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The Wife of Reilly    by Jennifer Coburn Amazon.com order for
Wife of Reilly
by Jennifer Coburn
Order:  USA  Can
Kensington, 2004 (2004)
Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

Prudence Malone has been marking time in her marriage for quite a while, when her world is turned upside down by a chance meeting with her ex-college boyfriend Matt. Realizing that she's been carrying the torch for Matt for all these years, Prudence agrees to marry him on the spot forgetting to tell him that she is already married to Reilly.

Prudence does not want to up and leave Reilly, hurting him like her father did to her when she was barely thirteen. So she decides that she will find her own replacement, a new wife for Reilly, enlisting the help of friends Sophie, Chad and Jennifer. Using the classified ads, they end up with hundreds of lost souls who want to take on a once-divorced, highly successful businessman. Prudence and Matt continue to make their plans, but all the while Prudence is trolling for Reilly's wife.

As the book progresses we see how Prudence changes while becoming mired deeper and deeper in her life of deceit - keeping the fact that Reilly is alive from Matt, and keeping the fact that she is engaged from Reilly. However, one upside is that she makes progress in the strained relationship with her father and stepsisters, and manages in the end to fulfill her life long dream - way to go Prudence!

The story is amusing and the characters have credence Chad and Daniel who run the art gallery below Prudence and Reilly's New York loft; Jennifer, the tall, statuesque black woman who is creative director for Ogilvy; and Sophie, divorced mother-of-two, who no longer works, having made oodles of dough in a class action suit in her native California. The Wife of Reilly, the novel equivalent of a chick flick, is a lot of fun!

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