Liza’s best friend, Hetty is back in this latest novel set in the world of Angel Avenue . . .
When I feel brave enough, I glance at her and she’s just staring at the ground, her lips pursed.
“Say something then.”
“Can’t. You told me not to react. I really thought it’d be the sock thing, but now you’ve told me, I understand why I’m not allowed to react. You may continue, by the way. Tell me everything.”
“You’re fucking impossible, you know that right?”
“That’s why I’m your mate, because you’re Mrs Possible. We balance one another out.”
I throw my head back, slapping my own face. “Woman.”
“I’m not reacting, remember? You’re talking.”
I take a deep breath. “I’ve known him a long time.”
“He wants me to leave Gage.”
“And how long has this affair been going on?”
“Which part of it? The friendship part, or the actual fucking part?”
“The AF part.”
“I spent the night with him on Saturday. It was our first time.”
“Wow, you must be really cut up about it all to be telling me so soon.”
We find a bench and sit down. I check on Rupert who is still sound asleep. Hetty keeps rocking Elizabeth back and forth in her pram because she’s more likely to wake up wanting a feed.
“What was it like?” she asks. “The sex?”
I bite my lip and cover my mouth. Just the thought of it all is enough to make me blush.
“Wow, like that, eh?”
“He’s absolutely gorgeous, Het. Inside and out.”
“And he’s… you know?”
“What? Good in bed?”
“Yeah,” she says.
“He’s extremely good in bed. He makes me feel so good about myself.”
She inhales the cool, early spring air and exhales it even more dramatically. “Give it time, I say. A bit of time.”
“What do you mean?”
“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be Liz. However, if he’s one of those arty-farty types like most of your friends are, you could be just a passing whimsy to him and you know it.”
I look down at my lap. “It crossed my mind.”
“At the same time, perhaps you should seriously think about splitting from Gage if he’s not making you happy. You don’t have to leave one bloke for another, you know? You can leave Gage just because you want to, not because someone else has come a-knocking.”
“I agree. You’ve got a good point.”
“Has he got a big cock?” she asks, blurting it out. Thank god nobody is within earshot.
“I’ve been relatively well-behaved, but you can’t expect me to be good all the frickin’ time.”
I laugh and try to brush her off, but she’s waiting with bated breath.
“Yes, he has a big cock…”
She sits there wriggling her eyebrows up and down, then she folds her arms. When Elizabeth lets out a tiny grumble, Hetty has to start rocking her back and forth again. I’m glad Hetty’s at the mercy of someone else for once, it’s about bloody time. Mind you, motherhood suits her. She’s still Het, but she does seem a lot more content with herself.
“Well…” she says, sounding proud as punch that she’s not only embarrassed me today, but also made me say the word cock, too. “Joe tried it on recently, but I’m still not ready, down there. I’ve got to get my rocks off somehow, haven’t I? Can’t you tell me more about Lover Boy?”
“Hetty, you’re so bad. Shut up, will you? I’m telling you nothing. I’m protecting him.”
“Come on, just a little bit. Come on.”
“As if you’ve only just discovered that.”
We snigger like piglets on our bench.
A highly thought-provoking tale of love, lust and deception . . .
Liza is married with two young children and seemingly has it all: a big house, a husband who provides, a great circle of friends, plus a job working for her best friend. The only problem is, it’s all built on lies.
A death in the family finally forces her to see the truth for herself, but the timing seems a little too convenient. It’s not escaped the notice of not only Liza, but also that of family friend Warrick, a former detective who has his own suspicions.
As the truth unravels, friendships are tested and Liza finds herself trapped beneath the weight of guilt. Life has thrown everything it’s got at her, and for such a young woman, it feels like a huge cross to bear.
Nothing will ever be the same again, but while the future promises the kind of happiness she only ever dreamt of before, it’s difficult to shake off the feeling that her escape from deceit came with a hidden cost . . .
* * *
AUTHOR NOTE: Liza was a minor character in the Angel Avenue series. No previous reading is required to be able to enjoy this standalone, although I highly recommend you read the other books too.