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Ex Trophy Wives #2

Burning Down the Spouse

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If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen...the latest from national bestselling author Dakota Cassidy!

After discovering that her famous chef husband was cheating, Frankie Bennett lost her mind-on live TV. Now Frankie is broke, unemployed, and hiding out in her aunt's retirement village. That is, until Maxine Henderson-Barker-reformed trophy wife and owner of Trophy Jobs Inc. employment agency-arrives to give Frankie a much needed kick in the pants.

Soon, Frankie lands a job as a prep chef at a Greek diner in New Jersey, home to the world's best meatloaf and an owner who resembles an exquisitely chiseled Greek statue. Falling into bed with Nikos isn't the best idea, but after years of living in a man's shadow, this ex- trophy wife is ready to get busy cooking...

356 pages, Paperback

First published July 5, 2011

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About the author

Dakota Cassidy

141 books1,843 followers
Dakota Cassidy is a national bestselling author with over thirty books. She writes laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, grab-some-ice erotic romance, hot and sexy alpha males, paranormal shifters, contemporary kick-ass women, and more.

Invited by Bravo TV, Dakota was the Bravoholic for a week, wherein she snarked the hell out of all the Bravo shows. She received a starred review from Publisher Weekly for Talk Dirty to Me, won an RT Reviewers Choice Award for Kiss and Hell, along with many review site recommended reads and reviewer top pick awards.

Dakota lives in the gorgeous state of Oregon with her real life hero and her dogs, and she loves hearing from readers!

Connect with Dakota online: https://twitter.com/DakotaCassidy https://www.facebook.com/DakotaCassid...

Join Dakota Cassidy’s Newsletter The Tiara Diaries! Join here: http://mad.ly/signups/100255/join

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,232 reviews304 followers
July 16, 2011
Funny, witty, clever, sarcastic. Way better than the first in the series (and I like that one). Took me a long time to ready because I would read paragraphs two and three times because of the great dialog and the laugh out loud comedy.
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
September 13, 2011
Dakota is pretty much the only author that can get me to read contemporary lit. This series really defies easy genre definitions though. It's definitely too much of a significant novel to be what I'd consider chick-lit, despite the humor and banter. It could certainly be shelved in the romance department, but again, although the romantic stories are very important, they aren't the core of the story. Really, it could most properly be considered an inspirational story, instructional in a way, although perhaps not quite as literally as the first book on the series which was more step by step than this one. 

Anyway, it's a fun novel, with a lot of elements that women will relate to. Frankie has been knocked low, so low that her response is to pull up the covers and hide from the world. For six months. But Maxine from the first book in the series comes to tell her to suck it ip, princess, and put on her big girl panties and get on with life. If she wasn't about to run out of money and start costing her dear aunt money she can't afford, and she didn't have to keep her dear deaf Chihuahua Kiki in kibble, Frankie may have ignored Maxine anyway, but she stumbles out of bed and the rest is history. 

Most of all, the book has has fantastic characters. That really is Dakota's area of expertise. Every time she writes a book I think she can't come up with a hotter guy, and yet the next time, she manages. Last time it was sexy geek, this time it's charming Greek, irresistible. But where she really excels is in her women, they're always people I want to be friends with and can't help but like. And this tine the family was just great, Mama Voula was wonderful and and Papa Barnabus fussing over little deaf "Kooky", Frankie's Kiki, was darling. I also enjoy that Dakota has included her personal love of animals who have disabilities and need rescuing in so many of her stories lately. Jasmine and Simon were ok additions, but not as rich as I'd hoped, as with the last book I did find the B storyline lacking a bit. Coincidences like her new buddy getting involved with his best friend always stretch my credibility anyway, but it wasn't a major issue. 

So overall it was funny and heartwarming. It's obvious from things that Dakota has said in the first book that this series is deeply personal to her and it's helped her write a couple of books that are both very entertaining and every thoughtful. Suck it up, princess isn't just a silly line in a book, it's a life lesson, if anyone reading should care to learn it. There's a lot being said here, and it's all being said in an entertaining way, and that's just how I like my books, good job Ms. Cassidy! 
Profile Image for Anne-Kathrine.
1,185 reviews6 followers
July 10, 2011
Love this 2nd book in the series :) Lots of good laughs and drama LOL. Looking forward to the next book in the series. Write faster Dakota :)
Profile Image for Tori.
2,812 reviews477 followers
July 11, 2011
Originally posted at http://www.smexybooks.com/2011/07/rev...

Burning Down The Spouse (Ex Trophy Wife #2) by Dakota Cassidy
Contemporary Romance
July 5, 2011
Trade Paperback
Berkley Trade

Favorite Quote:” Wow, I sound like one of those commercials where everything is gray and dreary until you take a Xanax, or in this case, a Maxine, whatever it is, and poof, it magically makes your world go all bright with shiny colors again. Well, except for those nagging side effects like anal weeping and eyeball leakage. “

World…meet Frankie Bennett. When Frankie found her husband cheating on her with his 20 something assistant named Bamby with a “y” she has an Emmy worthy melt down on her husband’s televised cooking show. After the divorce, she goes to lick her wounds at her aunt’s home. Aunt Gail is glad to have Frankie stay with her but after a month of watching Frankie mate with her bedspread, Gail decides to bring out the big guns. Maxine Barker, owner and founder of The Trophy Jobs Employment Agency. A former trophy wife herself, Maxine knows just how Frankie feels and what she needs to do. With the help of some ice water and a few well thought out threats, Maxine gets Frankie up, showered, and employed at the diner of the “world’s greatest meatloaf.”

Nikos Antonakas, owner of the diner and Greek god look a like, happened to catch Frankie’s televised break up but chose instead to play dumb when Maxine brings her in for a job interview at his diner. Nikos doesn’t need anymore ‘strays’ but something about Frankie appeals to him. Watching as Frankie charms his family and friends, Nikos starts to think that maybe they can cook up something special together. But when Frankie’s ex husband comes back into the picture, Niko’s old insecurities come into play and soon it all becomes a recipe for disaster.

Burning Down The Spouse is the second book is Dakota Cassidy’s hilarious tongue in cheek Ex Trophy Wife series. Ms. Cassidy mixes up a potent recipe of humor and seriousness with zany one liners, reality checks, and a cast of eccentric characters tossed in that will have you laughing away tears as we watch Frankie navigate through the pitfalls of divorce and life after divorce. Character driven, it’s the fast pacing and conversational style writing that enhances the appeal of this story. What I enjoy about Ms. Cassidy’s books is that her heroines are usually older woman. Too often it’s the young, gorgeous 20 somethings that get the HEAs and their older girlfriends are regulated to the “wise, advice giving friend” role. Divorce is hard enough but it’s even harder when your tossed aside for someone younger. Ms. Cassidy doesn’t sugar coat the ups and downs of divorce for the sake of an HEA in here. It’s a messy, heartbreaking, unfair and all that and more is presented clearly and without apology.

I love Frankie. Even though she went nuts on TV , who could blame her? After 18 years of marriage and building up his career and ego; to be blatantly hit in the face with his affairs is heartbreaking and insulting. So Frankie goes a little (ok, a lot) nuts. But that isn’t the real Frankie as we come to discover. The real Frankie is down to earth, intelligent, loyal, and reasonably sane. She’s embarrassed by her moment of fame but not by her decision to leave her husband. Watching her drag herself from bed into learning to live for herself is both enlightening and funny. Especially when we see her interact with her new friends.

Frankie and Nikos have an instant chemistry that blends in well with the main conflict. The dialogue between them is infectious and feels natural. I like that Frankie doesn’t just fall into bed with Nikos. She understands that she needs to stand on her own two feet before she can stand with someone else. Nikos is enjoyable with his easy going manner and unapologetic nature of wanting to help. His sense of humor wins serious points with Frankie and me.

The secondary romance is just as enjoyable and perhaps more heartfelt then the one between our protagonists. Jasmine and Simon are delightful as they taunt and tease their way into bed and each others hearts. Their relationship blends well and elevates the main arc in a shocking way.

The secondary characters are all well fleshed out as they add delish snarkiness and humor to the story. I love that we see Maxine (heroine of You Dropped a Blonde On me) and she is just as feisty and opinionated as ever. Niko’s family is hilarious with his mom’s unique twist on English slang and his father’s Mafia mentality towards chopping veggies. Jasmine’s ex trophy wife advice and non judgmental attitude is a breathe of fresh air and just what Frankie needs. Mitch is the perfect pitiful villain you will love to hate.

The main conflict is a bit over the top and there were some parts that made me want to pull my hair out and ask, “wha!?!” It comes across a little far fetched and I really couldn’t understand how a normal person would believe any of it. I was also disappointed with Nikos. He goes overboard in his conviction of Frankie and chooses to believe everyone but her. I found it ironic that the one person who should have been put out by Frankie’s supposed betrayal was one of the only few who believed in her innocence.

The ending is predictable but funny in how it plays out. Burning Down The Spouse is a humorous romantic contemporary that will have you laughing out loud as Frankie and Nikos navigate a path between friendship, love, and everything in between. I look forward to the third of this series, title to be announced.

Rating: B-
79 reviews
May 9, 2022
Fantastic, reminded me of MaryJanice Davidson's "Betsy" books. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but as I continued it drew me in. Once I started I didn't want to quit. It was if I were watching a movie. So true to life. Thank you Dakota Cassidy. I look forward to reading more and more of your books. Keep up the fantastic work.
2,250 reviews4 followers
January 12, 2021
This is the second book in the series, and it was just awesome, loved it. Love how these women out their lives back together. 🌟🔥💜⭐🔥🧡⭐🔥💛🌟🔥💚🌟🔥💙⭐🌟⭐
1,316 reviews4 followers
October 14, 2021
Another fantastic book and must read that will have you wanting more. ❤️📚👍
Profile Image for Faye.
1,034 reviews5 followers
May 24, 2022

FUNNY -FUNNY-FUNNY----LOVE funny series --really great storylines=)
Profile Image for Melliane.
2,023 reviews340 followers
June 10, 2013
Mon avis en Français

My English review

J’étais curieuse de découvrir ce second tome ayant eu la chance de pouvoir lire il y a peu le premier. Les deux sont aussi animés et agréables à lire, et surtout, point important : plein d’humour.

Frankie est une jeune femme au tempérament de feu, aussi quand elle apprend que son mari, grand chef cuisinier, la trompe, elle provoque un scandale en direct à la télé en le mettant devant le fait accompli et le menaçant. Elle ne s’attendait seulement pas aux lourdes retombées publiques de cet événement. Car en effet, maintenant tout le monde sait qui elle est en le voyant. Mais sa tante Gail étant amie avec Mona, Maxine entre en scène pour aider notre jeune héroïne. J’étais vraiment contente de voir comment Maxine s’était établie en tant que femme épanouie et aidant toutes les femmes qui étaient passées par les mêmes obstacles qu’elle. Mais elle sait d’où elle vient et fait tout son possible pour aider ces ex-femmes à remonter la pente. Et malgré un début difficile, Frankie se voit aller travailler dans un restaurant grâce à Maxine, sous les ordres du beau et charmant Nikos. Cet homme a tout pour lui, et on comprend parfaitement l’attrait de notre héroïne. Oui, parce que je suis aussi complètement tombée sous son charme aussi. Mais sa jalousie est aussi son point faible et il faudra qu’il arrive à la surmonter pour ne pas perdre ceux à qui il tient. Mais tout irait bien, si Mitch, l’ex-mari ne s’était pas rendu compte que sans sa femme, son émission allait tomber à l’eau…

J’ai beaucoup aimé cette histoire et j’étais assez curieuse de voir ce qu’il allait advenir. Il faut dire que Frankie est une femme obstinée mais qui a peur d’être blessée à nouveau, surtout que tout le monde lui rappelle sans cesse l’adultère de son mari. Aussi elle a beaucoup de mal à remonter la pente, mais avec l’aide de Nikos, Maxine et son amie Jasmine, tout est possible. J’étais d’ailleurs surprise de suivre aussi dans ce roman l’histoire de Jasmine, cette femme qui a elle aussi quitté son mari et qui malgré ses airs indépendants et sa force est encore plus sensible que tout le monde peut le croire. Simon et Nikos sont deux hommes extraordinaires bien qu’ils fassent aussi de nombreuses erreurs en essayant de ne pas blesser la personne qu’ils aiment. Car oui cacher la vérité n’est jamais la meilleure chose à faire.

C’était un tout cas un deuxième très bon tome et je suis impatiente de voir ce qu’il sera dans le troisième et si nous aurons encore l’occasion de revoir nos trois couples et surtout connaître l’histoire de notre prochaine héroïne.
Profile Image for Valérie.
1,000 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2014
***** Phrase culte qui donne le ton de cette romance " tester son mixer sur sa bite volage pour voir si elle arrive à lui donner une consistance bien ferme et digne d'une meringue"

Voilà une vraie réussite chez cet éditeur, nous faire découvrir cette série de Dakota Cassidy.Ce sont des romances contemporaines, modernes avec des héroïnes auxquelles nous pouvons nous identifier: pas parfaites, juste des femmes qui encaissent les aléas de la vie avec mordant et humour. C'est drôle,pétillant et très bien écrit. J'avais adoré le premier tome avec notre fausse Bimbo Maxine, et j'ai pris autant de plaisir à lire les mésaventures de Frankie, un vrai concentré de bonne humeur avec des personnages attachants ,des scènes cocasses et des dialogues plein d'humour.

Notre héroïne Frankie pète un câble quand elle découvre que son mari avec qui elle vit depuis dix-huit ans la trompe, et comme elle ne fait pas les choses à moitié elle le fait en direct à la télévision en le menaçant " de lui passer les boules au presse-purée " devant des milliers de personnes vu que son époux est une star. Résultat, elle se retrouve humiliée et fauchée chez sa tante qui habite cette délicieuse communauté de retraités complètement fous, qui se mêlent de tout et créent un joyeux bazar.

Mais pour sa tante appartenant à cette joyeuse troupe de gais-lurons, il est hors de question que sa nièce reste à déprimer sous sa couette et au bout de six mois, elle fait appel à notre ex-larguée et maintenant bien heureuse épouse Maxine pour secouer Frankie qui ni une ni deux se retrouve assistante à la Cuisine à la grecque sous l'égide de la famille Antonakas.

Oh mon dieu! A partir de ce moment là,j'ai eu beaucoup de mal à lire,c'est drôle, enlevé et on compatit avec Frankie qui sous la plume tendre et caustique de Dakota Cassidy se reconstruit pas à pas aidée de toute la chaleureuse famille et surtout de Nikos *gros soupirs* une véritable bombe sexy au possible. Il faut dire qu'entre la mama grecque qui ne pense qu'à la remplumer, l'attraction qu'elle ressent pour son dieu grec de patron, l'attention maternelle de sa tante Gail et le soutien de sa nouvelle amie Jasmine qui elle aussi a droit à sa petite romance avec un homme peu ordinaire; notre héroïne ne pouvait que s'en sortir même avec le retour inopiné de son ex.

Dakota Cassidy est une auteure certes pleine d'humour mais ce que j'apprécie par dessus tout dans ces histoires ce sont les vérités sous-jacente qu'elle dévoile. Car sous ces dialogues piquants et sa plume acérée, c'est une réalité qui se dégage, d'une part la difficulté énorme que rencontre les femmes pour retrouver un travail et s'adapter après avoir été femme au foyer durant de longues années et aussi le vide émotionnel et la culpabilité quelles ressentent.
779 reviews57 followers
July 18, 2011
Burning Down the Spouse by Dakota Cassidy
Contemporary Romance –July 5th, 2011
3 1/2 stars

Burning Down the Spouse is the second in the author’s humorous Ex Trophy Wives series. It is a fun, light-hearted romp for the summer.

When Frankie discovers Mitch, her celebrity chef husband, cheated on her, she has a melt down on live TV! They soon divorce, but because Frankie naively signed a pre-nup she is now dirt poor. In a funk and looking worse for wear, Frankie sleeps in and never goes out. That is until a friend persuades her to work at a Greek diner that is known for its world famous meatloaf! Frankie is very reluctant; she doesn't even like to cook! But she soon meets some warm and caring individuals. Plus the sexy owner Nikos might be the man to give her a new perspective on life. It seems life is looking up. Then her ex, Mitch returns and asks her to make more recipes for him. It turns out Frankie may not like to cook, but she is the genius behind his cooking! When Mitch pulls a big one and manipulates Frankie to get help him, Nikos becomes jealous. Will their budding relationship overcome Mitch’s further betrayals?

This was a comical read. I really liked the start of the story, which includes an eclectic and amusing cast. Nikos’s family reminded me a bit of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I loved his family. There are also many interesting characters that could easily have their own stories. In fact, the author has another side romance that I found very enjoyable. However, Frankie takes some time to warm up to Nikos since she is newly divorced. So the relationship between them is very slow to start and sometimes even dragged. Nikos was so considerate and sexy hot that I was amazed Frankie was able to resist him for so long. I was also a bit frustrated with the heroine because she let Mitch take advantage of her again and again. It was hard to believe she would be gulled by him since he left her with nothing after the divorce and then comes back asking for her help. I would have told him to shove it or at least get some compensation. While the heroine is nice, I wanted a little more spunkiness like when she humiliated her ex on TV for cheating. I kept waiting for her to do something outrageously funny again, but sadly the rest of the humor in this book stems from the antics of the other characters.

Funny and zany, this generally cheerful book will keep you easily amused.

Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
Profile Image for Pamela .
1,417 reviews75 followers
July 27, 2011
This is the first book of Dakota Cassidy’s I’ve read and it certainly won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this book - so much that I finished it in one sitting.

When Frankie discovers her celebrity chef husband, Mitch, of 18 years cheated on her, she goes ballistic on live television. Since she signed a pre-nup, Frankie ends up with nothing but her car and dog, Kiki, once Mitch divorces her. Now living with her Aunt Gail, Frankie ends up doing nothing but lie in bed under the covers for six months - literally. In desperation, her aunt recruits her friend, Maxine, to breathe life into her. See, Maxine herself was once a trophy wife but no longer. On her own with no money, determination and hard work, she opened up an agency to help get ex-trophy wives jobs. That very day Frankie has a job interview at a Greek diner. She does everything possible to sabotage it as she (a) doesn’t know how or like to cook; and (b) just wants to go back to bed and never come out. Instead she gets hired by Nikos, a man, as described by Frankie, “breathtakingly chiseled with good looks.” Over the next couple of months, Frankie learns that she alone is in control of her life; that she can either continue to be a victim or get her act together and move on with her life. She also finds herself having naughty fantasies of Nikos. Problem is she’s been hurt so bad by Mitch she doesn’t think she can trust any man again. This just so happens to be the same problem Nikos is having as he’s been burned by more than one woman. However, as much as he denies it, he can’t stop thinking about Frankie as more than just an employee. Just the same, you can feel the chemistry between them. Once they do get together, sparks definitely fly.

Add in a “crazy, loud, unruly” family along with funny and sarcastic friends; you end up with a very solid, yet entertaining and humorous ensemble of people that add to the overall drama. What makes this story even more pleasing is that the author throws in another couple with their own romantic ups-and-downs. There’s a lot going on in this novel that grabs your attention and keeps you engaged.

This is a well-written novel with a great cast of characters and story-line which moves along smoothly. Granted, the ending is predictable and a few things are a little over-the-top, but since it kept me entertained and smiling, not to mention I’m a sucker for hot romantic stories, I highly recommend putting this book on your list of summer reads.
Profile Image for Christi Snow.
Author 70 books743 followers
December 11, 2011
My Review:

I absolutely love Dakota's books and her writing voice. They crack me up. They entertain me. They make me smile. This book, #2 in the Trophy Wives series, was no exception to all of those things.

In this book we meet Frankie, moments after her live-on-the-air meltdown when she finds out her celebrity chef husband of eighteen years was cheating on her. This revelation sends her into a divorce, poverty, and depression. This is where Maxine (heroine from book #1) comes in, as a former trophy wife herself, to help get Frankie motivated again. With her "Suck it up, Princess" attitude, things start to turn around for Frankie starting with a job doing prep work at Nikos' family diner in New Jersey.

Nikos is hot and sexy and he has a thing for strays and damsels in distress. The issue with that is that damsels in distress tend to have a lot of baggage which doesn't make them great candidates for trusting his heart with them. He has been hurt before...several times, so even though he is drawn to Frankie, he tries to resist.

I LOVED Frankie's character. I loved the fact that once she started to develop a backbone again, she embraced it. She is not a meek little thing and I love it when she stands up for herself and her emotions with Nikos. But she isn't a fly-off-the-handle kind of gal. She learned that lesson on national tv and knows that isn't the way to handle anything. This is a character who grows so much through this book. I LOVE that!

In addition to Frankie and Nikos' love story, there is a secondary love story between Simon (Nikos' friend) and Jasmine (Frankie's friend and fellow former trophy wife.) I loved Simon's character. He is a former NFL quarterback who is now blind, but his attitude towards that blindness is awesome. You know from the beginning that his motivation behind pursuing Jasmine is not pure, but you don't know exactly why. When it came out, I literally gasped out loud. I had NO IDEA that was coming...OMG!! Such an interesting and completely unexpected twist to their story.

Overall this was an amazing book. I was also really pleasantly surprised to find out that this book takes place during the holiday's. Who knew? hehe...just a wonderful, entertaining read!
Profile Image for Ann Lee.
6 reviews1 follower
September 7, 2011
Courtesy of Romance Junkies

Title: Burning Down the Spouse
Category: Contemporary
Reviewer: Ann
Reviewer Email: ann@romancejunkies.com
Author: Dakota Cassidy
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: July 5, 2011
ISBN Number: 9780425241080
Author Homepage: http://www.dakotacassidy.net
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5
Format: PRINT

Frankie Bennett has the “mother of all meltdowns” after finding out her famous chef husband is cheating on her on live TV. Now she finds herself at her aunt’s retirement village, broke and unemployed until Maxine Henderson-Baker, the reformed trophy wife and founder of Trophy Jobs Employment Agency, pushes her back into life.

Frankie Bennett is infamous. She went ballistic after finding out her celebrity chef husband, Mitch, was cheating with Bamby with a “Y” on live TV. Now she’s living at her aunt’s retirement community, penniless and without a job. However, her Aunt Gail has a secret plan. She has enlisted the help of former trophy wife and founder of Trophy Jobs Employment Agency, Maxine Henderson-Baker, to help find Frankie a job at Greek Meets Eat, a diner where Nikos Antonakas needs help. Can she move forward when her past seems to follow not so far behind her?

BURNING DOWN THE SPOUSE is the next installment in the EX-TROPHY WIVES series and one that I’ve eagerly anticipated. I thought Frankie’s meltdown was classic because she did what most women could only dream of doing to their husbands when they found them cheating with another woman. Yet at the same time, Ms. Cassidy shows how hard it is to pick up the pieces. It isn’t easy and she pulls no punches with Maxine or with Jasmine. Frankie is headstrong but still vulnerable to her ex-husband’s machinations but he doesn’t hurt her as much as Nikos can. Nikos is a kind hearted man who would give his last dime to help someone. However, he has a jealous streak that can be exacerbating at times. His past experiences cloud his judgment and it almost makes him lose something precious. It takes some stubborn secondary characters to show him the error of his ways. I love Ms. Cassidy’s style of mixing humor and a dose of reality and cannot wait to read the next chapter in the EX-TROPHY WIVES series.
Profile Image for Jaime.
68 reviews24 followers
July 29, 2011
Review from www.FreshFiction.com

Frankie has seen her life fall apart and can watch it over and over again since she had a massive freak out on live TV when she discovered her husband of 18 years was cheating on her with someone named Bamby... spelled with a “y.” Left with nothing, thanks to the pre-nup she signed to show how much she loved the bugger, Frankie was now hibernating in the guest room of her elderly Aunt Gail. She would still be there if it wasn't for the noisy daughter of one of Gail’s friends. Now she is sitting in a dinner trying everything in her power not to get a job as a prep chef. The only positive thing about this situation is the fact that the guy interviewing her looks like he could be a Greek god. Too bad he insists on hiring her.

Burning down the spouse is an emotional story that is lightened by hilarious one liners and charming situations. For the entire novel the reader feels sympathy for what Frankie was going through and what she had to do just to survive the day. At the same time, it is difficult not to laugh at the humor that is on every page. Towards the end, the reader will wonder how the main characters were able to find themselves is such outlandish situation that still seem like they could happen in real life.

The shimmering jewel of this novel are the supporting characters. I loved the main characters, Frankie and Nickos but it was Nickos’ family that stole my heart. Every time his mother graced the page I found myself waiting to see what wonderful things she would say next, usually in broken English. They are the family that everyone wished they had growing up. Especially when mama is swinging her favorite rolling pin at the bad Mitch. If you are looking for a novel that perfectly balances serious with comedy, Burning down the spouse is the book for you.
Profile Image for TheGeekyBlogger.
1,458 reviews177 followers
July 28, 2016
Bought for Myself
Overall Rating 4.25
Story Rating 4.00
Character Rating 4.50

NOTE: I love Dakota Cassidy's humor there is no secret about that. However, Burning Down the Spouse pulled on my heartstrings and the family made me smile. Seriously, I need to find a Big Greek Family to attach too especially if they have a single son named Nikos :)

What I Loved: Family, Family, Family! In Burning Down the Spouse, family (born to, adopted, or by choice) is the most important thing. It was so much fun to watch the tough love, calling out of stupidity, supporting, and defending of everyone. Nikos' parents (Voula and Barnabas), Frankie's Aunt (Gail), Simon's BG (Will), and Maxine/Jasmine were just perfect examples of those who will love you no matter what but they are calling you on your less than stellar moments! I also loved that you got two love stories for the price of one. I can't even tell you whether I enjoyed Frankie/Nikos more or Jasmine/Simon. They were both fantastically written.

What I Liked: I am a sucker for anything food related, so this story made me smile. I liked the fake Food Network Channel, the small family restaurant, and how everything was pretty much tied to food. Most of all being a meatloaf lover, I was thrilled that it was the meatloaf that was famous. What can I say? I love my meatloaf :)

Complaints: None

Why I gave a 4.25: I had an absolute blast reading Burning Down the Spouse. It was the perfect blend of romance, humor, and really helped me smile after a long day at the office.
Profile Image for Lisa.
154 reviews61 followers
May 7, 2011
Frankie Bennett, wife of celebrity TV chef Martin Bennett, just "lost it" on national tv. See, her celebrity chef, husband, Martin,has been cheating on her with Bamby (with a "Y"), a much younger woman and host of her own cooking show.
After 18 years of marriage,Frankie finds herself with no husband, no money and lots of bills.Frankie doesn't want to face the world so she hides out at her Aunt Gail's. That's where she meets Maxine Barker. Maxine is an ex-trophy wife herself
who has started an employment agency called Trophy Jobs, Inc.
At Maxine's urging, Frankie interviews for a job at the Greek Meets Eat diner, where she meets the owner, Nikos Antonakas. Nikos is pretty hot, but is another relationship really what Frankie needs right now?

I love books that are written with heroines who are "mature women". A romance doesnt have to be all about 20-somethings to be hot.
Dakota's Ex Trophy Wives series shows us that even when it looks like all is lost, there is still time to pick up, dust ourselves off, move ahead and fall in love again.
Such a funny, cute story. Also, having come from
New Jersey myself, I can relate to the setting. North Jersey is quite known for it's many diners.
This reminded me a bit of my "Jersey" days. Where I am from we had a diner owned by a local Greek family.
Dakota never disappoints me when it comes to her novels and after finishing each one, I am always
eagerly looking forward to the next. This was no exception.

Profile Image for Alice Janell.
Author 2 books12 followers
August 8, 2011
Need a good romance and a lot laughs?

Read Dakota Cassidy.


I fell in love with the fabulous Queen Dakota with her "Accidental Friends" series. But her newest series that follows ex-trophy wives? If I were a little dog, I'd hump the shit out of Dakota's leg. That's how excited I am with this series.

The second book in the "Ex-Trophy Wives" series, "Burning Down the Spouse" follows Frankie, a woman who is the tabloid sweetheart after her catastrophic meltdown on live TV. While hiding out in her aunt's retirement village seems like the best plan ever to Frankie, she's soon given sage wisdom from other ex-trophy wives, "Suck it up, princess."

As Frankie goes to work in a Greek diner, hilarity follows our unkempt and mostly unbathed heroine. Nikos' mother reminds me of all the mothers/aunts in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" -- and that's not a bad thing. Voula is a sweet lady, but definitely the kind you can't ever say no to.

Then of course there is Nikos...

Hot and Greek.

Nothing else really matters, but if you most know, he's an all around decent guy, if a bit on the stubborn side.

Frankie and Nikos try to deny their chemistry for one another at first, but it's jumping off the pages like Greek food I can't pronounce.

For lots of laughs, a little drama (oh yea, the ex-husband returns!) and whole lot of Greek god loving, "Burning Down the Spouse" is it.

Now Seriously.

Read Dakota Cassidy.

Five Stars!
Profile Image for Jo (My House of Books).
367 reviews22 followers
July 26, 2011
3.5 stars

The second in the Ex-Trophy Wives series, Burning Down the Spouse might be better that You Dropped a Blonde on Me. Perhaps I sympathized more with Frankie and her live television freak-out on the set of her ex-husband's cooking show. The set-up is similar to You Dropped a Blonde on Me in the guise of a cheating spouse, but Frankie and her reaction (both to the cheating and the "tabloid scandal" that followed) put her in a better light than when I read about Maxine's plight in comparison.

As Frankie regains her confidence, she holds her own in any situation, be it listening to Maxine's crazy advice, Jasmine's unusual friendship, or Nikos' (and his family). Where can I find a Voula of my own?

I had to roll my eyes at the "Big Misunderstanding" between Frankie and Nikos, though it did lower Nikos' perfection a bit, so maybe he needed to be taken down a notch. But I loved that Frankie plotted and planned in order to clear her name. And the subplot romance between Jasmine and Simon -- more please!

I cannot wait to see who will be the next member of the Ex-Trophy Wife club.
Profile Image for Courtney.
277 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2011
This book was pretty funny. I loved the setting and the characters, especially the members of the Antonakas family. The way Frankie's on-air rampage with a wooden spoon was written was fabulous. I'd love to watch someone go crazy on their cheating spouse in a television studio kitchen while taping a live show! That being said, there are two things holding me back from giving this book a higher rating. Number one: I felt that the author tried way too hard to use "cool" slang. I can only read things like playa, boo to the yah, hookay, etc. so many times before I want to scream. Maybe it's just weird because the characters are in their late 30's and early 40's and not teens? I don't know. Number two: Frankie's character started out so strong and then turned wimpy on us. I guess I wished she would have kept up the sarcastic attitude a little more. Overall, I'd like to give this 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Dahrose.
560 reviews12 followers
July 2, 2016
Book started with a bang as our h goes berserk on national TV, destroying the set of her cheating husband's cooking show. Then wham, the h fell in a hole. A big vat of wallowing self pity and self loathing.
And I'm expected to believe the hot Greek dude can see past this skinny, apathetic, sulky hot mess and actually be attracted to her from day one?????
Worse, the author turns the hot Greek dude into a jealous asshole half way through the book.
The leads - plus the ex-husband, were all stereotypes.
The most interesting part of the tale was the secondary story b/w Jasmine and Simon. Now that was the story I would have preferred we focus on. Jasmine was a strong, take control, don't feel sorry for myself role model. And Simon was multi dimensional. Pity the author didn't make them the leads.
I ended up skimming the last hundred pages or so because I just couldn't bring myself to care about the outcome.
Profile Image for Amy.
93 reviews
October 30, 2012
I'm not usually into these types of books but occasionally I need a little bit of fluff and I did enjoy You Dropped a Blonde On Me so I thought I'd give this a try. Unfortunately it just didn't work for me. I think the author writes well and if ckick lit is your thing then you may enjoy it more than me. My biggest problem with it was predictability. I knew what the ex-husband would do before he even thought of it. My biggest issue, however, was

Two stars because it was written well and parts made me smile.
Profile Image for Nora-adrienne.
903 reviews122 followers
November 9, 2011
Dakota Cassidy's sense of humor rocks my boat at every turn. The character of Frankie (Francis) Bennett and I have some similarities. She grew up learning to cook with her mother who made it fun. I had a mother who couldn't cook to save her life. I learned to cook in self defense and got really really good at it. Frankie went to Culinary School and found out she hated cooking as it was done in a restaurant. I turned down my grandmother's offer of a restaurant of my own.

See? Lots of similar things in our lives.

I recommend this book to every woman who has ever gotten divorced, or wanted to kill their husbands. This will cheer you up and have you giggling all the way though till the last page.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,682 reviews43 followers
March 28, 2012
Third in the Ex Trophy Wives series this is by far the best. Former ballroom champion Melina Cherkasov finds out that her Svengali husband is a cheat on national television. He leaves her with nothing but her dog after 20 years of marriage. Melina is forced to go back to live with her dad in his retirement community in New Jersey where with help from Max, Jasmine and Frankie from the previous books Melina starts to build her life anew.
I really liked Melina. I loved her best friend Jackie. Drew and Nate were pretty great too. This book wasn’t as fluffy as the previous two but I think it was better for that.
Profile Image for Stormy.
423 reviews25 followers
February 7, 2013
Alright, once again, this book was a bit too tame for me, but I think it was a relatively good read. The POV bothered me. I'm so used to first person, that the main character referred to in the third person was just confusing for me = distracting.

The story was interesting, though I don't identify really with the whole trophy wife thing. I liked Nikos and his whole crazy Greek family. I liked the support group around Frankie. And I liked Frankie's guts and some of the dialogue was hilarious!

I would recommend this read, even though it wasn't totally my cup of tea. I do think I might seek out other books in the series...we'll see.
Profile Image for K.A. Fox.
Author 9 books198 followers
November 26, 2015
Loved it! Another excellent installment in the lives of former trophy wives trying to find their way in the real world of diners, studio apartments and pesky things called budgets. Frankie is a mad whiz with a whisk when she makes her TV debut dismantling her husband on his cooking show because of his cheating ways. How she leaves that behind and finds herself, friends, a new family to call her own and, yes, LOVE, is a fast, fun ride. And Jasmine's story weaves itself seamlessly into the narrative. She's so fabulous, even I want to become an accountant at a strip club. If I was any good at math.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.4k reviews425 followers
August 7, 2011
I thought this one was so much better than the first. After a slow start things started to pick up when all the secondary characters showed up, they really made the story.

The cast of characters at the Greek restaurant was like a circus, but they made for lots of laughs. The new BFF, Jasmine, gave Frankie the smack down she needed at the start and was there for her as she started to live her life again. In fact, the secondary story with Jasmine was just as good as the main one.

I can't wait to see the next e- trophy wife.
Profile Image for aCupcakeBlonde.
1,204 reviews22 followers
December 9, 2011
These books are such fun. While I definitely liked the character of Maxine from the first book more as my lead heroine, Frankie was okay. However, her hunky Greek god certainly made up for it. And his crazy Greek family was a hoot. However, I was actually more intrigued with Jasmine and her mysterious blind suitor Simon. I like how there are sort of two parallel stories that go on and end up intertwining. Nice wayt to tell the story. I am really enjoying this series and can't wait for the next book.
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