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In the blink of an eye, Belle’s life spirals out of control. She loses everything that is dear to her and is forced to flee to the other side of the world where she meets Andrea, a local bartender from Rome, and develops an unexpected connection with him.
Can they break through the complications of past hurts and a long-distance relationship to make it work or will one terrifying night in Paris end it before it had a chance to begin?
Read an exclusive excerpt:
They say that when a person cheats, their partner can usually sense it. Something intuitive kicks in; a sudden sense that the dynamics of the relationship have changed. It’s in the whispered phone calls taken in the next room, the late nights at the office, the emotional distance, the distractedness.
On the bus ride home, Belle turned it over in her head a thousand times. How had she missed the signs? They’d been flashing at her like neon lights and still she’d missed them. The long nights at the office, the change in Ben’s behaviour, the reluctance to see her. There’d been no gruelling case, no urgent meetings that he’d had to dash off to. He’d been cheating on her with another woman.
The bus dropped her two blocks from home and she fought her way through the Friday night revellers on Darling Street to reach her flat. Her hair had come loose from its braids and sat in matted strands across her face. She pushed it out of her eyes as tears dripped down her nose and people stared at her with expressions of curiosity and pity.
She let herself in the door and went to the kitchen to pour herself a drink. The sounds of the bars and restaurants filtered up into her flat. She tried to ignore the laughter and music as she twisted off the lid of a bottle of Vodka. She didn’t think she would ever laugh again.
She crumpled onto the couch and took a sip. Straight up. It slid seductively down her throat, burned her stomach, and she waited for the mind-numbing cloudiness to hit. How could Ben have done this to her? She hadn’t even realised they’d been having problems. Were they having problems? She couldn’t name or define them if they existed. They’d been invisible to her, at least.
She felt like a fool. There she was making him dinner, linguine primavera, no less, while he was upstairs in his bed having sex with another woman! Not sweet, tender, loving sex either. It had been hot and furious sex. The kind of sex that she and Ben were definitely not having.
To think that Ben could be intimate like that with another woman, that the hands and lips that knew her body so well were touching someone else’s. He’d broken a delicate bond, severed a sacred trust.
I thought you’d gotten rid of her.
She sniffed back her tears and curled her knees up to her chest. She didn’t sip from the glass this time—she gulped from it and poured another. She checked her phone. There was a missed call from her mother, another from Riley. There was still nothing from Ben.
She pushed the phone aside and peeled off her floury apron, rolling it into a ball and tossing it onto the floor. She lay down on the couch, sinking her head into the cushions. She didn’t have the energy to speak to anyone, didn’t want to relay to her mother or Riley what had happened, what she was still trying to process herself. All she wanted to do was to close her eyes and wish the whole terrible nightmare away.
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About Michelle Montebello
She has worked full-time in the corporate sector since 1998. It wasn't until she completed a writing course with James Patterson that she was inspired to write and publish her first novel, Interwoven, in 2017.
In addition to her writing, she also has a passion for travel and loves to combine her two favourite things - creative writing and travelling - to create vibrant worlds for her characters to explore.
When this busy mum is not working, chasing little ones or searching under beds for monsters, she can be found reading, writing or plotting her next story.
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