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Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives [Paperback]

Josie Brown

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Book Description

June 1 2010
Suburbia is a jungle, filled with lots of vicious creatures.
Take the Paradise Heights Women’s League board. Lyssa Harper should have warned golden-haired DILF du jour Harry Wilder what he was getting into when she invited him to meet the mommies who run their suburban, gated community. At least he brought cupcakes. Since meeting the former Master-of-the-Universe turned stay-at-home single dad, Lyssa has been his domestic Sherpa, teaching him the ins and outs of suburban life. She just didn’t realize her friends would show up at his house unannounced with casseroles, leopard-print bikini briefs, and plans to rearrange his kitchen cabinets.

The truth is, if Harry and his wife, the neighborhood’s "perfect couple," can call it quits, what does that mean for everyone else? Lyssa’s husband, Ted, is a great father, but he pays her Pilates-pumped momtourage more attention than he does his own wife. Her friends gossip about the neighbors while ignoring their own problems: infertility, infidelity, and eating disorders.

When Harry sets boundaries with his new fan club, he is exiled from the neighborhood’s in-clique. But Lyssa refuses to snub him. What she never expects is the explosive impact her ongoing friendship with Harry will have on her close-knit pals—and on her marriage.

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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: #1,102,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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, AskMen.com, Divorce360.com, and SingleMindedWomen.com. She lives in Marin County, California with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Here's to Having Your Cake and Eating it Too Aug. 17 2010
By Susan Wakefield - Published on Amazon.com
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives Oct. 20 2010
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Moving, and Realistic Jan. 28 2013
By Dina - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER" IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE Aug. 22 2010
By Laurel-Rain Snow - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, predicatable, read July 15 2010
By SkyeNoir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is an easy, topical, read, kind of like picking up People magazine. You won't learn anything insightful, your mind won't be expanded. A good book for lounging around the pool and not having to think too hard.

The story is set in rich suburbia, with a bunch of spoiled, generally annoying, housewives. A newly separated dad, thrown into single parenthood, is practically run down by the pack of vultures, but one of the women rises among the rest to become good friends with the guy. Of course, rumors abound about the "real" nature of their relationship. The woman realizes her so called friends are a bunch of two faced whiners, and becomes an idealist, learning she doesn't want to be like them as she once thought. Among all the unhappy marriages, back stabbing, etc. the book ends as predictably as any romantic big screen movie. If I could, I would give the book 3.5 stars, but decided to round up instead of down.

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