Sunday, December 28, 2014

'Affairs & Atonement' by Clarissa Cartharn


What do you do when your first love returns with the hopes of a second chance? 


He married her at eighteen and then she disappeared hours into their marriage.

That was eleven years ago and Ashton Pryor was certain he was over Christy Huntley. He had moved on. He got engaged.

But old ties have to be severed first before new ones can be made. Now he needed to find Christy more than ever. He needed to divorce her to marry Naomi Landon.

Read an excerpt:
She made a good effort to ignore Ashton which only irked him more. He followed her around the kitchen as she tidied it up, clearing away all remnants of their dinner.

“Do you need to put these away too?” he asked, pointing at the candlestick holder. 
She shook her head. “No,” and then continued on quietly at stacking the plates in the dishwasher. 
“What about these placemats?” 
“If you don’t mind putting them in the drawer there, please?” She pointed out to him. 
He collected them, perking his lips as he glanced over at her. 
“This one?” he asked, standing next to a set of draws. 
“The top one?” 
“The second one.” 
“From the bottom?” 
“From the top.” 
“On the left?” 
“This left?” 
She clenched her fingers, taking in a deep breath. “Yes.” 
“It’s a large drawer. Where do you want me to put it?” 
She marched over to him and took the placemats from him. “They’re just placemats, Ashton.” 
She threw them into the drawer and slammed it shut before turning back to her dishes again.
He ambled up to her, leaning against the sink bench, watching her. Her body swayed to and fro as she scrubbed vigorously at a pot. Her movements raised an uneasy spark in him, recollecting memories of her when she swayed to a different beat on that first night when she solely belonged to him. He shuffled his feet, crossing his legs to ease the discomfiture he was beginning to feel between them. 
“Must you stand there?” she grumbled.

“Excuse me?” He cleared his throat. 
“You’ve been standing there, staring at me. And it’s making me uncomfortable.” 
“I thought we could talk…” 
“I’d rather not,” she cut him. “At least, not now.” She wiped her hands and moved away from him, trying to maintain a safe distance between them. 
Each movement she made, the way she ran her hand over her dark hair, biting the corner of her trembling lower lip, excited him. He would never have thought he would notice such minute gestures in her. He was meant to sever all ties with her. Instead, he was finding that he was tangling himself in his own desires for her.

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