Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in Shari Low’s blog tour. Today I will be sharing an extract from ‘My One Month Marriage’ – enjoy!
You know that “till death do us part” bit in the wedding vows? Well, Zoe Danton believed it. One month after she said “I do”, the man she loved is gone, given his marching orders after Zoe discovered a devastating secret.
As teenagers facing a crushing loss, Zoe made a pact with her three sisters to stick together no matter what. Now she’s discovered that one of them may have been the reason her husband betrayed her. She’s lost her happy-ever-after, but has she lost a sister too?
I hear the sound of the oven door banging shut, before she re-enters with a glass of radiation pink. ‘I took some of this from the cocktail shaker,’ she informs us. ‘It looks suspiciously like something I’d prescribe for acid reflux. Right, what’s the latest? Married anyone else since I saw you yesterday? Divorced yet? Engaged again?’
I refuse to rise to her innocent-faced sarcasm, instead going for dry threats and indignation. ‘If you carry on like that, I’m going in to work.’
‘It’s Sunday,’ Verity points out, always one to insert facts into the equation.
‘And I hate to point out that your job was at the root of this whole debacle in the first place,’ Yvie adds, following it up with, ‘Jesus, my bra straps are killing me. Did I mention I’m going back on the diet tomorrow?’
‘You did. Is it the same one as last week? And the week before?’ Verity teases.
‘Not sure, but right now I’m hoping I lose nine and a half stone of smug older sister,’ Yvie fires back. She takes no cheek from anyone and I love her for it.
‘I thought you were embracing your curves?’ I enquire, confused.
‘That was last week. This week, I want to book a holiday, wear a bikini and I’ve realised that to feel good about that I’ll need to lose the equivalent of a small dinghy in weight in a month and a half. Starting right after that lasagne.’
I don’t argue. Only a fool would get in between Yvie and her ever changing body-confidence issues.
‘Anyway, I preferred it when we were revelling in your disaster of a life,’ she tells me. ‘Where were we?’
‘Where were we?’ It’s like an echo, only said in a voice that is sharper than the other three in my living room. Marina, only her head and neck visible round the side of the door, is the oldest of the four of us and the designated grown-up. She’s the kind of woman who makes lists, has a pension plan and who knows the difference between a vintage bottle of plonk and something off the shelf at Lidl.
‘Yvie has just pointed out that my job was to blame for all this.’
‘Yes, well, she’s not wrong. At least at the start. Although, to be fair, you did take an unfortunate situation, handle it badly, then let it descend into a complete roaring balls-up,’ Marina concurs before her head and shoulders disappear and I hear the sound of her clicking heels fading as she heads down the hall to the kitchen. I’d bet my last pound that she is carrying a bag containing sushi and hummus – she considers healthy food to be the only option, even in a crisis.
Yvie gestures to the door. ‘See? Even her Highness agrees. I finally feel validated as an adult.’
I ignore the playful barb. Successfully negotiating life with three sisters is fifty per cent love, thirty per cent tolerance and twenty per cent dodging the ever-changing dynamics between us.
Especially, in this case, as they both have a point. My job, first as sales director, then latterly as partner of Glasgow marketing company, The B Agency, definitely contributed to my current situation. If I hadn’t worked there, I wouldn’t have met Tom. I wouldn’t have fallen in love. He wouldn’t have broken my heart. And then I wouldn’t have gone on to screw up my life so colossally that I’m now contemplating eating dodgy lasagne while wondering what I am going to tell my mother when I return her generous wedding gift of a lavish, smoked glass beaded chandelier.
Granted, it is lovely – in a blingy, wear sunglasses because it’s so bright it could cause eye damage, kind of way. But the fact that I live in a flat with low ceilings transforms it from an ostentatious decorative statement to a concussion risk.