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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Next Wife

ISBN: 154202594X

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 5/01/2021

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +

There is no limit to the lies, suspicion, and secrets that can poison the perfect marriage in this twisting novel of suspense by USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda.

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John; a happy marriage; and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won.

She’s wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her.

She thinks.

But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—and revenge.

My Review

"As always, no one does diabolical, dark humor, and narcissistic characters better than KAIRA ROUDA!!!!"

I adored THE NEXT WIFE —a deliciously evil cat-and-mouse twisty game between the first wife (Kate), and the second wife (Tish), and the daughter (Ashlyn). John (husband) does not have a clue what he is in for!

Let the power play games begin! One wife is street smart, the other is business smart. Which one will win in the end?

Gosh, I would LOVE to see this play out on a TV series or movie. I can see Billy Bob Thornton (Goliath-love this show) as Tish's attorney (Uncle George Price) and must think on who would make the best star for Bob, Kate's attorney, as well as for Kate, Tish, John, and Ashlyn.

Kate has the brains and she and hubby have built EventCo from the ground up. They started the company fifteen years ago and it has grown to become one of Central Ohio's most prominent and well-respected companies. From party planning, events, supplies, tickets, they have it all and now they are going public. They have worked well together for years, but now there is some tension.

Around three years earlier, John (CEO) a little bored with his life, a wife who works all the time, and problem daughter, goes through a mid-life crisis and turns to his gold-digging, psycho, manipulative administrative assistant (Tish) from Kentucky (twenty years younger).

Growing up poor, with a troubled childhood, Tish wants to grab a rich man and live the good life and to hell with who she destroys along the way.

Soon John loses his mind and falls for the gold-digger, materialistic woman, and heaven forbid marries her. They have the big house in Ohio, and also one in Telluride and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (yes, I lived there too, and forgot your mom does, Kaira, nice play).

Tish tries to come between first wife and daughter, but she really is too selfish and self-centered to care about anyone but herself. This IPO thing has gotten John stressed and he begins turning back toward Kate. He did not realize what he had. But will his wife have him back?

Kate will allow no one to destroy her company and will do anything to protect it. She has her own plan.

John, Kate, and Ashlyn are sneaking in texts and secret meetings because Tish is very jealous. She monitors his every move. She cannot have anyone taking up John's time. She is much younger and thinks she is the center of his world. She is a piece of work and Kaira has the best one-liners.

However, now she feels she is losing him, and threatened. Always checking his phone, and watching his every move, so she will not lose him back to his first wife. Now the daughter seems to be on the mom's side.

So she decides to whisk him away to Telluride to their condo for the weekend. John does not have time and she pressures him with a romantic weekend. John has some heart problems and the altitude and stress he has been going through during the IPO and his high blood pressure, may not be in his best interest.

But Tish has a plan. This plan will not be in John's best interest. Better watch those margaritas!

John does not want to cause a scene and if he can just wait until they leave and he gets back to the office, then he can get rid of Tish. But Tish has something else in mind. No one crosses her with the help of her sleazy attorney.

However, Tish does not know what Kate (the first wife is capable of). Never underestimate the first wife.

What FUN! Between Tish, Kate, and Ashlyn, these three women will make you laugh out loud. What a wild ride! The Nelson women are ready for a fight. Which one will win in the end? I loved the smart house, app, and how Ashlyn screws with Tish.

Kaira Rouda's books are always highly entertaining and she always has some tricks up her sleeve but leaves some hints along the way. I could not put this one down and plan to lose sleep. Her characterizations and their thoughts are off the chart bloody good.

Cleverly written, Rouda fans will devour this one and new fans alike. I have read all her books and each is a heck of a wicked devious ride! Move this to the top of your list. You are gonna love it.

A special thank you to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.


“Rouda hits the ground running and never stops…[The Next Wife] is so much fun that you’ll be sorry to see it end with a final pair of zingers. The guiltiest of guilty pleasures.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“In The Next Wife, two women go ruthlessly head-to-head. Kaira Rouda knows how to create the perfect diabolical characters that we love to hate. Equally smart and savage, this is a lightning-fast read.”

—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Mrs.

“Rouda’s talent for making readers question everything and everyone shines through on every page of her propulsive new thriller The Next Wife. Her narrators are sharp and unpredictable, each one with a tangle of secrets to unravel. The Next Wife will leave you tense and gasping, with a chilling twist you won’t see coming.”

—Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight

“One of the most insidious, compulsive books I’ve read recently. Kaira Rouda has a way of drawing you in with great characters, fast-paced writing, and a story that won’t let you go. Brilliant, dark, and dazzling.”

—Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

“One man. Two wives. Kaira Rouda has masterfully created cunning twists and sharp narration that take you on an unexpected and delicious journey and will leave you with a gasp. Devious and fun, The Next Wife should be the next book you read!”

—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Don’t Look for Me

“I absolutely inhaled The Next Wife. Nail-biting suspense, dark humor, and family intrigue. I savored every page and now have the worst book hangover. Loved it!”

—Michele Campbell, internationally bestselling author of The Wife Who Knew Too Much

Kaira Rouda is the queen of the wickedly twisted, fiendishly clever page-turner and THE NEXT WIFE is no exception. A thrilling escape, I devoured this deliciously dark novel in one day. Murder has never been so much fun.” —Heather Gudenkauf , NYT bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and This is How I Lied

“No one writes deliciously devious narcissists like Kaira Rouda. The Next Wife showcases her remarkable talent for making unlikeable characters alluring. With twisted egos, lavish wealth, and three women vying for power, this compelling, compulsive thriller is sharp, fun, and shocking. I was riveted by every word.” —Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

“Kaira Rouda has a gift for writing characters we love…to hate. Dark and devious, THE NEXT WIFE is a fast-paced, twisty thriller that will have you laughing, shaking your head, and gasping out loud right until the end. A perfect one-sitting read.” — Hannah Mary McKinnon, bestselling author of Sister Dear and You Will Remember Me

About the Author

Kaira Rouda is a multiple award–winning USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her novels of domestic suspense include The Favorite Daughter, Best Day Ever, and All the Difference. To date, Kaira’s work has been translated into more than ten languages.

She lives in Southern California with her family and is working on her next novel. For more information, visit



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