Unpublished Scenes from White Picket Fence

Phil breaking up with Kim (this would have happened in the very beginning of WPF – after Lina found the tie)

Phil was at his desk working on a brief when he heard Kim’s voice just outside his office asking his secretary if he was in. He lifted his gaze from his computer screen as she came through the door.

“I’m really tired of her looks of disproval.” She closed the door and turned the lock on the knob. “Have you been ignoring me intentionally today or have you been busy?” She crossed to the bar in the corner of his office. “Scotch?”

It had been four days since he’d last fucked her. As he watched her across the room, pouring him a drink, her tight dress clinging to the curve of her hips, he felt nothing but regret. It was like he’d stepped out of a fog and he could now see the world clearly again.

“I don’t want a scotch.”

“No?” She looked back at him over her shoulder. “How about a blowjob?” 

“No.” He shook his head.

“Are you serious?” She laughed. “What’s wrong. Why are you looking at me like that?”

“This was a mistake.”

“Excuse me?” Her eye’s widened. “What are you talking about.”

“I’m talking about what we’ve been doing. It’s over. It’s done.”

“What?” She blushed. “What’s wrong? I don’t–.”

“It was a huge fucking mistake,” he interrupted. He rose from his chair. “I’m not making it again. I’ve already talked to Wayne. You’ll be transitioning off my cases and–.”

“Oh, so you’re just dismissing me? You no longer need my services? I’m not a fucking whore, Phil. You can’t just toss me to someone else.”

“I don’t expect you to fuck Wayne. I expect you to work for him.”

“I don’t want to work for Wayne.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I like working for you. You’re who I want to work for.”

He rounded his desk and strode to the door. “That’s not an option. I’m sorry.” He unlocked the knob and pulled open the door. “You’re reporting to him effective immediately.”

“You’re sorry? Are you fucking kidding me?”

He slowly closed the door before turning back to her. “Let’s not make this more difficult than it has to be,” he said coolly. “You knew I was married. You knew I was never leaving my wife. I was very clear about that.”

“I don’t understand.” She walked across the room, joining him at the door. “We’re good together.” She stroked her hand over his crotch.

He clenched her wrist, pushing her hand off of him. “Don’t!”

“We’re just having fun.” She reached for him again, sliding her hand over his chest. “I would never tell her. Why do you want to stop?”

“I don’t want you anymore.” He clasped both her wrists. “Okay?” He raised his eyes brows. “Is that clear enough for you?”

“I don’t believe you.” She shook her head.

“You should. Because it’s the truth.” He released her wrists and opened the door. “Good night.”


Here is the baseball scene (Phil finding out Kim is pregnant) from his POV…

I told you to stop texting me. I’m not sure how many different ways I have to tell you that’s it’s over

I think I’m pregnant

Phil’s hand tightened on the phone. What in the fuck are you talking about?

My period is late. It’s never late.

You told me you were on the pill.

I wasn’t always great about remembering.

“Who are you talking to?” Lina asked.

He darkened the display. “Work,” he answered, staring unfocused at the field. His heart was pounding in his chest. She couldn’t be pregnant. There was no way. He looked back down at his phone

It’s been over six weeks since we were together. What about last month?

I barely had one last month. I didn’t think anything of it until now. You can get a light period when you’re pregnant.

Have you taken a test?

I don’t want to do it alone

He took a deep breath. Just take a fucking test

I’m not going to do it alone. I want you to come over. If I’m pregnant we’re going to need to talk

“Still work?” Lina asked from beside him.

He darkened the display and pushed the phone back into his pocket. “Work.” His jaw was clenched.

“Dad? Could I have some money? We want to get ice cream,” Logan said.

Phil took out his wallet and handed Logan two twenties before once again taking out his cellphone. You’re not pregnant. Just give it a couple of days

Lina laughed beside him. “Why did you make me come if all you’re going to do is text work?”

He lifted his gaze to hers. “Sorry.”

“What’s wrong?” Her eyes were narrowed in concern.

“Nothing.”

“What is going on at five-thirty on a Saturday that is so urgent?”

He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it. “I’m done working I promise.” He shoved his phone back into his pocket.

When he stopped in the restroom after the game, he took out his phone. There were three new messages from Kim.

I’m not going to give it a couple of days

What happened to you?

If you don’t come to me, I’m coming to you.

He plowed his hand back through his hair. Fuck. I’ll be over by 9:00.

It was close to 8:30 when Phil pulled his car into the garage. He’d been wracking his brain for an hour about what to say to Lina. He remained in the car as Lina followed Logan toward the house. He rolled down the car window when Lina paused at the door to the house, looking back at him with confusion in her eyes.

“What are you doing?”

“I have to go out for a little while. Someone screwed up at work and I need to deal with it.”

“Was it Kim?”

His heart stopped. “I shouldn’t be longer than an hour or so.”

“Answer my question, Phil.”

“I have to go.” He pulled out of the garage, unable to look at her. Moments later his cellphone was bringing. “Lina,” he answered, “please just let me deal with this.”

“What’s going on? Are you on your way to the office?”

He didn’t want to lie to her, not anymore. “I need you to just let me handle it.”

“Is it work related? Just tell me that.”

“I’m not prepared to answer any questions right now.”

“Not prepared?” she spit out. “I’m your wife.”

“You’re going to have to trust me.”

“Trust you to what? Do I have to call Wayne to find out what’s going on?”

“Don’t do this, Lina. I’m about at my limit right now.”

“Oh, you’re at your limit? At least you know what’s going on.”

He ended the call. “Fuck!”

Thirty minutes later he was outside Kim’s condo holding a plastic bag with the pregnancy test inside. He barely looked at her when she opened the door, brushing past her into the foyer. “Take it,” he said shortly, holding out the bag.

“I’m as upset as you are,” she said. “Do you think I want to be pregnant.”

“Just take it.”

He followed her back toward her bedroom, sitting on the edge of her bed while she went into the bathroom. He leaned forward, his elbows pressing into his knees as her gripped his head. He felt like he was in the middle of a nightmare and he was going to wake up at any moment.

“It said five minutes but it’s already a yes. It turned right away.”

Blood rushed to Phil’s head. He could barely focus on the plus sign she was showing him in the test window. “No.” He shook his head.

“I can’t believe it either,” she whispered. She sat down beside him. “We’re going to have a baby.”

“No!” Phil jumped to his feet. “How do you know it’s mine?”

“I haven’t been with anyone else. It’s yours.”

“You can’t have it. I’ll take you wherever you want to go. You don’t have to go through this alone.”

“I’m not getting rid of our child,” she said. “There’s no way.”

“I’m married. I have a wife and family. I can’t have a child with you.”

“I love you.”

“No.” Phil shook his head, backing away from the bed. “I don’t love you. I’ve never loved you. I love my wife. I’ve always loved my wife. You know that.”

“I don’t really want to talk about her right now,” Kim said. “I’m having this baby. You can’t stop me.”

“Don’t do this, Kim. I’m begging you. Please don’t do this. If you care about me at all, you won’t do this. This will fucking destroy my life.” He ploughed his fingers back through his hair.

“I’m having it.”

“Fuck!” He pounded his fist into the wall, breaking through the drywall. “Fuck!”

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92 comments on “Unpublished Scenes from White Picket Fence
  1. Tracie says:

    Checking in Laura…How is Lucas progressing? Missing you girls!

  2. Tracie says:

    Laura do you think it was easier for Logan to accept Liam after Kim moved to NY? I remember in the snow clearing scene, when Logan noticed Kim calling Phil and shut down and looked out the window, so did Phil…It makes sense to me that Logan considered her constant calling and Phil going to pick up Liam at her home as a threat to Lina. I wondered if that’s why he asked about Liam’s mother in the last chapter of the book…

    • Laura says:

      I don’t think Kim leaving had anything to do with Logan’s acceptance. It was going to happen, regardless. I’m sure her leaving helped the family move forward faster, though. Definitely.

  3. Tracie says:

    Good Morning Girls, Had a great time at the concert, time with my daughter is always precious to me….

    I had a thought over the weekend…Phil’s parents never got to meet Liam until after Phil and Lina got full custody. Probably at Katie’s graduation. I wonder what Phil’s parents thoughts were in regards to Lina having to raise Liam and if she and Bruce were even more upset with Phil, his choices and the position Lina was put in to raise Liam.

    Laura how far are we with Lucas….after you little snippet I’m already feeling for poor Lucas….

    • Ann says:

      In my opinion, I think Phil’s parents were so happy that he and Lina were back together and I’m sure they liked the idea of Liam being raised by the Hunters. I also think they liked the idea that Lina still had her career and would get assistance from a nanny. Yes, it wasn’t the same way the older kids were raised but under the unique circumstances they were comfortable with it.
      I’m sure they fell in love with Liam!

      • Tracie says:

        Phil’s parents probably never met Kim…Lucky for them…Lol

        If I was Kim’s mom, I would of jerked a knot in her ass…but she had the type of personality that she wouldn’t haven’t cared…Did you ever wonder if she would of seen Liam the month her parents had him in upstate NY?

      • Laura says:

        Yes — I agree with everything Ann said!

  4. Tracie says:

    Okay I have a couple of thoughts.

    The Mexican restaurant scene….do you think Kim was hoping Phil was jealous seeing her with another man? Loved how Phil and Lina both handled that situation. Especially when Phil said, “Bryce, My wife, Lina!!!! Boom Kim

    Also, the car scene when Kim noticed Lina in the car…I hope Kim heard Phil say…”I’ll be right back, baby!!!…

    J-Girl I miss you…….

    • Laura says:

      I miss Janet too!

      Yes, I’m sure at first Kim was hoping that Phil would be jealous.
      And Kim definitely heard Phil call Lina, baby! LOL

      • Tracie says:

        You know I’m all about the baby…I’m still going on blind…but has Lucas thrown a baby yet…LOL

        • Laura says:

          noooooo. Here’s a little something for you — ouch!

          Carrie sunk her fingers into his back, her body already on the verge of another orgasm. “Oh, Kevin.” It wasn’t until Lucas’ body stilled above hers that her own words played back in her head. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, completely mortified.
          He pressed his forehead into her shoulder.

  5. Tracie says:

    Laura do you think Liam (as an adult) would ever have any anger toward Phil for cheating on Lina? I keep thinking about what Alice said regarding Lina and Liam’s aura overlapping just like it did with Logan when he was Liam’s age. So I’m assuming he would love Lina dearly like Logan does.

    That is one of my outfield thoughts….LOL

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie! No, that’s all before Liam’s time. I think it would be something he wonders about and would discuss with Phil (one day), but anger wouldn’t be part of it.

  6. Murlene says:

    Wow. So glad I could read this. It really helps to have his POV.

  7. Tracie says:

    Good Morning Girls…I had a thought about the scene where Logan told Phil that Liam was his Bastard. When Phil got home, he had a surge of protectiveness toward Liam. I wonder if Phil was thinking, that if his own brother could disrespect him in that manner, what would society do to and think of Liam, because of his own transgressions. I got that thought over the talk he had with Logan afterwards. I can see some of Liam’s story to Laura. I can see Liam remembering a flashback where he is a young age eating dinner asking Phil and Lina, what a bastard or illegitimate means because of cruel kids and gossiping adults. Even though Phil and Lina love him unconditionally, you can see where he may never feel that he measures up to his siblings, because of the cruelty of others….makes me sad to think about it…

    • Laura says:

      In this day and age I don’t think anyone would say anything rude to Liam. Any inferiority he feels would be self imposed. I guarantee he will be a very complex, interesting H.

      • Tara says:

        This is what I was thinking, I think very few people would judge a child for the parents behavior.

        Honestly, I think Logan’s comment wasn’t judging Liam, it was a judgement against his father. Of the three Hunter children, Logan’s reaction to everything seems the most real to me. He’s protective of his mother and pissed off at his father, and he has no problem showing his feelings. And, when confronted, right or wrong, he makes sure his father knows what he’s thinking.

        • Tracie says:

          Phil seeing Logan holding his brother had to be surreal for him. When Phil admitted not knowing how to get through to Logan early in the book (when he knocked his chair over)I felt sorry for Phil….or when he told Mike in the Raven scene that he was worried about Logan gutted me. I also think after Logan’s anger subsided he and Phil probably grew closer.

          • Laura says:

            Yes. Once Logan accepts Liam, his anger subsides and he and Phil are fine.

          • Tara says:

            Maybe it’s me, but even though he’s forgiven and found redemption, I’m never feeling sorry for Phil. He’s a big boy dealing with the consequences of his behavior.

        • Laura says:

          I’ve observed teenagers over the years and it’s usually the son that’s angry during the divorces — girls not so much.

          • Tracie says:

            I’m seeing that in a couple right now. The boys dad left his mom about 2 weeks ago for a younger woman and he wouldn’t let his dad on the court with him during senior night only his mother…Both boys are having a horrible time…

          • Tara says:

            That’s very true.

  8. Tara says:

    Hi Laura and Ann, I’m looking for a dog friendly hotel within easy driving to DC. We have an event to attend in the end of March. Any recommendation? My dog can’t be kennelled and she’s too big to leave with family.

  9. Tracie says:

    Good afternoon Girls….Checking on Lucas Laura…Is he still in Florida?

    • Laura says:

      Yes, we are still in Florida but about to make our way back to DC.
      Beautiful day in Maryland — lots of sun!
      My friend finishes her hike in 11 days!

      • Katie says:

        I’m getting my armor ready with this comment, but I don’t think I want to know much about Lucas. I want to go in blind on this one. 👩‍🏭 (I think that emoji is a welder but it works 🤷‍♀️).

        • Tracie says:

          I don’t mind going in blind Katie…I see a twist coming though..I hope her ex boyfriend gets tore up when Lucas takes the gold…..

      • Tracie says:

        Beautiful day her too sister…we are at 75 degrees….Loving this day. 11 more days is a walk in the park for your friend….I can’t imagine doing what she is doing..Maybe you and her can go on a short trip, that doesn’t include you sleeping on flat rocks or pine tree branches…LOL

        I know you are going to have a spin on Lucas, can’t wait to see what it is…..

  10. Tracie says:

    Hi girls…Ann crossing my fingers that the Rams win…Tom Brady was on the news doing spirit fingers all flipping week showing off his Super Bowl rings…Ugh!

    • Ann says:

      Tracie, I miss you girl!! Yes, I know Tom Brady is really an awesome quarterback but he has won too many times!!
      I miss the anticipation of SN and our discussions!!!
      Come on Lucas Roe

  11. Tracie says:

    Good Morning Girls, I was wondering about Chapter 37, where Phil says “He was holding him.” Thats the scene where Logan is holding Liam…What do you girls think Phil said when they went on their walk….I think Lina would of said “I told you Logan would come around you just had to give him time.” I hope Phil would of smiled and been both relieved and proud seeing his sons bonding…I also visualize Logan coming down for dinner that night like its no big deal and eating with his family. Laura am I close to what could of happened?

    • Laura says:

      Yes, Tracie! That’s exactly what would have happened.

      • Tracie says:

        I wonder what Katie would of said…”Probably what are you doing down here?” Phil would of probably gave a warning growl to Katie…and Lina would of said “He’s here to eat like everyone else..”. Katie would of kept on…”but Liam is here.” Then Phil would of said “Enough Katie.” Logan would then say “Dad would you please pass the potatoes.” HEA..awwww

  12. Katie says:

    Good morning, friends.
    Hey Laura, how is Lucas today?

    • Laura says:

      I’m in Florida with Lucas. I wish I was there in real life. Cold with light snow in Maryland today.

      • Tracie says:

        I’m in Tulsa at a wrestling tournament 60 degrees here with a light mist…Tomorrow through Monday 70 degrees…Love Indian Summer days in the Winter…

        Getting excited about Lucas….

        • Tara says:

          My area of New York was a balmy -7 this morning. Florida and Tulsa sound amazing right now!

          Definitely looking forward to Lucas 😊

  13. AnnaNJ says:

    Laura, today morning on my way to school I turned radio, and 2 two minutes later… Bolton’s singing When a Man Loves a Woman and seriously I saw them dancing together, and I knew am a goner…
    I never had any doubt, that Phil loves Lina. I love them together, I rooted for them.I know he is far, far from perfect but Lina loves him. I know he regrets it, he hates Kim. I just couldn’t overcome some of the details of his affair. I still got nauseous when I think about his texts. You said yesterday, he had an affair- there is no undoing. I was thinking about him. And you were right. It doesn’t matter where, when, how many times- he did it! and Lina forgave him so do I. I am happy that he makes her happy!

    On behalf of all of fans please write for us A Week in the Life of Hunters! I want to see badly Lina’s and Liam’s relationship.

    Laura, in 4 years Kim saw Liam’s only twice because she had business in Washington. Can you tell us how their meetings looked like?

    • Laura says:

      Hi Anna!
      I can picture them dancing too!
      So Liam is an outgoing little boy — like Phil. He knows he has another mother (Kim). When she came to town she picked him up and took him to dinner. He went willingly and probably treated her like a distant aunt.
      As far as ‘a week in the life’ — that will have to wait until I finish my Lucas Roe novel. I can’t let my mind go back to the Hunters without stifling my current novel.

  14. AnnaNJ says:

    Laura, we all know Phil has a high sex drive. What bothers me is not a length of the affair but frequency of sex with Kim. Did he have a lot of sex with Lina before his affair started? Or maybe Kim made him?
    I swear, Phil doesn’t let me go. He wants my forgiveness.I am very close but…
    I reread again WPF and SN. Yesterday I started Look the Part but I couldn’t pay attention and I switched to WPF and SN. It is an amazing how your books affect our emotions and…my daily routine 😆

    • Laura says:

      Yes, Lina told Nick during one of the sessions that Phil had a very high sex drive. And that she should have noticed they weren’t having it very often. With Kim, I believe he was having sex to turn his mind off. It was wrong and clearly many readers can’t get past it. He had an affair — there is no undoing it. I believe he redeemed himself. Others clearly don’t.

      • Tara says:

        As someone who forgave Phil because Lina did, I think he’s redeemed by the end of SN. I LOVE that as Lina got stronger, their relationship did too. The power balance works… GO Team Hunter!

      • Tara says:

        Our obsession with these books is proof it’s an amazing story.

        It seems to me most of us have issues with the length of the affair. But, here’s the thing the books are about the after effects of an affair, not a one night stand, not a weekend where he screwed up, but an affair. An affair means it was on going, in and of itself it’s going to be harder to understand and get past.

        Phil’s confrontations and conversations with Logan are amazing, because I think they are a window into how he would have reacted if it had been his father who’d caused all the heartache and devastation. He would not have been nice, his reaction would not have been like Katie’s. His would have been just like Logan’s. And, he has to take it, because the only really heartbreaking thing Logan says is that Liam is a bastard. Everything else were ugly truths, or at least how Logan saw it, very black and white. Logan is such a great combination of his parents, he has his father’s protectiveness and stubbornness and when he allows it to show through his mother’s empathy.

        I found something interesting about the texts from Kim in both books. I think the texts are proof he had real tunnel vision about the affair and was able to compartmentalize the whole thing. His part of the texts during the affair (the ones Kim sent Lina) were completely about logistic, where to meet and when, Kim’s responses give the appearance of a “relationship” but his don’t. In SN when Phil shows Lina the pictures Kim had sent of Liam, Phil was oblivious to the other parts of Kim’s texts, again she’s trying to manipulate him into some sort of conversation, trying to get more attention. He was clueless to it.

        When he’s in the affair, he was doing, he wasn’t thinking and once he was forced to think about it, he was done. Too late.

        Lots of convoluted thoughts to say, Laura gave us the story she set out to… Not the story of an affair but the surviving, forgiving and moving forward after it’s done.

        • Laura says:

          Exactly Tara. I didn’t want to discuss the details of an affair — it was about surviving an affair. And thank you for catching the fact that Phil was oblivious to the words of Kim’s texts — detail like those were significant.

          • Tara says:

            The affair details aren’t necessary, we become too bogged down trying to understand the why, when and where. Once Lina moves on and forgives we as readers follow along!

            It seems to me Phil at times sees the world as black and white as Logan does, hence his inability to deal with Julian and Drew. He doesn’t seem all that interested in life’s subtleties, so he’s going to be oblivious at times, because he finds things irrelevant. Which probably explains why he didn’t notice Kim until he did. She was throwing herself at him for a long time before he noticed.

          • Katie says:

            You’re on fire, Tara.

          • Tara says:

            Katie, is that a little snarky, because I’m finally clueing in? LOL 😆

          • Katie says:

            No- I just liked what you said.

          • Tara says:

            Thank you 😊

            I found this funky book on Amazon, it looks like you get to choose the direction the book takes… https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FCR1K6N/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

            It has no reviews and I’m thinking it’s probably not that good but it’s KU. I thought I’d check it out.

  15. janet says:

    Ok. weak vs. strength is a person’s character/personality. I never saw Lina as a weak person in WPF. She raised 3 kids without a nanny and most likely without Phil’s help when he was on track to make partner. She’s not weak because she didn’t have a job. She’s not weak because she agrees with Phil. They were in sync until their kids grew up and decided to rebel against authority. I agree she gained independence with getting a job and I’m happy for her but those are all secondary to me. I think it was more Phil who had to let go of his unrealistic protectiveness. BTW, I have absolutely no problem with him using Kim. She was there, she offered herself to him, he took the offer. It has nothing to do with respecting or disrespecting women. Plenty of men who respect women cheat. It’s called f buddies. phil’s an ass but not a bad person.

  16. Tara says:

    So, I’ve managed to bite my tongue for a little over 12 hours.

    At the point where these two deleted scenes take place, I can not muster any sympathy for this man.

    Phil has spent his life on a pedestal he built. His need to control and protect are essentially who his is and this gives him the false belief he’s always right. Nobody is always right.

    Phil starts to spiral out of control the day he decides they need to strip Katie of everything in order to protect her, no phone, no internet, no friends. Lina knows this is wrong and yet she goes with it because she had long ago vested her control to him, and until this moment, she probably believed he was right enough of the time not to fight with him.

    Lina starts to take control when she knows Nick is right in his treatment of Katie. Their fight over Lina giving Katie back her cell phone, just makes Phil issues spin more of control. He doesn’t like being told he’s wrong, he doesn’t like Lina taking someone else’s advice. His affair with Kim starts in anger at Lina.

    Ultimately what he thinks is a strength, being in control all the time, turns into his greatest weakness. He thinks he has control of his affair, he has no idea he has handed his life and the lives of his family to another woman, Kim. His affair gives control to Kim. Kim now has the ability to take the hurt he causes when the truth comes out and multiply it. And, she does!

    WPF is Lina learning to take control. She needs Phil to be off the pedestal and by her side. At the beginning of WPF Phil gives the impression that the affair is over he’s really sorry and everything should go back to normal. Oh, no, life isn’t that simple, and without realizing he’d already handed control to Kim. At this point Phil has not hit rock bottom, and he is not going to change until he hits the bottom. Thinking he drove his wife to another man, is pretty close to the bottom. It’s during their time apart that he realizes he’s not nearly as perfect as he thought.

    Lina forgiving Phil is her taking her share of control. She’s never going back into the cage that Nick describes in SN. Nick is absolutely correct when he says Lina is going to outgrow Phil. Phil needs to accept this or he will lose her again and there wouldn’t be any coming back from that. All through SN he’s trying to take back control and little by little Lina fights him, and in their own ways Logan and Katie fight him too. And he needs this.

    He doesn’t truly hit rock bottom until he’s sitting in a church pew, not knowing what to do, Kim is taking Liam to New York, how does he get control and fix this. It’s then he realizes he has no control, he’s afraid of devastating his family, he’s afraid of losing Liam. It’s Lina’s strength that makes this decision for him.

    Now, HE has my sympathy. Now, his love for his wife and her’s for him will heal his family. It seems to me he learned that protecting his family doesn’t mean he has to be in control. He’s still arrogant, he’s still an alpha, but he’s grown and accepted Lina is his equal.

    It’s not Team Lina or Team Phil–it’s Team Hunter!

    • Ann says:

      Hi Tara.

      I think the reason Lina let Phil control things stems from the night that Shiloh was raped, etc. In order to get through that trauma, Lina let Phil take control. That was the only way she could get through that awful experience. Phil was her savior and she depended on Phil a lot. Until Katie, I think she just rolled with Phil’s decisions. Lina also knew how much Phil gave up for her. I do love the way Lina grew and became her own person.

      Once Lina was not agreeing with Phil, he could not take it. It still bothers me about the affair, but I’ve moved on. I’ve always loved Phil, but I hated some of the things he did. We all know that Phil can be a real ass, but he also has some very good qualities.

      You are so correct, that Phil’s rock bottom was at the end of SN while he was in church. He was so torn between Liam leaving and then being afraid to ask for custody because of what he put his family through. That was so heartbreaking. I think Phil became a better person after all is said and done.

      I love how you said Team Hunter.

      • Ann says:

        Another think, Phil does have a very dominant personality. I don’t think he thinks he’s on a pedestal so to speak, it’s just the way he is.
        As far as Phil and Lina, they have a very strong bond and a very deep love for each other. They had to in order for them to get back together and be stronger.

      • Tara says:

        Ann, I totally agree Lina letting Phil take control definitely stems from what happened to Shiloh. And, she starts taking back control because of Katie.

        It’s very hard to reconcile the affair, I guess what happened @ Steamboat was a reality check for him, way too late for me but I’m not Lina—lol. It’s why even with his good qualities, I couldn’t be Team Phil at the end of WPF. I wanted Lina happy and if she was happy with Phil I was going with it.

        It’s not easy for someone who’s used to being in control to explain themselves and ask for forgiveness, he struggled all the way through SN, in his own alpha way 🙂

      • janet says:

        Not sure if I agree with Phil living on a pedestal that he built. Is he that egotistical? He cares nothing about what others think other than Lina. I agree with Ann. Until Katie, he worshipped Lina and they were in sync. As much as he needs control, Phil probably let Lina have a say in most things. He says that in WPF… I can’t ever win with you… that’s why I hated him so much when he cheated.

        • Tara says:

          I see him on a pedestal because he can’t admit he’s wrong. And I do think he’s that egotistical. Has he ever failed at anything? I like that he’s a bigger than life personality. I like his strength. But nobody’s perfect at that point he couldn’t or wouldn’t admit when he was wrong.

          He’s been in control of his and Lina’s lives since they were teenagers. Their fight over Lina taking Nick’s advice over his was proof for me. He’s really angry at her at that point and i think what made him even mader was she didn’t backdown.

          He may not care what anyone thinks, but he finally realized that his behavior had far reaching consequences and he learned to ask for forgiveness from the people that do matter, and that made him a better person.

    • Katie says:

      I don’t think he cheated because he was angry at Lina. He was lost- things had spiraled out of control with Katie, much from his own doing, which rocked the foundation of who he is. And Lina went along with him originally because she didn’t know what else to do. But then she found Nick, and what Nick was doing was working. That was hard for Phil- he lost control and chose Kim as an escape. Lina is not a helpless maiden- she stood up to Phil about Katie’s treatment, Logan (continuously), and later about Kim and her career. Let’s give her the credit she deserves. She had the power in her hands with Phil.

      • Tara says:

        I totally give her credit, but I see it as her growth from WPF.

        You don’t think he’s mad or frustrated that she’s taking the advice of another man over his? If she’d backed down, stopped listening to Nick, had not given Katie the phone and stopped the counseling or found a counselor that agreed with him, would he have had the affair. I’m not so sure. I don’t think he ever thought, I’m having an affair because I’m made at Lina, but I do think it’s part of what triggers his feeling out of control.

        • janet says:

          He wouldn’t have had the affair. Kim was not on his radar until the bar scene and it was after a big fight with Lina. But when he did go up the the hotel that first night with Kim I don’t think he was thinking. He had just thrown his phone, he’s angry and out of control and just went with it. Now the 4 months… that’s where I have the problem because he liked having sex with Kim and that continued. But since this is a cheating novel what can we do? If it was a one night one weekend then we wouldn’t be this vested in the Hunters and Laura wouldn’t have needed to write 400 pages of redemption.

          • Tara says:

            Janet, we’re on the same page. I don’t think he would have had the affair either. Everything came to a head then, and if he wasn’t so angry and frustrated, he might have rethought why Kim was coming on so strong. He’s an attractive man, I’m sure he’d have women throwing themselves at him his entire adult life.

            Those 4 months are really an issue aren’t they?

          • AnnaNJ says:

            I completely agree with you. He not only liked sex (almost everyday) with Kim, he also enjoyed her company outside the bedroom (running group, work). Like I said in my earlier post, he really was full in it for 4 months. It was not occasionally … that’s where I have problem. There are many moments when he has no shame about his affair and he just doesn’t understand the consequences of it and who really pays the price for his actions. I love Lina and if he makes her happy…I am happy for her. I love and hate him at the same time

        • janet says:

          I re read ultimate betrayal last night because I just wanted to fall asleep to it. The hero in that one emotionally cheated for months too. And he said same thing Phil did. She was just there. Ugh! I have to move on. Phil proved himself and I can’t do this to my psyche. I’m sure every other woman who came across Phil came on to him.

          • Tara says:

            Oh, The Ultimate Betrayal… his explanation sucks, the you weren’t here for me and I reached a breaking point. Really, I’m sorry the newborn and sick twins didn’t leave me available to you, whatever! What I like about that book is the heroine’s grief process, it feels real and emotional.

        • Katie says:

          Hmmm, I guess Laura is the person to verify, but I think that first night with Kim Lina had confirmed how he was feeling- that Katie’s cutting was his fault. He felt irrelevant. It’s a small detail, but I don’t think he was angry at Lina (which implies he punished her by having an affair). But the affair probably wouldn’t have started that night without the blowup, yes. It was a perfect storm- as it usually is.

    • Laura says:

      Okay — here is what I think…

      Phil couldn’t handle that he was the reason Katie cut herself — he failed his family. Hearing Lina say that made him throw his phone. He went down to the bar and Kim was there. As far as disciplining Katie — they were at their wits end — nothing was working and Lina followed Phil’s guidance — he was the one that came from the stable family — not her. His method back fired. He never blamed himself for Lina turning to Nick. He blamed Nick.

      Yes, he has a control problem. He thinks he’s right most of the time. And because of the trauma, the need to control and keep his family safe was magnified. Lina had to see that. She had to change for Phil to change and that is what SN is about. When Lina wouldn’t take off work to watch Liam — that was significant. She was taking some of her power back. The more power she has, the less dependent she is and the healthier that relationship becomes because they are on more even ground.

      I’m sure Lina has to step in to defend Liam as he’s growing up too — Phil has grown but he is still Phil

      • AnnaNJ says:

        Phil should worships the ground Lina walks on…for everything what she did for him and Liam. For me she is one of the most remarkable heroines

      • Tracie says:

        Love that explanation Laura… I think the only pedestal Phil ever set on was the one Logan put him on. That was another reason Logan had such a hard time with his betrayal. Remember in Chapter 38 in WPF, where he told Katie that all the speeches he gave him on how to be a man were a lie.

      • Tara says:

        She had to change for Phil to change!! That’s what I love about this book!!! She becomes so much stronger and that makes their relationship so much stronger!!

  17. janet says:

    Hi Laura. Any chance you will publish the original version of WPF? You can charge more so only your true fans will buy it? I still think about those 60k edited out scenes.

    • Laura says:

      No it was a different book — I changed way too much

    • Tara says:

      I like that WPF is Lina’s story, told from her POV. I don’t think anything needs to be changed or rewritten. The deleted scenes are great, but aren’t part of Lina’s POV. WPF is her emotional roller coaster from the aftermath of Katie’s issues, Phil’s affair and Nick’s attention.

      Anyone that follows this blog knows my thoughts about Phil 🙂

      I’ve realized the details of the affair are completely secondary to the choice Lina makes when she takes him back. He didn’t need to be redeemed at that point, she’s decided to forgive and move forward. His affair and the aftermath takes him away from his family. He needed to find his way back and figure out how he to balance a relationship with Liam and ultimately Kim as Liam’s mother, and his family. Kim’s a constant reminder of his failures. His redemption can only really start once his family starts to heal, not when Lina chose to forgive him.

      Swimming Naked gives him his redemption. There are growing pains throughout the story and that makes the story so real. I love that Lina stands by her choice to forgive him, but doesn’t go backwards, she stands her ground firmly but lovingly, and that forces Phil to grow too.

  18. Tracie says:

    I know Ann baseball scene just kills me…Can you imagine??? I bet Phil’s heart was beating our of his chest and he doesn’t remember the trip home.

    • Ann says:

      That time Phil was totally frantic! He knew his life was going to be destroyed and Kim was acting like mom of the year.

      • Tracie says:

        Telling Lina he had an affair and she was pregnant…gives me the chills. I wonder in church that next morning, if he was begging God not to take Lina from him….I can’t even imagine…Poor Phil

  19. Ann says:

    I’ve read these snippets before, but they still get to me. So, so good.

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