Y’all know we have been Melissa Brown fans since her debut Bouquet Toss. Let me tell you, she just stepped up her game with her latest release WIFE NUMBER SEVEN. Check out my review, the trailer and a special excerpt. Then go one click this baby! Oh and be sure to enter the giveaway!!!
TITLE: WIFE NUMBER SEVEN
Lipstick. Bright, red lipstick. Nothing but lipstick. Even though it’s against our faith to wear a color that screams of sexual promiscuity and deviant behavior, I’m not allowed to protest. But, I want to. So badly.
You see, there’s more to me than the braid that spills down my back. More to me than the layers of heavy fabric that maintain my modesty. And so much more than the oppressive wedding band that adorns my finger–the same band that each of my sister wives wear. So much more. To protest would be sinful. I must keep sweet, that is my duty.
So I’ll wear the lipstick. I’ll do as I’m told. And I’ll do my best to silence the resistance within me, to push him from my mind. If only my heart would do the same.
This is the book that has now set the bar for Melissa Brown. Captivating.
I’m not sure where in her head Melissa Brown went for this story but I want to visit it. Melissa’s previous books have been fabulous. Bouquet Toss, her debut, had me bawling like a baby. As I mentioned they have been fabulous but in the literary sense, safe. Well, Melissa Brown went to some tiny recess of her mind and found this captivating and moving story she called WIFE NUMBER SEVEN!!! I’m telling you now, this has got to be one of your reads!!!
A heartfelt story in the POV of one of the wives of a polygamist. Being a sister wife has its benefits but what happens behind compound gates remains hidden from the outside world… or is it the outside world remains a mystery to those inside the compound?
I love this story of experiencing love in the wake of not being allowed to or told it is blasphemous.
This isn’t a story of a sexy book boy or a billionaire alpha. It’s a story of changing the rules, thinking for yourself and finding the courage to follow what your heart says and not some self serving prophet.
Brinley’s (the m/c) life is a life of hypocrisy but figuring out which life is the right one is a heavy burden with life altering consequences.
Melissa Brown’s words for this story were powerful in their innocence and naivety. I love the repetition of one quote, “keep sweet”. So many implications in these two little words and they drove the story and Brinley’s journey. Little nuances such as Brinley’s braid or the red lipstick were extremely significant and provided complex veiled layers to the story. They made the story full and made you keep wanting to turn the pages.
I love that Porter (male m/c) wasn’t a superhero. He was flawed but those flaws helped Brin piece her life together.
The other sister wives were so dynamic and some of the smaller roles they played were pivotal to the story and shed light on what the heart truly wants.
I love that while you might be certain of the ending, the story itself was not predictable. The shift in characters and the change of direction in parts of the story made for a story that didn’t lull and kept the reader’s attention and fuelled question after question.
Well done Melissa Brown. Thank you for taking a risk. You took naivety, true heart, true love and ran it head on into calculated, narcissistic malevolence. I loved their masked dance. Eventually the masks have to come off and true evil is seen for what it is.
One of the responsibilities of being a celestial wife of Lehi Cluff was for me to open myself to him physically. It was my obligation, my duty, my role. And I had accepted it.
But I knew something was wrong with me, something that kept me from enjoying our time together as much as he clearly enjoyed it. Rebecca said that Burt always gave her pleasure in her private areas. She called it a “release.” I’d never found a release, not once. When Lehi was inside me, I didn’t feel the pleasure that Rebecca had told me about. I didn’t feel a buildup of sensations or an eruption of pleasure. Every time he pushed himself inside me, I wondered what to do to make that happen. But I had no idea, which made it all the more clear that I was the problem.
“Maybe that did it.” Lehi rubbed the back of his neck. He was, of course, referring to the fact that we’d been married three years and I hadn’t yet become pregnant, despite our regular intercourse. There was a reason for that, but it was a reason that he could never know about.
“Maybe,” I said with a forced smile, and pulled the sheets up to cover my bare breasts.
“Perhaps Leandra can switch the calendar. I know it’s best for us to be together when you’re ovulating.”
“I know, and I am . . . right now, in fact,” I lied.
“You are?” His face lit up slightly and I nodded, lying again.
The only acceptable reason for sex between two people in our church was for procreation. And after three years, I still hadn’t given him what was expected of me. Obviously the problem did not lie with Lehi. He had twenty-five children with the six wives who came before me. It was me. I was the problem.
But I simply wasn’t ready. Something was holding me back.
“That would truly be a blessing,” Lehi said over his shoulder as he pulled his boxer shorts back on.
“Yes,” I said.
“Please keep me posted. You should know in a few weeks, right?”
Considering how many children Lehi had already fathered, he knew very little about a woman’s cycle. Perhaps it was because he switched bedrooms every night. Or maybe it was because there were many months that two or even three of his wives were all pregnant at the same time, one further along than the next. It must have been hard to keep up, especially considering that sex between a pregnant woman and her husband was forbidden. They’d succeeded in creating a life. Sex was no longer deemed necessary or appropriate once a woman had conceived. Once the baby is born, though, it was business as usual.
Melissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s and ’90s.Her romance titles include Bouquet Toss, Champagne Toast, Picturing Perfect and Unwanted Stars. She is currently developing a Young Adult series called Sorority of Three.
Why I wrote this story…
Quite a few people have asked me why I decided to write this story— why I chose this subject matter instead of writing another light romance like the “Love of my Life” series. For some, this book seems out of character for a “Melissa Brown book.” The best answer I can give is that I just had to. I’ve been fascinated by this lifestyle for years, unable to wrap my brain around how a woman could share her husband.
The idea for Brinley’s story came to me over a year ago, and it stuck with me. I kept seeing the characters in my head and I knew that eventually I had to tell her story. Whenever I shared my idea with friends, they were intrigued. I think we’re all drawn to taboo subjects such as polygamy. We’re curious about those who live their lives so differently than we live our own. I’ve read several autobiographies from those who have left polygamous compounds, and have been fascinated. For everything I learned, I wanted to learn more. So, I watched documentaries, read more, devoured all of the information that I could. If I was going to tackle this topic, I knew that I had to be accurate.
For my readers who have enjoyed my contemporary romance novels, I hope you will give this one a try, as well. It’s different—that’s true. It’s a little darker, it pushes boundaries in a way that my other books have not. But, as a writer, this excites me. I want to continue to push myself as my career continues. I am not finished with light romance, but I’ve really enjoyed pushing myself in this way. And for that reason, this book has become my very favorite of anything I’ve written. And I promise, within the darkness there is still hope in this story. I can’t completely abandon my inner optimist.