The Next Wife
April 30, 2021

Book Review

The Next Wife

Kaira Rouda

reviewed by Jennifer Bradford

thejwordpress | Goodreads


Perfect families, perfect companies, perfect relationships—Kaira Rouda has explained them all in her best-selling novels. Will that be a theme in her latest novel, The Next Wife?

John Nelson is a lucky man. The launch of the IPO for the company he owns with his ex-wife, Kate, will transform him from rich Cincinnati businessman to wealthy Cincinnati businessman. Good news number one.

John and his ex-wife Kate have developed a workaholic business relationship. They share ideas for new products and frequently discuss company issues. They’ve worked together for over twenty years. Good news number two.

John has a new wife. Tish was hired to be John’s personal assistant. This role evolved into a romantic relationship and John divorced Kate and married Tish. Tish is also a tall blonde beauty, twenty-five years younger than John. She is also only four years older than John’s daughter Ashlyn. Kate may hate Tish, but Ashlyn seems to like her. Good news number three.

Everything looks rosy for John. However, Tish thinks John is losing interest in her and getting too chummy at work with Kate. Solution? Wisk John away from the celebration party for the IPO launch and head off to the Telluride ski lodge to rekindle their romance.

Two days later John is dead, cremated and the death certificate is issued. Was it natural causes or murder? Either way, Johns good news is over. The surface glittered but underneath turmoil roiled. Now we learn of the real struggles going on in Johns, Kates and Tish’s lives.

Was Kate satisfied with her roll at the company? Did she think her and John’s daughter Ashlyn was receiving enough attention? Was she angling to get John back or did she wish to punish him for his infidelity? Was she undermining Tish’s role at the company? Did she want revenge on Tish?

Could Tish become a force at the company? Was she smart enough to wage war on Kate? Was Tish only interested in money? Who could help Tish? Did Tish have outside resources? Could she keep Ashlyn’s trust?

As the Nelsons battle, we receive many clues and hints as to what is really going on – or do we? Hints and clues are not always true. Both wives are capable of unleashing devious diabolical plots against the other. How much damage will be done? Who will survive?

Once again, Kaira Rouda has shown us that when we look at perfect people all we are seeing is what we want to see.

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