New Romance Novel by Laura Branchflower

New Romance Novels 2018! I’m currently working on three. Here is a sneak peek at the first…

Main characters:

Hero: Lucas Roe — NFL QB, 30 years old

Heroine: Carrie Chambers — HR Assistant Director at Washington, DC hotel, 24 years old

Chapter One

Carrie ran her hand down the length of her thigh, a coconut scent filling the air as she applied suntan lotion for the third time since arriving at the beach two hours earlier. She wasn’t going to chance burning in the strong Florida sun.

A shadow spread over her. A man had paused a few feet from her lounge chair, his large hands splayed on his hips as he stared out at the ocean. Carrie’s eyes rested momentarily on one of his hands, taking in his long fingers and wide palm before traveling up his well-toned arm to his muscled shoulder. He had obviously just arrived. It was her third day at the resort and he wasn’t someone you could overlook. He was at least six-foot-four with broad shoulders and an athletic body. The muscles in his upper back rippled as he adjusted his hands on his hips. His skin looked impossibly smooth. She took in a deep breath. It was the first time since it ended with Kevin that she took note of another man. Kevin. She wasn’t supposed to think about Kevin.

The high-pitched sound of female laughter accompanied two women in string bikinis walking up from the water, their attention focused on the man beside Carrie. She watched them blatantly stare at him, amazed at how obvious they were in their interest.

One of the women pulled back her shoulders, jutting her large breasts out as they came within feet of him. Carrie rolled her eyes. Behavior like the woman’s was why good-looking men had huge egos. She was basically offering herself to him.

He didn’t take the bait, continuing to stare forward as they passed within inches of him. When he didn’t turn to get a glimpse of the women from behind, Carrie’s curiosity about the stranger increased. There was no way Kevin would have resisted a look at their asses. She mentally chastised herself for again thinking of Kevin.

A cabana boy stopped beside the man, pointing off to their left as he told him where the rest of his party was located. “Thank you.” His deep voice fit him. “Would you mind putting this on my chair?” He held out his room key and sunglasses. “I want to take a swim.”

As soon as the cabana boy left, Carrie assumed the man would walk towards the water. Instead he began to prepare his body for his impending swim, tilting his head from one side to the other as he stretched out his neck and then shaking out his arms. She quietly lifted her cellphone from the table beside her chair, pulling up the camera before pointing it in his direction and resting it on her stomach. Words wouldn’t do him justice. She had to show Jodie what she was missing.

It was apparent from his profile with his etched jaw and straight nose that he was handsome, but she wasn’t prepared for how handsome until he turned his head. Her heart skipped when his eyes met hers, a bolt of awareness coursing through her.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to block your view,” he said.

“No, it’s fine.” Her voice sounded breathless.

His gaze fell to her cell phone. Before she could react he had closed the distance between them and snatched it from her hands.

“Wha—what are you doing? That’s my phone,” she stammered, coming to her feet. “You can’t just take that.”

“I’m taking back what’s mine,” he said shortly. He was looking down at her phone as he spoke his thumb tapping the display.

“How would you like me to take a video of you without your permission?”

“I wasn’t…” she trailed off, her face heating.

“You weren’t what?” He lifted his gaze. “Taking a video of me?” He raised his eyebrows.

Her mouth went dry as she met his cool gaze. Even in a bathing suit, he was the most intimidating person she’d ever encountered. She dropped her eyes, completely mortified. He had caught her recording him. “I’m sorry. I—“

“Save it.” He tossed her phone onto her lounge chair.


“You were caught,” he interrupted, his lips turned down. “The only thing you’re sorry about is that you no longer have the video to show your friends or whatever the hell you planned to do with it.”

She opened her mouth, but couldn’t find words. His arrogance was shocking.

“Don’t you think I deserve a private life? Next time you want a video of someone, ask for permission.”

Carrie was still processing the most embarrassing moments of her life when Jodie dropped down beside her half an hour later. “What have I missed?”

“Nothing,” she lied, not prepared to verbalize her humiliation.

“Do you want to get in the water?”

“No!” Carrie burst out. “I mean. I don’t feel like it.” There was no way she was going to chance bumping into him.

“Okay.” Jodie pulled her hair up into a messy bun as she looked around. “Have you seen any football players? Someone on the elevator said a group of them checked in last night. They took part in some charity event yesterday.”

Carrie’s gaze shifted to the ocean, her heart rate accelerating as the man from earlier emerged from the surf. “Do you think he’s one?”

“Oh my God!” Jodie gripped Carrie’s arm. “That’s Lucas Roe!”

“No it’s not!” Carrie gasped, but even as the words left her lips she knew it was true. Lucas Roe was one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Not only was he also featured in half a dozen commercials, he also played for the Washington Kings, her hometown team. “I’m such an idiot.” She dropped her head back against the lounger.

“He’s coming right towards us,” Jodie whispered.

Carrie picked up her novel, opened it to a random page and held it in front of her face. She couldn’t bear to face him again.

“Mr. Roe?” The excited voice of a young boy had Carrie peaking over the top of her book. “My dad asked me to ask you for your autograph.” The boy glanced back at his father who was several yards away.

“We really admire you,” the man said. “You’re a pleasure to watch. Our favorite by far.”

“Thank you,” Lucas said in a tone much friendlier than the one he’d used on her earlier. He took the pen and paper the boy held out, asking him for his name, before signing his autograph.

“Thank you, Mr. Roe,” the boy gushed before running off with the paper clutched in his hand.

“You’re our favorite, too,” Jodie called out causing Carrie’s stomach to clench. “We’re huge fans. May I have your autograph too? You could sign my stomach or…wherever,” she teased in a husky voice that only came out for men.

Carrie laid the open book over her face. She prayed he would ignore Jodie like he’d ignored the two string bikinis earlier. When she felt a shadow descend over her body, she knew he was within feet of them.

“You have better manners than your friend,” he said.

“Better manners than my friend?” Jodie’s eyes narrowed in confusion.

He nodded towards Carrie. “She tried to take a video of me earlier.”

“What?” Jodie laughed aloud. Her gaze swung to Carrie. “You took a video of him?”

“I didn’t know who he was,” Carrie mumbled from beneath her book.

“Then why were you taking a video?” he asked.

Carrie felt a new wave of heat flood her cheeks. She needed a drink. “It was an accident,” she lied.

“Right,” he said dryly. “Because cellphones hold themselves up and start videotaping.”

“Why did you take a video of him?” Jodie asked. “She seriously didn’t recognize you,” she told Lucas. “I had to tell her who you were.”

Carrie closed her eyes beneath the book. She was going to kill Jodie. “Do you mind leaving, Mr. Roe? You’re blocking my sun.”

“Is your cellphone full of videos of random men?” he asked.

“No!” Carrie abruptly sat up, letting the book fall to her lap as she glared up at him, no longer concerned with what he thought of her. “You were standing right in front of me stretching and you have a nice body, so I was going to send it to her.” She nodded towards Jodie. “To show her what she was missing—that’s it. If I had known you were such a cocky asshole, I never would have done it.”

Instead of barking something back at her, like she expected, he observed her in silence for several seconds, the corners of his lips twisting in an obvious attempt to keep from smiling. “Someone has a temper.”

“Fuck you.” Carrie plopped back on her lounger and picked up her book. “I hate athletes.”

“Her ex is a professional hockey player,” Jodie supplied.

“Jodie!” Carrie hissed, frowning at her. “Stop talking about me like I’m not here.”

“What did he do?” Lucas asked as if she hadn’t spoken.

“Serial cheater,” Jodie answered.

“He wasn’t a serial…” Carrie trailed off. Why was she defending Kevin? And why was she discussing this at all. She closed the book, picked up her cellphone and came to her feet. “How about respecting my privacy,” she bit out not quite meeting Lucas’s eyes. He may have been an asshole, but that didn’t stop her from feeling attracted to him.

“Carrie don’t leave,” Jodie began, “I—“

“I’ll see you later,” Carrie interrupted before slipping past Lucas.

She made it less than five yards before a warm hand clasped her upper arm. “Don’t leave on my account.”

“I’m not.” She continued to stare forward, her entire arm tingling from his touch.

“I’m sorry for earlier. I thought you knew who I was.”

“It’s fine. You were right. I shouldn’t have taken the video. If you don’t mind…” She pulled her arm from his grasp.

He stepped in front of her, blocking her path. “Have lunch with me.”

She looked at him then, which was a mistake. As soon as their eyes met, she felt an undeniable connection.

“Come on.” He smiled, revealing his perfect white teeth. “I’m not an asshole. I promise.”

“You were a complete asshole to me half an hour ago. Remember?” She raised her eyebrows.

“That’s just the persona I take on when someone’s invading my privacy. It wasn’t real.”

Her heart did a funny flutter when he smiled again. “I don’t do athletes,” she said summoning up her last strands of resolve.

“I’m only asking to buy you lunch.” The desire flashing in his eyes promised much more than a meal. “I probably wouldn’t let you do me so soon after meeting anyway.”

The innuendo behind his words had her pulse jumping. She needed distance. There was no way she was going to be able to resist this man. “You remind me of someone I want to forget. Excuse me.”

“How could you say no to lunch with Lucas Roe?” Jodie asked when she entered their suite an hour later to find Carrie stretched on top of one of two beds. “He’s Lucas Roe, Carrie. He’s probably worth fifty million dollars.”

“And he’s a professional athlete who didn’t show me the slightest interest until I told him he was an asshole. I’m just a conquest to him. He isn’t used to women that don’t fall at his feet.”

“So what? It was just lunch. Don’t you want to be able to tell people you shared a meal with Lucas Roe? Lucas Roe, Carrie. Lucas Roe asked you out.”

“Why do you keep saying his name?” Carrie asked.

“Because,” Jodie began stretching out on the bed beside her, “I don’t think you realize how big this is.”

“Are you forgetting why we came here?” Carrie asked.

“No, of course not. But he’s—“

“Lucas Roe,” Carrie finished. “Another self-absorbed athlete.” Her heart ached at the thought of Kevin. “Considering I was supposed to be marrying one this weekend, do you really think it’s a good idea for me to go out with another one?”

“You can’t just group them together because they’re athletes,” Jodie said. “I just spent almost a half hour talking to him. He was remarkably normal.”

“Then why don’t you go out with him?” She tossed her forearm over her eyes.

“Because he didn’t ask me. He’s interested in you.”

“Please stop. He reminded me of Kevin.” She didn’t want to think about Kevin. The whole reason they’d taken a last minute vacation was to distract her from thinking about Kevin.

“He was nothing like Kevin. He’s taller and leaner. Kevin’s more stocky and—”

“Not physically,” Carrie interrupted. “There was something about his eyes. I felt like he could pull me in—just like Kevin did.”

“You’re overthinking this,” Jodie insisted. “It was just lunch.”

“I’d sleep with him,” Carrie said. “I know I would.” She’d been fantasizing about it for the past hour.

“That’s not a bad thing.” Jodie propped herself up on her elbow and stared down at her. “You’re twenty-four and you’ve only slept with one guy. For all you know Kevin was terrible in bed.”

“He wasn’t terrible.” If he’d been terrible, she wouldn’t be craving the physical intimacy they’d shared. “And stop saying things to make me think about him. You’re being a terrible friend right now.”

“No, I’m telling you things you need to hear. You gave him six years of your life. Don’t give him another minute.”

“It’s only been four months,” Carrie said. Four months since he’d broken her heart. She cursed softly when a tear slipped from the corner of her eye. “God, I can’t believe I can still produce tears for him.” She brushed her knuckles over her cheek. Until that moment, she’d gone two weeks without crying, the longest period since he’d left her.

When they returned to the beach in the late afternoon to enjoy cocktails while the sun went down, there was no sign of Lucas Roe. There was also no sign of him in the resort’s open-air restaurant where they had a late dinner, or at the only on-property night club where they danced until well after midnight. Carrie outwardly showed no reaction to his absence, never mentioning him to Jodie or commenting when Jodie mused about where he might be, but inside she felt the stab of disappointment. She was attracted to him and his attention had been a welcome stroke to her battered ego.

“Lucas left the resort last night,” Jodie told Carrie the following afternoon. She had just returned from the beachside bar, a Mai Tai in each hand. “Apparently the word got out that he was here and everyone started clamoring for pictures and autographs. He checked out before dinner.”

He was gone. Carrie’s internal debate over whether or not to let him take her out was now a moot point. She would probably regret not going for the rest of her life. “I guess that’s the price of fame.”

“He rented a villa on Key Biscayne. We’re going there tonight.”

“What?” Carrie pushed herself up on her elbows. “What do you mean we’re going there?”

Jodie took a sip of her Mai Tai before continuing. “Justin Stagers and Buddy Thomas are at the bar,” she said naming two all pro offensive linemen. “They just invited me to his villa. Told me to bring my friend.”

“I can’t just show up there,” Carrie said. “He’s going to think I’m interested in him.”

“You are interested in him. You’ve been checking out every person that’s come to the beach today, hoping they’re him.”

“I have not!” Carrie said indignantly.

Jodie laughed. “You’ve turned around so many times; your neck is probably going to be sore tomorrow.”

“You’re unbelievable.”

“What’s unbelievable is that you don’t see how ridiculously transparent you are. You may be able to lie to yourself, but you’re not lying to me.”

“You’re so annoying,” Carrie grumbled.

“I’m your best friend. I have to be annoying sometimes. But seriously, thinking about Lucas Roe is a good thing. Much better than thinking about—“

“Don’t say his name,” Carrie interrupted. Jodie was right. She’d been so distracted by thoughts of Lucas Roe, she’d barely thought of Kevin all day.


“He probably has a girlfriend?”

“You should know. Does he?”

“How would I know?” Carrie frowned. “I barely spoke to him. You’re the one who talked to him for half an hour.”

“But you were the one cyberstalking him this morning,” Jodie said smugly.

Carrie had spent a half hour on her computer that morning learning everything she could about Lucas Roe. She’d thought Jodie was asleep, but clearly she’d been wrong. “He dated Leanne Reiner for two years,” Carrie admitted referring to a country singer. “He’s also dated a couple of super models. Surprise. Surprise.”

“So he’s not with anyone now?”

“It didn’t say, but he could be.” Kevin dated Natasha for months before it made the news. Carrie swallowed down the bitterness in her throat at the thought of Kevin and his Russian model.

“Don’t,” Jodie began rubbing Carrie’s arm. “Don’t let your thoughts go there.”

Carrie took a long sip from her straw and then another, pushing the images from her mind. “I hate him.” As she uttered the words, she knew they weren’t true. She could never hate Kevin. She’d loved him for too long.

“You’re coming out with me tonight. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a distraction. You don’t need to think past tonight. Just like the psychologist told you—take it one day at a time.”

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259 comments on “New Romance Novel by Laura Branchflower
  1. Sonya says:

    Another one that I would not be able to put down! Can’t wait to find out what happens!

  2. Bianca says:

    When will this come out? Can’t wait! Excited for this

  3. Vivien Franks says:

    Interesting! Waiting patiently for date of release.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you! This book took a bit more research than I expected — trying to understand the schedule/lifestyle of a professional athlete.

  4. Terry says:

    Wow! Excited to read this. Do you have a release date already ?

    • Laura says:

      Thank you! Unfortunately and fortunately, I’ve had to push my release date to the summer. It was supposed to be this month, but I woke up one morning with a story for Nick Prossi (Tony’s brother) in my head. When that happened, I switched gears a bit. I’ll finish Nick’s story and then go back to the QB. When that’s done, I’ll finish my sequel to A White Picket Fence, which I’ve also started. My plan is to have all three complete in 2018!

  5. Tracie Howard says:

    Excited about all three. Can’t wait to encounter more of Phil and Lina’s story and have answers to unanswered questions!

  6. Ann says:

    I have read all 3 of your books and just loved them. Can’t wait for your new ones to be released. So happy to find out that White Picket Fence gets a sequel!!! Yey.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m really looking forward to writing the sequel to White Picket Fence. I’ve actually already written the first chapter!

  7. Liza says:

    When do you think you might have a new book I’m starving for one of your stories 😳Elizabeth

    • Laura says:

      Thank you Liza!
      I am working on three books at the same time. I didn’t plan to write them this way, but sometimes this is the way it happens for me. I hope to have two out by the end of the summer and then the third closer to the end of the year. Thanks for reaching out!

  8. Janet says:

    Where have you been all my life?! I read A Sense of Belonging by chance and one clicked purchased your other 2 books a day after. Your writing is insane! I have read all 3 in 3 days and let me tell you that usually never happens with teenagers in my house. I am so excited to hear you are writing a sequel to White Picket Fence!!! Will we get Phil’s POV? Pretty please??!! As much as I loved Tony and Joseph, I couldn’t get Phil out of my head because of the level of his betrayal to Lina. I could understand the cheating and Lina’s forgiveness but I just couldn’t reconcile that Phil took the mistress to their vacation home knowing it was Lina’s favorite place. Lord, the birthday “present” incident made my heart pound. Also, why oh why did he initiate all the rendezvous even 2 in the same day and why interact with her on Saturdays by doing things outside the bedroom? Throughout the book I keep asking myself if he was obsessed with Kim and found myself rereading certain parts and dissecting them to calm my heart! I just REALLY need to understand him so I can believe that he truly loves and wants only Lina and why he made these choices. I want to forgive him too !! Thank you so much Laura for your unforgettable books.

  9. Tracie says:

    Ditto Janet! I would love the answers to those questions, and more about his son. When Phil is talking to Logan about his birth and how they bonded, where was Phil when Kim gave birth? Hope Lina lets Phil know that his relationship with Kim has to be transparent to her. Will Lina and Logan openly accept Phil’s son? I hope Phil has the same disdain for Kim and her actions as he had for Lina the day he left. I know you want disappoint Laura. You are an awesome writer and your books are amazing and memorable!!!!! Thank you

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Tracie!
      Good point — where was Phil during Liam’s (I’ve named him) birth? He wasn’t there. I need to make sure I mention that in the sequel. Phil doesn’t like Kim — he blames her (justifiably or not) for almost destroying his marriage. I’m not too far in the sequel but both Lina and Logan are having trouble accepting Logan. As Janet requested in another comment — the sequel will have Phil’s POV. This Hunter family has a lot of issues to work through. Thanks for your kind words! Laura

  10. Janet says:

    OMG, I haven’t been this excited about a sequel since discovering Nora Roberts close to 40 yrs ago and more recently 50 Shades of Grey! I am so relieved to hear Phil hates (my word) Kim and he wasn’t present for Liam’s birth. Tracie, I also read a comment Laura made to a goodreads review that Phil will sell/ sold the vacation condo. Ok, I will have to stop stalking this blog and let the author get back to her work but I hope we can believe it was Kim the evil witch who pursued Phil relentlessly and instigated/coerced him into doing things we read about. I The villain in this book is one of the best I’ve ever read even though we were only introduced to her once.

    • Laura says:

      LOL Thank you! That’s high praise! I really enjoy reading the comments because it sparks ideas in my mind. I know as the author how much Phil loves Lina but he clearly hasn’t done enough to redeem himself yet. And I have a feeling Kim is going to be a HUGE thorn in their side.

  11. Tracie says:

    Laura, I’m so glad you gave the baby a name. Phil and Lina continually say “my son or his son”. I see that causing a problem if Liam doesn’t become a team effort. Janet I’m sure Laura is going to give us one heck of a back story between Phil and Kim. Our villain won’t like Lina taking Phil back, it is going to be awesome. So don’t quit stalking the blog,I’m not!! We could miss something….LOL

  12. Barrett says:

    Oh wow! So happy to hear we will get Phil’s POV. I’m dying to find out what was going on in Phil’s head as he was with the OW. I agree with Tracie and Janet -you are a gifted storyteller. I became an instant fan with this book which I couldn’t put down. IMHO, saying “I’m sorry” repeatedly isn’t an answer and also saying he regrets his mistake because he was weak didn’t give me an insight as to why the affair lasted four months. It felt too long and hit hard to the reader because he loves Lina and they are soulmates. Janet, I agree with you regarding the villain. She was so scary and truly hateful ! Can’t wait to see more of her. LOL. Like Tracie I don’t want to miss any updates Laura has to give us now tha the sequel
    Is in the works. Thank you!!

    • Laura says:

      Thank you! The affair was a major betrayal — no question. I don’t think Lina would have had the strength to leave him (even temporarily) if he hadn’t crossed so many lines. You’re right — I’m sorry isn’t good enough. I will definitely answer your questions in the sequel.

  13. Tracie says:

    I knew Kim was going to come back strong. I really hope Lina has shored herself up and will fight back. Laura might as well dress Lina in a striped shirt(referee) and hang a whistle around her neck.She will be the hub where Liam is concerned. Once she opens her heart to him everyone else will follow. Logan probably feels accepting Liam is a betrayal to Lina. I also think Phil’s mom (Susan) might feel the same way. Phil will squirm thinking every time Lina sees Liam it will remind her of his betrayal. I hope Phil fights for Lina, the way Tony fought for Casey!!!! Can’t wait…..

  14. Ann says:

    Laura, can you give us fans an idea which one of these 3 books you are working on will be out and in what order? Again, I just love your writing. Can’t wait to read about Phil and Lina again.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Ann,

      I think the Nick Prossi book will be finished first. I’m currently wrestling with the idea of releasing the sequel to A White Picket Fence as I write it — just putting the individual chapters up on the blog each week or two. My only fear in doing it that way is if I have a major rewrite — I’ll decide in the next couple of weeks. It’s a heavier book to write than the Nick Prossi book so it’s nice to write them at the same time!

  15. Tracie says:

    Good Morning Laura, I can feel your struggle posting the sequel on the blog as you write the chapters. You’re such a unique and gifted writer – I can’t wait to turn the pages on your books to see what happens next..a week or two in between chapters could possibly do me in…but on the flip side, the blog interaction would be awesome too! Anxious to read Nick’s story as well, his brother was just WOW!!!!!

  16. Janet says:

    Holy moly!! I agree with Tracie. I will read anything you write about this couple in any version/draft/rewrite but to read a chapter a week or two?!? I don’t know if my heart can handle it. How will I get anything done waiting for the next chapter? Laura are you still shooting for end of this year for Phil and Lina?

    • Laura says:

      Hi Janet!
      Yes — still hoping to have it out by the end of the year. I’ve decided NOT to put up chapters as I go — I’m afraid that would slow the book down. Plus I’m afraid it would stifle my creativity a bit — trying not to make changes. Thanks for the comments!

  17. Liza says:

    Laura I agree with all the FAN girls above and I have to say the thing I like the most about your hero’s is that they are consistently alpha through out the book they don’t change or go soft or become different men…we fell in love with the sexy bastards on page one and they were still sexy BASTARDS albeit, in love bastards at the end. Can’t wait for he next book whichever one comes first 😉❤️👍🏻✅

  18. Tracie says:

    Laura I feel like I missed a bullet…. I’m so glad you decided not to post chapters. Like Janet, I go back and forth in your books to read certain parts again to get the full effect. Your writing is way to good to be fragmented by a chapter at a time. Plus, the anticipation for your new books will make reading them even sweeter!!!! I can’t wait to see how our villain Kim finds out about Lina and Phil reuniting!!!! One of your comments to me was “Phil blames Kim for almost destroying his marriage (justifiably or not).” I believe it is very justifiable being that he told Lina about the affair and the baby. He might have broke her heart, but our villain shredded her with the pictures and text messages. We know that Logan knows about Steamboat, but in the sequel, will the girls (especially Megan) learn the full range of Phil’s betrayal? As vicious as Kim is, I could see her path of destruction extending past Lina to include her children. I also can’t see our villain as an awesome mom being as selfish/vicious as she was in the book. Again, like Janet I want to banish Kim and forgive Phil. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read our comments. Have a great day!!!!!

    • Laura says:

      Tracie — Good point! I’m not sure if the kids will learn the full extent, but they’ll learn more. The loose ends left with the Steamboat house will be covered. I agree that Kim wouldn’t be a great mother — she’s too selfish. I’m well in to the sequel and I can’t say Kim has any redeeming qualities LOL. Thanks for the comments! Laura

  19. Janet says:

    argghh. That god-awful vacation home! I wont get over the steamboat incident anytime soon. Why, why, why Phil??!

  20. Tracie says:

    I know right – Janet. I’m kind of hoping Megan gets a little shaken up in the sequel and becomes more neutral between Lina and Phil verses ALL Team Phil. Plus, a pivotal moment for me in the book was when Lina told Phil that he not only cheated on her, but his children.

  21. Liz says:

    I have discovered you as an author and I loved the book but I did have issues.
    My main concern if I was to forgive him is the interaction with Kim over his son.
    Working late, can she trust where he is?

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Liz! Yes for this to work, Lina will have to trust him. As I write the sequel, I’m discovering just how difficult this is for Lina and her children. Definitely a tough road. Having said that, I personally love Phil and want the family to survive — hopefully I can redeem him in the reader’s eyes.

  22. Tracie says:

    Thank you Laura. I know Phil is going to have to take a few guilt gut punches from his family, once back in the fold. I’m hoping Phil sheds a few tears from them as well (Lina cried a river). I know this is a complete contradiction of what I just said; however, they are reuniting..I wouldn’t mind Lina being a little more steamy…??? I bet Phil has plenty of dress shirts and wouldn’t miss buttons off one or two…LOL 😉

  23. Janet says:

    Thank you for always patiently answering our questions and comments Laura. Its been a few weeks since I finished the book but every time I check your blog(more times than I should) certain niggling questions come to my mind. For instance, Did Phil every call the OW “baby” like he does all the time with Lina? Also, did he buy her anything? I ask because he wore the pink tie Kim gave him when he refused to wear pink before and also took her dancing with the “look” he only gives Lina. This made me think maybe he indulged the OW. There are so many of these little doubts I have with Phil but these two stand out in my mind. Of course if they are answered in the book then you don’t have to ruin it by telling us now. I promise I will stop with hounding you and let you finish the sequel!! I just like coming to this blog and seeing others comments and knowing they were as affected as I was with this couple!

    • Laura says:

      You are not hounding me LOL. I love the questions. The first draft of A White Picket Fence had extensive details about the affair. My editor suggested I delete most of them and center on the love triangle — I can see how much frustration the lack of details has given readers. Phil never called Kim ‘baby’. He never gave her gifts. He never for even a second considered leaving Lina. Phil made many mistakes and he will have to suffer because of them, but he never stopped loving Lina. And he never loved Kim — that I can assure you. The look he was giving Kim was one of lust — still hard to take, I know. It was like the perfect storm — the home environment was stressful because of Katie, he and Lina were fighting all the time, and a young beautiful woman was pursuing him. He slipped — big time. I don’t think there is anyone who regrets it more than him.

  24. Tracie says:

    Janet I think you and I are kindred spirits. I know a lot of what we wonder/think/feel about this sequel Laura can’t address. But it is fun thinking them through with you and others on the blog. I wonder how Phil would feel moving back and seeing his son setting the alarms, setting at his seat at the table, holding his mother in church, watching her go up the stairs sad/crying. Logan talks about “Phil giving him the man talks.” Phil just never told Logan he would have to protect his mom/sisters from his betrayal. What does the law firm think about Phil (Wayne)? I have read all Laura’s books two to three times and find something new every time. The text messages Phil sent to Kim are all mechanical on Phil’s part, her replies (only) contain the sexual innuendos. Which tells me for him it was physical. He didn’t call her baby or anything else in the messages. I hope Lina gets to have a heart to heart with Phil and finally tell him out loud her thoughts in the book (retirement plans, what Liam will call her, how the picture of Phil and OW dancing hurt her the most, etc.) Phil also said throughout the book “she is just trying to hurt you or get you to leave me.” OK…what are you (Phil) doing to stop HER!!!! Laura I know you probably want us to hush and just read the sequel when it comes out….But my mom was an avid reader and she always said, when you find an author(hers was Sandra Brown) that’s talented enough that you live her characters…YOU HAVE A WINNER!!!! Congrats Laura…LOL 🙂

  25. janet says:

    OMG. Your editors asked you to delete?!! I know your fans would have pounced and poured over those scenes because we would have insight to the affair. Lord. Ok, we will wait impatiently for the sequel and if possible, don’t listen to your editor! We treasure every word you write. Thank you so much for putting some of the doubts to rest. I will have a good day because of it. LOL Tracie, thanks for the kindred spirit comment. I think you should introduce your mom to Laura’s books(tongue in cheek). I’ve read most of Sandra Brown’s books and she’s good but her words never left me with a book hangover for weeks. We love Laura!!!

    • Laura says:

      High praise — thank you! The editor also wanted Lina to end up with Nick, but there was nooo way that was going to happen. The sequel will be as long as it need to be. I won’t be deleting scenes I like!

  26. Tracie says:

    Laura, I know you’ll knock it out of the park redeeming Phil. I love him too!!!! It’s just the tiniest bit of revenge girl in me (because of Lina and his children hurting so much)that needs him to suffer just a little bit before his redemption.

  27. Tracie says:

    My mom passed away in 1998, but she would have definitely been a big fan of Laura’s. Laura let you editors know it is cool with us, if the sequel is as many pages as a printed version of a Random House Dictionary!!!! 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Your dictionary comment made me laugh out loud! My mother who passed away in 2014 was also a huge Sandra Brown fan!

  28. Tracie says:

    Laura, one of my comments is bothering me, I want to apologize where I said you can’t address all of what we wonder/think feel…(of course you can,the characters are you creation) My meaning was you can’t address them ALL in the sequel. I should of worded that better….

  29. Janet says:

    Tracie, your dictionary comment was right on and so funny!
    Laura, aaah I see now why the editor wanted the scenes deleted if she wanted Nick as the hero. I have to admit he is pretty irresistible and without the deleted details, readers don’t have as much sympathy as we should with Phil. Will you incorporate any of the older material to the sequel? I had fun interacting on the blog with you all today. Thanks for getting back to us so quickly.

    • Laura says:

      I enjoy the dialog! You’re right — the readers clearly needed more detail about the affair. I probably won’t incorporate the old material but I will answer/address the nagging questions and delve into what was going on in Phil’s mind.

  30. Tracie says:

    I’m just saying, if Laura wants to take their relationship in this sequel to the point of them being old and wrinkled swimming naked…..I’m hanging with her! Also, I never thought Nick would be the hero, that would of thrown the storyline of Alice’s astronomy predictions and some of Katie’s part in the book off balance. I did like his support to Lina throughout the book though. I couldn’t imagine Phil not being our hero! Laura Thanks for saving our hero and talking with us today.

  31. Tracie says:

    Good morning Girls, I actually have to work today, …LOL Laura I have one nagging question from the original book. When Phil told Lina about Liam being born December 23, she asked if he had met him and he said yes and she asked how many times? We know he wasn’t at the birth, so how was Phil introduced to Liam and was his parental visitation already in place prior to Lina taking him back? Have a great day……

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie — Parental visitation will also be come into play in the sequel — the short answer — legal agreements won’t be solidified until after Phil and Lina are back together. How Phil met Liam? That you’ll have to wait for the sequel — still a work in progress. Have a great day! Laura

  32. Janet says:

    Thanks for the reply Laura! Have a great day ladies!

  33. Tracie says:

    YES!!! Now my mind is jumping from one scenario to another. That’s why you are my favorite author, you always throw a curve ball in your books and I don’t see it until it crosses the plate. I’m wondering now, just how much personal information about his stress with Lina he shared with Kim! This is going to be awesome!!!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Tracie! I dislike everything about Kim. Did I mention that she bought a house less than a mile and a half from the Hunter’s?

  34. Tracie says:

    Hi Laura, I read A Sense of Belonging again this weekend, in anticipation of Nick’s story. Mr. Jansen is a real poo-diddle-do. So if Lizzie turns out to be Nick’s love interest, that heaping spoonful of KARMA for him would be great. After all, Nonna was 18 when she found her man…..Have a good one!!!!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie! LOL That would certainly be an interesting turn of events. I’m not sure I could take anymore of Mr. Jansen! Nick’s love interest (Madison) is a 27-year-old attorney. She’s more career oriented than my past heroines. She’s fun to write. Have a great day!

  35. Tracie says:

    Laura, I do believe you failed to mention the house!!!!!! Oh my!!!!! I see a rabbit boiling crazo in the Hunter’s future. Wasn’t Phil’s rental the same distance from his house? I thought Kim worked in Washington ( long commute)? Kim is only an associate how does she afford their neighborhood? Please let us know how much Phil has to pay in child support!,, Since they all jog that might make things a little awkward. Lina is going to run into her everywhere! Kim doesn’t realize this will just make Phil hate her more! Please let Phil hold tight to Lina and even though Phil does have to suffer by his own hand, I want Lina to support him as well. That’s the only way I see them surviving and I want that to be!!!! Also, the passcode to Phil’s phone was an issue in the first book, for trust to be rebuilt, I hope she knows it in the sequel. Plus, if I was Lina, I would play her game a little, have the baby (on visitation weekend) on a pallet outside with me why I garden (see some Liam and Lina bonding), that is if the witch doesn’t sneak over after dark and spray them with foliage killer.

  36. janet says:

    Laura, these snippets you share with us are too GOOD!!. You give us a tidbit and Tracie and I respond with gasps and omgs. I too see a rabbit boiling crazo. I mean what nerve! I now have a theory why Kim joined the running group. In the book I thought they joined at the same time so they could be together on Saturdays as well but not I’m not sure anymore. Well you address this issue in the sequel? Seriously, I too need Phil to hate her.

  37. Tracie says:

    So true Janet, I need Tony and Casey steam between Phil and Lina, I want him overly protective of her and I want his attitude toward Kim to be all breathing dragon. I’m also wondering how close Kim and Emily were as well. There could be a whole black widow plot going on here. I hope Lina goes all Loretta Lynn on Kim, with “you ain’t woman enough to take my man.” Janet I think we’ll both have to read the sequel at the hospital so we can be next to a defibrillator and within the golden hour!!!!

  38. Tracie says:

    Laura, will Susan Hunter have an appearance in the sequel? She was a strong character for me too! She holds Lina in high esteem and I would love Susan to rudely snub Kim in defense of Lina.

    • Laura says:

      Yes, Susan is in the sequel. It’s a challenge for a grandmother — hard to be rude to a woman who is raising your grandson!

  39. janet says:

    Lord, Tracie! I just spit out diet coke as I read your defibrillator comment! bahahahaha. You are so funny!!

  40. Tracie says:

    I’m telling you Janet this sequel going to be a heart stopper! !!!!! Yes!!!!

  41. Pattie says:

    I read that your editor felt like Lina should end up with Nick. On some levels I agree. I know that it will not happen, but will you consider giving Nick a book where he has a happily ever after?

    • Laura says:

      Hi Pattie!
      Nick definitely deserves a happily ever after. He may get his own book or he may be a character in another novel. I’m still mulling it around in my head, but I’d like to see him settled and happy!

  42. Tracie says:

    Hi Laura, ok on Susan, but Geez, I don’t want Phil or Susan to pull Kim in for group hugs or campfire songs. It seems to me Phil will have to make it clear to Kim somehow that yes, Liam is MY family, but you are not!!!!!! Phil will have to live what he promised Lina when he said that he would put her needs above everyone else’s and he loved her more than anything in this world. I just can’t stand the though of Lina being the victim again!! Since Susan can’t snub Kim! How about Adele throat punching her??? LOL

    • Laura says:

      We are definitely on the same wave length. No one likes Kim! Lina won’t be a victim in this book — I too couldn’t take any more of that. This book is about justice for Lina! I promise.

  43. Tracie says:

    Thanks Laura……all about the justice!

  44. Deb says:

    Hi Laura, sending thanks all the way from NZ for your fantastic writing! Like other readers of your books, I couldn’t put them down and read them all back to back with many late nights! But more than worth it as they never disappointed! My favourite book was “A Sense of Belonging” but the one I couldn’t stop thinking about was “White Picket Fences”…it was so raw and so real that I felt like I was the one betrayed lol!! I was Team Nick and hoped that Lina would at least have a steamy affair of her own with him but can appreciate that it wouldn’t be in her nature to hurt him or Phil. It was certainly thought provoking and hit home about the fragility of relationships and about never taking them for granted! After I finished the book and thought about their future I envisaged the huge difficulties with the new baby in the mix…I thought maybe Lina should make Phil face up to his responsibilities and his massive mistake by telling him to go and live with Kim for a set time, maybe 3 months so he and Kim get a reality check and have to deal with the realities of domesticity ie: interrupted sleep, colic, crying etc…I imagined that the resultant friction and resentment that Phil would no doubt feel as a middle aged reluctant Dad would certainly put an end to any lingering attraction despite Kim’s best attempts! Meanwhile I imagined Lina carrying on with her life as an independent woman, no longer reliant on her husband and not having to be in the middle of the baby mumma drama Phil has to deal with and being mentally stronger to have him back once he’s proven he no longer has any attraction to Kim and can manage his parental responsibilities in a way that clearly puts Lina and their kids first. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Deb! Great to hear from you! A Sense of Belonging was definitely my most favorite story to write — pure romance. I was on an emotional rollercoaster during the writing of a White Picket Fence. When I write a story I connect with the female lead and feel their happiness or pain — that book was brutal. That’s probably why, like so many readers, I feel the story is unfinished. Oh My God — can you imagine if Phil lived with selfish Kim? LOL I agree he would hate her but Kim would get too much satisfaction in the beginning — believing she stole him from Lina. I couldn’t stomach it. He will have his share of interrupted sleep and baby crying. It’s interesting to write the sequel because as much as I thought I knew where it was going it seems to be taking on a mind of it’s own. Have a great day! p.s. New Zealand is on my bucket list!

  45. Tracie says:

    Hi Laura, Hope you had a great 4th of July! Your comment back to Deb about Phil having his share of interrupted sleep and baby crying…..screams TIDBIT Alert! I have so many theories and scenarios running through my head about this sequel, I feel like I’m chasing boogers in the night, I don’t know which way to turn! LOL. So agree with we can never give Phil to “Kamikaze Kim” not even for one minute! There is only two ways custody of Liam can go for Phil, that’s either shared or full custody. Either way it’s going to be eventful getting to the end result. I’m just hoping the interrupted sleep and baby crying is done and Phil and Lina’s house and Kim isn’t having him run to her house in the middle of the night! I feel for Lina and her kids though, she has finally got to a place in her life where she has freedom because of her kids being teenagers, not worrying about diapers, bottles,etc. Logan is at an age where he needs his dad more than when he was Liam’s age. Logan also has limited time in the household before he graduates, where Liam has 18 years to go. I see that being a struggle for Phil, maybe trying to be in two places at one time. This is where Lina may have to make hard decisions about Liam (taking care of him) so her own son doesn’t miss out on his time with his dad! However, I do see Phil hitting the realty wall when runs down the stairs in the morning announcing he’s going to exercise and Lina saying “hold up skip”, I’m heading to work and you got Liam to watch. I’m hoping Lina starts to see Liam as an innocent party in this whole mess, just like she and her own kids. Lina will have to look at Liam as a extension of the man she’s in love with, verses a by product of his betrayal. Laura I was wondering if maybe there would be a romantic dinner (or special occasion like their wedding anniversary) in the sequel. Lina’s birthday was a disaster with the pictures, they missed Valentine’s Day with the separation, I just want Lina to have that special day! So looking forward to Lina’s justice and Phil’ s redemption. I love this couple!!!!!!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie! I had a great 4th! I hope you did as well. We are definitely on the same wavelength when it comes to Phil, Lina, Liam and Logan. These scenes almost write themselves — toddlers definitely take away your freedom — what an adjustment.

  46. Tracie says:

    Laura, I have one more question from the first book and I promise you, unless you throw me and Janet a tidbit, I’ll remain silent and anxiously await for all of your books to be released……I wanted to know if there was anything edited out regarding the text message scene. Phil clinched his jaw and was livid;however, did he ever confront Kim? Phil grabbed Lina’s wrist and put the phone in her hand, changed clothes and walked to the bathroom, what were his thoughts? Again, thank you for your kindness and patience in answering our questions and discussing your books. You’re a real gem….Have a great day!!!

    • Laura says:

      LOL you don’t have to refrain from asking questions. I enjoy reading them — I also decide to add scenes to the sequel based on some of this feedback. In response to this question — yes. In the original Phil called Kim and told her he was going to slap her with a restraining order if she ever contacted Lina again. At that point he also cut off all contact and said that they would only talk through attorneys.

  47. janet says:


    I am away but I just got on and saw the new posts! I can’t stay away from this blog and am thrilled to see so many fans engaging here from all over the world. Definitely more food for thought for me and maybe Tracie too. I am so curious to Tracie’s questions and would like to piggyback on another one Laura(I don’t think Tracie and I will be done anytime soon). In the beginning of the book, Phil comes home early from NYC and Lina is surprised. Why did he “wrap” up early? Was he finally coming to his senses before Lina made the first move? Am I reading too much from this one scenario? When Deb commented on Phil possibly having lingering attraction for Kim, I wanted to smack him on the head. She makes sense though because how can lust just disappear if it never fizzled out? Even though his heart was always with Lina, can he control his physical reaction to Kim when just a week before he was still seeing her day and night?? Oh Lord Laura, I hate even having to ask you these questions but there may be more from time to time. I think I may re read some parts tonight… Thank you and have a great week!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Janet!
      Gosh too much was cut from the original. Phil comes home early because his work wrapped up — take that at face value. He and Lina reconnected that night. At that point he realized Kim was a huge mistake. He told Wayne it was over when he went in to his study at his house. That’s why Wayne stopped being cold to him. In the original version, it was obvious Kim didn’t handle the breakup well. She physically attacked Phil at his office and scratched his neck. Huge turnoff for him. Any lingering feelings would have evaporated quickly when she showed him her true colors.

  48. Tracie says:

    Janet so glad you are back! I think the lust/sex from Phil’s point of view was cold and mechanical. No real emotion. You see that in his text messages and when Lina asked him if he loved Kim, he said “No God No!” I think whatever he felt was gone, when she devastated Lina! He had to feel shame and remorse knowing Lina read those messages. Also, what is your take on the crying baby and interrupted sleep for Phil???? I don’t think Phil had any respect for Kim based on the pictures. A man that respects his woman wouldn’t put his hand in the apex of her thighs in front of another man that he was conversing with, nor would he grip her butt for all to see! I bet Phil would never do that to Lina!!! I promised to stay silent, glad you gave me an out sister!!!!

  49. janet says:

    I don’t know what to think about Liam’s situation Tracie! The situation is so messed up.
    It’s way over my head and I just want Laura to resolve it in the sequel. Initially, I wanted Phil to reject the baby because I wanted him to choose Lina and his 3 children over Liam. From the phone convo he had with Kim on chapter 15(I know my fav. chapters!!), I thought it may resolve this way. Now I know that won’t be the case anymore so I am just going to wait and find peace when Laura gives us the book. I have appreciated your theories about Liam/Logan/Lina! Regarding the respect part, I agree with you in part but I also viewed it as a sign of possessiveness on Phil’s part. I mean if it’s just a fling, then keep it indoors. Why is he out and about with Kim and have others see his behavior? Isn’t that a sign of disrespect for Lina? 4 months of this and the steamboat made me think it was a relationship. I’m so hoping Laura can school me here. Please God and please Laura!

    • Linda says:

      Hi girls, I am too hooked up with this novel. I love and hate Phil… I am dying to know his point of view the night Lina was with Nick. How much he suffered thinking about they? Why he was so cold the next day? Hello was your fault!!! Did he contact Kim? Did Kim get pregnant un purpose? Laura you are an amazing author thanks for sharing you time with us 😉

      • Laura says:

        Hi Janet! Nice to hear from you! It was 100 percent his fault but, justified or not, he was deeply hurt when Lina chose Nick over him. He had spent a sleepless night believing she was having sex with Nick. He really believes Lina is his — caveman, I know. That is kind of a critical scene in the book. He believes he has lost the love of his life. His anger is unreasonable but it fit his personality.

      • Laura says:

        Yes, I believe Kim got pregnant on purpose. We can’t know for sure because she wouldn’t admit it, but I believe so.

    • Laura says:

      An affair is disrespectful — there is no excuse regardless of what’s going on in your life. He clearly owes an explanation to Lina (and the readers) in the sequel.

  50. Tracie says:

    Janet who took the pictures of them dancing and setting at the bar? Kim was in those pictures . We know she took the ones of him in bed? Also, why was there no evidence of her being pregnant at the wedding when she was a week shy of 6 months? Laura could take us anywhere with this sequel and I can’t wait.

  51. Tracie says:

    Laura, was there a scene edited out when he went to see Kim after the baseball game??? Kim waited until he broke it off with her to tell him she was pregnant, why??? If Kim thought they had a relationship, and were solid, she wouldn’t have went to the trouble of crushing Lina (my opinion only) and keeping blackmail material on hand (if needed). I think that Phil knew what Kim was capable of doing and that is why he wanted to check on her (at the wedding) after Lina slapped the way out of her. Since the sequel has Phil’s POV will there be scenes with Wayne???? Sorry about the promise to remain silent, I’d be a horrible criminal!!!:(

    • Laura says:

      I don’t think she took the pictures and kept the texts with the intention of using them to hurt Lina. Kim was humiliated at the wedding — she was smacked across the face in front of a crowd. I think she decided to get even — plus she’s still in love with Phil, so she’d like his marriage to end. Phil was generally concerned that she would call the police. Yes, there will be scenes with Wayne and scene’s with Phil’s brother.

    • Laura says:

      No deleted scene. I’m not sure why Kim waited. My guess is that she was afraid of his reaction to the pregnancy news. She was biding her time and probably hoping they would become something more. She initially lied about how pregnant she was — hints at premeditation on her part. She wanted him and went after him.

  52. janet says:

    I did wonder about those pictures. It must have been set up by Kim. Liam was born 12/23 so she got pregnant on purpose in March instead of Feb?As hard as it is for us, we just gotta wait till Laura can give us the “dictionary”. I have a feeling Kim had a had in just about everything including steamboat.

  53. janet says:

    Oh Lord. I think Tracie and I are feeding off each others questions at this point but another thing I wondered about for weeks was when Lina bumps into Kim while dancing at the wedding, Kim says your husband couldn’t get enough of me. Afterwards when Lina confronts Phil in the room, he says he only heard what Lina said to Kim. Is this true? Or did Phil just didn’t want Lina to know that it was true? Until then I was still siding with Phil and believe it was a fling to escape the difficulties at home. When the evidence came out with texts/joint running group/ pictures, I felt he chose to ignore Lina’s “ did you hear what she said to me” comment.

    • Laura says:

      he was being honest. He didn’t hear what Kim said. Kim was just being spiteful and mean — showing her true colors

  54. Tracie says:

    Janet you asked be about respect and sporting Kim around town. Remember Diana telling Lina that Wayne said Phil was discreet? I would imagine the going out was probably done while in New York. I bet he never even considered that his affair would turn out to be a documentary for Lina’s viewing with the pics and messages. Baltimore though….that to me was a risk with the running club (which came back and bit him). My mom use to say, if you wave candy in front of a baby long enough, they will eventually grab for it. That is what I think of, when Phil gave into Kim’s advances. Remember Diana telling Lina that she chased Phil relentlessly??!!! Laura said it was the perfect storm of events to lead him to betray Lina. In my opinion, whether he was indoors or out with Kim, the entire affair was disrespect to Lina. Because I’m pro Phil, I can’t see him having anything lingering for Kim, except contempt. I too trust Laura to spell it out for us and have no doubt it will be exceptional done.

  55. Tracie says:

    Janet, I wondered about that too!!! I kept thinking Lina tell Phil what Kimzilla said….pleassssse!!! I was bummed when she didn’t.

    • Laura says:

      I hate that — when I’m reading a book and I want something to happen and it doesn’t. In the original version Lina saw Kim in a hallway and Kim said some horrific things — like how many times they had had sex. Lina kept it together and basically told Kim she was insignificant and she would always be insignificant. She lost it when she got back to the room and Phil saw her and convinced her to tell him what Kim said. He was livid and tried to storm out of the room to confront Kim — Lina stopped him. He then told Lina that Kim was lying and trying to hurt her — that he had never wanted a woman as much as he wanted Lina etc. etc. Anyway the editor cut out the scene. The slap scene was added at the request of a friend who read an early draft haha

      • Tracie says:

        Laura, When I read your reply…I looked like a cross between a shadow boxer and an air guitarist. Love Love Loved it….Me and you friend could hang out..I’m talking slap the fire out of Kimzilla….LOL

  56. Tracie says:

    Laura, we key on Lina trusting Phil and their relationship. But what about Logan?? I admire the way you keep your characters at their maturity level. You really see that in Chapter 38, when Logan’s anger falters and he tells Phil “I don’t want him to be your son.” Lina made a comment in an earlier chapter when Logan overheard her and Adele talking about Steamboat she said “her innocent boy was gone.” Phil had to be suffering for Logan, how could he not. Will Logan be able to fully trust Phil once he is back or will he be on the fence worried about Phil being weak or making another mistake?

    • Laura says:

      Tracie, Phil and Logan’s relationship is touched on quite a bit in the sequel. This was a significant emotional even for Logan. Lina’s right — it forever changes him and the way he sees his father.

  57. Tracie says:

    That makes me feel a little sad! I just want them to be ok! I can see what you mean now about Phil suffering.

    • Laura says:

      I’m not finding this book sad at all. Phil has obviously been knocked down a peg, but he’s still the dominant male in the house. It’s interesting.

  58. Tracie says:

    I’m sad about how hurt Logan was over his dad and want their relationship to move forward, just like Phil and Lina’s. No doubt from all we’ve talked about that it will happen (makes me happy). Logan was an awesome part of the book and an amazing character. You wrote him to have such a sweet spirit. I’m glad Phil has to be knocked down a peg or two too….you know my little bit of revenge girl and all. Love that Phil is still dominate….no other way to have him…that too is smoking hot!!!!;)

  59. janet says:

    That scene in the hallway with Kim and Phil reassuring Lina would have been so important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the slap scene. It was satisfying and Kim deserved more! I too am pro Phil but I sensed his love more from deduction and his character rather than reading it in the book. Also, I wanted to see the desire he had for Lina since love was already understood and with Kim, his lust for her was clearly out there. It really is time for him to cut her down and let her know she meant nothing to him other than a convenient piece blank blank. Thank you for that tidbit. Phil wanting to storm in and confront Kim and saying they were lies-loved that so much!! So just to be clear did Kim lie when she told Lina how many times they slept together? Can you tell us the number? I wanna know!! Although cheating is not my favorite trope but I dont shy away from them. They never bothered me this much. Your book was an angst fest and I know the sequel will become one of my all time favorites😍. Ok after this I will be appeased… till the next person comments. Thank you thank you!!

    • Laura says:

      Okay – here we go. Just writing it makes me feel anxiety for Lina. Kim told her that Phil couldn’t get enough of her — that they had sex sometimes as much as five times a day. It wasn’t true, but hearing it was devastating. Phil was livid and Lina eventually believed his denial. ugh Kim was even more awful in the original.

  60. Tracie says:

    Janet I too appreciate your comments. Together we’re like kettle corn! A perfect mix of sweet and salty Lol!

  61. janet says:

    Tracie, it’s a team effort at this point. Haha. Talk soon! I’m on vacation and still can’t let go of my laptop checking for updates every hr. I should put this blog as part of my news alerts. Only if there’s a way!

  62. Linda says:

    Yes!!! I want to know more about the affair. What he was thinking? if he believes that he lost Lina it will be awesome to know his struggles and emotions… We know so much about Lina’s thoughts and suffering, I just need to understand Phil. Details please!!!

    • Laura says:

      The original title of the book was The Affair. My editor said that the affair wasn’t as interesting as the triangle with Nick, so I basically rewrote the entire book — giving Nick many more scenes and deleting scenes about the affair. The sequel will definitely fill in all the missing pieces plus add quite a few.

  63. Tracie says:

    Laura, 5x a day….Wowza! He sounds more like a stud in the Kentucky Derby than a lawyer!!! That gave me anxiety for Lina too and made me want to snatch that wench ball headed!!!

  64. Tracie says:

    Speaking of that…..Lina is always noticing women notice Phil after she learns about the affair. We know he is caveman over Lina and when they were in public together, he constantly had a hand on her somewhere. Loved it in chapter 47, when he wrapped Lina up when they ran into Nick and Dana! In the sequel, will his POV have the same possessiveness over Lina and men noticing her? I know your wrapping up Steamboat too, will that picture on the nightstand make it to the trash? I doubt Lina could look at it again. Thank you so much for this great dialog!

  65. Tracie says:

    Awesome Laura!!! Thank you for your time and answers today. Goodnight all you blog girls!!! Janet enjoy the vacation!!!

  66. janet says:

    Omg my heart was beating so fast reading your response Laura. Ok I was thinking more like 3. Ugh! Anyway, I like that Kim is awful. I want her to be OTT evil so nobody can sympathize with her. I just have thuggish reactions when I’m reading anything to do with this character. I honestly cannot wait for The sequel but this book discussion of sorts with you, Tracie and others are keeping me sane.

  67. janet says:

    Ooh yes! More ideas= more chapters for us! I have my own hopes and theory for the steamboat incident but I will keep quiet for now. Lot of these questions I post here are more for my reassurance and you always say/write the right thing Laura.

  68. janet says:

    Oh also one more request Laura! Please don’t edit out any scenes between Phil and Kim. I think we all need to see the interactions between these two. The past as well as the present please!! I really want to see it in writing that he treated Kim differently. I mean, of course I know, but I would love to read some of the details of their affair so I can see for myself that Phil loves Lina and Kim was something else entirely. I have gleaned so much from your answers today. Thank you!!!!!!!!! Loved that he contacted Kim regarding a restraining order and loved seeing how Kim handled the breakup when he told her it was over. Also, as Linda commented, I wonder if he confronted Kim after seeing the pictures she sent Lina. Chapters 28 & 29 were brutal and enlightening but at the same time I was so frustrated because I just didn’t know what happened after this uproar.

    • Laura says:

      There will be plenty of new scenes between Kim and Phil in the sequel. Currently the sequel begins several months after the last book ends, but that may change depending on how it goes — as far as the past in concerned — I will write the scenes everyone needs to see — basically Phil confronting Kim after she sends the birthday surprise and after the baby is born. Phil ending it with Kim (where she scratches him), etc. The way the sequel is progressing it almost seems like it could be a stand alone book. I don’t want to force scenes in that don’t belong. If past scenes don’t fit in to the sequel, I will either post them here or email them out when I finish the sequel.

  69. Tracie says:

    Good morning Laura, I just have a few thoughts this morning LOL…God love you..if we keep going like this with both books we may have you writing a trilogy!!!! When Phil left home in Chapter 30, I know his personality and temper kept him from interacting with Lina, unless it was about the children. Were there any scenes edited out about him and Kim during the time he left until Christmas? What were his emotions during that time when he was going home alone. Katie and Megan both commented on how sad he was during that time. After Phil and Lina had made love in the basement (Chapter 43), why did he continue to distance himself? He knew at that time that she had not slept with Nick. Was it to give her the independence she thought she needed or his way of making Lina miss what she had (Phil)? Lina even questioned the distance when he didn’t call or text her after their kiss on the Lacrosse field. What did Phil think of Nick being at the hospital with Lina when Shiloh was in the wreck? Now my question of the day, after the last line in Chapter 48 “I want you to come home, Phil.” was there a really hot scene that was edited out? I know if you can create a swoon worthy scene out of sexy Tony just walking across a restaurant to/from the bathroom (sigh)(CHP 1) … After that one line dropped from Lina, I can only imagine where your talent could take us with alpha Phil…..

    • Laura says:

      After the Christmas scene, Phil started to believe Lina would eventually take him back — he was giving her the space she needed. And of course there was a hot scene after she invited him home — I needed it! The editor didn’t think it was necessary LOL. There were SEVERAL sex scenes between Phil and Lina edited out. Good question about Phil seeing Nick at the hospital — I struggled with that because I knew he would hate it, but at that moment it would have been so inappropriate to put anything before the health of Shiloh and then he was dealing with Lina and her flashback – then she took him back so there was really no where for a jealousy scene. Lina also ran to Phil as soon as she saw him, so…

      As far as how Phil was after he left — devastated. He lost weight and his family worried about him — all edited out. Editors like books at about 89,000 words. This one is actually 98,000.

      • Tracie says:

        Laura, I too need the welcome home scene…My mind has been on overdrive about that last line in Chapter 48, since January. I’ve imagined them after the physical act, needing traction and soft casts. What happened??? How tired were they really????!!!!! Got my email…bring it on Sister.. Remember this Laura…..nothing good for Christmas for the editor. I can forgive the other scenes being cut, but that ONE…not happening…LOL….

  70. Linda says:

    OMG Laura that will be awesome!!!

  71. jany says:

    I adore you Laura!! What you said is everything I want and posting/emailing deleted scenes is beyond awesome!!!

  72. janet says:

    Oops. Just noticed my comment used my email address name. Laura, I adore you comment is from me, Janet.

  73. Tracie says:

    Laura, I just had a thought about the roses Phil sent Lina every year for her birthday. They were by the door with the FEDEX envelope of pictures. You mentioned that Phil confronting Kim about the BD surprise will be in the sequel, not knowing how the scene will be used or when (but can’t wait to find out)….those roses just like the picture at Steamboat, would probably be a significant reminder of Phil’s betrayal. I doubt Lina would ever want Phil to send her roses again for her BD, since she stuffed the last ones in the toilet, which to me (my thoughts only) could have been a visual statement to Phil of exactly what he had done to their marriage….I would think that tradition is destroyed too! (ugh)

    • Laura says:

      Very good point. Poor Lina will have several triggers that transport her back to that awful day. I like your visual statement to Phil with the roses. I didn’t consciously intend that but I like it!

  74. Tracie says:

    Laura. I was going to wait on this comment, but it too causes me some anxiety and even though I’m Pro Phil, I wanted to filet him!! Chaprer 1 – when the text message from Kim came through about wanting to see him, Monday was too far away! (Ewww). As Phil was reading the message, he asked Lina what time Logan’s game was the next day! I assume contemplating if he could carve out time for her. As he left their bedroom he put his phone in his pocket! Did he answer that text message prior to their reconnection a few hours later? Was Phil aggravated at Lina over the dinner with Wayne and Diana because Wayne was mad at him over Kim or that would preclude him from seeing Kim before Monday? When Phil came to bed did he want Lina to be a sleep? When she initiated the reconnection she said it has been nearly three weeks since they had sex. My first reaction was poor Lina she’s getting pity sex once a month, then after our dialog, I wondered if it was the caveman mentality and he was having just enough intimacy with her to keep her at home while he played else where? Since they were having minimal sex during that 4 months while his affair with Kim was on-going and their connection was not there between them, was that sex with Lina mechanical as well?
    Thank you Laura for all your time to calm our fears and enlighten us of the past and things to come. Have a great evening!

  75. Janet says:

    Tracie, these are such great questions and partsI kept going back to see if I missed anything. I think Phil was going to meet Kim for the “run” before his aha moment that night. I also think he wanted her asleep because he came into the room saying how tired he was and Lina had to initiate sex. To give him credit, I don’t think he wanted to deal with another fight so he was avoiding her. And damn him, I think he was having the occasional sex with her so she wouldn’t suspect he was having an affair. I mean this guy can go all night supposedly and only 5x in their marriage has he gone without longer than 3 weeks. I’m really hoping I am wrong in all this but as I see it, until Lina brought him back to their real world his affair was still ongoing. Lastly, Wayne was mad at Phil for the affair. They were not talking remember? It was at the dinner that their relationship was restored bc of Phil’s aha moment.

  76. Laura says:

    Great questions! No Phil never answered her text. He was contemplating meeting Kim when he asked Lina the time of Logan’s game. Janet is correct — Phil was upset about going to Wayne’s because there was a strain in their relationship because Wayne knew he was having an affair. Yes, Phil wanted Lina to be asleep when he came to bed because he didn’t feel like arguing with her — when he admits the affair to her he mentions how she was mad at him all the time. I was implying (obviously a bit too subtle) that Lina was rejecting him — remember when she told Nick she began initiating sex — that was because she had stopped and often rejected him.
    When Phil said he wasn’t going running in Baltimore the morning after he and Lina reconnected it was because he didn’t want to chance seeing Kim — he was done. He told Wayne that when he saw him at dinner and then Kim a few days later.
    As far as the sex Lina and Phil had during the affair — it wasn’t so she wouldn’t suspect he was having an affair. It was more because she was his woman and if she was receptive he wanted to have sex with her — definitely more mechanical in nature than when their connection was restored. Ugly I know, but I think realistic.

  77. Tracie says:

    Janet remember in the book after Text message scene chapter 22, I can’t find it, but I remember Lina saying somewhere that she couldn’t believe he was texting Kim in their home with her there. That’s why I wondered about the message in chapter 1. Never thought about the “I’m tired comment” meaning but I think you are exactly right!! I agree on Wayne too! Now that I think about it, Phil would have never believed Lina would look at another man…yep he was doing just enough homework to fly under the radar!!!

  78. Tracie says:

    Janet read Chapter 1 where Phil is reading the text message? He is literally checking times with his wife to schedule time for his side tart! He was cold in that first half of Chapter. But I got to give it to our girl Laura, she got my attention right out of the gate!

  79. Tracie says:

    Thanks girls! Laura so glad he didn’t respond to text! I bet that drove Kim nuts playing the waiting game all weekend! (Yay)! I like the (caveman)his woman statement about having sex with Lina during that time! I think that is why your hot scene that was edited out in Chapter 48 would of been awesome, at that point there was no love triangle just a straight line!! You know the healing power of love and all! Lol.

  80. janet says:

    Thank you for setting me straight Laura. I’m happy to hear he didn’t text Kim either. Tracie and I are dissecting chapter by chapter at this point. Man, I get riled up! Tracie, so true about the texting at home. I even remember the time(8:52pm) when Phil texted K about coming over at 7:30 the next morning!!. Argggghhhhhh. Also, I’m so glad we found out the reason for infrequent sex during the affair. That’s one scene I totally got it wrong.

  81. Tracie says:

    Me too Janet. Lina just doesn’t seem like the type to reject Phil in any way shape or form. The more we learn from Laura the more intrigued I become with this couple!!!!

  82. janet says:

    Good morning! I thought I would get my question in today and give everyone a break for the weekend.;) . So we know how the affair started the night in the City after a bad phone convo between Phil and Lina. Later on when Phil confesses his affair to Lina, she says that sounds like a one night stand, how did it become an affair? Phil just tells Lina “then it became more”. I would like to know anything was edited out with the morning after scene with Phil and Kim. ONS is something I can see happening with Phil but how did he feel the morning after? Did he regret his actions(I’m sure drinks were involved here)? Did he try to end it at this point and Kim swayed him otherwise or something Phil decided to pursue since it was an outlet for him? I’m also wondering if they discussed protection since Phil doesn’t like to use condoms and if he asked Kim was clean? I remember when Phil was talking to Kim on the phone in chapter 15, he said he has told Kim before he would never leave Lina. I’m curious if this was all happened the morning after their first night together. Lastly, I know I have asked you before Laura if Phil showed any affection towards Kim by indulging her and you told me no. I know how protective he is with Lina- he is always holding her when she sleeps and looking into her eyes for the connection when they make love. Did he do this with Kim? Hold her after sex while they slept during their travels and look into her eyes during sex?
    Ok that’s it for me for this week. Have a great weekend!!

  83. Tracie says:

    Janet the comment Lina made about Phil texting in the house was Chapter 23! She was telling Nick about the texts I’m the wine bar.

  84. Tracie says:

    Janet….I too wondered about the “and more”! The protection part I also wondered if maybe (just maybe) he did use condoms and she pin poked them to her advantage.. Then I backed down on that assumption, because Phil had been faithful to Lina for 25 years and doubt he carried one! I think Phil may have got wrapped up in the new aha as we now code it and just got carried away with the excitement of the act and Kim’s full attention. My perception is Lina Spoiled Phil, and yes they were fighting over Katie, but Lina as a mother was striving to help her daughter and her attention was not fully on Phil, but on her child. I’m sure Phil paid first date type flirty attention to Kim, I don’t know about the all snuggle naps, etc! That might be pushing it for him!! I believe his only true connection was with Lina and his misplaced loyalty cost him dearly.

    Laura I wonder what was Phil’s thoughts when Nick had him restrained and told him to leave, and that he was a black belt and could pretty much kick his butt!! Between Lina choosing Nick and the knowledge he couldn’t have Nick drinking through a straw must of been crushing!!!

  85. janet says:

    well, I wondered about condoms because Lina said at one point that Phil hated condoms. It ruined his pleasure and that’s why Megan is a honeymoon baby. I think he talked about it with Kim after the first night and she probably said she would take care of it but didn’t. We can deduct Kim is an experienced and worldly woman who probably had multiple partners while Phil only had Lina for 25 years. I know Phil only loves Lina but we saw the tactile pics with Kim I wondered if he did touch her during sleep and the eye connection.

  86. Laura says:

    I didn’t write any scenes from Phil’s POV in the first book, so the reader is as blind as Lina. Having said that I do know the answer LOL. I’m sure he felt guilty after the first time with Kim. He probably initially regretted it, but Kim continued to make herself available and tensions at home pushed him further from Lina. Phil didn’t like condoms and of course Kim told him she was safe and had contraception covered. No, he didn’t cuddle with her and stare into her eyes like he does with Lina. He liked Kim (she was smart and probably interesting) and was very attracted to her once she broke down his walls of resistance. I’m sure he was flirty, but their relationship was at least 90 percent based on sex. As far as what he was thinking when he was schooled by Nick? That was probably the worst night of his life. I’m sure he still believes he could take Nick — just an unlucky miss with the fist hitting the wall. Once his hand was shattered it wasn’t really a fair fight.

  87. Tracie says:

    Laura, i promise too (right after this post), I’m going to do something else this weekend besides throw questions and thoughts at you, LoL ..Chapter 47…..Lina and Phil’s little kiss on the Lacrosse field. Lina had said Phil hadn’t had much interaction with her after the talk about his son (chapter 44). So I wondered why Phil even initiated a kiss to her cheek at the lacrosse game. As luck would have it, Lina’s, possessive side took over and Phil obliged with a more deeper lip kiss! Did he see Nick when he took Lina’s face in his hands? Because as soon as Phil walked off Nick was by Lina. Nick even said he would of come over sooner, but he didn’t want to interrupt. Also, Lina put Phil’s ring back on before he picked her up for the pre-dance picture party. Did Phil ever take his off during the separation? His ring is mentioned twice, once in the pictures of him and Kim and when Lina went to see him after he had surgery. I was wondering that in the sequel, would there be social events were Lina would have to be around the law firm employee’s? I know he said at the wedding, after the slap scene, that everyone in the room knows about the affair now. Would they now pity Lina or think she is an idiot for taking him back? It would be hard for me, if I were Lina, to have my coming out, so to speak! Have a good weekend girls and thank you Laura!

  88. Janet says:

    Hi Tracie, you and I need a better social life right?! Me more so because I’m still on vacation but I rather read Laura’s answers and your posts. I think by now we can take a lot of what Phil does and says at face value. He’s not a calculating person from what gleaned from Laura’s answers here on the blog. I never thought about the kissing cheek part but he was surprised Lina turned her face to meet his lips. Wasn’t this after Christmas when they’ve already been intimate? The brief kiss at the game I think was his natural reaction. If he knew nick was nearby it probably would have been a liplock. As far as the ring goes I 100 percent believe he never took it off. He prayed everyday for her return and never lost hope. I mean if he kept it on for everyone to see even when out with Kim, what would be the point of taking it off when he wasn’t ever going to initiate the divorce? The only part that niggled me was when they were having dinner after dropping Logan off, and the question Lina asked Phil. Instead of does he ever go out or meet women at bars, i would have asked does he ever think of Kim and How it could be truly over with her when they share Liam together. I guess that’s an answer for the sequel. Lastly, omg about mingling with coworkers. Feel so bad for Lina but after 2 years hopefully the drama has settled down!!

  89. Tracie says:

    Janet, tell me about it…I was on vacation a few weeks ago and was in bed by 10! It was a girls trip too! You probably right on Nick and Phil!!! But Phil could spin a lie like about the tie and Sreamboat, so I think he could be calculating to get what he wanted. I also wonder what happened in those 6 months. Did he follow her pregnancy, did she stalk his rental. She left Lina alone while they were separated, now I’m anxious to see what Kim will do in the sequel. But Laura did say that after the text messages he cut off all communication with her and said they would only talk through their attorneys. I wonder if Lina ever noticed the scratch on his neck after Kim attacked Phil in his office. Did she Laura? I’m also anxious to see the scenes with Wayne. Phil (in my opinion) set a precedent by having an affair with an associate. He’s a hot partner, now what is going to stop another female associate from trying to stake a claim or break his walls down, This has to effect his professional reputation, don’t you think?

  90. Tracie says:

    Janet I wanted to clarify, that I don’t think Phi would ever cheat again with another associate, I’m just saying another associate could cause office drama.

  91. Laura says:

    Ladies — I too need a life because I am enjoying this back and forth as much as you seem to be. Janet is right — Phil would never remove his wedding ring. If he had known Nick was on the lacrosse field he would have instigated much more than a cheek kiss. He had minimal contact with Kim during her pregnancy and she never would have learned where he lived. She could bide her time, knowing once the baby was born he’d have to see her. Yes, in the original Lina saw the scratches which resulted in a heated discussion – where did it happen, did anyone witness it etc (it happened in his office and he had to close his door and restrain her because she got a bit hysterical). Janet, I think you’re right — in retrospect I wish Lina had asked about Kim — knowing he had interactions with her would be tough. Tracie — yes Lina will have to deal with the humiliation of everyone knowing her husband fathered a child with another woman. And good point about his reputation in the office — I’m sure every new associate hears the story. It’s just too juicy to keep under wraps. All of this will be in the sequel. Good night ladies!

  92. Tracie says:

    Couldn’t stand it girls….. this is short though…..Laura does Kim have a family (parents or siblings)?

  93. Liza says:

    Laura you are such a gifted writer and I love your men…this being said and while you are working on and finishing three books IS THERE ANYONE out there that writes the way u do or has inspired you that can fill in some “reading while we wait on you” time hmmm? Give us a name I’m sure they won’t live up to u but I’m in a “need a book now wasteland”
    Thanks Liza

    • Laura says:

      Thank you Liza!

      The last romance I absolutely loved was Unsticky by Sarra Manning (couldn’t put it down)
      Other recent books I’ve enjoyed — The British Knight by Louis Bay, The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas and Look the Part by Jewel E Ann. I loved Judith McNaught growing up — Whitney My Love is one of my favorites. Best romance ever (in my opinion) is Pride and Prejudice (it’s rated G though LOL).

      • Tracie says:

        Laura, I’ve read all those books except for two! But your books are by far my favorite……. I knew Kim’s family would have to slide in here somewhere, especially now that Liam is here. I also thought about what you said regarding the rose comment…. that poor Lina would have several triggers of that awful day. That awful day was her birthday, that comes around every year! (Ugh)! I’m hoping that Lina will hold her head high during the humiliation she must go through. I’m wondering how Phil will react to her being hurt or ridiculed by others for his betrayal? Janet – I was thinking about your comment how can it truly be over with Kim, when they share Liam. I know you can share a child and not have a relationship (I did it with my ex). You each have a relationship with the child, but not with each other. My own opinion (Laura please correct me if I’m wrong), that Phil considers Liam’s mom as a vessel that brought his son into this world! Not someone Phil has feelings, love or wants in his life. He’s said in Chapter 44 that he regrets the circumstances surrounding Liam’s conception; wishes he was Lina’s. Chapter 47 when he says he will regret his betrayal everyday for the rest of his life. Laura will have to say for sure, but I feel like his feelings and relationship with Kim will be sterile, void of emotion (except for maybe anger or contempt), I think Liam will be his main focus where Kim is concerned. Phil has his second chance with Lina and he doesn’t want to mess that up either. I’m hoping Phil’s keeps his promises to Lina in Chapter 24 and goes all romantic hot caveman cherishing her the whole way, loving his kids, integrating Liam into his family and maybe having a couple of guys show up with a straight jacket to cart Kim off….LOL! Laura will there be any scenes with Lina and Kim? Will Phil have a soulmate connection scene in the sequel, where he knows Lina needs him? Thanks Laura, I really tried to stay off the blog, but it was just too much of a pull for my inquiring mind…..LOL

        • Laura says:

          You are correct about Phil’s feelings for Kim — it’s tough avoiding interactions, however, when you share a child that young. Yes, there will be scenes with Lina and Kim. As far as the soulmate connection — I hope so!

        • Laura says:

          Have you read Unsticky? Just curious what you thought of it. Sometimes how much you like a book depends on your mood, but I really, really liked that one and was sad when it ended.

      • Liza says:

        Look the part is one of my top 5 also read Whitney my love and really like Louise Bay will definitely ck our Unsticky thanks
        This Man by JEM awesome haven’t read the other yet

  94. Tracie says:

    Hi Liza, I was also wondering through the wastelands and found a book called Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. It was a good filler… you can tell I’m also anxiously waiting for Laura’s releases…

  95. Liana says:

    Hi Laura

    Counting the days for the sequel for Phill and Lina! I hope in this second book Kim gets the Karma she deserves.. maybe show a confrontation of Phill- Lina-Kim with Phill making it clear that he loves only Lina and even sharing a child with Kim will not change that… in the first book I keep wanting to see Phill flip and get angry at Kim not just towards Lina or Nick or Katie (although there is the phone call to Kim but he seems to be so professional like the lawyer he is in the conversation).. Kim acts like she is so sure of herself with no remorse for braking up a family… because she’s young beautiful smart etc. Flaunting to Lina how Phill chose that aspect of her over Lina… maybe a scene where Phill tells Kim that even when he was with her he was imagining Lina? That would really satisfy me 😁

    • Laura says:

      Hi Liana! There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind exactly how Phil feels about Kim. We all know how cold he can be and so far (as I’m writing the sequel) his personality is coming through loud and clear. He’s in love with only one woman. He cares only about one woman. Kim is selfish and spoiled. She’s also smart and beautiful and use to having men fall at her feet. There will be plenty of scenes showing the interaction between her and Phil — it was impossible to do in the first one because it wasn’t from his POV. I think this book will be very satisfying for those hoping Kim receives the Karma she deserves!

  96. Tracie says:

    Laura, I haven’t read Unsticky or Whitney My Love. I did buy Unsticky yesterday and will start on it this evening and let you know. Soulmate connection comment has me feeling anxious….I won’t lie about that…..I need them to survive and have their HEA! I just remember you saying this sequel is justice for Lina and justice is Kim gone and her and Phil swimming naked together….LOL…The reason I feel anxious about that comment is because you surprised me so much (curve ball) in Joseph’s story, on how his investment strategy effected his and Tony’s working relationship. Most books would of been a Bro hug and don’t do that again!!! Now I’m scared…about my Phil and Lina!!!! That’s why I love your books, I don’t figure them out midway, you maintain your characters integrity all the way through the book and you keep them at their maturity level. That really came to light for me, reading Sense of Belonging when Casey got 21ish on her text messages over his ex-girlfriend, when Tony was in Vale. Tony laid it out plan and simple…”I don’t do this answer the phone and talk to me like an adult.” LOVED IT!!!! But that is what a 21 year old would do…Lol… No details… but please throw me a warm fuzzy for Lina and Phil…I need it like a warm hug…LOL….Also, don’t you think Janet would be all over the triangle in Stuck-up Suit, especially at the Hampton’s? I see by the dialog she needs to see the disconnect (really bad) between Kim and Phil to pull him back into the fold. I do too Janet!! I need to see him treating Kim colder than he treated Lina after she asked him to leave. Lina couldn’t even ask him how he was during that time, it was almost to much for me. That is why I need to see his contemptuous attitude toward Kim. Most off all, I need to see his romantic Alpha side for his wife, and Lina to step up her game. I don’t think she ever called Phil a term of endearment, did she? I’m going to assume Laura, that some things will be a given…like the separation agreement is null and void, bank account joined together as one again…I know word count is important, so unless you say otherwise I’m going to assume that all of that was accomplished. Also, your comment on sharing a young child…interrupted sleep and crying….if Kim has Phil running to her house in the middle of night, I’m hoping Lina is stuck to him, like a barnacle on a boat bottom. No way should Lina allow him to go without her and Phil should even tell Kim she’s coming, so not to put himself in a compromising situation. Just the thought has me spun-up!!!!! Phil ran out to the driveway every time Nick drove up… it would only be fair for Lina to go…LOL

    • Laura says:

      LOL. You’re too funny. Your warm and fuzzy is that I am a romantic and believe in HEA. Having said that, in most cases when I’m writing a novel the scenes unfold before me. I don’t plan what’s going to happen. I have a general idea where I’m going but the story seems to take on a mind of it’s own. I was as surprised as you that Tony took such a hardline with Joseph. And like I said before, when I first wrote a White Picket Fence I didn’t know until about seventy five percent of the way through which man she would end up with — I think unconsciously I probably knew, but there was a small part of me that thought it could be Nick. So as I write the sequel I can feel this story again taking off and like the reader I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen. But, again — I’m a romantic so you can count on a HEA.

      • Tracie says:

        Thanks Laura I feel like I’ve been loved up on now with the warm fuzzy and HEA!!!! Phew….that is a load off!! I’m a romantic too…Just like the soft coming and going kisses all your men throw at their women,SMOKING HOT!!! I just had another thought (I know…you are thinking really!!!) Will Logan and Nick’s son still be friends in the sequel? I can’t wait to read Phil’s thoughts of any jealousy he may have over Lina and male attention thrown her way. Was Kim jealous of Phil’s children in the first book? Speaking of funny, in Nick’s book, I hope Casey is pregnant with twin girls…Loved me some Alpha Tony when he said he only made boys….HOT!!!

  97. Tracie says:

    Laura, one more thought for now..LOL…Phil has now seen Kim’s true colors…will he also get to witness those same flaws in her as a mother? We know he admitted to Lina being the better parent in their relationship. I just wondered if he would compare the two as mothers? I don’t think Kim would like Liam putting wrinkles in her pencil skirt or throwing up on her silk blouse. I may be wrong, but what we know of her now, her own selfish instincts would seem to come first over her maternal ones.

    • Laura says:

      Phil and the reader will see exactly what kind of mother Kim is!

      • Tracie says:

        OH MY GOSH…..I can’t wait for your new books. I’ve already told my family and friends…that the minute you tell us your new books are being released, they are all getting “Save the Date” magnets for their refrigerators, and unless they needed blood, don’t call, text or come over!!!! I’ll send a group text out with an “ALL CLEAR” after I recover from by book hangover!!!

  98. Liana says:

    Dear Laura and all the ladies here.. I just want to say that I really enjoy the discussions here (even if I don’t post much). I will definitely check out the books recommended here. I’ve read whitney my love and it’s one of my favorites! Have you read the author’s other books Laura (once and always! Swoon!)? No doubt you are one of my favorite authors now (read all of your books too, multiple times! Relishing the best romance book hangovers afterwards 😁😁😁. Another oldie but goodie romance I like is the one in my heart by sherry thomas.. I am currently rereading my favorite books but once your new books are out this year I would probably go on a book retreat just for reading them all!😉😉😉

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Liana! I’ve never heard of Sherry Thomas — I will definitely check her out! I’ve read all of Judith McNaught many times — I love all her historic romances. The contemporary were okay, not my favorite.

  99. Tracie says:

    Hi Liana, I too would love to see Phil put Kim in her place with Lina present….our girl Laura will ensure Lina’s justice and Phil’s redemption…I see Kim going down!!!! Have a great evening,,,,

  100. Janet says:

    Wow! I go away for couple days and so many new posts. This site is so great!! I will purchase sarra Manning’s unsticky as soon as I leave this site. Loved Clay(I think?) and Whitney and my fave Tori and Ian from JM and also love anything by Penelope Ward(Jake duet), Vi Keeland and adore everything by Sherry Thomas too! Also, one of the best writers other than our Laura is Lisa Kleypas imo. Once and always is one of my all time favorites. So glad we share similar taste in romance which makes sense. Regarding the most anticipated sequel, I think there is only one way to end this book to make tracie and me happy. LOL. Unless Kim does a complete 180 she will stay selfish and evil. If she can’t have Phil at the end, will she want Liam?? I guess we wait and see what happens. I completely trust Laura will deliver and then some!! For me it’s more about the details and explanations about the “incidents” Laura will gift us and getting to read Phil’s thoughts. That alone is everything. Thank you for this blog!

  101. Liana says:

    To Tracy and Janet! It’s great to find “sisters” in romance novels that understands the crazy things you do for a good romance novel… like finishing a book in one go or getting obsesed with a sequel! 😂😂😂 (I literally get strange looks when I tell people this). Thanks for connecting us Laura, blog is awesome!

    • Laura says:

      I too am a binge reader. If I like a romance, I don’t stop reading until it’s over — it doesn’t matter how long it takes — and then I wish I had read it slower. Thanks for all the book recommendations!

    • Tracie says:

      Liana, you are right….we have to stick together and the next time you get one of those strange looks….just tell them binge reading romances is cheaper than therapy!! LOL!

      • Tracie says:

        Janet I’ve decided we have to quit promising and putting unrealistic timelines on ourselves, about not stalking this blog, just stifles OUR creativity LOL! Laura has probably resigned herself to the fact… she’s like RadioShack….we got questions..she got answers!! (I hope someone remembers that commercial or the store RadioShack). LOL.

        Girls I started reading Unsticky!

  102. Janet says:

    Hi Tracie. I remember the commercial! LOL. Im finishing up The Good Wife by Jane Porter(chick lit). It’s ok. The husband cheats here and wife has hard time trusting him. I wanted similar theme to tide me over for a bit. Purchased Unsticky. Will start that next!

    • Liana says:

      Hi Janet! The same with me! I’m also going for the same themes in my readings now! Will be looking at the good wife… just read the first time by joy fielding same infidelity with a beautiful sad ending.

      OMG can’t wait to see in the sequel scenes that seem to show Phil making an effort for Kim but is actually all Kim’s manipulation… there were so many scenes where I felt actual pain on my chest (Laura your writing is that good!) because I feel for Lina! Btw I love how the kids stuck by Lina and I am eager to see this again in the sequel.. particularly Megan… I want to see her (being the one who seem to be able to accept Phil after the affair) lash out at Kim!

  103. Janet says:

    I have a question for the day. In chapter 8, when Phil is confessing to Lina about the affair she asks him if Kim is beautiful. He answers that he only ever thought Lina was beautiful. Is this true? If so what did he think of kim when he first saw her? I know you told us when Kim broke down Phil’s wall he found her very attractive. Does he find Lina’s beauty different than Kim’s? I don’t mean the inner beauty because he only discovers how nasty Kim is after he breaks up with her at the office?

    • Laura says:

      Very interesting timing on your question. Today I wrote a scene where that exact question is touched upon and answered. Do you want me to answer it?

  104. Tracie says:

    Laura, I also wondered about Lina’s physical looks too, she describes herself in comparison to Diane in Chapter 1, but how pretty is she really? We know Phil is a walking hottie! The scene in Chapter 46 where she was in the bar with Adele and Lina thought the Accountant Adele had invited to the table was looking at her like she was his next meal!! So I’m assuming she is hot too!

  105. Janet says:

    No I will wait!!!!!!! I don’t want to spoil it for others!! Seriously this is becoming the most anticipated sequel. Is the release still around December Laura? Lord It’s not even August.

  106. Tracie says:

    Oh Janet so glad you said wait!! Laura multiple choice is not an option for us!! lol. But you can tell me about the edited out hot scene in Chaprer can I give you rated G questions about it and you answer? Lol

  107. Tracie says:

    Chapter 48, I got so flustered I forgot the number! Lol

  108. Tracie says:

    Ok Laura here we go, passionate kiss with a yes on the invite? Phil sent the kids to church, get pizza or to Matt’s? Since they were at the hospital all night I’m thinking shower, then sweeet bedroom rumba, then snuggle nap!

  109. Janet says:

    Thank God you agree Tracie. We both need the book now but want to savor these scenes right? Laura will you address the running group scene? Just want to know if Kim joined so she can be with Phil on weekends as well or if they joined at the same time so they can be together on weekends. Gawd hate her so much! Can you just kill her off and make us happy? j/k (but not really). Ok. Good night everyone!

  110. Janet says:

    Ugh don’t know about the shower scene Tracie! He did that with Kim if he followed Kim’s instructions on the text. Too fresh in my brain since I read the book 2 months ago. What I’m thinking of Phil as a lover is he was selfish with Kim and really just concentrated on his pleasure (we know he is selfish by nature) and giving with Lina.

  111. Tracie says:

    Janet.. Right as rain sister! I love going over the scenes and thoughts from the book, but like you,I don’t want to post our theories for the sequel. That baby needs to be a big surprise!!

  112. Laura says:

    Have any of you read Life Without You by S.P. West? I can’t recommend it because it made me soooo angry. I just couldn’t move on from his affair. She can definitely write.

  113. Tracie says:

    Laura, I’ve read it and you’re right about the affair. Alex was one weak coward to me. Even though the first part of Chapter 1 was rough for me, Phil wasn’t cruel. Have a good day ladies…..

  114. Tracie says:

    Laura, here are my two questions for the day….

    In Chapter 38, when Phil tells Logan he doesn’t have a right to judge him, until he is 42 and has lived a mistake free life. What had Logan said before that comment? I think another time when I wanted to filet Phil was again early in the book, when he took Logan to a Lacrosse game and told Lina when they got home that to watch the game was painful, she could take him next time. No wonder Logan thought he was a disappointment to Phil. What is Phil’s mom (Susan) going to think about Liam being an illegitimate child? Phil says in the epilogue, at Lina’s parents wedding, that his mother would be glad that she was no longer from a broken home.

    • Laura says:

      It wasn’t that what Logan was saying wasn’t true — he was telling him how sinful his behavior was — it was more that he was being chastised by his fourteen-year-old son. Phil’s personality would see that as disrespectful. As far as lacrosse is concerned — he said that comment to Lina, not Logan, but it’s clear Logan’s play level is frustrating to Phil (sorry, our man has a few flaws — I don’t think I’d go as far as Janet and call him innately selfish LOL — still stinging from that haha). He wants Logan to be more competitive which probably just isn’t in him . Susan is devastated by the affair, the child — all of it, but Liam is her grandson and she will want to know him.

  115. Tracie says:

    I don’t mind our man having a few flaws, that is just him and I still love him!!!! Phil’s comment was made to Lina, but as a mother, Phil probably would of carried me on his back a few feet while I was smacking the back of his head. That comment was just rude and about Lina’s baby!!! Poor Susan…I knew she would be devastated!!! Lina taking Phil back should ease her mind some. Thank you Laura

  116. Janet says:

    I read Life Withou You too! I hated the guy while he was having the affair but understood how his attraction grew bc we got to see it. When he took the coworker to Hawaii though, I wanted him maimed( that’s why I had such a difficult time with Phil). But now I know Phil’s situation will be different so I’m better. Anyway I liked the book. I like that he had 3 yrs of suffereing without summer. Another one in same category is admissions of guilt by Roxanne winkler. Oh one more. Torn up marriage by Caroline Roberts. Touchy/angst subject on cheating but good

  117. Tracie says:

    Janet I read admission of guilt. But it didn’t have the substance that Phil and Lina’s story had. It was just ok for me. Reading unsticky now.

  118. Janet says:

    Hi Tracie. Completely agree. The writing was choppy and I read it before WPF. But remember how it ended? I’m thinking thats what needs to happen here. Did you read torn up? The writing is good. I’m excited you started Unsticky. Let me know! I bought it. Did you read any other cheating book you can recommend me?

  119. Janet says:

    Hi Liana! I just saw your posts. Don’t know how I missed some before. I agree with your about everything. Couldn’t have said it better. I too need Phil to show his contempt for Kim in front of Lina and it sounds we are gonna get that and more. I don’t know how we will all last till December. I never heard of joy fielding so I will look into it now. Have you read the ultimate betrayal by Michelle Reid? It’s a harlequin so it’s short and old but Michelle Reid writes angst really well. And again as Laura said the SP West book has a cheating theme and well written. Take care!

    • Liana says:

      Hi Janet! Yes I’ve read Michelle Reid and SP West. I can’t get over Alex’s betrayal as well!

      I still say Phill is by far the best husband redeeming from being unfaithful… thank you Laura!

      I Will be checking on the books you recommend Tracie!

  120. Tracie says:

    Hi girls, if I told you about my day you wouldn’t believe it anyway LOL! But I’m so tired I feel mellow, so Laura on my Chapter 48 scene that was edited out, did my man Phil whisper something sweet in the edited out scene, like thank you Lina, I’m so grateful to be in my bed, your arms, cherish you etc! I need sweet today!

    • Laura says:

      Of course! He said everything a hero should say at that moment and he meant it!
      In the sequel they are currently having an argument/disagreement — hate writing these scenes, I feel like I’m part of them. I actually feel anxiety when writing them ugh

  121. Tracie says:

    Don’t feel bad sister, they are not Ward and June Lol! They will have to go through the storm to get to our HEA! Don’t let either one of them leave that house, lock them in the basement if you have too!

  122. Tracie says:

    I can’t imagine all the feelings you have to cycle through writing your books..I literally was fighting mad on the first part of Chapter 1! I felt Lina’a Betrayal throughout the book! I admire you for your talent!!

    • Laura says:

      The difference between reading a book and writing a book is the length of time you’re in the scene. It’s great when you’re writing a happy scene, but brutal during the sad scenes. The birthday scene was the worst for me — especially when she was going through the pictures. I actually cried when I was writing it LOL

      • Tracie says:

        I had to stop reading that scene and take a couple of deep breathes! My heart broke for her! That’s why your books are the best, you live them, while you write them. Thank you for that Laura.

  123. Tracie says:

    Laura, don’t tell me if yes or no.. but I hope to see a gooey scene with Liam and Lina, that Lina is unaware that Phil is watching or saw…I want to read his POV on what a special gem he has in Lina!! I know sappy right!!

  124. Liza says:

    Are you preparing us (down the road) for a steamy relationship between Taylor and Michael (A sense of belonging) 😉 would be great then we can catch up with Tony and Casey lia and joseph

    • Tracie says:

      Liza, good golly girl, we are on the same wavelength!! I love the older man younger woman romance!!! I’m also hoping Laura wakes up and has a story for Adele someday! Love that girl!

      • Laura says:

        I struggle with Adele because her personality is soooo different than mine. She would make a feisty heroine though.

      • Laura says:

        Older man younger woman is my favorite — there aren’t enough of them. A very steamy (ie erotica) older woman younger man romance is Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun. I liked it but the last person I recommended it to told me there was too much sex

    • Laura says:

      Absolutely! I just need to Taylor to grow up a little.

  125. Janet says:

    Laura, I wondered how authors feel writing such wrenching intense scenes and now I know. I mean my heart was pounding when I read that brutal scene not know what will happen on the next page so I can’t imagine you knowing the outcome and having to type those words out. Lord! This latest argument scene makes me wonder, will you have more “birthday” type or surprises for us? Omg! Also which book do you think you will publish next?

    • Laura says:

      Janet, I hope I don’t have any scenes as brutal as the birthday one in the sequel. And BTW I didn’t know where that scene was going as I wrote it — it just slowly unfolded (of course during the rewrite I added/subtracted details). At this point, unless something strange happens (like a story comes to me and I have to stop everything and write it) I think the sequel will be next. It’s consuming too many of my thoughts — I need to finish the story.

  126. Tracie says:

    By then,Tony ‘s twins would be teenagers. Love the thought! Dad and brother being all Alpha over the Prossi girls.

  127. Janet says:

    I read liberating Lacey! I didn’t think there was too much sex but yes when there is it is boring and I tend to skim. As much as I loved fifty shades and Sylvia Days’s crossfire series both had way too much sex and I skimmed many of them😱.

  128. Laura says:

    Lina, Logan, Liam — I love Liam but I may have to change his name. It’s getting very confusing!

  129. janet says:

    God bless you Tracie. You make me laugh everyday. As far as the name goes if Laura named it “the Baby” we will still think it’s the best name ever. It sounds like Liam is a name Phil chose though? Lina, Logan, and now Liam? Doesn’t matter thought bc we will take anything except Ryan like Tracie mentioned. If you are consumed Laura we as readers are obsessed and I hate both emotions. I know for me it’s because I don’t have closure for this couple yet. As far as another surprise scene, I honestly don’t put it past Kim. She’s the type who will use any ammunition to hurt Lina and won’t think twice before using it. Sorry everyone!

  130. Tracie says:

    Thank you Janet, I too wait to hear from you each day! I’m so vested in this couples happiness and survival I can barely stand it. Just the anticipation of the book gives me anxiety, I can’t imagine Laura’s emotion meter writing it! I know the sequel will pull out all our emotions. We have to live the affair again through Phil’s eyes, which will Spin us up, but give us the closure we meed. Finally, the vacation house mystery will be solved! I know Kim’s going down and Lina and Phil will survive, that keeps me centered! Lol

  131. Tracie says:

    Janet I worry about Kim going CRazOI onLogan and Lina the most? I bet in her warped mind she thinks her and the baby could replace them! You think? Logan is one of my favorite characters in the book he has such a sweet spirit. They will all accept the baby but it will be hard! Do you think Kim thoughtPhil would marry her, hire a nanny and then they. Flutter around town like a bunch of butterflies ! She didn’t know much about Phil then.

  132. Tracie says:

    Hi Janet. Here is my think question for the day……do you think Kim would try to hurt Lina by trying to humiliate or hurt Logan in someway? Kim is so self absorbed and selfish? I could honestly see her thinking she and Liam could replace Lina and Logan in Phil’s life! Boy talk about Phil going ballistic……humiliate or hurt one of his kids, about feral alpha dad!

    Laura will Phil and Lina dance again? I ask because they fell in love across a dance floor, but the picture of him and Kim may have ruined that too! I hope not…..

  133. Tracie says:

    Janet that should of been a comma not a question mark after self absorbed and selfish…..I’m well aware of that answer LOL

  134. Janet says:

    Hi Tracie. I too love Logan the most and I really like Adele(she’s the perfect supporting character). Regarding Kim, I never thought she would directly hurt Logan but I did think by going after Lina, Logan of course will be affected by it. I don’t think she sees the kids as her threat. More like get rid of the wife and the rest will go her way. Hmmm. Like Laura said Kim has guys falling over themselves to get to her so I’m sure she thought the baby would cement her relationship with Phil. In her head she truly loves Phil and he’s her endgame so imagine when Phil rejected her. We saw how scary she was when she wanted to break up the family so we haven’t seen her at her worst( the 1.5 mile away home purchase alone made me gasp!). Can’t wait to see her suffer since Laura said it’s too easy to kill her off. Lol!! The nanny theory is a good one. Sooo her…

    • Laura says:

      Janet’s right. The only person Kim wants to hurt is Lina and that’s because she’s married to the man she wants! Actually, it isn’t even that she wants to hurt her — she just wants her to get out of the way, so she can have Phil.

  135. Tracie says:

    Janet, I guess I’ve watched way to much Lifetime…..that channel is like a haven for mentally deranged women…..I can’t wait to learn about her extended family that will tell us a lot about her persona (other than what we already know). I have a feeling that 1.5 miles will seem even shorter when it’s all said and done. I bet there is a permanent dent in some wall where Phil has been banging his head, thinking what have I done!!!! Lol

    • Tracie says:

      Laura, I like that Lina didn’t let Kim see her sweat in the edited out wedding hall scene! Lina was so smart in holding it together and not letting Phil go rip her a part. Kim strikes me as the type if she smells any weakness in Lina she will zero in like a trained snipper.

      • Laura says:

        Lina has way too much pride for that. She’s tougher than people realize (of course that’s probably my fault haha)

    • Laura says:

      LOL Definitely not mentally deranged, just completely narcistic — narcistic people don’t make the best parents either!

  136. Tracie says:

    Laura so true on the parent analogy! My mom use to say it takes more to be a mom than just carrying a baby for 9 months, it takes having a loving heart because that’s where you carry them for a lifetime. That’s why I feel Lina’s parental influence will be so important in Liam’s life. I can’t wait to read what Liam calls her. I read Unsticky (throughly enjoyed it) and it had a reference similar to what my grandpa use to say to me “Pretty is as Pretty does.” That is where Kim fails miserably and Lina excels!!

    • Laura says:

      Oh, I love that and how true. I’ve never heard that expression (your mom’s). So happy you liked Unsticky — I loved her wit! And what Liam calls her — I won’t tell you, but it’s actually kind of funny. Nick appeared in a scene today. I wasn’t sure if he’d come around or not, but the boys do go to the same school!

  137. Tracie says:

    Thanks Laura my mom was an awesome lady. I wondered if there would be a scene with Nick and how all three of them would interact together in the sequel. I’m sure with Phil’s POV it will be interesting. In Chapter 47, when Phil wrapped Lina up outside the restaurant, Lina had said she dragged her gaze from Nick to look at Dana, but could still feel Nicks eyes on her! Wow, I bet Phil was so jealous. I would of loved to have his POV at the moment! Can’t wait to hear what Liam calls her!!

  138. Tracie says:

    One more thought, I’m wondering if Logan is going to be a little jealous of Lina having a relationship with Liam?

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