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The Life She Wants

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  7,024 ratings  ·  669 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness.

In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by MIRA
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  7,024 ratings  ·  669 reviews

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Emma Shay's idyllic life shattered overnight when her husband was arrested for running a massive Ponzi scheme (think Bernie Madoff). Even worse, most of the world believe she knew what was going on and has secretly stashed away millions of dollars. With nowhere to turn, Emma goes back to Santa Rosa, California, the hometown she left over 15 years ago. She's almost penniless and virtually unemployable and with the help of one of her childhood friends, has a place to stay and a minimum wage job. B ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read by Robyn Carr, and I'll definitely check out some more from her soon. I enjoyed her writing style, and the main character was easily likeable and relatable. This book starts heavy and ends with hope; just what I needed right now. Thanks to a sweet friend for sharing this great book with me. ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 *

I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway. I've never read a Robyn Carr book before. I know she is an established writer. I thought I would like this one more than I did. The premise sounded really good. A disgraced rich woman, whose crooked husband committed suicide moves back to her childhood town to rebuild her life. Unfortunately for me something was missing.

The friends re-uniting and bonding again after many years apart was a big aspect of the story. I just couldn't really get into th
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Emma has returned to Sonoma County after the suicide of her husband, a man convicted of bilking millions of dollars from investors reminiscent of Bernie Madoff. Her husband was a piece of work, but Emma sort of let herself be taken on a fairytale ride without examining the details too closely before everything blew up. After living a life of supreme luxury, Emma is left with nothing and not many options for employment on the East Coast after the notoriety of the trial. At the urging of an old fr ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
What do you do when all your dreams come crashing down around you? That is exactly what Emma Shay Compton must decide.

Her husband was convicted of stealing people’s life savings, kills himself and leaves Emma with the mess left behind. The law thinks she is hiding money, people hate her for what her husband did and worse of all she had no clue and let herself be deceived by the man she thought loved her.

Returning to her home town, Emma has more demons to face while trying to rebuild her life. Sh
Rachel Aranda
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, owned
4.75 to 5 stars

Before I had been reading an ebook that I didn't like much (gave it a 1 star) and was so disappointed in it. This book had been on my mind for reading but something happened to make me keep putting it back down and reading something else. My nervousness had to do with the fact that I hadn't read a Robyn Carr book and romance isn't necessarily my genre of choice. After that ebook, I decided to give this book a shot as it couldn't be as bad as that book. I'm so glad that I finally t
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not a romance, even though it looks like one and sometimes acts like it, too. Phwew. I'm glad I got that out of my system. This book might have been excellent, except that it has a serious flaw that penetrates deep into the story and I don't see any way to fix it without fundamentally changing pretty much everything. Fortunately, Carr is a very good writer and if you can get past the cracks in the foundation the house itself is very pretty.

So anyway, we start the novel with Emma about as
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-2017
Please note that I gave this book 2.5 stars and rounded it up to 3 stars on Goodreads.

Wow. This was a shock to my system after reading the early Virgin River books this past weekend. I went from those books to this standalone and really didn’t get what was happening in this book. We follow two women whose storyline barely merged with each other and a happy ending that really didn’t work based on all that came before it.

Emma is dealing with the fallout from her husband’s suicide and her realizati
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was just informed that I won an Advanced Reader Copy of this from Goodreads and I can hardly wait to get it in the mail!

I read this as soon as I got it in the mail, and I enjoyed it all the way through. I liked the main character, Emma, who just moved back to her hometown after her rich husband was found guilty at a trial and then committed suicide. I wish the author had made the whole trial and suicide situation a bigger part of the story; instead, it all happened before the story began and w
Dani C. (Paulette's Papers)
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t this. Almost as soon as I started reading this story drew me in and wouldn’t let me put it down for a second. That hardly ever happens now a days and I am thrilled that this one did!

The Life She Wants surprised me because of how much I enjoyed it. From beginning to end this is a well written and well paced story. You can very easily connect to the characters and the situations they find themselves in. You just feel for Emma and you want to cheer h
Wendy Bunnell
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
The romance was okay, but the main character struck me as unforgivably immature, so I had a hard time getting into this one. I don't have a huge tolerance for people who hold grudges and act against their own best interest just because they're mad. ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars! Really enjoyed reading this book!

Emma's life turned from a glamorous, picture perfect marriage to a millionaire into a nightmare nearly overnight.
Her husband shoots himself awaiting trial for his collapsed Ponzi scheme affairs.
Emma is left alone, with no penny to her name, no friends, no family...
Defeated, she has no other ton but to return to her home town, which also full of not so happy memories...

I loved Emma! She is very likable, very easy to relate to, she is your girl next door.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This is one of those rare novels that has left me speechless. Carr's hard hitting, emotional tale astounded me with it's intricacies while it drew me in with the sheer realism of the lives that she created. I'll admit that it was a little hard to get into at first, but once I was there Carr's masterful storytelling shone through. She brought this town to life, allowing me to visit the local haunts while my heart was being pulled in every direction by the intricate tale that she wove.

I love the w
Veronika's ReaderFeeder
It was like a Hallmark movie. :)) Nothing extraordinary.
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robyn-carr
To be honest, this was a bit of a lukewarm story for me, but compelling enough to keep on reading. What I liked best were some of the characters ordinary circumstances, and then some of the elderly characters were particularly charming. I also enjoyed the fact that this book emphasized the fact that money doesn't make people happy. It’s hard work, family and friends that enriches our lives, makes us content.
Center stage is Emma Shay’s with whom we meet up when she returns to her hometown in CA,
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I liked this book for the aspect of Emma and Riley's friendship and how they finally healed their rather significant breech. There were some things I didn't' like about both main character's but overall it was a good book. Robyn Carr is an author I enjoy reading even when she is not at the top of her game.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Robyn Carr does it again! She simply never ever disappoints. I loved this one, it took me quite a while to warm up to Riley but eventually you can't help but. The whole story was just fantastic. ...more
Nan Williams
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like fairy tales.
Shelves: quit
I truly wonder about the target audience for this book. Definitely written for those who enjoy fairy tales.

Our protagonist, Emma, was married for 9 years to a Bernie Madoff-type who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars of his customers’ investments and who committed suicide prior to going to prison. Emma is cleared of any wrong doing, but is of course persona non-grata in NYC where they have been living the high life. She is stripped of all possessions and luxuries and left only with $9
Kiki Z
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars.

Gripe #1: I'm sorry was I supposed to feel sorry for Riley? She sleeps her with her best friend's boyfriend and then blames everyone else? She's so bitter and mean and she makes it sound like Emma did her a personal wrong by cutting off contact with her. You slept with her boyfriend. She had every right to never want to talk to you again. I had zero sympathy for her most of the book. Everyone is trying and she's running off blaming everyone and not taking any of the blame.

Gripe #2:
Books and Spoons
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and powerful story about life, love, forgiveness, family in all the different forms and shapes, and moving on after one of the life's curveballs.
The story flows well, with often taking a step back and going through the events again, with little more depth, with a different point of view. For those who like to read a book from cover to cover in one sitting, it might feel like repetition, but most might enjoy it.
The characters in the story have all faced life's difficulties, have had
Lindsay Nixon
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a story to sweep you away for a few hours, this is a great choice! My second book this month to remind me sometimes you just want to hear a good story.

There were rich themes throughout the book. Namely that richness is not measured in possessions (unless you want it to be) and that self-reliance is not the same as independence.

The book also made me think about domestic work a little differently. Their job is not to be seen and yet THEY SEE EVERYTHING. If you've ever had a
Regina Mastrogiacomo
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about love and forgiveness. Although the story has many challenges it is done in a loving and uplifting way. The characters are realistic and caring and give each other support when needed.
There are a few authors that I continuously listen and read and Robyn Carr is one of them, her stories are interesting, her characters are wonderful and I love that I end the story happy and wanting more.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved Robyn Carr as an author and this book has not disappointed me. Got my interest in the first few pages and held it right through till the end.
For Emma Shay Compton, life should be perfect. She has a rich, successful husband, life among the glittering ton of New York City and one as far as removed from her hometown in Sonoma County. Then it all crashes down on her with the indictment of her husband in a ponzi scheme that had him making millions off of others and Emma is devastated by the lie that was her life. When she is cleared of any wrong doing, she moves across the country back to her hometown and tries to pick up the pieces. But ...more
Genesis Sheli (Whispering Chapters)
This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

Emma's husband has been found guilty of stealing from his clients. He realized he would lose it all so he killed himself. Now, Emma has to live with the crimes her dead husband committed. She has nothing so the little she has left, she takes to the town where she grew up to start over. Even in her town, people accuse her of having money stored away that belonged to the clients. In search of a job, she reconnects with her former best frien
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Emma Shay Compton's marriage to big-time financier falls apart when he is convicted of bilking his clients (ala Bernie Madoff) out of their life savings. Emma is devastated by his betrayal, of which she had no idea. But many people and the media believe she is hiding money and so she is a pariah as well.

All she is left with is a few kitchen tools, and she moves back home to Sonoma County. Her father died years ago, and his second wife, who treated Emma badly, wants nothing to do with her. Emma t

When the truth became brutally evident she wondered how it had escaped her for so long.

Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered after her financier husband's suicide. Turns out that her husband Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City. Emma was never involved in the shady business but she was left with nothing. She's broke, jobless and she has to start over. She returns to Sonoma, a place that is full of unhappy memories. There is also her
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
The only reason this book got two stars instead of one is because I'm in a good mood today. That good mood could stem from the fact that I've finished reading this drivel.

If you love Harlequin Romance books, then this book is for you! Everyone is so beautiful or (in the case of the men) breathtakingly handsome and everything that happens is so dramatic. The main character, Emma, left her small hometown to go to college. While she was there, her best friend, Riley, slept with her (Emma's) boyfrie
Feb 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
If I could give minus stars, I would. I think I lost brain cells reading this.
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Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The fourth novel, THE BEST OF US, in her fan-favorite Sullivan's Crossing Series was released in Jan. 2019. Robyn's new women's fiction novel THE VIEW FROM ALAMEDA ISLAND, released in April 2019, deputed on four bestseller lists: The ...more

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