Mary Monroe Books in Order

The Mary Monroe books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Mary Monroe books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Mama Ruby Books

The Upper Room

Monroe, Mary 1986

“Warm, energetic, and charming.” —The Houston Post   Mama Ruby’s known for taking things that aren’t rightfully hers, like her best friend’s stillborn infant, who she brought back to life and christened Maureen. She’s also rumored to have done away with her husband.

Some fear her, others try their best to avoid her. But Mama Ruby doesn’t pay them any mind. Not when she’s got the one gift God gave her—her precious baby girl.   “Monroe’s literary canvas is painted with verve and humor and passion.” —Christian Science Monitor   But growing up with a mama like Ruby is enough to make any half-sane girl wish for something—anything—else.

And when Maureen gets the chance to explore the “real” world, you can bet she’s going to take it…and run like hell.   “There is an electricity and vitality to this novel that makes it unique. Mary Monroe is a remarkable talent.” —Chicago Sun-Times

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Mama Ruby

Monroe, Mary 2011

"Monroe keeps the suspense high, and readers will draw a bated breath with the turn of each page."--BooklistDolores Reese spent her childhood in foster care, like Floyd Watson, a local boy who intrigues her from the moment they meet. When one bad decision sends an innocent Floyd to prison for life, Dolores promises to stick by him.

But while Floyd's world stands still, Dolores's horizons open up in exciting new ways. Paul Dunne is an accomplished businessman who promises her the kind of future she's always wanted--the kind she once imagined having with Floyd. But when Floyd is suddenly freed on new evidence, Dolores is torn and must make a fateful decision.

And if she isn't careful, Dolores just might find out what happens when love, dishonesty, and dangerous jealousy collide."Monroe serves up a tasty dish of murder, deception, lust, and just deserts." --Library Journal

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Lost Daughters

Monroe, Mary 2013

Everyone from Louisiana to Florida knows Mama Ruby--a small-town girl who became one of the South's most notorious and volatile women. Now New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe reveals how Mama Ruby's past haunts the family she's left behind. .

.Mama Ruby has died and Maureen Montgomery is finally taking charge of her own life. With her beautiful teenage daughter, Loretta, by her side, she returns to Florida and settles into a routine any other woman would consider bland. But for Maureen and her brother Virgil, after Mama Ruby's hair-trigger temper and murderous ways, bland is good.

Yet Loretta has other ideas. . .Set on becoming rich and famous, Loretta convinces Maureen to let her start a modeling career with the help of a Miami photographer. But even as they move in promising new directions, they can't escape Mama Ruby--including Virgil, who's concealed one of her most shocking acts for most of his life.

To make a future that's truly hers, Maureen will have to take on a bit of Mama Ruby's strength, forge new bonds--and face down the past. Praise for the Mama Ruby series"Magnificent, coarse, funny and terrifying." --The San Francisco Chronicle on The Upper Room"Monroe's style, like her characters, is no-holds-barred earthy.

. .Monroe's characters deal with their situations with a weary worldliness and fatalism that reveal their vulnerability as well as their flaws." --Booklist on Mama Ruby

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Mrs. Wiggins

Monroe, Mary 2021

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe returns to the Deep South Depression-era town of her scandalous Mama Ruby series, in this tale of a woman determined to have a respectable life--and she'll do anything to keep it...The daughter of a prostitute mother and an alcoholic father, Maggie Franklin knew her only way out was to marry someone upstanding and church-going.

Someone like Hubert Wiggins, the most eligible man in Lexington, Alabama--and the son of its most revered preacher. Proper and prosperous, Hubert is glad to finally have a wife, even one with Maggie's background. For Hubert has a secret he desperately needs to stay hidden.

And Maggie's unexpected charm, elegance, and religious devotion makes her the perfect partner in lies...Their surprising union makes the Wigginses the town's most envied couple--complete with a son, Claude, whom Maggie idolizes. Until he falls in love with the worst possible fiancée.

Terrified, Maggie won't let this woman destroy her son. And when her employer's brother sexually harasses her, Maggie knows something needs to be done about him as well. In fact, she realizes there are an awful lot of "disruptive" people who should be eliminated from her perfect world.

..But the more Maggie tries to take control, the more obstacles are thrown in her way. And when it seems like the one person she always expected to be there is starting to drift away, Maggie will play one final, merciless game to secure what she's fought so hard to earn.

..

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Publication Order of God Don't Like Ugly Books

God Don't Like Ugly

Monroe, Mary 2000

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe sweeps readers back to the streets, porches, and parlors of civil rights-era Ohio to bring to life the first steps of an enduring friendship between two girls from opposite sides of the track. . .Annette Goode is a shy, awkward, overweight child with a terrible secret.

Frightened and ashamed, Annette withdraws into a world of books and food. But the summer Annette turns thirteen, something incredible happens: Rhoda Nelson chooses her as a friend. Dazzling, generous Rhoda, who is everything Annette is not--gorgeous, slim, and worldly--welcomes Annette into the heart of her eccentric family, which includes her handsome and dignified father;her lovely, fragile "Muh'Dear;" her brooding, dangerous brother Jock;and her colorful white relatives--half-crazy Uncle Johnny, sultry Aunt Lola, and scary, surly Granny Goose.

With Rhoda's help, Annette survives adolescence and blossoms as a woman. But when her beautiful best friend makes a stunning confession about a horrific childhood crime, Annette's world will never be the same."A coming-of-age journey depicted with wit, poignancy and bite.

" --Publishers Weekly

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God Still Don't Like Ugly

Monroe, Mary 2003

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe's heart–stopping tale about a woman who's suffered too much to give up on herself, even if everyone else has . . . Growing up, Annette Goode thought all men were as low–down as the father who abandoned her, including the boarder who abused her for years and the men she slept with to earn the money she needed to run away from her life.

Now, after decades of heartache and severing ties with her dangerously unstable friend Rhoda, Annette's real life has started to take shape . . .But her dark past won't let her go. When an old secret scares away her fiancé, Annette settles with Pee Wee Davis, her on–again, off–again sweetheart since childhood.

Then her ex–friend Rhoda suddenly walks back into her life, forcing Annette to decide what she should believe—and what she can forgive—as she tries to salvage the one relationship she just can't seem to let go . . .Praise for Mary Monroe"Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston.

"—Publishers Weekly"Watch out Toni Morrison, there is a new sister in town."—Rapport

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God Don't Play

Monroe, Mary 2006

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes the story of two lifelong friends, their secrets and lies, and the new challenge that may divide them once and for all. . . With a lovely home and family, Annette Goode finally has it all. Heaven knows she paid her dues—from an abusive childhood to a rocky start as an adult.

Annette's friend Rhoda knows too, for Rhoda has been both her savior and her greatest fear. Their relationship has survived some serious shake-ups. But now that things are good, someone apparently thinks they're a little too good. . . When Annette receives an anonymous—and menacing—birthday gift, it's just the beginning of a slew of hostile letters, vicious phone calls, and vile packages from a female who is obviously disguising her voice.

Comforted by Rhoda and Rhoda's teenage daughter, Jade, Annette hopes the problem will somehow disappear. But when the threats extend to her child, Annette realizes the situation is dire. For soon her tormentor reveals exactly what she wants—and how it could destroy everything Annette has built.

. .Praise for Mary Monroe"Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston." —Publishers Weekly"Watch out Toni Morrison, there is a new sister in town." —Rapport

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God Ain't Blind

Monroe, Mary 2008
After a crash diet and a makeover in order to regain the affections of her drifting husband, Annette Goode Davis instead shacks up with Louis Banes and goes on a spending spree, until she discovers a terrible secret about him and must turn to her friend, Rhoda O'Toole, for help. Reprint. Read More

God Ain't Through Yet

Monroe, Mary 2010

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes a poignant and passionate new novel featuring lifelong friends Annette Goode Davis and Rhoda O'Toole–two women whose best intentions don't always yield the best results. This time around, Annette is devastated when one of her greatest fears comes true--and there may be nothing she can do about it.

. .Even though her life has its ups and downs, Annette Goode Davis feels lucky to have a family who loves her and friends she can count on. Most of all, Annette is grateful that her husband Pee Wee took her back after he discovered she was having an affair.

Now, she's determined to do whatever it takes to make her marriage work. The trouble is, while Pee Wee agreed to give Annette another chance, she's not sure his heart is really in it. Annette goes out of her way to keep Pee Wee as happy as pie, but it never seems to be enough.

Rhoda is quick to point out that Annette got herself into this mess; now she has to be patient until Pee Wee forgives her. But time may be running out. Her suspicions are confirmed when Pee Wee moves out--and in with his new lady. Annette takes the news hard and so does her daughter Charlotte, who seems hell-bent on keeping her mother on edge by hanging out with a wild new crowd.

Annette isn't going to let her family go without a fight. But she also knows she must prepare for the worst--because one lesson she's learned all too well is that when life kicks you in the teeth, you have to come out swinging. "Monroe is a masterful storyteller.

" --Philadelphia Inquirer

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God Don't Make No Mistakes

Monroe, Mary 2012

In the sparkling conclusion to Mary Monroe's bestselling God series, two forever friends face their biggest betrayals yet and learn that putting your trust in the wrong hands can change your life forever. . .These days, Annette Goode Davis has a full plate--literally and figuratively.

Although she's trying to reconcile with her husband, Pee Wee, she's still seeing other men on the side. A woman's got to cover her bases, right? With her love life hopping, Annette should be pleased as punch. Instead, the stress has her eating everything in sight and packing on the pounds.

Meanwhile, Annette's best friend, Rhoda O'Toole, has her hands full dealing with her wild child daughter, Jade. When Jade's antics almost cost Rhoda her man, Rhoda throws her out. But Jade soon finds a way to make Rhoda regret her choice. . .Annette thanks her lucky stars that her daughter, Charlotte, has her head on straight.

And she's doubly blessed to have a strait-laced neighbor look after Charlotte when she's caught up in Pee Wee and Rhoda's problems. But when Annette's world is rocked by a terrible revelation, she'll discover that appearances can be very, very deceiving--and she'll have to summon every ounce of strength to protect the ones she loves.

"Monroe is a masterful storyteller." --Philadelphia Inquirer

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Publication Order of Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart Books

Every Woman's Dream

Monroe, Mary 2016

Not all wishes should come true.Master storyteller Mary Monroe begins her Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series with a page-turning tale of seduction and shocking surprises, as two unhappy women fulfill their every erotic dream—and find a desire that kills… As teenagers, best friends Lola Poole and Joan Procter concocted a scheme to escape their boredom, pass the time between boyfriends—and bring in some money.

It all started when they got in the habit of corresponding with lonely, unsuspecting—and generous—older men. In return for their “love letters,” the teens were rewarded with checks. The fun only ended when their swindle nearly got them killed.

Now they’re grown, but they’re still longing for every woman’s dream of love and excitement… Joan is unhappily married, while Lola is done with putting her life on hold for her selfish relatives’ demands. As girls they were looking for money, but as women they have other needs they want satisfied.

And thanks to online dating and a parade of lovers, they’re getting all the sexy fun they missed out on. It’s a downright addictive game. But games can’t last forever—and someone has to lose… A LONELY HEART, DEADLY HEART NOVELPraise for the novels of Mary Monroe"Readers who enjoy watching characters' fortunes rise and fall will relish this tumultuous family.

" --Booklist on Family of Lies"Once again, Monroe displays her gift as a marvel with this sensational novel." --RT Book Reviews on Lost Daughters"Another witty and wise installment to her God series….If this raunchy and rambunctious book is any indication, Monroe's series has a lot of life left in it.

" --Publishers Weekly on God Ain't Through Yet"A fast-paced, sexy, tense story that will make readers think twice before getting tangled up in an affair." --Booklist on God Ain't Blind"Readers are left on edge…Monroe once again skillfully delivers a crafty story wrapped around a host of heartwarming characters battling everyday struggles and obstacles, even as she entertains readers with spurts of unexpected comedy and tragedy.

" --Library Journal on God Don't Play"A highly satisfying page-turner--and one that will stand out." --Publishers Weekly on God Don't Like Ugly

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Can You Keep a Secret?

Monroe, Mary 2016

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling author’s provocative series featuring best friends getting a crash course in love, family, and betrayal. They couldn’t be less alike—except for their restless spirits. Lola came from a loving home, even though it included her father’s live-in mistress.

And Joan is a secret wild child chafing under her mother’s watchful eye. So when Lola’s quiet world shatters and her hopes seem out of reach for good, Joan has the perfect consolation in mind. But the besties will soon discover that boyfriends, money, and good times are no real escape from their families’ ever-scandalous drama.

Soon, with demanding stepparents, conniving relatives, and simmering secrets closing in, they’ll have to watch each other’s backs and use their quick wits to save their lifelong dreams . . .   Praise for Mary Monroe   “Mary Monroe is an exceptional writer and phenomenal storyteller!”—Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times bestselling author of Here and Now   “Impossible to put down.

”—Susan Holloway Scott, national bestselling author of The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr “Readers who enjoy watching characters’ fortunes rise and fall will relish this tumultuous family.” —Booklist on Family of Lies “Once again, Monroe displays her gift as a marvel with this sensational novel.

” —RT Book Reviews on Lost Daughters

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Never Trust a Stranger

Monroe, Mary 2017

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe takes you on the ultimate twist-filled ride with her Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series. For two restless women looking for satisfaction, too much of a good thing is never enough—even as a lethal passion closes in…Best friends Lola Poole and Joan Proctor-Riley have finally found the love and excitement they’ve always longed for.

Online-dating an endless line of wealthy, no-strings-attached lovers is the perfect escape from their unfulfilling lives. And between Joan’s selfish husband and Lola’s hateful, demanding relatives, the hotter these ladies’ secret activities get, the more they crave—and the more reckless they become.

Soon, they’re taking ever greater risks to pursue their desires…When rugged trucker Calvin Ramsey comes into Lola’s sights, he’s a surprising answer to all her  prayers. He’s kind and responsible in his everyday life—and delivers sexual healing like she’s never known.

What Lola doesn’t know is that Calvin loves women to death—literally. And every caring moment and seductive promise this killer gives her draws both Lola and Joan deeper into his inescapable, fatal fantasy…Praise for the novels of Mary Monroe“Readers who enjoy watching characters’ fortunes rise and fall will relish this tumultuous family.

” —Booklist on Family of Lies“Betrayal and revenge—Monroe knows how to bring it!” —RT Book Reviews on Bad Blood“Another witty and wise installment to her God series….If this raunchy and rambunctious book is any indication, Monroe’s series has a lot of life left in it.

” —Publishers Weekly on God Ain’t Through Yet“A fast-paced, sexy, tense story that will make readers think twice before getting tangled up in an affair.” —Booklist on God Ain’t Blind“Readers are left on edge…Monroe once again skillfully delivers a crafty story wrapped around a host of heartwarming characters battling everyday struggles and obstacles, even as she entertains readers with spurts of unexpected comedy and tragedy.

” —Library Journal on God Don’t Play“A highly satisfying page-turner—and one that will stand out.” —Publishers Weekly on God Don’t Like Ugly

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The Devil You Know

Monroe, Mary 2017

In the stunning climax of New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe’s Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series, the tension—and the heat—reach unforgettable heights as two restless women go after the ultimate satisfaction . . . and a killer desire prepares to strike .

. .    For best friends Lola Poole and Joan Proctor-Riley, there’s never too much when it comes to online dating rich, no-commitment lovers. It’s a fantasy come true and makes their unhappy lives bearable. But there’s no escape when Lola’s vicious relatives cheat her out of everything that’s hers and Joan’s husband pulls a devastating betrayal.

With nothing to lose, the two will do everything and anything to lock down Mr. Right and lifetime satisfaction . . .   With his scorching sexual healing and compassionate nature, handsome trucker Calvin Ramsey keeps coming out on top with Lola. And she’s this close to winning his love and finally getting the loving family of her dreams.

But she doesn’t suspect that Calvin’s idea of making a woman his own is a fatal affair. Now, his gentle reassurances and sensual promises are spinning a web where Lola and Joan’s deepest longings could be the deadliest trap of all . . .     A LONELY HEART, DEADLY HEART NOVEL

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Publication Order of Neighbors Books

One House Over

Monroe, Mary 2018

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe returns to the 1930s era of her acclaimed novel The Upper Room with a dazzling portrait of two very different couples whose friendship and fast times are no match for shattering betrayal . . .  A solid marriage, a thriving business, and the esteem of their close-knit Alabama community—Joyce and Odell Watson have every reason to count their blessings.

Their marriage has given well-off Joyce a chance at the family she’s always wanted—and granted Odell a once-in-a-lifetime shot to escape grinding poverty. But all that respectability and status comes at a cost. Just once, Joyce and Odell want to break loose and taste life’s wild side, without consequences .

. . When their new neighbors turn out to be high-steppin’ bootleggers Milton and Yvonne Hamilton, the Watsons plunge headlong into good times and fast living. For Joyce, Yvonne is someone she can show off to—and look down on. And Odell won't introduce crude, unsophisticated Milton to his friends—but is happy to let Milton ply him with free booze.

   As much as the Watsons want to get along with their new neighbors, the gradual revelations of Yvonne and Milton’s seedy past make them think twice about how much time they spend together. But the Hamiltons won’t be dismissed so easily. The Watsons soon find them invading every area of their lives and discovering their long-held secrets.

Now, the Watsons must tread carefully to keep the Hamiltons from destroying their perfect world . . .

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Over the Fence

Monroe, Mary 2019

In this page-turning novel set in the Depression-era South, New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe transports readers to a small Alabama town where home is not always a sanctuary, and two neighboring families let pleasantries mask increasing resentment.

. .   Bootlegging was Milton and Yvonne Hamilton’s ticket out of poverty, prison time, and plain bad luck. Now they’ve moved on—to a bigger, richer pool of clientele—right in their own respectable new middle-class backyard. And their growing friendship with seemingly-perfect couple Joyce and Odell Watson is proving golden in more ways than one .

. .   As Milton soon learns, Odell is hiding an outside family and dubious business dealings. It’s the perfect recipe for a blackmail scheme that will help Milton hide his own dirty secrets—even from Yvonne. Better yet, he can take ever more dangerous risks to ace out his liquor-smuggling rivals—and add a lucrative temptation to his illicit services.

And Yvonne, emboldened by her husband’s new gravy train, delights in tormenting Joyce about everything the snobbish matron doesn’t have—especially children.   But even a winning hand can be played too far. Pushed past their limits, Odell and Joyce will play on Milton’s careless boasting—to get him and Yvonne out of their lives for good.

  And soon, a devastating frame-up will plunge one couple into a living nightmare—and set the stage for explosive retribution.Age Range: Adult

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Across the Way

Monroe, Mary 2020

Neighborhood tensions reach a breaking point in the finale of New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe's captivating series that sweeps readers back to 1930's Alabama and into the lives of two neighboring couples whose deceitful friendships and imperfect marriages are just the beginning of their troubles.

..In this captivating Depression-era set novel by New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe, two couples find their grudges endangering more than their Alabama small town's deceptive peace . . . When good-time couple Milton and Yvonne Hamilton moved one house over from the respectable-but-restless Odell and Joyce Watson, it was a fast friendship of shared secrets--and secret jealousies and betrayals.

Their alliance was bound to crash and burn, but the Hamiltons won't quite let the flame die out, even after scandalous accusations get them arrested... Odell would do anything to be free of his bootlegging, blackmailing, money extorting neighbors and recover the peaceful--and financially prosperous--life he and Joyce once had.

But Milton and Yvonne seem to always bounce back from bad luck, and this time they've returned angrier, and greedier, than ever. Determined to get what Odell "owes" them, the Hamiltons have a big surprise for Joyce too, one that shows how far they will go to get revenge .

. . Now pushed past his breaking point, Odell is sure he's got a foolproof plan to end the scheming once and for all. But it soon spirals into lies, shattering violence, and permanent damage that will roil their tranquil community, and alter his and Joyce's world forever .

. .

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Gonna Lay Down My Burdens

Monroe, Mary 2002

Carmen Taylor finds her life spinning out of control when her best friend Desiree begins dating Chester Sheffield, the man Carmen has loved for years, and when Desiree gets pregant with his child, Carmen commits a reckless crime of passion that forces her, along with Desiree, to make some difficult choices that will change their lives forever.

50,000 first printing.

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Red Light Wives

Monroe, Mary 2004

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes a powerful novel about the hopes, dreams, laughter--and limits--of six unique women surviving on the streets of San Francisco. . . They're about as different as six women can be--haughty and humble, beautiful and plain, young and not-so-young, black, white, Latina, and origins unknown.

But aside from a gift for laughing hardship in the face, they have one very important thing in common--Clyde Brooks. You might say that Clyde is their "manager." And you might say that Lula Mae, Ester, Megan, Rosalee, Helen, and Rockelle are colleagues--in the world's oldest profession.

Clyde likes to refer to them as his "wives." Maybe it's their love for the high life--and for each other--that makes the bond between Clyde's ladies so unbreakable. Maybe it's their private demons that keep them so loyal to Clyde--or so he thinks. For hard as they try to distract themselves, nothing can quell the women's longing for a life free from Clyde and what he represents--until one daring act of defiance changes everything.

. . Praise for Mary Monroe "Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston." --Publishers Weekly "Watch out Toni Morrison, there is a new sister in town." --Rapport "Mary Monroe is a masterful storyteller." --Philadelphia Inquirer

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In Sheep's Clothing

Monroe, Mary 2005

A restless young woman thinks she's found a free ride to happiness and adventure. But it's a trip that may land her in prison--or worse. . . When Trudy Bell lands a job at a travel agency, she feels like a new woman. And her friendly personality soon wins her the adoration of her colleagues--with one exception.

Ann Oliver, the only other African American employee, a high-level manager who despises Trudy's low-income background. But no one is going to ruin Trudy's new life. In fact, she's found a way to make it even better. As a secretary, Trudy has easy access to company credit cards.

Including Ann's. . .Before long Trudy's leading a double-life--Ann's life--complete with a secret apartment where she entertains the men she meets at upscale bars. But their worlds collide the night Trudy brings home the wrong man--one who has an angry score to settle.

With Ann. Now, unless Trudy can convince him she's not the woman he's after, she may pay the highest price of all. . ."Monroe serves up a tasty dish of murder, deception, lust, and just desserts."--Library Journal on She Had it Coming"Monroe's richly drawn characters will stay with readers long after the book is finished.

"--Booklist

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Deliver Me From Evil

Monroe, Mary 2007
Longing to break free from her dead-end marriage, Christine Thurman, who has escaped her upbringing on the wrong side of the tracks, is drawn back into her old life when she has a torrid affair with a bad boy from her past, which puts everything on the line. Reprint. Read More

She Had It Coming

Monroe, Mary 2008

The choices we make in one rash moment can change everything…   Dolores Reese spent her childhood in foster care, like Floyd Watson, a local boy who intrigues her from the moment they meet. When one bad decision sends an innocent Floyd to prison for life, Dolores promises to stick by him.

But while Floyd’s world stands still, Dolores’s horizons open up in exciting new ways. Paul Dunne is an accomplished businessman who promises her the kind of future she’s always wanted—the kind she once imagined having with Floyd. But when Floyd is suddenly freed on new evidence, Dolores is torn and must make a fateful decision.

And if she isn’t careful, Dolores just might find out what happens when love, dishonesty, and dangerous jealousy collide…   Praise for Mary Monroe   “Monroe delivers what could be her wildest and most entertaining novel yet.” —Publishers Weekly on Deliver Me From Evil   “Monroe’s richly drawn characters will stay with readers long after the book is finished.

” —Booklist on Gonna Lay Down My Burdens   “Monroe’s literary canvas is painted with broad strokes, with verve and humor and passion.” —Christian Science Monitor

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The Company We Keep

Monroe, Mary 2009

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe's extraordinary novel celebrates life, love, and the power of sisterhood--proving that friends, like fine wine, only get better with age. . . Gorgeous, successful executive Teri Stewart spends her days working for L.

A.'s hottest record company--and her nights all alone. Her best friend Nicole is determined to find Teri a man, but she hasn't had much luck. . .because Teri wants more than Mr. Maybe. She's holding out for Mr. Right and won't settle for anything less.

Just when Teri is ready to give up, a man from her past returns to reignite their romance. With his sultry smile and easy-going charm, radio DJ Harrison Starr is one-of-a kind--and Teri can't deny she's fallen hard for him again. With her life finally falling into place, Teri thinks her dreams might come true after all.

But Harrison may have a secret that could change everything. . .

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Family of Lies

Monroe, Mary 2014

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe weaves a stunning portrait of a family immersed in deceit--and the women whose happiness depends on the secrets they keep. . .After growing up poor in Texas, Vera Lomax used every gold-digging trick in the book to land a rich husband.

Now living in luxury in San Francisco, her only job is to fawn over her much-older husband. So when her husband's mistress gets pregnant, Vera figures that a little hush money will ensure her husband's fortune is hers alone. . .Unfortunately for Vera, Sarah Cooper is the child Kenneth Lomax always wanted.

When the father she never knew shows up at her mother's funeral to claim her, it's a fairy tale journey from the ghetto to a mansion on a hill. But Sarah knows that her step-mother is as two-faced as they come. And after losing all the family she's ever known, she wants a life that's richer than Vera has planned for her.

As Vera and Sarah scheme to get what they want, everyone will be choosing sides, taking chances, and gambling it all to come out on top. . .

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Bad Blood

Monroe, Mary 2015

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe delivers her most surprising and thought-provoking novel yet in this riveting tale of family loyalty, betrayal, and sweet revenge…For Seth Garrett, there’s no such thing as too rich or too beautiful. His family taught him that anything less than the best simply isn’t an option.

Now he’s out to prove he can be the most successful Garrett—and Rachel McNeal fits the bill. She’s pretty, hard-working, good in bed—and willing to finance his dreams. He thinks she’s perfect wife material—until he meets her relatives and discovers they’re far from perfect.

No problem, Seth’s got a truly flawless replacement lined up to give him the good life he’s entitled to…Steady and sensible, Rachel always believed the best about people. She thought Seth was the man of her dreams. But she can deal with the hurt and move on.

Until she discovers the true reason Seth dumped her—and just how deep his contempt for her runs. She’s done forgiving, much less forgetting. And taking his world apart piece by piece is only the beginning of her long-game payback…

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Remembrance

Monroe, Mary 2018

In this moving, unforgettable novel from New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe, a successful, happily married mother suddenly finds herself feeling far from joyful. But Christmas brings an unexpected chance to rediscover herself, and what happiness really means .

. .   For Beatrice Powell, the holidays are usually an extra-special time to celebrate. Between her twenty-year-plus marriage, gorgeous Berkeley, California, home, and three wonderful adult children, she has everything she could desire. But change-of-life doubts are making Beatrice a stranger to herself and her bewildered family.

She only finds peace volunteering at the local soup kitchen, especially helping out homeless Charles Davenport. And his sensitivity and honesty soon comfort her in ways she never imagined . . .   Charles thought he had it all—until a devastating betrayal and the shattering loss of his family drove him to living on the streets.

Beatrice is the first person who’s truly cared about him in a long time. And little by little, he’s finding reasons to care about rebuilding his life—and risking a sudden, courageous choice . . .   Drawn to Charles and the temptation of a second chance, Beatrice is faced with the hardest of decisions.

But his insight, secrets—and the reminder of a profound past encounter—will give her unexpected inspiration, gratitude, and the strength she needs to find her way—perhaps in time for Christmas.

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Right Beside You

Monroe, Mary 2019

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe presents a heartwarming, uplifting novel about two long-time co-workers who seem unlucky in love. But this Christmas may give them a surprising chance to find themselves—and each other . . .   With a successful career, money in the bank, and a solid future, Felicia Hawkins has almost everything she ever wanted.

But getting married is the one holiday wish she can’t seem to get. And it’s not helping that she’s hopelessly in love with her co-worker, widower Richard Grimes. They have the perfect office partnership, and he’s as supportive as he is kind. But Felicia doesn’t want to wreck their friendship by letting him know how she really feels .

. .   Richard has his hands full juggling pre-Christmas work demands and raising two teen daughters. But he’s not too busy to wish his relationship with Felicia could become much more. He’s drawn to her calm spirit and determination, along with everything they surprisingly have in common.

And just once he’d like a chance this season to dare tell her the truth . . .   But what Felicia and Richard get instead is a cascade of misunderstandings; messy, well-meaning matchmaking from family and friends, and a long-distance transfer Richard can’t refuse.

Finally, in the middle of one chaotic snow-struck day, it will take all their courage and compassion to risk opening their hearts to each other—hopefully for many more holiday happily-ever-afters . . .

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The Gift of Family

Monroe, Mary 2020

From acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes the captivating and heartfelt tale of a couple who has everything—except the dream they long for most. But this Christmas, a reunion with someone from the past could gift them a once-in-a-lifetime last chance .

. .   Successful, secure, and still very much in love, middle-aged couple Eugene and Rosemary Johnson have never given up on one special wish—to be parents. And while Christmas always brings happiness and a whirlwind of holiday fun, their hopes for children of their own seem further away than ever.

Especially this year, when Rosemary must have emergency surgery and home help to recuperate. Wanting to lift his wife’s spirits, Eugene suddenly has an inspiration from back in the day . . .   Faithful and sensible, Ethel Perkins raised Eugene and his brother.

Unforeseen tragedy has left the sixty-something widow struggling with little money and two jobs to keep her great-grandchildren off the streets. She’s glad to help Rosemary back on her feet. But she can only stay until Rosemary is well enough to resume her normal routine.

For Ethel, survival means keeping to her grueling schedule, being there for everyone but herself, and, as always, handling her troubles all on her own . . .   As Ethel’s problems go from bad to much worse, Rosemary and Eugene find themselves helping her more and more—and growing close to her lively youngsters.

Soon, there’s only one way both families can salvage the season: by celebrating it together. But will their temporary family work into the future . . . and possibly make a lifetime of happiness?

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Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Borrow Trouble

McGlothin, Victor 2006

A woman lets herself go and finally does something wrong. Down on his luck, a man tries to do something right. For both, the consequences are as surprising as they are rewarding in two tales of lost souls by two rising stars in contemporary African-American fiction.

"Nightmare in Paradise" by Mary MonroeGood-looking and as dutiful a wife as she is a devoted friend, reserved and respectful Renee Webb always does the right thing. So when she gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let her hair down on a Caribbean vacation with her uninhibited friend Inez, Renee is more than ready to let go.

But the sun-splashed isle of Paraiso is not what it seems, and Renee finds out that doing the wrong thing--a sizzling night of pleasure with a sexy stranger--might cost her more than she ever imagined. . . "Bad Luck Shadow" by Victor McGlothinBad luck's been shadowing handsome Baltimore Floyd ever since he hopped a train out of New York City.

On the run from some of Harlem's baddest hitmen, Baltimore's luck takes a turn for the worse after he murders a big-time white businessman and gets thrown off the train in Kansas City. Alone and on the lam, Baltimore's got only one shot to get out alive--the biggest heist in KC's history.

Lucky for him, Henry Taylor's got his back, and he'll have to use every trick he knows to save Baltimore from going down for good. . .

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