By Barbara Delinsky

Every thing Claire Raphael has she's earned. On her personal. The demanding manner. She equipped her part-time company up from not anything and made it profitable via her mind's eye, creativity, and difficult paintings. She has nice childrens and Dennis, a husband she loves thoroughly. Then, one night, while Claire returns from a tough work trip, Dennis arms her divorce papers besides a court docket order to vacate their condo. Claire is devastated. She had no concept her marriage used to be on the point of catastrophe, that Dennis were making plans this ambush for weeks, if now not months, or that her tense yet satisfied lifestyles used to be approximately to return crashing down round her. Claire does not be aware of the place to show or whom to belief. yet in a couple of brief weeks she learns what such a lot of ladies have needed to discover—that whilst the going will get difficult, a woman's as difficult as she should be.

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He claimed I was a distracted parent, but if so, I learned it from him. Dennis was a master of evasion. Without blinking an eye, he could manufacture scheduling conflicts, I swear had a list of excuses ready for why he couldn't do this or that. He had missed Johnny's games and Kikit's recitals. He had missed back-to school nights. He had missed a few birthday parties, and more dinners than I had by a long shot. But would he put the children in danger? I sighed. " "Then be patient. Come see me tomorrow.

Carmen Niko wasn't. four. Carmen's office was on the fourth floor of a building the stone face of which was streaked with city grime. The elevator was quaint, a square lift encased in scrolled iron bars that jangled with the fits and starts of opening, closing, and rising, but the office itself had a newer feel. The reception area was early morning immaculate--neatly fanned magazines beside a telephone on a polished oak table, two chairs and an upholstered love seat a receptionist's desk to match the coffee table, scenic prints tastefully framed, vacuum marks on the carpet.

Brody didn't answer. Bending over the sink, he drank straight from the faucet, then straightened, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. His eyes were dark. "So he says we're having an affair. That's priceless," he muttered. " "Stupid stuff. " "He's crazy. " He looked stricken. "I know about the pain of divorce. I never wanted it for you. " He swore softly. " "Well, that's the next problem. I just came from seeing Lloyd Usher. Talk about mistakes. He made me feel like I'm getting what I deserve.

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