The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

October 2016

Fans of Robyn Carr adore the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist’s distinctive and humorous voice and it’s never been in finer form than in her new book!

A rags-to-riches-to-rags tale about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness set along the scenic Pacific coastline of Sonoma County, California.  Everyone had always said that Emma Shay Compton’s marriage was like a fairy tale. With a wealthy, handsome husband, a beautiful Manhattan home, cars and trips around the world—it sure seemed like it. But when Richard, her stockbroker husband, was convicted of operating a massive illegal Ponzi scheme before taking his own life, Emma was left to bear the brunt of his crimes despite her complete innocence. She quickly came to realize that the only fairy-tale thing about her life was how unreal it had been.
Now, with practically nothing to her name and notoriety preventing anyone along the East Coast from hiring her, Emma knows that to start over she needs to get as far away from New York as possible. And that means moving to the one place she vowed never to return—Sonoma County, the scenic West Coast area where she grew up.  Emma’s best childhood friend had been Riley Kerrigan. And after Emma’s father died, Riley’s parents and elder brother, Adam, practically became her surrogate family. When Emma was 18, however, away at university, she discovered that Riley had hooked up with her boyfriend, Jock. Crushed by their betrayal, Emma was determined to get as far away from them as possible and moved to New York, where she landed straight in the arms of her too-good-to-be-true husband, Richard. Despite their fabulous lifestyle and even after learning that Jock and Riley’s relationship had fizzled out after they had a baby, nothing ever lessened
the hurt Emma felt at Riley and Jock’s unfaithfulness.  Adam Kerrigan had carried a torch for Emma ever since they were teenagers, when he was waiting for the right time to ask her out. But when things went nuclear between the two best friends, Emma seemed to disappear overnight before surfacing in New York and getting married. For Adam, it was clear that he had missed his chance. But after running into an out-of-work Emma, Adam suggests she try the one person she
never wants to see again—Riley.  A successful small business owner, Riley knows how hard it is to start over and rebuild your life. Years ago, she was the tough, poor girl who made a mistake—a big mistake. Terrified, pregnant and abandoned by her best friend, Riley had felt utterly alone. Determined to make something of her life, Riley built up herself and her domestic cleaning business brick by brick. Now thriving, the last thing she needs is anyone threatening its stability. Riley’s willing to give Emma a job but on one condition only—that she has no relationship of any kind with Riley’s brother.  But Adam’s been waiting over sixteen years for his chance with Emma. This time he’s determined, that no matter what, Emma’s and his sister’s insecurities won’t get in his way again.


“I’m frequently asked what it is about my stories that make them so popular. I think it’s the sense of community and that combination of romance and women’s fiction,” says author Robyn Carr. “I’m naturally drawn to strong, capable female characters, and when I begin a story, I ask myself, ‘What is she up against?’ It’s very empowering to read about women like ourselves as they resolve the
issues that threaten their happiness and peace of mind. It’s also empowering to watch smart women choosing and falling in love with men of honor and integrity.” The author of more than 40 novels, Robyn reaches a wide audience with her writing. In addition to her touching novels, she’s written
historical and contemporary romance, as well as a gripping thriller. “This is the best job I’m ever going to get wearing pajamas,” she says of her writing career.  Originally from Minnesota, Robyn and her family have seen much of the country, thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the air force. They’ve lived in Texas—all four corners—Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first,
being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love
with the beauty of Nevada—and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!”
Robyn well remembers how she began her career as an author more than 25 years ago. “I was trained
as a nurse but found it impossible to get work because my husband was constantly being transferred.
At the time, I was reading a lot of genre fiction for the sheer entertainment value, and I thought to
myself, ‘I can write this!’”
And how was her first foray into the world of literature received? “It was universally panned. I thought I had written Gone with the Wind, but in actuality it was complete trash.” In fact, it was on her third try that Robyn finally succeeded in becoming a published author.
Now that Robyn’s two children are grown—and finally out of the house—she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than
laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing—
she has found her niche in community service.
She has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out of state
whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund-raising and visiting-author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for
books and writing.”

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