Basically, the main character, Emily Lockwood has alot on her plate. She is successful in her own right, with a solid real estate career, but has a headstrong daughter, a mother who marches to her own drummer, and an ex-husband who needs sex therapy. Enter into this picture a house with an agenda, and the return of her first love, rocking a tool belt and a paintbrush and dark eyes full of secrets, and Emily just flat out has things to get through and get over. I call them the “Emily Lockwood Life Lessons”.
We can all learn things from Emily. 🙂
Life Lesson #5 from Emily in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE…
DON’T BRING UP THE PAST UNLESS YOU’RE PREPARED TO BE BACKED INTO A CORNER.
…an excerpt from the book…
The smoldering look in his eyes was the old Ben. The one that once knew all my secrets and loved me anyway. He blinked the moment free and broke eye contact, looking back toward the kitchen as he raked fingers through his hair.
“No one ever came here,” he said, walking behind the island bar. “We didn’t want anybody here.” He held out a hand for the file I’d forgotten I had. “So what was the deal with the realtor lady at your mom’s?”
I cleared my throat, the temperature and subject change knocking me off balance. I laid the file on the smooth cream and brown granite and turned to the page in question.
“Old history,” I said.
“So am I, but you don’t run off when I arrive,” he said, thereby yanking my gaze back to his.
I started to point out the difference, but then wondered if there really was one. “Good point,” I said, sliding the paper to him. “One of you climbed off my husband and screwed me over. The other one climbed off my roof.”
His eyes narrowed. “So he didn’t change,” Ben said, effectively ignoring the comment regarding him. “I wondered about that.”
“No,” I said. “He didn’t.” I pulled the pen off the folder and handed it to him. “Evidently, neither did you.”
“You know what?” I said, laying the pen down. “You and Bobby deal with this and bring it back to me when you’re done.”
“Where are you going?” I heard him ask from behind me as I made a beeline for the door.
“Home,” I said, remembering even as I said it that I had to go back for Cassidy. “Damn it,” I muttered.
“What are you so angry about?” he asked, making me turn around.
He kept walking so I did too, backward. “This push-pull thing you do,” I said. “I don’t understand it, and I’m tired of it. I’m sick and tired of avoiding the one thing I really want to know.”
I felt the hardness of the door press against my back, and he kept moving forward. I sucked in a breath and lifted my chin to appear defiant as he put his hands against the door on either side of my head and looked down at me from so close I could feel his breath on my lips.
“Why you made the choice you did?”
He said each word slow and deliberate, matching a rawness I hadn’t seen in his eyes since he’d been back. That, coupled with the sudden need to close that half inch between us, hit me in the gut with so much emotion, that for a second I didn’t make sense of the words themselves. When I did, I was confused. Choice?
“What about what you chose?” I whispered, forcing myself to focus on his eyes and not his mouth.
A shrill ring broke the quiet and he clenched his jaw and reached into his pocket. His eyes never left mine, but I used the moment to put my hands against his chest and gently push him back.
“Hello,” he said, his voice cracked and rough.
I turned and let myself out, grateful for that phone call. Another thirty seconds at that proximity and I would have spilled my guts, forgiven him for everything, and tested out that rug.
* * *
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