Review: Starter Wife by Moriah Densley

Print Length: 280 pages
Publisher: esKape Press (October 14, 2014)

From Linnea King has it all, fabulous social life, adorable children, and her successful husband's income… until he serves her with divorce papers. Her perfect life crumbles in a storm of police reports, cranky bus drivers, and burned dinners. The single life feels as foreign as a trendy haircut. 

Just when Linnea fears she’ll lose everything, her new neighbor steps in to help. Not that she’s judging by appearances, but TJ Gates looks like trouble with a capital T. Tattoos, motorcycle, and sexy southern manners, TJ is the last person Linnea expects to be her hero.

A demolitions expert who takes prizefighting gigs to pay the bills, TJ has pretty much screwed up everything that matters, and rebuilding his life after a violent past is harder than it looks. He thinks the polished, expensive-looking Linnea King needs the same thing he wants: a second chance.


 My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

At first, I was regretting agreeing to read this novel. I hated the cover, and I wasn't sold on the title either. I mean "Starter Wife"? That leaves all sorts of images for the imagination - most of which are not pleasant.

However, this was one of those novels that from the first chapter, you were drawn in. Ms. Densley has a talent in detailing her novels to such an extent that you don't just feel like you are reading a story - you feel as though you are IN the story. Experiencing all of the highs and lows right there along with the main characters. 

Speaking of the main characters - you couldn't ask for two entirely different people. Linnea is learning how to be a single mother after a disastrous first marriage. Her husband is doing everything in his power to see that she gets nothing (and that includes custody of the children he doesn't even seem to want). Although she comes from a very prominent background in her own right, not once does she go "begging" to her parents for anything. Not financial support, not even emotional support. She is determined to do it on her own, and I must say she did a very good job - even when she could barely hold herself together. 

TJ on the other hand, is her complete opposite. He's not only a demolition expert for the military (who understandably suffers from PTSD), but he's also a well known MMA fighter.

From the looks of it, it would seem the only thing these two have in common is the fact that they are both single parents, trying to navigate life without a spouse to help them. Somehow, the two end up going from virtual strangers, to friends, to eventually lovers. And while I do wish there had been more time spent developing the transition from friends to lovers, I don't think the lack takes away from the overall story. TJ easily takes on the role of friend and protector first (through most of the book in fact), so I can understand how the transition to lover could be made, I just wish we would have seen more of it. 

Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of contemporary romance novels. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 

Starter Wife is available from

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