Release Date: July 2, 2020
Imagine orchestrating your divorce under false pretenses.
That’s precisely what Cecilia Topps did. After receiving a disturbing diagnosis, Cecilia felt like she was drowning, unable to take a breath. She didn’t want to bring her husband down with her, so she created a damaging lie.
Cameron Topps had been going through the motions for seven years. The betrayal he felt from his wife left him numb and unable to love again. His indifference led to hatred when he walked into his bar, seeing his wife again after unknowingly hiring her.
Secrets are exposed, lines are crossed, and Cameron finally learns the truth about his divorce. Is he willing to drown with Cecilia all over again, or will he move on for good?
“I’m sorry.” My words were muffled by the hiccup of tears and snot running down my face. I tilted my eyes down. I couldn’t look at him.
My poor, sweet Cam. He would never forgive me. I knew this. It was what I wanted.
I wanted—no, needed him to walk out our front door and not look back. I needed him to hate me.
“You’re sorry? That’s what you have to say?” He was calm, so damn calm it physically made me sick. I knew it was because he was hurting. I knew that hurt was eating him alive.
I couldn’t say anything past the lump in my throat, so I nodded instead.
Cam looked at me, looked through me and for a moment, I was worried he would see that I was lying and try to demand the truth from me. I would deny it. I didn’t want him to know the truth. I wanted him to think I had done the unthinkable, done something he’d never be able to get over.
My beautiful, broken husband stared into my eyes for two solid minutes without flinching. He said absolutely nothing. His gaze flitted between both of my eyes, then down to my nose, my lips, lingering there, then finally back to my eyes. I bit my lip nervously, waiting for him to say “Ah-ha” and catch me in my lie.
Cam never did, though. I wasn’t going to deny it made me a little upset that he didn’t know me well enough to know I was lying. I wanted to take back the words that had left my mouth five minutes ago. I wanted to take back the entire day, but it wasn’t possible, and I needed to accept what my new life was going to look like.
“I can’t even look at you,” Cam muttered, turning away from me. I caught the curled lip and glare on his face before his back was facing me. Hurt so strong filled my chest and made it feel like it would explode and not in a good way.
God, the pain was so bad.
I had to rub my chest, right above my heart, but it didn’t ease the ache I had put there.
Cameron, the man I had married two years ago, grabbed his coat off the hook in the foyer and opened the front door. He turned around, glancing at me one last time. That last time was enough to make a sob escape my throat. He had a single tear running down his face then splashing on his broad shoulders.
I had never seen him cry before. Not when his mother died, not when we had to put down our first dog, and not when we had gotten married.
Never. That lonely tear trekking down his cheek broke me and I knew, down in my bones, I would never be the same after putting that tear there.
I didn’t speak a word and Cam walked out, slamming the door behind him, making me jump. I finally crumpled, falling into the fetal position on the couch and crying until I couldn’t breathe. I had done this to myself. I knew it had to be done, but that didn’t make it easier.
Two hours later, he hadn’t come back and I knew he wasn’t going to. He wouldn’t come back until he knew I was gone. I had packed the majority of my stuff, placing the few boxes in my small car. I only took my clothes. I didn’t feel right taking anything we had gotten together when we moved into this house.
Glancing around the place I had shared with my husband for the last year, I felt a level of sadness that I didn’t know I would continue to feel for six months. It settled over my shoulder like a blanket, except it was cold—a cold blanket of nastiness.
At least that blanket wouldn’t be wrapped around Cameron. He didn’t deserve that.
I fired off a text to him, locked our front door and left the key on the porch, then backed my car out of our driveway for the last time.
Me: I’m so sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I love you and always will.
I didn’t speak to Cameron again until two months later after a stranger showed up on my doorstep serving me with divorce papers. I could have let those papers kill me, but I knew it was Cameron’s best chance at a decent life, so I went to the court dates. I didn’t fight him. He petitioned for everything except my car. I gave him everything. That’s what he deserved.
Hope Jones is the wife of her very own alpha male and the mother of four beautiful daughters. She lives in a small town in South Carolina, but was born in Brunswick, GA. She’s always had a love for reading, even at a young age thrillers always interested her. As she got older, romance mixed with some thriller/suspense became her obsession.
If you can’t find Hope glued to her Kindle, you’ll usually find her chasing her girls around, running her hectic household, and plotting stories for the alpha men that have taken over her mind.