As usual, I'm all over the map and for once I've physically been so as well. I arrived back from Eastern Canada very late last night. Today has been a day of hitting the keyboard hard. Three thousand words later, I'm prepared to move on to other things, like folding laundry, making supper and other glamorous tasks.
I'll write some posts about my trip soon--thank goodness I came back to a long weekend. That gives me a breather before I'm back at work and going flat out again. In the meanwhile, I wanted to offer up another bite of Adara and Gideon's troubled marriage.
The previous two posts are here:
Perhaps this mutual suspicion is why RT Book Reviews recently said, "Her couple is the epitome of miscommunication, but watching them finally 'get' each other is worth every page." They also said, "Collins' latest tearjerker should come with tissues," and called the love scenes, "jaw-dropping sizzlers." They gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Here's the next scene:
~ * ~
The ferry was gone so Adara couldn’t leave the island. She drove through a blur of goat-tracked hills and tree lined boulevards. Expansive olive branches cast rippling shadows across bobbing heads of yellow and purple wildflowers between scrupulously groomed estates and bleached white mansions. When she happened on a lookout, she quickly parked and tried to walk off her trembles.
She’d done it. She’d asked for a divorce.
The word cleaved her in two. She didn’t want her marriage to be over. It wasn’t just the failure it represented. Gideon was her husband. She wasn’t a possessive person. She tried not to get too attached to anything or anyone, but until his affair had come to light, she had believed her claim on him was incontestable. That had meant something to her. She had never been allowed to have anything. Not the job she wanted, not the money in her trust fund, not the family she had briefly had as a child or the one she longed for as an adult.
Gideon was a prize coveted by every woman around her. Being his wife had given her a deep sense of pride, but he’d gone behind her back and even managed to make her writhe with self-blame that it was her fault.
She hadn’t made love with him in weeks. It was true. She’d taken care of his needs, though. When he was home. Did he realize he hadn’t been home for more than one night at a stretch in months?
Pacing between guilt and virtue, she couldn’t escape the position she’d put herself in. Her marriage was over. The marriage she had arranged so her father would stop trying to sell her off to bullies like himself.
Her heart compressed under the weight of remembering how she’d taken such care to ask Gideon for only what seemed reasonable to expect from a marriage: respect and fidelity. That’s all. She hadn’t asked for love. She barely believed in it, not when her mother still loved the man who had abused her and her children, raising his hand often enough Adara flinched just thinking about it.
No, Adara had been as practical and realistic as she could be—strengths she’d honed razor sharp out of necessity. She had found a man whose wealth was on a level with her father’s fortune. She had picked one who exhibited incredible control over his emotions, trying to avoid spending her adult life ducking outbursts and negotiating emotional landmines. She had accommodated Gideon in every way, from the very fair prenup to learning how to please him in bed. She had never asked for romance or signs of affections, not even flowers when she was in hospital recovering from a miscarriage.
Her hand went instinctively to her empty womb. After the first one, she’d tried not to bother him much at all, informing him without involving him, not even telling him about the last one. Her entire being pulsated like an open wound as she recalled the silent weeks of waiting and hoping, then the first stain of blood and the painful, isolated hours that had followed.
While Gideon had been in Barcelona, faithful bitch Lexi at his side.
She had learned nothing from her mother, Adara realized with a spasm in her chest. Being complacent didn’t earn you anything but a cheating husband. Her marriage was over and it left a jagged burn in her like a bolt of lightning was stuck inside her, buzzing and shorting and trying to escape.
A new life awaited though, unfurling like a rolled carpet before her. She made herself look at it, standing tall under the challenge, extending her spine to its fullest. She concentrated on hardening her resolve, staring with determination across the vista of scalloped waves to distant islands formed from granite. That’s what she was now, alone, but strong and rooted.
She’d look for a new home while she was here, she decided. Greece had always been a place where she’d felt hopeful and happy. Her new life started today. Now.
~ * ~
North American readers, you'll be getting two books in one! Along with More Than A Convenient Marriage? you'll get No Longer Forbidden?, the first book in this series. These opening scenes take place outside Rosedale, the setting for most of No Longer Forbidden? Adara is here to find its owner, Nic, who is her half-brother.
Also, please look for my contest on Goodreads. Starting Oct 15th, you can enter to win one of three signed copies of this 2in1.