A Perfect Stranger by Shalini Boland – book tour | AD
I was invited to take a closer look at A Perfect Stranger by Shalini Boland and to join in with the Bookature book tour. Therefore I am thrilled to be able to share a little sneak peak with you today on my stop.
Two marriages. Three little lies. Someone’s going to die…
I hold my breath as my handsome husband walks through the door. I’ve planned the perfect surprise birthday party for him. Our friends are gathered and the champagne is flowing. But when I catch the look in his deep brown eyes, I realise I’ve got this horribly wrong.
All evening my stomach is churning. And I can’t help but notice Danielle Baines speaking with Aiden. With her salon-styled hair, diamonds glittering on her ring finger and married to a rich businessman she has the kind of lifestyle I can only dream of. I’ve never liked her. And I know the feeling is mutual.
So why is she here and what is she saying to my husband?
Now it’s the end of the party and the man I love is confessing a secret that shocks me to the core. But it’s not what I was afraid of. It’s much worse.
He says we have to take our son and leave the place we call home because our lives are in danger.
I thought I knew everything about my husband. But suddenly he feels like a stranger. Should I trust him with my life?
Despite the dark, bloated clouds, the hammering rain and this god-awful rattling truck, today is the first day I feel anything approaching happiness. I make the sharp turn down the lane that leads to our cottage and think contentedly of the three loaded shopping bags in the back under the tarp. David’s going to be so happy when I show him all the goodies I’ve bought. The only items the little convenience store didn’t have were avocados, but they’re an extravagance anyway, so maybe it’s just as well. David and I have been struggling financially for months. Things were looking extremely bleak. Until now. ‘Mummy, is the new man going to help make dinner?’ My four-year-old is strapped into his car seat next to me, kicking rhythmically at the glove box. I’ve given up asking him to ‘please stop doing that’ and, anyway, I can barely hear his kicks above the sound of the rain. ‘No, George. Daddy and I are going to cook tonight. The “new man” is called Jonathan and I think he has to go to work.’ George is referring to our lodger, Jonathan Dean. He’s the chef at a hotel in the next village. He’s also the reason I’m in such a good mood. Earlier today, Jonathan moved in and paid us a month’s deposit and a month up front in cash to rent our spare room. So, for the first time in ages, David and I actually have more than two pennies to rub together. Jonathan’s references were impeccable and it was endearing that he seemed to be so grateful to us.
He’s newly divorced with two children and it sounds like he’s had a rough time of things. Plus, he struck up a great rapport with George, who now fancies himself as a mini chef.
‘Mummy, can I help make the dinner?’
I glance across at my little brown-eyed son, at his strawcoloured curls darkened by the rain. He’s the spitting image of his father. ‘Yes please. That would be lovely. You can set the table if you like.’
The cottage comes into view at the end of the lane. Today, it’s just a dark, drizzly shape with a few smudged outbuildings next to it. A cluster of leafy trees overhang the barn and garage, dripping and swaying in the late summer storm. ‘But, Mummy, I don’t want to set the table. I want to do the cooking like the chef man.’
‘His name is Jonathan.’ My attention is taken by the sight of the grey cottage door swinging open. My first thought is that it’s David coming out to help unload the groceries. But then the door slams violently shut.
‘Mummy, I want to do the cooking, not set the table!’ My son tugs at my arm.
‘Yes, yes, okay, Georgie. Course you can help Mummy with the cooking.
‘And Daddy can cook too.’
‘Yes and Daddy.’ But I’m not really listening any more. I pull up on the drive, as close as I can get to the path. The front door has swung open again, but there’s no one standing in the doorway. I realise the door has been left open and is banging in the wind. If it keeps swinging and banging like that, it’s going to come off its hinges and that would be a hassle and expense we can do without
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Want to read more? Then why not check out some of the other blogs on this tour who are all sharing their opinions on the book.
DISCLOSURE – I was provided with an electronic version of this book so that I was able to take part in this book tour. As always though, all thoughts and opinions are my own.