Saturday, February 6, 2016

Blog Tour: Mother Before Wife by Melissa Brown

by Melissa Brown
Release Date: February 4, 2016
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So many secrets. Nothing but secrets.

I started another life with a new husband, thirteen new sister wives and a new place to call home.
But the secrets weigh on me, on all of us.
And every secret leads back to the Prophet the, self-proclaimed, mouthpiece of God. The man I’ve worshiped since childhood, the man we obey without question.
And he’s the man who will destroy us all.

I must reveal his secrets.
Prove his betrayal, his lies and his deceit.
I will not be silenced, no matter how hard he tries.

And I will never give up. Ever.

Review by Jen Skewes

Absolutely amazing!! There are really no other words to describe this book.   Mother Before Wife is one of those books that you cannot put down and when it is all over your mind is wandering all over the place, but in a really good way. 

This is Aspen's story.  When we first met her in WN7 I was certainly intrigued by her character.  She was the wife who was completely devoted to her faith, her sister wives, her husband and especially the prophet.  She never doubted the way they lived.  This is how she grew up, this is what she knew and it was how she would always live her life.  She the was the one who never lost faith in it all.  She obeyed and believed in the prophet.  So of course I was very interested to see where her story would go.

As the book begins we see that Aspen has been re assigned to another family by the prophet.  She is to leave her current husband Lehi and is to marry Paul Black and become wife number fourteen.  Aspen finds that her new family, especially her new husband are nothing like her old one.  They are kinder and they also seem happier.  Paul is considerate and more relaxed than her old husband.  From a young age Aspen has been taught how to be the perfect wife and how to obey.  But with Paul things are a little different than what she has been taught.  He wants to please her in ways that she has never experienced.  Paul has feeling and desires when it comes to Aspen and she is honestly not sure what to do or how to handle it.  All she knows how to do is obey her husband.

Paul has admired Aspen from afar for years.  Wanting her to be one of his wives.  He feels a connection and pull towards her that he does not feel with his other wives.   He may not be able to explain it and it may not be wise to act on his feelings.  But right or wrong this is how he feels. I have to say that I really loved Paul. A part of me felt that he did not belong in this world.  He seems like a really genuine guy who just wants to love someone. 

And then there is Aspen.  What a strong and fierce heroine.  Aspen is a devoted wife but most importantly she is a mother first, just as the title suggests.  Whether you are one of fourteen wives living in a world of polygamy, a single mother, or a mother of three in a monogamous relationship.  There is one thing that remains the same.  As a mother you will love and protect your children at all costs.  And that is exactly what Aspen sets out to do.  When Aspen comes to find that maybe the world she lives in is not what she thought it was, she will do whatever it takes to find out the truth.  She needs to protect her children from the lies and betrayals of the man that she believed in her whole life, the prophet.  Because she begins to see that maybe he is not the man that she thought she was.

This is where the mystery and suspense come in.  From the first page to the very last I was completely sucked in.  I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what happens next.  At times I was not sure who I could trust, who I should love and who should I hate.  This story is filled with betrayal, secrets and lies and all you can do as the reader is try so hard to figure it out.  Reading as fast as I could until I got to the truth.  And my god when it all comes out it was not what I expected.  The twists and turns in this book will shock you.  Nothing about this book was predictable for me at all.  From the beginning until the very end it kept me thinking the entire time.  

Now let's talk about the writing!! Just wow! Ms. Brown made me feel like I was living this journey with Aspen. It was as if Melissa Brown had experienced all of it at one point in her life and was re-telling the story.   That is how real this story felt.  I felt like I was living on the compound going through it all with Aspen.  I feared for her, I broke right along with her. And I wanted to find out the truth just as badly as she did!  I am sure an extensive amount of research went into this story.  And Ms. Brown took that research and turned it into a story that is unlike anything I have ever read.  I am not going to lie, I am a romantic at heart. I love the fairy tale endings.  But this book is nothing of what I expected it to be and unlike any of the books that I normally read.  There is no real romance but I did not care.  The writing is flawless.  The details, the descriptions, the characters, the storyline, the twists and turns.  Every part of this book was simply amazing.  I hope that I even do this book justice with this review.   All I can say is read this book.  You will thank me for it afterward.

I loved Aspen and all of her strength.  I love Paul and hope that he finds the life that he should be living.  And then there is one other character who I will not say a word about but I loved him as well.  I cannot wait to see what happens next for all of them.  Melissa Brown you completely blew me away!! I am patiently waiting to see how their story ends.  


The Prophet linked his hands behind his back, tilting his head a bit as he studied me. “The cake is delicious. Did you make it?”

“I’m glad you enjoyed it, but no, Sarah is the baker of the family. I do make a delicious roast chicken.”

“I should like to try it sometime.”

“I’d be honored.”

Another pause, and my heart raced. There had to be a reason for this conversation. Perhaps he would explain his actions, although the chances of that were slim. The Prophet answered to no one. Who was I to think he’d feel any obligation to explain himself to me?

Get a grip, Aspen. You’re nothing special, just a woman, like any other on this compound.

“My mother is certainly taken with you.”

“Thank you. I like her very much.”

The Prophet stared back at the bench where Jorjina was watching birds chirping from the tree above her. “Well, she always has liked Paul’s wives.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, wondering if I’d misunderstood his last statement.

“How’s your dog?” he asked, clearing his throat. When he turned his attention back toward me, his face hardened.

“Scout?” I asked, my throat dry. “He’s fine. He’s off playing with Jeremiah, I’m sure. They’re attached at the hip.” I attempted to divert the conversation in another direction, but I failed.

“Yes, your boy seems rather attached, doesn’t he?”

“They’re the best of friends.”

“You know, I was surprised to see the dog off the grounds of his home. Is he allowed to roam?”

“No, sir, he normally stays in our yard. Someone left the gate open and he just got out, I guess.”

“Ah, I see.”

“I’ve asked my sister wives to double-check that they always lock the gate, so it shouldn’t happen again.”

Please understand what I’m saying. Please don’t punish my family for what I saw . . . what I think I saw.

“I should hope so. It would be a shame if he wandered away; it seems your little boy would surely follow. You said yourself they’re attached at the hip.” He tipped his head forward and raised both eyebrows. “Am I making myself clear?”

Jeremiah? No! Don’t you touch my baby!

I swallowed hard as sweat popped out on my forehead, my neck, my hands. The Prophet was threatening me, threatening to harm my little boy. In sheer panic, I gave the only answer I could possibly offer.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good.” He clasped his hands together. “Now, I believe I’ll have another slice of cake.”

He stared at me, waiting for me to serve him. I was nothing if not perceptive to expectations. The Prophet had threatened me, and then demanded dessert. His eyes were dull and lifeless, as if threatening to harm my child was just another part of his daily role as Prophet.

In that moment, something shifted within me. If the Prophet felt the need to threaten me, to threaten the life of my youngest child, then he was up to no good. This became quite clear.

And at that realization, I grew angry. Furious.

For weeks, I’d hoped that I was wrong, that I misunderstood. But I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I’d misinterpreted what I’d witnessed, then there would be no need for the warning that had just taken place.

So I harnessed my bravery within, took a breath, and looked him square in the eye. “Of course, dogs do have minds of their own, don’t they?”

The Prophet’s jaw tensed and his Adam’s apple bounced as he swallowed. “I suppose they do.”

“We try to control him, but he’s just an animal, after all.”

The Prophet stared at me in silence.

“I’ll get that cake for you,” I said with a nod, and went to retrieve a plate with the largest piece I could find as my heart pounded furiously in my chest.

As I walked back to join him, I felt strong, powerful. I’d called his bluff and gotten away with it.

Or had I? Panic replaced my confidence as my heart continued to thump so hard within me that I felt my lungs could deflate completely. The pressure within my chest was almost unbearable.

What on earth did I just do? Have I put my baby at risk? What kind of mother am I?

Apologize, Aspen. Repent! Make things right!

I returned to the Prophet, placed the plate in his hands, and opened my mouth to speak. Before I could utter a single syllable, he gripped the plate with one hand and my forearm with the other. He squeezed hard, painfully, and I gasped.

“Watch your step, Aspen. Your life can change in an instant.”

“Yes, sir.” I looked around the yard to see Paul watching my interaction with his brother. A concerned and confused look crossed his handsome face as he studied me.

Keep sweet. Keep sweet. Keep sweet.

“If you’ll excuse me, I should join Paul and my sister wives.”

“Of course.” The Prophet nodded, releasing my arm and turning his attention to the cake on his plate. He glanced down and smiled. “Ah, a corner piece. My favorite.”

He plunged his fork into the thick icing and placed the large bite of cake in his mouth, such a carefree action considering the tension that loomed between us just seconds before. While I required every ounce of strength within me to join my husband and appear unruffled, the Prophet had no trouble going about his business and enjoying his dessert.

A disturbing thought came to me as I walked to join Paul. Perhaps I don’t know the Prophet at all.


Wife Number Seven (Book #1)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

His Only Wife (Book #1.5)


Melissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She's an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. Melissa has an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s (John Hughes = genius), reads celebrity gossip magazines and never misses an episode of Scandal. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult novels.

All of Melissa's books are currently available exclusively through and are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.


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