RM Johnson, the Essence bestselling author of Dating Games and The Million Dollar Divorce, once again creates a riveting and enthralling new novel that explores the testing of a bond between two childhood friends when they both fall in love with the same woman.
Pete and Wayne grew up side by side. After Pete's mother abandoned him, Wayne's family took him in and treated him as their own son. Through adolescence, college, medical school, and in their shared orthopedics practice, Pete and Wayne have lived their entire lives as best friends -- as brothers. And as brothers, they have always been rivals when it came to women.
The fateful night when Carla walks into the bar where Pete and Wayne are having drinks brings Wayne his customary, more fortunate, luck with the ladies. Even though Pete spotted her first, it is Wayne who seals the deal, and soon enough, Wayne and Carla are engaged. But Wayne's need for one last conquest tempts him into bed with another woman, and the ensuing guilt leads him to confide in his best friend -- a mistake that will haunt the three of them forever.
Jealous of his friend's relationship, Pete tells Carla of Wayne's infidelity and provides more than just a friendly shoulder to cry on. As a result, Carla leaves Wayne and further breaks his heart by accepting Pete's marriage proposal only one year later.
Just when old friends seem to be finally settling down with their choices, old feelings surreptitiously sneak to the surface, and a rift between husband and wife leads Pete astray and drives Carla into the most familiar arms she can find. In the ensuing days, tensions erupt, and relationships, already tenuous, begin to break down. Finally, guilt, lust, and redemption come together in a heartbreaking and tragic love triangle, and Pete, Wayne, and Carla are forced to face the consequences of decisions that may end up being their last.
Do You Take This Woman? is a sexy blend of friendship and romance that will take you on a startlingly real and emotional roller-coaster ride of betrayal, sex, lies, and, ultimately, love.
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Simon & Schuster
August 08, 2006
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Excerpt from Do You Take This Woman? by RM Johnson
Last night, after walking into her house from work, Carla Barnes found her husband, Pete, bent over in a chair, his face buried in his hands.
She stood in the doorway, afraid to go in. She was worried that he might have found out some way.
She ventured in, stepped beside him, placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Pete," she said, her voice soft.
He did not look up, did not take his face from his hands.
"Pete," Carla said again, shaking him a little. "Are you okay "
Pete raised his face. He looked anguished. Carla's heart started to beat faster, something inside telling herself that he did know.
"Just tell me what's going on," Pete said.
"With what "
"What are you talking about " Carla said, feigning ignorance. She knew he was referring to Carla walking in late every evening, some times after 9 P.M. when she got off work at 4:30 P.M. He was talking about the distance that had been between them, her reluctance to talk to him, show him affection, touch him, make love to him. "I don't know what you're talking about," Carla repeated, turning away.
Her husband got out of his chair and stood there behind her. "Is it someone else " he asked. "I don't believe you'd do that to me, but I have to ask you. Is it "
Carla breathed a short sigh of relief. He really did not know. He was guessing, and although he was close to the truth, he wasn't certain of anything. "No," Carla said, turning to him. "I'm not seeing anyone else. It's work, like I told you. Things have been just a little crazy, that's all." She was lying.