Reviewed by Colleen Turner

When The First Husband opens, we find Annie Adams completely content in her life: she gets to tour the world writing her rather successful travel column; her long term boyfriend, Nick, is beginning to taste success as a film director; her much-loved dog, Mila, is keeping her feet warm. What could go wrong? In the next breath her world begins to unravel: Nick announces he is leaving her for the possibility of a better life with a better woman, taking her beloved Mila with him; she learns her job is potentially in danger since the paper has been taken over by a new owner; the once comforting home she shared with Nick becomes filled with the memories of what they had and what will no longer be.

With the push of her best friend, Jordan (Nick’s sister), Annie decides to thrust herself back into life to see if it will stick. She finds herself in a beachside restaurant after hours, where she meets Griffin who is moonlighting as Executive Chef until the permanent chef returns and he goes home to small town Massachusetts to open his own restaurant. Annie instantly feels connected to Griffin and decides that he might be the new lease on life she was looking for, her way to be someone new and improved. As they get to know each other the time dwindles until Griffin must go back to the life he had only temporarily put on hold…with one new addition: Annie.

Annie takes a leap and accepts Griffin’s impromptu wedding proposal, traveling to Massachusetts, by way of Las Vegas and a little wedding chapel, ready to begin anew. What she doesn’t expect when they arrive is Griffin’s brother, Jesse, waiting at their home with his two rambunctious and sticky twin boys, declaring he and his wife are separated. She doesn’t expect the ex-girlfriend who spent thirteen years with Griffin and doesn’t seem able to fully let go, or the icy mother-in-law that dotes on Griffin’s ex as the daughter in law she wished she had. She doesn’t expect to feel trapped by the small town life or the total immersion into a past she doesn’t share with Griffin. Most of all, she doesn’t expect the feelings that keep creeping into her thoughts: did I make a mistake rushing into this?

When Nick shows up at the opening of Griffin’s new restaurant and declares he is ready to give Annie everything she wanted from him, she has to make a decision: does she go back and begin again the life she thought she always wanted, or does she live this new life she never knew was missing?

I loved The First Husband! It isn’t often you find a book that can literally make you laugh out loud and then turn around and make you want to call your husband and tell him how much you love him, with tears in your voice. What makes the book perfect for me is that each of the characters are flawed in their own way and that much more realistic because of it. The First Husband will have you questioning the choices you have made in your own life and, hopefully, will reaffirm for you that real love is not worth compromising.

Rating: 5/5

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son and pet fish. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.