioning. When his brother, Jared, arrives in the middle of the night with an i-Series automaton meant to lift his spirits, he realizes his routine life is about to be upended. Cheerful to a fault, Periwinkle is not someone Arthur would normally choose to befriend, much less enter into a romantic entanglement with, but he somehow programs himself perfectly into his life.

Miraculously, Arthur finds himself growing almost fond of the robot. Periwinkle may not possess much experience outside cleaning, but he can’t help noticing the loneliness in his librarian’s eyes. If it means giving Arthur Price a fresh start, Periwinkle is more than happy to stitch together all of Arthur’s broken pieces. Whether Arthur likes it or not, Periwinkle's mechanical heart beats only for Arthur.


Book Review

This is a light, low-angst, almost a coming of age/awareness romance between one man who has had his heart broken and stomped on and one artificial intelligence learning what it is to be a (hu)man. The story does touch on, but doesn’t really delve too deeply into, the status of artificial intelligence as sentient beings. Possible trigger warning – there are scenes which depict verbal and emotional abuse and a BDSM relationship that may not be entirely consensual.


I-739 was purchased for Arthur by his wealthy brother Jarad who felt Arthur had been “moping” long enough after Arthur’s catastrophic breakup with his ex. I-739 was obtained from Ms. Broussard’s Home for Beautiful Beaus under false pretenses and extra money to overlook those pretenses. Technically, under Ms. Broussard’s rules, it’s Jared who owns I-739, which comes into play later in the story where Jared takes exception to how Arthur feels about I-739.


There are definitely some complicated emotions in this one: Arthur is not enthused about having i-739 thrust upon him and has no idea what to do with I-739 and I-739 is still reeling from the realization that Jared is not his “beau” as he had been built with the expectation he’d be serving Jared.


I had some complicated emotions over this one: Ms. Broussard’s Mother’s Manual for a Happy Home interludes read like instructions for housewives of the 1950s. For my science fiction background, I would have liked a bit more AI “programming” at Ms. Broussard’s Home for Beautiful Beaus (such as, a reference to Azimov’s Rules of Robotics). And Jared’s inability to understand that how he interacts with an AI is not how Arthur is going to interact was a bit disturbing.


There are some little gems in this story as well, the Auxiliary group is an absolute hoot as is I-739’s interaction with them, I-739’s inability to drive even a vespa without crashing it, and I-739 thinking Arthur enjoys burnt bacon (it’s almost as if there’s a story behind that one…).


Overall, an interesting read that is a bit thought provoking, it does bring up some complicated emotions while still being light enough to entertain. This is a perfect book for a quiet, rainy weekend, a commute read, or while traveling.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 354 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-April-2024
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Buy Link