It is a universal truth that there are some stories that grab reader’s attention immediately, and there are some where it takes a while to warm up to them. Starter Wife falls within the second category. I even put it aside after the first half and returned to it after a week. Am I ever glad that I did return to reading it and did not gave up on the book because it turned out to be a really good story!
As the book opens the reader meets Linnea King at her lowest. She is taking the punches (figuratively speaking) from her ex-husband, who left her with three kids (one of them with Down’s Syndrome), no money and visitations from child protection services. At the beginning Linnea is a woman with no self-esteem because years of psychological abuse took its toll. Gradually as the story progresses, the heroine, with a little determination and help from her sexy neighbor and a few other friends, gets her confidence back. She becomes stronger, so she can have her revenge. In the process she also found the love of her life.
I find Starter Wife to be a very interesting and empowering story because there are many women out there who helped their husbands build their careers only to be left with kids and no job in the end. Linnea made it; she got her groove back and her life back on track, but it wasn’t easy. I found Linnea’s character amazing. At the beginning she wallows a bit in self-pity, but once she takes her life in her own hands, she turns out to be smart, funny and an interesting woman. Although she finds a new love (true one) and married him, she does not made same mistake twice and so, at the end she becomes economically independent as well. On the other hand, the hero, TJ Gates (sexy as hell) is a bit too much for me. He is a great character and he also grows through the story but he too much alpha for me.
Starter Wife is cross between women’s fiction and a romance novel. The story focuses on Linnea’s life – her trials and ordeals and on her relationship with TJ Gates; but really it’s a bit more focused on her getting her life back on track. Both storylines are well combined and the writing in general is great. The pace of the story is a bit slow at the beginning but it speeds up in the second half. Starter Wife is not an instant “falling in love” kind of story and it has only one lovemaking scene but it’s a book with a solid character driven plot.
All in all Starter Wife is worth reading, and it made me want to read other stories by Moriah Densley. It is a cozy read that made me feel good. I highly recommend it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.