The Husband Habit

( 23 )

Overview

Why does Vanessa keep falling for married men?

It’s not that she plans to. But every man who seems like he might be the one turns out to be someone else’s.  So maybe the right thing to do is take a vow to stay single, to keep away from all men, until she can figure things out. 

At least work is a haven: Vanessa loses herself in her job as a chef, except when her grandstanding boss, Hawk--of Albuquerque’s chic Nuevo American restaurant...

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The Husband Habit

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Overview

Why does Vanessa keep falling for married men?

It’s not that she plans to. But every man who seems like he might be the one turns out to be someone else’s.  So maybe the right thing to do is take a vow to stay single, to keep away from all men, until she can figure things out. 

At least work is a haven: Vanessa loses herself in her job as a chef, except when her grandstanding boss, Hawk--of Albuquerque’s chic Nuevo American restaurant hawk—takes credit for her creations. But then, it is his name on the awning above the door. If only her friends and family would get on board with Vanessa’s plan and stop trying to fix her up. If she can’t fix her life, nobody else is going to get the chance to try—not her parents, not her friends and certainly not her ultra-well-meaning but just-not-getting-it sister Larissa.

Vanessa stays focused by helping out at her parents’ house—all with her loyal pet Red Dog by her side. Red Dog is all the companionship she needs. Until Vanessa meets Paul, her parents’ neighbor—he’s all wrong on paper, but he’s a gentleman and seems safe. And there’s definitely chemistry.  But just when Vanessa’s guard goes down, the red flag goes up: could Paul be yet another married man??

Bursting with Valdes-Rodriguez’ trademark wit and originality, The Husband Habit introduces a rich and complex heroine in chef Vanessa. You’re not going to want to leave her world when the novel comes to an end.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Paul and Vanessa’s messy lives make them a couple to root for. Pride & Prejudice for the CNN age."--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Lighthearted romance and southwestern flavor…the sparks and banter fly."--Publishers Weekly
 
“Vanessa and Paul are multidimensional characters with the capacity to surprise each other and the reader. And there’s a lot of good cooking along the way.”—BookPage

“Chica lit fans, rejoice! The godmother is back with a brand new novel.”—Latina

“The book begins with an amusing premise, then becomes a heartfelt exploration of how family ties can affect the choices of others in our lives…Paul and Vanessa are intriguing characters, and their story will capture the reader.”—Romantic Times

“Chica-lit queen Valdes-Rodriguez’s…storytelling pulls you along. B”—Entertainment Weekly

Publishers Weekly

The sixth novel from Valdes-Rodriguez (The Dirty Girls Social Club) is a mixed bag of overly ambitious prose, lighthearted romance and southwestern flavor. Vanessa Duran, one of Albuquerque's most talented chefs, keeps falling in love with married men, so after a string of dud relationships, her sister extracts a promise: Vanessa will take a break from dating and use the time to figure out why she keeps getting involved with all the wrong men. Of course, Vanessa is attracted to the very next guy who crosses her path-Paul Stebbit, an unpretentious Iraq War veteran. The sparks and banter fly, and Paul seems different enough from her other disastrous relationships that Vanessa begins to open up to him. Of course, an obvious complication pops up. Vanessa's Albuquerque serves as a nice backdrop, and the characters avoid most genre pitfalls, but there's an uncomfortable disconnect between the expository passages and the inane dialogue, and some plot developments (particularly one involving a date featuring a flight in a fighter jet) stretch credibility. A few big holes come close to killing the froth. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
Talented chef with a lousy romantic history finds herself drawn to an Iraq war veteran with a troubled past. For such a sensual and attractive woman, Vanessa Chavez has a real knack for attracting Mr. Wrong, specifically guys who conveniently forget to tell her they're married before breaking her heart. So after a doomed entanglement with a pastry chef and his suicidal wife, this sous chef at one of Albuquerque's hottest restaurants swears off men. Enter Paul, a strapping hunk newly sprung from the Air Force who's staying with his mother, who conveniently lives next door to Vanessa's parents. Brash and flirtatious, Paul sets about winning Vanessa, even though she initially rebuffs his overtures. He's not her type, but she comes to realize that he's far from the right-wing meathead she assumed him to be. In fact, he's sophisticated, soulful and nearly as complex as he is hot. On the down side, Paul is psychologically burdened with what he saw-and did-as a pilot in the Middle East. The full extent of his wartime experience emerges slowly as the two grow closer. With Paul's encouragement, Vanessa takes stock of her life and begins to stand up for herself. She starts with older sister Larissa, who almost seems to prefer her needy and unhappy, then moves on to her boss Hawk, a pompous celebrity chef who has long been taking credit for her work. Just as she feels herself on the verge of happily-ever-after, along comes a Paul-related bombshell that might indeed be a deal breaker for someone with Vanessa's many trust issues. In spite of some overdescriptive passages and clunky narration, Valdes-Rodriguez's latest benefits from deeper character development than some of her earlier works (DirtyGirls on Top, 2008, etc.). Paul and Vanessa's messy lives make them a couple to root for. Pride & Prejudice for the CNN age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312638382
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,398,606
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 5.66 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is an award-winning journalist who is the author of five novels. She was named one of today’s twenty-five most influential Hispanics by Time magazine. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    The story starts off with Vanessa meeting a man for the first ti

    The story starts off with Vanessa meeting a man for the first time ever after months of correspondence via online dating. After making a quick remark about the stick-figured woman on the bathroom door being sexually biased because of the triangle-shaped skirt (chill out, girl, it’s just a sign,) Vanessa goes into a frenzy trying to make herself look “good” for a stranger; and, when she does meet him, she gets a little too “friendly” and becomes naïve at the assurance that “he is her soul mate.” (pg. 8) Oh, please.


    It was only after a horrific scene with an angry ex-wife that Vanessa realizes that she’s developed “quite the husband habit.” (pg. 17) Part of me actually thought that she deserved what she got for being so fast with men; on the other hand, I couldn’t help but wonder if her intentions were truly genuine.


    One thing that bothered me about Vanessa was how adamant she’d be about taking things slow—gardening, cooking, biking, walking, and generally living—but, for some reason, she refused to do the same with men. The character also spent too much talking about her New Mexico house and her food. We get it, she loves them. Can we move on now?


    Overall, the writing reads as if you were being preached to. I didn’t feel like I was a part of the story, or even a spectator of it. At times, the author went off on a tangent to insert a personal commentary or opinion that had virtually nothing to do with the story. Also, there were a lot of fragments—too many words and phrases that were segregated from each other and stationed in their own sentence that made for some pretty tedious reading. Additionally, the POV was constantly changing. One minute, the story is being told in the third person, and the next, the first person takes over in the voice of Vanessa. I really wish the author would’ve kept this consistent.


    If you ask me, I think this book required more effort. I would’ve liked to have seen Vanessa in her dating journey and how she came to develop this “husband habit” just so I could’ve known her better. Maybe if I’d gotten to know her better, I would’ve cared more for Vanessa and the rest of the cast instead of thinking that they all could’ve used more renditions of clearly drawn attributes. The best part about this book was chapter one, where the reader becomes introduced to Vanessa’s “husband habit,” even though the history of it was never specified.


    In conclusion, this was just a boring and disappointing book that I had higher hopes for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Love2 read

    Love all her books

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    If you like snotty...

    There is no question the book is well written and the author is literate. I still did not like the book. The "heroine" was snobby and self-entitled just because she grew her own garden and could cook. She was judgmental because the character meant to be her male counterpart in the book wasn't in the right attire/background at their initial meeting or had the right bumper sticker on his truck. The way she blanketed a snap judgment over him (REPEATEDLY throughout the book) just because he had served in the military was annoying. I'm sorry, I was unaware that the people serving our country had joined simply because they wanted oil. Of COURSE there are things that were NOT immediately revealed to them regarding missions they are assigned to. It was frustrating the way she repeatedly harped on people who were in the military. It was ignorant to blanket a judgment like that regarding anyone's reason for enlisting. It was offensive and annoying.

    The banter flailed, and I couldn't ascertain how some of Vanessa's remarks were described as witty enough to impress anyone.

    The unnecessary drama at the end of book just made the book all that more infuriating. She's supposedly in love with this guy, and finds supposedly incriminating evidence about a past relationship he had, and instead of confronting him or asking him about it like the adult she's supposed to be (you'd think if she was smart enough how to use the word neophyte - which I don't care about, but apparently, the character Vanessa does - she'd know what the phrase "act like an adult" means, and then DO it), she abruptly decides the relationship is over and goes home to sulk in her bathtub. There were some points the author made in the book that were truly enlightening, but there weren't enough of them to ever convince me to buy another one of her books again.

    I don't mind when romance books are predictable (because we're obviously not reading these books because we don't want to see people in love and happy at the end). But when drama is added JUST so there's drama, and idiotic lines like "There's nothing hotter than a messed-up soldier...." litter the book, and the character is a snob just because she has a developed vocabulary and is uptight enough that she has to coordinate a soundtrack based on what she's cooking overwhelm the book, that just equates to a huge waste of time and money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Not worth the money

    The book is not badly writen but the content is terrible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    50/50

    I gave this book only 3 stars for a number of reasons. For one, jm not big on third person writing. Becasue of this, i think it lacked a few details in certain areas which annoyed me. Also this book speaks of a man who was in the air force. Clearly the author was against the war in iraq(as im sure we all were) but reading it in this book, somehow didnt feel right. I dont know how to explain it but it was just maybe a bit much on how against the military the charecters were. It was an okay read. It didnt really keep me intrested and at times i forgot that i had book to finish up. I wouldnt not reccomend this book but it wouldnt be one of the books on the top of my list either. I also thought the ending would have been a little longer or had a diffrent outcome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!!!!

    Loved this book.... the characters and the plot I stayed up all night just to finish it and when I got to the end was so upset that it was over... Cant wait for the next one :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Sophisticated and intriguing with the right touch of romance...

    I wonder who was the inspiration for Paul's character because he sounds scrumptious! :D I love the author's tone in this book. It makes the characters seem like someone you could know without over exaggerating a chick lit. I could see this story on a made-for-TV movie or even an Indy movie. The book design is beautiful! Well worth the purchase. WTG Alisa! I would have loved to see an epilogue that included Vanessa's menu from her party. Maybe add it to the author's website? It's a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Loved the book

    I loved this book, hope she writes more. Cannot get enough

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very good

    it shows that you just have to take things slow and just lets things happen on its own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    Great read by the pool

    I may be a bit bias because she is my favorite author but this is my favorite new book. This book is definitely read by the pool or beach.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

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    Posted July 20, 2011

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    Posted August 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2012

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    Posted August 5, 2011

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    Posted August 24, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted May 13, 2011

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