Genre: Romantic Suspense
Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs headlong into another, and then another.
Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.
Set in the 1980s, Joanna, and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have scars but deal with life very differently and, as with most sisters, they clash.
Joanna faces a death in the family and her whole world implodes. Suddenly, she is alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. This is where she finds out who her true friends are as she prepares to face a whole new future
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Opening her door to answer the knock, she almost screamed in shock.
Edna Glidden looked very much like an older version of Joanna. She was the same height, and the same weight, with the same glossy auburn hair – which she wore short and stylishly cut.
Dan Glidden, Joanna’s stepfather, stood, smartly-dressed, beside her. He was tall and dark-haired, with touches of grey around the temples. They looked, for all the world, like any other middle-class couple.
“What do you want?” Joanna said still holding the door.
“We’ve come about Janet,” Dan announced.
Joanna stepped back, and they walked in. Dan turned to close the door.
“Don’t!” Joanna snapped, “You’re not stopping.”
Edna surveyed the room from where she stood.
To put something between them, Joanna moved around to the other side of the settee.
“What did you do?” Edna said abruptly.
“What did I do?” Joanna’s voice cracked. “What do you mean?”
“Edna,” Dan said, with a note of somber caution.
His wife ignored him. “Janet was perfectly all right when she left.”
“Was she?” said Joanna.
“Wasn’t she?” said Dan.
“She was depressed,” Joanna told them.
“If she was, we weren’t aware of it,” said Edna.
“Oh, come off it!” Joanna summoned strength, telling herself she was on home ground. “She told me about you. History repeating itself, was it?”
Dan glanced meaningfully at his wife, but she was still glaring at Joanna.
Edna shook her head, “I had hoped you’d changed, Joanna, but you’re still wicked and spiteful.”
“Look, this has been a terrible shock for us,” said Dan. “We just need to know why.”
Joanna managed a choking laugh. “Why? Have you asked your wife?”
“There is no need to be nasty,” he said.
Edna smiled sweetly. “This may come as a surprise to you, but Janet was an infinitely nicer girl and better daughter than you ever were.”
“And you believe that, Dan?” Joanna accused him. “I can bet Janet has been complaining about her, and you didn’t listen!”
“I know what you’re like,” Dan said slowly. He pointed his finger at her, and as Edna looked on smugly, Joanna trembled.
Her mother’s presence was filling the room, as if she was going to order her out of her own flat. It was just like before. It was always just like before.
Then Mike appeared silently behind them, at the doorway.
“I told you she would be difficult, Dan,” said Edna. “She will say absolutely anything to discredit me. She’s using Janet as a pawn to get back at me. I told you she was a spiteful little bitch.”
Joanna’s face burned. She clenched her fists so tightly, her nails dug into her palms. “You cow!”
“What’s going on?” said Mike, staring at Joanna.
She laughed, and managed to say, “Meet my mam. God help me!”
Edna turned. “One of her boyfriends, are you?” she said coolly. “No more babies then, Joanna?”
Joanna gripped the back of the sofa, suddenly feeling faint.
“One’s too young at fifteen, don’t you think? No wonder the poor little mite died.”
“Come on, Edna,” said Dan, looking uneasy. “There’s no need for this.”
Joanna stared at her mam, filled with horror, as the years fell away. “It’s not true.” A sob caught in her throat and she hated herself for it. She didn’t want Mam to know she could still get to her.