Below is an excerpt from The Seduction of Esther, on sale for $0.99 the entire month of August on Amazon. The scene is from the heroine's POV. Samara has just met our hero's, Nathaniel's, ex-wife and is devastated. Josh, who is secretly in love with Samara, is trying to comfort her:
The masculine hand splayed across the small of the back like a brand. She could almost smell the smoke and hear the sizzle as it imprinted itself on the black coat. Light hair on square fingers burned themselves into her brain. She knew the feel of that hand, the rough drag of skin as his thumb had swirled against the inside of her wrist. Her hand tingled at the memory and she clasped it around her waist as she watched the hand, and the man it belonged to, move farther away with the woman. Samara shivered.
“Are you cold?” Josh asked and concern creased his forehead.
“I’m fine,” she mumbled, unable to tear her glance away from them. She stared at them until they turned the corner, listened for their footsteps, waited for him to return to her, but he didn’t.
In the space of five minutes—had it only been five minutes—her world had changed. She’d been having a conversation with Josh. She didn’t even remember what the conversation was about. Her forehead crinkled. Oh, yeah, the Purim spiel. She’d heard Zoe’s chatter before she saw her, before the little hand had pulled at her arm. She remembered smiling at Zoe; now, she couldn’t imagine smiling again. Just the thought of stretching her cheek muscles made the skin hurt, as if it were already cracked. Zoe’s words echoed in her brain. “This is my mom, this is my mom, this is my mom.”
Four such simple words, yet they’d been the beginning of the end. She’d looked up with interest, had introduced everyone with courtesy and had quelled her curiosity. Although very little had been said, and Shelley had been pleasant, Samara’s stomach had developed a knot the size of a grapefruit. The three of them together had looked complete, like a family. Nathaniel had been distant, aloof. Gone was the warmth she’d experienced with him before. His look that said she was his had disappeared. The icy chill had started. She fought to concentrate so she could continue talking and smiling. His hand on Shelley’s back had cemented the feeling. So much for asking him out. How could she think Nathaniel and she could be together, when it was so obvious this threesome was a unit? Sure, she was a great diversion, but there was no way she could compete with the mother of his child. And what right did she have to even try?