Dagne Lonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice dispenser extraordinaire, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of Chincoteague to write her novel would clear her sinuses, if not her heart, of any feelings for Jack Andrews, erstwhile lover and long-time jerk. It’s just her luck that her first week on the island she’s in the right place at the right time to be involved with a murder. Only she doesn’t know it. Unfortunately, the murderer doesn’t know she doesn’t know. Strange and dangerous things begin happening to her, interfering with her new romance with Tom Ellis, the handsome manager of the National Wildlife Refuge. Complications ensue when her Jack arrives to take charge of the murder investigation.
Will Dagne stick with the tall, cool glass of a Ranger or fall back into the arms of her first tempestuous passion?
I’ve been in love with a man for two years. He’s a complete basket case, with nothing practical to offer me. Oliver is still (technically) married. He has two repulsive daughters, three cats, a miniature schnauzer, and a minivan on its last legs. His wife got tired of his habitual unemployment and moved in with the rich man next door. I don’t know why I fell in love with him and have no sensible excuse to offer for continuing to love him. He doesn’t even know how I feel or at least he refuses to believe it. It would be way too inconvenient for him. No, all Oliver wants is a passionate affair. Short, sweet. No commitment. No future.
I’m 28, Philomena. I want to be married. I want children. Did I mention his vasectomy? I want love. I want stability. I want a normal relationship. Did I mention his bipolar disorder? I don’t want passion. I don’t want an emotional joy ride that ends in a muddy ditch upside down instead of in a honeymoon suite. Guess what the “good” Lord gave me?
Lovelorn in Little Hell
My advice? Enjoy the joy ride. I think passion is underrated. We humans assume passion is something distinct from love. One has a “passionate affair,” not a “passionate marriage.” Passion is tolerated in the first few weeks of a relationship, but not in the marriage itself. Passion is for nightfall, for dreams, for evaporating sighs. It’s not real. It has nothing to do with love.
I stand (I do not beg) to differ. Passion can only come from love. There is love and there is lust, but passion, true passion, is only realized, embedded, in love.
Let me tell you a story.
Three years ago, on a rainy night in the middle of December I met a man…let’s call him Jack. I felt immediately, irredeemably, passionate about him, despite all my friends’ fervent warnings. They called him a salesman, a politician, a glad-hander. Cynical, superficial, shallow, and cold. And they were right. He was the kind of man who would sidle up to the desk clerk and talk to her in an intimate whisper as though they’d been friends for ages. You’d usually find him in a crowd of acquaintances, usually at a bar, calling the bartender by name. Or handing out cigars at some candidate’s rally. Or gazing soulfully into his latest victim’s eyes.
The victim being a woman, of course.
Losers Keepers, by M. S. Spencer
Published July 27, 2011 by Secret Cravings Publishing
eBook, 72,000 words, ISBN 978-1-936653-95-9
Contemporary romantic suspense, M/F, 3 flames