348 pages

Audio Excerpts

Retail_Better Off Without Him 1.mp3


Mona Berman has it all—a twenty-year marriage, a successful career as a romance novelist, and three teenage daughters. But when her husband, Brian, leaves her for someone younger, thinner, blonde, and French, she has to step back and take a good, long look at her life.

First, her career. She can’t continue to write about “Happily Ever After,” so she changes the heroine of her new book from a hot young thing to a forty-something woman who manages to find happiness without a man. Her agent isn’t too happy—the heroine is how old? She doesn’t get the guy in the end? How is that even possible?

But Mona is tough, and she’s got Anthony, her personal assistant, and a few good friends to cheer her on and keep the stiff martinis flowing. And Ben. Ben is her plumber, but not your average plumber. He’s smart enough to know that Brian was never good enough for her, and sexy enough to be cast as the romantic lead in quite a few of her books. The sound of his voice alone can send her imagination into full romantic overdrive.

Then she meets Mitch, who might be just the guy for her. And there’s still Ben, who’s managed to come to her rescue more than once. But—there’s a book to publish, a soon-to-be-ex-husband to deal with, and what has Aunt Lily done this time?  

Can Mona work this all out? Can life imitate art, and can Mona write her own happy ending?


April, in general, is not a good month for me. Here in northern New Jersey, April can either be awash with daffodils or buried under a foot of snow, and waiting to see which way it will go kills me. I hate the April version of winter, some days, that nip of spring teases the air and gets you thinking about warm sunshine, but mostly it's just cold enough to be miserable. The snow turns black and ugly in about six minutes, and the salt used on the roads gets in between the pads of my dog's feet. Ever try washing the feet of a 60-pound lump of wet fur? Whimpering, quivering wet fur? No fun at all.

On the flip side, what if it does get warm and sunny right away? That whole process of morphing out of winter woolies and sweaters and scarves that successfully hid my entire body for four months and getting into clothes that not only show skin, but also rolls, pouches, wrinkled knees — it's excruciating.

Then, of course, there's the whole tax thing.

Let's not even discuss my allergies.

So it stands to reason that any given April day will not be a particularly good one. But the day my husband Brian told me that he was leaving me for somebody 15 years younger and 30 pounds lighter was the worst.




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