Not What I Expected Read Online Jewel E. Ann

Categories Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Drama, Funny, Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 98
Estimated words: 94055 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 470(@200wpm)___ 376(@250wpm)___ 314(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Not What I Expected

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jewel E. Ann

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B08L8L2TK4
Book Information:

Are humans meant to mate for life?
After four kids and an unfortunate but fateful end to her twenty-two-year marriage, Elsie Smith meets the new guy in town.
Kael Hendricks is … a little younger, a lot sexy, and too confident for his own good. He also doesn’t believe in marriage and all that goes with it.
And …
He’s just opened a new business that threatens the livelihood of Elsie’s family’s store—just in time for the holidays.
The problem?
There’s an undeniable attraction that leads to out of control situations, a loss of inhibitions, and a lot of small town gossip.
As Elsie tries to redefine herself and convince her family she isn’t having a midlife crisis, she’s forced to answer the biggest question of all …
Can she love an enemy who will never surrender?
Books by Author:

Jewel E. Ann



“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” - Richard Bach

Chapter One

I miss him, but I don’t miss the pick, roll, and flick.

* * *

Everything in moderation.

Those were my husband’s words, not mine.

“Don’t give me that look, Elle. It’s low-fat turkey bacon.”

My absentminded gaze remained affixed to his plate—toaster waffles smothered in butter, drowned in syrup, topped with three blueberries (so he could say he had fruit), and four pieces of bacon on the side.

Orange juice from concentrate.

Coffee with creamer and sugar.

The stench of bacon hung in the air since he refused to turn on the exhaust fan over the stove when he cooked it. The noise made it hard for him to hear the news on the TV in the corner of the kitchen.

“Elsie,” I murmured, blinking at his plate as I lifted my quart Mason jar filled with warm lemon water to my lips.

“What?” he mumbled over a mouthful of fat, salt, and sugar.

“My name is Elsie, not Elle.”

“I’ve called you Elle for twenty-some years.” He concentrated on his phone next to his plate.

Every inch of me melted into a paralyzed state. I’d succumbed to the depths of my fate, unable to peel my back from the stainless steel fridge door. After twenty-two years, three months, and six days of marriage … I couldn’t do it anymore. So there I stood—an idle statue deciding whether or not I had enough life to stand up. Really stand up. “I know, Craig. And I’ve gone from tolerating it to hating it.”

He lifted his head along with one curious eyebrow while licking his grease covered chops and burping.

Did he burp like that when we first met?

Did I say “I do” to that drawn out belch?

If he was that way when we met, I must have been wearing the rosiest colored glasses.

He pounded his fist against his chest to … I had no clue. Work out a few more disgusting sounds like aftershocks of an earthquake? Then he picked his nose right in front of me.

Pick.

Roll.

Flick.

“You hate when I call you Elle?” He dismissed me with a pfft and an eye roll. “Whatcha got on under that robe? The kids won’t be up for another hour or so. Feeling like some Saturday shaboink?”

I hadn’t always been repulsed by him. The seventeen-year-old version of me chased him. Craig Smith—starting point guard for our Midwestern small-town high school—endured all the girls chasing him. He chose me, little Elsie Stapleton, to be his prom date two years in a row.

Craig said it was my thick, light brown hair and ornery green eyes that caught his attention. I always knew it was my perky breasts on a tiny five-three cheerleader’s body.

Narrowing my eyes, I drank the rest of my lemon water and set the jar on the counter—slowly, with a deep breath, and tension so tight I felt my last straw a blink away from snapping. “No shaboink. No bump and grind. No log ride.”

“Did you start your period?”

“NO!” I jumped at my own outburst, hands balled at my sides.

Craig jerked his head back.

Meadow, our five-year-old golden retriever, scurried into the kitchen, paws dancing in place like she did only when she was nervous.

Winter howled in strong gusts, revealing all the tiny cracks and spaces in the house and in our marriage. I gazed out the window at yet another round of snow whirling in the wind. Our rural town of Epperly had already been pummeled with over three feet of snow in less than two weeks.

Emotional meltdowns never came at the right moment. And just days before Christmas seemed like the worst time to let my mind spiral out of control, exploding with all the things I could no longer endure.

Not one … more … day.

“I deserve more,” I said with wavering control to my words, a dam ready to burst.

“Here we go again. You deserve more. I work my ass off to provide for this family. I’ve worked my ass off for years so you could stay home with the kids. So you can have coffee every Friday morning with the other women in the neighborhood, who also don’t have to lift a goddamn finger beyond raising kids. Three of our kids are in college. Bella is a junior. What do you do all damn day? Walk with Amie? Sew shit?”

“I do the books for your business! I grocery shop for your parents. I make them meals. I mow their lawn and shovel their snow. I pay our bills—”

“I pay our bills!” He glared at me. “You don’t have a job. You don’t pay for anything.”

That!

That betrayal—that complete lack of acknowledging my worth—drove a knife deeper into my heart than any affair ever could have done. An affair said, “My gaze wandered.” But that said, “I don’t see you at all.”


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