The Divorce Party by Jennifer Hayward

Reviewed by TashNz
The Divorce Party
The Divorce Party
by Jennifer Hayward
6 Stars

Our Review Updated 11/4/15

I'm literally choking at the incredible and beautiful, sensational and most amazingly intense and emotional story I have read in a long time!  I'm so swept up in the story of Lilly and Riccardo that I was crying on the inside.  I absolutely loved the intensiveness, the emotional upheaval both experienced and I loved the passion they both had for each other as they both fought for their marriage in their own way.

A truly unique beginning to the story - Lilly arriving at her own divorce party with her beautiful twin sister Alex. And from the second we met Riccardo I knew it was all on!  Washing to be folded be damned!  Beautiful sunny day out side to be forgotten, The Divorce Party was number one priority in my day.

Lilly left Riccardo a year ago. Packed her suitcase and ran.  She felt her marriage was destroying her and the only way to save herself was to leave.  After a year of demanding a divorce which Riccardo would not entertain, both refusing to talk, when she received a summons to attend their Divorce party she knew she had to go... the promise of attending was going to be rewarded with the divorce she so dearly wished for.  Once in front of her god of a husband, she realised her mistake, feelings don't disappear.  He also was not done with their marriage and asks Lilly for 6 more months, to live as husband and wife so he can finally secure the CEO position of his family company that he has spent the last three years working himself to the bone for  She tells him he can stick it where the sun doesn't shine.  Conceding defeat Riccardo promises the house as well as the divorce papers.  Lilly battles with her inner turmoil, she needs the house, very very badly, it will help with a desperate family issue.  Yes she answers.

Ex racecar driver Riccardo, now almost in charge of a multi million dollar company seizes his chance to find out why Lilly left and to fix broken bridges, but if things were that easy we wouldn't be reading a whole book about it would we?  Every delicious word and every soul searching page was finely tuned into a tangle of love, misunderstandings, heartbreak and souls laid bare and I loved every second of it.  I think I'd reached the end of chapter two when I knew that if the story kept rolling  on the roller coaster ride I was on, The Divorce Party was undoubtly going to get 6 stars from me!  Even when I reached the middle of the story and the feelings laid bare which usually happens in the last chapter, I thought what on earth could still happen for 50% more of the story?  It turns out ALOT!

I'm also well and truly kicking myself because I was going thru my kindle looking for something to read and found this.  Having read stories by Jennifer Hayward before and loved them I wondered how did this beauty of a book escape me for two years?  The De Campo's are magnificently written brothers but I haven't read Matty's story and am going to download now.  Jennifer Hayward deserved the win and in a selfish way I'm glad two years have passed since I've had The Divorce Party because it now means I can devour all her books she has since written and I haven't read yet.

If you're a fan of second chance stories and love angst and emotion and Hero's that fight for what they want till the bitter end - do not walk past this!  I loved it so much I'm still a lil choked up.  Why? Because I think every single one of us wants to be loved as much as Riccardo loves Lilly.

Reviewed by Desere

Falling in love with that one special person that makes you feel secure, special and like the most beautiful woman in the world is something that yes happens to most of us but it does not always last and when the feeling fades what are you left with?

Emptiness that can drive you to the lowest point of your life with no way of getting back up, and you find yourself fighting to keep your head above water all the while knowing that the only thing that can save you is the one thing you cannot have. For if it did not work the first time how will it ever?

In the debut read from Jennifer Hayward this is the life of Lilly De Campo, once a lonely overweight farm girl turned perfect trophy wife to the man of her dreams I-will-make-you-remember-my-every-burning-touch-Riccardo, she has it all until her perfect marriage falls apart and scandal hits to the point where she runs away from it all in order to survive.

But in Riccardo's books divorce is never an option and he will do whatever he needs to get his wife back into his bed and keep her there even if he needs to pry on her every weakness. Under the pretence of giving her the divorce she so badly craves he invites her to their own divorce party and puts his plan into action, and it all comes into play very nicely, only at the end of it all the questions, insecurities and anger of betrayal still remain and Lilly is ready to run yet again, the real question is will Riccardo let her go again or will he this time around be there when she needs him the most?

The character of Lilly was absolutely terrific, she has been knocked down yet she gets back up and calmly says "Life you hit like a girl and am not staying down". A real trooper and totally awesome worthy heroine, that I simply adored. I loved that the author worked into her personality the pressure that it takes to keep up the image of being the perfect trophy wife and ties that in with a problem so many woman today need to face up to, but sadly do not always survive.

The character of Riccardo was definitely the kind of hero every woman wants, he is strong, confident, sex on legs and ruthless in getting his way, now you can say you want someone far nicer but we all know deep down this is the kind of badboy we all crave to be with!

Him holding back so many emotions due to the pressure of his work and ties to his family and the duties he has to uphold made him even more attractive to me are reader, for that is the very reasoning behind his actions, and made him the kind of hero you just want to grab onto and solve all his faults. Yes, at some stage I did want to hit the man and yell "Catch a wake-up" but the deeper the author delved into his background the more clear it all became and I fell for this hero hook, line and sinker!

The backdrop settings were so perfectly incorporated by the author and described with perfection to the point where I actually thought I was at the glamorous parties. The dialogue was a very feisty one and full of passion. The confrontations between Riccardo and Lilly were all fire and ice and I was completely addicted to every word, I simply could not stop reading and wanted it to go on and on, yes it was that good!

The level of intensity used by the author for the scenes and words of confrontation and also the heat when passion hits was simply incredible and left me breathless , and when the truth revealing emotions where brought to life it left me in tears!

Not wanting to reveal it all and spoil the read I will only add that everything about this read was simply addictive, from the alcohol induced car race to get to bed to the fushia yoga pants coming off, the read had it all to keep me entertained at all times and begging for more.

I am taking away a message of the perfect image we try to uphold to the world when the pressure is on, is the one thing that can cause us to lose everything we have and you will be left with nothing, instead stand up, talk to those around you for when they love you they will understand and support you no matter the outcome of what the world thinks.

I highly recommend this read , it was a passionate, sexy, emotionally packed, sensual, romance at it's best read with a powerful message that will stay with me for as long as I live. I am 100% confident this read will go into the best sellers list within days of it's release! A little bonus for my fellow race-car drivers fans, this read has more than one and fast cars are not limited at all!

I am entranced by this author's work and will definitely be waiting with anticipation for the books on the next two De Campo brothers, Jennifer get to writing now please!

5/5 star
" Him racing to her rescue is all she ever wanted" 

Reviewed by Nas

THE DIVORCE PARTY  is an astounding romance from a debut author. It is a well-written tale that sparkles with emotion. Jennifer Hayward introduced us to this alluring but tortured hot hero, whom we fell in love with and a strong heroine, who wouldn’t take less than her due. A must for all lovers of romance.


Reviewed by Nancy Crocker

The Divorce PartyIt was very hard to believe that this is a debut novel by Jennifer. I can see why she was the winner of Harlequin's 2012 So You Think You Can Write competition.

Lilly De Campo did not walk away from her marriage to Riccardo because she stopped loving him, she walked away to save herself. Constantly being judged by high society and scandal was taking a toll on her, so she did the only thing she knew to do … Leave.

Riccardo De Campo admits he was wrong, but he never stopped loving his wife Lilly. And while he pretends to agree to a divorce, he really has a plan to get her back into his life … forever. He gets her to  agree to live together for six months and having everyone think they are back together permanently is a start. But a De Campo does not divorce ever and he does not plan on being the first.

I loved both characters even though I struggled with what Riccardo had done to lose Lilly’s trust. I loved the banter between these two and the exchanges had me raising my eyebrows in a good way. And the passion was so amazing. It was learning to adapt and change for the better to keep the one you truly love. And it was learning to communicate better with each other.

Jennifer has an amazing talent and she kept this reader highly entertained. She made the story believable and never lost focus on the main story line. This was a wonderful page turner of a read. I can’t wait for the next book from this author and wish her nothing but continued success. I highly recommend this book.

5/5 star

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.