Brynne Ropert and Portland Dolish have been best friends since being paired as roommates in college. Seven years later they are now twenty-five, married, and living in Maine–– but the two women couldn’t be more different. Brynne finds fulfillment in her life as a wife, mother and owner of a small café and bookshop, but is struggling to expand her family. Portland is still coping with her mother’s death during her childhood, and her marriage is unraveling before her eyes. Portland envies her friend’s seemingly stable and easy life while Brynne doesn’t understand the growing distance between them and cannot begin to guess what secret Portland is hiding about her husband and crumbling marriage. While one woman feels shut out, the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself.
A Questionable Friendship explores what really makes someone a true friend, a support system, a sister. How much trust goes into a friendship and when is being a friend not enough? Brynne and Portland’s story will attempt to answer those questions, and show that happily ever after isn’t in the cards for everyone.
Excerpt: I lay in bed by myself that night, as Trent said he still had some reports to look at. I flipped onto my stomach, my favorite sleeping position, and tried to will myself to sleep. But my mind wouldn’t shut off. I flashed to the papers I found in Trent’s desk last night, purely on accident. I had never thought to snoop on my husband of two years. I was trying to find our tax returns from last year to give to the accountant, as we were severely behind and the April deadline was just around the corner. I had tried calling Trent to see where they were, but his phone was going to straight to voicemail. I knew he was driving home and sometimes his service cut in and out, so I didn’t think anything of it. I decided to find the papers myself, mostly out of boredom and the need to do something.
Trent’s office in our 2200 square foot ranch home was on the first floor, all the way to the east. I rarely ventured in there as I had no reason too, only popping in when Trent was working. It felt a little foreign being there, but I sat at his desk chair and looked around me. His desk wasn’t just some shoddy little thing tucked into the corner, no, the desk ran almost the full length of the wall, big enough for three people to easily fit at. He had one desktop computer set up and a laptop as well, and he carried yet another laptop with him on business trips. A printer that doubled as a scanner sat on one corner, and a fax machine on another. He had multiple calendars hung up with agendas scribbled on the majority of the dates, and another smaller calendar that sat to the right of the desktop. It was opened to that date, March 14, and scribbled on there was “Petosi.” He had been in that town for the past two nights, and was due home late in the night.
After some searching, I finally found the drawer that seemed to hold important records. Our passports were in there, our wedding license, birth certificates, and deed to the house. I found the titles to both our vehicles, but no tax information. I frowned, trying to think of another spot he would have them. I slipped all the papers back in the appropriate files and shut the drawer, and when I did, a single piece of paper had floated down to me, from somewhere at the top of the desk. I grabbed the sheet and read over the words, my eyes growing wide, then squinting as I read and re-read. My body turned cold as I sat in shock, trying to process what I had read. When I realized I’d been sitting there for probably thirty minutes doing absolutely nothing I jumped, understanding that Trent could walk through the door at any minute and find me. Then what would I say?
Carefully, I pushed myself up and climbed onto the office chair, putting the piece of paper back where I thought it had come from. From my new vantage point, I saw the top of his desk was riddled with other papers and...a calendar. I swallowed hard as I peered closer and saw what was written in under March 13. My stomach heaving, I quickly left the office after righting the chair to its original spot, and fled to the bathroom.
I blinked back tears in bed as I forced myself to calm my mind. Trent had some explaining to do sure, but how did I tell him what I had found? Did that really even matter in the grand scheme of things? But knowing the Trent as of lately, he would try to turn this around on me and make me look like the bad person. I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed for sleep. I just wanted to sleep, to forget about what I had found. The day had been torturous enough, trying to make everything seem like it was hunky dory and nothing out of place. And what would tomorrow bring? More questions. And next week – Trent would be gone for two weeks. Would he be going where he said he was? What was he actually doing on his trips away?
The bedroom door opened and I saw Trent enter the room, already in just his boxers. I let my breathing become even so he would think I was asleep.
He plugged his cell phone in and set it on the nightstand, then pulled the covers back and crawled in. I felt his cold feet touch mine and jerked involuntarily. “Are you awake?” he whispered. I could feel his erection pressing into my back, and knew what he wanted. He probably touched me on purchase.
“Mmmph,” I mumbled, not opening my eyes.
“Port. You awake?” he asked again, clearly not getting the hint as his hand wandered to my breast.
I rolled away and made more sleeping noises, begging in my mind for him to leave me alone. He stayed quiet for another moment, then finally rolled the other way.
I was off the hook – at least for one night.
Review Rating: 4.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: Best friends are a big part of one's life. Lifelong friends. Someone you share secrets with. Someone you can laugh, cry, and get angry at other people with. Someone who knows you, loves you, and sticks by you.
What happens when life changes? When that friendship is tested?
It's not something you really want to think about, but it happens, doesn't it?
Meet Brynne and Portland. Best friends for so long. Now, they're older, and life is taking it's toll. Each are married and adjusting to whatever life throws their way. But one is holding back, keeping things in, and it may just put a strain on that friendship.
The story is written in first person, switching from Brynne and Portland's POV. We as the reader get a big glimpse at their struggles, trials and triumphs. Samantha March pens a story with so much truth and reality to it, I found it so hard to put this down when I really needed sleep at night. I needed to know how things were going to play out. What was going to happen to this friendship? The truth of the matter is, things like this happen all too often. I could see myself and others in both of these ladies. I think this author gets better and better with each book she writes and I'm looking forward to the future.
Guest Post from the author!
Reading More Romance
When I first started my book blog Chick Lit Plus, the name spoke for itself – I was going to read and review chick lit books. As I progressed and more authors became familiar with me, I started getting requests for women’s fiction novels and new adult and YA books. I happily accepted because I am a bookworm after all, but there were a few genres I didn’t say yes to. Erotica (even after the 50 Shades of Grey outbreak), horror, and romance. Why? I just didn’t think they were my cup of tea, and why accept to review a book when I wasn’t interested in the genre as a whole? I would think an author would appreciate that!
So the years went on and I continued to stretch and grow as not only a book reviewer, but author, then publisher, and now book marketing manager with BookTrope Publishing. As my titles expanded so did my reading thirst. I started to toe the line for the romance genre. To be honest, a lot of chick lit and women’s fiction novels have a romance storyline (almost all) and some can be quite thorough, where you can almost add that chick lit/romance category to it. I started to find myself eager to read those types of books, and eventually, accepted romance genres to my TBR list. Since starting with BookTrope, my first two titles have romance in them – one is new adult romance and the other is romantic suspense, and my next three titles are all slated with romance as well. And I couldn’t be happier! I’m not sure if getting older and being more willing to expand my horizons helped me with my romance issue, my wedding in 2013 that brought out this side of me, or what the explanation is, but I’m a big fan of romance now. I’m finding romantic suspense is the genre I’m leaning towards the most, as a good dose of mystery makes this reader happy, but straight romance is okay in my book as well. Maybe someday soon I’ll expand again to include the erotica and horror genres, possibly even others that I haven’t thought much about as well – and who knows where the publishing world will take us and what the next craze will be. I’ll just keep on reading.
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has three published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket and A Questionable Friendship. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
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