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Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives Paperback – Jun 1 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 edition (June 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439173176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439173176
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,380,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"I loved it! Josie Brown captures the highs and lows of love, lust, and marriage with heart wrenching pathos. I'm recommending it to all my friends as the perfect beach read!" —Lisa Rinna, New York Times bestselling author of Rinnavation

"I loved this juicy-as-it-is-heartfelt novel about love, marriage, friendship—and sharp, manicured claws. Could not put it down!" —Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

"Hollywood's got nothing on the cast of characters living in the bedroom community of Paradise Heights, who have the secrets, sex, money, and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover story. Josie Brown is a skilled observer whose clever dialogue and feisty style make for truly entertaining reading." —Jackie Collins

"Poignant and funny! Josie Brown’s protagonist is strong, resilient and unflinchingly honest; she has all the skills she needs to navigate the ‘mean streets’ of the gated community of Paradise Heights. A great read!" -- Wendy Wax, author of Magnolia Wednesdays

“Brown proves that a story with suburban bodies can be just as suspenseful as one with dead bodies! Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a probing, entertaining fishbowl of married life in a well-heeled, wayward neighborhood. Loved it!” - Stephanie Bond, author of Body Movers

"Fans of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES will love this story..The quick pace and snappy dialogue make this a fun read."
--Romantic Times

About the Author

Josie Brown’s celebrity interviews and relationship articles have been featured in Redbook and Complete Woman magazines, as well as AOL, Yahoo,,, and She lives in Marin County, California with her husband and two children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 40 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Here's to Having Your Cake and Eating it Too Aug. 17 2010
By Susan Wakefield - Published on
Format: Paperback
Here's to Having your Cake and Eating it Too (p310)sums up the lives of six women stuck in the Heights of Paradise Posse. As members of the local Women's League Board in the wealthy community of Paradise Heights, we come to witness the unravelling of the lives of six mothers as they struggle against the tides of slow suburbia. The monotonous life of carpools, cashmere sweaters and casseroles gives way as news spreads of the shocking divorce of DeeDee and Harry Wilder. The slower life gets the faster the chins wag in this slice of traditionalism meets modern suburbia. This divorce sends ripples of restlessness to resonate throughout Bouganvillia Drive as, one by one, each of these women befall their fate and succumb to the temptations of boredom meets infidelity. "It's not because he doesn't trust me, it's because I don't trust myself." (p229) The dynamics of female relationships is more interesting as Brown explores the hierarchy, status and power existent between these women and their perfect McMansions with manicured lawns. Brown successfully explores the implorable nature of insecurity and boredom of marriage in suburbia and does not seem to run out of material despite the fact that this topic has been exhausted in recent years through various mediums from Desperate Housewives to Wife Swap. A broader statement perhaps on emerging societal and behavioral trends in these days of instant gratification and our growing sense of entitlement begs the question....

Are we having our cake and eating it too?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Loved Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives Oct. 20 2010
By Debbie - Published on
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives! Josie Brown weaves a clever tale of what goes on in upscale suburbia! The characters seem so realistic. You find yourself eager to turn the page to see what happens next. It's so easy to get absorbed into this story. Josie Brown is a really good writer and a does a wonderful job with this book! I highly recommend this read!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Funny, Moving, and Realistic Jan. 28 2013
By Dina - Published on
Format: Paperback
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is funny, moving, and more realistic than the Desperate Housewives drama it's being compared to. I quite enjoyed the story. Lyssa, the main character, is likable and compassionate - a stark contrast with the mean girls-turned-mommies in their upscale neighborhood. She takes abandoned dad Harry under her wing, and the two become friends. From the start, it seemed to me there would be more to their relationship than meets the eye. There are a few surprises along the way, and things find a way to fall into place at the end.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Satire in the Suburbs June 10 2014
By Teeker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
editMy Review
Apr 16, 2014
rating 4 of 5 stars
bookshelves read
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status Read in April, 2014
format Paperback (edit)
review I couldn't have been more surprised. When going on a long ride, I amuse myself with listening to a book on CD (or tape since my car is actually old enough to have a tape player! ) The Flying J Truck stop carries many items including DVD's, CD's, and Audio Books. I often stop and check them out since the prices seem to be reasonable but I don't usually expect to find something great. This book was one that I found there and I figured I would give it a try.

Josie Brown nailed it! Her depiction of an affluent suburb and the adults and children that live there was perfect. Lyssa finds herself reflecting on the life of a neighbor, Harry after his wife has left him and rumors have been flying. She wonders what it is like to be a man at home taking care of the house and kids and figures he might need some support. Being a kind hearted person, Lyssa invites Harry to meet the other wives on the neighborhood board. Harry accepts Lyssa's invitation and meets the other women only to find that they are looking for a far "deeper" friendship than he wants to offer. By setting boundaries, he puts off the other women and finds himself not quite so welcome in the group anymore. Lyssa then gets the idea that perhaps it would be good for him to become friends with the two other men that she knows that work from home. Oddly enough, Lyssa finds herself more comfortable with the men than with the women on the board. She and Harry have become good friends and are strong supporters of one another so of course, rumors begin to develop about their relationship. What Lyssa does not bargain for is what her friendship with Harry will mean for both her and her friends. How well do we let others know us? Have others deleted chapters from their stories that we know nothing about?

The plot shows the dark side of life in the burbs with utter precision. We find that bullying, women acting catty, and gossip do not end at the schoolhouse door. This story will keep you interested and has some unexpected twists. I also want to note that I enjoyed the quotes that Brown has at the beginning of each chapter. They are a special touch that certainly go along with the theme of the book. Well done, Josie. I will be looking for more of your titles.(less)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Laurel-Rain Snow - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Life in Paradise Heights, a prestigious gated community near the Silicon Valley, promises the happily-ever-after that many young couples want. But the fine print doesn't tell anyone to be careful, because "if something is too good to be true, it just might be."

For the women of Paradise Heights, the first crack in the veneer of their perfect kingdom is the break-up of a seemingly flawless marriage. The gossip mill is alive and well in the Heights, and soon everyone is speculating about what broke up Harry and DeeDee Wilder. Popular opinion says that her husband walked in on her and her lover.

DeeDee moves out, without the kids, while Harry stays behind; he works at home and occasionally at the office, but he is the primary caregiver. The two will be battling custody out in court throughout the months ahead, and the secret of just who DeeDee's lover is hovers over the storyline.

When Lyssa Harper, whose husband Ted is a typical workaholic, befriends Harry and invites him to meet the other "mommies," she has no idea what will follow. Then Harry, who has become her friend, rebuffs the other women's advances, and he is exiled. And Lyssa will be, too, if she continues the friendship.

Risking everything for her friend, Lyssa has no inkling of the events that will now unfold.

I loved this "insider tale" of life amongst the privileged. Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives felt almost like a tabloid publication, but with the added bonus of being sensitively written, and with that hint of mystery hovering over everything. Told in Lyssa's voice, in the first person narrative, the reader is privy to her thoughts, feelings, and desires. This heightened my sense of having an up-close-and-personal view of this life.

Toward the end, I began to suspect what would happen next, but I enjoyed waiting, almost holding my breath, for our characters to put the pieces together.

Five stars, definitely--I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of the privileged, who are real people with real problems; despite the life of wealth, these characters hurt and grieve, just like anyone else.

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