The Pretend Wife
By Bridget Asher
(Bantam, Hardcover, 9780385341912, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
What would life be like with the one who got away? From the author of My Husband’s Sweethearts—hailed as “a laugh-and-cry novel”* that’s “whip-smart, tender…an undiluted joy to read”**—comes this bighearted, funny, fiercely perceptive tale about a happily married woman and the little white lie that changed everything.…
For Gwen Merchant, love has always been doled out in little packets—from her father, a marine biologist who buried himself in work after her mother’s death; and from her husband, Peter, who’s always been respectable and safe. But when an old college boyfriend, the irrepressible Elliot Hull, invites himself back into Gwen’s life, she starts to remember a time when love was an ocean.
What does Elliot want? In fact, he has a rather surprising proposition: he wants Gwen to become his wife. His pretend wife. Just for a few days. To accompany him to his family’s lake house for the weekend so that he can fulfill his dying mother’s last wish. Reluctantly Gwen agrees to play along—with her husband Peter’s full support. It’s just one weekend—what harm could come of it?
But as Gwen is drawn into Elliot’s quirky, wonderful family—his astonishingly wise and open mother, his warm and welcoming sister, and his adorable, precocious niece—she starts questioning everything she’s ever expected from love. And as she begins to uncover a few secrets about her own family, it suddenly looks like a pretend relationship just might turn out to be the most real thing she’s ever known.
Bridget Asher is the author of My Husband’s Sweethearts. She lives on the Florida panhandle with her husband, who is lovable, sweet, and true of heart—and has given her no reason to inquire about his former sweethearts.
“Asher ... brings an abundance of warmth and wisdom to this tale of lost-and-found love.”—Publishers Weekly
"Bridget Asher writes with intelligence, humor, and real humanity about the issues of contemporary life."—Lisa Tucker, bestselling author of Once Upon a Day and The Cure for Modern Life
"The Pretend Wife is a sexy rumination about love and loss, truth and lies, marriage and friendship, with a daring, propulsive plot. I loved Gwen Merchant and her passel of hilarious and heartbreaking friends. And the dilemma: what to do when The One Who Got Away comes back, after you married The One, is handled with a deft mixture comedy and complexity. I ate it up."—Lisa Gabriele, author of The Almost Archer Sisters and Tempting Faith DiNapoli
“Gwen is happily married until her dreamy ex asks if she’ll act as his wife—just for the weekend, to please his dying mom. A cut above chick-lit.”—People, summer reading round-up
“Succeeds with the aid of humor, insight and an appealing heroine. If this one has not yet been optioned for film, it soon will be.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Balances the lighter side of life with the sadder realities. Surprising, poignant moments pave the way for a…satisfyingly happy ending.”—Booklist