Mitch Wilder vows to steal his wife back, knowing that his quest is futile. Claire knows about his other women; the reason they are separated. He must control his rage against his stepbrother, Tom Fleming, for taking Claire away from him. After all, they must work together, running their shipping company. But when Tom is kidnapped and tortured, Mitch realizes that he loves his brother.
After Claire Lester-Wilder catches her husband with another woman, she chases after Tom Fleming to get back at him. She thinks that Tom will be easy to manipulate. But she soon finds that she has chosen the wrong man, again. After Tom pushes her away once too often, she runs into the arms of another man.
Tom Fleming hopes that Claire will go back to Mitch. Not because he doesn't love her, but because of who he is. After he's sent through hell, Tom finally summons the courage to tell Claire that he is gay. There is only one person he trusts to help him heal and fight his demons, the man he is in love with.
A Sneak Peek
Mitch Wilder sat in his brand new 1969 Ford F250 pickup truck across the street from his hometown diner. Icy patches covered the sidewalk. The street was slushy. He debated whether to go inside, unsure of his welcome there. An entire year had gone by since he was home. He stayed away to let everything die down, to get better and let his heart heal. Yet, it hadn’t. His wife was still living with his stepbrother. Mitch closed his eyes and sighed. If it was the last thing he did, he was going to lure Claire away from Tom.
Tired after the long drive from Hamilton, he wanted to relax and have a coffee, maybe one of Bob Marshall’s famous burgers. He studied the diner, new after a fire destroyed it two years ago. There were no apartments above it like there were. Mitch thought it was a good thing, he nearly lost a close friend in that fire. Sue lived upstairs then, Bob’s wife now, number three. Mitch looked at the new window in the front. It was tinted, and he couldn’t see inside. He wondered if it was safety glass. Since Bob owned the place, someone had gone through the window at least three times. Sometimes it seemed there were more brawls in the diner than in the Mansford Hotel a few blocks away.
Mitch sighed again. He leaned his elbow on the open truck window, inhaled the crisp chilly air of late March, and envisioned the last day he was there. A trucker dragged his wife inside the diner. He found Mitch’s watch in their bedroom, the one he lost several months before. His name was engraved in it. Now the wife, Diana Smithers, was one of Mitch’s mistresses.
Constable Stan Cleary had the guy handcuffed, but the trucker managed to jump through the window. Mitch could still hear the glass shattering into a million tiny pieces. He’d sat back down while Bob and Mitch’s son, Darren Hoffman, cleaned up the mess. Then Darren yelled at him and Bob threw a broom at him. He helped clean up the glass.
Mitch remembered the look on Bob’s face when he read the back of the watch, and it still scared him. It was a gift from his wife, Sue. “We’re just friends.” Both he and Sue told Bob many times. But he knew Bob had his doubts. It didn’t help the situation because Bob’s second wife chase after him like a bitch in heat. Mitch didn’t like Julie and was almost glad when they found her dead; floating in Lake Erie. Pete Hoffman murdered her, the man who raised Darren.
Mitch sat back when someone jumped into the passenger seat next to him. His nineteen-year-old nephew, Todd Breckenridge, grinned mischievously at him. Mitch saw how Todd’s shoulders had widened. He had also lost the baby fat on his face. Todd looked more like his mother, Mitch’s sister, Nora, then he did even a year ago.
“Nice truck.” Todd looked the inside of the cab over. “Are you going inside, or are going to sit out here all day?”
“Why aren’t you in school?”
Mitch glanced back at the diner. “You think Bob will beat the shit out of me?” He looked back to see the boy shrug his shoulders.
“Only one way to find out.”
“C'mon.” Mitch tried to sound brave. “I’ll buy you lunch.” He reached for the door handle.
“I already ate. And I should probably warn you. Claire is in there.”
Mitch closed his eyes. “Claire,” he whispered. It took him a few seconds to compose himself and look back at Todd. “How is my wife?”