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The Husband Habit

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  766 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Why does Vanessa keep falling for married men?

It's not that she plans to. But every man who seems like he might be the one turns out to be someone else's. So maybe the right thing to do is take a vow to stay single, to keep away from all men, until she can figure things out.

At least work is a haven: Vanessa loses herself in her job as a chef, except when her grandstanding
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,349)
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April Corbett (Dorris)
I enjoyed this book in the beginning. The character was likable and I sympathized with her dating woes. But then she goes to her mother’s house and her internal dialogue becomes downright mean and bitchy. I am not a fan of the insults that get lobbed at people you don’t know. A pick-up truck with a yellow magnetic ribbon does not mean the driver is a country, gun-totting hick. That’s the kind of crap that starts to come from the main character when, in the previous chapter, she left the mean tal ...more
Jul 14, 2011 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2009 Vikkie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have heard so many good things about Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and I haven't given up on her just yet - but this book was definitely not a favorite.

The story line was mediocre and such, it was cute.

I know an author uses their writing to express their interests, but I felt like more often than necessary, I was getting the religious/political views of the author thrown in my face.

Regardless of how I feel about the topics discussed, it was a tad bit uncomfortable reading the phrase "right-wing nu
Mar 22, 2016 Micaela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted light reading, not to actually kill off brain cells with the political rhetoric disguised as love story and populated by the most two-dimensional characters ever penned. Don't read this. Trust me.
Jul 12, 2009 Regina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed the premise of the book: two seemingly opposite characters falling in love, but I found the author's depiction of conservatives as war-mongering Christian fanatics to be very heavy-handed. In fact, I found it to be enough of a turn-off to not read anything else by her. I didn't find the writing to be particularly sharp, and I still can't picture the protagonist in my mind.
Feb 06, 2016 Nolan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nls-audio
Initially, the female character, Vanessa Duran is likable enough. She's an Albuquerque-based chef whose recipes are making her boss famous while she gets no credit. But at least it's a job, and it will work for her until she can open her own place. Although her folks aren't much to be proud of, Vanessa has a slightly older married sister who is in her corner, so to speak.
There's just one problem with Vanessa; she has a nasty nack of falling for married men. Of course, she doesn't know they're ma
Livin' la  Vida Latina
Reviewed by Celia

The story starts off with Vanessa meeting a man for the first time ever after months of correspondence via online dating. After making a quick remark about the stick-figured woman on the bathroom door being sexually biased because of the triangle-shaped skirt (chill out, girl, it’s just a sign,) Vanessa goes into a frenzy trying to make herself look “good” for a stranger; and, when she does meet him, she gets a little too “friendly” and becomes naïve at the assurance that “he is
Jul 14, 2009 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am big fan of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez so I bought the book the day it came out. Unfortunately, I did not love it. I loved parts of the story and writing (descriptions of the food; the main character is a chef), but I usually really really like Alisa's books.

Basically, it's about a woman (Vanessa) who is successful, smart, pretty, insecure, kind of stupid about love, loves nature, is judgemental, and single. She somehow dates cheating husbands and is never aware of it until something happens. S
Jun 20, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is the fourth book of Valdes's that I've read, and it is also my least favorite. Some of it was enjoyable, however my pleasure in reading it was diminished by many factors. First off, it's a typical love story. The fact that the main character falls for unavailable men really had no purpose in the story. Second, there were way too many food references. All the talk of broth and bacon and baking...completely lost me. I like to eat, but I'm not a foodie and everything didn't need to ...more
Jennifer Daniel
Oct 24, 2015 Jennifer Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good modern romance. Not overly lovey or full of graphic sex but real people with real world problems. I liked seeing Vanessa evolve and how her relationship with Paul and her sister Inesa changed as she went through changes.
Aug 09, 2016 Elaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
BLUF: don't waste your time.
I wanted entertainig reading, I enjoy a light fun romance story and the developing relationship between characters. I was sadly disappointed. This book was hard to keep reading. I have never had a "romance" so full of political rhetoric. This was a military bashing, anti-republican, anti-gun, anti-war, feminist propaganda disguised as a love story. The author spends more time bashing the USA military and the "war over oil" than developing the main characters. The stor
Dec 01, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty turned off by the overt liberal overtones in this book and the male main character is just too perfect- not very believable. But, I did enjoy the writing and the ending was pretty sweet, if not somewhat predictable. A bit too many food analogies along the way. The main female character was kind of bitchy, in my opinion.
Tory Hunz
Completely predictable, chapter titles were childish, topics could have gotten deeper but remained superficial and shallow throughout. Also disappointing was the reader who did the audio book. She was monotone and what little intonation she used was misplaced and took away from the meaning of what she was saying.
Maybe I would have been less annoyed if I read this, as I would have likely skimmed it, or maybe I've read too many of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez novels (where SPOILER ALERT: snooping always gets you into trouble and the man's misdeeds are too often forgiven and the author is clearly working out her own issues), but this book was only tolerable because I read it while commuting across Southeast Wyoming. A little too descriptive at times, given that this is hardly a literary novel, but fun food metap ...more
Linda Doyle
The Husband Habit is a lousy title for this book. It leads us to think it will be a lighthearted read, but it is more than that. It has its strengths and weaknesses: interesting New Mexico setting, an attractive well-drawn leading man, intriguing interpersonal relations between the two sisters. Weaknesses: an uneven story (it wants to be chick lit but is actually a romance with some social commentary thrown in), an arrogant leading lady, too much inappropriate political preaching out of the mout ...more
Sara E.
Jan 19, 2015 Sara E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
At first I was skeptical, but I ended up falling in love with this novel - and Paul. Sharp, witty, and ridiculously funny. Vanessa and Paul's relationship is cute and easy, and I love their banter. I love that he stood up for her and made her believe in herself. Oh! And did I mention that this book is HOT! The tension is unbelievable! (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't read this when it was first published because I was mad at the author for something she said on Twitter. Yes, I'm petty like that sometimes. Anyway, time heals all wounds and I walked past it in the store the other day and decided to pick it up. I'm glad I did. Vanessa Duran is a chef at an Albuquerque restaurant owned by a popular food personality. Everyone loves the food, but they have no idea that Vanessa is the real genius behind the menu. On the personal front, she has just ended a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2013 Monkeyface rated it it was ok
Listened to The Husband Habit by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. Vanessa Duran has a great life: she?s a whiz of a chef, making her grandstanding restaurant-owner boss look good; her house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a comfortable nest; and she is loved by her friends and her family. So what?s the problem? Vanessa keeps falling for married men. Not that she knows they?re married: each and every time she?s duped, taken for a ride, outright fooled. As The Husband Habit begins, Vanessa discovers she?s f ...more
This is not what I usually read but it was suggested based on what was in my read shelve. I nearly stopped reading it but persisted. It is a story about a chef who has trouble with love always finding a married man when she finally meets what appears to be a good man. However he too has a secret.
Jun 21, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was truly amazed, a romance with a complex male character. Nicely written as well. I loved all the food and garden references that were worked in. And, the author really knows her people. The guy is very believable and the two sisters as well down to their politics.
Nov 13, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the title is dumb for what the story is really about. I loved that the main character is smart, funny, latina, sensual & a foodie. The scene in the garden is one of the sexiest love scenes ever written where there was no sex.
This book began promisingly, with an interesting main character, Vanessa. She was a Yale-educated literature professor, who has become passionate about her new life as a chef, but has had a string of disastrous relationships with men who have hidden their true marital status. Of course, just as she decides to take a relationship hiatus, an incredibly perfect guy pops up. The book was in a pleasant chick - lit place, when it suddenly morphed into an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war diatribe. Rather than ...more
Jess (Shepherdjel)
Aug 20, 2012 Jess (Shepherdjel) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, subc
I had no idea what to expect from this book...I am not big on the whole cheating thing and don't care for books that are all about it. This was not the case at all with this book! Though the ending was shocking, this book was adorable and had just the right about of happy, sad, laughter and aww! I really liked that there was a little of everything in this book, family relationships, some food/cooking, humor, lovely romance, tragedy(war)and loss, all things I like to see in a book. I really liked ...more
Lisa Smith
Mar 06, 2016 Lisa Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love this book. This is my first Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and it got me hooked on her work. Great story. Very visual!
Oct 25, 2010 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a lot of disappointing chick lit lately, so The Husband Habit was a breath of fresh air. So many of the books I've read recently have had grossly unlikable main characters. Vanessa has flaws, but she's a totally relatable character. And while the secondary characters are underdeveloped or unexplained (why is Vanessa's mother such a mess? How did Clarissa and her husband end up so lovey-dovey?), they're so peripheral I don't even mind the lack of depth. The end is a bit too cont ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun summer read, but it's not as good as her others. I didn't like the writing at the beginning - it was weird somehow - but it got better as the book went on. It's about a chef who keeps falling for married men and then meets someone she tries to resist. The two main characters of Paul and Vanessa were interesting but Paul was too perfect for her, if that's possible. Everything he did was too clever and well done. I wonder where the author got her war inspiration/information from. A c ...more
Oct 10, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to an audible copy of this book...and it took several parts before I even got into the book. I actually wasn't even interested in the book until she meets Paul. But there is just too much detailing and rambling going on. But the ending was sweet.
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Alisa Valdes is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of women's fiction, young adult fiction, and memoir, including The Dirty Girls Social Club. She has a master's in journalism from Columbia University and spent ten years as a staff writer for the Boston Globe and LA Times before becoming an author. She lives in New Mexico with her family and pets and wishes the calories you ate when no on ...more
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