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Better Off Without Him [Kindle Edition]

Dee Ernst
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,026 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mona Berman has it all—a twenty-year marriage, a successful career as a romance novelist, and three teenage daughters. But when her husband, Brian, leaves her for someone younger, thinner, blonde, and French, she has to step back and take a good, long look at her life.

First, her career. She can’t continue to write about “Happily Ever After,” so she changes the heroine of her new book from a hot young thing to a forty-something woman who manages to find happiness without a man. Her agent isn’t too happy—the heroine is how old? She doesn’t get the guy in the end? How is that even possible?

But Mona is tough, and she’s got Anthony, her personal assistant, and a few good friends to cheer her on and keep the stiff martinis flowing. And Ben. Ben is her plumber, but not your average plumber. He’s smart enough to know that Brian was never good enough for her, and sexy enough to be cast as the romantic lead in quite a few of her books. The sound of his voice alone can send her imagination into full romantic overdrive.

Then she meets Mitch, who might be just the guy for her. And there’s still Ben, who’s managed to come to her rescue more than once. But—there’s a book to publish, a soon-to-be-ex-husband to deal with, and what has Aunt Lily done this time?

Can Mona work this all out? Can life imitate art, and can Mona write her own happy ending?

Editorial Reviews


"Better Off Without Him by Dee Ernst is modern romantic comedy at its best…There is plenty of action and witty dialogue, and life for strong, courageous Mona is never dull...It is inspiring escapism that will make you smile.” —Readers’ Favorite

About the Author

Dee Ernst was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Morristown. She attended Marshall University, where she majored in journalism. Several years, career changes, and a few daughters later, she was listening to the Joan Hamburg Show, where a guest made the suggestion that if you want to be happy, you should go back to what you were doing when you were ten and try to make it a career. Since Dee was writing stories when she was ten, she decided to give writing another go. After three novels and many rejection letters, she self-published Better Off Without Him. Her next book, A Different Kind of Forever, was released in April of 2012. In the spring of 2013, she signed with Montlake Publishing, which re-released Better Off Without Him and launched her third title, A Slight Change of Plan, that fall. Though Dee finds a lot in common with all her heroines, she is happily married and living in New Jersey.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1407 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (September 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CFQOG84
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars-A Wonderful Summer Read August 25, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am quite tired of reading about the love lives of perky, gutsy, kick-butt 20 -something's and have been wondering just where the sexy, clever books are for us women (and men) of `that certain age'. Well I am wondering no more. I just hope that this author keeps writing about women and men who have actual life experience and aren't afraid to use it!

If you took Olivia Goldsmith or Suzan Isaacs and took out the mystery, you would have a good idea of Ms Ernst's "voice". This is a tale of Mona Berman,a woman of a certain age and her journey through divorce and jumping back into the dating game. While this could have been a trite book since the subject has been done so many times wasn't. The author has a unique perspective on both what it feels like to be alone and lonely after a divorce and what a kind and close-knit community can do to, and for a woman once she has put herself back into the game. The characters are well written and entirely believable. The idea that Mona had money of her own but wasn't filthy rich was a happy extra. The writing was nicely tight with no superfluous angsting of any of the characters. Plenty of good, clearly written dialogue and tight plotting. A fun and funny story line and wonderful secondary and tertiary characters.

The idea of "life imitating art" is certainly apt since Mona, a romance writer, has gotten the idea that she wants to write a book outside of her norm and soon she finds that her life is imitating her heroine. There are some sex scenes but nothing neither offensive nor overly descriptive. The secondary characters are almost better than the story line and I would love to see another book with Mona, Ben, Aunt Lily , her daughters the wacky neighbors and her assistant.

Please write a sequel!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it January 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This first novel for Ms Ernst is well written, easy to read and fast paced. The characters are full of life and instantly likable, except for the villain, of course. Mona the main character is quick tongued, witty and strong. She introduces us to her friends and family, every quirky, but well meaning one of them, while trying to navigate the world as a new divorcee.

Great romantic comedy, will keep it on my "to read again" list and pull it out on the beach this summer.

Looking forward to upcoming novels from this promising author. Would love to see a sequel to Better Off Without Him.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For real!!! LOVED THIS BOOK!!! April 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I buy a new book I always skim the reviews. Most of the time I suspect, the author's Aunt Milly put in a good word......along with the rest of the family. But the reviews for Better off Without Him are no joke!! This book, without a doubt, is the best book I have read in quite a long time!!!! Ms Ernst had me trying to stifle my laughter at 3:00am so I wouldn't wake the kids! I seriously could NOT put his book down!!! Bravo, babe!! :-)

Now, when is the next book in the series coming out? ;-)
Write on Miss Dee!! Write on!!!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Comedy that lives up to its billing... February 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book got me through the worst case of jet-lag I have ever experienced - or it may have just been a handy excuse for lying abed much longer than normal.

I like to mix up my reading and having just finished one literary novel followed by an action/adventure/suspense story, I thought perhaps this confection would be just what I needed. Dee Ernst is a fellow author on Boomers and Books and I knew from reading her blogs over the past year that she has a style which appeals to me.

My instincts were right. How could one not love a book when it begins with a view of the April version of winter that is so in tune with my own.

Touted as a romantic comedy, Better Off Without Him was just that. The characters were varied and zany in a normal kind of way, and their nicknames laugh-out-loud funny. Mona, the hero, is a romance writer in her mid-forties who thinks her marriage is perfect - until the day Mr Right comes home and tells her he is in love with a woman fifteen years younger and thirty pounds lighter. A few months later she takes her three teenage daughters to her place on the Jersey shore for the summer. One rainy day they come at her as a group and tell her she should start `practice' dating. They even have a man in mind, a neighbor and friend from across the street. Thus starts the round of dating `safe' men recommended by friends, most of whom are anything but.

Ms Ernst has impeccable timing, both with comedy and plot. Her writing is smart and crisp. We are not absolutely certain who she will end up with - or even if she will end up with anyone at all. It is a fun and lighthearted read, but not at all written to formula.

There were a couple of minor flaws.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book May 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the story line and the characters were awesome. I found myself laughing out loud while my husband eyed me suspiciously. The thing that made me give it only 3 stars is that the author came across as a hot love scene writer and left me feeling deflated. I really am being honest when I say; most readers want those details. You don't have to go to the erotic side, but some good, meaty, details with a little groaning and murmuring thrown in would have been nice. Since there are only insinuations that things happen, well it's a little like having sex but missing the orgasm by a breath. I feel the author failed to pull the trigger on what could have been the best book I have read in a while
If none of that matters then this is a really great read. It matters to me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriately titled!!
I love this book!! She presents a down to earth view of having children and a cheating husband with humor. I love her characters, everything about this book is entertaining.
Published 13 hours ago by Sandra La Flair
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book! Held my interest
Good book! Held my interest. Couldn't wait to read after supper!
Published 3 days ago by Kathye Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars really liked this book
Really, really liked this book! Humorous with interesting characters. Easy read and perfect if you're looking to just relax with an enjoyable story
Published 3 days ago by marci stock
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny
You will loose yourself in this book! It's an excellent read.
Published 3 days ago by cromeazw
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Book
Good book that kept you wanting more. The sex scenes were a little "limp," but the book was interesting and everyone wanted the awful ex to remain an ex. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kara's Gram
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Wait To Read Another Book By Dee Ernst
I loved this book. It had everything I want in a story: humor, romance, the many roles that women play in their lives...wife, mother, friend. Read more
Published 5 days ago by michelle foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!
Could not put this book down!! Finished this book on the airplane flight from San Diego to Newark. Dee was my childhood best friend! She was my next door neighbor. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Sharon Delmonico-Becker
5.0 out of 5 stars This was absolutely the best funny book I have ever read
This was absolutely the best funny book I have ever read. I laughed out loud at the characters and situations. I highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!
Published 5 days ago by Sandra Christian
5.0 out of 5 stars light & fun
Easy read. A before bed time book. Different from other romancy's. .
Published 5 days ago by Carolyn Gaylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and engaging
Very funny and engaging. Kept me laughing. I liked all the characters. I usually don't read romance but this one has rekindled an interest.
Published 6 days ago by Seymar
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More About the Author

Dee Ernst was born Elizabeth Diane Ascoli in Newark, NJ. Her family moved to Morristown, NJ when she was still a toddler. She started writing stories on a battered Royal typewriter when she was about ten or twelve, and she graduated Morristown High School determined to pursue a career as a writer in some form or another (she considered advertising, but luckily came to her senses). Creative writing majors were hard to find in 1974, so she attended Marshall University as a journalism major. That wasn't working, so she tried Education, but that didn't quite work either. Several jobs and years later, staying home with a three-year-old and trying to figure out what to do when she grew up, Joan Hamburg on WOR radio in New York was interviewing someone who said if you wanted to know what to with your life, remember what you were playing when you were ten, and try to turn that into a career. Since Dee was writing stories at ten, she sat down and wrote her first novel. It went nowhere. Her second novel got her a terrific agent and upwards of fifteen rejection letters (She reread them all in preparation of this biography). Her third novel, Better Off Without Him, garnered even more rejection letters from a much higher caliber of editor. Undaunted, she self-published Better Off Without Him in October 2010. It hit Amazon's Bestseller list in September of 2012, and was re-released by Montlake Publishing a year later. Her newest book, A Slight Change of Plan, is also being published by Montlake.

When not writing Romantic Comedy, she scribbles away at YA/fantasy under the name Marijon Braden.

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