With just over a week until my new contemporary romance, The Boyfriend Sessions, is released, I thought it was time for a sneak peek. Take a look:
“We systematically assess your previous relationships and discuss the lessons from each. You can’t move on to bigger and better things if you keep repeating the mistakes of the past.” Christa’s flatmate, Cate.
Girlfriends. Who needs them?
Christa, the main character in my new contemporary romance does, as it turns out.
She’s just returned home to Sydney after fleeing a romantic proposal in Paris. She’s been enjoying a holiday romance in France, except it comes to an abrupt end when the subject of her holiday romance reveals he has more serious long term plans than Christa does.
The obvious solution? Leave the country.
In Sydney, Christa’s girlfriends Maddy, Cate and Scarlett, know it’s time to act.
Maddy looked at me seriously. “We think it would be a good idea if you took a break for a little while.”
Now I was confused. A break? I’d just had a four month break.
I opened and closed my mouth. Well, I hadn’t expected that. “From men?” I repeated carefully.
“You’re addicted,” Cate blurted out, her light blue eyes rounded in worry.
“To men?” I laughed. Up until now, I hadn’t believed such an addiction was a problem—not that I had one. “Surely that’s the pot calling the kettle. No offence, Scarlett.”
Scarlett threw her cigarette butt over the edge of the balcony, making Maddy cringe. “None taken, and big difference. I like sex, but I’m not addicted to men.”
“‘We mean relationships,” Cate corrected.
“I’m addicted to relationships?” I was only vaguely aware I was being repetitious.
Maddy leaned in and looked at me, her dark brown eyes piercing. “Face it, Christa. You’re a relationship junkie.”
What’s a relationship junkie to do?
If Christa had her way, carefully practiced denial is a reasonable solution, but her girlfriends have other ideas: boot camp, a new job and of course, The Boyfriend Sessions.
The Sessions involve weekly group therapy at the hands of her best girlfriends, with plenty of wine of course. The concept almost seems bearable. Almost. Until her best friend’s brother turns up that is:
Max? What on earth was he doing here?
This was supposed to be my first ‘boyfriend breakdown’ session and there was no way I was going to talk about the private details of my love life with him listening in.
I elbowed Cate sharply when she came back into what I now wished wasn’t an open-plan kitchen. “What’s Max doing here?” I hissed.
She looked surprised. “I asked him to come and fix my laptop and it worked out perfectly because he gave Maddy and Scarlett a lift here after work.”
I’d caught the train home earlier, but Maddy had been held up in the city at a client meeting near Scarlett’s office.
“But aren’t we discussing my exes tonight?” I plastered a big smile on my face and waved at them from the kitchen.
“Yes, that’s the plan.” Cate gave me a funny look.
“Well, I’m not doing it with him here. Wine anyone?” I called out, casually.
They all nodded in the affirmative, so I turned to get some more wine glasses from the cupboard.
“But why?” Cate asked. “You’ve known him forever. I don’t see how it makes any difference—”
“Because he’s a guy, stupid!” I twirled around to confront her, wine glasses in hand, only to find myself staring at Max’s chest.
“Problem?” he asked innocently.
To my annoyance, Cate giggled. “Christa’s just nervous about tonight, that’s all.”
He looked confused. “I didn’t realize fixing laptops was such a big deal.”
Cate waved a hand at him. “No, not that. It’s her first ‘boyfriend analysis’ session.”
I could have killed her. I must have paled considerably, because Max was looking back and forth between us, an interested grin curling the corners of his mouth.
Cate pushed a glass of red into his hand. “We’ve sworn her off men for six months and we’re going to analyze each of her past relationships so we can get to the root of the problem.” She went bright pink. “Oh my God, no pun intended!”
Max laughed loudly, a hearty sound that made my stomach flip. He turned to stare at me intently. “And what do you think the root of the problem is?”
My paleness was replaced with an unpleasant burning sensation and I realized with increasing horror my face was now bright red.
“She’s addicted to men.” Scarlett’s dry tone interrupted our conversation from the doorway. She was smiling. I glared at her.
Max glanced at Scarlett, then back to me, his eyebrows raised in undisguised interest. “Addicted . . . as in a sex addiction?”
His question was far too hopeful and I finally managed to find my voice. “No, that’s Scarlett,” I told him, grabbing my wine and marching from the kitchen.
My new contemporary romance, The Boyfriend Sessions, will be released on October 23 by Momentum.