I’m highlighting one of my good friends newest work! I’ve been friends with Clare for years…like dating back to our fan fiction days, I believe? So I’m super jazzed to promote her book!
Rule Number One: Don’t fall for one of the parents of a kid you coach.
Rule Number Two: Don’t fall for a straight woman.
Rhiannon O’Bryan finds herself breaking both those rules when she meets single-mom Sabrina Thompson on the first day of fourth-grade soccer practice.
Sabrina Thompson has enough complications in her life. Her ex is a nightmare and her boss is a pervert, the last thing she needs is her budding friendship with fellow single-mom Rhia throwing her entire life into confusion.
But as their ten-year-old daughters Teagan and Piper spend more and more time with each other, Rhia and Sabrina become close. Rhia thinks she’s deluding herself by lusting after a straight woman, and Sabrina has never considered herself to be anything but straight before.
“I feel like a total bitch,” I say to the computer screen. My laptop is propped open on the coffee table, and I have a bottle of beer in one hand as I chat to my brother who is over three-thousand miles away.
Adding to my guilt, I also feel like a total cow for waking him up at two in the morning, but I know I won’t be able to get any sleep until I’ve spoken to someone about this, and no one knows me better than Mac. So, after Teagan was settled in bed, I opened a beer and text my brother telling him I desperately needed to talk, and like the sweetheart he is, he replied saying he’d be on Skype in ten minutes.
On the screen is a video image of Mac, wrapped in his wife’s fluffy dressing gown and sipping from a cup of tea. His blond hair is sticking up at odd angles, and he looks very far removed from the usual immaculately put together image my brother usually projects. It’s a sign of how much he loves me that he’s not only awake at 2 a.m. but also that he’s allowing someone other than Kate to see him in anything less than a perfect state.
“Why, because you lied about not being able to find a sitter? Or because you’re not replying to her messages?”
I’ve already explained to Mac what exactly is bothering me – Sabrina. Sabrina and my feelings for her. When she text me to tell me about deciding to go back to college I’d been so happy for her all I’d been concerned about was that she should celebrate. But her suggestion that we go out for dinner or something that weekend sounded a little too much like a date. Only it wasn’t a date, and it never would be. It was just a single mum wanting to hang out with another parent. Like a coward, I’d avoided answering her message, and then pretended to be busy when she collected Piper from football practice. Then when she’d suggested going out again, I’d lied.
“All of it. I’m such a bitch. She’s a really nice person, and probably just wants a friend, but I can’t handle it. God, this is stupid, Mac. I feel like a teenager with a crush.”
On the video call, my brother grins at me over the rim of his cup. “It’s adorable, that’s what it is. And how do you know she’s not interested in dating you?”
“Erm, because she was married. To a man.”
“Right, but has she actually ever said she’s only interested in men? You never know.”
I take a swig of beer and reply, “I told her about Beth and she didn’t say anything then.”
“Right, because when someone tells you their wife died is the perfect time to bring up that you’re not straight yourself. She was just been sensitive of your feelings. Ask her out. What’s the worst that will happen?”
In my head, I imagine Sabrina rejecting me, and my chest tightens. Damn, who knew I’d fallen this hard?
“She can say no. That’s what. If she tells me she’s straight, or worse she is into women too, just not me, how will I ever look her in the eyes again?”
“And what, that’s better than lying to her and ignoring her?”
“Sure. I’ll get over this dumb crush eventually.”
Mac puts his teacup down on the table and shuffles closer to the screen. “Is that what you really want? To get over her?”
“Yes, then I can think about finding someone who is actually into women.”
“Well, you know what you’ve got to do then? Hook up with someone else. And if you’re still thinking about Sabrina after hooking up with someone else, you’ll know this is more than a simple crush.”
I scoff at his suggestion. “Mac, this isn’t high school.”
“You got a better idea?” When I don’t answer, he smiles smugly. “Didn’t think so. And I want to get back to bed. So take my advice: Either ask her out and risk rejection, or sleep with someone else and get her out of your system.”
“That’s your only advice. Risk rejection or sleep with someone else? Fat lot of good you are!”
“It’s 2 a.m. for Christ’s sake. You want better advice, call when I’m not asleep.”
I bow my head. “I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you. Give my love to Kate, too.”
“I will, and I love you too. Tell Tea I love her as well.”
“I will. Talk to you soon.”
Mac ends the video call, and I close my laptop lid, lean back against the couch, and drain my bottle of beer. There’s no way I’m asking Sabrina out. Like I said to Mac, if she rejects me, how will I ever be able to face her again? And, as juvenile as Mac’s other suggestion is, maybe getting out and meeting someone new will help me get over my crush on Sabrina. In fact, that’s probably it … I’m not really into her, I’m just lonely, and she’s pretty. And funny. And interesting to talk to…
Fuck. I’m screwed, aren’t I?
I pull out my phone and text Dana, my former friends-with-benefits turned wing-woman, and all-round awesome person.
>Fancy heading to Electric Six tomorrow?<
>Why? You looking to hook up?<
I have to laugh. Dana always knows when I’ve got one thing in mind.
>Yeah. The trusty old vibe isn’t cutting it these days.<
>LOL I hear ya, sister! Meet you in the city about 8? We can grab some dinner first?<
>Sounds like a plan.<
With the arrangements made, I text Beth’s parents to double check they’re still happy to have Teagan for the weekend, which of course, they are. Beth’s parents try to see their granddaughter at least once a month, and are always happy to have her stop a night or two if I need a break.
To pre-order your copy, please click the following links:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52816657-truly-madly-deeply
Pre Order Link: Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DDK2NF
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088DDK2NF
Thank you to Clare for letting me promote her work! She’s been a great friend and I’m so happy to return the favor to her!
Show her some love!
About The Author:
Clare Dugmore is a writer, bookworm, and daydreamer from the West-Midlands, UK.
Clare’s love of literature not only motivates her career as an author but influences her desire to help other writers get their work out to the world.
She is the author of one novel and two short stories, with other projects in the works.
Clare is currently working as a freelance ghostwriter. In addition, she is a freelance proofreader, as well as a personal assistant for co-op publishers Snowy Wings Publishing and Crimson Fox Publishing.
Clare is a thirty-something, married, mother of two from the West Midlands, of England.
In her spare time, she enjoys binge-watching shows with her hubby, spending time with her two sons, and playing video games.
Author Link: https://linktr.ee/ClareDugmore