Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three college classmates meet at their 15th reunion to discover that their lives have taken unexpected twists. Upon graduation, each planned to marry, but was betrayed by the man she trusted. Each in turn relates the story of her heartbreak, her recovery and how she foundand may have losttrue love with another man. The clich-ridden prose never rises above the serviceable, and the characters are fundamentally archetypes, from the bad boy on a motorcycle to the computer nerd who whips off his metaphorical glasses and becomes a hunk (is it purely by chance that he's named Clark?). Still, popular romance writer Macomber (This Matter of Marriage) has a gift for evoking the emotions that are at the heart of the genre's popularity, and her breezy style keeps the pages turning to the predictable, but still satisfying, happy ending. Author tour. (Oct.)
Three former sorority sisters meet at a class reunion after 15 years and discover that none of them has married her college fianc as expectedand each has a delicious story of revenge and unexpected love to tell. Essentially a trilogy of loosely linked short stories, this work exudes Macomber's classic warmth and gentle humor. This collection will appeal to Macomber's many fans and to anyone who has ever endured the emotional rigorsand terrorsof a school reunion. Macomber (This Matter of Marriage, Mira, 1997) lives in Port Orchard, Wash.
From the Publisher
"Macomber has a gift for evoking the emotions that are at the heart of the genre's popularity, and her breezy style keeps the pages turning." – Publishers Weekly
"Exudes Macomber's classic warmth and gentle humor..." Library Journal
"Debbie Macomber is one of the most reliable, versatile romance authors around."
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Debbie Macomber writes characters who are as warm and funny as your best friends."
-New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
"Debbie Macomber is...a bona fide superstar." -Publishers Weekly
"Macomber is a master storyteller; any one of these characters could have been a stereotype in less talented hands. Instead, these women and their stories are completely absorbing."
-RT Book Reviews on The Shop on Blossom Street
"Macomber's latest...glows with genuine goodness and great emotional warmth."
John Charles, Chicago Tribune on Hannah's List
"Debbie Macomber tells women's stories in a way no one else does."
"Told with Macomber's customary authority and skill, this story will engage many with its well-rounded characters and flashes of humor." – RT Book Reviews on The Unexpected Husband
"Macomber's assured storytelling and affirming narrative is as welcoming as your favorite easy chair."
-Publishers Weekly on Twenty Wishes
Read an Excerpt
This was supposed to be one of the happiest days of Gretchen's life. The day was memorable, all right, but it would be forever marked as a day of pain and betrayal. Emotion clawed at her throat, and she battled tears. She wanted her mother, but her parents had already left the campus. They'd driven up to Seattle from San Francisco to attend her college graduation and were taking a few extra days to visit Victoria, British Columbia, before returning home and making the final arrangements for her wedding to Roger, and she didn't want to bother them on their brief vacation.
Except Gretchen was beginning to doubt that there would be a wedding.
She stood at the far end of the sweeping veranda of her sorority house, out of view of her friends. Most were excitedly loading up their cars with another year's accumulation of treasures. She could hear their tearful farewells, their promises to keep in touch. Promises.
She held her stomach and raised her chin in an effort to forestall the brewing emotion. Her long blond hair cascaded down the middle of her back. Roger loved her hair long, enjoyed playing with it, brushing it, burying his face in it.
"Sweetpea?" The sound of Roger's contrite voice came from behind her.
She'd always hated his pet name for her, but no amount of protest could persuade him to come up with another.
Standing directly behind her, he cupped her shoulders and nuzzled her neck. "Let's talk about this, all right?"
"Talk?" Gretchen asked with a short abrupt laugh. As far as she was concerned they had nothing to discuss.
"You've got to know Didi doesn't mean anything to me." Now his hands were in her hair, lifting the thick tresses to his face. He wove his fingers into it and brushed his lips across her crown.
Gretchen's eyes slammed shut at the sharp pain.
"It was stupid," Roger continued. "I want to throw up every time I think about how incredibly stupid I was. My only excuse is that I was drunk."
"You cheated on me with another woman, and I'm supposed to forget it ever happened because you were drunk?"
His hands returned to her shoulders and squeezed. "Didi's always had the hots for me. You said so yourself, remember? wasn't thinking straight. I was with the guys, celebrating, drinking, and the next thing I knew, Didi was coming on to me. She wouldn't take no for an answer. Ask anyone.
She was all over me and
you know how those fraternity parties can get."
Gretchen's stomach clenched. "Don't tell me any more. I don't want to hear it."
"But I have to tell you. I need to. This is going to stand between us unless you know it all. You've got to believe me, Gretchen, I'm as sick about what happened as you are."
She said nothing, too numb to argue.
"Didi knows we're engaged, but that didn't stop her. I told her again and again that it was you I loved, but she wouldn't listen. The next thing I knew she'd stuck her hands inside my clothes."
"In front of everyone?" Gretchen cried in disbelief.
He hesitated, and when he spoke, his voice was barely audible. "We
we were in a closet."
"A closet?" Gretchen nearly choked on the word.
"She was feeling me up, and, Sweetpea, I'm so very sorry, but I'm only human. I was
excited, and then she had her mouth on me and was saying things like she bet my uptown girl never did anything like this for me and"
"I don't want to hear any more," Gretchen said again, more forcefully this time.
"But it's true," Roger whispered. "You insisted on waiting until we were married to make love, and I've respected your wishes. But I don't think you appreciate what sexual frustration can do to a guy."
"In other words this is all my fault."
"No, no. If anyone's to blame, it's Didi. When I woke up this morning, I was sick to my stomach, knowing what I'd done. I couldn't be sorrier. Say you'll forgive me. I'm begging you, Sweetpea. We can't let someone like Didi come between us. If you do something foolish, you'll be doing exactly what she wants. The only reason she came on to me was to hurt you."
"And you let her."
He paused. "Let's put this behind us, all right? Mom's looking forward to you spending the next few days with her. All she can talk about is the wedding plans, and that's exactly what you need to help take your mind off my unfortunate slip."
So that was how he thought of infidelity, as an unfortunate slip.