Former Northwestern Law School classmates Dina Willoughby, Miranda Mena, Leah Fraser, and Melody Harris are living the dream. Each had fantasized about the perfect husband while in law school and happily—for a time—that dream became a reality.
Until Dina’s husband kicks her out two weeks before her prenuptial agreement kicks in, Miranda’s husband is arrested for securities fraud and flees the country with all of their money, Leah discovers that her royal husband misrepresented his feelings for her in order to get his hands on her money, and newly-pregnant Melody finally admits her artist husband is a sadistic, manipulative, jerk.
Facing the loss of their husbands and stripped of any financial support, the four women band together to fight back. Drawing on their unique legal skills and with the help of a few friends, including a hunky private investigator, a sexy law school professor, a determined cyber-security billionaire, and the Queen of England, these four women not only take what’s theirs, they build the path to a new future—one filled with hope.
2008, Chicago, IL
Dina Wilson scrunched up the empty bag of potato chips and launched it at the forehead of her best friend, Miranda Johnson.
“How dare you suggest I would marry some old wrinkled horn dog for money!” Dina proclaimed indignantly. “I want to marry some young hot and handsome horndog, who happens to have money.” She lay back in her sofa and tried to stifle her laughter. The other members of her study group snickered.
Miranda tossed the bag back at Dina. “Some of us intend to marry for love.” She sat up straight and formally intoned, “For richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” She crossed her hands over her heart and sighed dramatically, then dropped her head and peered through her red bangs, her green eyes filled with humor. “Love is love is love…” A single finger drew a heart in the carpet, the seventies-era plush so stiff it retained the symbol.
Dina threw up her hands and shook her head. Miranda came from an all-American middle-class home. The functional kind. Her parents were both teachers and had known each other since they were children. They still held hands and kissed in front of their adult children. “I suppose you believe love is patient and kind, too.” Dina laughed. “I’m telling you, money makes putting up with any man so much easier. Shit, I grew up with a dad who barely worked, and a mom who worked three jobs to keep food on the table. No way am I repeating that experience. If I’m going to plight my troth, I want a man capable of supporting me, not the other way around.”
Her gaze swept her shabby studio apartment. “No way I’m living like this the rest of my life. No more ramen noodles, beans and weanies, and that crappy generic brand pizza. I’m so ready for steak and lobster, fine champagne, and luscious French pastries.”
Miranda laughed. “All that will get you is fat.” She cocked an eyebrow. “Unless you are like…doing it twenty-four-seven, because sex burns off mucho calories.” Her face took on a wistful expression. “Not like I would know. I’ve lived like a nun these past three years.” She sighed. “I’m twenty-five years old, and I think my virginity has grown back.”
“Wait a minute.” Leah Davenport pointed an elegantly manicured finger at Dina. “If you want a man to support you, why the hell did you go to law school? Seems to me you could have avoided these past three years of hell and gone straight into the marriage market. You would have been younger, more flexible, and more marketable. At twenty-six, you’re practically an old hag.”
Dina snorted at her gorgeous friend. “Says the woman who sailed through college by the time she was eighteen and is graduating from law school at the very marriageable age of twenty-one. In four more years, you’ll be coming into some major bucks, and you won’t have to work ever again.” Leah came from a wealthy family and would come into a big fat trust fund her twenty-fifth year. The blonde, blue-eyed debutante had it made.
Dina tossed her head and raised her eyebrows, peering down her nose. “It’s all about credibility, darling. Smart enough to get a law degree from Northwestern but devoted enough to abandon my law career to become a loving wife to a man with overflowing pockets.” She mock-glared at Leah. “Besides, you’re a fine one to talk. You’ve got that Disney princess fantasy. Always talking about marrying into royalty. It’s not like a law degree from an American university is going to do you any good, if you find your prince. Besides, I don’t think there are any eligible princes left, at least in Britain, so you may wind up with some old Duke who lives in a crumbling manor with one double bed. And that’s just eeewwww.”
Leah tossed her head, her long hair flying over her shoulder in a shimmering wave. In a perfect, clipped British accent, she replied, “Oh please, darling, everyone knows royals only bed their wives to breed, to keep the royal bloodlines flowing. All you have to do to live in the lap of luxury is spread your legs…occasionally.” She laughed. “Besides, if I married an old Duke, I’m quite sure he wouldn’t be able to get it up. So I’d be taking the butler as a lover.”
“Oh my God, I cannot believe you just said that!” exclaimed Melody Charles. Her bright blue eyes widened. “I’m sorry, but I think love should be an adventure. I want to marry a dashing author or musician or artist, someone who travels the world, with me as his muse. I’ll use my law degree to manage his affairs and together we’ll build a family and an empire.” She brushed a white blonde curl off of her forehead. “Our love will be all-consuming, our passion overwhelming. He’ll look at me across the room, and a mere glance will start my heart racing. One touch and instant O.”
Dina laughed. “Okay, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. You keep believing in those hot romance novels you spend your nights with. But I’m telling you, seeking true love will only get you burned. At least if you marry for money, you can keep yourself warm at night.”
“With the cash as a blanket, or the toys you can buy with his credit card?” Miranda replied. She smirked. “Give me a hot body with a big cock any day.” She opened the law book that sat beside her. “Now let’s get back to the new tax law changes, shall we? You know Henson is going to nail us with that on the final.” She smiled at the three of them. “I intend to pass each and every one of my classes with flying colors, even if it’s the last semester. I want to head out into Lawyerland at the top of our class.”