Widow Macy Halstead learned of her much older husband's voracious appetite for cheating shortly before his death. Now it's too late to get back at him. When she meets his bi-racial illegitimate son at the funeral, a mutual attraction flares. She leaves with him and the two share a night of hot passion.
Alex Jackson set out to get back at the father who treated him like dirt. Bedding his old man's widow fit the bill--until he forgets his reasons and realizes he really likes Macy. But after a steamy fling, she seems to have second thoughts. Can they overcome their initial agendas and explore the possibility of a relationship?
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Getting Even With Warren by Wynter Daniels
Macy Halstead never hated her husband more than she did at his funeral. An assortment of his mistresses--sobbing and sniffling in their black dresses and netted hats--stood out from the blue bloods like brightly colored bubblegum balls in a box of fine chocolates. By her estimation, half a dozen of them had the nerve to show up. If Warren wasn't dead already, she'd wring his neck.
Strangely, she couldn't put her finger on one physical characteristic common to all Warren's former mistresses. Nothing she could point out to say, "That one's prettier than me," or "This one's thinner." They were all different. The redhead all the way on the left looked almost homely. And the blonde in the back row had at least forty pounds to spare, quite a bit larger than Macy's size-sixteen frame. She'd wondered if Warren cheated because he found her fat, but now she suspected it had nothing to do with that.
At the podium, a colleague of Warren's from the law firm droned on about what a wonderful person her husband had been. Did he know the bastard had nailed everything that moved, including the speaker's own wife?
"Warren never encountered a challenge he didn't meet head-on. If he came up against a brick wall, he thrust straight through it."
Macy clenched her teeth. Warren thrust into things, all right. Every hole from Coral Gables to Key West.
She tried to tune out the eulogy, none of it true, not a single flowery word. Yet his two youngest sons sat in the front row with their wives, crying their eyes out, probably wondering how much he'd left them in his will. Had Warren shared the news that Macy had asked for a divorce? She didn't think so. He'd never been one to admit defeat easily.
Why had she come, anyway? Her marriage had ended more than a month before Warren's heart attack. And frankly, she'd grown to hate him. But proper etiquette had always mattered to her. She wished she didn't care what her husband's hoity-toity friends thought. They'd made it clear many times how little they cared what she thought. Never failed to remind her she wasn't one of them.
Lauren, seated beside her, rubbed Macy's arm in a gesture most observers would interpret as sympathy. But Macy knew better. Her best friend merely offered encouragement. Only Lauren understood the full extent of Macy's humiliation. Lauren's first husband hadn't cheated with the extravagant number of women Warren had, but he'd engaged in one affair for nearly the entire eight years of their marriage. When Lauren learned of the tryst, she'd been more devastated by the emotional breach than the physical. Thankfully Lauren had found a good man a few years ago and she seemed enviably happy now.
I'll never be so lucky.
She didn't have that drop-dead-gorgeous-blonde-bombshell thing going on that Lauren did. No. With her straight dark hair and plain brown eyes, Macy paled next to her friend's beauty. Thanks to Warren, she didn't have a law degree, either. He'd admitted a year or two into their marriage that he'd asked her to quit law school because he didn't want a wife competing with him on any level. Purely selfish. Not that she minded her job as a paralegal, but she'd never make the money she would have had she continued in school.
Her cranky mood lifted a little when the eulogy concluded and the funeral director took the podium. Thank God this charade would end soon.
The pallbearers accompanied the casket out and she resisted the urge to shout good riddance at her husband's corpse. Good riddance to all the lies, all the deceptions and that awful pain. She shuddered at the memory of that first day she'd discovered another woman's panties in the pocket of his suit jacket as she took it to the cleaners on her way to work.
Then, like the layers of an onion, she'd peeled away his half-truths, excuses and inconsistencies. How could she have believed in him, in them? She'd never be such a blind fool again.
"Your turn." Lauren nudged her forward, jarring her back to the present.
Macy stood, filed out of the pew with her head high as she fell into step behind Warren's nearly identical daughters-in-law. As she exited the auditorium, she caught sight of a lavish spread set up on long tables in the wide hallway. Warren's firm had made all the arrangements and as always, spared no expense.
Everything shouted top-of-the-line from the oysters on the half shell to the Russian caviar to the pate de foie gras. Shouldn't funeral food be simple? But then, nothing about Warren had been simple. He'd have loved all the elegance and the banter. He was in his element when an occasion called for schmoozing. And judging by how his sons now chatted up Warren's personal attorney, she knew there had to be some serious schmoozing in progress.
"The demon spawns are trying to find out what he left them." Lauren looped her arm through Macy's. "Assholes."
"You read my mind." Macy held up her palm, refusing a tea sandwich from a passing server. "Far as I recall, Warren left everything to the two of them. I still have his will in my safe deposit box, although he probably changed it after I moved out."
"You're still legally his wife," Lauren pointed out.
Macy nodded. "A wife with a pre-nup. I never wanted any of his money. His fidelity would have been good, though." As more mourners filled the room, the din of voices grew louder and the pounding in her head intensified. "How long do we have to stay?" she whispered in Lauren's ear.
"That's completely up to you."
When she heard Lauren's sharp intake of breath, she followed her friend's gaze to a light-skinned black man in his mid-thirties wearing navy chinos and tan polo shirt. In the sea of tightly buttoned-up white men in black suits and women in designer dresses, he stood out like a juicy peach in a bowl full of raisins. Stunningly handsome, his piercing amber eyes reminded Macy of Warren's.