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Never Too Late
     

Never Too Late

4.1 76
by Robyn Carr
 

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr examines the lives of three sisters as they step beyond the roles of wife, mother, daughter and discover the importance of being a woman first

Clare Wilson is starting over. She's had it with her marriage to a charming serial cheater. Even her own son thinks she's given his father too many

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr examines the lives of three sisters as they step beyond the roles of wife, mother, daughter and discover the importance of being a woman first

Clare Wilson is starting over. She's had it with her marriage to a charming serial cheater. Even her own son thinks she's given his father too many chances. With the support of her sisters, Maggie and Sarah, she's ready to move on. Facing her fortieth birthday, Clare is finally feeling the rush of unadulterated freedom.

But when a near-fatal car accident lands Clare in the hospital, her life takes another detour. While recovering, Clare realizes she has the power to choose her life's path. The wonderful younger police officer who witnessed her crash is over the moon for her. A man from her past stirs up long-buried feelings. Even her ex is pining for her. With enthusiasm and a little envy, her sisters watch her bloom.

Together, the sisters encourage each other to seek what they need to be happy. Along the way they all learn that it's never too late to begin again.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Carr's new novel demonstrates that classic women's fiction, illuminating the power of women's friendships, is still alive and well." -Booklist on Four Friends

"A thought-provoking look at women...and the choices they make." -Kirkus Reviews

The captivating sixth installment of Carr's Thunder Point series (after The Promise) brings up big emotions."

-Publishers Weekly on The Homecoming

"In Carr's very capable hands, the Thunder Point saga continues to delight."
-RT Book Reviews on The Promise

"Sexy, funny, and intensely touching."

-Library Journal on The Chance

"No one can do small-town life like Carr."

-RT Book Reviews on The Wanderer

"A delightfully funny novel."

-Midwest Book Reviews on The Wedding Party

"Well-rounded characters, a plot rich in emotion and humor and one sweet romance make this a great read."

-RT Book Reviews on A Summer in Sonoma

"Carr has hit her stride with this captivating series."
-Library Journal on the Virgin River series

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778325826
Publisher:
MIRA
Publication date:
05/17/2016
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
618,747
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Never Too Late


By Robyn Carr

MIRA

Copyright © 2006 Robyn Carr
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778322971

Clare drove through the March rain to the house that had been hers, the house she left when she separated from her husband, and she felt a little guilty. Her trip was another of those nighttime forages for things she missed, something she only did when she knew Roger was going to be away. At least this time she'd brought a birthday card to leave behind.

Maybe she was too easy on Roger, as their son, Jason, maintained. Her leniency also dismayed her sisters. Maybe she should try to be tougher, less tractable. Maybe everyone was right -- he didn't deserve it and she was a fool.

Today was Roger's fortieth birthday, and she felt a little sorry for him. He was clearly having a problem with aging, as someone like Roger would. He'd said as much. So Clare, being the accommodating almost-ex-wife that she was, had offered to make him dinner for his birthday. It would give Roger a chance to spend a little time with Jason, which Roger very much wanted even if Jason did not. But Roger said he had to be out of town on business, holed up in a hotel alone after some boring meeting.

It was probably for the best that the dinner hadn't worked -- Jason was still so angry. She had forced Jason to sign the card, and would leave it on the breakfast bar for Roger to find when he got back to town. She had wanted Jason to come along tonight, butit turned out that signing the card was as far as he could go.

Right before dropping Jason off at his friend Stan's house for the night, he had said, "You're going to get back with him, aren't you?" There had been such vitriol in his tone, she didn't even dare to respond. Which only led him to accuse, "You are!"

"No!" she had insisted. She had said it as strongly and firmly as she could, adding, "But I think it would be good for all of us, especially you, if we just get along."

"I don't want to get along with him! I hate him!" Oh, how that caused her gut to clench.

Roger had brought it upon himself. In his naivete he'd imagined that his adultery would be a secret from his son forever; that Clare would be the only one hurt by his actions. He'd really screwed up with Jason and it was a pity. For both of them.

Jason was fourteen. Just budding into manhood, struggling with puberty, freckles giving way to pimples, his overly tall, big-footed form gangly and awkward. And he was, to say the least, pretty touchy. Take one irritable teen, one self-centered and adulterous father, mix, watch explosion in a matter of seconds.

A plethora of responses had sprung to her mind, but she squelched them. She had some experience with these comebacks, and knew they didn't work anyway.

You might not always hate him. No matter what you might think, he doesn't hate you. He screwed up, he knows it, and he's sorry, Jason.

Clare didn't care that Jason was mad at Roger -- Roger deserved it. But this hate. This wasn't good. She didn't want her son to be in pain. So when Jason had refused to even go by the house with her to drop off the birthday card, she had said, fine. I'll do it. No big deal. I'll drop you at Stan's on the way. Call later, before you fall asleep. If you think of it.

Clare admired her old house as she pulled into the drive -- it was a fine-looking, two-story brick, carriage lights shining at the three-port garage and around the walk to the front door. She sat in the car, gazing at it, thinking. Thinking how much she missed it.

This was her fourth separation from Roger. She thought it would get easier, since the reason never changed. Roger was habitually unfaithful. This time when Clare caught him with someone else, she had decided to be the one to leave. She thought she'd finally had enough. She was pushed so far that she didn't even want to stay in the house she had shared with him, though she loved the spacious four-bedroom home. She thought a fresh start would do her good, but this had been harder than she expected. She had labored over every detail of the interior, having done all the decorating herself, and it was like parting with an old and dear friend.

Right on cue, Roger had immediately started making noises about wanting his family back and a chance, one last chance, to start his life over and make amends with Clare and Jason and all the peripheral people wounded by his behavior. "I'm about to be forty, Clare, and it's pretty traumatic," he had said. "Don't think I don't know what I've done, how stupid I've been. I do. And I'm going to prove to you that I can change. I'm going to get help. I'm in counseling now."

"I don't think I have one more chance in me," she had returned. "And even if I did, my family doesn't. Our friends can't even take any more."

"That's your doing," he had shot back. "You haven't been able to keep even our most private problems to yourself!"

Well, that was true. But if Roger thought that was hard on him, he ought to try being her. Once people knew what he'd done, they couldn't believe she'd taken him back again. And again. And again. Their recrimi-nations had run from astonished disbelief to what felt like a crushing lack of respect. Needless to say, the people she loved most had all but given up on her. In this relatively small town of only fifteen thousand, she was sure everyone knew.

And why had she caved in and taken him back, anyway? Because there were things about Roger. He was handsome, funny and very often kind-hearted. He was generous and a wonderful dancer. There were times in her life when she'd been shattered -- like when her mother died and her little sister, Sarah, had plummeted into a frightening depression -- and Roger had been completely there for her. He'd always been a good provider and while not a doting father, he loved Jason. He'd never been a coach or Boy Scout leader, but he'd enjoyed his son's games and achievements. Truthfully, Roger only had one screwup -- it just happened to be about the biggest one available.

She just couldn't seem to get past the notion that this was all her fault. Her inability to make her marriage work; her failure to leave it. She couldn't keep him from straying and she couldn't seem to keep herself from letting him back in. She wasn't sure if trying to keep the family together had been a good thing for Jason, or the opposite. Clare just couldn't win.

She had officially moved out three months ago, right after Christmas, and into a town house the perfect size for herself and her son. She had taken only what she needed, but over time she transferred more of her things. She retrieved them in small increments on days and nights like this, when Roger had said he'd be away from the house. If he noticed the linen closet or kitchen getting emptier, he never mentioned it. Tonight she was in pursuit of a Bundt pan, slow cooker, her favorite red-trimmed dishes, the kitchen rug from in front of the sink and a bunch of Williams-Sonoma dish towels. Leaving the card on the breakfast bar would give her secret away, but that was all right. It was time Roger figured this out. Time to make this split official with the big D.

With a sigh, she turned off the engine and stepped out into the cold drizzle. She pulled the collar of her jacket up around her neck and shivered -- possibly from the cold, or from the prospect of stepping back into the house she loved. Clare was a little surprised that the house alarm wasn't set, but then Roger had never worried about things like that in this nice little town. The only lights were those built into the walls of the foyer and hall, but that was all she needed. She knew every inch of the house; she'd obsessed over every counter-top, cupboard, baseboard, floor covering. She'd just go straight to the kitchen, prop the card on the breakfast bar, get her things and go home. No lingering. No looking around. Seeing the house perfectly tidy always depressed her a little. It was kind of hard to see Roger getting along so well, especially given all his protesting that he needed her back in his life.

This house, after all, had been her domain. All the more reason to leave it in the past and start over.

She heard a squeak and froze. A creaking floorboard upstairs? Her heart pounded. Was someone in the house? A burglar? Then she heard another noise, kind of like that high-pitched moan the water pipes made when the backyard faucet was turned on. She thought about bolting. Then she heard it again, louder. This time it was followed by an undeniably female giggle.

The son of a bitch!

She was enraged on so many levels, but star billing went to the fact that she had asked Jason to come with her! My God, how much counseling would it have taken to get him past this?

She crept up the stairs without making a sound and saw the slit of light coming from the master bedroom; the double doors were just slightly ajar. She peeked inside and saw the long slim back of a blonde riding Roger. The woman rocked back and forth while beneath her Roger moaned. The woman giggled again. At the foot of the bed was a wine bucket with an opened bottle sticking out of it; on the bedside table, two glasses.

She gently pushed the door open and stood there, watching. She cleared her throat. It took a moment for them to realize they were no longer alone. The woman glanced over her shoulder, spied Clare and dived off Roger and under the sheets. She only glimpsed her but at least she wasn't someone Clare knew. Thank God.

Roger, at a disadvantage, struggled to prop himself up on his elbows. "Clare..."

She walked toward the bed. "How's that boring old business trip going, Rog?"

"Clare, it was cancelled. At the very last --"

"Oh, shut up, Roger," she yelled.

"But Clare, we're separated, and I figured --"

She plucked the wine bottle out of the bucket, tossed it on the carpet and lifted the bucket full of melting ice and water off its stand. She doused Roger and company. He was lifted off the bed with a yelp of pain and the woman under the sheets screamed.

Clare turned and fled the house, deliberately leaving the front door standing open, hoping there had just been an escape from the zoo and several lions and tigers were loose in the neighborhood. Or maybe a serial killer would be passing by and see a prime opportunity.

She jumped in the car and screeched out of the driveway, changed gears and zoomed down the street. And she cried.

She didn't cry because she loved him so much, but rather because she was so bloody sick of being humiliated like this. When would she learn?

Despite the fact that Roger had no discretion whatsoever, this was the first time she'd actually caught him in the act. She'd found evidence, like hotel charges, receipts for gifts not given to her. There had been strange phone messages and there was that time a woman had called and begged Clare to free him. Once confronted, he'd always come clean. He was a charmer, a flirt, a philanderer and a lousy liar.

She'd asked him more than once why he didn't just embrace bachelorhood. "Seriously, Roger -- why not just be single? You act like it anyway. Just go for it. Knock yourself out."

Then he would hang his head and say, with pathetic sincerity, "Because I love you, Clare. I've always loved you. I know I'm screwed up, but I just don't think I can get beyond this without you."

She hit the steering wheel in blind fury. That's when she saw the flashing lights in her rearview mirror and looked down at the speedometer. Damn it all, she was speeding.

She slowed down and pulled to the curb, then she let her head drop and she fell apart, crying painful tears. Familiar tears.

Continues...


Excerpted from Never Too Late by Robyn Carr Copyright © 2006 by Robyn Carr. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at www.RobynCarr.com.

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Never Too Late 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clare is separated from her cheating husband Roger. After catching him again, Clare drives away in a haze of anger and grief. Before she can get very far though, Clare gets into a near fatal car accident. After waking in the hospital, Clare decides to make a change and take her life back. It starts with Sam Jankowski, the police officer who was there at the scene of the accident. Sam is about ten years younger than Clare. Then Pete Rayburn, a man from Clare's past enters her life again. Clare's ex husband Roger is still a fixture as well, and he's not bowing out gracefully. Clare's sisters Maggie and Sarah are a big presence in Clare's life. Now, Clare is attempting to start over surrounded by several gorgeous men, her loving and outgoing family, and her teenage son Jason. Clare is discovering that starting over is not as hard as she first thought. Never too Late tells the story of Clare and her endearing sisters Maggie and Sarah. Their lives become entwined on many levels. I had to stop myself from flipping to the back of the book to see what would happen next. Sam is one of the most charming men have I ever read about, and Pete is just as terrific. Maggie is strong. Sarah is tenderhearted, and Clare is lovely. Never too Late is a bittersweet story about new beginnings. Along with the joy there is some heartache as well. Even though there are happily ever afters across the board, I still felt a little down at the end because of how the story plays out. Nannette Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
Leah-books More than 1 year ago
What a great read! really enjoyed it. It was very easy for me to connect to the characters
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robyn has an excellent sense of humor and her characters are real. Am going to read more of her work.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Teacher Clare Wilson has been put out with her spouse Roger, but lately feels a bit sorry for him as he turns forty, struggling with the concept of aging. Their fourteen years old son Jason feels his mom is too easy on Roger, but she cannot help herself as that is her make-up. However, as always Roger finds a way to nuke her empathy as she once again catches him cheating this time in their bed not long after his latest plea for forgiveness. Clare plans to divorce him. -------------------- On her way home Clare is in a car accident. Police Officer Sam Jankowski gets help to her rather quickly. Sam visits Clare making it obvious he desires her. Also in her life is football coach Pete Rayburn who wants to score touchdowns with her. She likes both men, but remains wary of all males after Roger the dodger.----------------- This is an interesting cotemporary tale starring a likable thirty something heroine struggling with the fact that her spouse (soon to be ex) cannot stay zippered their teenage son loathes his father and the two new attentive men in her life. Clare keeps the solid relationship story line focused as she ponders what to do about the four males who currently have shaken her equilibrium. Robyn Carr writes a fine modern day relationship drama.----------- Harriet Klausner
lovebooksPJ More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book!! Its got a good storyline and I loved the characters!! And I like reading about a woman my age in the dating game!! Its a good beach book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great storyline. Enjoyed reading a story about characters in different age groups. Looking forward to more stories from Robyn Carr. She has a way with making her characters come alive. by LA-TXN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This ended up being a really good read fo me. It started a bit slow but picked up pretty quickly and had fantastic characture eveloution. I found myself relation very well. I would recommend ~ great beach book!!
gimmegimmebooks More than 1 year ago
have a hard time getting into this one fully. I find her books have become somewhat predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely relateable characters. I was so caught up in this book that I couldn't go to sleep after shutting down my Nook. So I booted back up and finished. Totally worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good. Fun read.
bookielk More than 1 year ago
Always enjoy a Robyn Carr book. This one did not let me down. Enjoy the characters and there interactions. I have two sisters, so can relate to the closeness. Robyn please keep them coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. As always, Robyn Carr pulled me into the story. I would recommend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always a pleasure to read Carr's books. Never to late - it really is just that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big Nora Roberts fan but was looking for another author to read. I got to about page 114 and was board out of my mind. I will probably read it all eventually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart string puller very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fun read while on vacation in Deep Creek Md.
RRPNC More than 1 year ago
Great story line!! Recommend Highly!!
SusanFrank 6 months ago
Good book with a central theme of relationships. The main character is Clare, middle sister, who is going through some major changes in her life. Her older sister Maggie and younger sister Sarah also have important roles in the story. The story opens with Clare, who has left her husband of sixteen years for the fourth time because of his cheating, finding him in bed in their own home with yet another of his women. Furious with him and herself, she drives off in a state and promptly gets stopped for speeding. The nice young cop, Sam, lets her off with a warning, then watches in horror as Clare's car is t-boned by a car running a red light. He stays with her until she's taken off by the ambulance. Her injuries are extremely serious, requiring surgery and months of physical therapy. Her family rallies around her, but Clare realizes it's time to take control of her life. She lets cheating Roger know that she's not coming back this time and starts to make plans for her future. During this time, she makes some new connections and revives some old ones. One of her new connections is Sam, the cop who stopped her the night of the accident. He makes his interest in her plain, which is flattering to an ego that has been battered by her husband's infidelities. Sam has a very romantic side and is intent on showing her his feelings. While his attentions make her feel good, is it enough to build a relationship on? I loved the honest way that she looked at herself and her feelings, and that she had the courage to do what she felt was right. Clare also reconnects with her high school friend Pete. He is the younger brother of the guy she had loved through high school and college. She and Pete have a history that kept them apart even after Mike's death. Clare makes the decision that it is time to face that history and see if their friendship can be repaired. Once they have faced and talked about what happened back then, they move quickly back into their old comfort with each other. But there is something different, and when Pete drops a bombshell about that past event, Clare finds herself looking at him in a whole new way. There were some really sweet scenes between them, and I especially loved the one the night of her birthday party. There were also some pretty steamy scenes. Clare also has to deal with the effect of his father's actions on her son Jason. He seemed like a pretty typical teenager, sometimes smart and sometimes not. The author makes his reactions very believable. I especially liked seeing him confess to Clare what was bothering him the most, and I thought she dealt with it beautifully. When Jason does something really stupid, I loved seeing Clare and Roger come together as a team to deal with it. Roger was thoroughly unlikable at the beginning with his cheating ways and attitude. It was interesting to see how he changed through the book. I loved that he took ownership of the failure of his marriage and that he was determined to improve his relationship with Jason. His persistence was admirable, and the scene where that first step was made was fantastic. Clare's sisters also have their own issues going on in the book. Maggie is the oldest, married with two girls and a successful lawyer. But the magic seems to have gone out of her marriage, and she is a bit envious of Clare's romantic life. But whatever else is going on, she is always there to support Clare. There are a couple of really fun sister scenes, including one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Happy read with a nice dose of suspense I fell in love with every character it reminded me of my high school years and growing up in a small town
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is classic Robyn Carr, but is told essentially only from the women's point of view. Broken women (but not too badly) coming to terms with their situations and making positive changes to bring them back to a happy and fulfilling life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
annie012 More than 1 year ago
I liked it but---Not the ending! Nice story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago