Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.
Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down. What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?
Marisol started for the Sweet Spot coffee shop across the street, but hesitated when a silver Lexus squealed a U-turn in the center of Main, screeching to a stop and blocking her little rental there in its parking place. The door flew open, practically ejecting a tall, well-built man in jeans and a blue cotton shirt. His full attention focused on the vehicle in front of Marisol’s.
She couldn’t move as she belatedly recognized his large dark eyes and something in the piqued set of his jaw.
His hair wasn’t as solidly black as she’d remembered from the summer she left town. The jeans, no longer slim cut, though he wasn’t overweight. But it was him.
Nausea tumbled like panicked butterflies in her stomach. One hand slipped to her middle, almost trying to reassure her insides not to make her throw up right here. She never expected a sudden confrontation. She hadn’t prepared. But as she watched him, she saw she didn’t need to worry. He wasn’t interested in her in the least.
He marched over to the SUV and parked himself against its shiny fender. After several tries, she forced her feet to move, at least far enough to retreat inside the gazebo. She sat on the interior edge of the fence, half hidden behind a painted support beam, the shade from the maples overhead helping to conceal her. She couldn’t help it. She could have walked away, just left her vehicle and come back for it later, but the situation was a car wreck waiting to happen. She could tell by the tension in his shoulders and his hands, clenched into fists. No way she would miss whatever occurred next.
Soon after, Tiffany and the boys, one of whom looked about Mark’s age, one a little younger, returned from the shop. Tiffany, thin to the point of anorexia, stopped several yards from her car when she saw Russell there. The boys hung back behind their mother, affecting bored poses of crossed arms and blank skyward stares. “What do you want, Rusty?” Her voice carried clearly to the gazebo.
“To say hello to Jon and Barret. Since you haven’t let them come see me for the last three months.” He didn’t move off the car. “Hey, boys, come give your old dad a hug, hmm?”
The boys mumbled something Marisol couldn’t hear. If anything, they retreated toward the store, and finally the younger of the two, who looked maybe fifteen, bolted, heading back inside.
“That’s fabulous, Tiffy, just fabulous. What a great mother you are. So much for what our order says, right? That we’re supposed to encourage the children to love and honor the other parent?”
“What have you done worth honoring? Hmm?”
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1