Mackenzie Steele assumed she’d be with her husband forever. He was her best friend, the father of her children. But when weeks turned into months without intimacy, she realized she was too young to feel so old. She wanted to feel desirable again, to find the woman Ryker had fallen in love with twenty years ago. And there was only one way she knew how to do that… by asking him to move out.
Ryker was blindsided when his wife told him she wanted to separate. He knew they’d hit a roughpatch, but he’d never allowed himself to imagine his life without her. Now he had no choice. Shewas happy without him, living life on her own terms, and he knew if he didn’t find a place for himself in her new life, it would be too late to save his marriage.
A sneak peek inside …
Curling up on the couch with Mac again, enjoying a cold beer while she sipped wine, reminded me of the best years of my life, when we used to talk until the sun came up about anything and everything. But mostly about our dreams for the future. All of those dreams had come true, but I never imagined we wouldn’t be together to enjoy the rewards of our labor.
It pained me to see her looking so gorgeous, yet knowing I couldn’t take her to bed to remind her that she was still the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid eyes on. I would give anything, everything, I owned to make love to her one more time. To tell her that I loved her, would always love her because she was the reason I was still here, living such a blessed life, with a thriving business and two sons any man would be proud of. The only thing missing was her, and that left a gaping hole nothing and no one else could fill.
“Why do you still wear this?” she asked, reaching for my left hand. She slid her finger over the narrow gold band.
“I’m still a married man.” I said it as though it should have been obvious. “I told you I’d never take it off, and I never intend to.” My eyes fell to her left hand. I noticed she’d taken her rings off weeks ago. Seeing her hand bare after so many years of having my ring on it gutted me.
My thoughts on Ryker…
I thoroughly enjoyed Douglas’s Deacon (Starkis Family #1) and am happy to say that Ryker was even better!
Mackenzie and Ryker have been married for many years and like many marriages theirs has slipped from contentment to complacency. They’re both unhappy. Mac decides that she wants Ryker to move out, temporarily, but the situation drags from a few days to a few months and here we are six months later. With Mac embarking on her first date, knowing that Ryker has already been on his.
At this point, I didn’t really like Ryker. As a pure romantic at he
art the thought of a hero being so deeply flawed that he’s about to lose the love of his life, and the fact he didn’t fight for her, well… hmm… he doesn’t deserve her, does he?
But, as the blurb says, Ryker is totally blindsided by Mackenzie wanting out of their marriage and Douglas made a fantastic job of communicating to the reader how lost Ryker actually is without Mac. And how much Mac has lost her self-identity.
By the middle of the story, I truly felt for Ryker, was very much in love with him, and was really losing patience with Mac for treating him the way she did, even though I understood the motivations for her behaviour. By the time their son was in a car accident, I was a very fraught and concerned reader. I really didn’t think this story had a happy ending…
Thankfully, it does. Its one of my favourites reads this year.
Who is Cheryl Douglas…?
When one door closes, another one opens. I closed the door to my business for the last time in 2011, which left me with a decision. What now? Find another location and move my nutrition business, go to work for someone else, or take a chance on my dream? I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back! I’ve always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I jumped in with both feet and decided writing would be my career, instead of just a hobby, that my muse woke up from her deep slumber.
It was like someone flipped a switch inside my head and stories just came pouring out. At the end of the day, I would often look at the keyboard and wonder, ‘Who the heck wrote that? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me!’
I don’t write books. I tell stories, or rather, I allow my characters to tell their stories through me. I’m not a plotter, never have been, never will be. Why? Because I have no idea how the story will evolve and it’s not my place to manipulate it. My job is to get to know these characters, figure out what makes them tick, then follow their journey wherever it takes me.
When I’m not writing, I’m daydreaming. Thankfully, I have an understanding husband and son who know I’ll re-join the land of the living just as soon as my muse decides it’s quitting time. I don’t work for myself. I work for her. She’s the boss. And I’m okay with that.
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