A White Picket Fence — Bonus scene

This scene begins on the same day Lina is on the boat with Nick…

Phil noted that Lina’s car wasn’t in the garage as he followed Katie into the house. “Where’s your mom?”

“I don’t know.” Katie frowned. “I was with you.”

“Did you get the car?” Logan joined them in the kitchen, his attention focused on Katie.

Katie held up the keys to her new car.

“Where’s Mom?” Phil asked.

“I don’t know.” Logan shrugged.  

“She just left without saying anything?” Phil asked.

“She said she’d be back tonight. I’m going to look at Katie’s car.” Logan headed out to the garage followed by Katie.

Phil sighed as he opened the refrigerator which, unlike the one at the Farside house, was stocked with food. He pulled out a beer, one of only two left, and opened it as he headed to the family room. He wondered if Lina would buy more of his beer.

He glanced at his watch. It was just after two. Mike would be there within the hour to help him move the rest of things. The thought of returning to his empty rental brought a physical pain to his chest. He hated the place. It didn’t matter how nice the property was — it wasn’t his home. He dropped down on the couch, spreading his legs wide as he leaned back into the cushions. His eyes focused on a family photo displayed on the end table to his right. His chest expanded as his gaze zeroed in on Lina – his Lina. A surge of pain rocked through him. It was unfathomable, the thought of a life without her. He shook his head. He wasn’t letting his thoughts go there.

He reached for the remote and turned on a college football game, staring unfocused at the television.

He heard Logan’s voice in the kitchen a few minutes later and called out for him to join him. “Sit down and watch the game with me.”

“I have a lot of homework,” Logan mumbled, avoiding his eyes.

“I’m only going to be here another half hour or so. I’d like to spend some time with you.”

“We’re going to the Raven’s game tomorrow.”

“Logan—”

“Fine.” Logan dropped down on the couch.

He wondered how long Logan’s anger would last.  He took a swallow of his beer. “I’m surprised you weren’t watching.”

Logan shrugged, noncommittally.

“What did you do last night?”

“Nothing. Just hung out with Brian.”

Phil’s grip tightened on the beer as his thought quickly shifted to Nick Prossi. “Where?”

“Here–he went home this morning.”

Phil forced his thoughts away from Drayton. “How’s Mom? Logan?” he pressed when Logan didn’t answer.

“What?” Logan frowned at him.

“I asked you how your mom was?”

“I thought you wanted to watch the game.”

“Hey—I asked you a question.”

“She’s fine.” Logan crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back into the couch. “I don’t want to talk about her with you.”

Phil took a breath, striving to maintain his temper. He wasn’t used to this defiant Logan. “I love her, Logan. Nothing is ever going to change that.”

“She’s fine,” Logan repeated. “You don’t have to worry about her. I’ll take care of her.”

“You’ll take care of her?”

“I mean, I’ll make sure she’s safe.” Logan’s face heated. “I’m the one here.”

Phil felt a twist in his gut at the realization that Logan was the only male presence in the house. If there was an intruder it would be Logan, not himself, protecting the family.

The sound of the doorbell had Phil looking toward the front of the house. “It’s your uncle Mike. He’s going to help me get a few things.” He came to his feet, but hesitated before leaving. “If anything ever comes up, you know to call me, right? Anything at all”

“Yeah, Dad, I know.”

“Thanks for coming,” Phil said as soon as Mike stepped into the foyer. “You can start with the boxes in my stud. The rest is upstairs.”

“Hi, Uncle Mike,” Logan said joining them.

“Hey Buddy.” Mike dropped an arm around Logan’s shoulder and pulled him into his side. “You look like you’ve grown another few inches. You’re going to pass your father soon.”

“Do you need any help?”

“No,” Phil answered. There was no way he was going to let Logan have a memory of moving him out. “You can finish your homework.”

Logan’s gaze shifted to Phil’s bandaged arm, but he didn’t argue, instead walking off down the hall.

Phil nodded toward the study. “The boxes are behind my desk. I’ll be upstairs.”

As soon as Phil entered the master suite he was assailed with Lina’s familiar smell. He paused just inside the room. It had only been two weeks since he left, but he felt like he’d already lived an eternity without her, not that what he’d been doing was living. At best, he’d been existing.

His throat constricted when his gaze settled on their bed, her bed now. The thought of never lying beside her again was almost too much to bear. He sat down on the edge of the mattress and gripped his forehead with his good hand. He didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want to remove his things from the room. It was too final.  

The sound of a clearing throat had Phil springing to his feet. He turned his back to Mike as he quickly swiped at few stray tears. “Everything is in the wardrobe.”

“Are you okay?” Mike’s voice was full of concern.

“No. I’m not okay Mike. I lost my fucking wife.”

“Phil—”

“Don’t say anything. There’s nothing you can say.” He proceeded Mike into the closet.

“Here let me do it,” Mike said, reaching around Phil to remove several hanging suits. “I can do it faster myself.”

Phil scooped up a pile of lounge pants with his good arm. “I’m helping.” He just wanted it to be over.

An hour later, Mike delivered the last of Phil’s clothes to the closet in the Farside house. “Well, that’s everything.”

“Thanks.”

“It’s a nice place,” Mike said.

“Yeah,” Phil agreed.

“Why don’t you come over for dinner. Jeanie’s—”

“No thanks.” Phil followed him down the stairs and to the front door. “I’ve got some work to do.”

“You can’t keep going on like this,” Mike said. “You look like shit. When was the last time you eat?”

“Thanks for your help. You can leave now.”

“Jesus, Phil.” Mike tried to clasp his shoulders, but Phil backed away from him.

“Don’t.” Phil’s eyes widened as he looked at his brother. “You can’t make this better okay? So, just go.”

“I’m just worried about you.”

“Don’t be.” He hated the look of pity in Mike’s eyes.

“Anything you need, just call. Day or night.”

“I’m not going to fucking kill myself if that’s what your worried about.”

“I’m not. But you’re my brother and no matter how much you fucked up, I still love you.” Mike put his arms around Phil and gave him a firm hug. “You don’t have to pretend around me. I’ll know how devastated you are. I know how much she means to you.”

Phil pushed back from his brother, holding on to his composure by a thread. “I just need to be alone,” he said. “Please.”

Mike clasped his arm. “Call me anytime.”

As soon as Mike left, Phil leaned his forehead into the closed door. He breathed in and out, trying to maintain control. He’d put himself here. He wasn’t going to feel sorry for himself. He pushed off the door and made his way to the kitchen and the bottle of scotch he’d left on the counter.

He poured himself a glass and sat down at the kitchen island. He took a long swallow, savorig the burning sensation as it went down his throat. He’d been drinking too much. He knew it and yet it was the only way he could numb the pain.

Phil woke with a start. It took him a moment to orient himself. He was in the family room of the Farside house. He looked at his watch. It was almost eleven which meant he’d been asleep for four hours. He dragged his hand down his face. He felt like shit. He picked up his phone and tapped the display, bringing up the tracking ap. Lina was home. Logan was home. Katie was home. They were all safe. He leaned back into the couch.

He didn’t bother to go to bed, instead he watched television most of the night, flipping through the myriad of channels, searching for anything that would distract his thoughts. He drifted off to sleep for a couple of hours between five and seven and then he got up to get ready for church.

When Phil was halfway up the driveway he spotted Lina. She was wearing yoga pants and one of his Georgetown Law sweatshirts, the hem falling half way down her thighs. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun. It was a scene he’d seen a thousand times. His Lina —the words played again and again in his mind.

“What are you doing here? It’s barely nine.” She continued to stare forward.

“I’m picking them up for church. They didn’t tell you?”

“No.” She continued to avoid his eyes.

He noticed Knight as he saddled up beside him, pressing a ball against his thigh. Phil took the ball and launched it across the yard. “You’re welcome to join us.” He stepped closer toward her, trying without success to make eye contact.

“No.” She turned back toward the house.

“Why haven’t you looked at me since I arrived?” he asked. “What are you feeling so guilty about?”

“Nothing.”

When he noticed her cheeks heat, he knew she was lying to him. She’d been with Drayton. He felt a wave of nausea at the thought.

“Dad?” Katie called from the house, “Can I just go to a later service? I—”

“No.”

“Why—”

“Don’t argue with me. Get your brother and let’s go.” He felt rocked with devastation at the thought of Drayton touching her. “I’ll have the separation agreement drawn up this week. Try to refrain from seeing him until it’s signed.”

“I’m not,” she insisted, even as her blush deepened.

“Don’t bother lying to me. The truth is all over your face.” He strode away from her and toward his car.

***

“As your lawyer, I have to counsel you against this.”

Phil frowned at the family law attorney sitting across from him. “I don’t want your counsel. I just want you to put what is on that sheet into the separation agreement.”

“But it’s insanity. You’re giving her more than—”

“I’m giving her what she deserves,” Phil interrupted. “I don’t care what you think, okay? She’s my wife and this is what she deserves.”

“What if she’s someone else’s wife? Would she still deserve this? Because the reality is she will probably remarry and when that happens another man is going to benefit from your life’s work.”

Phil looked away from the attorney as a wave of pain swirled in his chest. The thought of Lina married to someone besides him was unnatural. “If that happens that’s my penance.”

“Fuck, Phil. What are you Catholic or something? You need to take some time and think about this. You didn’t work this hard to give it all away.”

“I worked this hard for her. To take care of Lina and my kids,” he said his voice breaking. “That’s all that matters, so write up the fucking agreement or I’ll find someone else to do it.”

“Okay.” The attorney held up his hand. “Okay.”

It was close to nine before Phil left his office, in no hurry to go back to the Farside house and his new reality. He was almost to his car when he saw Kim getting out of the car parked beside his. It was the first time he’d seen her since the wedding. She was noticeably pregnant. His gaze rested momentarily on her rounded stomach before his eyes lifted to hers. “Call my lawyer,” he said coldly. “We have nothing to discuss.”

“Considering we are going to share a child,” she began running her hand over her baby bump, “I think the least we can be is civil with one another.”

“Civil?” His eyes narrowed. “Was that card to my wife civil?”

“I don’t know how many times you expect me to apologize.”

“You could apologize for the rest of your fucking life and I wouldn’t forgive you. Now get the fuck away from me.” He brushed past her.

“Phil.” She clasped his arm. “I—”

“Don’t,” he snarled, pulling his arm from her grasp. “I have nothing to say to you.”

“We are going to be in each other’s orbits. You can’t just ignore me. It isn’t healthy for the baby.”

“Fuck you!” He growled, pointing his finger in her face. “You went out of your way to hurt the only woman I will ever love — a woman who is pure and decent and good and did nothing to deserve it. And you…” he shook his head. “You are the woman I will regret for the rest of my fucking life.” He yanked open his car door. “Stay the fuck away from me.”

Posted in Uncategorized
406 comments on “A White Picket Fence — Bonus scene
  1. Laura says:

    Hi Ladies!
    I started a new thread.

  2. Miri says:

    Hi Ladies,

    Do you think Lina is the type of person who listens to sad/angsty songs when she’s sad? Or does she try to stay detached when she’s sad (as in, not wallow in her sadness lol)…if she is the wallowing type, even slightly, what song(s) do you think she listened to when she first found out about the affair/pregnancy, when she first kicked Phil out, when she first slept alone in bed at night, etc…personally, I feel like Lina and Phil came of age in the late 70’s and early 80’s…I know that the books are too modern and contemporary for that to be possible, but I came of age in the 90’s and the boys I knew were more similar to girls than boys…not an iota of testosterone among them…maybe that’s just a Toronto thing??

    • Tracie says:

      Lina would probably listen to a blend type mix of music. But I don’t see her setting around listening to songs of woe… I think Lina would put on a forced smile in front of her kids, but pull inward when alone. We saw that several times throughout both books. She puts on a good front, so she doesn’t upset others.

      In Chapter 2 of SN, when they were reconnecting, do you think they felt awkward around each other at first or fell into a comfortable routine of just being together again? I think it would be almost a desperate need for me to stay close and touch, when we were alone. I think Phil was more like me than Lina. Phil needed just one touch of her hand, in the shirt scene.

    • Katie says:

      I definitely don’t see her feeling yourself for herself. But she might pop in an album or two, a few coming to mind..Sarah McLachlan, Afterglow and Celine Cairo, Freefall…where the arrangements might seem “sad” but the messages aren’t. Also, one of the kids might have left on a pop radio channel in her car, and she would love Avril Lavigne’s Head Above Water.

    • Miri says:

      Oh…I was thinking of some 80’s power ballads…I’m convinced this couple is from the 80’s…I’m talking heavy dramatic love ballads that makes everything in your head feel like you’re in a movie…hmmm maybe I’m waaaay off base here lol

      • janet says:

        I like this question! I can see Sarah McLachlan but Avril is more Katie to me. How about You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette so Lina stays angry at nights so she doesn’t talk to Phil? She had to keep looking at the pictures to stay strong. Love ballads will make her feel sad and weaker no? Totally agree they grew up mid 80s-90s music. They danced to Michale Bolton.

        • Tara says:

          For someone who loves music and has it playing constantly, I dislike book playlists, in my head I don’t hear songs to fit a story. I don’t get the listening to sad music when you’re sad thing, so I guess for me, Lina might have background sound/music but not something sad on a loop.

  3. BeeSA says:

    Hope you all had a great weekend.

    Anyone following Rugby World Cup?

    • janet says:

      Hi Bee. I’m not following the World Cup but I saw a bit of the highlights on YouTube. 3 of my kids’ classmates are hardcore players and fans(we don’t have a football team) so my son tells me what to watch. One thing I noticed-they are fatter and not muscular than the soccer players. Why is that? LOL

  4. Tracie says:

    Laura have you started to think about the work scene for Lina? You know I’m going to be all about that one…I want to see her in an executive type environment; looking like a boss. I think Phil will be amazed at the transition, from the taking control working image verses the wife mother image.

    • BeeSA says:

      Seeing her working with hot men or men who sneak a glance at her.

      Phil can’t always be the hot one who gets notice by every female.

      • Tracie says:

        Depending on what Laura’s thinking, she could take it to where Phil surprises her on one of her job sites. Lina and a rugged handsome crew boss could be going over some design changes. He could be wearing a white t-shirt with low sling faded jeans and a tool belt. The blueprints could be laid out on a kitchen island as he leans in looking at her while she instructs what changes need to be completed. Phil knowing the changes she is discussing is the furthest thing from Bif McMuscles mind…Lol

        • janet says:

          How about a meeting with a renowned architect with glacier gray eyes piercing through his Tom Ford glasses? 👨‍🏫Lol. He wants to discuss the meeting over lunch and Phils like over my dead body.

          Bee, Yes I better dunk the rusk. I feel like the rusks lacerated the roof of my mouth.

          • Tracie says:

            Oh yes Janet! Phil could also surprise her on a business trip and Mr. Glacier in his Tom Ford could be having a drink 🥃 with Lina in the hotel bar discussing the next days business. So many possibilities….

          • janet says:

            Oooh yes. Mr Glacier is Tom Hardy. Maybe he could haven ran the Boston marathon in 2 hrs so Phil doesn’t like that. Bahaha. Lina has to drag Phil out of the restaurant.

          • Tracie says:

            She wouldn’t have to drag him out, but he would wrap around her like snuggie!

          • janet says:

            Ok. I just looked up Tom. He’s 42! ooohhhh altercation alert intercepted by Lina.

          • BeeSA says:

            Love have you ladies minds roll 🙂

            Tom Hardy HOTTT. Just about slid off my couch while watching him in Taboo.

  5. janet says:

    Bee, I tried Ouma melk beskuit. I LOVe it! It’s like milky arrowroot teething biscuits. Odd but really good. Got it from amazon if anyone wants to try. Didn’t love the fling chips. Rather have pirate booty… THANKS for recs!!

    Tara, I’m at 47% with Mia Sheridan. Omg.

    • Tara says:

      The snacks sound interesting.

      It’s shockingly good. You feel all of Josie’s suffering, overwhelming, emotional.

    • BeeSA says:

      Janet – ouma beskuit are okay. I just call them ‘rusk’ but if i do eat them, i like to soak them till they soft in my coffee. Flings chips do have a sharp taste but i know its one of the flavour chips overseas South African go for when they visit.

    • BeeSA says:

      Janet – hope your hubby enjoyed his Cape Town trip.

  6. Katie says:

    Janet, do you remember a student-teacher called Force of Gravity? Kelly Stevenson. I know (I think) we’ve talked about it before. She’s finally writing the sequel.

    • janet says:

      Really? I remember loving that one One of the first teacher/ student I liked. The witch ex wife was great too. I’ll go check now.

      Does anyone have update on Ainsley Booth’s Shame? Cheating husband theme who called the OW Kitty.🤭

  7. Ann says:

    Just an fyi, I’m from Maryland and very familiar with the various locations described in Laura’s books. All of the original bloggers already know this. lol.
    We had breaking news today that there was an explosion at the McDonogh prep school in Owings Mills, MD. This is where Katie and Meghan Hunter attended school. Minor injuries reported. Something to do with the smoke stack. This is crazy but I feel that the Hunter family are real people. We all live and breath this family! Just kidding, but I thought I would share this.

    • Tara says:

      That’s sounds very scary!

    • Tracie says:

      That does sound scary….I love hearing about the places mentioned in Laura’s books, because to me they are real in my mind.

      • Ann says:

        I didn’t mean to make light of this. Report said 2 adults and 1 student injured and they closed the school early this morning. Not sure of the cause.
        In today’s world, you hear explosion, and you think the worse.

    • Laura says:

      Yes, my daughter texted me first thing this morning — I know quite a few people there. It was such a relief to hear no one was seriously hurt.

      • Ann says:

        I’m so glad the school incident was minor. I’m sure Jordan was relieved too.

        Laura, I went back and read your bonus scenes. I just love everything you write. I loved the scenes where Phil and Lina were just getting together as teenagers. Phil was so strong willed, even back then. Phil staying out late at night past his curfew. I now know where Phil got his parenting skills. His Dad!!

  8. BeeSA says:

    I wonder if Kim ever looks back and regrets Phil when it comes to her work. Remember her sister mentioned she was close to becoming partner at her previous job and even took a huge cut in her salary in order to work with Phil. We know she’s a workaholic but she basically put her career on “hold” for about 3 years while chasing Phil.

    We know she basically eats men alive. She always got rid of them first. She was driven by work only. Men and relationships came second until she saw Phil. Just wonder if she ever kicked herself for allowing herself to become “weak” over a man.

    • Ann says:

      My opinion is that she was truly attracted to Phil in every way. She loved his looks and loved his actions in the courtroom. We all know that Phil was such an alpha. Kim loved that. He was the ultimate challenge. The small amount of attention that she received was just enough that she wanted more. Not sure that Kim really loved Phil. I think she thought she loved him.

      So I think when she looks back she does regret it because she could never win Phil over. He used her, period.

      I love the Hunters!!! This is just my take on Kim.

      • Laura says:

        I agree Ann! Nice to hear from you btw — How is your daughter (the school teacher) doing? Any new romances?

        • Ann says:

          Hi Laura, my teacher/daughter is doing just fine. She is settling into her new home in the city and she seems happy. No serious romances currently. My daughter in Michigan is doing well too. We went to visit her in June and in July we took the family on a cruise to Bermuda. It was my first!

          How is Jordan doing, and of course, Chandler?

  9. Tracie says:

    Morning Girls, I have a think situation we need to scrutinize, because we are so good at doing it…Lol

    Val showed remorse for her actions, unlike Kim. She even made the phone call to Romy (?) telling her she didn’t blame her for Charlie’s accident. She did that because Tessa said “Thank You” to her, and it seemed to me kicked in Val’s “Get Right with the World Plan”, because Tessa was such a forgiving person.

    Now in the Bonus Scene above, regarding sending the card to Lina, Kim says to Phil “I don’t know how many times you expect me to apologize.” My first thought was what a bitch and then I thought you’re apologizing to the wrong person. We discussed several times prior to SN being published that Kim just wanted Lina out of Phil’s life, but didn’t really want to hurt her, even though she did. My question is do you think somewhere deep inside Kim, she would of felt a tiny bit of remorse for putting Lina through what she did, because without thought Lina said in that courtroom “He agrees.” I try to put myself in Kim’s head in different scenes and would hope she thought, for just a split second, this woman in front of me is good. I even tossed around the thought that maybe she was grateful to Lina for raising her son, and that is the reason she actually stayed out of his life, because she knew she was to selfish to be a mother.

    • Katie says:

      I appreciate trying to see the best of Kim. I do that too, in general. But in this case, I don’t think so. She does what’s best for her. She wouldn’t “give” Liam away for his sake…only for her own. Instead of seeing Lina as a good person, she would think she’s a fool.

    • janet says:

      Good morning my sweet little peace maker! I’ll answer your think question in a min.

      Katie, you have a beautiful heart and I do admire your ability to forgive the cheaters. I do. And, it’ll always be the reason I clash with you. It’s when you said you forgave Phil in WPF without the explanation but I kept asking how Phil was able to perform with his wife staring at him on the nightstand table.

      Other than the obvious reason, I don’t like Nick because he’s a talker and he says some pretty big things that he can’t take back. You are right that Tessa shouldn’t know the details but as readers, we were privy to the details. So what you are saying is if Tessa knew the facts, they wouldn’t have reconciled.

      Also, everyone is talking about Charlie. To me, Charlie serves a purpose and that is to bring Nick and Val together. After that, the chemistry and the sexual tension is all on Nick and Val. Not Charlie. The things that came out of Nick’s mouth is a huge deal breaker to readers like me. His grandiose declaration sounds like a girl on her period and not a grown ass man with a family and a career.”
      “I’m thinking that I love the way you look and feel and taste. I love the sound of your voice…I’m thinking that I love the way you are with Charlie. The way you are.” Ok, The way you are. That sentence sealed it and there’s no going back for me. So days go by, he is remorseful-I believe it-and wants his family back. He cries. Is he crying because he gave up the mistress before he was ready or is he crying because he is truly sorry? And he had the gall to say it was Tessa who changed? Nick, do you not love Tessa the way she is? Say it. Say Tessa, I love the way you are. He is gross.

      • Katie says:

        I totally get it J. You always make good points.
        I don’t see it as a game with tally marks between the women. He said things to Val that are hard to take. Forgive. FOR SURE. But he told his wife she was a great mother and wive too. I don’t like to keep track of the nice things he did for the OW, or for his wife. He’s a good talker. He heals people that way. Yes. But if we believe what he said to Val, we also must believe what he said at the very end to his wife. In the end, the last chapter is most important to me.
        Also, Lina had a harder time forgiving Phil as more details emerged. It’s similar to this story to me. They would have still reconciled, but it would be harder. He did tell his wife he loved Val, or at least thought he did.
        Love your freaking face, Janet!

        • janet says:

          Ok. We agree to disagree. Details don’t matter as much to you and I’m usually the lead investigator- prosecutor trying to decide if the culprit has grounds for pleading temporary insanity. It’s just a lot messier when emotions are involved. I was just so mad when Nick came back to Tessa and cried. I literally wanted to pull down his pants to make sure his gonads were in place!
          For Phil, I believe that his heart stayed true so it’s easier for me to accept the affair. Bottom line-I see Lina and Phil as a team whereas Nick and Tessa are not. But that’s OK bc Nick’s not married to my daughter and I do want him to save more Charlies in this world.

          • Katie says:

            Yes and I thanked Laura for not having Phil love Kim. It is messy.
            I think some readers believed Phil had feelings for Kim. Especially after WPF, and especially readers who haven’t analyzed things like we have.
            Nick had a good heart. I’m not one for guys who cry, but if you did check on his gonads…he is Italian, I’m sure things look good down there.

          • janet says:

            haha! I will take your word for it and say this to him. You better walk the walk buddy because your talk left me cold and in doubt of your masculinity.

            Miri, doesn’t Nick sound like a libra?

          • Katie says:

            Lol yes. Actions speak the loudest. Feelings are complicated too. A person can think they love when they don’t. Or fall out of love. Or think they don’t love, when they actually do. He said he loved Val, but seemed to realize he didn’t. Not as much as his wife anyway. That’s realistic.

      • Katie says:

        Also,
        Forgiveness should be a blanket action. In my opinion. One or two details shouldn’t matter, when you truly forgive. That will just drive a person crazy.
        When Val tells the wife he didn’t say he loved her, was she doing him a solid to give him a chance to get his marriage on track? Or did she realize he couldn’t possibly love her and leave her and her son that way? We’ll never know.
        And even if he did feel all of these things and say all of these things to Val, what he said at the end to his wife mattered more to me.

  10. Murlene says:

    Regarding Phil and Kim, I read a song lyric that says, “I’m everything you can’t control.” This reminds me of Kim after Phil ends the affair. I know Phil probably thought that Kim would accept the end of the affair. Instead it unleashed a side of Kim that Phil underestimated. She started the constant phone calls to his cell and home phone. She sent the text messages to Lina. She sent the photos and sonogram to Lina. She tried to upset his life. She came to his office to show off “their” son. For Phil, a man who liked to control the things in his life, he had to feel totally blindsided by her. She in particular tried to hurt Lina. Then she decided to move to New York. She knew she would hurt Phil by moving Liam away from him. I think that Phil truly regretted the affair. I also think Kim’s response to the end of the affair, was Phil’s karma for the affair. “Beware what you wish for, you just might get it”.

    • janet says:

      Hi Marlene, I listened to the song. Is it by a group called Evanescence? It’s good even if I don’t think Phil and Kim deserve a song.

      Katie and Bee, I usually have a book hangover if I don’t like the outcome of the book or if I loved it so much. In this case, I was satisfied with the ending. I didn’t think Nick was going to leave Tessa and I do feel that he made the right choice. Here’s the big but. Nick is not a bad man. But he’s not a good husband either. And because he will always put his “calling” before Tessa, I can’t buy the HEA. It was very real and like Tara said, ambiguous because it’s left up to the reader to interpret the ending. In the last convo between Tessa and Valerie, Tessa is thinking to herself if Nick said he loved Valerie then the marriage is finished forever. Yet when she questions Tessa, she is told no. The only answer she can accept. Why is that? How do you simply like/lust the other woman yet take the time out to cook meals for her when he has never done anything remotely nice for his own wife? How does a husband have that kind of phone convo with the OW when his flesh and blood are sitting in the kitchen with him? And lastly, ILY was said after sleeping with the OW only once? His exact words were “I love you Val. It’s the truth. And I’m afraid it will always be the true.” Huh? So Nick, do you love Tessa just little more than Valerie? Even if it was only a 7yr itch and he never cheats again, nick is not a good husband in my eyes.

      Sorry. Manhater rant here. 😘

      • Katie says:

        Absolutely Janet. He fucked up big time. His wife would have a hard time getting past the details of what he said and did with Val, if she knew. When he said those things to Val, he believed them. I agree with Bee that at some point in the 10 days he blew off Val and then broke it off with her and then confessed, he started to see the true magnitude of what he’d done and could lose; and then in the weeks that passed when he was kicked out, I think he realized just how much he loved his wife, and that Val simply represented what he was missing with his wife. Tara said it well in her analysis- he wanted to heal the boy and that extended to the mother. He got caught up in it.

        I think this is where we differ in our analysis of cheating and perhaps our real life opinions. I wouldn’t want to know every detail. If I forgave, I would forgive the transgression in bulk. A few details wouldn’t change my decision. I forgave Phil even when I thought he “dated” Kim, ran with her at running group, and took her to Steamboat for some romantic rendezvous.

        It’s not the past that matters, it’s the present. Affairs are fucking heartbreaking, no matter how you slice it. Of course it would be very hard to forgive an affair that involved intimate gestures, dates, and I love yous. But what would make that hard to forgive would be if I thought my husband still loved the OW and stayed with me out of obligation (I would never want that).

        In this story, it was important to me to decide that he does indeed love his wife. The husband said the right things in the last chapter, and his actions after the confession redeemed him for me.

        Now, it’s up to the reader to decide if you believe he really had such an “ah-ha” moment. I did. I don’t think you believe he did. And that’s all good. I love you.

        She’s an excellent writer. Like I said, this is the only cheating story that has come even close to Laura for me.

        • Katie says:

          We don’t see him do nice things for his wife in this slice of their history, but what about the 6.5 years before that? He lost his way, but found his way back and was making eggs at the end.
          He’s married to his job, but that wasn’t the issue. Tessa knew that, accepted that. Where he went wrong is when he took time away from his family for another family he thought needed him more, outside of work. He didn’t want to be at home. His wife had become nagging, controlling, chronically unhappy. But he figured it out- his blame in it all, what the thing with Val really was, and hopefully they’ll do better in the future.

    • janet says:

      Murlene! Hate misspelling name!

  11. Laura says:

    Tracie — yes, Lina rolled away from Phil because she was frustrated with his attitude about Logan.

  12. Tara says:

    So, I dropped what I was read, which was probably going to be a DNF, to read Heart of the Matter. For me this was a slippery slope/savior complex cheating story. Nick fell for Charlie and by extension Valerie, but I think the emotions involved for both Valerie and Nick are tied up with healing Charlie. I don’t think if they had met in a different environment, they would have fallen in love.

    Tessa and Nick’s marriage is probably very typical, most marriages fall into periods of boredom, somewhere along the way he loses sight of his wife and children because someone else’s child needed him.

    Sleeping with Valerie when Tessa is away is weak and selfish, he knows it’s wrong, and he would have continued doing so if Tessa hadn’t confronted him. Once confronted, no matter what he may have felt for Valerie and Charlie, he was going to choose his wife and family, he knew this going in and did it anyway, he had no plan to leave his marriage. And as sympathetic as Valerie may be, shame on her for allowing a relationship with her son’s married doctor to go beyond a patient relationship. Charlie is a 6 year old desperate for a dad, she allowed him to choose Nick—so wrong, how did either of them allow this?

    HEA probably, but they’re going to have to work for it. I think he’s sorry after the fact, but he’s married to his career as much as Tessa, his children don’t even question why he’s basically missing for 2 months, including Christmas, they might be young but should be missing daddy,.

    • janet says:

      Tara why do you say he knew going in he was going to choose his family? I agree with you but my reason for saying this is because I think deep down he is selfish and weak.

      He would have slept with V if the wife didn’t come back early. He was jonesing for it then bam the wife confronts him and he feels remorse? I don’t buy the HEA. They will coexist and he will think he saved everyone’s life. For now. He’s an idealistic fool.

      • Katie says:

        My dearest Tara, always the voice of reason. Shame on them, for sure. Charlie was hurt the worst in this situation.

        Janet…maybe his wife confronting him just snapped him out of it? Stopped things before they really got going?

        So, he already knew someone had seen them being cozy at the school, yet he slept with her soon after anyway. Prior to sleeping with her, he could’ve claimed innocence. What do you think the significance of that is?

        • Tara says:

          Katie—what’s the significance? That’s tough, at this point he’s already caught, its a selfish act, maybe not planned as it started with a kiss and ended in bed. And, he left because he needed to relieve the babysitter. But, after that he planned for more, that’s really selfish and a bigger betrayal. Tessa coming home early is the only thing that stops it from going further, and the confrontation is what stops it completely.

          I do think Tessa was right to throw him out at that point, he’s admitting to what he’d done and admitted to having some sort of feelings. How could she let him stay? He does is the right thing, he chooses his wife and children, but does he do it for the right reason? Does he love her more than Valerie? Is it real or some sort of lip service? So, unresolved.

        • janet says:

          Ugh, I don’t wanna talk about it anymore because it makes me mad. lol.

          I asked Laura why Phil slept with Kim even after Wayne warned him. It’s the same thing here. There really isn’t any significance other than temptation overruled everything else.

          Charlie was certainly the conduit for getting Nick and V together. sure. but Nick admired Valerie for putting herself through law school and raising her son single handedly. It’s his m.o. and why he was attracted to both of the women in the first place so it’s a moot point to say he would not have fallen in love without Charlie.

          • Katie says:

            Ok what’s next? Someone recommended a step-sibling dark romance to me. Maybe that? 🤷🏼‍♀️

          • Tara says:

            I can’t do step-brother books, they wore out their welcome a couple of years ago.

            Next up for me is the 1st book in Anne Cleeland’s New Scotland Yard Mysteries. I’ve heard good things.

            Has anyone read Lauren Gilley’s Sons of Rome series? Epic paranormal, not really romance but have romantic elements. Each book builds on the previous.

      • Tara says:

        He wasn’t unhappy in his marriage, he wasn’t looking for something else and I’m not even sure he was in lust let alone love, he felt emotionally tied to Charlie and by extension Valerie it’s all tied up with being the healer, they both need physical and emotional healing. But ultimately, he ends up hurting everyone—Tessa, Valerie and Charlie and his own children aren’t old enough to realize he puts his career before them. It is selfish, it’s all his ability to save them, idealistic? Probably.

        When they’re having dinner the night after he sleeps with Valerie, he says he hasn’t changed, and what does he say? “I’m a surgeon” not a husband, not a father. Once she throws him out, I thinks realizes its not love that attracted him to Valerie and Charlie, it was about being needed and when he’s separated from Tessa and his children, he realizes what was at risk. If he were really in love with Valerie and Charlie, he would have walked away from his family.

        Tessa’s going to forgive him, but trust? Probably not so much, that’s about as much HEA as we’re going to know about. The author leaves it up to us to decide. It’s not romance, the HEA really can’t be assumed, but once Tessa forgives him, he’s back.

        • janet says:

          You said it Tara. He’s a surgeon first before husband or father. That’s how he identifies himself and he will “fix” someone again when the next 7 year itch hits.I bet you.

          • Tara says:

            That stood out to me. Though I’m not sure he’d cheat again, as it will be on his and Tessa’s radar, and I’m not sure she’ll trust him anytime soon, if ever, but I don’t know that he’ll ever really put his family first.

      • janet says:

        I started Mia Sheridan’s Where the Blame Lies.

        • Tara says:

          That looks good, I downloaded it.

          • Tracie says:

            I just finished the Unwanted Wife…That was brutal….

          • Tara says:

            Tracie… Wait?? This is your first time reading The Unwanted Wife? Really? That’s a grovel lover standard 🙄

            Thoughts? Good, bad, ugly??

          • janet says:

            I love cruel heroes. Heehee. Natasha is a thicker harlequin. 🤗.

          • Tracie says:

            I thought if Sandro didn’t come around quick, I would have kicked his ass. I couldn’t have taken that treatment for 18 months and I would have questioned the urgency for the son and not kissing me long before she did. My mama always use to say that no man likes a doormat. That my boots were made for walking, just like any mans. I couldn’t stand the father and hated that her self esteem was so damaged. Loved that Sandro stood up to his family and her father in the end. Talk about mental abuse….

    • BeeSA says:

      I think Nick honestly thought he was in love with her right until he broke the news to his wife. Once he saw the hurt in her eyes, that’s when it hit him hard and made him wake up and realise he still very much in love with his wife. I don’t think he was expecting her to kick him out and say “we’re over”. Look how he freaked out by calling her, sending messages and even handwritten letters. He basically ended 3 relationships and only person he could think of was his wife during the separation. Probably why he was so confused when trying to explain what he had with the OW. He thought it was love but it wasn’t. It was something built on something that was missing in his life. Probably why he also tells his wife that she thinks she was in love with him just like he thought he was in love with her.

      I also don’t think he would have notice her if it wasn’t for her son. His wife lost her “identity” and he was escaping by working non stop and first connection he has with another person in a long time was the little boy.

      I don’t think he would cheat again. He hated the idea of being one of those men that just cheats, which is why he was so convinced he was in love with the OW. He will definitely be more cautious when treating children in the future and making sure he doesn’t cross the line.

      It was a hard book to swallow, especially when he breaks up with the OW and it seems like he’s just settling with his wife because “it’s the right thing to do” but i really want to believe he realised his HUGE mistake when he saw hurt in his wife eyes.

      I have no sympathy for Val. She should have been stronger because of her child.

      • Katie says:

        Love this, Bee! This book has been on my mind for days.

        • BeeSA says:

          Katie – I’ve been thinking about this book all day today. Trying to see Nick point of view and i honestly believe he’s a good guy but made a mistake. He was brutally honest with his wife when trying to explain his feelings, even though he was still so confused, but one thing he realised when he lost both women, it was his wife who he truely loved, she was the one who consumed his thoughts while alone. If he loved the OW he would have been missing her and probablt contact her when his wife kicked him out for months.

          Although it irritates me to think the OW had the privilege to hearing all these nice things from Nick when he was breaking up with her. I really don’t care for Val at all. The risk she took with her son left a sour taste in my mouth.

          • Katie says:

            Yes I came to the same conclusions. I have the hardest time with his parting words with the OW. He may have believed what he was saying at the time, and he certainly didn’t want to hurt her further so he may have embellished his feelings. I don’t know. I’m sure he believed what he was saying, but I do think found clarity by the end.

  13. janet says:

    Bee, just went through your snack list. I wanna try the fling chips! Your aunt likes Milo? I love malt so maybe I’ll ask for that too. I don’t know why nestle can’t make the same candy bars for the world. I love green tea kit kats but I can only find those in Asian markets. And the Lion bars are hard to come by unless you are in Europe and Asia. I guess this is why we end up getting everything from Amazon. Thanks!

  14. Katie says:

    Janet, I loved Heart of the Matter.

    SPOILERS ahead, for those who might read this book.

    I think the husband simply liked the OW…the affair wasn’t the result of a marriage in some major crisis. But they were both vulnerable- she and her boy needed someone, and he needed to feel needed. The husband and wife’s priorities had stopped including each other. Falling for the OW took him back to the early days with his wife, he said. I’m not clear if he actually loved the OW or not, or if she was a place holder for his wife…he seemed conflicted over this detail… but he did end it rather quickly, confess, and those things look good for him and the future with his wife. I hate to think he had to choose between true love (with OW) and his family. I hope the wife is his true love and he just lost his way for a bit. All characters were equally like-able and frustrating. Honestly, this is the best cheating book I’ve read since Laura’s (of course, Laura still wins).
    What did you think?

    • Janet says:

      I don’t remember liking it this much. I felt like he loved both the wife and the mistress. For him , it was more than sex with the boys mom. Doesn’t he say ILY over the phone while cooking for The girls. He wanted to leave them to spend another day with her but couldn’t bc the wife came back early. I really don’t think he will leave his wife but his memories of her will linger over the year imo.

      • Katie says:

        For sure. He had feelings for the OW. He told his wife that. But he chose his family. He didn’t go back to OW when his wife kicked him out. That looked good for him.

        • janet says:

          If I were his wife, I would always always wonder if he stayed with me out of obligation.

          The only reason why I could let go of Phil’s affair was knowing he didn’t have any feelings for Kim.I knew when Phil and Lina reconciles, she didn’t have to share his heart with the OW.

          The other guy wasn’t a bad man. He did the right thing staying with the wife. But as a reader I will always wonder if his wife is enough for him.

          • Katie says:

            Yes exactly- he did the “right” thing, even though his heart was pulling him in two directions. He made that happen though…coffee, dinner. He was crossing lines and lying to his wife from day 1.
            Ultimately I think he felt like the OW and her son truly needed him. But to leave a wife and children to give another mother and son a partner/father doesn’t help anyone. I think he came to see his efforts were misplaced. I hope what he said in the last chapter was true, and that he wasn’t picking the wife out of obligation. That’s heartbreaking to me- I would never want that.
            But I will say minimizing his feelings for the OW and also the OW minimizing the feelings involved when she talked to the wife was the right call, IMO. The wife wouldn’t be able to move forward otherwise.

          • janet says:

            I hate disagreeing with you K but to me, this character was just another variation of the guy in The Adultery Club and if anything Tess G did a better job of wrapping up the story. I agree with you that Griffin is a good writer and she does a great job of analyzing her flawed characters. But something was missing for me bc I did NOT feel the angst that you did. Sad, yes but not the angst. Even though he did the right thing, not sure it it was the RIGHT thing. I would have preferred him leaving the wife for the OW bc the longing he felt for her was more real than the obligation he felt towards the woman he promised to love for fucking ever. I don’t think the emotion he felt for Valerie was fleeting not superficial and because of that, his redemption was to become the martyr in his marriage.

          • Katie says:

            I see what you’re saying J. But he had that deep of a connection with his wife in the beginning of their relationship. It was just clouded by the monotony and conflicts of everyday life and marriage. We can only go by what he says…in the end he seemed to work that out for himself. He says when he saw his wife for the first time on the train she looked “so sad, so beautiful,” much like Valerie. He likes to be a savior. And then when his wife came home from NY and they talked and she told him she loved him despite their issues, that’s when he became confused and blew off Val. To me, he just yearned for his wife back.

          • Tracie says:

            Katie Nick did miss his wife, so agree with that. Like Laura, my heart broke for Charlie. When Nick gave him the coin, I felt guilty thinking what about your own son, because Charlie had been through so much. I also blame Val as much as I do Nick though. She shouldn’t have let her son get that close to Nick knowing he was married, especially after she heard his conversation with his own kids on the phone. Did she REALLY think he was going to walk away from that? I love how Tessa wouldn’t speak with him though after his confession. Then I thought piss on Val for trying to make Tessa out to be a snob and even Nick jumped on that bandwagon. Even though he’s a plastic surgeon living in the same upscale neighborhood as his wife and dressed in all his finery. Don’t straddle the fence Nick…The writing was good though…Not you though my Laura….

          • Tracie says:

            Girls, I reread this comment and I’m LMAO…All you girls write Literary Works of Art as book reviews and mine have the words Piss and Really….I’m so glad you girls don’t judge me…Love ya😘

          • janet says:

            Tracie, you read the book already?

            Katie, I distinctly remember the subway scene and that’s why I don’t trust this guy. He genuinely loves his wife but also harbors the need for Valerie. Didn’t he say something like I love the way you are when the mistress tries to give him an out? I think he yearns for the feeling he first had for his wife and not so much the wife herself. Anyway, I don’t think you and I will agree about Cheaters with feelings. I will say abort and you will say stay and sort it out. Also, I didn’t think the mistress was likable. She totally stalked Nick.

          • janet says:

            I say piss on Nick and Val too. Hate that his name was nick. Lol.

          • Katie says:

            That might be true J, but a lot of times I don’t know what I think- I’m just trying to sort it out. Your perspective is always good for me.

          • Tracie says:

            Janet I read it this morning. I need explanation how he told her he loved her and probably always would, BUT had to try and fix things at home. He told Val he loved her when he was telling her bye, but only said he cares very deeply for his wife. So why did his emotions change so drastically between Chapter 36 and 45? Was it his time alone or did he gain wisdom like Samson as his hair grew. Phil never told Kim he loved her or maybe there could be a chance in the future…I kind of came around a very little in Chapter 45 where he said Val didn’t love him, there connection was only three months. Phil told Kim you don’t know me enough to love me…Thats why I think Nick didn’t love Val. He was all giddy about the newness…This is also the difference between a Physical and emotional affair. Nick was mushy and all lovey…ewwww. Phil was like get it out, get it up, get it on, I’m out…Just saying

          • Katie says:

            Tracie, we are similar. He was confused. Said a lot of different things. He also didn’t want to hurt either woman. I have to believe what he said in the last chapter to root for them and their future. We can’t go by his words I guess. They’re unreliable. Laura thinks the fact that he cried over the OW is telling of how deep his feelings were for her, but ultimately he loved his family more.

          • Tracie says:

            He did love his family more. I was wondering if the crying was for the pain he caused both women, knowing he let go of one and could possibly lose another. Like he was feeling sorry for himself.

          • Katie says:

            Yes! I thought the same thing. I asked Laura specifically about the crying because she understands writer intention more. She’s probably correct.

          • janet says:

            Tracie, if anything Samson is like Phil and Kim was his Delilah. This guy did not grow! He lied! What wisdom?! I really think he suffers from a savior complex . He becomes the martyr In the end. Why did he need to say to the mistress, something like, it’s not a crush. I will always love you” but goes back to the wife? He isn’t religious. He is a surgeon in NYC. I’m sure he can have a good relationship with his kids and a decent alimony to the wife. He wanted to save the wife first time around, he wanted to save the mistress and the son second time around, and the third time, he finally got it perfect bc he is now a martyr.

          • janet says:

            Wrong! Sorry but disagree with everyone. He did NOT love his family more. If that was the case Griffin would have worded the convo between Nick and Val differently. Nick loves being the hero. He needs it in his life. He cried bc he loves the mistress but loves his ideals more!

    • Laura says:

      I found it incredibly depressing. I hate that he picked the OW over his own family for Halloween, I hate that he caused Charlie more pain, I hate that he took advantage of a very vulnerable woman, I hate that he talked on the phone with the OW while feeding his kids. I feel like it portrayed stay-at-home mothers as boring. I felt like there was no happy ending here. He had only been with his wife seven years and was cheating — too soon. I hope my books didn’t cause such sadness in readers. I tried to go to sleep in the middle of it, but couldn’t. I felt anxiety in the pit of my stomach. When a talented writer takes on this subject it’s almost too realistic.

      In my opinion Phil was a better man. Cheating is obviously selfish. It takes them away from their family, but Phil didn’t put Kim before his family and this man clearly did — he even cooked her dinner several times while his wife was a couple of miles away. It was too much for me.

      • Tracie says:

        So is everybody saying I won’t like this book? Phil always put his family above Kim….

        Laura I was reading the scene where Phil was upset because Logan wouldn’t be staying to meet Liam right after Lina’s BD. Lina got mad and rolled over because Phil didn’t want Logan abandoning the family. Do you think Lina was mad because she felt like Phil was trying to push his agenda with Liam, with disregard to Logan’s feelings?

      • janet says:

        I read it long ago so I don’t remember everything but talking to the OW while feeding his daughters and the things he said to her was when I hoped he would leave the wife. Also, I think he minimized his feelings for the Ow when he confessed to the wife. I’m not a fan of true love triangles. I only had sympathies for the wife and the 3 kids.

      • Katie says:

        But.it.was.so.well.done.

        I’m trying to figure out how reply about you hoping your books don’t cause as much sadness. I do think they conjure many emotions, including sadness. Because you’re brilliant.
        This one was different (i.e. sadder) in that the OW was quite likable, and the “other child” (loosely comparing to Liam) was already older and felt the pain of the situation. Also, the wife had to contend with a love affair in this story, not just a physical affair, and that was painful to read and to try to empathize with.
        Phil was so very selfish, but he didn’t string along a vulnerable woman and child, just to discard them, and he didn’t so blatantly choose another woman/family over his own. Except maybe with the whole Lina sleeping anxiety thing.
        But I’m saying this after months of discussion on your books. I think after a first read of WPF, many of the emotions were the same in type and intensity.
        This book didn’t feel like a happy ending for anyone, and WPF and SN certainly had a happy ending, in my eyes anyway.
        I hope that made sense.

    • Tara says:

      I have been vacillating about this book and just one-clicked.

  15. Miri says:

    Hi Ladies!! Happy Saturday!!
    I’m sorry I’ve been MIA, I’m fostering two dogs now instead of one (long story) so I’m like that chicken with it’s head cut off right now lol…I’ve totally missed you guys!! So I’ve just started reading Betrayal by Poppet…(that’s the author’s name, just Poppet 🤷‍♀️)…an older woman younger man (though the man is around 40 so I’m not sure how old the woman is??), and the man cheats at the very beginning…I’m only 7% in so we shall see…I’m gonna catch up on all the comments below now, happy reading everyone!! 😀😘❤️🎈🕺

    • janet says:

      I just read the blurb and the reviews. Holy moly. Let me know if you actually could read that.

      Started juniper unraveling by Keri lake. So far, great.

      • Miri says:

        Hi Janet, is it a cheating book??
        I’m not crazy about the writing by Poppet, but I wanna see where it goes…will let you know, I might just end up skipping it…

  16. Aida says:

    Hi everyone,

    Happy weekend! I just have a quick question: are you okay with me calling you by name or do you prefer I call you by something else, like… Mrs. something..? Please let me know 😁 Thank youuu

  17. Katie says:

    I’m reading Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin. What is everyone reading? What’s up for the weekend?

    Janet, do you ever buy shoes on Amazon? I have a size 6 foot, and I find the best deals on there. Current styles and nice brands. I think the best selection is for small feet. I’m currently admiring some new ankle boots and strappy block heel sandals I bought. 60-70% off.

    The sandals I bought were inspired by a mom I saw at Kinder drop off. Speaking of that- drop off is like a cow herd/stampede. Preschool was more of a trickle, so I doubt anyone noticed I wear the same jeans every.day. Now I’m thinking I need a few more pairs.

    Ann, thanks for the kind words. She’s doing really well! I’m a little overwhelmed by this new stage. So many expectations of the kids AND parents.

    Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely Friday.

    • janet says:

      You are on a chick lit kick K. Is this the one with the surgeon? Let me know what you think of the cheater.

      I did not know amazon had good deals on shoes! Now that you mention it, I did buy a pair of fur lined Birkenstocks there few months back and it was cheaper than other sites. I’ll take a look. You have little feet!

      I’m rereading A Tale of Two Cities with kids. Lord help me -he goes on and on and on and then some. I think I’m too jaded now to appreciate this kind of redemption because I much prefer Phil’s. Also, I just found out dickens had 10 kids with his wife and then left her for a young actress after 20 yrs of marriage. Wowza

      • Katie says:

        I’m on total chick lit kick. I tried to read a romance and there’s not enough angst. I’m like an angst-aholic.
        So far the cheater is likeable, but I’m not that far in. I just want to know how it goes from Hi I’m Dr. Whoever treating your son to sex. I guess that’s always THE question though.

        • Miri says:

          Hi Katie I replied to your Heart if the Matter post but it went waaaay down below 😣 I suck at this posting/messaging thing lol

          • Katie says:

            Haha. I found it. This book is a 5-star read for me right now (at 50%). I could see the story of privileged yet perpetually unhappy housemoms being underwhelming. It’s totally relevant to my circles though, and quite entertaining. I’m also an over-educated, former professional who decided to stay home, so I relate to the wife in that way. Anyway, I haven’t read Something Borrowed but I did really like the movie!

          • BeeSA says:

            Miri – I’m like you. Don’t know how to reply to these damn things.

            Most of my time on my cell. My ipad normally always charging. So hate proof reading because have to scroll for 5 years. Hence all the typos.

    • BeeSA says:

      Think i may have read that book ages ago title sounds familiar.

      My weekend morning started off with me locking myself out my house with no keys at all. Tried to jump the gate to get out and stabbed myself on a spike. In SA our properties are fenced off. I clearly don’t make a good house robber or a monkey (we have lots of those in our trees. Can hear them now causing havoc). Anyhoo, manage to get a garden boy to jump and climb on the storage room roof and open my window. Took about 30 minutes.

      I’m busy packing and moving, so nothing at the moment…

      What did the doctor say about your arm?

      Hope everyone well on that side of the world.

      • janet says:

        Hi Bee, where are you moving to? Are you in Cape Town? My husband told me someone asked him if he needed a body guard during cab rides there last week. Is this the norm now?

        • BeeSA says:

          Hi Janet, not from Cape Town but wouldn’t mind living there. Love it there. He doesn’t need a bodyguard unless he’s some well known millionaire or a drug/mafia lord 😉 Shame, did he get freaked out? Is he coming to SA for holiday or business?

          There’s a lot of foreigners in Cape Town and gay men. So definitely not a place for a single lady like me to live there. Probably 5 women to 1 straight local male. Lots of competition and cat fights.

          Just be cautious – don’t walk around with cellphone in back pocket or wallet, keep car windows and doors closed/locked. Be careful at intersections at night time on quiet roads and don’t give street beggers money or buy stuff from them.

          I’m from Kwa-Zula Natal, Umhlanga (2 hour flight from Cape Town)

          Funny how we hear the bad stuff only about other countries. Like i always hear about some random kid going on a shooting spree at a school / university in USA and for SA just general high crimes but most happens in poorer areas which i avoid like Umlazi and KwaMashu.

          • janet says:

            I’ll tell husband. I think it freaked him out a little bc he doesn’t usually volunteer info when he travels. He goes there for business but told us that SA is one place everyone should visit. He has never said that about any country. it’s a different place. Southern Hemisphere has a lot to do with how different mountain ranges look. Rock formations too. The pictures I saw were breathtaking. One day, I hope to see them in person.

            Well that totally. sucks about 5:1 ratio.

        • BeeSA says:

          Janet – sorry, misread your post.

          Whoever told your hubby, i think they were trying to pull a fast one on your hubby. Probably could hear his accent.

          No one here needs bodyguards unless you well known.

          How long he’s down here for or is he just visiting Cape Town beach with all the penguins? 🙂

          • janet says:

            The penguins were so so cute. I saw a video of them playing with tourists from the hotel. Omg they were so cute.
            My husband travels to Cape Town every few months. It was only on his most recent trip when the company asked him if he needed guard so I thought the crime rate rose. Nope not famous. Lol.

          • Katie says:

            Omgoodness Bee, South Africa is one of my most favorite places that I haven’t been to. I took a class on it in college…fascinating. Gorgeous too.
            Janet, your hubby gets to go to cool places! When your kids are off to college are you going to travel with him?

          • janet says:

            Not sure K. He travels for work and I’m a homebody at heart. Wherever my kids end up is where I will be.

          • BeeSA says:

            Janet – probably because of the recent Xenophobic attacks we’ve been having. Johannesburg was hit hard but in the again in the poor areas mostly.

            We had a bit of issues just up the road where i work, in Pinetown but there’s 3 guys in my office from Zimbabwe and they weren’t even nervous, they stayed and carried on working.

            Apparently there was a lot of fake photo’s and videos posted online as well.

            We have a lot of protest that turns violence and I’ve only been caught in one in 2016 on the main highway. Instead of taking 45min to drive to work, it took me just over 4 hours. Road was closed and they idiots were burning tyres on the road and throwing rocks at cars. I was forced to drive across the middle of the n2 down a bank to get on the other side to turn around. I turned my car into a 4×4! \m/ had a group of youngsters bang my car window, i shat myself. I thought someone threw a rock at it.

            A lot of these issues happen in areas where i never spend time or even travel through the area. Doubt your hubby will go to any of these areas.

            You are welcome to ask me questions if you ever unsure of anything.

            Otherwise, I do enjoy living in South Africa, especially in Kwa-Zula Natal, we barely have a winter here. Plus we’ve been told we are very friendly people.

            Tell your husband to only shop at SPAR stores for his everday groceries or Tops for booze, I’d like a nice bonus at the end of the year. He can shop at any of the SPAR stores 😉 thanks.

            Katie – you must make a plan holiday here and see the wild animals 🙂

            I’d also love to visit USA but its massive, i wouldn’t even know where to begin! Sucks that our rand to weak, so it’s hard to buy coffee on the go when you know you can buy 6 of those in SA for the same price!

            Not long came back from a Thailand holiday, so will probably only plan my nexy holiday in 2021.

          • BeeSA says:

            *but again

          • janet says:

            I will definitely tell him to shop there. There’s a hot sauce I’m obsessed with. It’s called Kommetjie Kitchen legendary hot sauce. The whole family asks for that. If there’s a snack we must try please let me know and I’ll tell him to pick up a case from SPAR.
            You are one independent tough Chica. I’m glad we are buds here. Love hearing all the stores. I never had rocks thrown at my car 🤞 but when I was in Seoul 3 yrs ago, the farmers were protesting in the middle of highways and they threw sacks of rice at cars. It felt like pebbles.

          • BeeSA says:

            Janet – chatting to the wrong person when it comes to “snacks”.

            Although, biltong very popular in SA but best to buy at a well known biltong shop or butcher. Doubt you can take it overseas though but hubby must try it if he hasn’t already. Very popular. I know years ago, my overseas family used to take vacuum packed but last few years countries have become strict.

            Now only snacks my aunt takes is milo, nick nacks and flings chips, chocolate slabs with mint in. UK apparently don’t sell slab of chocs or mint chocs. She’s like a kid – all the sweet stuff.

    • Miri says:

      Hi Katie, I read that a few months back, and I was a little underwhelmed for some reason…have you read her oldie but goodie ‘Something Borowed’?

  18. Tracie says:

    Hi My Girls….Warning: Had dental surgery today and I’m on Percocet but you know that’s when I’m at my best…Lol

    Oh my gosh where to start…Ann so glad to see you posting. So glad you are back sugar. Missed you much.

    Aida honey you blew me away…Your insight is amazing regarding our Hunter family. So happy to have you on the blog. Laura and these girls are the absolute best….

  19. Ann says:

    Hi Ladies!

    I haven’t been on here since April. Lots of extra scenes on the Hunters I need to catch up on. In addition to everyone’s comments.
    Thank you Laura!

    Hope all of you ladies have had a wonderful Summer. I know I did.
    I’ll try to keep checking in more frequently.

    I just recently re-read WPF and SN while at the beach. I think it’s my third time. lol

    • janet says:

      Ann!!!! I’m so happy you are back. I have missed you so! Glad to hear you had a great summer!

    • Katie says:

      Ann! I know we are FB friends, but I’ve missed you here! We’ve read so many subpar books since you’ve been gone.

      • Ann says:

        Hey girls. I missed you guys too. I need some new books to read and I will go back and try to reread all of your comments and suggestions.
        Katie, your Haley is precious. I saw her pics of first day of kindergarten on your FB page. They were so sweet.
        Hey did Tracie retire?

        • janet says:

          Aida, ” A few months ago, I started reading novels about marriage in trouble books.” Which ones do you recommend?

          Tara, Megan is not only a product of her environment but a product of Phil. LOL!

          • Aida says:

            Hi Janet,

            The ones I really like are The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders, Something Worth Saving by Mayra Statham, Pollyanna and the Greek Billionaire by Marian Tee, The Fourth Child by C.J. Carmichael (the recently updated version), and What He Doesn’t Know duology by Kandi Steiner. 😀

          • janet says:

            Thank you. Is the kandi Steiner book a love triangle? I’ll go check out Something Worth Saving. 🙏

          • Aida says:

            Hi Janet,

            Yes, the Kandi Steiner books are initially about a marriage in trouble but then turn into a love triangle. I love Something Worth Saving! It’s safe cause it has no cheating or anything like that, but it’s still an emotional roller coaster that makes me weep a lot.

  20. Aida says:

    Hi Laura,

    My name is Aida and I am 19 years old. A ew months ago, I started reading novels about marriage in trouble books. To me, SN is the best book about a married couple I’ve ever read. My favorite part about the story is Lina’s character and journey. I know that a lot of people think she is weak, but I think those people only judge Lina based on her relationship with Phil. In general, Lina is a very centered person with a strong sense of self. I see it most prominently through her interactions with her daughters. Her daughters, especially Megan, belittle her a lot, but she always takes the high road in every situation. When Megan scoffs at her job and how much she get paid, Lina playfully replied: “I am just as surprised as you are, Megan”; when Katie went off on her about not being a good example to them and that she should stand up more to Phil more, Lina calmly answered: “Well, I’m sorry you see it that way,” and don’t even get me started on when Megan told her that she had nothing, no money, no blood relation to Phil (I really wanna slap her in this scene, such internalised misogyny), Lina still responds in a calm and classy way. To me, it’s understandable that she is vulnerable with Phil, but that doesn’t mean she is an all around weak person. I love how she gains more and more independence towards the end of book 2.

    I am the type of person who keeps my fav characters alive in my head, so I usually make up situations about them and create folders in my computer that contain different things about them: their clothes, fav music. I’ve been having a lot of fun cataloging Lina’s clothes and finding interior designs that I think Lina would create. I just feel so happy thinking about her family being proud of her when she someday receives an award for design or something. Can you imagine Megan starting her job and a lot of people come up to her and go: “hey, are you Lina Hunter’s daughter? omg she’s dope” blablabla. Megan would have equal amount of frustration and pride. Katie would just callously answers “yes, I am”, but secretly happy, and Logan would talk about her all the time with his college friends. Liam would point at pictures of Lina on the internet or a brochure and exclaimed, “My mummy!”, and Phil, well, he would feel insecure about the amount of successful, fit, middle aged men filling Lina’s everyday life who understand her passion more than he does, but also feels utterly happy and proud to be her husband, felling like the luckiest man alive.

    Also, Lina is so cute! Do you guys realise that? She gets pouty and childlike at times. Like, when she said she wants to be the love of both Phil’s and Logan’s lives, and when she “wanted to take tonight to mourn the lost of [Logan]” cause “he’s a man now!”, or when she would spontaneously dance with the band at a club. It’s endearing, especially mixed with her warm, motherly, love-to-garden-and-cook side, and her organised, poised, the glue-that-keeps-her-family-together side, and the passionate, charming, talented interior designer. I would love to read a scene from Phil’s pov when he visits Lina’s office, project, or work dinner.

    I love Phil and Lina together. They are one of the most compatible couples I’ve ever read. I think, post SN, they enter a honeymoon phase where, essentially, the two people involved are more actualised, self-aware, grateful versions of themselves. I just wanna say, ever since I finished the books 1 month ago, I’ve been lurking in your blog. Your posts and the discussions in the comment sections are the best! It’s so amazing that you have such loyal, passionate fan base, and you keep feeding us the goods. Thank you for that!

    I have A LOT of questions about the books, but I think my post is already long enough. Maybe I can post them in your (hopefully) next post about Lina and Phil.

    • Laura says:

      Aida – I’m speechless. Your understanding of Lina and the other characters is completely accurate. I love that you caught all the cues pointing out Lina’s simplex yet complex personality. Thank you so much for the post. I can’t believe you’re only 19. Where are you from?

    • Tara says:

      Aida—I am so impressed at 19 you have such an insightful understanding of the complexities of these characters!

      Welcome to the group! I look forward to your questions and additional thoughts.

      • Aida says:

        Hi Laura and Tara,

        I am from Indonesia but I finished community college in California last year. I am now back in my home country studying German, cause I want to finish my studies in Germany.

        Thank you so much for your sweet replies. I’ve always loved to read. I actually majored in English Literature in college. I look forward to more discussions in the blog. This blog is like every reader’s dream coming true. It’s even better than Tumblr cause the people here are more respectful.

        Aida

    • Ania says:

      Hi Aida,
      I’m speechless too. You’re so good.
      Thank you for sharing your insights- they’re amazing 🙂👌

    • janet says:

      Hi Aida! Love your name! Thank you so much for getting Laura to write us a new scene. LOL. I actually like Megan so please don’t criticize her too much. 😂

      • Aida says:

        Hi Janet,

        Thank you! I won’t 😀 Also, why do you like Megan? I just wanna know so I can make sense of this complicated feelings I have about her and see her from a different perspective. 😀

        • janet says:

          I was half kidding in my comment but I do find Megan funny. Because WPF and SN were emotional reads, I looked forward to Megan’s “breather” scenes. She is so oblivious to everything around her if it doesn’t directly affect her. From the very beginning when she comes into the kitchen asking to buy yet another dress and Lina says no but Phil says yes, to the not so humble brag in SN when she places 1st in her Physics class, and the classic insurance $ convo, are all typical actions of a self absorbed 18 year old. Yes, she’s annoying but she’s real and I understand her egotistical character as much as I understand Logan loving one. It’s fun reading about exasperating characters.

          • Aida says:

            Yeah, that’s true! I’m sure when she’s gonna mature eventually, tho.

          • Tara says:

            Janet–you give a perfect explanation of Megan. My son went to a private high school filled with girls like Megan, his description, not to be taken in a racist way, would be “entitled white girl”–totally clueless to real world issues, self absorbed in her own little world. Even after her meltdown over meeting Kim and the realization of what her mother must have felt, she was a carrier of emotion, as soon as she got it off her chest–she was pretty much okay, leaving Lina emotionally drained.

    • Katie says:

      Hi Aida! Welcome!!

  21. Ania says:

    Hello, a little black dress from a friend and we are heading to 1789 🙂

  22. Laura says:

    Phil and Lina’s official song — thanks, Murlene!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByfFurjQDb0

  23. Murlene says:

    I like the lyrics to You Are The Reason.
    Calum Scott and Leona Lewis video version.
    There is a part that goes, “and fix what I’ve broken.” It reminds me of Phil during A white Pickett Fence.

    • BeeSA says:

      Love the lyrics.

      Definitely can picture that song hitting Phil hard in his chest when it starts playing on the radio while driving home from dinner with Lina after begging her to think about taking him back.

  24. Ania says:

    Hello Everybody from Clyde’s 😋 We drove 4 hours from NYC to meet Hunters & finally arrived.
    The location is beautiful.
    Happy Ania & happy husband 😋

    • Tracie says:

      How awesome Ania…..Wish I was having an IPA with my Phil, you could take our pic…Lol

      Laura what mood are our Hunters in??? Has Megan gone cliff diving????

      I’ve been thinking about my Logan:

      I see Logan coming through the mud room door hollering “Dad, Dad”. Lina turning from the stove startled by Logan’s entrance. “Logan what is wrong?” “Nothing where is Dad?” “He’s in his study honey.” Logan starts for the front of the house with Lina right behind him. “Dad” Logan says as he enters Phil’s study. Phil turns his attention toward Logan..”Hey buddy what’s up.” Logan’s smiles at his father, barely able to contain his excitement. “Dad the coach posted the roster for the fall season and I got a starting position. I finally got one Dad.” Phil’s smile widens across his face as he stands and rounds his desk wrapping his son in a back slapping hug. “I knew you could do it son, I’m so proud of you.” They start a conversation of who got what position as Lina watches there exchange and feels a strong surge of emotion, knowing her family is whole again!

      I needed Logan in Phil’s spotlight for a minute, I love his character..:.Laura if you come up with one, that would be cool!

    • Laura says:

      Ania – that’s awesome! What did you have to eat?

      • Ania says:

        We had CHEESEBURGER* & ALL-AMERICAN BURGER with enormous creme brulee & LAVENDER WISHES for myself- delicious! (by the way I like their cocktail selection :SUMMER IN THE CITY & STRAWBERRY-BASIL are particularly my cup of tea 🙂

    • Laura says:

      I’m honored Ania ❤

      • Ania says:

        Oh, the pleasure is all mine!

        Laura, what a relaxing peaceful location to meet your Heroes:)
        Thank you very much for the absolutely amazing and wonderful experience – like something from a dream.

        PS
        This would be an awesome reading spot

        Happy Fan 🥰

    • janet says:

      What did you guys eat? 4 hr drive!

      • Ania says:

        Hi Janet,
        to be honest I was not that hungry but super super excited: buttermilk pancakes + mocha frappuccino were my fuel.
        We had burgers with pickles which I must say were delicious 👌
        We had a blast 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Anita—this is so fun to follow. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Murlene says:

    Laura, Often you hear authors talk about playlist for their books. Was there a song or songs that you had in mind when you wrote A White Picket Fence and Swimming Naked. I love songs that the lyrics tell a story. I just heard I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston and it instantly brought back the movie The Bodyguard. I can see Kevin Costner toting her in that one scene. Thank you Laura for answering my questions. I still think of Phil and Lina like old friends.

    • Laura says:

      Murlene,

      I love when there’s a connection like that, but unfortunately there is no song in this case. If you can think of one, let me know. 😊

  26. Katie says:

    Ok, girls, I have a good one. I’m at 25% but feel good recommending it
    Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis by Robyn Harding. It’s 3.99. The husband leaves his wife before “cheating”
    It’s funny and realistic (so far)

    • janet says:

      I will check it out!

    • Miri says:

      Thanks katie! I downladed the sample some time ago but haven’t got to it yet – will start it tonight!!

    • Hinata says:

      Hello laura and ladies! I was absent..i had to write exam for a job in Chennai..

      I would like to check the book Katie

      Janet-Hinata! I appreciate the sincerity of your post. I will keep my fingers crossed for you to find a job ASAP. Do you have kindles unlimited in India? I will only recommend good cheating books for you from now on. It does really become an expensive habit for all of us.– i read the old comments today and I have yet to read the comments here ..I need to catch up a lot :P…thanks for your support Janet …as soon as I nail the job I’ll share the news here :D..Yes Janet there is kindle unlimited in India too ..

    • Tracie says:

      Hi Girls, Katie I finished the Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis. Really didn’t like the ending, but I feel they would eventually get back together.

      • Katie says:

        I’m at 70%! What a fool. I feel like this is what happens in most midlife crisis situations. I like the infusion of humor in this book. The grass is rarely greener!! Seriously, why don’t people just buy some sexy costumes, toys, try new things… before it gets to this?

        I thought it was HEA? Maybe she’s just going to make him work for it a little longer.

        • Tracie says:

          Let me know what you think about the ending…..He is weak, but had the same idea as Phil just a fling! OW cracked me up with relationship…LOL…

          • Katie says:

            I think the ending can be interpreted a few different ways. It’s not necessarily bad. I think they’ll reconcile. I liked this book overall.
            Oh Annika- instant karma!

          • Katie says:

            Yes, this guy knew what it was with Annika- a fling, not love. Except he left his wife, in part, to pursue her…I’m not sure if that’s any better than cheating in the typical meaning of the word. If he doesn’t get his family back, he only has himself to blame.

          • Tara says:

            I have this but haven’t read it yet. But the actual leaving for the fling thing is curious, which is worse leaving or the outright lying and staying? I’ll move this up my TBR list.

          • Katie says:

            Tara, it was interesting. I always thought that would lessen the blow, but it didn’t really.

  27. Katie says:

    Has anyone read The Wife by Alafair Burke?

    • Katie says:

      Or Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone…
      This one is darker women’s fiction.

      • Miri says:

        I read Evelyn, Ever after…why can’t I remeber the details though?? I did like it, but I don’t remember the specifics…

        • Miri says:

          I’ll take a look at it again and jog my memory…

          • Miri says:

            Ohhh ok yes, now I remember it…it definitely had cheating/affair, but there was more to the story which kind of eclipsed the affair…no spoilers in case you’re gonna read it, but in the end there are a few surprises…that’s all I’ll say unless you ask for spoilers 🙂

  28. Laura says:

    Okay — this is just my opinion. No one deserves to die for having an affair. I don’t think the wife was insane. I agree with Janet — she became unhinged. If someone had to die, it should have been her husband. All we are getting is the husband’s side of the story. For all we know, he may have told the OW that his marriage was over — she still shouldn’t have been with him while the wife was in the picture, but I don’t think she deserved to die.

    Janet — what I found fascinating was how he ran to his wife’s body and said “baby what have you done”. He didn’t even check to see if the mistress was still alive — oh and btw, the mistress had a husband who she left.

    And I agree, he is completing exploiting the situation. It hasn’t even been that long. What a sociopath.

    As far as soulmates — I believe we can have that connection with more than one person — except Phil and Lina 😊

    • janet says:

      Right. the oh baby baby what have you done stuck out for me too right along with, you ruined my life/ I hope you never find happiness.
      Nobody should have died. Just give him a broken nose and maybe throw dog poop on their porch once a week. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Joking aside, I hate that the wife couldn’t see another way out.

      • Miri says:

        I agree about the death, it was extreme to kill the mistress, and I agree if anyone had to die it should’ve been the hubby…having said that, if the mistress hadn’t been killed, she would be a villainess, not a sympathetic character at all (if she did knowingly have an affair with a married man)…then again the story wouldn’t have made the news if no one had died…
        I think if I was the wife and felt the need for revenge, I like Janet’s broken nose and poop idea…ok and maybe some broken kneecaps (that way he can’t enjoy the honeymoon haha)…..because if the wife thought she was punishing her husband, she clearly didn’t know him very well, he’s lapping up the attention like an attention whore…he seems to be having a ball…a writing coach?? This guy is intent on milking this tragedy for all its worth…sociopath is right

        • janet says:

          You made me laugh hard. Kneecaps-I agree!! bahaha. Yes, the writing coach spoke like she knew the wife. weirdo. Also, the mistress is the one who wanted to have drinks. why not just meet in a room at the Univ? They were ripe for an affair. The OW’s hubby was for show, allegedly, and the sociopath didn’t want another 24 years with the wife. I also lol that he found the wife hot initially in her shit brown taco bell uniform.

        • Laura says:

          LOL you’re right Miri — he hasn’t suffered. He seems to love his new life with his BMW — why did they keep showing him in that?

          • janet says:

            I know! I think 20/20 wanted to make him look like a fool! The fool was driving a convertible in 50 degree weather. The beginning was very dramatic and they kept cutting to the writing coach then his eyes welling up with tears then back to him driving the BMW again. Why do that unless it was intentional?

          • Katie says:

            I love it. It probably was intentional. Was it a new BMW? Or one he’d been married to for awhile?
            Symbolic.

          • janet says:

            I think it was new. He drove it with the top down. There’s an article where he even talks about “his” BMW. Burning tires around track or something. You may see him around in your hood K. Lol

          • Katie says:

            I don’t know- convertibles always look like a midlife crisis to me. There are a few of him driving around here.

          • Miri says:

            Laura, he’s a total beta, I think that’s why we find him unattractive…his presence, body langauge, etc. all scream beta…and I agree with Janet, 20/20 made him look like a tool (wel I’m sure they didn’t have to try hard)

          • Miri says:

            Maybe he bought the BMW with his book advance money..bleh
            (I posted in the wrong spot…again..lol)

          • janet says:

            Omg. Lol. Ok I like beta heroes too though. Mr knightly in Emma is one of my fav beta heroes.

            Katie, I’m just asking but isn’t this guy like the H in Heartless? If no murder and no book deal what is the difference? That character said ILY to his wife for a long time when he was with the mistress. To me he was very unlikeable.

          • Katie says:

            Lol J, not offended! I thought the same thing. It’s not palatable in real life. If I knew more about the husband and wife’s relationship, I’d have more to say.

          • Miri says:

            Yeah but Janet this guy’s a smarmy beta…he could be a used car salesman, he’s got that vibe

          • Miri says:

            The husband in Heartless was an a-hole, but I didn’t get a beta vibe (but I looooathe him)…mr Knightly’s cool 😊👌

          • Katie says:

            I never said I loved the Hero in Heartless, just that I got enough perspectives to understand why it happened and I believed their love story. It’s just a book of course, and in real life, that H would be a douchebag.
            I don’t have all of the perspectives on this real life case, so it’s hard to compare. The guy capitalizing on this tragedy says enough about him for me to know he’s extremely selfish. And, I know you all don’t agree with me, but I think the wife was a nutcase. I’ve seen people experience a lot worse and not go killing people, or themselves. It doesn’t speak highly of her. But absolutely she didn’t deserve for her husband to cheat, but I see a case of a self-absorbed asshole and an extremely dependent woman (based on my limited knowledge).

    • Holley says:

      I saw the special on 20/20 and thought what a self serving prick. I can’t believe he is trying to profit from this when he played a part in causing his wife to get unhinged. The ex husband of the OW has remained quiet. I think most men don’t want it known their wife cheated on them.
      I believe crimes of passion can happen like Clara Harris, the wife in Houston who ran her SUV over her husband after finding him and the other woman in a hotel. This was over 10 years ago I believe.
      This wife seems to have planned this for a long time, could this just be a case of selfishness? If I can’t have him, neither can you? It is sad to think that she thought only way to punish him was by killing OW and herself. Sad sad story.

    • Katie says:

      No one should’ve died over this. He wasn’t worth murder or suicide, and I’m sad she felt that way.
      My ego would be too strong to stay with someone who didn’t want me. I’d be like, “have fun with your soulmate [insert some laughs and eye rolls], and I’ll see you in 6 months when she’s nagging you to change lightbulbs and you realize what you gave up.” I don’t know if I believe in soul mates, but I agree with Laura that you can have deep connections with multiple people in a lifetime. The whole thing is wonky. I don’t believe that happily married people fall in love with other people. Either they weren’t happy (probably) or it’s lust and a good lay disguised as love (probably this too). Lifelong partnership is about so much more than love too.

  29. Katie says:

    Ok so here’s a thinking question. Let’s say this woman really was his soul mate. Is there a way he could’ve ended his marriage without the collateral damage? Do we believe in that stuff, for real?

    • janet says:

      I personally don’t believe in all that but Doesn’t mean others don’t have it. Sure, I can see how the couple could have ended things better. The husband could have ended it before they sold the SC home and he could have given her the house. The wife says you are a immoral person who f’ed a pooch. Omg who says pooch anymore. I had to replay that part. Lol. And he will find a “strong connection” with another pooch soon enough.

      • Miri says:

        I totally agree with Janet…the way he went about it only added fire to the fuel…it’s bad enough he was leaving his wife for a much younger woman, he could have at least done it with more care and less sleaziness..I do believe in soul mates..his wife was his soulmate…soul mates aren’t the sweet young things who make you feel young again, they’re the one you chose, who chose you, with whom you go through this lifetime together for better or worse; because we’re not just here to be happy, we’re here to grow and learn and contribute…and sometimes we hate the choices we’ve made, but we find ways to live with them..that’s partly where the learning/growing comes in..this idiot went and traded in his soul mate like a kid throws away a toy that’s broken and just picks up a new one to play with

  30. Miri says:

    I just read about the cheating husband whose wife killed the mistress and herself…apparently the husband is writing a book about it…so he’s basically gaining something out of it…this is one cheating book I will NOT be reading..not only is he a cheating POS, he’s a cheating POS who’s looking to capitalize on this horrible situation…if he was sincerely remorseful about his part in it, he wouldn’t be giving out interviews and putting a book out

    • Katie says:

      Yeah I was wondering what everyone thought about this. Who’s to blame? Who do we feel bad for? Laura watched the 20/20- he and the OW had an immediate connection, soul mate kind of thing, supposedly. He and his wife were very happy until he met her, supposedly. The husband’s actions in the media right now don’t say good things about him. The wife’s response to the betrayal doesn’t say good things about her (in-sane).
      I don’t buy it.

      • janet says:

        I didn’t think the wife was insane but became unhinged when he asked for a divorce. Sewing the tracking device was a bit stalkerish but I hear about things like that so that wasn’t crazy to me. I would be pissed too if my husband wanted to trade me for a 30 yr old with a chipmunk voice. Ugh sad. I’m going to watch something funny to erase that memory.

      • Miri says:

        I loathe the husband, what a gross selfish greedy pig…I feel bad for the wife…the mistress I can’t really say I feel much of anything for..if she didn’t die I’d loathe her too..that sounds evil, and I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel…what kind of woman is ok with a husband leaving his wife of 24 years for her? Who hooks up with a man who is married, and to a woman much older than her? Where was her sympathy and compassion for the wife?? Don’t men and women like this have any kind of conscience? F–k your insta-love “soul mate” connection, other peoples’ lives and happiness matter just as much as yours…I know this will majorly offend people, but only her death makes her sympathetic – that’s just my honest truth, please don’t come at me too hard for it

        • Katie says:

          I don’t think anyone here will come after you for this. All true things. I feel like he thinks the soul mate connection excuse makes him look better because then it was all worth something. Nope. You’re a selfish pig, bro. You’re typical.

          • Miri says:

            He is disgusting, he’s exploiting not only the situation but his wife and mistress as well for gain…and yep, the soul mate thing is just dressing it up…so he was attracted to a woman nearly two decades younger than him, yes that’s just so unique and special…is that what we’re calling a soul mate these days?

          • Miri says:

            as for the mental illness of the wife, she may not have been mentally ill long term, but sometimes a trauma can cause a temporary psychotic breakdown..I’m not saying that’s the case, but I can see that happening…

          • Katie says:

            Yes and I didn’t know about the recent job loss. That’s a lot all at once.

        • janet says:

          Tell me how you really feel! LOL. The whole thing is up on YouTube. It starts out like Main Line PA is an exclusive family town and we don’t like drama. Okayeeee. Well, you guys just put your city on everyone’s radar. It is no longer just a great place known for a top women’s college. And if anything I feel bad about that.

          • Miri says:

            in his interview, the husband is talking like he’s being interviewed for just a regular piece, not for a piece on a murder-suicide, he’s all peppy in certain parts…they even interview his “writing coach”…this guy doesn’t seem shaken or saddened in the least

    • Janet says:

      I just watched the interview. Lord, I felt for the wife. She left her home and everyone she knew to start a new life with her husband only to be told he fell in love with someone else when she joins him there. She doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have money, and no family and friends. What happens to her now? Meanwhile the husband is planning his HEA with a little miss type A with a whiny voice? Oh no she can’t have that. She must kill the mistress then herself and have the husband suffer the consequences for the rest of his life. He’s like sure, I’ll move from dreary Delaware to sunny San Diego and write a book, make speeches, and go on 20/20. Shut the hell up you pig 😡

      • Katie says:

        Yeah I think this has pig and mental illness written all over it. There were a lot of red flags for me in this story.

      • Katie says:

        Did she ever work? It’s never a good thing to be that dependent on another person for your emotional and financial well-being.
        Why didn’t they have kids? That stuck out to me too.
        I think he met a pretty, successful younger woman, and she rocked his world. He had been with his wife since they were teenagers. Just a pig having a stereotypical affair.

        • janet says:

          you think he cheated before? The wife lost her job and their marriage was strained bc of money trouble.

          • Katie says:

            Who knows. I’m sure he’ll embrace his new found bachelorhood and fame though. And I bet he makes himself a lot better in bed in his stupid book than he really is. Pig.

  31. Katie says:

    Janet, The Arrangement was not good. Turns out the wife killed the husband and let the mistress take the fall, if you were curious.
    I started The Affair by Nicole something on the plane back. You all read it I think. I just couldn’t get into the whole Little House on the Prairie wife and 🙄🙄🙄-inducing husband. I’m assuming they divorce? I don’t feel like finishing it.
    I started a taboo one where the daughter sleeps with her mom’s husband. It reminds me of Cinderella, you know, the version where Cinderella’s mom marries a prince and Cinderella sleeps with him. The mom is awful, and there’s something funky up with the marriage. It’s so bad I can’t stop reading it.

    • janet says:

      Ok, I did not know that. I’m not going to finish it then. Do you think the mistress deserved it?

      I think your book is in my GR pile. LOL regarding Cinderella. if it’s good let me know. I have nothing to read over the weekend. I was about to start Samantha Towle’s new one. I like reading about rock stars but I know you don’t.

      • Katie says:

        No- it was a sugar baby-sugar daddy scenario and she didn’t know he was married. She fell for him, then he discarded her, and she went a little stalkerish. The wife and husband had a very strained relationship. She was all about her health (cancer survivor) and their daughter…they didn’t even live together full-time. The husband was a douche of course- multiple affairs. The wife knew he was cheating for many years and was plotting (I think).
        It was stupid.

      • Miri says:

        Janet I’m going through my TBR list, reading samples…still havent found one worth reading yet, will let you girls know as soon as I do!

    • Miri says:

      Ok just thought of a book I read a few years back…it’s part of a biker series by Madeline Sheehan (Laura’s article below made me think of it)…I think in one of the books the guy’s wife shoots the mistress at a barbeque, and in the next book there’s the fallout from all that…the mistress is pregnant but she doen’t know who’s child it is…it sounds trashy, and it is, but it’s actually pretty good, I really recommend…

      So the book is book #4 in the series, Unbeloved, but to get the back story you need to read book #3, Unattainable…come to think of it, book #1 has lots of cheating too (between a different set of characters), but I think the cheating situation between Dorothy and Jase (books 3 and 4) are more our speed…let me know if any of you have read these…the entire series is really good!

  32. janet says:

    Hi Laura, so, the illegitimate daughter of someone famous is attending my niece’s(cousin’s daughter)school and people are talking because she is illegitimate. The dad had an affair with a socialite while being married to the wife and he bribed the socialite mistress to move to LA with the daughter. They had a dispute and he even filed a motion in NY Supreme Court to keep it a secret. Then there was an incident where the mistress punched The ex boyfriend in LA and he pressed charges and she ended up wearing an orange suit and was seen doing community service.

    Ok, so my question is this. If Lina didn’t accept Liam(at least initially for a few years) but still wanted to reconcile with Phil, how would he have juggled his life with Liam then? Same as when they were apart for 6 months? I remember Lina got mad after Xmas because Phil didn’t tell her about Liam’s birth. He says”It has nothing to do with my love for you.” So would he have accepted Lina’s rules and just visit Liam on those visitation days?

    I read from some reviewers that Kim was OTT. I didn’t agree but now I think Kim could have done much much worse. Seriously, Lina saved a lot of people here.

    • Laura says:

      Yes. If Lina had wanted no part of Liam, Phil would have maintained the relationships separately.

    • Laura says:

      Poor girl. People are so petty

    • Katie says:

      Not saying I fully comprehend the pain this situation (husband cheats=Illegitimate child) would cause…but…I think forgiving the husband means accepting the child. It’s a child. It’s not his/her fault. And I don’t think it’s fair to (inevitably) keep the husband away from his child by forcing a separate relationship. The wife accepting the child will pave the way for society to do the same. Lina is certainly a saint.

      • janet says:

        I agree. if there’s a child involved, either you accept that child or the couple go their separate ways. I don’t know if Lina is a saint but Liam’s outcome as well as Logan’s could have been so different. That’s what I meant about saving.

        • Tracie says:

          I don’t think me personally could ever not accept the child, if I still loved and lived with my husband. That’s why I asked about people talking about Liam later in life, people are rude and like to talk….

          • janet says:

            Possibly Tracie because Phil is good looking and somewhat prominent in the city. I think if he was a nobody then people wouldn’t talk as much. The wife wanted to seal the file but when it went public, they divorced.

          • Tracie says:

            You are right Janet. People will talk about prominent families more, because people are jealous of them. I wonder how Phil would handle it, if he had the whole family at the Mexican restaurant and actually overheard someone calling Lina a fool for taking him back and raising Liam.
            I know his jaw would clench and so would Logan’s…Katie and Lina would ignore it. I think Megan would say “Mom do you hear them talking about you?”

          • Katie says:

            So stupid. She cares that much what people think? I’d have so much more respect for a Lina type than the wife in that scenario. Ultimately, the girl suffers. Ugh.

          • Miri says:

            wait, I think I missed something here…what did the wife do? she divorced the guy right?

          • janet says:

            Phil would shut it down real quick. I think it would offend him more than Lina.

            Regarding the other scenario, I don’t know if it was about saving face or the wife just couldn’t handle it/gave up.

          • Katie says:

            Janet, I saw your post before you edited it. That guy is such a shit bag. Bye!
            But it’s stupid to me if she decided to finally divorce him because of public backlash. If you forgive, you forgive, regardless of anyone’s opinions. In my very-humble-and-no-one-really-cares opinion.

          • janet says:

            so that’s what i mean Katie. She probably didn’t forgive.

            Do you like Wendy Williams? She recently filed for divorce because she couldn’t accept the OW’s child. She said in her NYT interview that she is a very forgiving person but she couldn’t be a part of that. that meaning the baby. But in her case, I think the husband( i read 25 years) fell in love with the OW and the affair was ongoing for awhile.

          • Miri says:

            Oh is that why WW divorced? I heard she was divorcing but didn’t read into it further…I figured there was some cheating going on but I didn’t know the hubby got another woman preggers! Birth control, why is that so hard to do? Particularly when you’re married to SOMEONE ELSE!!!

          • Tara says:

            So, I think forgiveness doesn’t go hand and hand with saving the marriage. Sometimes a person needs to forgive or keep the anger and hurt from eating at them, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to move forward.

            I think if someone chooses to stay in the marriage, then they need to accept the child. As much as I believe in love, forgiveness and redemption, I think this is a hard choice. You couldn’t hurt or reject the child, but I think there would be days you would resent your husband for doing this to your family, it’s living with proof of the affair on a daily basis.

            Believing in a HEA in a book is very different from living with the reality day in and day out.

          • Katie says:

            Yeah Tara, I meant forgiveness + staying together=accept the child. What Wendy Williams said/did is valid too. I just don’t think it’s right to stay married and make the husband keep his love child separate.

  33. Murlene says:

    Laura I realize that Katie was having issues. She tried drugs, she became depressed, she cut off communication with family and friends, and she cut herself with a tack. Did she know that a lot of her parents problems at that time were based on anger, frustration and guilt with how to deal with her? Teenagers can be obtuse about some things, but very aware of others.

  34. Katie says:

    Hi friends. We are back! Such a great trip. I was low-level buzzed the whole trip, and I think I saw all of you while I was there. You all looked great. 🤪 Now I have to deal with whatever I did to this arm. Ugh. 😘😘
    What are we reading?

    • Tara says:

      Welcome back—take care of the arm!

    • Laura says:

      Katie — ugh – I forgot about your arm. Do you think you seriously hurt it?

    • janet says:

      Hey you. Take care of the arm. Hope it’s not fractured.

    • Miri says:

      Katie,welcome back!!! I hope you had the time of your life!!! 😀🎈🎉🎊

      • Tracie says:

        Welcome back Kbabe…Hope your arm is gettIng better…..

        I’m not reading anything right now, except for the scene above like every time I check in here….Lol…..To busy getting our yard and animals ready for winter. I feel like a sled dog I’m working so hard. I told my husband 10 more years and we may have to sell and get a postage stamp size lot, instead of 40 acres…

        • Katie says:

          Hahaha! My parents are in their 60s. They have a 3500 sf house on a manicured acre and used to love working in it…now they are looking for <1000sf, no yard, and an HOA for retirement.
          Your property sounds amazing to me. 😘😘

          • Tracie says:

            I can understand your parents logic Kbabe….stacking hay and moving farm equipment around so we can mow under it today…Work is never ending!

    • Katie says:

      Definitely something wrong with my arm. I’ll go to the doctor next week if it’s still this bad. 😘😘

  35. Ania says:

    Czesc Laura! I am on a 2 weeks vacation in the US right now and just wanted to say hello and let you know that you have Fans in different parts of the world, who are trying to meet Hunters at Clyde’s (and here comes the question – too many Clyde’s restaurants are there in MARYLAND so which one of these are Hunters’ favourite ?) 
    & also I am planning to meet Casey & Tony at 1789 in Georgetown (while having a hot date with husband).

    Laura, your books are worth savoring, poring over, and thinking about for years. As you said “it’s too late to stop this train ” so please keep writing and make our life more exciting❤

    I love you to the beach and back! Greeting from beautiful Turkey Point Island
    PS.
    Thank you for mentioning Nick Prossi in your bonus scene.
    Ania

    • Laura says:

      Hi Ania!
      It’s so nice to hear from you! I have never been to Turkey Point Island — I’ve never even heard of it until just now! Wow — I need to travel my state more.
      You will love 1789 — so good! Get scallops if they are on the menu.
      Here is the Clyde’s closest to the Hunter’s…https://www.clydes.com/columbia
      Have a great vacation and thanks so much for the message! 😘

      • Ania says:

        Thank you for that Laura. TPI is is paradise to me: happy people & relaxing vibes with the stunning scenery.
        OMG I love seafood. Scallops are my favourite! We have been invited to my friend’s friends to try their freshly- caught blue crabs perfectly steamed- the crabs were the best I’ve ever had.

    • janet says:

      Hi Ania! How fun!! And what a great idea to visit all the Hunters’ and Prossi’s restaurants! I hope you have time to do a quick drive by to their homes as well. Haha. Have a great time!
      If you want to try Korean there(I know you make your own kimchi), my favorite is Woo Lae Oak in Tysons Corner. LOL.
      Love Laura’s United Colors of Benetton fans- Us.

      Yes please keep writing and make our life more exciting. Well said! Take care🥰

      • Ania says:

        Hi Janet! I would love to do a quick drive by to their homes ( any idea of the location 🙂 and I would love to try Korean in America and I will😁👌 Thank you so much for the suggestions❤

        • Laura says:

          Ania — Maryland is famous for their blue crabs. We have to have a feast at least once a year — I love them!
          The Hunters live on Maryvale Court in Ellicott City, MD. It’s about fifteen minutes from Clyde’s. There are about fifteen houses on the street. You’ll have to figure out which one belongs to them. Tony Prossi lives in a white house on Lowell Lane in NW, Washington, DC — about ten minutes from the restaurant. 😊

  36. BeeSA says:

    Wonder who Liam shared a room with in Greece. Not being in his own room, he may be clingy to Lina.

  37. Laura says:

    Good morning ladies!
    I just woke up — 10:15 am — how is that for lazy. Chandler is like a teenager. He will sleep as long as I let him in the morning.
    The truth, I know, is that it’s a complement that the Hunters illicit such emotion. I also know that I can be too sensitive at times. Writing that scene was hard. I did have to delve deep inside and imagine what it would feel like to lose everything you love and have only yourself to blame. I cried when I wrote the scene with Phil and Mike at the Farside house — that’s how real the characters are to me while I’m writing a scene.

    Having said that, you don’t have to like Phil, Hinata — that isn’t a requirement. My daughter hates him. She hates his personality — the bossiness, the possessiveness, the belief that he’s always right. But that is his personality and her dislike of him doesn’t bother me at all. I tried to analyze why I got so upset yesterday — and I think it’s because when I read your comment it felt like you were telling me what was inside of him. I know what’s inside of him — he’s alive in my head, so when you say things about him that aren’t true, I get upset. I know these are fictional characters but I lived full time with them for over two years (writing the books). In a significant way, they are real to me.

    Once I realized why I was upset, the sadness left. It’s my issue, not yours. I shouldn’t take things so personally. You are welcome to tell me how much you hate Phil Hunter on a daily basis.

    I know you love the Hunters and I appreciate all your words yesterday.

    And I love everyone else on this blog too — you inspire me to continue writing.

    • Tracie says:

      Amen I told Janet they may be fictional but they are alive in my mind….I’m going to keep them there too! I’ve been painting fence today and have been thinking of a scene to pull the retirement scene into from WPF….I’ve got to finish painting though and take a bath before I can throw my idea out there…I’ve taken just a minute to roll up off the driveway and paint over my head….It’s a 100 here and I’ve been out here since 8 this morning… Janet you are going to kill me, because I’m going to have to take a bath in gas to get all this industrial paint of me..:.Then I’ll slather loads of lotion on…LOL. I know how you are about skin care….

  38. Hinata says:

    Yes laura, you will know what kind of thoughts run inside the characters you have created .They are your characters and these are your books..I shouldn’t have upset you like that I’m really sorry…
    Actually in my head i visualized Phil as a manipulative,selfish guy who is bossy and brings out all his attorney skills when he wants to have something in his way…
    I realised I’m totally wrong when I read this scene laura..it almost changed my perspective of Phil, I found he was acting tough with all those emotions inside of him…it gave me a confirmation that he was regretting .

    • Laura says:

      That’s interesting, Hinata. Thanks for telling me. That’s so different than I intended him to be seen, but I guess when you don’t have his POV your imagination can go in that direction.

      • Hinata says:

        Yes laura my imagination was wrong.

        I felt Phil selfish only when it came to his relationship with lina after revealing about his affair and liam….But otherwise he is quite selfless considering he was always there for Shiloh and adele as a male protector of Lina’s family…and welcoming matt and his grandma with open arms and all…he is quite admirable with so many good traits…I think i was only focusing on his cheating more than the other good things he was doing ..that is why so much negativity..he is the best male character (and would remain the same )that i have read till now if I compare all the books related to cheating.

  39. Laura says:

    Good morning ladies!
    I just woke up — 10:15 am — how is that for lazy. Chandler is like a teenager. He will sleep as long as I let him in the morning.
    The truth, I know, is that it’s a complement that the Hunters illicit such emotion. I also know that I can be too sensitive at times. Writing that scene was hard. I did have to delve deep inside and imagine what it would feel like to lose everything you love and have only yourself to blame. I cried when I wrote the scene with Phil and Mike at the Farside house — that’s how real the characters are to me while I’m writing a scene.

    Having said that, you don’t have to like Phil, Hinata — that isn’t a requirement. My daughter hates him. She hates his personality — the bossiness, the possessiveness, the belief that he’s always right. But that is his personality and her dislike of him doesn’t bother me at all. I tried to analyze why I got so upset yesterday — and I think it’s because when I read your comment it felt like you were telling me what was inside of him. I know what’s inside of him — he’s alive in my head, so when you say things about him that aren’t true, I get upset. I know these are fictional characters but I lived full time with them for over two years (writing the books). In a significant way, they are real to me.

    Once I realized why I was upset, the sadness left. It’s my issue, not yours. I shouldn’t take things so personally. You are welcome to tell me how much you hate Phil Hunter on a daily basis.

    I know you love the Hunters and I appreciate all your words yesterday.

    And I love everyone else on this blog too — you inspire me to continue writing.

  40. Hinata says:

    No laura, please don’t be disappointed.Your hard work really paid off. Everyone including me really loved this scene. I am very happy that I got to see Phill’s feelings..I don’t mean to hurt you. Actually something is wrong with my head i always get riled up when it is about the affair…I really admire phill for everything he has done for lina and his family…even when Logan was upset he still made a point he was equally loved as liam..
    Even in this scene I loved these lines: “I’m giving her what she deserves,” Phil interrupted. “I don’t care what you think, okay? She’s my wife and this is what she deserves.”…I felt like ‘ya he is really sad and is guilty and ready to fix everything and take full responsibility of his actions ‘

    As Janet and everyone said i need to stop nitpicking and bickering..it’s not about the scene of the characters laura, they are all great it is about my thinking..I really need to move on from being negative about Phil..
    The scene is really awesome laura,I absolutely enjoyed and loved it. I always wondered and even asked if phill tracked her when she went on that boat with Nick..’Coz he asked her why are you not meeting my eyes..and you said no,Phill knew line so well,he could guess…..and I really loved the opening because I got a deeper insight of that scene played out..thankyou so much laura..

    • janet says:

      we all zero in on the things Phil says and does. Not just you. I am equally at fault for doing so but we all adore the scenes. I love this scene and the baseball scene the most!! Both are phenomenal!

    • Tara says:

      Hinata,

      I think most women see cheating as a deal breaker, but for most of us it’s not something we’ve ever dealt with. There are so many things that factor into burning the bridge or moving forward with the relationship.

      Laura chose to write a story moving forward. As readers we may or may not agree with this in concept. It’s very hard to read a story and not feel emotionally invested, but we need to remember ultimately it’s not our story. This is Lina and Phil’s story told through Laura. I don’t need to forgive him, Lina does, I need to understand why Lina forgives and believes in his redemption and that she finds her trust in him again. Does the ending fit the characters? Getting there is an emotional roller coaster, but yes, for me, the ending fits the characters and that makes it a good and thought provoking story.

  41. Holley says:

    Wow Laura,
    Thank you so much for this scene. I can see why it was hard for you to write. I imagine you had to get into Phil’s character as you wrote this. It was eye opening seeing what Phil was dealing with. Logan was angry at him, he had lost Lina as he said himself “I lost my fucking wife”, and he was in pain physically and emotionally. I loved how he described and stood up for Lina to Kim. I think this is my favorite add on scene. Thank you Laura, you are truly a gifted writer.

  42. Tracie says:

    Laura when there is a legal separation in Maryland, is there a timeframe that you have to be officially divorced? Would Phil just withdraw the separation agreement through the courts once they got back together?

    Also, when Phil looks at the family picture on the side table and won’t let his thoughts go to living without Lina was it because he was still hoping for reconciliation or at this point he thought they we done?

    • janet says:

      He did pray every single night for her to come back to him. I can’t believe Phil would ever lose hope. If I were Phil I would use every means possible to keep Lina. Even blackmail and another pregnancy. Lol-Just kidding-but not really.

    • Laura says:

      No — you just have to be separated for a year before filing for divorce. Tearing up the separation papers would be enough. A separation agreement is legally binding but not filed with the court.

      Janet is right. Phil would never lose hope. But at that point he couldn’t handle even the thought of losing her without breaking down.

  43. Tracie says:

    For the record girls, I got to see Phil’s car in person…We had visitors today from Texas and they were driving a white one..The interior was beautiful, but my Phils’s, in my mind, would be Gun Metal Grey or Black….The seats set a little lower than the console…I could see Phil reaching over grabbing Lina’s thigh…Swoon….

  44. BeeSA says:

    Loved reading this scene. It mad me feel a tad sorry for Phil and the mess up he made of his life. Definitely see how much it had hurt him.

    I feel aweful to say this, but glad to see he battled to keep the tears away when he was in his bedroom. Even though he’s a tough hardass, he still wasn’t able to keep the tears away. Wish he wasn’t acting so tough around Lina when he left but i understand he was hurt and thought she picked Nick over him.

    Also made my heart skip a beat when he didn’t want Logan to help him move it. Knowing he didn’t want his son to have that memory and no doubt, Phil not wanting to put his son through that. Also how Logan hesitated when he saw his dad hand. Even though he’s angry at his dad, he notice he was injured and probably felt the need to help him.

    Also wondered when Phil told Kim to only contact him through their lawyers. Glad he to hear he barely saw a glimpse of her till the baby was worn. She virtually became non-existent in his world till Liam was born. No wonder she tried so hard to get him back when Liam was born and rushed to get home when Phil was visitng Liam at her house. She must have been counting the days till Liam was born knowing there was no way Phil could ignore her then. Must have been a real kick in the stomach when Phil told her he’s back with his wife. Just when she thought she has another chance, no wonder she started scheming again and leaving receipts in his jacket.

    Glad Phil told her she’s his biggest regret.

    Loved this scene. I know it was a tough scene for you to write but it was a scene i really needed to read from Phil POV in WPF.

    Thanks again 🙂

  45. Murlene says:

    Laura, Would Phil have taken a framed photo of his family to the new house? I know a woman would have. He had photos in his office, and he probably had photos of Lina and the kids on his phone. Just wondering.

  46. Miri says:

    Wow!!! this is everything I was hoping for!!! Angst, jealousy, sadness, tears!! LOL! Laura, THANK YOU!! I love how his thinks of her as ‘His Lina’, how he looks at the bed and thinks it’s her bed now, holy cow, this is awesome!!! I tried to read slowly and savor it but it’s hard!! I just wanted to gobble it all up so fast! Ok, time for my second read now…thanks again Laura, and you must not consider withholding your gift from the world! There will Always be morons out there who like to hate, even if you’re Mother Theresa! Please don’t let them ruin it for the rest of us!!! hugs and kisses!!!

    • Miri says:

      I love his parting words to Kim, about how Lina is pure and decent, and Kim is his biggest regret…to talk about Lina’s decency and goodness when many men would just be dazzled by Kim’s physical beauty, to me shows Phil’s depth…unlike many men, he isn’t blinded by youth and beauty over character

      • Tracie says:

        I love that comment Miri…Phil adored Lina, just got lost for a little while, just like she did with Nick…

        • Miri says:

          Yes Tracie, they lost sight of each other for a moment there…but their love is way too deep…for all that Phil is a man’s man and a tough guy, his depth of feeling for Lina is the stuff dreams are made of lol..as much as she loves him, he loves her just as much and just as intensely (sometimes this is not the case in relationships, and one person loves a little more than the other, always tries a little harder than the other)…sigh…ok today I’m sooo loving on Phil lol…the thoughts going through his head, his utter devastation, it makes me love him more

          • Miri says:

            As much as I forgave him before, this scene really melted my ire over all his actions…like, when I read WPF, the lawn scene where he tells Lina to at least wait until the separation agreement before being with Nick, I was like, jerk! Now reading EXACTLY what was going through his mind in that scene, I get it, I understand his coldness and where it’s coming from…it wasn’t anger and jerk-ness so much as devastation and heartache.

          • Miri says:

            And regret, let’s not forget his utter regret

  47. Laura says:

    Janet — I finished Dreaming of You. I loved it. I think I’ll read the first one in the series next.

    • janet says:

      It’s not as good imo but still better than most. I love Midnight Angel- damaged hero with a hook and a Russian governess, or Again the Magic, or Devil I’m Winter(it’s the second one in series). And pls try Sherry Thomas, Not Quite A Husband-deals with cheating! Yay!

  48. Hinata says:

    Wow Laura!This scene is awesome! This is the first time i have witnessed phill being actually emotional with fried,although we knew that he grieved in AWPF this is the first time i got to have a look inside of him being so sad..and I absolutely loved it 😀 Thank you so much laura..But in the end I somehow felt like him putting entire blame on kim for the situation he is in ,while he was also equally wrong to be having an affair

    • Hinata says:

      Emotional with grief**

    • Laura says:

      The entire blame on Kim? She wasn’t even mentioned until the last scene of the post — he was angry that she had sent Lina the pictures, so yes he blamed her for that. He never blamed her for the affair and no where in my writings have I implied it. I don’t believe I could ever redeem Phil in your eyes.

      • Hinata says:

        This line caught my eyes: “You are the woman I will regret for the rest of my fucking life.” Is it the woman or his action towards her?here in this case the woman is evil.But if the woman was a good natured lady with honest motives would he still say he regretted that woman or he regretted his actions?

        I understand that he is upset becuz of the pictures sent to lina and he has every right to be angry with her for hurting her with those pictures..I understand he was worried..somehow his cheating won’t sit with me..I’m really sorry..I think it’ll take a while for me to accept him…

        • Laura says:

          He probably wouldn’t say it, but he would think it. I guess my point is that what catches your eyes always seems to be something negative about Phil. I spent about eight hours writing those scenes, trying to give a bit more insight into what was happening in his mind. It’s a hard place to put myself — and I felt like in one sentence you dismissed the entire scene.

          • Katie says:

            I’d hope he say it.
            Hinata, I’m not naive enough to dismiss that good people can find love while married to other people. But I don’t think good-natured and honest intentions generally describe mistresses. I think he absolutely would regret her, not just his actions toward her.

        • BeeSA says:

          Hinata – Phil knows 100% he’s to blame for his actions and the affair. He know’s he did wrong when he was at his weakest point in his life and he and Lina weren’t ‘connected’ on the emotional side for months. He know’s he allowed himself into temptation when he was weak. Whether OW was evil or not, he would always 100% know he’s the main person to blame, he is married to Lina and it’s up to him to choose right or wrong and be faithful regardless of the character of the OW. If she wasn’t evil, his main regret will always be his action and allowing himself to cheat. His action is his biggest regret. I think the OW will still be a regret whether she’s evil or not, but its himself and his actions the main regret he will always feel.

          I know in my heart, if Phil wasn’t at his lowest point, he’d barely give Kim a second glance. He would notice she was an attractive woman but it would end there and then. He wouldn’t openly stare at her or make comments like some of the other lawyers. He already has a very attractive wife at home who he’s madly in love with. Remember Phil often notice other men looking at Lina.

          Remember Phil told Kim she could have been anyone that night at the bar. She just happened to be that woman who listened to him and made him feel wanted.

    • Tara says:

      No, he blames her for sending the pictures, not the affair. He always took responsibility for his actions.

      • Tracie says:

        Phil is a man of great integrity and his biggest regret is the affair and his actions. Phil always took 100 percent of the responsibility….He said that numerous times.

        I read something in a book recently where the man was explaining to the h about his meaningless sex and it made perfect sense to me…”For a brief period of time you’re not thinking about what you don’t have. You’re just thinking about NOT thinking for a little while. Disappearing into something that feels good so you don’t have to feel bad.” Hinata you have to remember Lina put Phil aside emotionally and physically and yes he may have Physically cheated, but he never stopped loving his wife. He knew what he had done was wrong and was all man in fixing the situation. He even told Lina in Chapter 47 of WPF, that he put their marriage where it was and he was 100 percent to blame. Phil crossed the line with Kim, but Kim had a detailed scope of work where Phil was concerned and went after him with guns a blazing…That man never blamed anyone but himself and remained a true decent man with making things right with his wife and family… I can understand how you couldn’t get pass his cheating if he was a bum and didn’t feel remorse or take care of his wife and kids, but he did. That says it all about him…

    • janet says:

      I think Hinata absolutely appreciates the scene. She said she loved it.

      But Hinata, you don’t forgive Phil. If I were 24 and single, I wouldn’t either because age is a big factor when reading/forgiving about cheating husbands. But we can’t nitpick what Phil says when we(I mean some of us) badger Laura into giving us bonus scenes. And, we do nitpick everything that comes out of Phil’s mouth don’t we? I say let’s just enjoy great writing when reading a good book and don’t analyze so much.
      All said and done, most romance novels are written by women for women and let’s never forget, fiction. Bickering over a guy who doesn’t exist doesn’t sit well with me.

      • Tracie says:

        Wholeheartedly agree on the Bickering Janet. Phil is fictional but alive in our minds…Yes we badger Laura for more scenes on this family and she is so responsive in providing them to us. I would never want her to feel that she was not appreciated and the time she puts into them is no small endeavor when she has a full time job and Chandler. Thank you Laura

  49. Tracie says:

    Laura I have a question about Chapter 3 in SN, when Wayne and Phil were having the celebratory drink in his office, why would Wayne ask Phil “Does Kim Know yet.” Phil said it’s only been two days. Why did it matter if Kim knew Lina and Phil were back together? The scene made me think of that….Lol

  50. Katie says:

    Omg this was amazing! I forgave Phil pretty fast, but I still think it’s annoying when he tells Kim how much he loves Lina. I know he does, but of course Kim would roll her eyes at that.

    So Tracie, it turns out we didn’t even get to the drunk sex before I hurt myself. I fell in our room last night and tore something in my arm. Sigh.
    One arm swimming for me now. And excessive booze. My husband doesn’t think I broke anything. So that’s good.
    On a high note, our rooms have bidets. I had never used one. Damn, that thing is accurate. Highly recommend.

    • Tracie says:

      LOL LOL…Not laughing about the fall, but the bidet cracked me up…have fun doll….

    • Laura says:

      I hope the drinks are helping Katie 😘

      • janet says:

        I just realized you said you needed to end on a high note. High note=FU Kim! LOL.

        • Laura says:

          Love the reading glass scene, Janet. You are a true romantic.
          I’m impressed with how you notice every detail in a novel. Like when Phil was nice to Matt’s grandmother

          • janet says:

            oh right, that’s when I forgave Phil. He showed respect and kindness to Matt’s grandma. 💗💗💗. That touched me.

          • janet says:

            Maybe bc I consider myself a slow reader. I love absorbing good books like all the ladies here.

    • janet says:

      How did you fall? Lol re bidet.

      • Katie says:

        It’s lame. Middle of the night after bathroom. Dark. Tripped on a pool donut. Reached for bed that wasn’t there. My elbow took my full weight. Severe sprain or tear. I’m hurting. Thank you for asking. 😊

    • miri says:

      I love that Phil keeps rubbing his love for Lina in Kim’s face! Ha!! Thake that Kim!

    • BeeSA says:

      Katie – sorry to hear about your accident.

      Can you move your arm? When i ripped my shoulder out of my shoulder socket during a freak accident, i couldn’t do any abduction / adduction arm movements. The pain felt like it was in my upper arm (same area where people strap their cell while running). Pain also felt deep inside my bones but i also had a lot of cracking noises when i rolled my shoulders. It was painful, i couldn’t even change gears in my car. They didn’t pick anything up when i went for a scan. Due to physical tests and the grinding noises in my shoulder, the doctor was confident i did tear something, so he put me under to investigate. It was a minor key hole surgery but the op itself was close to two hours long.

      I had no swelling in my arm after the accident. First went completely numb and i couldn’t even move it. Although i had to ignore it since i was in the middle of the bush and had about 2km to run and still swim through a cold dam (middle of winter).

      Really hope you didn’t tear anything and just a bruised muscle. I only had the op almost 3 weeks later and the pain was still intense with limited arm movements.

      Now you have a good excuse to relax and bum tan while everyone else fetches your cocktails 😉

      • Katie says:

        BeeSA your story is much better than mine.
        Yeah so right after it happened I couldn’t squeeze my husband’s hand, and I had a Vagal response to the pain. That went away and then it just hurt (really bad) in certain positions- lifting it, pulling up my pants, etc. Today it feels better- I can move it without pain if I keep it below my shoulder. I can’t lift it over my head, or even close. It’s black and blue around where’d you’d strap a cell phone for exercise. It made that grinding sound you talked about yesterday, but not today…I’m hopeful, because it’s definitely better today.

        • BeeSA says:

          Mine never turned a different colour or swelled up and i also couldn’t lift it up. I basically could only move my forearm but my pain never improved until after the op which was about 3 weeks later. To this day, my shoulder still doesn’t feel right – i can’t sleep on it but luckily i can still swim a mile without pain. Doing pushups a different story…

          Glad to hear it feels a little bit better. Hope its nothing serious. Just keep icing it.

  51. Tracie says:

    Laura I’m thinking Liam’s birth would of been the first time Phil actually saw Kim after this scene. After meeting Liam and spending the night with Lina, what would his thoughts have been when he got back to the Farside house that evening?

    • Laura says:

      Yes, that’s right. And remember, he met him on Christmas Eve. When he spent the night with Lina and the kids he had already met Liam. I think meeting Liam for the first time was a powerful moment for Phil. He didn’t know what to expect and then he felt the instant connection. Once he saw Lia, I think all thoughts of Liam were shelved temporarily. After Christmas Eve, he believed Lina would eventually take him back.

    • Tracie says:

      Laura Liam’s birth was a powerful moment for Phil and even though he was civil to Kim at the hospital, did he go into cool mode about working with his lawyer on support, visitation, etc before leaving her room. I doubt he would of been more than polite civil….

      • Tracie says:

        I bet the agreement was already in place before his birth…Since he told Kim in the scene to talk with his lawyer…..That makes more since than discussing it at the hospital…

        • Laura says:

          Right. The agreement was negotiated before Liam’s birth. I’m sure Kim gave Phil as much visitation as he could handle. In SN he wasn’t seeing Liam as much as the agreement allowed because he didn’t have the time.

  52. janet says:

    That was freaking DELICIOUS 😋!!
    Weight loss ✔️
    🍷✔️
    Miserable ✔️
    Tears✔️
    Empty fridge✔️
    ✔️✔️✔️ Everything!! I’m sorry you lost sleep getting into Phil’s head but I inhaled the scene Laura!!! As usual I loved the confrontation with Kim but weirdly, the most touching part wasn’t with Kim but with Logan. Phil shooed him off because he didn’t want his son having memory of moving out. I never saw that coming and felt sad. The nausea and the pain, well tit for tat. Nothing Lina didn’t experience every single min of every single day for however many months. I’m actually glad we got to witness Phil’s full gamut of pain and grief here. If anything it helped me connect with his character which I wasn’t able to do even in SN. Thank you! Have a great weekend!

    • Tracie says:

      It really connect the scene in Chapter 2 of SN when he got out of the shower and said my wife is asleep in the next room…I can see him setting in the bed thinking he would never lay next to her again and in that moment, he had…Swoon. Can you imagine the way his chest expanded for Lina, when he stretched out beside her for the entire night, knowing he would wake up with her in his arms…..

      • janet says:

        Yes, like he was in Disneyland. I wigged out seeing Kim with a baby bump. Thank God Lina never saw that. That was hard

    • Laura says:

      It’s interesting because I already knew everything in the scene — that Phil felt true remorse, that he wanted his family taken care of etc. It was good to put it down on paper for others to read.

      • Tracie says:

        It’s funny how that one scene ties up several things for me. One being the comment Phil made about him not being use to the defiant side of Logan….Phil probably had many stages of feeling transpire about Logan…Love madness, worry and disappointment. Then Phil’s chest probably expanded once Logan actually took on his role as big brother….Loved in the Pre-Greece scene how Logan took the mushy piece of fruit from Logan….Says a lot about him….

  53. Tara says:

    Wow, just wow!

  54. Murlene says:

    Thank you Laura. This is a great scene.

  55. Tracie says:

    OMG I’m absolutely speechless…Girls after that scene, the only way he could suffer more is if you inflicted a sucking chest wound on Phil and pushes him off in a shark tank….Laura that was an absolute gut wrenching scene….But thank you for writing it sister!

    • Tracie says:

      Logan going to protect his mother…How awesome was that and just thinking about it based on the timeline of WPF and SN, Logan held onto that anger for about 18 months…..

      Kim really thought just apologizing would make up for the BD card the only orbit that bitch lived in was warped….

      Still anxious from reading the scene,,,,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*