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The Cougar Club: A Novel Paperback – January 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

They are middle-aged, hear them roar. And so they do, this trio of 40-something careerists and lifelong BFFs—Kat, an out-of-work and out-of-love New York advertising exec; Carla, a St. Louis anchorwoman who's protecting her turf from an invading bimbo; and Elise, a successful dermatologist wife and mom who's undone by her empty nest and empty sex life. Kat's abrupt job loss sends her running home to St. Louis, which triggers a reunion of the three friends and prompts their rediscovery of each other and the awakening of their inner cougars. In the process, the gals rifle through a slew of good-looking young hunks in the search for love and meaningful employment. The journey is full of curves and detours, even if the destination is a foregone conclusion. McBride, author of the YA series the Debs, explores new territory with these adult heroines and puts together a good-old-girls club with characters who are smart and insatiable, and who like their men young, athletic, and accommodating. It may not be likely, but it sure is a fun fantasy. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Three girlhood friends are reunited at age 45 when Kat Maguire is fired from her New York advertising job, dumps her younger but wealthier boyfriend, and returns to St. Louis. Her two best friends, Carla Moss, the number-one news anchor in St. Louis, and Elise Randolph, successful dermatologist and empty nester, are facing their own issues with aging. Carla’s ex-husband, who is also her boss, is trying to replace her with his latest perky young girlfriend despite Carla’s on-air popularity, and Elise’s plastic surgeon husband seems never to come home, claiming to be spending all his time with the partner in his practice. As the three talented, attractive, vibrant women reinvent themselves, they find a slew of younger men who find them enticing. Despite some romance and a traditional romantic conclusion for one of the protagonists, this is more chick-lit than romance with brand names, designer shoes, and the power of female friendship at the forefront. --Diana Tixier Herald
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061771260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061771262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and four other award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins/Avon, including The Good Girl's Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die. A sixth title, Say Yes to the Death, will be out in September 2015. Susan has another series with Avon, the River Road Mysteries, starting with To Helen Back, Mad as Helen, and Not a Chance in Helen.

Susan's first young adult thriller, Very Bad Things, was published in hardcover by Delacorte Press in October of 2014.

In addition to her mysteries, Susan has penned three well-received women's fiction titles. The Truth About Love & Lightning (02/13) was selected by Target stores for their Emerging Authors program, was a Midwest Connections Pick, and was dubbed "a poignant page-turner" by Publishers Weekly. Little Black Dress spent five weeks on the St. Louis bestsellers list and was a Target Recommended Read. The Cougar Club was selected by Target Stores as a Bookmarked Breakout Title and named a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association. Foreign editions of Susan's books have been published in France, Turkey, Croatia, and Bulgaria (and coming soon, Lithuania!).

Susan has one nonfiction title available: In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40, which tells her tale of becoming an "accidental Cougar" and marrying a younger man, her cancer diagnosis at age 42, and finding herself pregnant at 47.

She has authored several YA non-mystery novels for Delacorte about debutantes in Houston: The Debs (2008) and Love, Lies, And Texas Dips (2009). Gloves Off, the third book, will be released in late 2015.

In January of 2012, Susan was named one of St. Louis's "Most Dynamic People of the Year" by the Ladue News. In April of 2012, she was given the "Survivor of the Year" Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As Susan likes to say, "Life is never boring." Visit Susan's web site at for more scoop.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on February 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Three best friends, Kat, Carla and Elise, are back together in the same town after many years apart. They are now in their mid-40's and are each at a turning point in life:

Kat just recently lost her job in Manhattan because her superiors have decided younger employees are the way to go and upon finding her much younger boyfriend having some cyber fun, she has decided he's got to go too. So she packs up and heads back home to St. Louis and her two BFF's.

Carla is the town's news anchorwoman... a celebrity of sorts. She's hot at 40, and she knows it, not to mention she's going out with the young Sportscaster at her station. But she suddenly finds herself in a déjà vu moment, when a younger woman is a threat to her job... just like she did once upon a time to her predecessor.

Then there's Elise - whose life seems to be the most stable. She's been married for years, her children are grown and gone from home and now she finds herself in a rut. Her marriage and sex life sucks and her husband is quite possibly cheating on her.

Their unofficial "Cougar Club" is what they'll need in order to see, get through and move forward from these not-so-great moments in life.

This was a fun and quick read that had it's funny and light moments but also had some moments that were thought-provoking. I love the idea of a cougar. Why? Well because I've never felt that age should define a person. Plus I give kudos to any woman who at 45 can still live and look like they are in their late 20's, early 30's. You go girlfriend!

Ms. McBride's writing is hip and fun. She really brought these woman to life - made you feel as if you could know someone like them in real life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tina on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Cougar Club has everything that I love in a chick lit book, particularly the fact that this book is written about women who are over the "young" age of 40 something and are looking for younger men! Gasp!!!!! I loved it!!!! Its about time we reverse the roles here and this book basically describes my life to a "T". Yes, people, there are no guys my age left (or at least it feels that way) and actually, one of the only men I have ever loved was 10 years younger than I - so, I had a lot invested in reading this novel.

First of all, the characters are smart and witty and interesting. No wimpy little "poor me" characteres here and led by Kate - they are about to go on an interesting and kind of scary trek into the world of dating younger men.

The writing, although very smart, is also funny and down to earth. I found myself shaking my head at so many of the descriptions in the book and particularly at the reflections made by the women as they try to naviguate their way through romance and men of all ages.

I also like that the overall message is positive and optimistic - never give up on love (although I have, personally, wanted to do this many times). I loved, this chick lit book and I suggest you get to know The Cougar Club.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julie Failla Earhart on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Meet Kat, Elise, and Carla---the three fabulous women who star in author Susan McBride's new series, The Cougar Club. With this new book, McBride leaps from Maggie the hard-boiled detective; Andie, the dropout debutant; and the three high school debs to ahem, women of a certain age. Closer to forty-five to be precise. McBride's trademark style of humor and sarcasm makes the leap effortlessly, providing readers of all ages a guaranteed laugh.
When Kat loses her Manhattan advertising, she realizes she has also had enough of her boyfriend/boy-toy, Roger. She packs her stuff and heads back home to St. Louis. The Gateway City is just what Kat needs to soothe her soul. Not only is it "home," it's where her two best friends have stayed.
There's local newswoman Carla, the face of St. Louis, who is being nudged out of her anchor chair by a blond bimbo, in much the way Carla forced out her predecessor. To round out the trio is dermatologist Elise, who everyone thinks has the perfect marriage, the perfect husband, and the perfect kids. However, poor Elise is suffering from a less-than-perfect sex life with the only man whom she's ever slipped between the sheets.
While Kat tries to decide what to do with the rest of her life, she helps Elise and Carla navigates the minefield of men and life makeovers at middle age.
The Cougar Club is not only a celebration of women but of friendship and life and, finally, getting what you want out of life. There are three surprises waiting for the three friends and for the readers that will leave them with an OMG-I can't-wait-for-the next-book longing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Forty-five year old New Accounts advertising team leader Kat Maguire is downsized after fifteen loyal years at her firm; when she finds her twenty-eight years old lover Roger having cyber sex she downsizes him. She decides to go home to St. Louis where her family and two BFFs live.

Her buddy Carla Moss is a successful news anchor, but the station seems to be grooming a bimbo replacement. She also has personal problems as her beloved mom is losing her grip on realty.

Dermatologist Dr. Lisie Randolph has been successful at work, with raising her kids and apparently in marriage. However, the empty nest syndrome is hammering at her while her spouse whom she married in college ignores her.

These three middle age women in terrific shape physically, but a bit down mentally unto they re-forge their friendship and go on the prowl as cougars hunting young male meat. However, each knows deep inside their soul they really seek love, commitment and the meaning of life.

This is a fun tale of three women seeking their groove as middle age has each wondering if that is all there is to life while attempting to hang onto their dwindling youth. The characters are solid including the support cast of each of the lead females and the rotating point of view enhances understanding what each wants. Although somewhat unlikely perhaps even over the top of the Arch, fans will root for the Cougar Club members to get what they want.
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