Husbands and Lovers

Posted 21 March 2011 by Kim in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Husbands and LoversHusbands and Lovers by Ruth Harris
Published by Ruth Harris Books
Release Date: 2011-11-30
Series: Park Avenue Series #2
Genres: contemporary, romance
Pages: 378
Source: author
Format: eBook
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BookBub
Rating: four-stars

from the back cover


From the back cover...

The Married Woman--A shy wallflower, Carlys Webber transforms herself into a beautiful woman and attracts the attention of brilliant, multimillionaire Kirk Arnold. When he proposes, she agrees to marry him but, when Kirk changes from a loving husband to a distant stranger, will Carlys risk her precious marriage for a few moments of stolen passion with another man, the irresistibly handsome and sensuous architect, George Kouras?
The Single Woman--Wildly stylish, phenomenally successful, Jade Mullen survives deception and divorce. She vows never to be betrayed again even though, when she falls in love with George, he warns her he might not be faithful unless she commits to him. What will she do when George asks her the one question she doesn't want to answer?The Husband--Carlys's White Knight and devoted husband, Kirk Arnold struggles to forget the dark secrets of his tormented past. He achieves one dazzling success after another--until what looks like failure becomes a matter of life and death. Will he succumb to the tragedy that destroyed his family or will his marriage to Carlys survive the crisis and become even stronger?

The Lover--George Kouras fights prejudice and rises from humble beginnings to a secure place at the top of his profession but loses the child he adores along the way. Renouncing convention, he and Jade fall madly in love and think they have discovered a new way to live happily ever after. They are happy the way they are, but what will happen when Jade discovers a shocking secret about herself and finds out about him and Carlys?

Set in the glittering world of fashion and in high-powered executive suites, in run-down rooms, ethnic neighborhoods and sedate suburbs, Husbands and Lovers is about men and women losing--and finding themselves--in the America of the gritty 1970s and glitzy 1980s.

My Review

Husbands and Lovers is the story of four main characters, set mainly against the backdrop of the 1970’s and 1980’s.  True life events were woven into the fictional story throughout the novel, which very much set the stage for the characters.  Being a child of the 1970’s and a teen of the 1980’s, I am a bit younger than the characters, but definately old enough to remember most of those events which really added to my enjoyment of the story.

The story was centered on four main characters:  Carlys (the married woman), Jade (the single woman), George (the lover), and Kirk (the husband).  It opened with a prologue in which events were taking place in their present tense, although the circumstances were left intentionally vague, for reasons that become clear near the end of the book.

Each part of the novel focused on one of those four characters, going back and forth in time to tell their story.  That back and forth can make the reading of a story confusing and somewhat muddy, but there was absolutely none of that with this book.  Instead it added to the interest of the characters and their stories and backstories.  While each character was developed in their own part of the novel, their stories were woven together throughout the story.  I really enjoyed the fact that no matter how much you learned about a character, enough was left unexplained that it throroughly built the suspense for the end of the novel.  All that had been unexplained or left vague came together in the end and made for a great conclusion to the stories of these four characters.

Because so much has changed in society since the time in which this story was set, it was interesting to revisit it and really see those changes.  The political and social events taking place at the time, the sexual politics and the changing roles of women were all very different then, and using that to form the backdrop for the four characters was fascinating.  So much of contemporary fiction focuses on women, but this novel was different in that it gave equal time to men and their stories.

My Recommendation

All in all, an excellent read that I highly recommend you pick up and read!

About Ruth Harris

Ruth Harris is a New York Times and Amazon bestselling author and a Romantic Times award winner for “best contemporary.” Ruth’s emotional, entertaining fiction has topped Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list and her highly praised novels have sold millions of copies in hard cover, paperback and ebook editions, been translated into 19 languages, sold in 30 countries, and were prominent selections of leading book clubs including the Literary Guild and the Book Of The Month Club. In their e-book editions, Ruth’s novels have been featured on Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily.

Ruth writes about strong, savvy, smart and witty women who struggle to succeed and, when sometimes they don’t get what they want, they find something even better along the way. Critics have compared Ruth to Nora Ephron and Joan Didion and called her books “brilliant,” “steamy,” “stylishly written,” ”richly plotted,” “first-class entertainment” and “a sure thing.”

With her husband, Michael, Ruth indulges her wild side and writes bestselling thrillers with vivid characters, international backgrounds and compelling plots. Their thrillers have made numerous appearances in the top 3 of Kindle’s prestigious Movers & Shakers list; in the Top 100 in the Kindle Store; Hooked has appeared continually on three Medical bestseller lists since its publication; #1 and #2 on two different Political bestseller lists; #14 on the Thrillers bestseller list.

Publisher’s Weekly called Ruth’s and Michael’s thrillers “Slick and sexy [with] all the sure elements of a big seller written by pros who know how to tell a story.” Readers have raved, calling their books “awesome,” “gripping,” “chilling,” “a must-read,” and “a real page-turner.”

It’s no surprise Ruth is a writer. Her Mom was an RN who had a trove of big-city hospital stories—some funny, some sad, some touching—and told them with great style. Her Dad loved words, word play and language (Ruth still has his collection of dictionaries) and he is remembered by those who knew him as “always reading.” Ruth’s paternal grandfather was noted for his extensive library and both her parents were avid readers: her Mom loved popular fiction and her Dad bought four or five newspapers every day and subscribed to what seemed to be every magazine published—from Life and Look to BusinessWeek and Organic Gardening.

As a girl, Ruth wanted to be a professional ice skater. In her teens, she wanted to be a lawyer—a summer job in a law office cured her! After college, she got a beginner’s job in publishing and her career path—first as an editor and then as a writer—was set.