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Love In The Afternoon
Bruce Cooke
Paperback
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BOOK SYNOPSIS
Fighting depression, loneliness and self-loathing after her abusive womanizing husband dies, fifty-year old Joanne Montgomery meets fifty-three year old Richard Collins who re-ignites her life. They fall in love but Joanne’s daughter, Becky, who thought of her father as a saint is aghast that Joanne would even consider dating another man, especially a larrikin like Ritchie. Just as they overcome the resentment, Ritchie’s gold digging ex-wife arrives on the scene after being thrown out by her lover. She wants back into Ritchie’s life and will go to any lengths to split them up. When she convinces Joanne that she is back sleeping with Ritchie, Joanne’s world comes to an end, as she feels betrayed once again. But Ritchie won’t let a lie destroy the happiness he has found and fights to get Joanne back.

BOOK EXCERPTS
The cold fingers of death strike at the most inopportune times.

It seemed to be a lonely place at one thirty in the morning. Hardly a car could be seen on the usually busy road and a light fog began to drop, obscuring vision for at least one hundred meters. The car was cozily warm and the couple of drinks made him a little drowsy. At least his wife wouldn’t complain about his late arrival. She had learned that lesson many times before. The car radio played a late night talk back show and some woman complained about the prospect of the local council rates about to rise. He glanced down at the speedometer to see he was ten kilometers above the limit; but, hell, there was little traffic around at this time of the morning and it would be unusual for cops to be out with their radar guns.

“Whining bitch,” he muttered and reached for a cigarette. He placed it in his mouth, while steering with one hand, and lit it with the car cigarette lighter. Then he settled back to concentrate on his driving. Maybe he had more drinks than he should, but she insisted. A smile broke over his face as he thought about how she licked the champagne from his navel as they lay together in her bed. He remembered every antic they had got up to in the last couple of hours. Naked writhing bodies, touching, nibbling, thrusting. It went on for hours. Her long legs, pert breasts, slim body and blonde hair were a delight.

She easily matched the efforts of other women he had bedded.

Smoke stung his eyes and he reached for the cigarette to take a puff. Again he released one hand from the steering wheel and accidentally knocked the cigarette from his mouth, sending it into his lap in a shower of sparks.

“Shit,” he yelled and looked down to find it before it burnt a hole in his trousers. It was a fatal mistake. His car veered across the road and he watched in horror as a huge semi-trailer loomed up seemingly from nowhere. His car ran straight into it as he tried to swerve out of its path. With a frightening crash, the car disintegrated on impact, sending the car body back some two meters in the direction it had come and removed it to half of its original size. He hadn’t even bothered to put on his seat belt and now paid the price. An expensive late model Falcon was now a mangled wreck, hardly recognizable.

When the police arrived, he still sat in the car body, blood all over his face, crushed by the impact. The ambulance had arrived and the body was lifted from the wreck, not without difficulty.

“They never bloody learn,” said one of the policemen in attendance. “Probably pissed and speeding.”

The other scratched his head. “Yeah, now some family is going into mourning for years to come. Grab his wallet so we can identify him.”

* * * *

The church filled a half an hour before the service was due to begin. In front of the alter, the coffin lay with a solitary wreath placed on the top. Flowers decorated the church in large vases in full view of the congregation. Soft music filtered around the interior and people greeted friends in a whisper.

A video screen had a photo of a smiling Daryl Montgomery, family man, successful businessman, admired community leader and ex-mayor.

Dignitaries took their seats and women checked out the dresses and attire of some of the mourners. It may have been a funeral, but the social snobs weren’t going to let others go unchecked.

Photographers from the local press stood in the aisles by the side of the church, ready to snap important people who would be attending. They weren’t disappointed. Politicians, counselors, charity workers and a TV celebrity attended.

The program bearing the photo of the deceased had been handed out as people entered the church. Others broke up their gossip and hurried to claim a seat.

BOOK REVIEWS
"Life is bleak, grey and ugly for fifty-year old widow Joanne Montgomery. Not wanting to hurt their children with the stark, ugly truth about their father, she carries the burden of his infidelities and abusive streak alone. Depression lurks like a pernicious cloak around her, and she often seeks solace in the bottle. Until the day Ritchie steps into her life.Here is one story with an apparently simple plot. Simple? Not so much. While I will admit the plot is rather uncomplicated, there is a big surprise awaiting all the readers, and this is the author’s delightful writing voice. Mr. Cooke’s mastery of relationships and the characters he creates in Love in the Afternoon is simply to be applauded. Rarely have I read of a hero more worthy of being termed a hero – Ritchie, despite being in the afternoon of life, is a man any woman would find hard not to fall for. The interaction of the characters in this set-up is simply marvelous, especially where Ritchie and his daughter Sally are concerned. I had one laugh after another with these two.This is one story to curl up with and read in one single go. It will fill you with a soft warm glow, and you will fall in love along the way." – Zee, Enchanting Reviews


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"Fighting depression, loneliness and self-loathing after her abusive womanizing husband dies, fifty-year old Joanne Montgomery meets fifty-three year old Richard Collins who re-ignites her life. They fall in love but Joanne’s daughter, Becky, who thought of her father as a saint is aghast that Joanne would even consider dating another man, especially a larrikin like Ritchie. Just as they overcome the resentment, Ritchie’s gold digging ex-wife arrives on the scene after being thrown out by her lover. She wants back into Ritchie’s life and will go to any lengths to split them up. When she convinces Joanne that she is back sleeping with Ritchie, Joanne’s world comes to an end, as she feels betrayed once again. But Ritchie won’t let a lie destroy the happiness he has found and fights to get Joanne back.


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If you enjoy romance stories about second chances at love, Love in the Afternoon does that and more. It’s sweet, endearing, uplifting and life affirming. If you are in the mood for a feel good romance, again, this fits the bill. As we all know, love can happen at anytime, not just in the afternoon. So read this anytime. You’ll be glad you did." - Rating: 4 ½ Books!
Reviewed by: Xeranthemum, Long And Short Reviews


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MORE BOOK INFO
ISBN: 1593740727
ISBN(13-digit): 9781593740726
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 212
Paper Weight (lb): 9.0



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