Book Review: Husbands by Mo Fanning

I’m pleased to be welcoming Mo Fanning to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his novel, Husbands. 

In Hollywood, every pavement star tells a story. Not all of them shine.

Wannabe actor Kyle Macdonald is down on his luck. Working as a supply teacher in an inner-city Birmingham school, he’s single again at 28, and sleeping in his childhood bedroom beneath a ‘Hard Candy’ Madonna poster.

He gets a call claiming he drunkenly married top Hollywood director Aaron Biedermeier in Vegas six years ago. Rather than panic, he sees a golden ticket to fame and the life he’s always fantasised about.

But the glamorous veneer of Los Angeles – non-stop sunshine, celebrity actors and exclusive hotel suites – starts to crack, revealing a darker, corrupt underbelly to La-La Land. Kyle digs deeper into his so-called husband’s past, unearthing disturbing allegations of abuse and underage sex parties.

With the help of Biedermeier’s fiancé, actor Noah Winters, he embarks on a cross-country race to unravel the mystery and expose the truth – finding love along the way.


At 28 years old, Kyle pictured his life differently. He saw a glittering acting career and a life in Hollywood, not one as a supply teacher in an inner-city Birmingham school. When a phone call means he finds himself in the city he’s dreamed of for so long, he can’t believe his luck. However, secrets and lies beckon. Can Kyle navigate through this and find himself and love on the other side?

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Mo Fanning. I was happy to be invited onto the blog tour for his latest novel, Husbands.

I really didn’t know what to expect. What was clear from the beginning however, was how quickly I got drawn into this book. Even though I’m not male or a teacher, I felt empathy and an affinity with Kyle. I think he’s the fictional personification of the point in our lives where we take stock and wonder how we got to where we are. What happened to the dreams we had when we were younger? I think we’ve all had those moments at some stage, right?

I loved Kyle. He’s a little jaded but there’s still that spark in him. One that wants to chase his dream. Not that it’s plain sailing when he thinks it’s within reach. He’s got a level of sarcasm that I loved. Millie was also great and a good compliment to his character. She was his voice of reason and he certainly needed that.

Like Kyle, Noah is a character of layers and it’s clear he’s holding things back. What those are… I’m not going to tell you. I am hoping you discover that for yourself.

Mo Fanning has managed to create characters that feel very real. I could imagine these men doing a road trip across America. The settings are wonderfully described and it’s renewed my want to do a similar thing. Without all the drama though. Haha.

The plot is developed well. You know things have happened and as the reader, you don’t know the full picture when you begin to read. The revelations are given to us at a great pace and it made me want to continue reading. The themes are serious ones and books like this are important in shining a light on them. In the light of the #Metoo movement, these situations need to be bought to the world’s attention so victims are not forgotten.

Overall, I found this novel to be compelling, humorous when needed to be, serious when called for and all in all, a great story of determination, self belief and the importance of doing the right thing, no matter what it costs you. I have become a fan of Mo Fanning and look forward to seeing what he does next.
About Mo Fanning:

If you love books by Jane Fallon, Marian Keyes, Beth O’Leary and Taylor Jenkins Reid, chances are you’ll like Mo’s books.

He writes stories with damaged lead characters who find ways to overcome their past mistakes and seek a happier future.

Mo Fanning grew up near Birmingham in the UK but left for pastures new as soon as he could legally drive, spending much of his grown-up life in the Netherlands, before returning home just before lockdown took hold.

He has contributed to 100 Stories for Haiti and written for the Observer travel section. His first novel ‘The Armchair Bride’ was nominated for Arts Council Book of the Year, and his work was turned into a short play for BBC America. After having lived in Manchester, Amsterdam, Lyon and Brighton, he’s back in the West Midlands determined to get on top of his geraniums.

Say hello to Mo via his blog or X (Twitter).

Husbands: Love and Lies in La La Land by Mo Fanning (£12.99, Spring Street Press) is available from all good book retailers. To buy, click here.

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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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