Excerpt: Wrong Side of Forty

Excerpt: Wrong Side of Forty

Book 1: Marina at Midlife

Chapter One


Marina Trahan dropped into the driver’s seat of her well-used Honda Accord and turned on the engine. Hot air blasted from the vents, making her feel as if she were in the middle of the desert rather than tucked away in Last Chance, a tiny bayou town in southeast Louisiana. The humidity, which sat at around a thousand percent, made it so hot and sticky that after even a minute outside, a person felt as if they’d gone five rounds with Mike Tyson. Young Mike Tyson. Before he’d married and lost his edge.

She put the car in Drive and grabbed the steering wheel, then cursed and let go. She’d forgotten to put that thingy on her dashboard again, and the steering wheel felt like a skillet that had been sitting on high heat for an hour. She shook her hands, silently willing them to stop burning, then grabbed a bottle of water from her purse and dumped some of it on the steering wheel. Sitting here waiting for it to cool wasn’t an option. It was only August. She’d be waiting until October.

With both herself and her steering wheel now dripping, she pulled out of the parking lot of the Cut & Curl, where she’d worked as a stylist for twenty-five years, and directed her vehicle onto Main Street and then into the cute little neighborhood of historic homes that occupied three blocks behind the center of town.

Maybe that was her problem, she thought as she drove. She’d married and lost her edge. Of course, that was presuming she’d ever had an edge. And Harold wasn’t all that bad. Yes, he was balding, and had a spare tire around his waist that you could drive to Mississippi, and he preferred his tax returns and spreadsheets to a spirited discussion about most anything else, but he had a good CPA practice, and along with the money she made as a stylist, they had a comfortable lifestyle.

Still, it seemed that everything she’d heard or read lately was about how to spice things up. Especially when the kids left home. They only had the one daughter, Avery, but she’d been the work of at least ten as far as Marina was concerned. Smart, bullheaded, and a raging extrovert, she’d kept Marina running until last week, when she’d driven off to the university in New Orleans. Marina had crawled into bed after she left and hadn’t come out for sixteen hours.

But now, she and Harold had the house to themselves, and Marina had decided to take some of that advice she’d been hearing and ordered a slinky negligee. It was sapphire blue with black lace and of course, crotchless. When her last appointment of the day had canceled, Marina figured this was the golden opportunity to test out her new purchase. As soon as she got home, she was going to shower, style her hair, do up her makeup, slip into that silky garment, and greet Harold as he walked in the door. Just looking at the sexy nightie had made Marina flush a bit, so she was expecting great things when Harold caught sight of her in it.

She pulled into the drive and was disappointed to see Harold’s shiny new Mercedes convertible already parked there. So much for the surprise. It was barely three in the afternoon and Harold wasn’t usually due home for another couple hours. But then maybe he was taking a really late lunch. Maybe he’d go back to the office soon and she could still put her plan in action.

She headed inside to the kitchen, but there was no sign of her husband there. She started to call out when she heard a noise at the back of the house. Frowning, she headed down the hallway toward their bedroom. It would be her luck that the one day she’d gotten off early in a million years, Harold had come down with a stomach flu or something.

She pushed open the door to the bedroom and gasped.

Harold was indeed in bed, but he wasn’t alone. His part time file clerk, a girl only three years older than their daughter, was with him. Even worse, she was wearing Marina’s new negligee. Things would never be the same. Someone else’s crotch had been in her nightie and unfortunately, looked better in it than hers did.



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