Author: Elizabeth Butts
Genre: Chick Lit
Cover Design: Danielle Camorlinga
Hosted by: Francessca’s Romance Reviews
Ashley MacKillop has it all figured out. She has her boyfriend, a house, a good (if not exciting job). Everything is going according to plan, and everything is fitting into the nice, tidy, neat-freak boxes she’s created for herself.
Until he walks away. Until he says he needs a break. Until he says he’s done. But he forgot to break up with her. Was she part of a couple anymore? Was she single?
A red-wine fueled therapy session with her three closest friends has Ashley trying all sorts of things that force her to break out of her comfort zone and figure out who she is when there’s no man involved.
In the end, what defines a woman? Is it the man she’s with? Is it the friends she keeps? Is it the copious amounts of red wine that she consumes? Or is it who she is when no one is watching?
Will she decide she needs a man in her life? Will she even want him back if he were to come back?
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He slowly pulled at the strings on her chemise, lowering it off her shoulders, gently kissing her skin as it was exposed to him. A shudder ran through her, though whether from the cold or his attention, she would never know. He caressed her skin, his fingers soft as a breeze against her hardening nipple. She heard a moan and was embarrassed when she realized it came from her own throat. “Miranda,” Ian purred, “you needn’t be shy with me. I love you.” “Oh, Ian, I can’t believe that my boss expects me to work every Saturday without a promotion or raise in sight”.
Wait… What? I blinked my eyes a few times. When did Miranda start speaking in my head in a male voice? A male voice that sounded suspiciously like…oh, shit. I looked up from my Kindle where Ian and Miranda were about to get all kilt freaky and into the eyes of my boyfriend of three years, Craig, who was looking at me expectantly. I wondered how long he’d been talking to me. I wondered if my subconscious had heard any of it. I closed my eyes a minute, mentally going over the last few minutes. Nope, nothing there. Just Scottish lairds and soft caresses. I wondered if he realized that I hadn’t heard a word that he’d said. I risked a glance at him and saw a slightly reddening face and narrowed eyes. Um, yup. He knew. Crap.
I wished I could just go back to my Kindle, re-enter the world that demanded nothing of me. I mean, it was my day off…I should be able to sit on a couch and just lose myself in that world that existed within its electronic pages. However, reality called. I groaned inwardly, pushed the button to put my Kindle to sleep and turned and face the music.
“I’m sorry, honey, you know how I can get when I read. Could you repeat what you said?”
“Seriously? Again? I have been talking to you for the last ten minutes. You’re trying to tell me that you haven’t heard a damn word I’ve said for ten minutes?” Craig looked like he was about to spontaneously combust. Eek.
Inwardly I shuddered to think that I’d managed to zone out that completely, but didn’t let him see.
“Hey, I’ve told you not to try to talk to me when I’m reading. You’ve been warned. If you see me on the couch with a Kindle, I’m really not there. It’s just a shell, an illusion.”
Uh-oh. I think that might have been the wrong thing to say. Was it possible that his hair was starting to singe? I squinted a little, yup… I’m pretty sure he was so mad that his hair was burning.
“Ash, that’s it. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t compete with your warriors, squires, princes and lairds anymore. I don’t wear a kilt. I don’t have any ‘shining armor’.” I started to glaze over a bit when I pictured him in a kilt or in ‘shining armor’. Wrong move. Focus!
“I am your real boyfriend, I’m here, but you can’t be bothered with me because you’d rather be in a book. I need a break from this. I’m done”
I blinked my eyes a few times, my jaw on the ground as I watched him turn, stalk towards the door and slowly, quietly walk out the door and out of us. I glared at my Kindle, but I couldn’t be too angry at it, because it was a really good story. But, what the hell did he mean by a ‘break’? This was a little too Ross and Rachel from the 1990’s.
I got up from the couch and ran out the door, stumbled down the steps and managed to make it to his car before he pulled out of the driveway. My chest was heaving from the exertion of running after him. I asked, “What…do you mean…that you’re done? It…was just…a book.”
He looked at me, his brown eyes soft and sad. “Ashley, this is the tip of the iceberg. I just feel like you don’t have much more going on than going to work and vegging on the weekends. We don’t do anything anymore. We don’t go anywhere. Do you even want to be with me anymore? Do you even notice that I’m at your house almost every night? You just seem to want to work during the week and read on the weekend. I love you, I love you so damn much, but I don’t know if it is enough for me to play second fiddle to electronics. I don’t know if ‘done’ is the right thing to say, but I definitely need a breather.”
With that lovely monologue, he put the car in reverse.
About The Author
I am a 37 year old who just decided to finally write a book. I’m an avid reader, I have a tendency to zone out the world when I’m reading. I always wanted to be able to write but I would get started, and then a page later, I was done.
My husband, Mike, and I live in Wareham, MA with our (gulp) twelve rescued pets.
I made a good friend in A. E. Murphy (an awesome author, please check her out!) who kept nudging me (ok, seriously pushing me) into writing.