Emma Bradley has returned from Africa, and she is terrified. Eighteen months ago, she made a drunken phone call to the woman she’s loved for ten years and confessed her heart. No one could blame her for being so bold. Vanessa Middleton is a beautiful, vibrant woman with luminous blue eyes, golden hair, and a smile that melts Emma’s heart every time. It’s not the age difference that prevented Emma from confessing her love, nor was it the fact that Vanessa was married. No, what stopped Emma was the fact that Vanessa is her best friend’s mother. Now she’s returning to England, to the Middleton home, where she’ll be in close proximity to Vanessa 24/7. She hopes Vanessa won’t bring up her late night drunken confession. Better yet, Emma hopes she forgot about it entirely. Because there’s no way she could have feelings for Emma, and if she did, it could only lead to trouble. Right?
Vanessa Middleton has found herself in the grips of uncertainty. Even though 18 months have passed, Emma’s confession is crystal clear in her memory and has fueled fantasies about the younger woman every night. Now Emma’s returning, Vanessa is newly divorced, so it would seem that they can finally act on their attraction to each other. But there’s still one obstacle standing in their way, their love for Vanessa’s daughter, Lauren.
A relationship between them would definitely hurt Lauren, but the pull of desire may override all sensibility.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
The appeal of this story to me was the mutual attraction. Vanessa is bi-sexual and has been attracted to women before she was married. So there isn’t any confusion over her sexuality, no pondering if this is a true attraction or if it is a by-product of Emma’s confession combined with her recent divorce. No, Vanessa has found Emma attractive since the moment they met, and now that she’s single, there is little to prevent her from acting on her feelings.
On the flip side, Emma isn’t merely attracted to Vanessa just because she’s always treated Emma with respect and kindness that she lacked from her own family. Her longing for Vanessa stems from the little moments they’ve shared: late night conversations, a comforting hug, confiding in one another, and finding solace in knowing this person genuinely cares about and loves you.
While it is very refreshing to have both women have a pre-established attraction, it doesn’t lack in the drama. If anything, it allows them to focus on the key conflict, which is Lauren discovering their relationship and the inevitable fallout.
Cons And Heads Up
There really wasn’t anything I could find as a negative. The story moves at a good pace, removing unnecessary dramatic tension. While it does feel like the reveal happens early, Tereze does well to place emphasis on the aftermath, illustrating how far Emma and Vanessa have to go to gain approval with Lauren to be with each other.
The only thing people might have a problem with is the seventeen year age difference between Emma and Vanessa.
Tereze is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, and with stories like this it’s easy to see why. She gives us a dramatically intense story filled with emotional ups and downs. Emma and Vanessa tug at your heart strings with their longing for each other at war with their love for Lauren. If you’re looking for sexual tension mixed with dramatic conflict, this will definitely keep you up at night.
Excerpt from Mrs Middleton by Melissa Tereze
Emma swallowed, her eyes straying to Vanessa. God, this woman was devastating in every way possible. “I’m sorry about the call I made the night before I left.”
“You were drunk. I wouldn’t worry.”
“That…doesn’t mean it wasn’t true.” Emma’s eyes lowered to the counter, her heart beating hard in her chest. She never thought she’d have this conversation with Vanessa, but here she was, honesty and all. “But I shouldn’t have told you.”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Vanessa grinned. “It certainly made me feel better about myself knowing some young beauty is attracted to me.”
“Did, uh…” Emma shook her head. She couldn’t possibly ask what she wanted to ask. But then she looked up at Vanessa, surprised to find her waiting for the end of her sentence, eyebrow quirked. “Did you ever thing about me?”
“I was married.” Vanessa spoke low, looking away and focusing on the chicken parmigiana in the glass dish.
“No, I know.” Emma felt ridiculous. “And I’m sure even if things were different, I’m not the kind of person you’d look at. I mean, look at me…and look at you.” A nervous laugh escaped Emma’s lips, but Vanessa didn’t find it amusing.
Vanessa turned, taking Emma’s chin in her hand in one hell of a shock move. “I…was…married.”
Emma’s entire body lit up, but Vanessa’s hand was steady. So sure. “Yeah.”
“That’s all I’m saying. It’ll only complicate things further, and I don’t want you to be uncomfortable while you’re here. I’d never do anything to ruin your friendship with Lauren.”
“How could you possibly ruin anything?” Emma was lost. Vanessa had nothing to worry about. She wasn’t going to pin her against the counter and take her. But God…she wanted to.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9798173007287
Publisher: Indie author
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