Read all about it! SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES is getting some great reviews:
"If you like Desperate Housewives, then you'll fly through this gossipy novel full of Wisteria Lane-esque characters living in a suburban jungle. Lyssa Harper, a stay-at-home-mom living in California's posh Paradise Heights community, befriends the neighborhood DILF (Dad I'd like to...) after his wife leaves him. Suddenly their friendship has Lyssa's catty "momtourage" talking, her place on the women's league board in jeopardy and her own marriage seriously in question. Brown entertains up to the satisfying ending in this lively novel. -Kristin Contino, Examiner.com
"Just in time for summer, Brown's novel offers an enjoyable take on suburban California family life, complete with mommy cliques, rebel teenagers, and, of course lots of adultery....The momentum of Brown's writing and plot keeps the pages turning." --Booklist
"Already touted as the perfect summer beach read, this character driven (sometimes steamy) book can best be described as the offspring of an affair between Desperate Housewives and a Jennifer Weiner novel....A quick look into the sometimes catty world of wealth where priorities get shifted, friendships get broken and marriages, like their mansions, get rearranged. It was light and fluffy (with some excellent dialogue.)...This coven spread gossip like wild fire, fight like verbal wrestlers and plot like army generals to put together the very confused puzzle of Harry's love life." --GoodHousekeeping.com
"If you're going on vacation, grab a copy of this and veg out on the beach. But be warned you will lose all track of time while reading so be sure you're reapplying sunscreen! I devoured this book! I seriously could not put it down for the entire time I was reading it.... I think this book is too good to call “mommy-lit”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that this is a bestseller this summer – it’s really that excellent. --TetheredMommy.com
"Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a look at the dark underbelly of the moneyed suburbs where extramarital affairs run rampant. The pitiful "Desperate Housewives" style attempts at attracting newly single Harry make are both hilariously funny and deeply disturbing. The book is surprisingly deep at times and gloriously scandalous throughout.
Each chapter starts off with a famous quote about marriage. These aren't romantic, gushy quotes, but rather funny and realistic ones that pair nicely with the tone of the book...
Denial runs rampant in Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, which is on par with reactions to real life relationship problems as a general rule. It's almost scary how much you can see the traits of people you know in these characters.
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a funny, touching book with a down and dirty tell-all feel. Frivolity and deeper meaning collide in this book, making it a surprising treat." --ReadingWithTequila.com
" This was an amazing book that kept me entertained from page one until the end. If you like "Desperate Housewives" you will absolutely adore this book. I would even venture to say that it's better than the TV show. Gasp! I know, I didn't expect that either! --Readaholic
"This is the perfect summer read. I completely lost myself in this one and I really think a lot of this story is based on fact. Take one gated community and mix it with too much money, quite a few unsuspecting spouses, some infidelity and there you have it: perfect summer read. Even the community's name of Paradise Heights has to signal that all is not right here. Lyssa is a likely heroine in that she always tries to do the right thing and doesn't even realize her own husband is taking advantage of her good nature. I look forward to another book by this author and will have to go search out her first two novels." --BookHounds.com
"This is a fast read and a great story. I enjoyed reading about Lyssa and Harry's friendship and the shenanigans of the mommy clique were downright hysterical! This would make a great beach read - definitely recommended!" --Four Star review from CrazyForBooks.com
Fans of Desperate Housewives are going to gobble up SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES by Josie Brown. What happens with the gated community of Paradise Heights will leave you wanting more by Brown. Lies, backstabbing, cheating and carpooling wrapped together with some interesting female characters and one DILF makes for a page turning story. I loved this novel for many reasons...who doesn't like getting carried away in the gossip of suburbia, who doesn't love sex, lies sandal. You may know how the story is going to end, but not how they all ended up there! I promise this will be a guilty pleasure and hopefully your new favorite show come Fall! -- Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
"Fans of Desperate Housewives and similar fare will enjoy this story. The examination of neighborhood politics and shallowness of the affluent is insightful and entertaining. The quick pace and snappy dialogue make this a fun read."--Romantic Times
"I was drawn in to "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives" from page one!...It was full of the promised sex and scandal (and yes, the sex was detailed enough to make me turn a few shades of red...just the way I like it in my chick lit novels). Lyssa was very easy to relate to, as she was the most down to earth of all the moms and not afraid to put all her faults out there. It had a realistic appeal to it, as there are tight knit suburban communities where people risk becoming an "undesirable" if they cross the wrong person on the high society end. I liked that the unlikeable characters were not satirical, as it went well with the realistic feel. It was easy to visualize people and places, based on Ms. Brown's detailed descriptions....I definitely recommend "Secret Lives" to anyone who wants a juicy and scandalous story that also examines relationships and friendships in a manner that all readers can relate to, even if they haven't been in Lyssa's shoes."--ChickLitCentral
"Reading Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives was like watching a television drama. Lots of gossip, back-stabbing, extramarital affairs and pettiness . . . . Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, was humorous at times and certainly entertaining. It's a good escape from your everyday hassles as you find yourself engrossed in other people's lives. When the book is over, and you say goodbye to your new friends, you'll realize your life isn't as bad as you think." --Me, Myself and the Couch
"Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is wonderfully snarky, fun and sarcastic but it also has some heart to it that you would not expect. Throw in the pop culture references and an exciting storyline with lots of twists and turns and you have the perfect vacation read! It’s just a fun book that I have to say I enjoyed every moment of. And as a SAHM myself, I definitely see some truths hidden within. I also loved Brown’s sense of humor and how it comes off through her writing. Her wit is really charming and one of the reasons I think her writing is so exceptional with rich suburbia as her main subject. Talk about a place rife with stereotypes and punch lines! I would recommend Secrets of Husbands and Wives as a vacation read, a fun read or just a great book when you need to relax and get away from your own suburban life. It’s a hit for any occasion."-- Stiletto Storytime
"I was cheering for Lyssa throughout the entire book. And goodness, this book has everything – sex, drama, romance – and I loved every minute of it. The author really hit the mark when describing how people feel when they are pressured by social norms – especially when you’ve got your whole neighborhood league keeping track of you. The next time I stepped outside after reading this book, I could not help but look around my neighborhood and wonder, hmmm, I wonder if . . . ? Read Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives for a strong, sincere story that will blow the lid off your perception of the stereotypical suburban resident, and cause you to look at your own neighbors with a new set of eyes."--BestRomanceeStories.com
"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."--GoodReads.com/Laurel-Rain Snow
"I found this book to be vastly entertaining. It is a truism that when you have any group formation, whether it be high school or a neighborhood league, cliques will form. Anyone who tries to move out of their "place" in the clique will suffer at the hands of the leader until they firmly stand up to and find they just don't care any longer...Life does tend to teach us that settling for second best is perhaps not the wisest choice." --BrokenTeepee.blogspot.com
"I got this Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives and a cold at the same time. The timing couldn't be better, as it was OK for me to stay in bed all day with this compulsive read. This book is about upper class families, specifically spousal dynamics dealing with issues of adultry. The story also includes powerfully strong friendships, parenting (from preschoolers thru teens), and community activism.
The book is witty, clever, over-the-top but also believable. I highly recommend this book if you want to lose yourself in some funny fiction. It's a great beach read, if you're home with a cold, or anytime." -- Princess, Amazon.com Vine (TM) Program (5 stars)
"This timeline in this book was from Halloween until New Year's - and I found that to be pretty realistic when it comes to the rumor mill and how fast some people can change loyalties. I am not sure what I found so fascinating about this book, but I could not put it down. I wanted Lyssa to have the life that she really wanted - not the life that she had accepted...This would be a great book to take to the beach - it is easy to follow - fast-moving - and entertaining. I will be recommending this one this summer." --Books and Needlepoint
"I was never bored with the characters and never wanted to put this book down. I loved how each character is developed enough that we feel like they are our actual neighbors! I think every neighborhood has that group of catty women that make life a bit more..erm..challenging for the rest. Right?... I rated this one a 4/5!!! --Must Read Faster
"As intriguing as this synopsis is, it doesn't do the book justice. Even though it's 352 pages and I have a ten-month-old, I finished it in two days. Granted, I didn't get any dishes or laundry done- but I couldn't. Not since Twilight have I been so engrossed in a book (or so in love with the male lead) and I was unable to put it down!... Oh, and spoiler alert: at the end, there's a moment where your jaw will literally drop. I actually said OUT LOUD, "Oh hell no." as I realized what was about to happen.
It's a great book and I really wish I had a copy to giveaway.. but I liked it too much to giveaway my copy and they didn't send me an extra one. Sorry y'all! I really hope you'll hop on over to Amazon and get your copy. Please do- I need someone to talk about this book with! It's killing me. --(Not Quite) Susie Homemaker
"...Brown has drawn a convincing and accurate picture of the malaise that infects certain bits of suburbia from the former exec who runs the neighborhood board with an iron fist to the outrage that erupts when children are hurt (even just in the normal course of growing up). She has balanced the seeming frivolity of the stay at home mom's day with the frenzied activities and the masterful planning that is involved in running a family. Her main characters are sympathetic and likable. The plot clips along. And the subtle (and not so subtle) look at stagnant marriage offers a bit of food for thought throughout as Lyssa and Harry negotiate the minefield that is modern suburbia. I gulped this down in less than a day in between driving my kids hither, thither and yon and enjoyed the experience greatly. It is escapist and light and as satisfying as a cold drink by the pool. And from the way Harry is described, he can be my pool boy whenever he wants!" -- Book'n Around
"SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES is like Desperate Housewives come to book form, but with a bit more humor. In this story, Josie Brown has managed to create a robust mix of drama and humor to keep the reader entertained from page one straight through to the end. Looking for a hint of drama? Move on. Looking for drama oozing from every crack and crinkle of a book? This is the book for you.
Honestly, my favorite part of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES were the quotes prefacing each chapter. I'm fairly certain that I used up all of my "that's so true" statements for the rest of my life. Some of the quotes left me pondering while others had me practically rolling on the floor. I think Ms. Brown could easily sell this book just with the collection of quotes alone. The story underneath happens to be icing on the cupcake.
The story in a nutshell involves, like all good romantic dramas, a guy and a girl. Suburban housewife gets to know single and very attractive stay at home dad. At first her friends adore him, but later they turn their backs on him. Lyssa (our housewife) can't help but find herself attracted to him, however. Harry (Mr. Hot and Single) seems to be filling a little hole inside herself. One might ask - what's the big problem here? Well, when neighborhood rules are set in stone dictating that each woman does what the other women decide, going against the grain can have dire consequences. Plus, her friendship with Harry might not have positive results on her marriage, either.
There were moments in this book where I sat forward, anxious to figure out what our hero and heroine would discover or where there relationship would head. There were other moments where my face was stuck in a permanent O position - "Oh no he/she just did not do that!" Ms. Brown has a great ability to tug at our emotions and lead us on a wild ride right alongside her characters.
Now, if you're looking for something lighthearted and quick, this might not be the book for you. Drama aside, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, does actually get a bit deeper at times. There is more to every woman (and man) in the story than simply what we see on the surface. A beautiful couple might have a troubled marriage and your gorgeous neighbor might actually be hurting more than anyone knows. Ms. Brown gives us an entertaining story - that's for sure - but she also gives us a real one.
I recommend this to any fans of Women's Fiction or Chick Lit. This is a story that will touch your heart and get your anger rolling. With the good comes the bad and both deception and hope touch the lives of the characters in SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES. -- AJourneyOfBooks.com
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is funny, moving, and more realistic than the Desperate Housewives drama it's being compared to. 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. --Just Another New Blog
" The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives was a great beach book on vacation. Think “Desperate Housewives,” season 1. It has all the drama without any of the silliness and preposterous twists that followed that season.
I loved the characters, the plot, the dialogue, but especially the chemistry between all the different players in this tale of manipulation, divorce, and upscale community politics. And, to be honest, it rings true, which is both a good and a bad thing. Once you get into it and witness firsthand the backstabbing and the games that people play (to get what they want and to hurt other people), you’ll know exactly what I mean. It also makes you feel a little naughty and a little guilty, as you are a silent observer into all their lives, privy to their secrets and skeletons. I love that.
This novel serves as a well-deserved escape from your daily life. You’ll get lost in the story, as I did, and find yourself zipping through The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. I spent a good many hours poolside, buried in this book....Thank you, Josie Brown!" --SimplyStacie.net
"Josie Brown paints the Women's League as a mix of Desperate Housewives with the close friendships, rivalries and the undercurrent of sex. These women are beautiful, youthful and fashionable and they intend to stay that way if it kills them. Honestly, I enjoyed the banter and bitchiness of these friends. As this circle of friends draw in the former Master of the Universe and soon-to-be-divorced Harry Wilder, sparks fly, rivalries flare up, and hilarious situations abound. Lyssa starts out helping Harry navigate the mysterious world of Paradise Heights and parenting. As their children become fast friends, Lyssa and Harry do as well. This friendship brings both complications and rewards -- and it brought me quite a lot of chuckles.
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a fun, light read. Josie Brown pokes fun with a deft touch and will leave you chuckling." --Starting Fresh NYC
"...If you are into Desperate Housewives, you will love this book!" --Lorrie Jeanne's Ramblings
"The title really holds true with this one! There were quite a few secrets that I never expected. The one at the end was a real treat :-) ...The way this story unfolded it was impossible to tell what was really getting ready to happen. Even the end was a bit surprising to me (and I really like to try and figure out the ending). This definitely makes me think twice about my quiet little neighborhood. This was really a page turner as I wanted to see what secret was going to be exposed next, and who it was going to implicate. Believe me there were soooo many. Well worth the read." -- Just Jennifer Reading
"This was an absolutely delicious book! It was witty and snarky and a total delight to dive into! There's a bit of language, so for some it might not be the right fit. But those instances are few and far between and personally, for me, the humor and fun of this read far outweighed those instances. I honestly couldn't put this one down and read it straight through...grown up summer fun! -- Marta's Meanderings
"First things first - this is my FAVORITE "fun" read so far this year! This book is cool and fun and sexy without being TOO, if you know what I mean!...A great, fun read! I would definitely recommend it." -- Knitting and Sundries
"I found this book to be a fun summer read. I’m not too ashamed to admit that I love me some Real Housewives tv shows… and this book falls along the same vein. (This is also the first book I have read with praise from Jackie Collins on the cover… so there you go). While the story mainly follows Lyssa, you also get to know the other residents of her commuity. I really like Lyssa as a main character. She has heart and a good head on her shoulders. It’s easy to see how she has gotten into a life that she’s not 100% thrilled with (haven’t we all be there one time or another). If you are looking for something fun and quick for the beach… this would be a good choice. -- Quick Thoughts...Because Who's Got Time for More?
"While everyone tries to figure out what went wrong with the Wilder's marriage, themes of love, trust, friendship, and family are examined by everyone involved in this engaging story an author who knows all about the posh life. I was really impressed by this one, so much so that I ended up staying up until 4 this morning to finish it. I thought I knew where this one was going, but Brown threw enough curves that I could never quite be sure. Also, despite several plot details that felt familiar, the character of Lyssa is a straight-forward enough narrator to avoid triteness. I highly recommend this one." -- Books For Dummies
"...Josie Brown, author of "Complete Idiot's Guide To Finding Mr. Right," read from her new effort, "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives." This is a tale of the disillusionment and disintegration of a marriage. In vivid imagery, the verse she read was touching, biting, and sad. It depicts modern marriages’ "grass is always greener" syndrome, and how everyone desperately attempts to validate themselves, even at the expense of others..." -- Epoch Times
"Brown, a Marin resident, writes of life in a fictitious East Bay city that could easily be Walnut Creek. In her new novel, hailed as “Tom Perrotta’s Little Children meets Desperate Housewives,” Brown weaves a humorous tale that follows the bitter divorce of an uber-couple." -- Walnut Creek Magazine
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