The New York Times bestselling author delivers her first contemporary erotic novel.
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July 08, 2004
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Excerpt from Private Pleasures by Bertrice Small
"I think Jeff is having an affair," Nora Buckley said unhappily, looking about the kitchen table at her four friends.
The women of Ansley Court shifted uncomfortably, throwing quick looks at one another. It was a difficult situation.
"So." Rina Seligmann, the oldest of them, finally broke the silence. "What else is new, sweetie? I mean who hasn't Jeff hit on all the years we've lived here?"
The silence deepened appreciably with her words.
"Oh, my God!" Rina gasped as the truth hit her. She looked at Nora sympathetically. "You didn't know, hon? You really didn't know? Shit! I'm sorry, Nora. I didn't mean . . ." Her voice trailed off.
"What makes you think Jeff is having an affair?" Carla Johnson, Nora's best friend, asked quietly. "And don't pay any attention to Rina. She's got a big mouth, and a bigger imagination." She gave Rina a sharp look.
Nora Buckley swallowed hard, her questioning glance encompassing the other four women at the table. "Did any of you . . . ?" Her voice trailed off.
"NO!" they all chorused with one voice.
"Then why did Rina say it?" Nora looked as if she was going to cry. She was a pretty woman with fading red hair and soft gray green eyes.
"Because," Carla explained, "there used to be rumors at the club about what a big flirt Jeff was. I suspect a few women even succumbed to his charms, but honey, it's all water under the bridge. No one took him seriously except one or two professional widows, or a divorc?e hot to trot. We sure never did. Now, what's got you so damned upset, Nora? Why are you so suddenly certain that Jeff is having an affair, and with whom, for heaven's sake?"