Unpublished Scenes from White Picket Fence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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455 comments on “Unpublished Scenes from White Picket Fence
  1. Laura says:

    Good morning ladies!
    Be careful what you wish for — many of the edits were made because the original novel was too sad — the slap scene is hard to read — it still makes me sad. I’m going to start a new post with that scene…

  2. Tracie says:

    I literally dreamed about Logan and Liam last night, I might have to do a fun scene today.

  3. Tracie says:

    Laura this is a random question, but did Mike and Jeanie have any kids?

    • janet says:

      Also, why did Phil come clean about Steamboat? Did Lina ask for details when Phil admitted having an affair? Did they still stay only one night? Man oh man I would love that scene. How Phil came clean to Lina. Also, if we don’t have Phil’s POV how will we see the neck gouge?
      So many questions. Sorry Laura. We are all sucked in again.

      • Tracie says:

        Can you imagine Kim coming at Phil physically scratching him…I bet he was furious….

        • janet says:

          I can’t wait for tomorrow’s scene. It will be so good. I just re read today’s. I cant believe Kim said they did it five times and they didn’t have time to ski. I mean it’s so like her to say this but how did Lina not grill Phil afterwards? He made her cry so much.

          • Tracie says:

            She was trying to get under Lina’s skin…Kim wanted to matter to Phil…can you imagine her thoughts in that bar in the airport with Phil rubbing her back and keeping her tucked into her side…Kim was quiet because she was furious..She wanted to matter to Phil and she didn’t…so glad Lina drove home how irrelevant she was….

          • janet says:

            agreed! Never a bad thing to make Kim jealous and furious.

            I will start Unbreak my heart next week. I need a break from today’s angst fest so I’m gonna dig through my paperback pile and find Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Paperbacks are my security blanket so I need that tonight. Good night lovely ladies!

      • Laura says:

        You’ll see shortly why he came clean about steamboat. As far as the scratch scene – it’s Phil telling Lina what happened

        • janet says:

          Good morning! I’m glad you are taking a break. As you can see from here and GR, people are still thinking and talking about SN incessantly. Not sure if we will ever truly move on from this family…

          Would you ever reconsider publishing the Affair?

    • Laura says:

      Mike and Jeanie did have kids but they were deleted out, so I guess they didn’t

  4. Katie says:

    What is everyone reading right now? Or, have you read anything good lately?

    • Tara says:

      Right now I’m reading Faith & Fidelity, it’s a m/m romance. I finished Mend by Kivrin Wilson earlier this week, it’s a marriage in peril book, it was pretty good. I’m also poking at The League of Wives, it’s the true story about the wives of Vietnam POWs.

      • janet says:

        I bought Unbreak My Heart couple of days ago. I’ll read that tonight. Thank you for all the recommendations. Is Faith and & Fidelity any good? I like m/m too but only read Kindle Alexander and JR Ward. So angsty and good. I will look up One Fine Day now. I hate heroines who cheat too. Maybe it’s my age but I hold to this double standard.

        • Tara says:

          Faith & Fidelity isn’t bad, both are straight to start with and they meet after the death of a wife (the other guy is single) but the opening is the wife’s funeral, that’s brutal. I’m not that far into it.

          I have the same double standard, rarely can I get past a cheating heroine, somehow I expect better of women, it’s kind of hypocritical.

          • Tracie says:

            I don’t like books either where women cheat…I don’t read those…

            However, I would have liked if Phil asked Lina if she kissed Nick deeply…he would have flipped because she would of been honest…

        • Tracie says:

          Oh Janet I can’t wait to see what you think of Shane in Unbreak my Heart….Oh my….

    • Tracie says:

      I read one where I was mad through the whole book…you talk about angst and a Hero you wanted to kill ..It was called Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn…I just finished it…

      • Tara says:

        LOL!! That one works for me! He spends from the point she has the baby to the end in one big grovel. And, yes before that he’s a major d——head.

      • Katie says:

        That looks good!

        • Tracie says:

          You would like it Katie and the h is a doormat at first but then she realizes it and bam the H changes his time…first part of that book makes you want to stunt someone’s growth…I’m just saying….

          • Tracie says:

            Tune not time Lol

          • Tara says:

            From the point where she’s had enough to the end of the book is great. I often think some books aren’t perfect but may have perfect parts, this is one of those books. If he hadn’t been such a d——head, the second half of the book wouldn’t have been as good.

  5. Ann says:

    Laura, How is Lucas Roe coming along?

    We need a new alpha to discuss.

    • janet says:

      Is it Lucas or the attorney at Tony’s firm?

      Also, I liked Tara’s comment about not needing the nitty gritty details.. So, what I look for in books with OW are details to see how the husband acted differently with the mistress vs the wife and how he treated the mistress differently. I didn’t want to question Phil’s behavior throughout the book. If he said he only ever loved Lina but was having a baby with Kim, I wanted the details to prove that Kim was being used by Phil only for sex. Because Kim was portrayed as such a horrible character I didn’t mind seeing her from that angle. I know in books like Torn Up Marriage and SP west’s Life Without You the husbands fall for the other women and it works. I don’t believe the same would have worked for Phil and Lina. For me, Phil’s saving grace was that he used Kim and his heart wasn’t involved. I know a lot of readers have problems with that and I do not care. Kim’s just a good villain and since it’s a book I can hate her all I want.

      • Tara says:

        Why does the hero “falling” for the OW sometimes work and sometimes doesn’t? It’s in the storytelling. If Phil had fallen for Kim and was having a baby with her, the whole coming back to Lina wouldn’t have made sense, or would have been a much harder story to tell. The 4 month affair was hard enough to come back from.

        Torn Up Marriage worked for me because he went through a period when he realized “oh crap! Big mistake!” Life Without You didn’t work for me because he gave a—hole new meaning. There was no coming back from his behavior for me.

        • Ann says:

          I just finished One Fine Day by Theresa Wier which is an older book. About a young couple that married for the wrong reasons, stayed together for years even know they were miserable, separate, but get drawn back together when tragedy strikes.
          If you like Kandi Steiner I just read the third book in a series called What he Never Knew. You should read her first 2 books before this one.

          Nothing compares to Laura’s books!

          • Tara says:

            I probably read the Weir book when it was new, I’ll have to look for it.

            Okay, its going to sound strange, but I avoid cheating heroines, therefore, I’ve avoided the Steiner books.

      • Tracie says:

        We all hate her LOL….I loved in the plane scene where Lina said “Since when are you into breasts?” I’m still laughing over that comment! Janet I wonder if Laura could find the neck scratch scene with Kim…That would be sweeeeet!

        • janet says:

          Yessssssssssss. You never forget anything either. Phil gets home and gets the other side gouged out by Lina. Where is Deighj? She would die reading the scenes.

        • janet says:

          That line was so good! How should he have answered? Whats the right answer other than never. I wanna know too! I remember reading Bronze Horseman trilogy where the hero cheats and the woman’s breasts were huge. It was through the hero’s POV and it was painful reading it but it was good because he didn’t love them. I hope Kim has deformed nipples! one small and one too large and discolored due to past STD side effect! Of course its permanent.

      • Laura says:

        I’m not writing at the moment — waiting to be inspired.

  6. Tracie says:

    Girls how about this scenario for Liam…Liam changed the trajectory of his life and became a single dad at a young age..let’s say a year or two out of college..mother not in the picture drops the baby Girl?? off, etc.. However, with Lina and Phil’s help, Liam perseveres as a single dad and is successful. Let’s say the baby is about 4, which would make Liam about 26-27. His normal nanny has to bow out for some reason, so in the interim his neighbors 19 year old daughter babysits since she has just finished her first year of college at Maryland and sparks fly between the two…..Bam that hits about all of our suggestions so far and would not include Nicks daughter. Couldn’ do that to my Phil!! Lol

    • Katie says:

      Yes!!!! With a slightly larger age gap. 🤪

    • janet says:

      You think Liam would make the same mistake Phil did? If anything I think he would double wrap because he wouldn’t dare disappoint Lina. And she will be if he has a daughter out of wedlock. Also, I think he would be more successful than Phil, more handsome(sorry but he does have Kim’s dna!), and even more charismatic than your Phil. Other than having his birth mom ditching him I think liam leads a very charmed life until his forbidden fruit enters his life.

      • Tara says:

        I hate to say it, I love a good age gap story, but I agree with Janet, I can’t see either of Phil’s sons not being super careful.

  7. Laura says:

    Deleted scene — this was the original scene leading up to the wedding. The wedding took place in Portland, not Virginia. Also in the original WPF Phil told Lina about Steamboat — she didn’t hear it from Kim. So when Kim mentions it in the scene, Lina already knew…

    Their flight to Portland was scheduled to depart from Baltimore Washington International Airport at 4 pm, so instead of having Phil back track home to pick her up Lina had Megan drop her at the airport. Phil arrived a few minutes earlier than they did and had the back of Megan’s SUV open as soon as she stopped at the curb.
    “She’s here,” Phil said as soon as Megan pulled away.
    “Here as in – at the airport?” They were standing on the sidewalk in front of the terminal, their luggage beside them.
    “Yes and on our flight. Several people from the office are and she is one of them.”
    Lina saw the concern in his eyes. “It’s fine. It was only a matter of time. I’m fine,” she continued when he continued to look at her. “Really, I’m fine.”
    “I love you.” He said leaning towards her and briefly meeting her lips. “And I upgraded us to first class.” He picked up their bags and she preceded him into the airport.

    “How many people from your office are on our flight?” Lina asked after they came through security. They were walking towards the gate and he had a firm grip on her hand. As the distance between them and the gate evaporated she felt a knot of apprehension forming in her stomach.
    “Five, six, maybe more.” He met her eyes. “Are you okay?”
    She nodded. “But a drink might help. Is there time for us to stop?” She inclined her head towards the bar.
    He glanced at his watch. “Sure.”
    Moments later Lina was sitting at a small table watching Phil who was standing at the bar ordering drinks. He was wearing a dark suit, his hair freshly trimmed and he was smiling at something the bartender said to him. She was flirting with him, Lina was sure, women were always flirting with him and it no longer fazed her after 25 years. And it really wasn’t his fault. Lina had witnessed it enough times to know that Phil did nothing to encourage the attention he constantly received from the opposite sex.
    “There’s a 30 minute delay.” Lina heard a man tell Phil as he moved up beside him at the bar. He was followed by two more men and two women, all of whom Lina did not recognize. “She’s right here,” she heard Phil say and she reluctantly pulled her attention away from her perusal of the other woman when she realized he was speaking about her. “Lina,” all eyes turned in her direction as Phil held out his hand. “There are some people I want you to meet.”
    Lina rose from her chair taking the hand Phil offered and letting him pull her against his side as he introduced her to the four associates and one girl friend. He went through the names quickly and all Lina heard was Kim and as she met the eyes of the other woman, she was at first taken aback by the defiance she saw in them and then she recovered and coldly held her gaze until she looked away. She couldn’t believe the audacity of the other woman, looking at her as if she had done something wrong.
    Phil handed her a drink and moved his arm around her and she thankfully leaned into his side as she forced herself to relax and talk to his associates. After the initial stare down she completely ignored Kim, who silently sipped at her soda observing but not partaking in the conversation.
    She felt almost normal as she conversed with his associates who clearly respected Phil and enjoyed having a chance to socialize with him outside of the office. For his part, Phil seemed somewhat relaxed but Lina knew he was concerned with how she was feeling. He never stopped touching her, his arm either around her or his hand moving up and down her back as he interacted with the others.
    Lina had skipped lunch, so one drink was enough to settle her nerves and as the group left the bar and headed towards the gate she let her eyes drift back to Kim who was several yards ahead. She was wearing three inch heels with her jeans and her hips swayed as she walked, bringing attention to her well defined butt and hips. Where Lina was classy and pretty, Kim was sultry and sexy and Lina hated the thought of her with Phil, hated that the name now had a face and she could actually imagine the two of them together. Phil may have been naïve enough to believe it was just a one night stand that took a life of its own, but Lina knew better. This woman had seen him, wanted him and set out to seduce him, which is exactly what she had done. And then when he was unwilling to leave his wife, she had gotten pregnant hoping that would get him to leave. She hadn’t even considered Lina or Phil’s three children, no this woman only thought about herself and what she wanted.
    “You okay?” Phil’s deep voice penetrated into her thoughts as he stopped and let the rest of the group go ahead.
    “I don’t like her,” Lina said meeting his eyes. “The thought of the two of you together makes me sick.”
    “Not here,” He lifted her hand to his mouth, kissing the inside of her wrist as his eyes looked into hers. “That’s exactly what she wants – to see a rift between us.”
    She nodded, knowing he was right.

    Minutes later she found herself in the comfort of First Class, Phil beside her his hand lying on her upper thigh. “She’ll have a Tanquery and tonic and I’ll have an Absolute and ice,” he told the flight attendant. “And can you do something about the temperature in here? It’s like a Goddamn sauna.” He pulled at the knot of his tie.
    “Phil,” Lina scolded, knowing he was taking his frustrations out on the flight attendant.
    “What?” He pulled his tie off. “It’s hot as hell in here.” He folded his tie and placed it in his pocket. “They need to turn on the air conditioning.”
    “It’s not that hot.” She covered the hand that was resting on her thigh, her thumb moving back and forth over his knuckles. “How long is the flight?”
    “About an hour and a half.” He sighed as he leaned back in his seat.
    She noticed Kim and the others entering the plane at the same moment the flight attendant placed her drink in front of her. She could see Kim’s eyes focus in on Phil and she openly stared at him until she passed their chairs.
    “Did it have to be her?” Lina asked. “She doesn’t even have enough class to be embarrassed with me here. Did you see her staring at you?”
    “She’s trying to create problems between us.” He squeezed her thigh. “Try to ignore her.”
    “And since when are you into breasts?”
    “Jesus Lina,” he leaned forward and turned towards her, his eyebrows pulled together in a frown. “You really want to get into this here?”
    “No.” She shook her head.
    He leaned back into his seat and picked up his drink, taking a long swallow.
    “Sir?” The flight attendant stopped beside their seats. “The pilot has increased the flow of air. It should be cooling off quickly. May I get you anything else right now?”
    “Yeah a new life.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Nothing. I’m kidding – thank you, I’m fine.”
    “Did I tell you I talked to Nicholas Drayton yesterday?” Lina asked after the flight attendant walked away.
    Phil raised his eyebrows. “You know you didn’t.”
    “Well I did. He recommended a new doctor for Katie. He said he would discuss it with her at your next appointment.”
    “He called you?”
    “Yes, yesterday afternoon. I would have mentioned it last night, but it was so late when you got in.” He had a late dinner with clients and didn’t arrive home until almost 11 pm.
    “Good – now you can start taking her again.”
    “You don’t want to take her?”
    “No.” He lifted his glass to his mouth and took a swallow. “You know how I feel about this.”
    She decided not to push it. She enjoyed taking Katie and participating in the sessions and didn’t really want Phil to take her place.
    “He didn’t only call about Katie. He called to invite Logan to the beach for the weekend.”
    Phil lifted his hand from hers and brought it to his forehead kneading his skin. “We’re not going to be able to get away from him are we?”
    Lina couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped her. “I don’t think so, so maybe you’re going to have to trust me a little.”
    “It’s nice you think this is so funny. First the guy has Katie as an excuse to see and talk to you and when that method dries up, his son conveniently wants to be best friends with Logan.”
    “Maybe if you gave him a chance, the two of you could be friends. You have a lot in common.”
    “We like the same woman. That doesn’t bode well for a friendship.”
    She rolled her eyes, knowing when he got this way there was no use trying to change his mind. She reached out and reclaimed his hand, pulling it to rest with hers on her thigh. “You’ve got to be the most stubborn person alive.”
    “Just protecting what’s mine,” he said deeply squeezing her leg.

    Lina didn’t see Kim again until Saturday morning. Phil went out for a run with one of his partners and she was walking back to her room after a workout in the hotel gym. Kim was walking towards her in exercise gear, her hair up in a ponytail. They were the only two in the hall way and Lina had every intention of ignoring her when Kim moved into her path and spoke.
    “You can look down your nose all you want at me, but you have to know he was more than a willing participant.”
    Lina met the other woman’s eyes as she came to a stop before her. “What I know or don’t know is none of your business,” she said coolly. “And I have absolutely no desire to talk to you.”
    “Because you’re afraid of the truth.”
    “No,” Lina shook her head, “because you’re insignificant.” She was surprised at how calm and composed she sounded when she was feeling anything but inside. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get ready to have breakfast with my husband.” She stepped around her and continued down the hall.
    “Did he tell you he took me to Steamboat?” Kim called after her.
    Lina stopped and turned back to her, retracing her steps and stopping before her. “Yes.” She coldly met her eyes. “We’ve been together 25 years. We have three children – you’re irrelevant to our relationship. Your child will be irrelevant,” she said, taking no pleasure in the blush that came to Kim’s face. “So get rid of this illusion that you have some importance in our life – because you don’t.”
    “Did he tell you that he fucked me five times a day? That we barely skied because he couldn’t get enough of me.”
    “No,” Lina said still completely in control, “because you’re irrelevant. And regardless of how many times he may have fucked you, you remain irrelevant.”

    As soon as she returned to her room she stripped off her clothes and got in the shower and then she lost her composure, angry tears mixed with the water as she stood under the shower head replaying the conversation. She took a long shower and by the time Phil arrived back in the room she was feeling a degree better as she stood before the vanity mirror wearing one of the thick white terry cloth robes that came with the suite and applying moisturizer to her face.
    “What’s wrong?” He asked, his eyes meeting hers in the mirror.
    “Nothing.” She broke eye contact as she continued to apply the moisturizer.
    “What’s wrong?” He gently turned her to face him, a hand gripping both of her arms. He was still sweating from his run, his arms gleaming with perspiration.
    “I saw Kim,” Lina said.
    “She came to talk to you?” His jaw instantly clenched and the pressure on her upper arms increased.
    “I ran into her in the hallway. She told me you fucked her five times a day in Steamboat. That you couldn’t get enough of her.”
    He turned and headed for the door.
    “Phil – no!” Lina was behind him gripping his arm.
    “She’s lying and I’m not letting her harass you.” He continued toward the door.
    “No,” she moved in front of him, her hands on his sweat drenched chest. “This is what she wants – to set you off. It will just encourage her.”
    She could see his internal struggle for control and then he was breathing in and out deeply, his eyes meeting hers. “She’s lying to you.”
    “Okay.” Her hands remained on his chest, her eyes locked with his. “Okay.” She had never seen his so angry. “I believe you.”
    “I could kill her.”
    “No,” Lina shook her head. “She isn’t worth this energy. This is exactly what she wants.” She moved her hands to the sides of his face. “She’s in the past. I’m done letting her affect us. I should never have repeated what she said.”
    “She’s lying.”
    “I know,” Lina nodded, believing him. “Just forget I said it – I don’t want it to ruin our weekend.”
    He continued to meet her eyes and she could feel the anger leaving him and then he closed his eyes, shaking his head as if to clear it. “Okay.” He opened his eyes.
    The sound of a knock at the door had him tensing. “It’s room service,” Lina said. “I thought it would be nice to eat on the balcony.”

    • janet says:

      HOLY SHITTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      LAURA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t breathe.

      I wondered about this scene for so long!! I remember asking you while I was holed up in the hotel room during vacation and strewing over what Kim said to Lina. Lord!! I loved that more than the slap scene. I couldn’t move my eyes fast enough. That was insane. Omg I need this version on my kindle last year. Damn that editor. Omg I still can’t breathe properly….

      • Laura says:

        LOL – Lina slapped Phil across the face when he told her about steamboat. I’ll find that and publish tomorrow. She is as a bit tougher in the first version

        • janet says:

          She totally is! Thank you so much Laura. That was definitely a huge treat for all of us.

          • Tracie says:

            I loved it…I knew that scene would be soooo awesome…Laura this is the best seeing these deleted scenes…I’m all giddy now…Lol

        • Miri says:

          Laura! Thank you thank you thank you!!! You are amazing!!!I can’t even. My heart was pounding the entire time I read those two scenes. But why would Phil say “yeah a new life”? I would find that insulting if I was his wife..also, I just don’t know how I would be able to stand there calmly and be introduced to the woman carrying my husband’s baby…talk about an elephant in the room! In all honesty, if Phil were my husband I would make it my life’s mission to make him miserable for the rest of his life (I make a mean scorned woman lol), so that scene where everyone just behaved themselves and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary had me seeing red. You mention that in the first version Lina is tougher…can you post scenes where she whoops his butt and tells him off?? That may help calm my nerves a little bit and satisfy my bloodlust LOL…BUT please don’t let us distract you from writing your next masterpiece!!

          • Ann says:

            Hi Miri. I’m not sure, but I think you might share my feelings on Phil. One minute you love him and the next minute you think he’s a jerk! Phil is so hypocritical too. I really do love him though.

          • Miri says:

            Ann! You’re totally right!! It’s a love/hate thing with Phil for sure…I wanna smack him and make him cry and I also wanna hold onto him and not let go! It’s driving me insane!!

    • Ann says:

      OMG that was terrific!!!! I’m getting pulled back into the Hunters again where I don’t get a damn thing done all day!!!! lol.

      Laura, I do have a question. I know this was a deleted scene and Lina already knew about Steamboat in this version. So originally were you planning on having Lina and Phil split up?

      • Laura says:

        In the original they split up after Lina received the pictures. It was just the same as the version you read – minus being surprised by Steamboat

        • Miri says:

          Laura, at what point and how did Kim find out that Lina and Phil had separated? And what did she say (to whomever told her)? Because in SN when Phil tells her they’re back together she was shocked and angry

          • Miri says:

            You know that part in the Godfather part 3 when Michael Corleone says “every time I try to get out they pull me back in”?? That’s how i feel about Phil!! Every time I try to forget about his actions and move in with my life, and say to myself, if Lina has found peace, then so should I…you go and post more amazing scenes!! But please don’t stop!! Haha

          • Miri says:

            Move “on”

      • janet says:

        Me too Ann. I may have to pull to the side of the road again catching up with this thread. Holy moly.

    • janet says:

      Ok, we never got to see Kim and Lina interact in WPF other than the wedding scene right? In the original “Affair,” were there more interactions/encounters between these two Laura? I wish Phil didn’t introduce them. Too civil imo. Gawd. That really was punch to the gut. How you wrote these scenes without sweating like a hog is beyond me.
      Unlike Tara, I loved the details in WPF. I know the book was centered around the after affects of the fling and Lina growing independence from Phil but let me tell you, I didn’t see chapter 15, 22, 25, and 28 coming. Until ch. 15, I really wasn’t very mad at Phil. In the first chapter where Lina talks about Phil’s body being in the best shape and how he joined a running group in Baltimore, I knew then he was meeting with Kim. However, I had no idea they actually went running together and thought of it as foreshadowing when Phil gets caught . It wasn’t until Kim made the comment “he couldn’t get enough of me” that planted a seed in my head that the affair was more than it seemed. When the texts came through in chapter 22, it sent me reeling and I felt punched over and over again in the ensuing chapters. I swear it read like a suspense thriller for those 10 chapter or so. Wow, you are a gift to all of us. I was at that airport and standing in that hallway watching the scenes unfold. Kim, I want to dunk your head in a toilet right now!

      • Tara says:

        I don’t mind the details, they definitely add to the anxiety, anger and angst, it also adds to understanding the recovery process, the grieving for the old relationship, the healing and forgiveness. Ultimately, I don’t need the nitty, gritty details because I’m looking for the healing process. I want to believe in the healing, I might not with too much affair details, this is a general thing not specific to WPF or SN.

      • Miri says:

        Janet, YES!!! Way too civil!! Some dishware woulda been flying for sure if I was there!! Kim woulda walked out wearing my drink and any one else’s drinks I could get my hands on!!!

    • Tara says:

      I love the cut scenes! Though honestly, it’s a good thing I’ve already read SN, because it makes me want to kill Phil a little less.

    • Tracie says:

      Also, look how strong Lina is in that scene…I would of pulled an Adele and smacked the shit out of Kim….Phil said a different life because at that point in time he was setting in a pressure cooker….

      • Miri says:

        A pressure cooker of his own making, so no sympathy for him from me! Ha!
        And yes Tracie!! I agree it just wasnt right, acting all civil when you’re being introduced to your husband’s side-chick-baby-mama…how could they all just stand around making small talk like that??!! GRRRRRR!!!

        • Laura says:

          Ladies are we forgetting that he’s a partner and he’s surrounded by his associates, some who may not be aware of the affair?

          • Miri says:

            That scene made my blood BOIL…honestly, as much of a bitch Kim was at the bar, practically smirking at Lina when they were introduced, Phil made that happen!! On the plane ride I would’ve given him an earful, let me tell you! How humiliating for Lina!

          • Tracie says:

            He had to be professional like Laura said…Lina knew she had to act the part too! She had been married to him for 25 years and was an asset to Phil at work related functions, not a detriment.

      • Tara says:

        A pressure cooker of his own making. He also knew that the entire thing could blow up in his face. He spends the next 2 years putting out emotional fires, consequences, baby, consequences! He’s lucky Lina’s forgiving!

        • Miri says:

          He’s too lucky!! He has more luck that he deserves! I don’t know a woman alive who would be as forgiving as Lina…I WISH I was Lina right now, so I could make out with Nick at Logan’s lacrosse game while Phil watches, HA! (while she and Phil are separated)..I would completely ignore Phil and make googly eyes at Nick (and ask Nick to go along lol)…I would make Phil go home to his empty house and cry himself to sleep! I am feeling petty, and angry (still hormonal) and I’m out for blood!

          • Tara says:

            And that’s why it’s Phil and Lina and not Phil and Miri! LOL 😂

          • janet says:

            sorry but Nick isn’t anyone’s seconds. Please use someone else to make Phil cry. ha. Other than that, I agree with what everyone said here. Phil trying to save his ass by introducing the witch to Lina didn’t make me feel good. He didn’t listen to Wayne’s warning the first time and it’s not like the partners would ask Phil to leave the firm if the affair was out in the open. Did he do this for Lina’s benefit or because he didn’t like being fodder for gossip at work? To be fair, I don’t think Lina would want pity stares all weekend either. I wanna go beat up my husband now. sheesh!

          • Tara says:

            I think it’s to not add fodder to gossip.

          • Miri says:

            Janet you’re so right, Nick is noone’s second choice…I like him as a person more than Phil even… I would want Nick because he’s an awesome hero, and he was SO there for Lina when she was going through everything, AND because he totally schooled Phil in front of Lina after she got those horrible photos from Kim (a black belt in karate?! Yummy!!)…if Kina had chosen him in the end I would’ve been ok with that for sure…BUT that doesnt mean I wouldn’t rub him in Phil’s face every chance I got!!! (cue evil cackle here)…and Janet, I totally get what you’re saying about wanting to beat up your husband, I’m not married but I’ve been fuming at all men in general these past few days over Phil’s sins…I have never in my life met such a maddening hero!! Can’t live with him, don’t want anyone else to have him!!

        • Miri says:

          Tara, Phil is sooo lucky it’s Lina and Phil and not Miri and Phil!! I would torture that man for the rest of his life! LOLLL

    • Katie says:

      Oh wow. That’s awkward. Phil had to be calm and cool in the name of professionalism. Still hard on Lina. I like this tough side of Lina. She is NOT weak; enduring this takes strength! Kim is awful, as usual…but she has no loyalty to Lina. Why would she respect Lina? Lina’s husband cheated on Lina with her, which automatically shifts the power position to Kim (in her head). Doesn’t make her any less awful. But a nicer person never would’ve pursued a married man.

      • Tracie says:

        Agree Katie…She figures Phil doesn’t respect Lina because he had the affair, so why should she….Her mistake was that Phil realized his…Also, Kim didn’t know how deep their love and respect actually ran…

        • Tara says:

          Of course Kim won’t show Lina any respect. She outright pursues a married man, and thinks she’s caught/trapped him. Phil gave her that power by not only sleeping with her, but doing it for 4 months. The affair gives the appearance of disrespect, she thinks she’s following Phil’s lead.

          Kim’s not a stupid woman, why would she think doing everything in her power to breakup Phil and Lina would bring him “back” to her? I guess she’s just trying to make his life he’ll.

          • janet says:

            And because she has never lost before.

          • Tara says:

            Even if she hasn’t lost before, she wasn’t getting him back that way! It’s probably more proof the affair was just sex, if she really knew his personality, she’d have known not to piss him off.

        • Miri says:

          Do any of you ladies feel that ok, maybe Phil didn’t mean to disrespect Lina by having the affair, but that perhaps he did kind of take her for granted (by having the affair)? He was basically having his cake and eating it too

          • janet says:

            Lord, like Ann said, I got nothing done today. I sent the family out to dinner so I can read all your comments. Here we go with scrolling up and down. Yay! Miri, I totally think he took Lina for granted. I can’t even blame Phil for doing this because 25 years of marriage is a lot of work. I don’t think he thought about disrespecting Lina when he first slept with Kim and lived in that denial bubble for the 4 months but it was the biggest disrespect ever. Look at that scene where he feels it necessary to introduce the two women. All kidding aside, I probably couldn’t have said anything from shaking so much but would have walked away before saying hello to Kim.

          • Tara says:

            I don’t think he ever thought about it being disrespectful to Lina, he never expected her to know about it. I think reality hit him super hard when everything fell apart.

            As much as I like the deleted scenes, the one where he introduces them needed to be cut. Too much saving face and let’s be honest, Phil doesn’t care what anyone besides Lina thinks. Not to say he wouldn’t be professional.

          • Laura says:

            Most if not all of the deleted scenes needed to be cut. It changed the pacing, intensity etc

          • Miri says:

            I think that even if Lina never found out about the affair, it was still hugely disrespectful and a lot of people knew about it as well, so it wasn’t even strictly a secret…Janet, it’s interesting that you say “I can’t even blame Phil…25 years is a lot of work”…I think because I’ve never been married, I have a somewhat unrealistic and overly romantic view of marriage perhaps…it’s an interesting perspective… I’ve always had difficulty reconciling the reality of relationships vs the romantic ideals (probably why I’m still single haha)…25 years of marriage IS a long time, I hadn’t really thought of it that way…I was just like, Phil cheated! Phil is bad!! Loll

          • Laura says:

            He was definitely taking her for granted.

    • Hinata says:

      Oh god!!I read the new deleted scene of Lina knowing about steamboat from Phil
      This is so hard!reading and not reacting!
      Why do women like Kim exist…why can’t they leave married men!!ugh!!!

  8. Tracie says:

    Laura I know your deleted scenes are on a different computer, but if you ever come across the hotel scene at the wedding between Kim and Lina.in the hall..I know we would really love to read that one…it would piss me off but be worth it LOL

    • janet says:

      Tracie!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Me too!!!!!!!! But you know what Kim said. Even you will want to damage Phil’s balls after the 5x comment.

      Just read your Hailee story. Loved it. Thanking your ex for her life then thank your husband for everything else. That made me laugh out loud. 😂😂😂😂

      • Tracie says:

        Salt he took it as a compliment…..LOL. ATo give you an example she was 10 playing softball and he came with his girlfriend to watch her play (first game ever). The game went into overtime lasted a lot longer than normal…It was his weekend, so when the game was over she ran over to us giving us hugs and kisses..I handed her her overnight backpack and she ran over to him and her face immediately dropped…I walked over as he was telling her that he wouldn’t be coming to anymore games because the game was to long and he and his girlfriend had things to do…I put my arm around her and said baby go on to your dads car and my eyes met his girlfriends she excused herself as well…I met his eyes and said you’re exactly right you won’t be coming to her games anymore we’ll reschedule weekends…You apologize to her and if you EVER make her feel like that again…you’ll talk like Donald Fucking Duck! Tell me that’s not Kim…

    • Miri says:

      Yessss!!! I wanna read that scene!! ANY and ALL bonus scenes are highly welcome, Laura!! :)))

  9. Ann says:

    OMG. I just read the new deleted scenes and they’re awesome Laura. The dance scene when Phil and Lina first met was so nice. Also that deleted scene from the beginning of WPF where you can really feel the tension between Lina and Phil while discussing Katie. I felt sorry for Lina in that scene. Goes back to the fact that Phil wants to be able to fix everything and when he can’t, he feels his control slipping. Kim was there when Phil was at his weakest. I know Phil can be an ass, but that’s what we love about him.

    I swear he is the best male character out there. Thanks Laura.

    • janet says:

      Hi Ann🥰🥰🥰! I love the scenes too! I need your two book recs ASAP! I finished saffron A Kent’s new one. It was intense but it’s more of a young bully story. Really good though.

      • Miri says:

        Oooh I love bully romances! Have you read ‘Untouchable’ by Sam Mariano? Very intense first chapter but once you get through that it’s awesome!

        • janet says:

          Hi Miri! Katie told me about this book. It’s in my kindle but haven’t read it yet. I will. I love intense! Saffron Kent writes really angsty stories. Have you read unrequited? I loved that. I liked Torn up marriage and loved SC Stephens trilogy too! One book that keeps coming up here is admissions of guilt by Roxanne winkler. I think because the guy has a son with the ow. Also el James will will have a new one out soon. I pre ordered it. Hope it’s good!

  10. Ann says:

    Hey Ladies!!! I’m back. I missed you guys. So glad to see that the blog is getting more interest again. It will take me a while to reread everything I’ve missed the last few weeks. Plus seeing new fans here too.

    Hope you are all doing wonderful. Great day here today in Maryland. Nice and warm.

    I have read a couple good books lately. I’ll have to go through my kindle and share them with you.

    • Tracie says:

      Hi Ann so glad to hear from you doll…Now if Deighj would check in I’d be thrilled! Raining her in Oklahoma…Kbabe we have our big garden planted…Think about you now when we plant and your canning expertise…Lol

      • Ann says:

        Love you Tracie. How’s the hip? Are you still planning to retire.

        I’m glad Janet is back, but where is Deighj?

        Going through this blog gets me stoked up about Phil all over again! lol.

        • Tracie says:

          Love you too angel! Yes I’m retiring in 8 months. Dec 19th will be my last day…Cannot wait….Hip feels like it should…New LOL…Phil is just the supreme book hero! I feel like I cheat all book boyfriends because I always compare them to Phil and they just don’t measure up.

  11. Katie says:

    In all of these new comments I saw one word that gets me excited- taboo. Maybe Megan should fall for a teacher? Phil would love that. Logan + Kathy?
    How about Nick with his son’s best (girl) friend?

    Laura- age gap, taboo? You know I’m in.

    😂😂😂😂

    • janet says:

      Uhhh, is this coming from your love for dark books lately? Logan and Kathy? Nick and Brian’s friend? Omggggg.
      If Megan gets a story she needs to go to Guatemala for 5 years first and aspire to do some of mother Teresa’s good works. Love you 😍

  12. Laura says:

    Janet! You brought I smile to my face — I miss you! Thanks for the kind words 😘
    Liam falling for Nick and Kathy’s girl — awesome idea! I could so see that happening. I’m trying to picture Phil and Lina in their 60s — that would so odd. I’m sure in my mind they would still be forty something! Speaking of infidelity scenes — has anyone seen the movie Return to Zero? It’s available on Netflix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kB076Za0uE

    It made me really think — an affair is as big as you let it be…

    • janet says:

      Laura!! I will check your link out tonight. I can’t wait to see what it is. I’ve never heard of this movie.
      My daughter and her classmates have recently discovered the show Friends. When she’s home she sings and hums Smelly Cat all the time now so it makes me think of you and Chandler!😄. I hope your two babies are well!!

      Sooo, you need us gals to rally around you while you whip up Liam and his forbidden love story we are here and ready to go! I KNOW it’ll be another epic love story. The irony alone! And imagining the confrontation scenes between Phil and Nick makes me giddy. Bahaha. Phil in his 60s will still be hotter than ever but I don’t want to see Lina old either. I’m sure she will still wear her jean shorts while she tends her garden and Logan’s friends who come over during breaks will gape at her stunning beauty so I’ll focus on that rather than their age. sigh! Anyway, when you are ready to tell/tackle his story we will be too. Omg, Liam needs an evil ex who tries her wedge tricks. He breaks up with her when he first sees nick’s daughter and is “mesmerized” by her and the ex won’t have any of it…..

      • Miri says:

        Yes!! I want another Phil and Nick showdown!!! Woot woot!

      • Laura says:

        Friends is Jordan’s all time favorite show — she has every episode memorized. My last dog was Joey and now I have Chandler. If Chandler had been a girl she would have been Phoebe. Are you seeing a trend lol

    • Tara says:

      The trailer made me cry, I’m not sure I could get through the movie without bawling!

  13. janet says:

    Laura, I actually love that WPF is so controversial. I hope you don’t mind all the drama. Personally, I think it’s complimentary that people are having such visceral reaction to this book. I know before reading about the Hunters I wasn’t as invested in cheating books. Now, I check on Goodreads daily to see if there are any new books I haven’t heard about and connected with couple of good reviewers who share my interest. they both loved WPF and SN!! I hope you never stop writing and we can revisit this family sooner than later. Ive said this before but wouldn’t it be awesome if Liam fell in love with Nick and Kathy’s golden goddess of a daughter? They can meet in law or med school? Phil would have to put up with Nick for the rest of his life and imagine the angst of that relationship! Katie can have her taboo and I can see Nick again. Bahaha. But I think you will make it sooooo good! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

    • Miri says:

      Hello ladies! I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about Phil these past few days because I’ve been PMSing and getting so angry at Phil all over again!! I’ve been stress eating and wanting to really give him a piece if my mind! So I’m *trying* to stop thinking about these books for now. Having said that, whether you hate him or love him, I agree Janet, the fact that us readers have had such a strong reaction is just a testament to Laura’s gifted writing skills. I have NEVER liked cheating books before WPF and now I can’t get enough of them lol (alas, none come even close to making me feel things and capturing my attention like Laura’s books). Laura, PLEASE keep writing!!! For the love of God woman, we need mooooore!!!

      • janet says:

        Lord! I swear there is like one good week where your hormones are contained right? I just saw your book list Miri. Any good recs? I think we like the same authors…We did this a lot here while waiting for Laura to finish SN. I just started The vow by Natalie Wyre. New author for me and it’s free today if anyone’s interested.

        • Katie says:

          One.normal.week. It’s true.
          😂😂

        • Miri says:

          Hi Janet! I live for that one normal week! lolll
          My reading is all over the place lately with genres, but one cheating novel that I was not totally disappointed with (Laura has raised the bar way too high!! haha) is The Torn Up Marriage by Caroline Roberts…I read a few really terrible ones that I won’t bother mentioning, but that one was pretty decent (but not L.B. level, you know?)…a cute romcom I just read is Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score, and I’m now finishing up the Taken series by felicity Brandon (dark/kidnap/bdsm — totally up my alley hehe)…I’ve heard that Thoughtless by SC Stephens is a good angsty/cheater novel, so I will check that one out soon…I will def check out the Vow, thanks for letting us know! 🙂
          Enjoy your Saturday ladies!!

          • janet says:

            In the thoughtless series, it’s the girl who cheats on her bf with the MC. She made me mad! She was so wishy washy but the hero I loved which is the most important factor for me when I’m reading a book. I haven’t heard of felicity Brandon. I will check it out right now. Thank you!

      • Hinata says:

        True Miri and Jannet I too am searching only for the cheating books… can’t help it…I always wanted to know how the heroine ends her relation after she learns about her husband’s infidelity…
        I liked tear stained beaches,saving grace and evidence of the affair

        • Hinata says:

          Sorry Janet I misspelled your name😅

        • janet says:

          Hi Hinata. I liked tear stained beaches too. I was hoping for that ending but was surprised she did actually leave him in the end. He was not redeemable so that was good. Usually, I don’t read non HEA anymore because I hate investing my time on two characters all for naught at the end but I do agree certain books need it. The writing in the Evidence of the affair was beautiful. I liked Reid’s After I Do also. It’s about a couple who separates and finds their way back to each other. It was good!!

          • Hinata says:

            Yes true Janet evidence of the affair was beautifully written..
            Oh I’ll check After I do
            Thanks Janet I want to read more book names on couple seperating and cheating … I want to torture my head 😂😂😂

          • Hinata says:

            Books**

      • Laura says:

        I had no idea I would stir up such reaction with WPF. Like I have said many times it was a very personal story and gut wrenching to write. When you connect with a book you connect with the author so you ladies are feeling what I was feeling while writing it — it’s a tough subject but as someone who lived through a parent’s divorce and then had to suffer the consequences for decades after (split holidays, guilt for choosing one parent over another etc) keeping the family together if at all possible is the right option — I think anyway.

        • Tracie says:

          All these comments from all my girls are making me smile! These books by far my very favorite…I go back and read my favorite parts all the time. Laura as a divorced parent I saw how my daughter had to adjust several times to alternating holidays etc. Hailee use to call them her separate worlds, and was adamant about the two worlds not colliding…Sometimes it was a sad situation..I just loved her through it…Hailee was Valedictorian and in her graduation speech she thanked her biological dad for giving her life and she thanked my current husband for everything else…My ex was a female Kim…

        • Hinata says:

          So sorry for the the things that happened to you Laura…you have really created the best books…

          Can’t imagine how difficult it would have been for you experiencing all that changes in your life which effected you so deeply…but glad that I could read your books which were so personal to you…it really gave a great insight of infidelity and acceptance in a marriage.

    • Tracie says:

      Okay but even in Liam’s book I need to see what Logan’s up to and make sure that angel boy is happy!

      Megan is probably running a concentration camp somewhere…I couldn’t believe the scene about the will…I could of caught flies, my mouth was hanging wide open on that one!

  14. janet says:

    Heeelllllo gang!!!!!!!! Laura, I LOVE, love, love all the bonus scenes you are still bestowing upon your fans! Thank you!! I have been rereading the first meet scene between Phil and Lina for a few days now(Thanks Miri for the request). I’m sorry I have been MIA for a few months but I have missed all of my sisters very much and think of you often. I’m really happy to see Tracie and Tara are still leading this blog and keeping the Hunters alive!!! Let me explain why I disappeared for a bit. As everyone knows, I have been obsessing over this family for a better part of last year. I would pull over to the side of the road while driving so I could read Tracie’s comments or check the blog in the midst of chopping vegetables to see if Laura answered my incessant why why why Phil questions. Oh my Lord, Phil really drove me insane and I honestly couldn’t get enough of Kim’s wedge tricks(Tracie, I missed using your term!). So when Laura answered all my questions in SN and I got to see Phil’s POV, I was finally afforded some peace. If anything else, I was able to stick those salmon back in my toaster oven with love again and try out some new sauces for it. haha. Once I forgave Phil and realized that he really is a decent man, I let go of my anger and redirected my obsession back to my twins. Poor kids… And I learned something about myself. Even though I was able to forgive Phil, my vindictive, middle aged Asian soul won’t forget the details so lucky for Phil, he won’t have to answer my what, where, why, how questions for the rest of his life. I tell you, when I read the 25 anniversary scene, I wanted to emasculate Phil again. I get him now so I understand why he did it but the “next 25 years” comment made me want to wax his eyebrows off and have Lina tweeze his hairy balls so he would itch all day in court! Ugh! I imagined the witch texting Phil in the am saying, missed you this morning, lunch at the apt? and Phil dismissing her saying “busy” and going to the jeweler’s after work. Waaaahhhhhh. Still, I loved the angst in that scene and wanted more.
    Anyway, I hope you all are well. I’ll check in more often and hope others do the same. Love you all!!!

    • Tara says:

      Janet!!!

      Welcome back! Isn’t it great getting other people’s perspectives? Getting his POV in SN makes him more tolerable—lol. Let’s be honest, Phil had some emotional growth in SN, at least letting Lina see some of his vulnerability.

      But, I definitely wanted to punch him after reading the anniversary scene.

      • Tracie says:

        My Salt I have missed you so much…but I have to say this Please leave Phil’s balls alone LOL.I could only read the anniversary scene once…It is just one of those ones that I couldn’t get through a second time…I did love the ring scene and the affair was ending…When Phil cut Kim off, damn it reminded me of a house sliding down a hill in one of those mud slides…Laura I hope we aren’t interrupting your other works of art still wondering about the Hunter’s…Janet I”so glad to hear from you…Hope all is well!

        • janet says:

          Hi Tracie!!! I missed you too!!! How is your hip? All healed? What happened to Deighj and Ann? Carrie? I thought everyone stopped posting when we were all at peace with SN. I check periodically but didn’t see much activity until recently. Phil’s balls are all yours. I’m not going there. It stressed me out too reading that scene and only read it twice so far. I wish we could see more…

          I’ll check back real soon. I can’t believe it’s been a year already for you Tracie. If you are active on goodreads we can exchange book recs and comments. I do this with Katie a lot and sometimes with Tara.

          • Tracie says:

            My hip is great sister….walking my three miles and my husband getting the pool ready so I can start swimming…

      • janet says:

        Hi Tara😘! Absolutely Phil had growth. I just have bipolar reaction when it comes to him and I’m ok with that. 😂. Love all your posts. Going through old comments now.

    • Katie says:

      Omg hilarious. I love you.

  15. Hinata says:

    Just curious…
    In chapter 39 of WPF when Phil comes to their home to collect his things he asks Lina
    “Why haven’t you looked at me since I arrived? What are you feeling so guilty about?”
    Does he know that she has been with Nick in the sailboat and kissed him??
    Did he track her through that app..and how often would he track her??because most of the time he would check whether she was home at night..but I’m just curious as to if he wanted to know what she was doing while they were seperated..and tracked her more often and spied on her …I wanted to know Laura??

    • Hinata says:

      And he even says
      “I’ll have the separation agreement drawn up this week. Try to refrain from seeing him until it’s signed.”
      Even though he cares about who Lina is with why does he act like he doesn’t care anymore about what she does and acts so practical rather

      I always felt that even though he realised he made a mistake he never properly acknowledged it with his family…I felt like he always tried to escape the discussion and urged his family just to accept his mistake and move on

      I always wonder why Phil couldn’t be a bit vulnerable and easy going and show his emotions and be a bit carefree instead of being so rigid and carrying the whole responsibility and bossing and demanding around even after creating that shit storm

      I almost feel like Phil was afraid to show his weaknesses to Lina and just give her his strength

      • Laura says:

        Phil is a composite of men I’ve known my whole life. I suppose I haven’t been fortunate enough to be exposed to these more sensitive men readers want. I write from my own experience — I have a ton of friends and family and am always, always analyzing behavior. You’re right, Phil didn’t like to show weakness. In the church scene at the end of SN he finally let Lina see his raw pain — that was his breakthrough.

        • Tara says:

          Laura, for the most part I don’t think readers want more “sensitive” men. If that were the case, alphas would be so popular.

          One of things I like about WPF is it’s told completely from Lina’s POV. It works because it’s about her growing and moving forward, by not having his POV, Phil stays in character. He’s not going to show his vulnerability, it would be out of character if he did. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have vulnerability, just that he doesn’t show it. Two different things.

          Having his POV in SN works so well, because it’s his story of growth. We see his vulnerability but until the end he doesn’t truly show it.

          Phil is a complex and interesting character, and I like that! Even if I want to occasionally smack him in the head.

          • Tara says:

            “Wouldn’t be popular”

          • Hinata says:

            Yes Tara,Phil is a complicated character…I can’t say I like him..but yeah he is tolerable to be civil..I really hated him after reading the deleted scene of their anniversary…and still am trying to wrap my head around and deal with his character..😅😅😅

        • Hinata says:

          Yes Laura true..the ending scene was his breakthrough …but he did not go straight to Lina he went to church instead…I wonder if he would ever put himself in that vulnerable position in front of Lina directly ..even though it is a tough situation he should confide in Lina in the end …she tracked him and went to the church if I’m correct..

          • Tara says:

            I love the scene in the church! It shows 2 things:

            1. Phil’s strong faith, in the beginning of the book I love that we know he prayed Lina would forgiven and take him back and that he thanks God for his answered prayers. And then he turns to God for guidance, afraid to lose Liam, but also afraid to ask more of Lina and his family. It’s such a complex moment.

            2. The connection between Phil and Lina goes both ways. She knew he needed her and hunted him down.

          • Laura says:

            He thought he was already asking too much of Lina — bringing Liam into their life. I think he knew she would say yes if he asked straight out about letting Liam live with them, but he didn’t want to put her in that position — that’s why he went to church and prayed for guidance.

          • Tracie says:

            Laura Phil had absolute peace when Lina beat him to the punch in the court scene…”He Agrees”. Awesome writing sister!

    • Laura says:

      No he only checked to make sure she was home at night. He knows her and when she wouldn’t meet his eyes, he could tell she was feeling guilty, which she was — she shouldn’t have been, but she was.

      • Tracie says:

        You can also see some of Phil’s vulnerability in the scene with Megan after thanksgiving and the scene with Lina in the bathtub after Logan told him he wished he wasn’t his father… I also wondered what Phil would of thought if he could of seen and heard the scene where Logan asked his mom if she needed a hug after the yoga studio incident. Phil had the consequences of his actions coming at him both professionally and personally…..Men like him tend to be hard…That’s the only way they know how to survive…

      • Hinata says:

        Thanks for the answer Laura😊

        But I almost wished he spied on her a little .. 😛

        • Laura says:

          I don’t think Phil could have handled knowing Lina was out with Nick — it would have driven him insane. He didn’t actively think about it.

  16. Tracie says:

    Okay girls I had a thought…Chapter 21 SN when Tom was talking to Phil and said he would have a hard time resisting Kim if she came at him, but you have Lina. Lina’s…Phil holds his hand up at this point and says you don’t have to sell my wife to me! So, what do you think Tom was going to say about Lina? Did Phil want to bust him in the mouth because he was in his business or because Tom was thinking about his wife at that moment. Also, I get the impression that even though Kim was pretty, bombshell blondes are a dime a dozen…Lina to me has a beauty that is not seen very often and the way she carries herself probably out classes Kim 10 to nothing…

    • Tracie says:

      Laura does Logan have the same color eyes as Phil and Liam? Since both boys look just like Phil I would presume that he does…We know Katy has Phil’s and Megan has Lina’s eye color. I actually went back and looked for Logan’s eye color and never found it…

      • Laura says:

        Actually Logan’s eyes are like Lina’s — the scene saying that must have been lost in editing. He’s a cross between Lina and Phil. Katie looks like Lina’s family except for her eye color and Megan looks like Phil except for her eyes — so two have Lina’s color and two have Phil’s

  17. Tracie says:

    Girls, here’s our think question for today, we discussed this prior to SN being published. Lina told William she had three children when he asked, she stumbled to the point that William asked if she was sure. The grocery store scene with Jodi, Lina said I’m not the biological mother. So with Kim’s departure and Lina now raising Liam, do you think Lina says four children and Phil would refer to Liam as our son.

    Also, do you girls think Phil would try to preclude Lina from babying Liam to much?

    • Miri says:

      Hi Tracie, I think that once Kim left the picture both Lina and Phil just referred to Liam as theirs…and I think Phil would want Lina to babysit Liam as much as possible so they could bond

    • Tara says:

      I think Lina would say they have 4 children and I think she will baby Liam as much as she did Logan and Phil won’t be anymore happy about that than he he is about Logan. And, he’ll continue to gripe but not preclude anything. Not that I think she babies Logan, she balances out Phil’s over the top expectations.

    • Miri says:

      Oh I misread! I thought you wrote babysit not babying! Lol

      • Laura says:

        LOL me too!

        • Tracie says:

          Babysit???? LOL….If I were Lina, and ran into another Jodi situation….”I don’t remember seeing you pregnant.” I would just say that’s to bad, I was smoking hot carrying the baby bump!!! She really wouldn’t be lying…The Jodi’s of the neighbor never saw her pregnant with her three children…LOL

  18. Tracie says:

    Good morning girls, I have a what do you think question. In Chapter 9, where Phil watches Liam at Kim’s house and doesn’t get home until midnight and was suppose to be home at 10, do you think she did that on purpose or did the meeting really last until midnight?

    Also, on the stairs when Logan stepped in Phil’s path, I wondered if it ever crossed Phil’s mind, that his son was trying to protect his mother from him (ugh)…Because he says “I know you mean well..”

    • Miri says:

      Hi Tracie, personally I think she went out for a late drink with a colleague or friend in order to come home late; she hoped to have Phil go home later than expected and potentially have an argument with Lina, and also maybe in her delusion she hoped to make Phil jealous? Because at that point she still had some hope that he would come around.

      I think Phil did recognize that Logan was trying to protect his mom (emotionally, if not physically)…I think Phil didn’t appreciate it, because he came down very hard on Logan for that.

      My question is this: if Lina had decided to take Phil back on the uncompromising condition that he would not have anything to do with Liam, ever (this happened in another book I once read, but the story was more about that boy’s life than the cheating parents), that they would all pretend he didn’t exist and move on, do you think Phil would have agreed? If that were the ONLY way Lina agreed to take him back? Ladies, Laura?

      • Miri says:

        Laura, another question for you that I wondered about when I first read WPF…do you think Lina and Phil ever had a discussion about taking any STD tests? I’m sure they were pretty confident that Kim was clean, but did Lina want to get tested to be on the safe side?

      • Tracie says:

        Miri knowing the characters the way I do, Lina would never have drawn that line in the sand. Her love for Phil was great, she would have never devastated him in that manner, by making him choose between her or his child.

        • Laura says:

          I agree — Lina would never ask him to give up Liam. If she did he absolutely would not have agreed — no way! He wouldn’t abandon his son.

          • Miri says:

            I’m happy to hear that..even if it meant the demise of his marriage, I also don’t think he would abandon his child

        • Tracie says:

          Miri I think Lina would have done that on her own. I wonder how Phil would of taken it, knowing Lina was going for that type of testing.

          I can see Phil at home right after Chapter 10 in WPF, going into their bedroom to change and Lina’s cell phone laying on her nightstand begins to ring. He answers the call and a lady on the other end says: “Can I speak with Lina Hunter please.” “She isn’t home at the moment, this is her husband, could I take a message?” “Yes, could you let her know that her appointment for her lab work is scheduled for 8AM in the morning and Dr. Fallopian will schedule an appointment with Mrs. Hunter, once he receives her test results.” “I’ll pass on the information. Thank you for calling.” Phil disconnects the call with such an overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame, knowing exactly what the lab tests were for and why. Dr. Fallopian had delivered their children and was also Lina’s GYN Physician. Later that evening, Phil finds Lina setting around the pool, sipping on a glass of wine and ask if he can join her. Lina nods toward the chair beside her. “Lina, Dr. Fallopian’s office called and said your lab tests are scheduled for 8am in the morning and then they’ll schedule an appointment with you once the lab results are back.” Lina continues to look forward, not meeting Phil’s eyes. “Lina I know you think I put you at risk, but I don’t believe I did. I don’t think these tests are necessary.” Lina slowly turns to Phil grateful for the wine, that has her speaking with a cool calmness that even worried Phil. “When you had unprotected sex with that woman, you opened me up to every man she has ever had sex with, so you thinking that this is unnecessary is irrelevant to me.” “Since you didn’t care to protect me, I have to ensure that I protect myself, just in case you did pass something on to me. I’m a mother and have responsibilities to my children and that includes keeping myself healthy.” Wow-za Love Fun Scenes….

        • Miri says:

          Lina has way too big of a heart for sure…that’s what makes her Lina…I was just wondering what if, you know?

          • Tracie says:

            Lina has a huge heart and loves Phil so much, just like my Phil loves her…Don’t you know that once her bond was sealed with Liam and she took him as her own to raise…His love for her really expanded his chest! Swoon

          • Miri says:

            It’s almost as though Kim came into their Lives to give them Liam and then left it soon after her work was done…an inexpensive surrogate lol (I mean, aside from all the angst)

          • Tracie says:

            Liam was a means to an end for Kim…She thought her looks and Liam were all she needed for Phil to marry her. Remember I’m Chapter 15 of WPF…when Phil told Lim he would never marry her…Well he meant it…Lol

      • Laura says:

        I agree with Miri — Kim was acting with intention. She wanted Phil to get home late and hopefully cause some problems with Lina — it worked.

    • Laura says:

      Phil knew Logan was trying to protect his mother — he understood what Logan was doing, but it annoyed him at the same time.

  19. Laura says:

    Here you go Tracie…

    “Mamma…Mamma.”
    Lina slowly awoke as Liam’s calls became increasingly persistent.
    “Mamma!”
    “I’m coming,” she said, squinting at the clock. It was after seven. He’d let her sleep longer than normal.
    “I’ll get him,” Phil groaned from beside her.
    “No, it’s okay. I’m already awake.” She donned a robe and left the room, trying to recall when Liam had stopped calling out for Phil when he awoke in the morning. At least three weeks ago she decided.
    Before she reached the door to the nursery it opened and Liam’s head poked out. “Mamma!” He gave her a beaming smile that warmed her heart.
    “How did you get out of the crib?” She picked him up and stepped back into his room, expecting to see Katie, but the room was empty. “Did you climb out on your own?” Her eyes swung from the crib to Liam. The other kids had been closer to two before they began climbing out. Liam wasn’t quite a year and a half.
    “Lolo.” He held his hand toward the door.
    “No, Logan is still sleeping. Everyone is sleeping so we’ll stay quiet for a little while.” She changed his diaper before setting him back down. She turned off the baby monitor and again looked at the crib, finding it hard to believe that he had the strength to climb out of it. Of course, there was no other explanation which meant he now had the ability to get up whenever he wanted.
    “Liam?” She frowned when she turned from the crib and he was gone. She walked out into the hallway but there was no sign of him. She retraced her steps to the master bedroom expecting to find him with Phil who was just getting up. “Did Liam come in here?”
    He dragged his hand over his face. “What do you mean?”
    When she went back into the hallway Tyson greeted her, wagging his tail enthusiastically and brushing his body against her legs. Lina absently patted his head before making her way down the hall toward the kid’s rooms. Katie’s door was closed, but Logan’s was opened about a foot.
    She poked her head in. Liam was lying beside Logan, his head sharing the same pillow, the comforter pulled up to his neck. Logan was still sound asleep. His mouth was open slightly and his dark hair was partially covering one eye.
    “Liam,” she whispered, crossing to the bed. “You’re going to wake him up. Let’s go have breakfast.”
    He shook his head, burrowing himself closer against Logan. “No.”
    “Come on buddy,” Phil said from the doorway. “Let your brother sleep.”
    “No!”
    “What?” Logan’s eyes opened. “What’s going on?” He pushed his hair back from his eyes as he sat up.
    “Lolo!” Liam shrieked from beside him.
    “Mom,” Logan groaned. “It’s Saturday.”
    “I’m sorry.” Lina tried to keep from smiling as she plucked Liam up from the bed.
    “It’s not funny. I was sleeping.”
    “Lolo,” Liam complained looking back at him over Lina’s shoulder. “Want Lolo.”

    • Tracie says:

      Oh my goodness Laura that is exactly the way I imagined things happening…Thank you for writing that scene I absolutely love it….Poor Logan LOL to wake up to an audience…that was awesome…I can also see Logan being the main attraction which would drive Katie crazy…Lol. Like Logan having Liam and Katie reaching for him and him saying No Ay or Logan teach him to say LoLo is King…..I can see Lina trying to take Liam from Logan to put him in his chair for dinner while every is getting seated and Liam protesting…then Logan saying something like “What can I say I have that effect on girls and babies.” Then Lina saying “You are cocky just like you father.” Then Logan turning to Phil and saying “Dad I don’t see the problem with that, do you?” Phil smiling big at Logan and saying.”No son. Being cocky shows confidence.” Lol I could go on and on…

    • Tara says:

      This is great! I love the Lolo nickname, I kind of hope it sticks. My niece, Laura’s nickname is LoLo and at 15, it stuck. Liam is just to cute. My son was a climber, he’d be out of his crib playing at that age, he’d also strip from the waist down and sleep with his butt in the air.

      • Tracie says:

        You guys remember in SN when Phil told Lina no meetings on Saturday mornings those were his and he seemed to like his morning loving…I wondered how that would work out for him now LOL….I could see him getting frustrated…

        • Tracie says:

          I just had an idea for a steamy…Phil frustrated that his morning loving didn’t come to fruition. Lina putting Liam down for a late morning nap…Going to their bedroom and sending Phil a text…Phil setting at the table reading the paper hears his phone go off and looks surprised when he sees a text from Lina saying…Liam’s down for a nap are you up for one..xoxo? Phil smiles folding his paper as he responds to Lina “Get Naked”….Swoon.

      • Laura says:

        My father called me Lala for years because I couldn’t pronounce Laura as a toddler — it stuck for through my adolescence

    • Miri says:

      My heart is about to burst!!!! This is amazing!!! Laura!!! We need book number 3 of the Hunters stat!!! This could be the opening scene in chapter 1!!

      • Miri says:

        Also, I’ve been thinking…I know you’re considering writing a book about Liam (which I am desperate for!!), but are you also contemplating one about logan? He really stole my heart in both books and I’m wondering how his future relationship(s)/marriage(s) with women may be affected by what his father did?

        • Tara says:

          I’d think Logan may be more affected by Phil’s cheating than Liam. My thoughts are Liam may have issues with his birth mother’s abandonment.

          Just my thoughts 💭

          • Miri says:

            Tara yes totally agree…and I do think that Logan’s future relationships would be affected in some way or other

          • Laura says:

            Yes, I agree. Logan may have some trust issues. Besides Lina, he felt the most betrayed by Phil. I think it would unfortunately have some lasting affects. Liam may or may not have issues. He wouldn’t have any memories of Kim abandoning him and Lina will love him like any mother — I guess it will depend on whether or not he wants to give Kim any of his energy. Miri asked in a previous comment if Kim would more kids — I don’t think so.

          • Tracie says:

            I could see why Logan broke up with Tiffany In the Epilogue…I wondered if Logan thought he needed to sow his wild oats, so he didn’t make the same mistake as Phil. Laura if you ever right another scene for fun could we have a good one between Phil and Logan?

          • Tracie says:

            Write not right…I hate when that happens…

  20. Tracie says:

    Laura in Chapter 20 of SN, why did Phil make the statement to Lina “I didn’t think you cared.” when she asked Phil are you going to let me say goodbye to him? I went back and forth on that one. I wondered if it was because Lina didn’t make Logan come to dinner and be around Liam or if he was just be a little pouty over Lina snapping at him…

    • Laura says:

      At that point, he didn’t feel like Lina was bonding with Liam.

      • Miri says:

        Sorry Laura! I didn’t see your reply to Tracie above…

      • Miri says:

        Laura, I have a question, and you might not want to answer it and I totally understand if you don’t…ok, so, Tony Prossi is my favorite H of yours so far…in your opinion, if he and Casey were in Phil and Lina’s shoes (the problems with their child, the arguing, traveling for work, emotional distance between them, etc), do you feel like Tony would be capable of having an affair (as a means of escape)? I feel like Tony holds himself (and others) to a very high moral standard and would find it beneath himself to lie to or cheat on his family, no matter what was going on at home. I feel like maybe Phil is a little more self indulgent and entitled? Tony loved Casey’s devotion to him, but Phil expected it (from Lina). These two are my favorite H of yours (Phil after Tony lol) so I’m always comparing them

        • Laura says:

          That’s a great question and one I’ve pondered myself. The answer no. That would never cheat on Casey. He learned at an early age the repercussions of his actions. It was also drilled into him from the time he took his first breat that family comes first – there is a scene where he’s talking to Michael and tells him how they always have to be aware that others are watching them. Also his relationship with Casey was more balanced. She was trying to protect him as much as he was trying to protect her. There was an imbalance with Lina and Phil in WPF. He didn’t feel he had anyone to lean on. He always had to be the strong one. He cracked

          • Miri says:

            Laura, Thant’s what I think too, that Tony would never cheat on Casey. I see what you mean about Tony being able to rely on Casey (she was like a fierce lioness protecting her cub when it came to him — I loved that!) and about him always being aware of being a public figure; but with Lina and Phil, I also felt like they had a balanced relationship in the sense that Phil worked a lot, yes, and financially supported the family, but Lina was the emotional support for them all…and without Lina taking care of/organizing everything at home he and the kids were kind of lost..Phil was able to go to work every day and focus 100% because he knew that Lina was holding down the fort at home and he had no worries there…it wasn’t like he would come home every day after work to a messy house and take out containers and his kids running wild lol…their respective responsibilities were pretty traditional but I think they were also pretty equal..and Lina was always supportive of Phil, she didn’t even like Adele bad mouthing him after what he did..between Phil and Lina, I see Lina was as being the stronger one in terms of her loyalty to him (ie she could have slept with Nick but chose not to)..I think if Phil felt he couldn’t lean on her it was was more his perception than the reality..as much as I love Phil, he’s just more self centered than Tony, I think in large part due to upbringing like you said (family and consequences were not as deeply instilled in him)..but that’s just my take on things (probably because I grew up in a home/dynamic similar to the one Phil and Lina built and can sympathize very much with the mother..I guess our perceptions are often colored by our pasts lol)

          • Laura says:

            Miri – yes! You are correct. This was Phil’s perception, not reality. Lina was an equal partner in that marriage

    • Miri says:

      Tracie, for me, I got the impression that it was both of things together, one immediately following the other; and also when Phil said he’d go upstairs to change, Lina didn’t offer to watch Liam like Phil had hoped. Also, when Phil brought Liam over the time before (for the first time) Lina decided to leave and go to Adele’s…I think all of those things together made him say that to her, almost to make her feel a bit guilty? I still think Phil was expecting too much too soon from all of them

      • Tracie says:

        I agree Miri…Phil does like control and he likes his family to be all together..You see that in how he wants everyone to eat together, go to church together, etc…I also wondered if Phil would relate Logan staying in his room, to Katie living six months in hers. Noting Logan’s segregation from his family as another failure for him as a father… what do you think Laura?

        • Laura says:

          No — Katie was depressed. Logan was refusing to be around Liam — he was basically pouting. Phil was angry at Logan.

          • Tracie says:

            And Logan was angry at Phil…Phil had said early on that he didn’t know how to get through to Logan. I wonder if at some level Phil admired how stubborn his son was, since he was the same way. LOL I also thought when Logan asked about Liams’s mom in the last chapter, if Logan wondered how his mom could of just given him up…I also wondered when Phil looked at Logan and said yes Logan all the time..if Phil was worried about Logan’s reaction and how it would affect Logan. The age difference between Logan and Liam would be like having two different families. I bet Phil pulled it off though…Swoon

  21. Laura says:

    “No. I don’t like Steve,” Lina said not looking away from the television screen. “Ask Shiloh to go with him.”
    “It’s not a date,” Adele insisted. “We just have an extra ticket. Come on — it will be fun.”
    “Going to a dance with a bunch of uppity private school guys doesn’t sound fun.”
    “Skylar isn’t uppity,” Adele said referring to her boyfriend. “Don’t be such a snob. You’re coming.”

    They’d been at the dance less than fifteen minutes when Lina noticed a boy standing on the other side of the dance floor leaning back against a pillar with one hand pushed casually into the pocket of his pants. He was in the middle of a group of both guys and girls. He was tall with dark hair and an athletic build. Even in the darkened room should could tell how good looking he was. As if feeling her gaze his head turned and their eyes met and held. Her heart began to beat crazily in her chest. A girl beside him leaned into him, stroking her hand up his chest. Lina quickly averted her gaze.
    Her reaction to him surprised her. He looked like a jock. She didn’t normally like jocks. They were too full of themselves. She resisted the urge to look at him again and instead clasped Adele’s arm. “Don’t make it obvious, but do you know who the guy standing next to the pillar is? The tall one.”
    “Phil Hunter?” Adele asked moments later.
    “Shh.” Lina frowned at her.
    “What about Phil?” Skylar asked, looking from Adele to Lina.
    “Lina just asked who he was.”
    “Of course,” Skylar said dryly.
    “I didn’t say I was interested,” Lina said, glaring at Adele.
    “Every girl is interested,” Skylar continued. “He’s the best lacrosse player in the country. He’s only a junior and he’s already committed to Duke.” His eyes widened as something behind Lina caught his eye.
    “Do you want to dance?”
    Lina’s heart began to pump faster at the sound of the deep voice. She turned to find the boy from the pillar standing directly behind her. He had the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen.
    “She isn’t interested,” Skylar said, smirking.
    “Do you want to dance with me?” Phil asked again, not taking his eyes from Lina.
    She nodded, ignoring Skylar and Adele as she followed the boy she now knew as Phil Hunter onto the dance floor.
    “What’s your name?” he asked as they began to dance.
    “Lina,” she answered. “You should know, I don’t like cocky.”
    He smiled as he stroked one of his hand around her waist to the small of her back. “I’ll be the lone exception.”
    “There’s no exceptions,” she said, winding her arms around his neck.
    “No?”
    She shook her head, pressing closer against him, her entire body humming with awareness. “I don’t make exceptions.”
    “You will for me.” He looked down into her eyes and she had the uncanny feeling he could see into her soul.
    “Why would I do that?” she asked, her voice sounding husky.
    “Because I’m going to marry you one day.”

    • Katie says:

      Phil being Phil, even as a teenager. Lol.
      Cute scene.
      You should do a deleted scenes novella??!

      • Tracie says:

        I loved that scene it rocked…I’m so up for the novella KBabe…I would love to see one from the last line of the last chapter to Christmas…That way would could see Lina and Logan’s relationship grow with Liam…

        Laura I absolutely loved that scene!

      • Miri says:

        YES YES YES!!!!! I’d snatch that up in a heartbeat!

    • Miri says:

      OMG!!!! Lauraaaa!!! THANK YOU!!! Biiig kiss and hug!!!
      I love it! Holy cow Phil was a hot cocky bastard even back then…how could anyone resist him?! If I were Lina I’d have fainted on the spot (good thing Lina is made of stronger stuff haha) This just totally made my day :)))
      You are the best!!!

      • Miri says:

        Oh, and a quick question…approximately what year would that have been? Early or mid nineties I imagine? Or earlier than that? It’s just that I like to imagine what they were wearing, what music was playing, etc, lol…

    • Hinata says:

      And yet here she is being married to a jock who is so full of himself..LOL!

  22. Tracie says:

    Phil’s heart was Lina he just made some poor choices and did suffer the consequences. Lina had blame as well, I think that’s why she asked Phil in SN about did he think she emotionally cheated on him with Nick…Adele really outline it for her in SN…

  23. Tara says:

    Laura, I read your comment about the cutting of the argument/fighting scenes from the beginning of WPF; and I get that editor found it depressing, but I’m suprised they were cut as, they would have put the affair in a different context. Obviously, not justifying, but I definitely different. My logic being their fighting and her lingering resentment would have put a different spin on their initial moving forward until everything fell apart. Maybe, maybe not??

    • Laura says:

      of course. The original WPF was a book about an affair. The working title was “The Affair”. The editor felt that the details of an affair are so obvious and not that unique — so…she told me to add in Katie’s POV and get rid of all the details. It became a different and I believe better book — Matt wasn’t in the original. I agreed with the editor or I wouldn’t have made the changes. But some readers wanted all the details

      • Tara says:

        I knew you wouldn’t have made the changes if you didn’t agree with them. It was a curiosity thing on my part. I don’t want to say it would have made Phil more sympathetic, but it might have made the affair more understandable, as it seemed so out of character.

        Originally I thought I’d want the details, but realized the book wasn’t about the affair and what I like about cheating stories isn’t the cheating, it’s about the process of grieving and healing.

        WPF worked for me because it’s about how Lina deals with the situation, moves forward and grows. And, SN works so well because it shows the same process for Phil and Lina separately and together.

        • Laura says:

          I get what you’re saying. Lina comes across as a saint in WPF — you don’t see anything negative which makes Phil look that much worse.

          • Tara says:

            Exactly, it may have balanced out the blame for the relationship issues, but obviously not Phil’s affair.

            Again, maybe, maybe not. I felt Lina went along with how he wanted to discipline Katie, but then blamed him, when it didn’t work and the situation got worse, but then he was mad when she chose Nick’s advice over his. Lots of anger, but not much real communication.

            I now understand how fanfiction happens—LOL

          • Tara says:

            PS… makes Phil look that much worse… I’ve voiced my opinion about this, but I won’t go there 😜. Particularly since Kim’s villainy (is that a word) was just as bad or worse in SN.

          • Miri says:

            Yes, that was my impression in the books, that she was almost otherworldly in her perfection and sainthood; she didn’t even have any serious tantrums when she found out about the cheating/baby..I’d have broken some things for sure lol ..so that made it harder to forgive Phil…

  24. Tracie says:

    I went back and forth when Laura was writing SN whether I wanted Phil and Lina to have full custody or not, but glad they did in the end. In WPF, where Lina talked about their retirement plans, that when Logan graduated college Phil was only going to work 9 months out of the year and they were going to travel for 3. I didn’t want Lina to be tied down again. But I loved that Laura put in the Epilogue how Liam stayed with Alice one weekend a month and Kim’s parents took him as well, so that Lina and Phil could have some alone time and go away for a few days and enjoy each other.

    • Miri says:

      Tracie, For me I felt that if kim had been a sane, loving, nurturing, good mother, I would have liked for them to have joint custody instead, so that way Lina and Phil could could have lots of time together alone after the kids left home and be all about each other..however in Kim’s care Liam was literally in danger, so there was no other option really. Luckily, Lina was happy to become a full time mother to Liam. And if Lina is happy with that, then I’m at peace with it too lol. If she hadn’t wanted to have him full time, I have a feeling that Phil wouldn’t have forced the issue, even if that meant that Kim and Liam ended up moving to New York. He would have just visited Liam in New York whenever possible. Laura, am I right about that?

      • Laura says:

        Yes, that’s right. Phil was going to put Lina first. He knew he had put her through too much already. That’s why he was struggling. He knew what was best for Liam wasn’t necessarily what was best for the rest of his family

  25. Tracie says:

    Laura how would Logan and his sisters have gotten along with Kim’s parents staying at their home? I always wondered if they would be like a family unit and watch movies with the Hunter’s, etc…

    • Miri says:

      Would Kim’s parents ever stay at the Hunters’? In a way they’re almost like Phil’s in-laws…that would be awkward, especially if Kim decided to drop by to see Liam and her parents (because of course she’d love to cause trouble)..at some point though, I imagine Phil would need to introduce his kids and wife to Kim’s parents..how would they react? I can’t imagine being a kid and the parents of my father’s ex mistress coming over for a visit…too weird and painful…

      Another question that popped up in my head…I know that Phil is successful and has money, but he’s not a billionaire after all, his resources aren’t infinite (when Lina transferred $25k to her own separate account, Phil said that he had been building up that account to pay for the kids’ schools, household expenses, etc)..would money ever become an issue in the sense that, during the year that Liam was living with Kim and Phil was paying child support/nanny, Lina and the kids had a stricter budget and couldn’t afford some of the things they used to be able to? I remember him seeing the house that Kim had bought (in SN) and thinking to himself that a lot of his child support money was going toward that house

      • Tracie says:

        Miri in the Epilogue Lina insisted that Kim’s parents stay at the house so they could have quality time with Liam….Lina probably became like family to her parents, since she was raising their grandson.

        I asked a similar question about the money once and Laura said Phil being a partner made over a million a year, so money wasn’t a problem for him…I wondered if they joined their money after they got back together…I’m sure they did or Lina put Phil’s name on her account. I bet Phil never took Lina’s name off their joint account…I’m sure Phil went back to managing all bills etc once they reunited..

        • Miri says:

          Thanks Tracie, I don’t remember that part in the epilogue, I’ll go back and reread it…I wonder if kim ever came to the Hunter home to visit Liam? At some point she would need to visit him, and would probably have to pick him up from the Hunters. I wonder what Kim and Liam’s relationship would look like as they got older..would he view her as a stranger? Would he feel attached to her? She to him?

          • Miri says:

            and yes, I agree that with the money stuff they probably went back to the way things had been before

          • Tracie says:

            Laura had said in one comment that Liam probably looked at Kim like a distant aunt…She probably just took him to dinner…

    • Anna says:

      Hi Ladies, greetings from NJ😀 Thank you Tracie for your activity, I love your comments! I haven’t been here for a long time. I’m very busy recently but when I saw a new posts today I just couldn’t help myself. I have a similar question that bothers me for awhile. Laura, what Kim’s parents think about Lina and this whole situation? I wonder if Kim’s father would say to Phil: ” Phil, you are a very lucky bastard having someone like Lina on your side…” ???😃

    • Miri says:

      I wonder if Kim went on to have other children? She didn’t seem to like being a parent very much

    • Laura says:

      This probably didn’t start happening until Katie was out of the house and Logan was doing his own thing — I think it would have been uneventful for the older Hunter children. They were probably friendly to them but nothing extra

  26. Laura says:

    deleted scene from WPF — Phil and Lina’s anniversary (it was in the beginning of the book)…

    “I tried to talk to Katie.”
    “You did?”
    “I tried to talk to her about the appointment today.” Phil looked down at the scotch before returning his gaze to hers. “It’s exhausting – she barely met my eyes and wouldn’t give me more than a syllable.”
    “I’m glad you tried.” She reached out and touched his bare knee. “I’m sure it meant a lot to her.”
    He shook his head. “I’m not.” He took another swallow of scotch. “Are we talking about the same girl?” He raised his eyebrows. “She accused me of pretending to care.”
    “She’s just striking out. She doesn’t mean it.” She squeezed his knee. “We just have to keep trying.”
    “I’m trying,” he assured her.
    “I know.”
    His eyes met hers. “Do you?”
    “You doubt it?” She left her chair and stepped between his legs, her hands moving over his shoulders.
    He continued to meet her eyes. “Yes, I doubt it. Why would you be so angry at me all the time if you believed I was trying?”
    “I haven’t been angry at you.” She said quickly. “I get frustrated sometimes but —-.”
    “Okay – Why would you be frustrated with me if you knew I was trying?”
    She dropped her eyes, willing herself to maintain control. “I don’t want to fight,” she said lightly.
    “I don’t either,” he said. “And I don’t want you bullshitting me.”
    “I’m not,” she said frustration creeping into her voice as she once again met his eyes. “You trying and me feeling frustrated aren’t exclusive of each other. I know you’re trying. I just wish you would listen more.”
    “When you say listen do you mean agree with what you’re saying?”
    “No! God,” she squeezed his shoulders, “Why can’t you accept the fact that we may not know what we’re doing? That we may not be able to fix this without professional help?”
    “Because,” he began reaching up and gripping her wrists. “I don’t agree.” He brought her hands down between them. “But because you insist that she needs a professional and because I am listening, I’m letting this go forward.”
    “Forget it,” she sighed, pulling her hands from his grip before reaching for her drink. “It’s impossible to discuss this with you.”
    “Why? Because I don’t agree with you?”
    “No because we always end up fighting and I don’t want to fight with you tonight.” She turned away from him as she resumed her seat. “I don’t want to fight with you.”
    He said nothing in response, seemingly content to sit beside her in silence.
    “You forgot our anniversary,” she said lightly, staring into her glass.
    “No I didn’t.”
    “You didn’t?” She turned her head and met his eyes.
    “No,” he shook his head.
    “Then why haven’t you mentioned it?”
    “When would I have mentioned it? You’ve been angry at me since I got home.”
    She broke their eye contact, hating the coolness he was projecting. “Why did you let Megan leave if you remembered?”
    “What does Megan have to do with our anniversary?”
    “If there wasn’t an us, she wouldn’t be here.” She again met his eyes.
    “True,” he brought the glass to his lips and took a generous swallow. “I’m not a mind reader Lina,” he said after setting the glass back down. “If it was important to you for her to share this you should have said something.”
    “You’re right. I should have said something.” She let her eyes drift over his face, a face she knew as well as her own. “Can we please just not discuss anything negative tonight and celebrate 25 years?”
    He breathed in and out deeply and for a moment Lina thought he was going to say no, but then he was nodding. “Okay.” He brought his glass to his mouth and drained it, before coming to his feet. “Do you want another?”
    Lina glanced at her almost full glass. “You just gave me this one.” She watched him cross the room and return to the bar, opening the bottle of scotch and pouring more into his glass. “Tough week?” she asked.
    “Long,” he answered as he dropped back onto the stool beside her. “I have to go back to Chicago next week.” He reached for the mail lying on the counter and began flipping through it.
    “When?”
    “I’ll leave Monday morning and hopefully be back Wednesday night.”
    “Megan’s prom is Thursday.”
    “I’ll be back.”
    “Phil?” She waited for him to turn and meet her eyes. “I love you.”
    “I love you, too.” His eyes returned to the mail.
    “Are we okay?”
    “Sure.”
    “Phil?”
    He tossed the mail down before returning her gaze. “I thought you didn’t want to discuss anything negative tonight.”
    She frowned. “What is that supposed to mean?”
    He raised his eyebrows. “Do you want to do this right now?”
    She felt tears suddenly come to her eyes and turned away as she reached for her drink.
    “Is dinner ready?” Logan’s voice preceded his entrance into the room. “What’s wrong?” His eyes were on his mother.
    “Nothing,” she wiped at a stray tear. “We were just – today’s our 25th anniversary.” She forced herself to smile.
    Logan frowned. “And that makes you sad?”
    “No, of course not.” She stood up and gave him a quick hug. “I’m just feeling sentimental.” She kissed the side of his cheek. “Tell Katie that it’s time to eat.”

    • Tracie says:

      OMG…how sad and stressful!! Was he sleeping with Kim yet? That just sunk my heart….They were in a rough patch….I hope their 26th wedding anniversary was better…What month was their anniversary?

      • Tracie says:

        Isn’t it amazing how far his attitude changed from that scene to the middle of Chapter 1 in WPF after their connection returned. Phil’s ego almost cost him everything that he held dear. But he is still the best hero ever in my book!

        • Laura says:

          it got better that evening…

          “Open the drawer bedside you,” he said indicating her bedside stand. “I forgot to give you your anniversary gift.”
          “You got me something?” They didn’t usually exchange gifts on their anniversary.
          “It’s 25 years Lina.”
          Lina rolled over and pulled open the drawer and extracted a small dark blue box that could only contain one of two things – earrings or a ring. “You didn’t have to get me anything.” She lay back on the pillows, propped up just slightly.
          “I think I did.”
          She felt excited suddenly, the gift so unexpected and then she was pushing back the lid and gasping when she saw the ring inside – a two karat emerald cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. “Phil,” she whispered, her eyes meeting his. “It’s incredible.”
          “You like it?” He smiled then and his face reminded her of the boy he once was.
          “I love it.” Her eyes again dropped to the ring. “It’s perfect.”
          He reached out and took it out of its casing and held it out to her. “Do you want me for another 25 years?”
          “Without a doubt,” she promised and then watched him slip the ring on the third finger of her right hand.

          • Laura says:

            these scenes are a bit out of context because there were lots of arguments in the first draft of WPF — the editor said it was too depressing so they didn’t make the cut.

          • Tracie says:

            This scene right here shows how Phil could compartmentalize his affair…Kim was no where on Phil’s radar in that moment with Lina. Also, shows with the question “Do you want me for another 25 years.” That he didn’t consider his affair to be a relationship, but a means of escaping his problems at home.

            I thought while reading SN that Phil was a little hypocritical in accusing Logan of running from his family because he didn’t like the circumstances at home. When in fact, that is exactly what Phil did…he escaped….

          • Tara says:

            So, he’s been having the affair 4 months at this point and he buys Lina a very expensive ring? Guilt? Love? Combination? Really? I want to punch him!

            At this point he’d been to Steamboat, he had to be feeling guilty. He’d already realized he’d made a huge mistake. I really want to punch him.

        • Laura says:

          LOL Tara — the affair was ending — after Steamboat Phil came to his senses. I don’t think the ring was about guilt

          • Tara says:

            OMG I hope not, I still want to punch him! Four months of idiotic, compartmentalizing behavior—he had better have felt guilt at that point, even if the ring wasn’t from a guilty conscience. 😜😜😜

      • Laura says:

        It was the anniversary of the day they met, not got married — it was May. Yes, he was sleeping with Kim.

        • Tracie says:

          But he was fixing to dump her if it was May and yes I don’t know if I could stand them being mean like the first half of that scene, it would have broke my heart….Chapters 29 and 30 were rough for me in WPF…Loved the second half of scene…I bet they got steamy

    • Miri says:

      Laura thank you so much for your generosity!! I live for your bonus scenes!! :)))

      This scene made my stomach hurt, because not only are they arguing, but I also feel like Lina is being conciliatory and is in need of reassurance, while Phil is being a little bit hostile and cold…what bothers me the most is knowing that he’s sleeping with Kim on the side at this point, so that gives their marital discord a whole different context for me…like, it’s one thing for a husband and wife to argue, but it’s a whole different level for a husband and wife to argue and then for the husband to go and seek solace in another woman’s bed…I wonder if he would have been as unsympathetic toward Lina if he didn’t have kim to turn to and unwind and forget about his troubles at home?…like maybe he would have tried harder to be supportive and warmer toward Lina and to get along better with her?

      • Miri says:

        I’m referring to the first scene in my post above…

      • Tracie says:

        Miri he probably would of been the very exact same. Our mantra is Phil is Phil!!! But I just loved in when his whole attitude changed in WPF when he figured out Nick was after Lina….

      • Laura says:

        I’m going to have to defend Phil here – I’ll preface it by saying there is no excuse for having an affair. No excuse. In this scene Lina had decided to be nice to Phil because it was their anniversary. She had been thinking about how much she and Phil had been fighting about Katie. Suddenly after weeks of being cold to him she realizes she’s been pulling away from him. You see the scene after those thoughts. You can’t expect him to just be on board becaus eLina is doing an about face. Also if he was nice and sweet wouldn’t that make him worse? I’m sure he is both upset with Lina and feeling guilt for what he’s doing. Any way the affair was ending st this point. He was never with Kim again.

        • Miri says:

          Laura, than you for those details, as it changes the picture a little…his coldness is in reaction to Lina’s previous coldness, and not because he has “options” (ie Kim) so to speak, and can therefore afford to take Lina for granted.

          So can I assume that the first chapter of WPF (Lina and Phil in bed, after she found the pink tie) took place very shortly after this scene? Because that was when he decided to stop seeing Kim, right? Also, I can see how some of his hostility would stem from feeling guilty about Kim…after all Phil is more offence than defense, so when feeling cornered (or guilty, in this case), his instinct is to go on the defensive…as Tracie said, Phil is Phil hehe

        • Hinata says:

          Phil being an alpha he should have acted that way with Lina through their fights and should have had angry sex and made up with her instead of going to some other woman and having affair with her…

          • Laura says:

            In WPF I believe there is a scene where Lina thinks about how she had stopped wanting to have sex — she rebuffed him — she was too angry after their arguments about Katie. Phil could compartmentalize but she couldn’t. It takes two to have angry sex — Lina wasn’t willing.

    • Tara says:

      Wow, that was painful!

    • Hinata says:

      Thanks for revealing this scene Laura
      Phil doesn’t even accept Lina’s father back but and acts as he is high and mighty without a taint in his character,but I wonder after reading this scene that does he even have conscience?!!!
      How could he act like he fucked Kim in some other life and ask Lina to stay married..??
      Ugh…this is so exhausting…I will never be team Phil..sorry..it’s just damn hard !!

      • Hinata says:

        Correction:
        but acts as if he is high and mighty***

        😅

      • Laura says:

        Yes, but Lina’s father left the family for years. Phil sees his indiscretion as minor compared to that — he never abandoned his family in his mind. He was with Lina for twenty five years — he had a four month affair. In that scene he was showing his hurt and anger. He’s flawed and selfish — no question about it, but he also loves Lina.

  27. Tracie says:

    Miri I love your enthusiasm over our Hunter’s. You remind me of myself and Janet. This month is mine and Laura’s anniversary month. I have officially been hounding her about this family for one year the 25th of this month. It’s been a blast and I’m fortunate to have met not only a talented author but a gem of a person. Hats off to you sister…

    Love you comments and questions Miri….

    • Miri says:

      Happy Anniversary!! lol…I’m so glad that I found all of you ladies! without you I’d be going through my obsession all alone haha! You get how special this couple and family is/are, and you love them like I do 🙂 and Tracie I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one bewitched by Phil! haha

    • Laura says:

      Wow – an entire year? That’s crazy! Happy anniversary! 😘

  28. Tracie says:

    Laura you know how I like to add my own extension to scenes at times…Lol

    Church scene where Lina says: “Make me do what? I love him! She isn’t taking him away from us!” Phil continues to look down…

    I imagine Lina taking Phil’s face in her hands drawing his eyes to hers and saying: “Listen to me! Liam didn’t come from my body, but I love him like he did. We’re going to fight her together to keep him!” Phil looks at Lina with tear filled eyes, drawing her into his chest as his raw voice whispers..”I love you baby.” Swoon!!! LOL

    Laura what were Phil’s thoughts when Lina said those last lines in the church?

    • Miri says:

      I like your extension scenes! It’s hard to let go of this couple/family isn’t it

    • Laura says:

      Nice job, Tracie! I love it!
      What was Phil thinking? He felt love for Lina and a sense of relief but he still knew he had a court fight in front of him — if Kim hadn’t willingly given him Liam things could have turned out differently.

  29. Kay Howard says:

    Cannot let this family go!

    Two new questions: At the beginning in New York which Phil later explained, “I talked. She listened…” What exactly was he talking to Kim about? Was it the disconnect he was feeling with his family? The problems with Katie? If so, Kim certainly had a lot of insight into Phil’s family life.

    And just how sexually experienced was Phil? If he and Lina had been together since high school, was Kim his second sexual partner? I would think that would have been a bigger issue in his own head than it seemed to be. From the way Phil is presented, he seemed much more sexually experienced so much so that sleeping with someone other than Lina was really not that big a deal…at least in the moment…

    Any thoughts?

    • Laura says:

      Hi Kay!
      He was talking about the case — I actually wrote this scene at some point (and then deleted because I couldn’t stand it). During the picture explanation scene in SN, Lina and Phil discuss the fact that he had stopped talking to Lina about his work.

      Phil had sex as a teenager before he was with Lina — probably for a year or two.

      • tracie says:

        So glad you deleted…ewww…..LOL

      • Miri says:

        Hi Laura! I don’t recall if the books mentioned this, but how did Lina and Phil meet? Was it at school? Was it love at first sight, or were they friends for a while first? Due to their 1 or 2 year age difference (I think?), they would have been in different grades, right? Also, since Phil came from a pretty conservative home, what was his initial opinion(s) of his future mother/sisters in laws? They seem to be from different worlds

        • Laura says:

          Hi Miri! Phil and Lina met at a dance (flashback scene was deleted from the original WPF). They went to different high schools — Adele was going on a double date and the other girl got sick — Lina filled in. Yes love or lust at first sight. Phil loved Lina’s “no rule” home. It was a complete contrast to his conservative household.

          • Miri says:

            OMG Laura!! Is there any way you can post the dance/first meeting scene on this blog?? I would be thrilled to read it!! (but no pressure lol, I understand if you can’t — I just get super excited about this couple hehe)

            Also, another question if it’s ok…would Phil have turned down Duke in order to remain with Lina if the night of the break in/attack hadn’t happened? Or would he have stayed to be with her anyhow? If that night hadn’t happened, would he and Lina have been ok having a long distance relationship during college?

          • Laura says:

            It’s on an old computer but I’ll look for it — I have literally hundreds of versions LOL.
            Good question — yes, Phil would have gone to Duke. I’m sure their relationship would have survived, but it would have been different without that trauma.

          • Miri says:

            Laura I would be eternally grateful!! Post everything! heck, make an ebook out of all the discarded/deleted scenes so I can happily buy it!! :))) I’m insatiable for more Lina and Phil!

            And yes, I agree that the trauma forged a much tighter bond between them..but I like to think that they’d still be together all these years later regardless 🙂 (and if he had gone to Duke, he’d better have stayed true to Lina!!)

  30. Tracie says:

    Hi girls..I have some think questions…

    Once Phil started taking Liam out for his visits and Kim kept saying “out where”….Do you think she was worried Phil was taking him around Lina or that she would be losing face time with Phil?

    Phil always stated throughout SN that “Logan ignored Liam again.” Do you think it was because he wanted his family whole to include Liam or he was worried Logan wouldn’t acknowledge his brother and Logan would pull even further from the family. I was so glad when Phil told Logan that he wasn’t going to lose him anymore than he had too. I also think Phil was at a loss on how to handle Logan’s anger toward him because of the affair.

    • Tara says:

      I believe most of Kim’s interactions with Phil were manipulations for attention.

      You have a much more rosy perspective of Phil. I think Phil was absolutely at a loss as to how to deal with Logan, to a certain extent I think once Lina forgave him, he expected his kids to fall into line behind her. I love that Logan didn’t. It feels realistic that he would be protective of his mother and on some level unforgiving—he’s a teenage boy. How forgiving would Phil have been in the same situation? Not too.

      I think Logan had to work through the process and it happened somewhere between the last chapter and the epilogue. When he brings Liam to the kitchen for the cookie, he’s still not completely accepting of him. For me Lina was right, Logan needed time and space, but I also think he needed the confrontation with Phil in the car, because Phil needed to understand just how hurt and angry Logan was, and Phil couldn’t just expect him to get over it.

      • Tracie says:

        You are right on the rosy perspective Tara, I’ve always been a Phil fan. The struggles Phil went through in SN were warranted because of his past transgressions. I remember the balcony scene on the beach where Lina noticed how tired he looked, like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. I wondered several times throughout SN if Phil was ever at peace. The car scene with Logan was just WOW! Phil was furious with Logan, but do you think he realized how hurt Logan really was? I’m on the fence there because he told Lina he was disappointed in Logan, not that he hurt for him. I got the impression he was hurting more for Liam.

        • Laura says:

          Good point — I don’t think he ever was truly at peace — not until the epilogue when Kim was no longer in the picture. I don’t think Phil really felt Logan’s pain until they were taking the walk

          • Tara says:

            The “we weren’t your priority…” comment hit home.

          • Tracie says:

            Laura when Phil went to get Logan for the walk scene, why did he hesitate at his door? I wondered if Phil thought this is make or break time.

          • Laura says:

            The hesitation was to show it wasn’t a rash decision to take a walk with Logan — he knew he needed to remain calm — he was basically getting in the right mindset

        • Miri says:

          New comments..yay!! :)))

          I’ve mentioned a few times that I don’t think Phil ever really appreciated how hurt and betrayed Logan felt..he expected him to get over it and accept Liam because Phil “said so”..Katie’s and Megan’s reactions were a little unreal to me compared to Logan’s…I was surprised at how un-invested they seemed to be in their mother’s well being and happiness..Logan was far more relate-able…Also, I mentioned a few days ago that Phil didn’t seem to realize or care about how Logan was being affected by the upheaval..I wrote earlier:

          “I remember at one point in SW Logan says to Phil, “Everyone knows what you did. The kids in the neighborhood — everyone!” and Phil replied “I don’t care about everyone”…well, maybe Phil didn’t care, but he should have realized that Logan was younger and not as thick skinned as him and that he did care what people said about his family.

          Throughout SW I felt Phil was being way too hard on Logan…there were several confrontations between the two where he made Logan about to cry…I don’t think Phil ever quite appreciated just how badly Logan was affected by all of it (the cheating and the baby)”

          I too am a Phil groupie, hehe, but I really didn’t like his insensitivity toward Logan in general…as for him being disappointed in Logan, I think Logan had far more reason to be disappointed in Phil, though Phil didn’t seem to consider that. Logan was actually pretty restrained in expressing his outrage and anger compared to how Phil would have done at Logan’s age if his father had done all that to his mother/family

          • Tracie says:

            Phil shifted gears with Logan several times. Trying to spend quality time with him and frustrated over his determination to ignore Liam. Miri I too thought, at the time, where Phil said he didn’t care about everyone, that he was forgetting that his kids were embarrassed as well. Megan kind of brought that to Phil’s attention as well, comparing him to her friend Carrie’s dad. However, Phil did apologize to Logan regarding people gossiping about his family and him being the cause. Phil and Logan were a lot a like. They both wanted Lina at home cooking and taking care of them, stubborn and both wanting to have their way. Phil wanting Logan to accept Liam and Logan refusing to give into Phil’s wants….Because of the Epilogue, I know that Phil was able to find time to be a father building a block tower with a one year old and a father taking his 15 year old to a Ravens game. Lina became the caregiver of Liam, no doubt in my mind. I think that because Lina was so upset about Logan growing up and becoming a man. She now had another baby that needed and wanted her full attention. Logan and Phil would of had more in common over those 2.5 years he still at home. Just my thoughts.

          • Laura says:

            I was Katie’s age when my parents went through their divorce. My reaction was very similar to Katie’s — in retrospect it was insensitive but at the time I was just living my own teenage life and not too concerned about my parents. My brother had a much harder time with it. I notice the same is true with my friends who have gone through divorces — I didn’t intentionally set out to write it this way, but it clearly was based on my own experience.

            And you’re right — at first Phil didn’t appreciate anyone’s pain but Lina’s. He eventually understood how much pain and shame he brought to his family.

  31. Tara says:

    Hi Ladies, has anyone read Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s a quick read available on KU. Has a great plot twist.

  32. Hinata says:

    Would Phill have ever told about his affair with Kim to Lina if Kim didn’t get pregnant?

    Because from what I read in the scene I feel like he desperately wanted Kim to not have the baby,…only after she said that she wants the baby he went to Lina and told about his affair.

    • Laura says:

      He would never have told her — no way.

      • Hinata says:

        Haha..yeah right very much like his character,I don’t know what to think of Phill and Lina anymore..I give up. If they are happy I’m happy too but I don’t understand how easily Lina trusted and took Phill back..as I said I give up😅

        You are amazing Laura you made your readers think hard about the characters and the story..I guess it’s a great gift to help your audience be involved in your work(any form of art).I am thankful that I got to read your book.😀

        • Laura says:

          Thank you, Hinata!

          Phil was part of Lina’s identity — that would be a tough bond to break. She was all about her marriage and family. No doubt, he devastated her but she never stopped loving him. I think ultimately, she trusts that he won’t do it again.
          The one line in WPF where Phil says something like …”have you ever considered a flawed version of me is better for you than a perfect version of anyone else” is the most significant line in the novel — at least I think so LOL

      • Miri says:

        Hi Laura, another question for you! During the four months that Phil had the affair with Kim, were he and Lina intimate in the bedroom at all? Or was the bedroom scene in chapter 1 of the book (WPF) (when Lina found the pink tie) their first time together in more than four months? Lina says to Phil, “I’ve missed you”, and Phil seems surprised to hear this…I’m still thinking about them Laura, you must be some kind of literary sorceress to loll

        • Miri says:

          Ok, never mind! lol…I just went and re-read chapter one…I’d forgotten that Lina said to him, “Did you know it’s been three weeks?”…so that answers my question…hmmm…so it’s not that he wasn’t getting any lovin’ at home hehe

  33. Katie says:

    Omgoodness, new comments! Is the gang back?? + Miri, etc.

    Hi Tracie and Tara! And, hi Laura! Even though I talk to you everyday, whether you like it or not. 🤪

    • Tracie says:

      Hi Kbabe…I love new bloggers…..

      Girls I do have a few thoughts for you to ponder on….

      Do you think Lina ever told Phil what Logan said regarding Will’s mom. “Will’s mom told his dad she would of never taken him back.”

      Do you think Phil ever considered the embarrassment that Logan suffered from his peers at school, like Lina did in the grocery store?

      • Miri says:

        I remember at one point in SW Logan says to Phil, “Everyone knows what you did. The kids in the neighborhood — everyone!” and Phil replied “I don’t care about everyone”…well, maybe Phil didn’t care, but he should have realized that Logan was younger and not as thick skinned as him and that he did care what people said about his family.

        Throughout SW I felt Phil was being way too hard on Logan…there were several confrontations between the two where he made Logan about to cry…I don’t think Phil ever quite appreciated just how badly Logan was affected by all of it (the cheating and the baby)

    • Tara says:

      Hi Katie—it’s definitely fun seeing new fans popping up on the blog! And, as always, I’m willing to discuss the Hunters 😝. Hope you and your family are well!

      Tracie—for me, I’m obviously not speaking for anyone else, I think Phil is borderline blindsided each time he has to deal with the consequences of his affair and Liam. I don’t think Lina would have said anything as he doesn’t really care about how others perceive the situation. This is why I think he’s blindsided each time he’s confronted. He had one “fire” after another to deal with. Laura often says Phil’s a hypocrite, it shows in how he reacts to Logan. His brother, Mike, points out that if this had been their dad, they would have been just as mad as Logan; and honestly, I think Phil would have been much more vocal, in his “in your face” way.

      Again, just my 2 cents.

      • Laura says:

        Yep — I agree with Tara. Phil witnessing Lina’s pain and responding showed him growing a bit. He wouldn’t like Logan caring about the opinion of others and wouldn’t have been too sensitive to it.

    • Miri says:

      Hi! I love this blog and everyone’s investment and attachment to the books/Hunters 🙂

  34. Rebecca says:

    I loved Swimming Naked and thought it answered any and all questions I had remaining from WPF. However, I was reading reviews and someone commented that the explanation for the pictures seemed a little too neat (I believe this person particularly called out the Steamboat explanation). It was not something that immediately occurred to me (I was in fact relieved at the explanations) but after giving it some thought I did wonder if it may have been ‘neat’. He had already crossed so many boundaries, why not the dancing or Steamboat? Just wondering why that is the route you took? Did you consider making the explanations worse (particularly Steamboat)?

    • Laura says:

      I think what some readers don’t realize is that characters take on a life of their own and they not the writers make decisions – it sounds crazy I know but it’s true – at least for me. In my first draft of WPF Phil and Lina discussed Steamboat but the explanation was cut out during editing ( a long with another 40,000 or so words). I wasn’t just pacifying certain readers – that was actually what happened. But the truth is even if Phil had slept with Kim in steamboat Lina would have forgiven him.

  35. Tracie says:

    Miri I don’t think I would of aggravated the situation with Nick, if I were Lina. Phil had zero tolerance for Nick and decided early on in WPF that he was after Lina. He told her in SN that he knew Nick was interested in her at Megan’s graduation. Lina did the right thing in leaving that alone. I knew Phil would end up with Lina in WPF, she just didn’t fit with Nick and no matter how flawed Phil was Lina could always see past it. I loved that about her. Lina complimented Phil in so many ways, she was his anchor. Phil was an Alpha male no doubt, but Lina was the strength of that marriage. My Phil had my total forgiveness in Chapter 47 of WPF. I never looked back or doubted his remorse for his affair or his love for Lina. I think Phil pretty much summed up the four month affair better than anyone could in SN: “We fucked for a few months Kim, get over it!”

    • Laura says:

      Also, Lina isn’t a game player. Although it was none of Phil’s business at that point, she wouldn’t want to cause him pain — even though he deserved it.

      • Miri says:

        eh, I think he could have sweated a little more hehe, but you’re right, Lina is not at all petty, she is wise and evolved…one of the reasons I love her so much

    • Miri says:

      “Lina complimented Phil in so many ways, she was his anchor. Phil was an Alpha male no doubt, but Lina was the strength of that marriage.”

      Tracie, I totally agree..if I thought for even one minute that she would be as happy with Nick (or anyone else), I’d want her to leave Phil behind (not so much because of the affair, but because Phil was going to be a father to another woman’s baby, and so how does the hurt ever truly go away?)…but as we know, Lina and Phil are soul mates, and that is a very rare thing..they would always be incomplete without each other..that’s what makes this story and couple so different and special..often in many cases the wife is much better off without the cheating husband, but in their case they just could not be apart or with anyone else

  36. Laura says:

    Miri — You’re right, Phil would never accept a child of Lina’s with another man — absolutely not. He is definitely a hypocrite — there are examples of it throughout both novels. He is a flawed H, but he has some great traits too and I believe he grew quite a bit during Swimming Naked.
    I think the reason Lina didn’t bring up Kim at the dinner because she knew if Phil wanted Kim he would have been with her — she had his child. Lina had kicked him out and yet he still didn’t get together with Kim.

    The question you asked about how long Phil would have waited before hooking up with another woman — he would only have done that if Lina moved on ie she was living with another man. As long as she was single he knew there was a chance she was coming back to him.

    I think one of the problems many readers had with Phil was his lack of sensitivity — he knew how little Kim meant to him and he wanted the family to move past it. He couldn’t undo it. He hated what he had done and wanted to put it in the past — in SN he realized he had to confront the pain he caused his family.

    as far as his feeling for Kim — she wasn’t a prostitute. He had a physical affair with her. He never stopped loving Lina and never planned to leave his family. Kim was an escape from the problems at home– I’m sure he liked her but the relationship was mostly physical.

    • Tara says:

      Hey Laura, I check in on the blog every few days. Swimming Naked is by far my favorite book for 2019. So, I still like to follow other readers’ thoughts. I miss the interaction between the ladies and am looking forward to future books.

      Tracie, I was originally Team Lina, now Team Hunter, even with redemption, I’m never going to complete Team Phil, but he’s more tolerable 😜

  37. Tracie says:

    Hi Laura….I love knowing people are still commenting on the Hunter’s so love this family. Miss you much!

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie! I miss you too! It was so good to hear from you and Tara today — just like old times! Miri would have been a nice addition to our team Phil group LOL

      • Miri says:

        Thank you Laura!! I appreciate your feedback so much, I honestly do… I really needed to vent! lol..If Phil wasn’t so compelling and so damn sexy I wouldn’t care what he did, but he is and I need to get over what he did (if Lina can, I suppose I can as well haha)…and I would have LOVED to have been a part of your team over the summer, but I only discovered your books less than 2 weeks ago (and so happy that I did — you are an automatic buy for me now)…thanks again, have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

        • Tracie says:

          Hi Miri…if you ever want to vent just post away. I’m such a Hunter family fan I would love to talk with you. Laura will set us straight if we get to chasing to many rabbits….Laura doesn’t disappoint…..

          • Laura says:

            Tracie — you’ve picked my brain so much I think you know Phil as well as I do!

          • Miri says:

            Hi Tracie, I just may take you up on that! lol…since finishing Laura’s books, I’ve tried reading other books (to take my mind off of this hehe), but every other book seems hollow to me right now (I mostly read romances)…this family was just so real to me, they had so much love for each other and depth…I especially identified with Logan for his reaction and his pain over the affair and baby…I love that Laura has been so generous, answering all of our posts and giving us bonus scenes…I could keep reading about this family forever. I know you are a Phil fan.. despite my grumbling I definitely am too, he really captured my imagination and my heart..however, I, not being as nice as Lina, would have made him sweat a little more…remember when she went to him in the basement on Christmas (in WPF) and after they were together he asked her if she’d been with Nick (whom I also adore and who totally deserves his own HEA), I wouldn’t have been so quick to appease him, I would’ve let him wonder for a little bit longer hehe…what about you? were you ready at that point to completely forgive him and move forward?

        • Laura says:

          Thanks Miri! You can vent all you like — Phil is a swoon-worth H that that hurt his family irreversibly — it’s hard to swallow

          • Miri says:

            “Phil is a swoon-worth H that that hurt his family irreversibly — it’s hard to swallow”

            Thanks Laura, he IS completely swoonworthy, and for all of his faults and transgressions, I have no doubt that he will never take for granted his second chance.

            I really hope that SN is not the last we’ll see of the Hunters…it’s really just the beginning for them!

  38. Hinata says:

    Laura could you please explain how Phil cheated on his wife for four months even though he knows that she can’t sleep alone??
    And you have mentioned in SN that he used to check on her through that tracking app whether she was home even while he was cheating …I mean I feel he was in his right brains and still opted cheating
    How ridiculous is that??

    • Laura says:

      I would say he traveled (not necessarily cheated). And the travel was unavoidable with his job. They were together twenty-five years and he traveled quite a bit. I think on two occasions he escaped to Kim’s — very selfish and no justification — I believe he was trying to escape the problems at home.

      • Hinata says:

        Thankyou Laura for answering…I liked your writing style

        • Laura says:

          Thank you, Hinata!

          • Miri says:

            Hi Laura, I’m sorry that I’m not letting it go!! I need to just get over it already; you’re probably tired of all the questions/comments about Phil’s infidelity…but it just goes to show just how deeply your writing resonates with readers, that some of us are still agonizing weeks after finishing the books.

            I wrote several messages on the older (inactive) thread, so I’ll one of them here….IF you are not totally sick and tired of recriminations regarding Phil, can you please let me know your thoughts?

            I wrote:

            ‘His puruit of Kim in some of those texts, and him ditching his runs with Megan to run with Kim definitely added to my bitterness toward Phil. Unless his brain was hijacked by aliens, he had no justification!!! How could he justify to himself choosing to spend quality time with Kim instead of his daughter??’

            Unless I misunderstood, Phil and Megan had a routine of running together on Saturday mornings. He knew how much she loved spending this time with him. Did he really stop running with her in order to join the Saturday morning running group with kim? Obviously, while they were in the group together, there must have been some public displays of affection, since Emily (nick’s friend/date) thought they were a couple.

            Also, clearly kim wasn’t the only one pursuing since some of the texts showed Phil initiating plans to get together with her (the texts that she sent to Lina)

          • Laura says:

            Hi Miri — I get it — I was obsessed with the Hunters too — I still am in a way. Phil joined the running group as part of his triathlon training — not to spend alone time with Kim. The words about leaving his family to be with Kim were Lina’s, not Phil’s. While it’s true that Kim joined the group, Phil’s main purpose in going was for his own personal training. Of course, he shouldn’t have let Kim be part of it, but as Tara pointed out — he wasn’t thinking.
            And yes, he sent Kim texts about getting together for sex — it was an affair — no one twisted his arm. He was a willing participant.

          • Laura says:

            Hi Miri — I’m sorry for not responding to your other questions — I’m usually alerted via email when I receive a new comment — I wasn’t for most of yours. I’ll read through them later today or tomorrow and draft a reply in this thread.

          • Miri says:

            “The texts blurred together as Lina read about one clandestine meeting after another, sometimes two in the same day. There were 24 in all, and in each one Phil was the pursuer’

          • Tara says:

            Miri, not Laura, but it’s something we discussed below, so I’m joining in…

            On some level Phil was disconnected. If you take the texts between the 2 books, the affair and after Liam was born, he didn’t pay attention to all the relationship manipulation Kim was trying. His texts during the affair were when and where, just logistics. Kim’s responses were an attemp at a relationship. Then the texts after Liam was born were about Liam, he didn’t engage with any of the extra conversations she included.

            Somewhere in Swimming Naked he realized the people in the running group assumed there was more to the “relationship” than there was, they joined separately, it’s obvious she followed him to the group. I think he was in his own head, and kind of clueless to what was going around him until he came to his senses and then it blew up in his face.

            I’m a fan of cheating stories, not because I like angst, but rather it gives an author the opportunity to show clear character growth. We watch Lina go threw the grieving process and she comes out stronger in the end. We see Phil own his mistakes and go on to help put his family back together.

            For me this story isn’t about the cheating, it’s the healing.

            Just my 2 cents and Laura, I hope I didn’t step on your toes! 💕💕💕

          • Laura says:

            Hi Tara! Yes, you are correct — Kim was simply an escape from a stressful life and in his mind she was always temporary. WPF begins as the affair ends — it is a story of healing from and surviving infidelity.

            Nice to hear from you! I hope everything is going well in your life!

          • Miri says:

            Hi Tara, my earlier message to you didn’t seem to come through, but thank you for your message, I love Phil and am really trying to forgive him lol, so thanks!

      • Miri says:

        Laura, thank you so much for your reply, but no rush!! I know you have a life outside of this blog, I’m grateful to you for replying at all! Also we all want you to write new books for us to devour, and that takes a lot of time and energy lol. I apologize for being so totally obsessed with these characters, it’s just that they’re so real to me…I agonize over them as though they really exist (I’m not usually like this I promise haha). Anyhow, much appreciated Laura, thank you 😊🙏

      • Miri says:

        And Laura, thank you for clearing up the running group thing, I am somewhat mollified to know that he joined for his own training and not in order to be with Kim. Whew. Seriously, that helps 😊🙏

  39. Tracie says:

    Hi Tara…I’ve reread it several times myself. Still love and miss the Hunter’s.

    Can’t wait to meet Lucas…..

  40. Tara says:

    I did a reread this week. It’s still good 🙂

  41. Tracie says:

    Hi Girls…I was thinking about a comment you made Laura where you said that Liam would be a complex H…I was wondering as Liam grew up would he notice the bond Logan, Katie and Megan had with each other and notice it wasn’t the same as they had with him. Because of the age difference, he wouldn’t grow up with sibling rivalry or group discussions around the dinner table, etc…It would be just Liam and his parents when the oldest three left the nest. Holidays, etc as he got older he wouldn’t have the memories that the older three had as they laugh and talk about growing up together, with Phil and Lina joining in on the discussion. Even though the whole family loves Liam and he has been given the same opportunities as the older three, I could see how he could feel a smidge segregated from the family as a whole during those times.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Tracie. I agree there is a big age difference between Liam and the other three Hunter children but I think Liam grows up just fine. He has two parents (Phil and Lina) that raised him with so much love and support that it wasn’t an issue. Yes he has older siblings but they love him and he loves them. I also thinks he grows up with very close friends that he bonds with. It would be the same if you were an only child. Just my take.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Ladies!
      No, Liam won’t feel any jealousy toward the relationships of his older siblings — if anything he would get a lot more attention from them and Phil and Lina. I think his unresolved issues would stem from how he internalizes the fact that his biological mother didn’t care about him.

      • Tracie says:

        That would be awful knowing your mother just cut you loose…I loved Liam and hoped he would not feel that distance….Plus he would be the older kid for his nieces and nephews as they came along, he would also have Elijah…Laura between the time Logan and Phil had the walk scene and Chapter 37 did Phil require Logan to have dinner with the family after he told him that he had to learn to coexist with Liam?

        • Laura says:

          After the walk, Logan started having dinner with the family. I think he made a point of not interacting with Liam until the scene we witnessed in the book.

  42. Tracie says:

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

  43. 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.

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. Murlene says:

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

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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…..

  51. 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

  52. 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

  53. 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 😊

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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!!

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. Ann says:

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

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