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The BumbleBee and the Stinger
If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger.
That’s not to say I blame Cherry Glick for bursting my little housewife bubble with her badly timed, incorrectly addressed floral offering. Hell, I don’t even blame the aforementioned receptionist for my husband’s “misstep.” I put the blame where it’s due—on my floor-licking, scum-sucking husband.
To put this all in perspective, I’ll take you back to that fateful Wednesday morning, when Cherry, stinking of plant food and blackberry schnapps, ambled up to my front steps with the biggest, gaudiest arrangement of peachy-orangish roses I had ever seen.
The card read, “To my BumbleBee, Happy Anniversary, With all my love, The Stinger.”
“The Stinger?” I read aloud, checking the name on the envelope. Sure enough, the card was addressed to “BumbleBee.” Mike had never called me that. In fact, in eight years together, Mike had never given me a nickname. And it was nowhere near our anniversary. We got married on August 1, not in the second week of June.
“Cherry, honey, I think you got this delivery wrong!” I called, chasing after her with the floral albatross.
Cherry lived perpetually south of buzzed, just drunk enough to avoid thinking about the fact that she’d been married to a very handsome, asexual man for twenty years, but not too drunk to drive her delivery van. She looked over her delivery list and muttered to herself.
“Nope, it’s right,” she slurred. “Right here, it’s says ‘Rose Romance Special Deluxe’ from Mike Terwilliger to . . . oh. This is supposed to go somewhere else. This is supposed to go here.”
She took an envelope out of her back pocket and handed it to me. She swayed slightly against her van and shook her head. “Wait, no, both of them are supposed to go . . .”
“W-where are they supposed to go, Cherry?” I stuttered.
“Um . . .” Cherry looked away from me, her eyes not quite able to focus anyway.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” I snapped and tore the billing envelope open. Mike was listed as the ordering party. Next to “Rose Romance Special Deluxe” Cherry’s assistant had scribbled “Terwilliger-Office.”
My stomach clenched, ice cold. Somewhere, in a rationalizing corner of my brain, I clung to the hope that maybe Mike was planning to bring those roses home to me this afternoon as a surprise . . . and that he was planning on giving me the nickname “BumbleBee.”
Oh, God. My husband was having an affair. With a woman who called him “The Stinger.” And that’s when it hit me. BumbleBee.
Mike’s receptionist was named Beebee Baumgardner.
“Sorry, Lacey, I’m so sorry,” Cherry murmured, climbing into the van.
She knew. Soused, silly Cherry Glick had figured out my husband was having an affair before I had. Oblivious to the fact that my front door was standing open, I tugged my keys out of my pocket and ran for my Volvo. I tossed the roses into the passenger seat and, for some reason, took the time to secure the vase with the seat belt.
The next thing I remember was sitting in my car outside Mike’s new offices on Spring Street, watching through the picture window as Beebee answered phones. She’d worked for Mike for a little over a year, replacing old Mrs. Keach after the secretarial dinosaur literally died at her desk. I had a healthy respect for the sunny, girl-next-door exterior God had given me, but Beebee scared me with her stunning good looks, the kind of fine features that made me feel like my face was drawn with a crayon. Her hair was so dark it seemed to absorb the light around it. It fell in soft, careless waves around her face, the kind I was always aiming for but ended up with crazy blond Shirley Temple curls instead. But I couldn’t even complain that Mike only hired her for her face . . . or her perfect heart-shaped ass . . . or the boobs she was still financing. She was very professional, had excellent typing and filing skills, was great at handling the clients. She answered the phone with a smile on her face. And she even made better coffee than I could manage.
It was odd that Mike and Beebee seemed to be alone in the office. Mike had two accountants working under him, the associates in “Terwilliger and Associates.” He complained that all they did was hang around the lobby, ogle Beebee, and plow through pastries. Still, it was possible they were out on client visits.
I sat there in an idling Volvo, feeling very stupid. Nothing was going on. I’d been sitting there for thirty minutes and Mike hadn’t even come out of his office. I was about five seconds from hauling the roses inside, explaining Cherry’s funny, schnapps-fueled mistake and having a good laugh with Mike when I saw him emerge from his office door. He grinned at Beebee and she smiled back with a familiarity that sent a little twinge through my chest. I tamped it down, ashamed of my disloyalty. I told myself it was nice that Mike had found someone so friendly to fill the receptionist spot. I was glad he enjoyed being around someone he had to share office space with for eight hours a day.
And lots of people give their secretaries affectionate shoulder squeezes, I told myself, watching after he crossed the room to rub his hands under her blouse, across her bare collarbone. It was borderline inappropriate, but not an indicator of an affair. And lots of people drag their secretaries out of their chairs like a character in a tacky romance novel. Lots of people kiss their secretaries . . . with tongue.
Especially when they’re having an affair with them.
Sweet merciful crap, they were going at it in front of a huge window, apparently not caring who could pass by and see. Hell, his wife was sitting less than twelve feet away from them and they hadn’t noticed me.
A whimper stuck in my throat, gagging me. How long had they been doing this? Who else had seen them? Who else knew? How many people would be chewing this over with their dinner tonight? My hands didn’t seem to work right. They wouldn’t close around the door handle so I could march into the office and toss the vase at their heads. I took a few deep steadying breaths, but instead of opening the door, my hands put the car in gear and steered toward home. I don’t remember much about the drive, except that at one point I saw a vinyl sign advertising Terwilliger and Associates with Mike’s stupid smiling face on it. And I ran it down.
When I got home, I braked hard to avoid running the car into the garage door. The roses bounced onto the floorboard, vase and all, spilling stems and plant water all over. I rushed into the house, the door still standing open, and grabbed some paper towels. Mike was crazy about keeping the cars clean. A dirty car’s resale value fell by forty-five percent.
I tossed the empty vase and the flowers into the garbage can. Kneeling, the hot concrete scraping my knees, I wrapped my hand in toweling and started blotting. The sickly sweet smell of wilting flowers and plant preservative rolled off the upholstery and hit me like a blow. I ran into the grass, doubled over, and threw up until tears and mucus hung in long threads from my face. I fell on my knees and waited for the second wave.
“Lacey, you all right, honey?” Our neighbor, Mrs. Revell, yelled from her yard. She gave me a knowing wink. “Ginger tea and saltines help with that.”
Mrs. Revell thought I was pregnant. Great. By the time Mrs. Revell stopped making calls, not only would I be poor Lacey Terwilliger whose husband had the bad taste to have an affair with his secretary, I would be poor Lacey Terwilliger, whose husband had the bad taste to have an affair with his secretary after he knocked up his unsuspecting moron wife.
© 2010 Molly Harper White
Posted July 29, 2010
What can I say about this book other than I thought it was fan(insert word of choice)ing-tastic? I loved every minute of it and although I was rushing for the conclusion, I was sad to see it end.
The general premise was excellent - - haven't we all fantasized about a special kind of payback for those who have done us wrong? Lacey's decision to share her husband Mike's shortcomings via the Internet was inspired and laugh out loud funny.
And this was why I was so fond of Lacey, I think. She was a strong, determined woman (but with some obvious weaknesses) who, at the end of the day, could be you or me. She was hurt, she was angry, she acted rashly (but again, it was humorous) and while she dreamt of physically hurting her husband, or at the very least, burning his possessions, she didn't actually follow through with it. I felt sympathy for her and I hurt for this character, even knowing that she was better off without her cad of a husband.
I also thoroughly took pleasure in the characters of Emmett, Lacey's antique shop owner brother who is fond of cutting her hair while she sleeps, as well as providing her with slasher flicks to cheer her up, and Maya, an entrepreneur who wants to go into business with Lacey, writing biting and sarcastic divorce newsletters and greeting cards for every occasion, aptly titled "Season's Gratings". In fact, I got such a kick out of Maya, she would be a fun and apt character to center a book around. Just in case author Molly Harper is reading this . . .
While I eventually liked the character of Monroe, it did take me a bit to warm up to him and I was happy to see that he wasn't the stereotypical "sexy man next door" written just to provide Lacey with an outlet and a reason to get back on her feet. Monroe's family was a hoot and their scenes were too brief in their hilarity.
This was my first book by Molly Harper, although I had heard of her Nice Girls Don't series. I loved her writing style evidenced in And One Last Thing. Light, breezy and yet emotion packed, reading Lacey's narrative was akin to having a heart to heart with a girlfriend. I sped through this book and it left me wanting more. Revisiting Lacey, should Ms. Harper ever want to write a sequel of sorts, would be a delight.
I am thrilled I was able to read and review this book. I will absolutely, positively be looking for Ms. Harper's books in the future to put in my reading rotation if And One Last Thing is an example of her writing style and wonderfully detailed characters. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to any and all. Be prepared to stay up late to follow Lacey and ready yourself for some serious belly laughs.
(From my blog)
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2012
*This book is one of the best that i have read in awhile and i read a lot so if your looking for a great read and want to go through all the emotions than you need to read this one*
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 31, 2010
Lacey Terwilliger just discovered her husband's affair. He accidentally sent his mistress, aka his personal assistant, flowers and had them delivered to his home address. Lacey, quite stunned and in disbelief, hightails it to her husband's office only to witness their affair first hand.
So what does Lacey do? She writes about her cheating husband's extramarital trysts. I forgot to mention, she writes them in his company's newsletters and emails these newsletters to his clients, family and their close friends. Needless to say, this does not go over well and Lacey quickly realizes she acted purely out of emotion. She retreats to her family's cabin to reflect on their marriage and herself. It's there that she meets Monroe, the quiet, loner "I don't like divorce drama" man who encourages Lacey to pick herself up, dust herself off and begin again.
And One Last Thing. is about a woman who acts impulsively out of emotion (and humiliation) and thinks about the consequences later. Despite her irrational decision to write and send the newsletters, Lacey is a woman that the readers will immediately love. Early on it's obvious her husband Mike doesn't deserve her. He treats her more like his girl Friday instead of his wife. By the end of the novel, I liked that Lacey fought hard to gain her identity back and was given a second chance for happiness.
Ms. Harper is a new-to-me author. I enjoyed And One Last Thing. so much, that I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. Highly recommended.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2013
A tiny taste of Stephanie Plum;
and thankfully, not the tried and true Happy Ending.
I'm not into her other genres of Fangs and things, but
would read her again otherwise.
Posted October 25, 2012
Posted August 21, 2012
Another five shining bright stars for Molly Harper, who can entertain,
humor, tell a wickedly delicious story, and actually have real depth
with her plots. If you haven't gotten on the Harper bandwagon yet, my
only question is: WHY NOT? And One Last Thing . . . had me in stitches,
nearly crying, and nodding my head at how spot on this story is. After
being in love with Harper's paranormal books, this was a different
change of pace. However, Harper keeps up the witty remarks, fun
characters, and over-all sense of feeling as if everything is happening
to you. Only if I was that funny. I think what really made me love this
book in particular was the fact I'd gone through a divorce myself, and
if I had it to do all over again, I would have sent out a hilarious and
not-the-least-bit contrite newsletter to all our friends/family. As far
as the narration, Amanda Ronconi is quickly becoming one of my favorite
narrators. It's Ronconi's voice and characterization that gives all of
Harper's books that little extra bump. She has such a finesse with
brining books alive that I don't know if reading Harper's books will
ever be the same without Ronconi's voice. Keep on writing, Molly, for I
am forever your loyal book-reading servant. Same goes for Amanda,
because I'll buy just about any book she narrates!
Posted June 16, 2012
Posted November 14, 2011
Posted October 21, 2011
Posted September 19, 2011
Posted July 4, 2011
I agree with the other reviewers on the hilarity of Lacey's email newsletter revenge - however, I found that to be the first and last funny part of the book. I'm not saying the rest of the book wasn't good, it just wasn't that funny. Many parts became predictable, and some were dry and lacking. I just didn't find this book to be in Harper's usual style.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2011
Posted May 25, 2011
Posted May 2, 2011
Lacey Terwilliger starts out the novel learning that her husband is having an affair with his secretary...and that the entire town, her mother included, already knew. Rather than throw herself a pity party, however, Lacey, ever the dutiful wife, puts out one last newsletter for her accountant husband. Via email. In which she reveals all of his dirty, nasty, secrets to more than 200 of his friends, family, clients, and business associates. Needing a quick exit, Lacey decides to hide out at the remote lakeside cabin her grandmother had left her while her lawyer irons out the divorce wrinkles and deals with the defamation lawsuit that both her soon-to-be-ex and his lovely assistant have slapped her with. Despite Lacey's determination to have a strict no-penis policy, she is instantly attracted to her Wolverine lookalike neighbor (honestly, who wouldn't be?) and naturally, once she starts ignoring him, he is interested as well. Lacey isn't ready for a real relationship, however, and has a lot of growing up and self-discovery to do before she is. It's a fun ride, though, as she gets to that point. Seriously, I'm glad no one else was in the car while I listened to her attempts to write a sex scene for her novel. I was laughing so hard it was darn near embarassing. Molly Harper's novels should probably come with a warning label!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 8, 2011
Posted January 28, 2011
Posted January 25, 2011
Seriously, I had to stop several times just to get the tears from my eyes for laughing so hard. I love Lacey--I think if she were real, we'd be good friends. Monroe is awesome--I love that he doesn't just back down from her, and he pushes her. Emmette is awesome in his own rights too. I know there aren't plans for a sequel but I'd personally love to see these characters again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2010
This was my first Molly Harper book. Even though I was very entertained with the humor of the writing, I was somewhat disappointed with the dialogue structure several times (some parts read like a B movie script)and the weak, rather predictable book ending. It seemed as though Ms. Harper ran out of steam toward the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2010
Posted July 29, 2010
Husbands who lie and cheat. How should a woman retaliate? For Lacey, this is achieved by sending out a blast email tell all about her husband and his crimes against her heart.
She decides to stay at her family's cabin for some peace and quiet to deal with her current situation. She ends up meeting Monroe who may not be a knight in shining armor but when it comes down to it, he is exactly what Lacey needs.
This is a fun, fluffy book that can be read in one sitting. I'm a sucker for romantic comedies and this book was no exception.