Gina Rawlins is dealing with a cheating husband, a messy divorce, two unhappy children, and a floundering travel business when the very handsome new owner of the local B&B, Max Chaneau, enters her life. Not only does he make her heart pound, but it soon becomes clear that they need each other. Max needs to turn the B&B around and the first thing it needs is a woman's touch. And not just any woman. He offers to redesign her website for a bit of interior design help. As they work closely together, Gina realizes that her ex-husband wasn’t her only chance at love, even if Max has some scars of his own. However, when her ex (and all his baggage) abruptly reenters the picture, Gina’s love life is turned upside down, while her daughter and son are ecstatic to have their father home again. However Gina is left wondering what she should do? Be with the man she loves or take back the father of her children for the sake of her family?
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And Mistress Makes Three
And Mistress Makes Three by Francis Ray
Not even in Gina Rawlings’ worst nightmare had she ever envisioned this day would come. Last night, in the vain and foolish hope that she could somehow forestall what would take place at the stroke of midnight, she’d gone to bed before ten for the first time in years.
It hadn’t worked.
Curled in a fetal position in her king-sized bed, Gina finally faced the gut-wrenching reality of what this day meant to her, to her two children. Robert, her husband of fourteen years, no longer wanted her. Today, the state of South Carolina, the city of Charleston, had granted him his divorce request. Clamping her eyes shut, Gina curled tighter under the bed covers.
Fourteen years tossed away as if they were nothing. Her husband didn’t love her anymore. The only thing that kept them remotely connected since he’d walked out eight months ago were their two children, Gabrielle and Ashton. Gina bit her lower lip.
Gabrielle, their thirteen-year-old daughter, blamed Gina for the divorce and she wasn’t shy about showing her displeasure with her mother. To Gabrielle’s way of thinking, Robert was the best father in the world. It was easy to understand why their daughter thought that way. While Robert lived there he always let her have her way, overruling Gina’s decisions – unless it dealt with money and then it was a different story. Gabrielle was too young to realize it was easier to give in than set perimeters.
On the other hand, Gina couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more loving child than six-year-old Ashton. Sadly he seemed to have figured out that his father’s fitness gym, Bodies By Robert, came before any of them.
In the months since Robert left, he’d cancelled numerous weekend visitations with the children. They’d spent only one night in his new apartment. He always gave the excuse that the gym was short of staff or extremely busy. He tried to placate all of them by saying it was for Gabrielle and Ashton’s benefit that he worked so hard.
Gina snorted, flinging the bed covers from her body. Robert was habitually late with his child support payments. More galling was that, when the money did come, it was never the correct amount. She’d stopped asking him about the discrepancies. When she did, he always made her feel small and a failure.
Robert was always quick to point out that it was he, not she, who’d taken care of the family for fourteen yeas while she wasted money on one penny-ante home business venture after the other.
In the months since he’d left, he’d put a dent in her pride big enough to drive a semi truck through – because he was right, she had failed. What scared her and kept her awake most nights was that she was failing again.
She had countless failures in her life. Her attempts at home businesses so she could stay at home and be available if her children needed her were all disastrous. She’d spent more than she’d earned, and they both knew it.
Like Gabrielle, Gina blamed herself for the ruined marriage. The morning Robert told her he was filing for divorce he’d said she didn’t excite him anymore. Stunned, she hadn’t known what to say as he’d picked up his gym bag to leave. She’d recovered enough to ask him to stay so they could tell the children together. She’d never forget his response.
“You tell them. At least you can do that much.”