In a twisted version of Robert Frost’s words, this once-paired high school couple did NOT take the road less traveled by. Russell Asher followed his ambition, rather than his heart, as young men are wont to do, and so Marisol Herrera Slade was left behind. But it still made all the difference.
Despite his optimism, however, he and the golden girl came from such different backgrounds and privilege, especially during the years of the 80s and 90s. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming a success in the business world, now that the divorce—and 20 years—have passed. While part of his drive is what he’s always had within, certainly his need to prove he’s a good man in Tiffany’s eyes is the other half.
Meanwhile, Marisol took her pain and wrapped it within, fleeing from their small Pennsylvania town as soon as she could. She, too, married. But her husband wasn’t father material, and when she became pregnant, he split the scene. All her self-confidence has had to come from within, and over the years she’s managed as a single mother, finally coming to blog about it on a national—perhaps international—scale. She’s climbing the Technorati ranks as Jerrika Jones, sassy Hispanic mama, talking about Mothering Without a Man.
But they’re both pretending.
He’s trying to convince himself that he’s man enough to win visitation with his sons over Tiffy’s parade of expensive lawyers determined to keep him away, for no reason other than spite. Marisol maty be bold behind her feisty avatar, but what happens when she has to deal with her past in person at her high-school reunion?
Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qEjPOBzds&t=3s
Blurb: Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.
Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.
What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?
“What can I get you?” Russell asked.
She studied him. “You can tell me something. Why are you still here?”
“Why?” He looked a little surprised. “I thought you might need something. Coffee? A go-fer? A ride somewhere? A phone?” He shrugged. “A friend?”
His easy smile tugged at her heart the way it had so many years before. Feeling her exhaustion after the long night made her wary of any decisions she might make. But all she really wanted was for someone to hold her and tell her everything would be all right.
“You know what I really need?” she said. “A hug from a friend.”
He chuckled, his expression a little amazed. “I can do that.” He held his arms open, and she walked into them, laying her head against his chest. His heart was beating, nearly as fast as hers. He actually trembled a little. She hoped he didn’t notice her own nervous flutter twitching all the way to her fingertips.
So many years since they’d stood like this. Memories crowded in: of her and Russell under the football stadium, at Pamela Johnson’s Christmas party, in his Chevy Impala parked along the pier at the lake where the kids used to go for a little privacy and hormonal exploration… Those memories got a bit graphic.
Marisol pulled away from Russell, taking a step back, not sure she was ready to handle such a detailed visit to the past.
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qEjPOBzds&t=3s