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The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives

The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives

4.7 11
by Sarah Strohmeyer

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After a whirlwind overseas romance, down-home girl Claire Stark has moved to her new husband’s hometown, Hunting Hills, Ohio, where the men earn seven figures, the women wear size two, and if everything isn’t absolutely perfect, you’re expected to pretend it is.…

But Claire’s having trouble pretending. For one thing, John’s


After a whirlwind overseas romance, down-home girl Claire Stark has moved to her new husband’s hometown, Hunting Hills, Ohio, where the men earn seven figures, the women wear size two, and if everything isn’t absolutely perfect, you’re expected to pretend it is.…

But Claire’s having trouble pretending. For one thing, John’s previous girlfriend still lives here—and with all the bed-hopping in Hunting Hills, she may not be Claire’s only potential rival. For another, Claire’s constantly hearing vicious gossip—including rumors about herself. And though she also misses her reporting career, John isn’t thrilled with the idea of her working at the local paper. She might just have to be satisfied mingling with the Hunting Hills moms, who like to borrow their daughters’ Seven jeans and their sons’ Ritalin.

That is, until scandal threatens to shatter the stylish facade of this exclusive gated community—and behind the salon highlights and sunlamp tans, true colors start shining through.…

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Strohmeyer] uses her observations to sharp comic effect.”—The Boston Globe

“A wicked, quick read.”—Houston Press

“[A] frothy tale of love, lust, and lies.”—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Strohmeyer (Bubbles Unbound) delivers a tart-tongued if predictable tale of sex outside the city. Newlywed and former reporter Claire Stark may have once braved battle-ravaged Bosnia, but nothing could prepare her for warfare among the wealthy in Hunting Hills, Ohio, where she and her bookish stockbroker husband, John Harding, move after their whirlwind romance. The ravishing but socially awkward redhead from West Virginia must learn to navigate a landscape populated by 21st-century Stepford wives who think nothing of slipping between the sheets with the husbands of their best friends. Claire thinks she's found an ally in Marti Denton, who's willing to show her the ropes (Hunting Hills wives have rules to live by, after all, including "Remember that the more you buy, the more your husband values you!"). But Marti, whose marriage is on the rocks, has an agenda of her own. Betrayal, indiscretions and white-collar crime suffuse this sly offering from Agatha Award-winner Strohmeyer, who renders a wry cast of characters, from silicone-pumped, amphetamine-addicted social climber Lisa to Joriko, a half-Japanese, half-Swedish personal trainer with curious healing gifts. This is wicked, frothy fun, even if the ending is a bit over-the-top. Life may be steamy in the metropolis, but it's just as bawdy in the burbs. Agent, Heather Schroder. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Agatha Award winner Strohmeyer, author of the mystery series starring the eponymous Bubbles Yablonsky, takes a different tack but loses none of the thrills. Hunting Hills, OH, the gated Cleveland suburb for the socialite country club set, is simply abuzz with the news that their most respected divorced bachelor, John Harding, has married a common West Virginia career woman, journalist Claire Stark. Intelligent and down-to-earth, Claire naturally has trouble fitting in with the wealthy wives of Hunting Hills, who conduct their lives according to a trivial set of rules. The loss of John Harding to such a gal does not sit well in particular with the gorgeous Marti Denton, who, neglected by her philandering husband, sets her sights on dismantling the new marriage. Much of the novel's humor centers on the disparate world views and priorities held by Claire and the tanned, buffed, predatory clique members who feel socially required to at least appear to befriend her. Chock-full of trysts, insidious plots, and investment scandals, the novel moves rapidly toward some inevitable and satisfying comeuppances. An enjoyable read; recommended for all large fiction collections.-Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Frothy tale of love, lust and lies in Hunting Hills, Ohio, an upscale suburban enclave where the Wives have Rules. Tall redhead Claire Stark, investigative reporter extraordinaire, has given up the nomadic life of hard-hitting journalism to move to a suburb of Cleveland and become a she-bot. Well, that is not exactly the primary goal, just a side effect of her new husband's hometown, where the women spend their days working out, starving, gossiping, plotting affairs and, of course, shopping. Claire and her handsome hubby knew each other for only 28 days before impulsively getting hitched in Prague, so sexy socialite Marti Denton thinks she may still have a chance with him. After all, his bride is an awkward Amazon from West Virginia. As Marti calculates her next adulterous move, her stockbroker husband continues dipping a little too often into both his Viagra bottle and his clients' bank accounts. Meanwhile, another of Claire's new girlfriends becomes the victim of gay-bashing after making out with her husband's secretary in a park. Soon, Claire is sucked into a blackmail scheme. So many scandals, so little time! Claire must revert to her old gumshoe ways if she is ever going to figure out what desperate secrets drive the Hunting Hills set. Light and soapy-what else can be expected from the author of Bubbles Betrothed, Bubbles A Broad, Bubbles Ablaze, Bubbles in Trouble and Bubbles Unbound?

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Strohmeyer is the bestselling author of Sweet Love, The Cinderella Pact, The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, and the popular "Bubbles" series. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.

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The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy / enjoyable read. Alot of similarities to Desperate Housewives. Kept me reading to the last page to see what happens to these women - rich but with a multiple of personal problems. All in all - an enjoyable / fun read! Great writer!!!
cortney6891 More than 1 year ago
Sarah has done it again. An easy read that keeps you wanting more while helping you escape. I read this book in about two days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
reading_rach More than 1 year ago
These women are something else. This is a book that I was sad to see end. The author has quite an imagination and she did well here! I look forward to reading more from her. I don't like to give details, so I just recommend this book if you are a woman in need of a good time! You'll love the wacky characters and their silly ways. Easy read. It only goes too fast, you'll just want more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I am a mother of a toddler, and every night I would steal away to Hunting Hills and indulge in the lives of these 'fortunate' wives. Humor, scandal, it all drew me in, and in the end I was completely outdone by all the twists and turns that make this book a page turner. A MUST READ!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for everyone! The pages kept turning with ease, and I refused to put it down until I finished!............................... Sarah Strohmeyer has branched out from her successful Bubbles Yablonsky series to write a tale about the rich and powerful, giving us a view of their not so perfect lives. Her well-timed comic writing wit is not lost in the novel that is vastly different from her series. She gives us a fantastic satirical look at the upper crust lives of people with a median salary of a cool half million.............................. Hunting Hills, Ohio is the setting of an elite neighborhood with impeccable manicured lawns, large sprawling homes placed far from the road, and dogs are trained to bark only on cue. Behind the walls of these large expensive homes live the thin, fit, beautiful, and powerful. Outsiders drive through the exclusive neighborhood and can only dream of the perfect carefree lifestyle of living in such splendor, while the people inside the houses want out of the neighborhood, the lifestyle, and the city. They are tired of the rules that have been set for them by earlier generations, and even the ones they have set for themselves to continue the upstanding traditions of life in Hunting Hills. The ugly truth is the residents of Hunting Hills can?t stand the very world they created, but will never admit it freely to each other, or their spouses their true feelings about the lives they feel trapped in, that would be one of the biggest faux pas in the social circle................................... Rule number three: Always proclaim everything terrific. Oh and do they have the rules to live by and they play by the rules when convenient, breaking them when it is self-serving, just like are good rules are dealt with in an established society. Wives are notorious for spending their husbands huge salaries in the most interesting methods possible, life coaches, top of the line designer clothes, personal trainers with healing powers, and when that gets boring, its time to redecorate the house out of bored rather than necessity. You have to know where to shop for clothes and food, which lawyer you need to make any nasty legal issues disappear quickly, what type of car is acceptable, how to exploit every little talent your children have to secure their spot in the best colleges....................................... So how do the perfect hair, finely manicured nails, and impeccably dressed, Hunting Hills Wives cope when one of their own most desirable bachelors marries a social blunder in Prague after knowing her a full lunar cycle? A women who grew up at the poverty line in West Virginia, has a (gasp) career as a reporter, and shows up to meet them at a school field hockey game in faded Lee jeans and a shirt of a non designer label. How do they to react to the outsider in their midst that does not fit the necessary profile of petite and socially acceptable in their circle? Why they welcome her and take her under their wing to teach her the ropes of a Hunting Hills wife, of course, but not without a devious motive behind the niceties. The current wives are more concerned with how she, Claire Stark has managed to land John Harding, and how fast they can split up the marriage, especially since one of the established wives has her eye on a future with John Harding.................................. Throw in an old boyfriend trying mess things up in her fragile new world, along with the wives plotting behind her back, and Claire Harding has more newfound problems than she realizes. How do you remember all the rules without writing them down, or the names of the respectable shoe and clothing designers she has never heard of, let alone bought before on her salary?.............................. When a huge scandal rocks the community affecting many of the residents, the wives band together, showing they are not quite as naïve and superficial as the
Guest More than 1 year ago
Smart and savy. Silly and sweet. Sarah Strohmeyers latest book is a story that crosses the norm, and makes you take a step back and rethink those thoughts that you have had about 'that' neighborhood, or 'those' communities. I love a story that keeps me hooked from start to finish, and this one definitely did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have a brain, many authors today are not writing for you. Therefore I read Sarah Strohmeyer's latest with a sigh of relief. It is funny. It is smart. It requires functioning brain cells. Imagination can be challenged because the well-drawn characters are so vivid that I was interesed in them even while multi-tasking. Don't miss your chance to revel in your intelligence. 'Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives' is what the fluffy writers wish they had thought of first.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Housewife Marti shows little concern that her spouse communicates with her through sticky notes as she has a lover to occupy her time. However, she panics when said lover John Harding returns from Prague with a new wife, reporter Claire Stark. At the bequest of former wife Boots, who needs help with their teen daughter, the newlyweds settle in Hunting Hills, Ohio. --- Claire feels like a fish out of water as she sees no reason to run the gauntlet of manicure, yoga and therapy as the other wives do. Adding to her displaced feeling is Boots undermining her confidence especially in light of that Claire wants a job with the Cleveland newspaper where her former boyfriend is the executive editor, but John rejects that because they were ugly towards his family. Meanwhile Marti takes Claire shopping in order to learn more about her rival and her marriage. Other women including John¿s pint size mother terrorize the journalist with their suburban inanity. No one however will befriend an outsider so friendship is out of the question gossip and scandal are in --- The key that makes this fine satirical contemporary tale fun to read is the gravity that the wives place on their shallow existence as each one believes they are the center of the universe. In this milieu comes the caring journalist who has seen the harshness of life in Bosnia and now struggles to understand and fit in with the inanity of these bubble brained not so Desperate Housewives. Sarah Strohmeyer provides a terrific tale filled with the irony of how absurd that the middle class suburbanites feel about the contributions of our lifestyles to humanity. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Ohio there is a special bedroom community called Hunting Hills. Only the wealthy can afford to live there. The women have even created ten rules for any wife/socialite living within. According to those rules, wives enjoy spending money without a thought. For example, the apple vinegar at their store is eight dollars. It does not matter that the stores outside Hunting Hills only charge sixty cents. The wives of Hunting Hills would never be caught slumming in those stores. ................................ Marti Denton is the wife of Jim Denton, the best stockbroker around. She never realized she was madly in love with John Harding until he came home from Prague with a new wife, Claire. Suddenly Marti believes their past love affair means that they are soul mates and Marti plans to steal John away. ............................... Claire Stark is a beautiful newspaper reporter who met John while trying to get an exclusive interview from him. They wed within a month. Claire gives up her career for John and is determined to be an excellent wife. But John down played what his home town was like. She is not prepared for life as a socialite. Claire is socially awkward, to say the least. So it is a relief when Marti buddies up to her. Marti shows Claire the ropes and gives her the DOs and DON'Ts advice. It is not until later that Claire wonders why Marti wants to know so much about John. ............................. All the wives in Hunting Hills look to be skinny, happy, and care free. But looks can be deceiving. Each wife has secrets and scandals are abundant. When things begin to hit the fan, Marti and Claire learn what it means to really be fortunate wives! ............................ **** You will never travel through the upper crust suburbs again without wondering what type of drama is happening silently within it. After reading this novel, I went out of my way to drive through such an area and wonder which wife was sleeping with which friends' husband. ................................. Author Sarah Strohmeyer has created a juicy bit of scandalizing gossip in the tradition of 'The Stepford Wives'. BRAVA! ****