A Family Affair
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When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one.
EXCERPT from A Family Affair:
In another week or so he’d be able to get back to his own place, back to seclusion, where the loudest noise at night was a flip between a screech owl and a log crackling on the fire. Just the way he liked it. The majority of the human species was nothing but an annoying intrusion on his state of mind and other than the times when he had to interact with them, he preferred to be alone. Of course, family didn’t fit into that category, just everyone else. His mother said he was afraid to open up after what happened three years ago. She was wrong; he didn’t care about Patrice anymore, didn’t even think about her, not since the day the sheriff delivered the divorce papers. Nate heard she was remarried to some bank president in Palm Springs, drove a Lexus now. Probably silver; she’d always had a fondness for silver.
The doorbell rang again, twice, rapid staccato. “Hold on, hold on.” Damn intrusive busy bodies. He reached the front door, preparing the same speech he told all the well-wishers. My mother’s fine . . . needs her rest . . . she’ll be in touch when she’s up to it. She’d be furious if she had an inkling that he was blowing off people like Father Reisanski and Judge Tommichelli, but hell, did she have to be best friends with half the town?
He opened the door.
It was her.
“Hello. I’m looking for . . .”
Her voice was softer than he’d imagined, more breathy . . .
“. . . this is a bit awkward . . . “
Her eyes were bluer than her picture . . .
“Lily Desantro. Is she here?”
That brought him around fast. “Who are you?” Stupid question, but damn if he’d let on he knew who she was.
She hesitated, a split second extra air exchange. “Christine Blacksworth. I’m . . . are you Nate Desantro?”
He said nothing. Let her squirm.
“Is Lily here?”
“May I come in?” She tried to look around him, into the house, into their lives.
He blocked the door. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“You . . . you know who I am, don’t you?”
He stared at her, refusing to acknowledge the man or his daughter as hatred seeped through him, brought back the days, months, years, his mother spent alone; four damn days a month for fourteen years.
“You called my mother’s house . . . about my father.”
Her voice wobbled. Good, feel it, Christine Blacksworth, feel what I’ve felt for the past fourteen years every time I saw your father’s bathrobe hanging in my mother’s closet, saw his razor in her bathroom, his glasses on her nightstand. Let it strangle you . . .
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