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After Swimming Naked…

“Where’s Liam?” Lina asked.

Phil shifted his gaze from the mirror as he finished knotting his tie. “He’s right…” he trailed off when he noticed the bedroom door open. “I’ll find him.”

Moments later Phil scooped Liam, who was banging on Logan’s door, up into his arms. “Come on. Logan’s sleeping.”

 “No! Lolo,” Liam protested as Phil carried him from Logan’s room. “Lolo!”

“You can see him when he wakes up.”

“No! Lolo!” Liam slapped Phil’s shoulder. “Down!”

Phil stopped his forward movement, staring down at Liam. “Did you just hit me?”

Liam glared up at his father. “Lolo!”

“No hitting.”

Liam struggled to get out of his arms. “Down!” he demanded.

“No hitting.”

“Down!” Liam was once again glaring at him.

“You need to distract him,” Lina said as she approached from down the hall. “There is no reasoning with them at this age.”

“He hit me.”

She took Liam from Phil, pulling him into her side. “What’s the matter handsome boy?”

“I just told you. He hit me.”

“I’m not talking to you,” Lina said dryly.

“Lolo.” Liam pointed toward Logan’s door.

“Logan’s still sleeping. Why don’t we let Knight back inside and give him a treat?”

“Knigh eats.” Liam pointed toward the stairs.

“See.” Lina paused beside Phil, brushing her lips over his. “You just have to distract him.”

“Knigh, Mommy,” Logan demanded.

“Okay. Let’s go find Knight.”

Phil snagged her around the waist before she could walk away. “Do you know how amazing you are?”

“No, Daddy.” Liam pressed his hand against Phil’s chest.

Phil clasped his hand. “If you try to keep me from touching Mommy again, I’m going to keep your hand.”

“Mine.” Logan pulled his hand back.

“Ignore, Daddy,” Lina said. “He’s not taking your hand. Let’s go find Knight.”

Phil watched them walk away a surge of feeling expanding in his chest. “Hey?” He waited for Lina to turn back before continuing, “I love you.”

She blew him a kiss before disappearing down the stairs.

He stared after her for a long moment thinking how fucking lucky he was.

“Dad?” Megan, clad in pajama shorts and a tank top, had come out of her bedroom.

“Good morning, sweetheart.” He slipped his arm around her as she saddled up beside him. “Was it nice to be back in your bed?” She’d arrived home from college the night before. 

“Yes. Do you have to work today?”

“Of course. It’s Friday.”

“But we’re leaving today.”

“Our flight isn’t until 8 p.m.”

“I wanted to run with you this morning.”

“We’ll run together in Greece. I have to finish getting ready.” He pressed his lips into the top of her head.

“Who’s watching Liam?” Megan asked as he began to walk away. “When we’re in Greece?”

Phil turned back to her, a frown marring his features. “No one is watching Liam. He’s coming with us.”

“To Greece?” Her eyes widened.

“Yes to Greece. What did you think we were going to do with him? We’re going to be gone ten days.”

“I know, I just…” she trailed off. “Is it safe to have him on the yacht? What if he fell overboard?”

“The yacht? Oh.” He remembered the original plan had been to charter a small yacht and visit the various islands. “We’re not renting the yacht.”

“Then what are we doing?”

“Hotel or Airbnb. I don’t know.” He looked at his watch. “I have to go. Talk to Mom. She made all the arrangements.”

“He’s coming to Greece with us,” Megan fumed moments later as she joined Lina in the kitchen.

Lina paused with her coffee cup at her lips, meeting the eyes of her eldest child. “Who?”

She nodded toward Liam who was in his highchair, stuffing a handful of cutup watermelon into his mouth. “Him.”

Liam smiled at Megan.

“He has a name.”

“He’s going to ruin the trip. He already is. Dad said we aren’t renting the yacht,” she whispered.

“Why are you whispering?”

“Because I don’t want Dad to hear. I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”

“That’s nice of you,” Lina said dryly. She took a swallow of coffee.

“I’m serious,” Megan hissed. “There’s a reason this is the first time we’re going there. We were all too young before. It’s not a child-friendly place.”

“We’ll be fine.”

Megan glanced toward the front of the house before continuing. “Why can’t his mother watch him? Wouldn’t that be a perfect solution?”

Lina felt a surge of anger at the thought of Kim. “Considering she hasn’t called once to check on him in the two months he’s lived here, that’s not even an option.”

“You could call her,” Megan insisted. “She is his mother.”

“That’s not an option,” Lina repeated.

“Then what about grandma?”

“What’s going on here?” Phil asked. His gaze shifted between Lina and Megan.

“Daddy!” Liam held out a piece of watermelon, his earlier frustration with his father clearly forgotten.

“Megan thinks our trip will be more pleasant if we leave Liam behind.”

Megan’s face reddened. “I just thought it would be easier. How are we going to go cliff diving in Santorini.  You said—”

“We’ll go,” Phil interrupted. “I’m sure we can find a babysitter.”

“Daddy, piece?” Liam continued to hold out the fruit.

“Thanks, Buddy.” He took the chunk of watermelon and tossed it into his mouth. “Where’s Kathy?” he asked referring to the sitter.

“She’s running a little late,” Lina said.

“Do you—“

“No—go. I’m not ready to leave anyway.”

“Daddy, more.” Liam was holding out another piece of watermelon.

“No. That’s yours.” Phil stroked his hand over Liam’s head. “Daddy has to go to work now.”

“Say bye bye,” Lina said.

“Bye bye Daddy.” Liam waved.

“I should be home by three.” Phil paused beside Lina’s chair, his hand sliding over her back as he leaned down and brushed his lips over hers.

“Lolo!” Liam screamed as Logan shuffled into the room.

“Was he banging on my door this morning?” Logan asked.

“Lolo!” Liam began to bounce up and down in excitement.

“Make sure you help your sisters and mother with their bags if I’m not home in time to pack the car,” Phil said to Logan, patting his back as he stepped past him.

“Okay.” Logan pushed his hair back from his eyes. “Did I dream the banging.”

“I’m sorry. We tried to stop him,” Lina said.

“Lolo, piece?” Liam held out a squished-up piece of watermelon.

“I really think you should call his mother,” Megan said as soon as her father was gone.  “He shouldn’t only be our responsibility. It isn’t fair.”

“Megan, drop it. He’s coming with us.”  Lina shook her head. She attempted to reign in her annoyance, knowing Megan had been away at college for the past two months and hadn’t really spent any time with Liam.

“The whole trip is going to revolve him,” Megan said. “Did you know he was coming?” she asked Logan.

Logan shrugged. “What else would he do?” He took the piece of fruit from Liam’s outstretched hand.

“Spend time with his real mother.”

“I’m the only mother he has,” Lina said shortly. “His real mother has abandoned him, so please stop talking about her in front of him.”

“He doesn’t understand me,” Megan said.

“Maybe not, but he will one day.”

272 Comments on “After Swimming Naked…

  1. 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 so please keep writing and make our life more exciting?

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

  2. It’s too late to stop this train — in order to write a scene properly, I have to get into the mindset of the character. I started last night and could barely sleep. I’m not sure if other writers feel this way or not. Anyway, it’s not going to be terrible — it’s just that I’m feeling Phil right now and it’s been a week since the split. The good news is that I’ll have to end on a high note. I can’t just leave it at a sad scene or it will linger inside of me. I’ll need a drink tonight LOL

    • Crap! You couldn’t sleep? Ok no more after this. Just think of crabs and shrimp that you can enjoy on Monday. If you write a gut wrenching scene then it’ll be my favorite. But if you need to stop then I’m totally ok with it since I never read it.

      • Laura will have to finish it, that’s just the way she rolls…Remember when she was writing the explanation of the picture scene and she finally late in the day commented.”I’ve got to get out of this damn scene.” She didn’t stop until it ended….

  3. Just thinking about the photos. We know Phil barely looked at them before he burnt them.

    Do you think he kept the one of Liam or perhaps he burnt the photos not realising it.

    That photo made it very clear that Kim is indeed carrying his child. Remember she hardly showed she was pregnant. Sometimes its easy to forget when you don’t see the evidence.

  4. Ladies — I’m not in a happy place writing this scene. I need to finish it before it ruins my weekend — halfway done!

    • Ahhh excited 🙂 thank you.

      Sorry, not a good scene but I’m excited to read a Farside scene since it will be a first. I just love a Phil or Lina and Phil scenes.

      Hope you enjoying your weekend.

    • Laura, I’m feeling bad, maybe you shouldn’t do this! Placating us shouldn’t ruin your weekend, we can live without it. We already know he was miserable, maybe we shouldn’t take some semblance of joy in that…

      • Now i feel bad. I didn’t see the part “…before it ruins my weekend”. Sorry, won’t ask for Farside scene again.

        I do hope you enjoy your weekend though.

  5. Aloha! My little cheater reader group is never far from my mind.
    I have a constant stream of fruity margaritas flowing through me, and let me just tell you, it’s amazing. I finished The Arrangement by Robyn Harding today while my daughter napped. 100% not worth whatever I paid for it.
    That’s all. ???

      • Good morning, I don’t think Phil would have analyzed the affair. I wish he would but I think he just wants to erase the time when he “wasn’t himself?” it’s something Phil’s ashamed about and won’t waste his energy trying to figure out why he strayed.

        I wonder if Phil went to confession. The priest knew Phil’s situation in SN so maybe he helped with the self reflection. Do Priests ask why? Or just listen?
        And for sure, Phil was becoming the worlds best triathlete if he wasn’t already. He probably did everything he could to avoid coming back to an empty rental.

        I’m still mad that Kim was able to give Phil some normalcy for those months and she was his safe place.

        • Janet—self analyzing probably isn’t in Phil’s wheelhouse, but we can hope ?.

          Some priests might ask for an explanation, more asking if he’d do it again, but some might just listen and give absolution and penance.

          Mad, yes, but more frustrated because it’s such a departure from his personality. The why it lasted more than a night or weekend, and how could it go 2 weeks past SB. I need to stop, before I get mad at him again.

          • Also the fact he message sometimes twice in one day to meet up with him.

            I bet he miseed a lot of family suppers because he was at Kim house.

            I need a sad Phil thinking he has officially lost Lina and doesn’t think he will get her back.

        • He was meeting up with her for quickies in the office apartment — he wasn’t going to her house often at all

          • If it is going to ruin your weekend, that means it will crush me…..Ugh! Oh I hope he isn’t remembering segments of the affair he can’t believe he did, etc….

          • Girls I have a feeling after this scene you all will wish for my Family/Steamy scene’s….I’m just saying….

    • Hey Katie! You sound so happy!! Have an awesome trip. Yes me to on sun and fun! I just got the Arrangement from the library yesterday and so far it’s Ok.

    • Katie – glad you having an awesole time. Been raining by me in cloudy SA. Sun finally peaked out but still a nip in the air. Counting down the days till summer. First i have to get through all the rain and wind – we start having miserable wet / windy weather from now till December.

      I read that book Tailspin and wow did NOT expect the book to turn out like that! Was hard to read the fist few chapters, i kept thinking “what a scum” but i did enjoy the book. Now not so sure how i feel about the ending. I need more chapters to see what happens next.

    • Be careful with the drunk sex Kbabe….Adele Jr jumped up on a man drunk, going for the whole wrap your legs around the waist move and knocked him down a flight of stairs and broke his leg…So no drunk sex on stair landings ?

    • Wow! Coincidence!! Have fun!!

      I vote for Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol while he is working at his rental with a glass of scotch at 11pm. A text comes through and it ain’t Lina or Katie. Phil ignores and the phone rings. Ha

  6. Farside scene – cannot wait to read about Phil suffering and realising he’s lost Lina all because he couldn’t stay away from Kim during a bad patch in their marraige. He must be kicking himself and wondering how he could cheat on her and think he could get away with it. Also him realising Kim was planning to expose the affair all along – photos. Why didn’t he see the risk and stop himself?

    Maybe he looks at his cell to track Lina and sees she’s not at home (dinner with Nick or out with Adele).

    Or maybe Kim sends him a sexy photo asking Phil if he misses her body and thinks of her when he’s with Lina. Phil tells her straight it wasn’t her body he couldn’t stay away from and she should know since he majority of the time took her from behind so he didn’t have to look at her and why he refused to kiss her. I wouldn’t mind Phil being blunt with her and then telling her to ONLY contact him when the baby is born and all communication will be done through their lawyers.

    • Lol Bee, like you I can imagine so many Farside moments like Phil wanting some from Lina after seeing her at some random place. He can’t though because they are separated and he can’t stand Kim and he does not want anyone else but Lina. What if he speaks to Katie who lets him know Lina is out.
      The thoughts and regrets Phil is having at Farside must be crushing.

        • Phil suffered all of that…suffering, penance and consequences….

          But speaking of consequences I would of loved to have been witness to Phil’s conversation with Kim after Lina received those pictures. I’m sure it was one to remember…

          Laura how would that conversation have started…..

          You think you have won? Or You F—-in Bitch! Stay away from my wife or I will ruin you? So many options…

          It just amazing to me that after those pictures Kim would still thin her and Phil had a chance, even with Liam in the picture…

          • I think they needed to be separated for him to really feel the consequences of what he’d done. Before the pictures, he was pushing her to forgive, forget and move on—that’s just guilt. That’s not fully understanding what he risked, the separation teaches him this.

            I’m not saying he didn’t suffer and pine, but don’t you think he needed a reality check about what he’d done, feeling guilty is nothing compared to the devastation he wreaked on his wife and family?

          • I agree the separation did give him a realty check. I also think about that phone call in Chapter 32 of WPF when Logan broke. The Farside house gave him 6 months of being in his own head. I think Phil being the man he is beat the shit out of himself for being so selfish and hurting his family.

          • Tracie yes! That’s a convo I would love to read! Haha! Phil telling Kim off for sending the pics…he probably told her how much he regrets ever even looking in her direction, and that she was flattering herself if she thought the sex was that good! Ha!

          • I agree as well, the separation was necessary for Phil, he needed some real consequences, because he kept trying to just move on and forget about the affair

          • The thing is though, even if Phil was livid and probably told Kim off, she must’ve still been satisfied because the pictures caused lina and Phil to separate..in her mind she was probably like, mission accomplished…she probably thought that with them separated, she had a better chance at getting Phil to come around me be with her…remember in SN when Kim learned that Phil and Lina got back together she was furious and she moved back?

          • Hi Tracie,
            Somehow I don’t think Phil would have had it out with Kim after she sent the pictures to Lina, at least not immediately. I think Phil was in shock that Lina had thrown him out, his kids knew what he had done, Lina knew about Steamboat, Phil had a broken hand, and worst of all Phil thought Lina had spent the night having sex with Nick (torture for Phil). Plus he was feeling sorry for himself at that moment. I don’t think calling Kim to tear into her was at the top of his list. But I do wish I was a fly on the wall when Logan broke on the phone and when Phil had to call his parents, especially his mom.

        • I’m a little verklempt with this Coffee Talk discussion. LOL

          So maybe the ultimate consequence for Phil is fear of losing Lina forever. At Farside, Phil had nightmares all the time and would jerk awake grasping for breath. During the day, he would have shoved his fear into the distant compartment of his brain but in his sleep, there’s no avoiding it and it comes through in his “nightmares.” It’s almost like he has PTSD from the separation. Omg.

          I highly doubt Phil was stalking Lina. Maybe do a drive by at night once in awhile to make sure the family’s OK but the whole stalking thing is too juvenile or girlie for me to believe. Why would Phil torture himself that way when he thinks Lina is already with Nick? If he misses seeing her that much, he will go and blow some leaves on a Saturday.

          I’m all for torturing Phil for 6 months and will never tire of the poor Phil moments but once he is back with the family, I say just move forward.

          • I agree, for Phil that would have been the ultimate consequence. I also agree with him not stalking Lina, I don’t think he’d want to know what she was doing or if she was out. It would make the separation more difficult, knowing could be much worse than speculating, and speculating is torturous.

            I wonder if in his alone time at Fareside, would he have analyzed how and why the affair happened, or did he compartmentalizations it away?

          • I also think he would have used physical activity to exhaust himself, running and working out. It could account for part of the reason he lost weight.

            Janet, I also agree that once he was home, it was time to move forward.

          • I don’t think Phil stalked Lina but remember it said he always checked to make sure she was safe at home just before bed.

            May have been a night or two Phil goes to bed because its quite late and checks on his app that Lina at home but shows she’s out.

            Remember it mentioned an app on Lina phone, so that how Phil checks in on her every night. We know he barely spoke to her but he still cared and worried about her every night. Nice to know she was his last thought for the day before he went to sleep.

      • Holley yes I love that!! He calls home and Katie tells him Lina’s out and his imagination goes haywire, imagining she’s out on a date!! Haha love it!!! He’s miserable sad lonely AND jealous!!

    • Bee… I don’t think he gets that blunt with her until after the yoga scene.

      For almost a year, he receives daily pictures of Liam, he never shut down communication with her. He doesn’t interact, but he never shuts her down completely. It’s how they communicate about visitation, pick up/drop off time etc. They didn’t start communicating between lawyers until she threatens to take Liam to NYC.

      She has two things she thinks he wants… Liam and her magic vagina. In the end, he only wants Liam, but sadly he spent 4 months letting her think her MV was going to lead him to her—apparently she doesn’t know the difference between sex and love or even love and lust.

    • 🙂 I know but my mind going crazy thinking of different scenarios for Farside house.

      He must have been brutal towards Kim after the photos. She knew he and Lina separated.

      We know he checked his phone tracker to see if Lina was at home before bed every night. I wonder if there was a nignt or two he spotted her at a restaurant and wondered who she was out with. Wondering if she’s with Nick knowing the photos of him with Kim was the final push that pushed Lina into his arms (he thinks they together).

      Or saw her tracker showed she was at the yacht club and wondered what she’s doing there then recalls seeing a photo of Nick on his yacht in his office or Logan mentioning his yacht in passing.

      Phil can try be strong the first month or two at Farside house but loneliness will slowly eat him up. Hard to not to get inside his own head without some form of escape – work, booze etc

      Also Phil put on this strong alpha when he’s around people but behind closed doors on his own it may be harder.

      Like it was said, before Lina kicked him out, he thought “sorry” was enough and they can all forget and move forward but it didn’t work like that and then she shocks him by kicking him out and choosing Nick over him. Probably first time he realised how much damage and hurt he caused Lina for her to ‘end’ it with him.

      I just want to crawl inside Phil head and look beyond his anger because we know he disguises his hurt through anger.

  7. Sorry for the late response.I didn’t scroll down for a while..I just replied to the topmost comments most of the time..
    Laura, I’m from Hyderabad,India
    Janet, that’s cool I found about padma Laxmi while watching a reality show which included eating got chicken wings and answering q’s asked by the host..she so cool and elegant even while eating those wings dipped in hot sauces..She’s from chennai. A different state from my home but it’s a closer state. Your cousin must be handsome janet.Nice to know that somehow you would be related to Indians 😀 🙂

    Miri your suggestions are awesome as always.
    Right now I’m tight with money you can consider me jobless and penniless .I’m trying to find a job…I finished my graduation two years ago..

    Regarding the comments about inhale exhale, Laura ,Moro & Tracie you made a good choice.It really saved you from headache.

    Janet, i’m not so good at english myself. I need to improve a lot. Regarding the ‘reverent’ word..I googled..ya as you said the word doesn’t match the description of the situation.. it meant deep respect..I wonder since he cared for that Nora bitch she used that word..but it doesn’t suite ‘Coz he is using her.He can’t use her and respect her at the same time.You are right.
    Though this book made me suffer, I want to explore lot of books which show a person’s weakest moments when he lost his hope and turns out to do all ugly things putting life and family in jeopardy.I want to psycho-analyse as to why that is happening ,how someone so much in love once risk it all for something bizarre..I want to read all the ugly mind f-ing books.I think I’m talking like a socio-path..hehe *smiles sheepishly*

    • 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.

  8. Laura do you think there is any steamy going on in Greece? I had to ask?!

    J-Girl I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time doll. Allergies and hormones are terrible to have to deal with. I know you like beauty shop and church stories and I just happen to have a beauty shop one from last Friday and I hope it makes you smile…

    So you know how my life goes….well I went in for my highlight job and my girl puts this plastic cap on my head and ties it under my chin…Once tied I look in the mirror and my neck meat under my chin looks like a two tiered wedding cake…Little chin on top and big chin on bottom. My girl then takes a hook that looks like a knitting needle (that’s sharp as an ice pick) and proceeds to pull my hair through the holes in the cap. Half way through she is talking to Pam behind us and I feel a stabbing pain in my head. That’s right…she has poked that hook through my scalp. She continues to pull and she says “there’s a lot of resistance.” In a calm voice, I say “that’s because you have poked that hook through my head.” She immediately starts saying OMG OMG and then bends at the waist saying I’m getting to hot and begins to pass out. She let’s go of the hook in my head and I look in the mirror and the hook is standing straight up and all I can think is..Wow if I had a propeller on top of the damn thing, I would look like a character off Little Rascals. Ashton turns to another girl and says Melody get it out I can’t breathe! So Mel works it out of my head, it’s wrapped in my hair and the hook part is under the scalp. Once out Mel turns to Ashton and says look honey no blood! Little did she know it had to take a minute and started to seep underneath the cap…They take the cap off stop the bleeding and seal the hole with Vaseline….The End!

    • Omgggggggggfgg. What? Vaseline then end? So then what? No infection? And she couldn’t breathe bc the pick was in your scalp??? Funny you say this about highlight. My son got blonde highlights last week before school starts next Tuesday(last year he wanted grey remember?)and they put that same plastic cap on like yours. I had never seen this before(most salons use foil now). She was poking my son too bc he asked me is this supposed to hurt? She’s poking me! Are you OK? I do love your beauty shop stories. It reminds me of fried green tomatoes!!

      • I’m fine J-Girl…yes she was passing out because it freaked her out when she realized she was under my scalp…Only me sister….We put on a new cap and finished my hair. We forgot about the puncture wound when she poured the toner on my hair and it set me on fire….My hair got done though! I remember your son last year and how you hated it! Our beauty shop is crazy…there are five stations and it’s constant chatter….In a small town everyone knows each other….

        • My town is the perfect example of before there was the internet there was the hairnet! Everyone’s business goes through the beauty shop….

          • Do you have a lump? Headache? If anything that toner disinfected everything. Seriously, we tell some crazy stories here.

            I remember the mannequin!

        • Toner! Fire on your scalp then chatted. Sheesh. I swear paramedics would have been called if that happens here and probably would have performed CPR to the brain if possible. God your stories are crazy.

      • Wait a minute! There are salons that still use plastic caps and hooks?? Yikes, I haven’t seen this in years! I get foils every 12 weeks +/- and have for several years. It helps hide the gray from showing through between root visits.

        Janet, I love beauty shop stories too, but the best are the real ones you hear while sitting in the chair!

        • Nobody talks to each other at my salon unless it’s gossiping about botched plastic surgery with the stylist. So I love hearing these hairnet stories. Lol

        • I use to get foiled, but when I decided to go to my natural color, mouse gray wasn’t cutting it for me…The cap allows small amounts of hair to be pulled through and blends more with the natural color and your roots aren’t noticeable when it grows out…

        • And yeah I took many pictures of the hair cap. I swear I never saw this method before but I refuse to spend $150 on a boys haircolor so I went to the valley for a $30 color by an Armenian lady. 30 min lady she was done!

          • Janet, LOL!

            My son goes to my stylist, before he goes in she needs a rundown on what’s going on in his life, so she can needle him. He hasn’t done the color thing, but one of his music besties always has an edgy cut and color.

          • My natural color is really dark, mixed with grey, if I let it go it would by salt and pepper or a grey stripe along the part and hair line, so I went a little lighter with the color and the highlights are light enough to blend with the grey. The better it all blends the less you notice the grey.

        • Even in SA i only have foils done.

          I remember back in the olden days when I was young, they used a cap on my mother hair.

    • Tracie – Phil will definitely want some “steamy” with Lina while in Greece. I wonder where Liam will sleep while they in Greece. Phil will definitely want to get it on almost every night while in Greece. I can see Phil wanting to sneak with Lina during the day while Liam is having a nap and the other kids outside swimming.

  9. I’m enjoying Dreaming of You — this is the kind of novel I grew up consuming! It’s also refreshing to read a novel that has been properly edited. I love that indie authors can self publish, but I’m unable to handle poorly written novels, regardless of the story quality — they just keep me from getting into the characters.

    I’m thinking about the Farside scene — maybe you should skip it Tracie — our poor Phil.

    • I love that you are enjoying it Laura. I agree with you. I would be lost without indie authors but you never have to worry if the writing is bad with these tried and true published writers.

      I want to encourage you to continue telling your stories by reading books written by authors like you. The critics like us, I mean the ladies here, are seasoned romance readers. When I say a first name of a great bygone author, Tara can supply the last name for me. Miri has read bodice ripper since she was 11(damn lucky your mom didn’t find out), and Tracie grew up with Sandra Brown aka Erin St Claire from Silhouette! We know if the books is good probably by the first page?! If you don’t want to write, then do it for Jordan!! Hahahaha. She needs you to finish the 5 you started. And, I wanna read about Logan!!!!!!!!

      Next up on your list should be Sherry Thomas, Not Quite A Husband!

      I am literally chomping at the bits for Farside! Bee, this is your lucky weekend!!!!

      • I can’t wait to see where Laura’s mind is on the Farside scene…If she’s warning me ahead of time about my Phil, that means it’s going to be bad for him…?

        • You can SO handle it. You know he is so happy getting lucky in Greece. You never know, you may like it even more than the last scene. Can you please put Kim in there playing her usual wedge trick?

          Please finish the book Laura. It’ll motivate you I think. Also, no spoilers but let me know if your fingers or toes or even your scalp tingled when you read the summer home- glasses part. OMG I haven’t read this book in years yet that scene just popped up in my head and my finger tingled!!!!!

      • Authors like you meaning the writers in the same caliber. Lot of the ones we have been reading together have been bad. I think that’s why so many of us pick up your books over and over. Ugh. Please post here if there are good finds ladies.

    • I’m in for a Farside scene! I’m with Janet, I’m ready for Logan!

      I’ve been reading romance since the 70s, I used to share Kathleen Woodiwiss books with my entire French 3 class in 1980. I’d “borrow” them from my aunt, there’d be a wait list in class.

      Isn’t it amazing how much better traditionally published books are edited? I appreciate indie, self-publishing, but there really is a difference.

      • Tara me and my mom loved her books too….my dad use to say he didn’t miss my mom when she was gone, because he put a mannequin in her chair and put a book in its hand and it was like she never left…Lol…..She loved to read and led me down the path of all the great romance writers….I miss that terrific woman!

      • Tara, me in the early 80’s! In 8th grade Algebra class, I exchanged Johanna Lindsey books with my Armenian bff Ana. We both ripped the covers off and would read placing the books underneath our desks. LOL !

        • I discovered Johana Lindsey after I was married. High school was Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers and Danielle Steel, and Sidney Sheldon. Good lord, I’m showing my age ???

    • Cannot wait! Poor Phil? Psssht, his fault. Hope he’s suffering from the possibility of losing Lina forever all because he couldn’t stay away from Kim. Hope he’s kicking himself and realising he must have been a stupid idiot to cheat and thinking he could get away with it and Kim would just accept it once he put an end to it ( him thinking of the photos and how kim planned everything and her plan was for Lina to discover their affair).

  10. Inhale exhale-Oh my lord! That was a mother of all train wrecks!
    Something is very wrong with the characters.
    Is this a book that got 4-5stars LOL it deserves star only for the kid Ace,poor kid he had to act like an adult between those good for nothing teenage parents.

    What is wrong with the h she was all cool & strong in first part and then altogether started having tunnel visions and zombie-ing out, ok it could be tolerated only upto certain period of due to death of two very close people to her but still how could she avoid to cure it for three long years without thinking about her family?!of course her husband strayed.Men stray without a reason and this lady completely became a shell of herself of course that shim bag strayed and that to with that white who can’t even be called a neighbour leave her to be a best friend!yuck that Eleanor is a bitch of totally different level.

    And that selfish SOB not worthy of being called as a husband made so many mistakes that he isn’t redeemable to me.Not at all.He made a major mistake of letting HIS WIFE being consoled by HIS BROTHER that was a very bad move.While he did that he is not allowed to whine like a bitch and go to that whore for physical and emotional comfort !that’s so f-ed up.I sometimes wondered if he ever loved the h or just wanted to compete with his brother and let her slip into his brother’s hand wantedly so that he may test actually whom she preferred..I felt like he never trusted his wife enough only claimed she was his soul.As if souls can wander into other woman’s arms.The h should have indeed with the H’s brother(he waited for her for so long…I don’t know if he was celibate then,I think defiantly no! But whatever. I want her third child to be his(Toby’s))
    I’m happy that the white died.Happy that her elder son is happy.Happy that Francis was alive and got to meet his daughter.

    The only problem with the writing was i couldn’t understand the shift between present and past narrations.Suddenly it would switch to past and she would that the character came out of the dream.

    Overall i had headache more than i cried for this book as the author said in the starting.The only time I had tears was when Ace told his mother about his fears and asked her to go to counciling. I was fed up of her tunnel vision and zombie-ing.It made me sad for him and his sister.There was no adult in that house to look after them care for them,their son missed so much in his life ‘Coz of that lame excuse for parents who are selfish pricks.

    • The h should have ended with**

      Btw i forgot to mention ,please inhale and exhale while reading this novel cause your patience,will to complete the book,temper all will be tested -it is so apt

    • Hinata! I love it what you said about “as if souls can wander.” That made me LOL. Also, I think this author is a perfect example of why Laura doesn’t favor flashbacks. She had one in every chapter and yes it was so confusing getting whiplashed back and forth past 1 year ago to present, past 10 years go then back to now, 2 months ago to present. Dear God, just stop. I’m not on LSD to appreciate this bs. One more thing. Maybe I’m the only one who noticed this but the author’s word choices made me cringe. In one scene, I think the husband was just having sex with the OW with no emotional attachments to her yet but he “reverently” grasped her thighs apart. What? why is he reverently doing anything to the evil witch when he doesn’t even like her in the beginning? Ugh anyway, thanks for reading/suffering with me.

  11. Ok I picked up LK-Wallflower series and ST-Not Quite A Husband. I also have Perry Devney-Letters to Molly. I’m ready! I needed something new- a palate cleanser.

    I’m with Miri- I think I’ll pass on Inhale Exhale. I totally lose interest if both spouses cheat, or if the husband is a serial cheat.

    • The whole series? How much is that? I hope you don’t get bored. I find Perry Devney’s books boring. I only read one though. People love her.

      Ok don’t read. The husband isn’t a serial cheater though. He supposedly stayed celibate for 3 yeara(?) while the wife checked out of their marriage due to depression but caves when the OW pursues him. OW has been obsessed with the husband since they were in HS. The wife emotionally cheats with the husband’s bro but ends up physically cheating once I think. It’s totally OTT but the son is tiny bit like Logan(please forgive me for comparing) in that he is very protective of his mother and doesn’t forgive his dad till the end. oh and there’s baby involved with both OW and the wife. Omg. Ok forget it.

      • That does make it sound better.
        I bought wallflower 2 and 3 to start. They were 2.99 and 3.99 I think.
        I’m sorry I joked about your allergies. Super annoying. My mom has always been allergic to everything- food, environmental, animals…
        I agree the Chinese Medicine could work. Is it related to menopause?
        I changed from the pill to a non-hormonal IUD last year, and I developed skin issues like I was in puberty. It took a year for my hormones to regulate. Sorry if too personal or TMI.

        • You can joke about my lips all you want. I would send you the duck lip pic if I could. Lol. I know now to stay away from limes of all things. Too bad I don’t want to look like one of real housewives bc yes, the lip is worth a syringe for sure.

          I’m familiar with Chinese medicine. I’ll go see one if the allergy dr approves.

          Ok start with Sebastian. Like how can you not read about guy who comes twice in a row with the heroine? But he’s a blonde and I think you like Dark haired heroes. Lord, I think he’s more like a Nick! Crap!

          • Katie, I know your taste in men somewhat. I think start with Kleypas’s Dreaming of You instead. I remember you liking the hero of that weird surreal book where the girl was an anorexic ballerina. I think the hero of Dreaming of You is most like Phil out of the 3 books we have discussed.

          • I never thought about it, but I don’t really like blonde heroes. How funny. I used to love blondes (real life and books). Huh. I wonder what happened.
            I started the one with Lillian and Marcus, and so far she has made a special potion and played cricket in her knickers ?.
            In The Piano when George gets under Helen Hunt’s dress. ??
            I can get into these.

      • Janet – I’ve read the book but can’t remember exact details.

        I can’t say i blame the husband, i know the wife was going through a lot but feels like she wasn’t trying that hard to seek help. She was selfish in a way. I don’t know what depression feels like to that degree, I’ve only had a small taste of it when my doctor put me on Diane – slept all weekend and cried for any small thing, BUT she has a family and kids, she needs to get better if not for herself then for her young children.

        As for the husband, he did try on his part, so i don’t blame him for seeking someone else to some degree. He should have just filed the papers .

        I don’t, they both ran to other people instead of comforting each other.

        Hard lesson learnt on both their part. I don’t think the husband would cheat again after the stunt the OW pulled. I’d be too sh*t scared. As for the wife, who knows…i wouldn’t be surprised she has an emotional affair in the future.

        This book didn’t make me all riled up, i just felt sorry for the kids who had parents that “checked” out.

        • Hi Bee. I agree. The whole drama wasn’t warranted. Just file the papers and cut out 200 pages. I think I got riled up bc the husband had feelings for the ow and wife neglected her kids. And bad writing makes me mad.

  12. I’ll try inhale exhale, J…although I’ve really been having a hard time getting into any book lately.

    I’m leaving Thursday, for anyone who asked.

    So, historical romance…are we talking bloomers and pantaloons? Some of my favorite sex scenes ever were in the movie The Piano, so maybe I could handle an historical romance…
    Got any age gap ones for me?

  13. Guys, if you find yourself with nothing to do for a few hours, can you check out Inhale, Exhale by CL Matthews? I read it over the weekend after I saw Tara’s review and I’m still mad at every single character. I really want all of them to die die please die. The guy cheats with the h’s evil BFF for a year and believe me that’s not the worst part of the book. I would like to know if you can forgive the characters. On KU so you can just skim if the OTT content bothers you. I noticed that this book has a tons of 4-5 star reviews and I believe they are all ARCS. We should do this for Laura’s next book Katie. They sure seem to like the cheating hero in this one. I think Tara said writing is OK. I must be pickier because I’ll never read this author again.

    • No, the writing isn’t good, she has pronoun issues mixes up she/her, he/him and I/me. I couldn’t even give it an extra star for writing. I find the high reviews very surprising.

      • I’ve learned a lot about the indie success formula. ARC readers (100s, fellow authors, bloggers) blow up the books with 5-star reviews before publication. That’s why there’s so much trash out there that’s highly rated.

      • Ugh — I can’t read novels that have poor grammar. I just can’t get past it. It doesn’t matter how good the story is.

    • Janet, I started reading it last week and got as far as (alert! Alert! Spoilers ahead!!!)

      Got as far as reading about how the husband saw his bro and his wife kissing..,I just put the book down after that and probably won’t continue…like, why are these people even married? The husband’s cheating, the wife’s cheating too (even if no actual sex), what’s even the point? I only know that her mom died, but I think I read in someone’s review that their daughter dies as well? I don’t know, instead of confiding in and finding solace IN OTHERS, why don’t the husband and wife do that with each other instead?? Just a thought..

      I think there’s a second book after the first? Will you read it?

      • The writer is pretty crude. I think that bothered me a lot. I skimmed but there were some explicit scenes of the husband with the mistress that was pretty hard to stomach. Yes, the heroines mom and unborn daughter die and she falls into depression. Mainly,
        I read it to see how the husband feels differently between the wife and the mistress since he likes the mistress. Ok don’t read it. It really gave me a headache.

        • Lol Janet I might go back to it when I’m PMS-ing, for some reason I look for things to get all riled up about around that time ?? it’ll totally hit the spot haha

          • Miri – clearly i read it at the wrong time of the month for me, probably why i was all “meh”.

          • BeeSa, I time my books according to my cycle, lolll…the really angsty ones really appeal to me only at certain times of the month, and at other points in my cycle I need me some lighthearted sweet romance…we females are so complex, sigh

  14. Ladies!! I haven’t had a chance to read today’s posts yet – but I just want to say something for you all to think about: at some point let’s plan a Laura Branchflower Appreciation Trip!! (Any excuse to travel lol)…let’s all plan to meet up somewhere at some point where we can get into some good trouble!! Yesssss!!! ????❤️ I’m becoming waaay too attached to you ladies to not meet you in person! This year, next year – whenever – just something to keep in mind for the future!! (And Laura I’m first in line to get my kindle signed by you – no butting in line ladies! Ha!)

    • Ok! We would definitely be the fun table Miri! Let me get a mini lift first and get my kids off to college and I’m all set. Bahaha. Kidding aside, i would love to meet you all in a few years. I’m going through some health stuff(nothing major) so I want to be Ok first.

      • Janet I’m not going anywhere, I’ll be here whenever you’re ready! Lol! And yes we will most definitely be the fun table anywhere we go woot woot!! ????

        • Thanks Laura. I have suddenly developed severe allergies to just about everything. I honestly cannot eat out because I came home with huge fat lips on 3 separate occasions. I’m seeing specialists but according to them this is not uncommon.

          • Yes I’m seeing an allergy specialist. The weird thing is I was never allergic to anything. I ate everything. But Doctor doesn’t think it’s food related but more hormone. I get blood test once a month. I can’t do skin test bc I get hives 24/7 without meds.

            Do you just have a strict diet then?

          • Janet, have you tried TCM (traditional Chinese medicine)? If you can find a good practitioner they might be able to help you…I had some hormonal issues a few years back (acne) and it was the only thing that worked for me…

          • And Janet, NOTHING else was able to help permanently except TCM…everything I tried worked for a while and then stopped, but after I saw a TCM practitioner and took the remedies he gave me, it went away and hasn’t returned since

          • I do have a restricted diet. I’m highly allergic to soy, I have to read the labels, I can’t eat anything cooked in soybean oil. If I eat anything with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, I will get violently sick, with full body rash and severe asthma attack. I also have fruit allergies, I can’t eat any type of melon or cherries, melons make my mouth and throat swell, raw cherries cause a borderline anaphylactic reaction.

            I hope whatever treatment they come up with works, it took years to get my allergies under control, and to fully understand the scope.

          • Holy cow Tara!! I never knew allergies could be so extreme!! And it’s weirs because one day you can eat cherries just fine and then the next you’re suddenly deathly allergic! I wonder if it’s to do with all the chemicals that are used in food processing? Probably also all the chemicals in our environment…our bodies don’t recognize them and are in defence mode I think..
            For me I need to stay away from milk and most dairy or my skin flares up (zits and redness, basic inflammation)…

          • Janet – sorry, to hear. Guy at my work just developed an allergy to wheat and he’s in his 50s. His lips and face swelled up. He didn’t know what was triggering it but it became quite scary when days later his tongue swelled up.

            He still chances it but pops pills when he cheats.

            Get better soon. Hugs.

    • I want to meet you all to..it would be so much fun..but I stay in India which is half way around USA..:(

      Janet take care..hope this stage of you being allergic to food passes soon and you become completely healthy and take all your food..as miri said it might be hormonal..

      • Hinata, I was obsessed with Padma Lakshmi 20 yrs ago when she first started touring India for food network. One of my 2nd cousin married a girl from India. Holy cow, she is drop dead gorgeous. I don’t know how he convinced her to marry him. Lol. They live in Seoul now and their kids speak Hindi, korean, and English. Isn’t that crazy awesome? I love mixing bloods like that. Haha

      • Hinata we don’t need to meet up in the States necessarily, we can all vote on some exotic island or something! (Ok can you tell I dream big?? LOL)…somewhere we can all get to easily ???

        • Also the Most beautiful woman in the world (Aishwarya Rai) (according to both Julia Roberts and me! Lol) lives in India!

        • I haven’t read anything by Jane Austen, but I love Judith M…her historical books especially are classic, they’ll never get old..every few years I go back and reread one (btw “Whitney my love” was revised some time ago so the “deflowering” (rape) scene was changed a little)

          • No way about Judith’s Whitney! I didn’t know that. So interesting. I don’t think people under 30(excluding you Miri) could really understand that whole bodice ripping genre. When I go back and reread a few, I am shocked how we accepted and romanticized this. Some of them were so graphic and violent.

            I will try TCM Miri. I didn’t think of that!!

          • It took Jane Austen eighteen years to write Pride and Prejudice — the characters just come off the page. It’s amazing how little people have really changes in 200 years.

          • Yes, my sister told me about the change so I had to download it and read it…yes Laura times have changed so I guess they decided to update it

          • Yes Janet, definitely try it!! But make sure it’s a really experienced genuine practitioner (like, ideally someone who learned it in China as opposed to someone who took some courses over the internet and got certified…the man I see speaks about 4 words of English and it’s not easy for us to communicate but let me tell you, this man knows his stuff, he was practicing for years in China before he moved here so he’s also very knowledgeable)

          • Janet, I’m in my 30’s..(just caught that haha) but if you wanna think I’m under 30 then I’ll take it! Lolll…I started reading bodice rippers at age 11…I bought my first one at a bookstore and when the cashier looked at me funny I assured her it was a gift for my mom lol!

    • Laura, I noticed down below that you’ve one clicked Sebastian’s book (LK)…it’s really awesome; and might I suggest you read the second book in the series, It Happened One Autumn (my fave in the series)..the H reminds me sooo much of Phil!! Very authoritarian and conservative but very manly and oh so sexy ???

      • Odd, the only wallflower I loved was Evie and Seb. Do you like sherry Thomas? She no longer writes romance though.

        • I loved Evie and Sebastian but I LOVED Lillian and Marcus..don’t you think Marcus is a lot like Phil? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part? Lol

          • I think all of Lisa’s heroes are like Phil. All alphas who can only be tamed by their mates. The new one coming up has a high functioning sociopath as the main character so I can’t wait to read that. So Marcus was a side character for one of the novels, and he is described as short(thinking 5’9″) and bullheaded so that stuck with me. Descriptions are very important to me so I kept seeing a bulldog every time I imagined Marcus. I love all her books but it’s not my favorite.

            Sherry Thomas is a chinese writer! I couldn’t believe it. She learned English by reading a Rosemary Rogers novel in one hand and holding the dictionary in her other. She won the RITA for best historical for Not Quite A Husband(my personal fav). He cheats once! She is Lisa’s favorite writer.

          • Janet, I agree Lisa Kleypas writes good alpha heroes. One of my favorite LKs is Lady Sophia’s Lover. He’s older, in his 40s, alpha, but kind with an incredible moral code.

            I did not know this about Sherry Thomas!! She’s writes SO much better than Rosemary Rogers!!

          • Yes, Sir Ross was celibate after the first wife died! LOLOL. I don’t forget these details.

            Did you read Not Quite a Husband? OMG her writing is magnificent. Fingers tingled till the last page and I got depressed the book was over. Just like Laura’s.

          • Janet Not Quite A Husband is going on my TBR list right now!! The author sounds incredible! I think that’s called being “autodidactic “, when you can teach yourself things on your own…and cheating, woot woot!!

          • Ooooh I liked that one a lot! Sir Ross was an unusual H because most of the historical heros are scoundrels and rakes, I really liked that about him that he wasn’t

  15. Out of all the Hunter’s kids – Katie my favourite. Love that she gives it back to Phil and she’s her own person. She can seem a bit harsh but she’s a real softy. Even though she told her ma, if Matt did what her dad to her, she wouldn’t have taken him back but yet look how she bonded with Liam straight from the start.

    Also liked the fact that even though she and her dad didn’t have an easy relationship, she could hear it in his voice he was sad when he was living on his own and she didn’t have the heart to tell him to stop calling him every night.

    She’s a tiny lil thing with a heart of gold and a dash of sass.

    • I think Katie is an amazing character for all the reasons you list, but my heart is with Logan.

      He has a strong moral compass (that came from both his parents) and had no issue holding his father’s feet to the fire. He wasn’t going to just let go of the hurt caused his mother. He had to know his behavior in regards to Liam would eventually trigger a confrontation and when pushed, spoke his mind to his father. I’d like to think if Phil in the future demanded respect, Logan would be old enough and confident enough to point out respect is earned not demanded. Not that he doesn’t love his father, but Logan realizes he’s not perfect.

    • My fave is Logan (his defence of Lina! Go Logan!! He’s strong and sensitive at the same time…perfect future book hero right there!!) and my second fave is Katie..she’s an old soul for sure, like Alice

  16. Knowing what you know about me, which of these books you’re talking about today would I like for a trip? Headed to Hawaii this week.
    Janet, Tara, Miri…

    • Katie, that’s a tough one I think..I find LK and KR to be more of the old school romance writers, so not a lot of the cheating and super angst of today’s very current authors…I’d say go with Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas ? it’s actually a series so there are 3 other books after…

      • Oh! I’ve had this one to read forever…
        Thank you.
        Check out The Other Woman by Eve Rabi. It’s a 7 book series, but I think only books 1 and 2 are about the husband, wife and OW. The OW is worse than Kim. I shelved if for later because I’ve lost interest in cheating novels for a bit, but it definitely sucked me in.
        The covers are AWFUL but the writing is really good.

        • I think I read this. I didn’t like it and stupid ending. Tara and I read inhale exhale. cheating husband for 10 years. Evil OW and gave me a headache but maybe you may like it.

          Bon Voyage! mwah!

        • You know what Katie? I’ve had the Rabi books on my TBR lists for a while but I was put off by the covers! I thiught the writing might be cheesy lol…thanks, I will def start on them then! ??

    • Which Island Katie? I know you will have a great time! LOL

      One summer! Older Woman who taught the bad boy HS English. They are only 5 yrs apart but back in the 90s it was still new. I remember Olivia Newton John marrying Matt Latanzi who was 10 yrs her jr and thought omg she is so hot.

    • Katie – enjoy your holiday 🙂 hope you have lots of sun, sea and sex and come back home relaxed with a nice tan.

    • Katie,

      Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your trip!

      Not cheating books but so good and almost all are KU: Kate Canterbary’s Walsh series, six siblings, 8 books. I posted a link below for Janet.

      • LOL.

        Ok, Laura, try Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas if you get a chance. I think you will love it. I just checked and it’s $2.99 on kindle. I know you are in a romance novel rut…All her heroes are like Phil and Tony just 200 years ago.

        • I downloaded Tara! Thanks for rec.

          Yes! Sebastian. Remember he came twice in a row? I’m like uhhhh what? Lol

          • I read it 10 years ago (literally, it was the summer of 09 when I FINALLY discovered Lisa Kleypas…I’d read one of her books in the summer of 1993 (how do I remember this stuff??) and then I put her aside for like a decade and a half lol..then I read all of them in one long binge)

          • I can’t say I remember that ??? but he the best restored rake, villain, bad guy, anti-hero.

          • ?. You got Derek’s book? hope it’ll jumpstart your reading again Laura. All I can say is these book heroes ruin you for life!

            the joy of discovering my first harlequin is right up there with giving birth to my perfect babies. Lol.

          • I love Derek’s book!! The h in that book was kickass! She was a pistol carrying writer from the countryside, one of my fave romance h’s ever ?

  17. Laura this scene is MAGIC!!!! Omg it so good!!!

    “What’s the matter handsome boy? ….I wasn’t talking to you” ???

    This scene touches on the dynamics between so many of the Hunters in their new post-Liam world..Logan’s finally accepted Liam living there but now Megan has issues with him…so funny…

    Laura thank you so so very much for this scene…but it only makes me want more more more of the Hunter family…I honestly can read about this family’s every day interactions forever…I hope so very much that you will end up publishing the “prequel” novella/novel and then go on to write many more Hunter novels…this big-hearted family is just EPIC and unforgettable ❤️?❤️??

  18. Laura would Phil have thought about Megan’s comment of leaving Liam behind on his way to work? I think it would of registered with him.

    • Tracie it doesn’t seem like neither Phil nor Lina is paying too much attention to Megan’s request lol…but I wonder if they had even a moments hesitation before including Liam in their holiday plans? Toddlers don’t always travel well, and it might be fun for Liam but it might also be difficult for him (the flying, different time zone, different food, etc)..it can end up being more stressful for Liam than it will be for Megan

    • I don’t think Phil gave much thought to what Megan said. He took what she said at face value. She was worried that Liam would be a nuisance and he assured her he wouldn’t be. This is straight out of my dad’s book — he took us everywhere regardless of our ages.

      • I actually wondered about it too so thanks for asking and answering Bee and Laura. I like the nitty gritty little bitty details regarding Kim. I had a scenario in my head how she would call Phil in Greece demanding Liam to be brought back. Forgot Phil is a lawyer for a sec. ?

        • If Kim hadn’t called in two months, she could care less where Liam is or what he is doing. I bet Kim would think she strapped Lina with Liam, instead of giving her a gift….

        • Just wondering because my sister had to update my nephew passport for his trip to Israel and in SA its a headache to renew your passport.

          • BeeSa what did your sister think of Israel? I’ve been there before, lots to see and do, particularly if you like history! (And lots of weddings I noticed, I was there for 2 weeks and got invited to like 5 weddings of people I didn’t even know (very very distant relatives)…everyone’s always getting married over there! Lol)

  19. William isn’t a billionaire. That was his brother, so I doubt the Hunters would have use of the private jet. Katie chose Greece because of the history — it’s her graduation year. There is no way Phil would let Matt join them. I know what you mean about teenagers Janet — not wanting to travel with family. I’v found that this isn’t as much the case with larger families — at least the ones I know. Liam is 18 months old and verbal. I have two toddlers in my orbit — one is 18 months and talking like Liam and the other is two and a half and barely talking. They seem to move at their own speed.

    • I love that Katie picked Greece. I’ve also come to the conclusion that the only whiner on the trip would be Megan….Lol There are so many family friendly hotels and resorts and I’m sure Lina would of researched and planned accordingly to ensure everyone had a good time.

      Laura thank you again for keeping the Hunter’s alive….Love them.

    • Wow that’s wonderful Laura!I’m amazed that Phil let Katie choose where to go..i get that it is Katie’s graduation year..but still,i’m a bit surprised that he actually allowed to make someone else a decision.This is awesome!

    • I look forward to the day when Phil welcomes Matt into his family. I hope I’m still alive then. ?

      I reread the scene. It was so good Laura. Did you ever write romance papers when you were in school? I remember reading an article on Karen Robards long time ago and she said she turned in a romance novel for her English class(I think her final project) in college. Lol

        • Tara!!!! I’m rereading that right now! LOL I was going through my old pile looking for the robyn donald book I think you reviewed. But then I came across One Summer. I think the teacher loved it and made her read one part out loud. It was in the Romantic Times I kid you not.

          Anything to erase that nasty book we read, inhale, exhale.

        • My fave Karen Robards of all time is Nobody’s Angel…I read it as a teen and I still recall all the details…

      • I did. I wrote a short romantic story for a class. My professor said she missed her train stop she was so engrossed and asked if she could pass it on to the head of the creative writing department. He read it and told me I had great potential and then tore it apart — my fragile ego wasn’t ready for criticism, although I’m sure everything he said was constructive. I didn’t share anything with strangers again for 30 years.

        • O.M.G.!!!!!!!!! Laura, please please listen to us here and nowhere else. We are ALL connoisseurs of romance novels here and you have that IT magic power very few writers have(romance or fiction). Please write for your family and your fans only and nobody else. LOL. Ignore the haters and you are all set! I buddy read Circe with my daughter few months back. That book was all the rage for a bit and I thought to myself WPF was so much better! You are right up there with Paulina Simmons and Karen Robards! ???????????

          • It’s very 90s. If you are up for it, I recommend Lisa Kleypas’s Again The Magic or Devil’s Winter. Historical. Right up there with judith M imo.

          • One thing about Lisa Kleypas, if you’re gonna read the Wallflower series, I recommend you start with the first one (It Happened One Autumn) (the Devil in Winter is maybe the second or third in the series??) ?

            With Karen Robards, her older books are either historical romance or contemporary romance (90’s), and her later books are more contemporary romantic suspense…so it depends on what you’re in the mood for…

          • Personally I’m not much for romantic suspense, but if you are then KR is the way to go, she does them really well

          • Laura I just went and double checked – ‘it happened one autumn’ is actually the second book in the wallflower series! ( it’s my fave of the series I think that’s why I thought it was the first?)…anyway just wanted to let you know!

        • Laura that’s such a shame!! I remember when I first came across your books, after I read them all (within one weekend), I was like, why doesn’t this author have more books?!?! Your books read like they’d been written by a very seasoned long time author who had perfected her craft over time…I thought that maybe you had a bunch of older books that weren’t converted into Ebook format…then I saw on here that you hadn’t published until a few years ago and I was so surprised…to think, if that professor hadn’t been so critical, we might have had a huge Laura Branchflower catalogue of books to keep us riveted and satisfied ?

  20. Hello everyone, i’m having a problem with goodreads..i lost the books which i marked as read …i don’t know why that happened..did any of you face this problem..? And also how can I make you my friends in goodreads..i do not have a FB account i deactivated it 2 years ago..

    • I never lost any books marked as read. So bizarre! I have lost a review I wrote for Saffron Kent’s book but I did it on my phone and I’m wondering if I never saved it. You can befriend me- I have 6 friends remember? LOL. Miri has like 1000000000 books on her list. look for jp. I left review for SN.

  21. I love Liam so much. Seems Megan is the only one still not entirely seeing him as a part of the family. Not that all 20 yos are selfish, but many are. ??‍♀️
    Love it
    I love that they’re going to Greece to hang out with my people.

  22. Thanks laura! This was an awesome scene..phil really is a lucky guy to get back his wife and family intact. 🙂

  23. Gosh, Meg definitely Phil child.

    Like how she whispers because she doesn’t want Phil to overhear and hurt his feelings, but yet he’s the one who created the whole mess.

    Love the fact that Phil still shows and tells Lina how amazing she is. He seriously got lucky that she gave him a second chance. If she had divorced him, i doubt Phil would ever fall in love again. He’d probably have short relationships and end it before they got clingy.

    Thanks for the added extra scene 🙂

    • I think it was hilarious when Phil thought she was talking to him when she said handsome boy…Bahahaha….So Phil! Liam better get his licks in early, I doubt Phil will allow Liam to hit him in anger much longer…Lol. The other kids may even be like hit daddy for me…Lol

      My Logan would tote Liam around with him in Greece, he’s so sweet! I hope when Megan gets to do everything she wants on the vacation she humbles a bit…..Yeah right!

      This vacation would be a true test on the family dynamics in seeing how Lina and Phil could handle the large age gap with the children…This vacation is about the older children, because Liam would never remember it. But I totally agree that the little sweet boy should never be left behind….So Megan…

      • Megan’s too entitled to be humble. She’s daddy’s princess. She wants what she wants, and she pushes until someone shuts her down.

        • Like Bee said, she’s Phil’s daughter. Lol. Self absorbed brat. I keep thinking of Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon as Megan. I know nobody likes her enough to put a face to her name. I bet she’s popular with the guys.

        • Phil would spend the whole trip making Megan happy….even though he has a connection with all his kids, Lina even said the one he has with Megan is a special bond…She’ll get everything she wants…

        • At some point Megan needs a reality check. I get she’s not living home so she’s not used to seeing Liam day in and day out, but really, she wants to leave him with Kim?

          Also, she thinks Greece isn’t child-friendly? What? There are no babies in Greece? Are they somehow spawned as adults?

          Question… if Liam were her full brother, instead of half, would she still want to leave him home for the trip?

          • Tara I think if he was her full brother she’d still feel put out but wouldn’t really complain because he wouldn’t have another mother to be left with (not that he does in Kim)…she wouldn’t be thrilled about a toddler joining them but I doubt she’d resent it either

            My question: Katie clearly has no issue with Liam being the result of an affair, Logan very much did (and probably will deep down for a while)…I wonder if Megan resents that he’s the result of an affair which really hurt her mom, or if she just resents that Liam is taking away the spotlight from her somewhat/getting a lot of Phil’s attention? She had sympathy for her mom (in SW, after the yoga class scene with Kim) for like an hour but then she got over it pretty fast lol

          • I don’t think Megan just got over it. She forgave Phil, but I’m sure it continues to bother her. Her father disappointed her — she just forgave him faster than Logan did. I don’t think the fact that he’s illegitimate had anything to do with her not wanting LIam on the trip — it was strictly his age.

          • Megan is harder for me to read, she doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve like Logan, so I just assumed that Phil’s affair didn’t really bother her because it didn’t affect her too much…maybe I see her as being colder and more self absorbed than she actually is..

            Either way, I don’t think she’s anywhere near as bad as Casey’s sister in Sense of Belonging..Tara was a whole different level of self absorbed

    • Thank you!!

      Did you just hit me? LOLOLOL. How old is Liam here Laura? He is such a little dude. LOl

      Again, I have a lot of compassion for Megan. She is immature but so real and I could totally see a lot of 20 year olds saying this.

      Is Katie going on the trip? I bet she doesn’t want to bc Matt won’t be with her. I can’t see Phil being Ok with it. Most teenagers in my group don’t want to travel with parents anymore. My friend just got back from Singapore and the older son asked everyday if he can fly back by himself. She told me she did not sign up for a 15 year old when she got pregnant. Kids are self absorbed. It’s annoying bur normal.

    • I agree with you. Phil would live his life having flings and probably turn into an alcoholic.

      I thought Megan didn’t say it to Phil bc she was scared of him. She knows she has a chance of persuading Lina to call Kim but wouldn’t dare bring it up to Phil.

      • Phil would of flipped smooth out! I wish he could of heard Lina dressing Megan down about who his mama was….

        Loved how Liam didn’t want Phil touching Lina…He’ll be a mama’s boy..:..

  24. Absolutely Love it…Phil will always appease Megan, he didn’t even seem mad by her attitude…Loved my Logan, what else would we do…….Can we see some of the Greece Vacation? Would love insight of the first family vacation…that was so good Laura…Lina such a mama bear….

    • The whole trip wouldn’t revolve around Liam anyway and his needs will be taken care of by Lina anyway….Those swanky hotels have babysitters on staff to take care of Liam if the schedule is to hectic for a baby…..

      Can you see Liam having a meltdown on the plane? I think Megan and Phil both would be on edge if that happened…

          • I think William has a plane. I don’t think it’s that expensive to own a medium jet and he is a billionaire. Holy cow! Adele married a billionaire. I never stopped to think. I don’t know Tracie about flying time. I’m thinking around 12 hours? Do you think Lina will give Liam benedryl? I did that with my kids at 2 with dr’s approval. Phil can’t afford to charter one with his income but I would like to think Adele offered it to Lina. lol

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