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The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge (Excerpt)

The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
The Replacement Wife is a forthcoming new novel by Eileen Goudge, one of the nation's most successful authors of women's fiction. This poignant new novel asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” And for one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.
The Replacement Wife is a forthcoming new novel by Eileen Goudge, one of the nation's most successful authors of women's fiction. This poignant new novel asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” And for one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Feb 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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THE REPLACEMENT WIFEBy Eileen Goudge
Chapter One
“We had a nice time,” Kat said.Camille Harte felt her heart sink and the fizz go out of the celebratory bottle of champagne she’d mentally uncorked. In her line of work, she’d learned to read nuancesand inflections the way a fortune-teller did tea leaves.
 It did not go well,
she thought.Damn. She’d been so
 sure
.“But?” she prompted in a mild tone.A lengthy pause at the other end of the phone, then Kat said slowly, “Well. He’s agreat guy and all. But he’s still hung up on his ex-wife. Let’s just say I know more abouther than he does about me.”Camille suppressed a sigh. Clearly, the message figuratively chiseled in stoneover the doorway to the Harte to Heart Agency had failed to sink in with Mr. Once-Burned:
 Abandon all talk of exes, ye who enter here.
Maybe she should require aminimum wait of one year following a divorce.“What else did you talk about?” she asked.
 
 “Oh, you know, his job, my job … the fact that we’re both into rock climbing andlove jazz.” She ticked the boxes in a bored voice. “Did you know he has the ‘lost’recording of Clifford Brown?” She grew slightly more animated. Camille did know, infact; Stephen Resler had played it for her during her home visit, the purpose of which had been to assess his living space. What she’d found, in addition to a vast CD collection andstate-of-the-art sound system, was a Rat Pack–worthy bachelor pad in desperate need of ado-over. She’d called in her “commando” decorator, Jeffrey Rabin, and three weeks later,after a fresh paint job, some new furnishings and jazzy throw pillows to dress up the old,the place was transformed. Now any woman Stephen brought home wouldn’t feel as if she were entering the Playboy mansion circa 1967. Not that Kat had made it that far.“Like I said, he’s a great guy,” she repeated without enthusiasm.“So, no kiss?”“What?” She gave a nervous laugh. “Oh, that. No. Definitely not.”“If you had to rate the date on a scale of one to ten …?”“I don’t know. A five?”She was being generous, Camille knew. Excessive talk of one’s ex did more than put a damper on the evening: It was the equivalent of a cold shower. She suppressedanother sigh and absently pushed a hand through her hair, momentarily taken aback, asalways, by its springiness. Hair that for the first thirty-nine years of her life had been bone-straight and in high school the bane of her existence (as well as the victim of severalawful home perms and one truly tragic salon job that had left her looking like a cross

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