It’s been almost twenty years since Claire met her ex in high school, and now she finds herself thrust into the dating world for the first time as an adult, armed with little more than confusion and lack of experience. Not only is Ron the only man she’s ever been with, she’s also coping with the loss of her fertility, and if she goes on one more hideous blind date – possibly her mind. Determined to avoid both online dating and meetup groups, she endures fix-ups with all sorts of memorable characters, such as weepy Pete, the drunk skunk, the cheap hot-dog eater, and let’s not forget – the unholy speed dater.
As Claire becomes more depressed over her plight, her best friend Jane prompts her to redirect her maternal longings by adopting an adorable wiener dog puppy. Dixie is not a human baby, but hopefully she will provide her new Mommy with a diversion from the parade of loony men marching through her lonely nights – that’s if Mommy’s house and sanity survive the destructive cyclone that is an untrained three-pound ball of craziness!
Unfortunately, while Claire is trying to move on, Ron is trying to pull her back into the past, and his life. Determined to win back his wife’s affections, he offers to help Claire with home repairs as he tries to implement ‘Operation Friends’ in an effort to persuade his wife into giving him another chance. However, Ron is struggling with his own adjustment to single life, and isn’t finding it easy to ditch the Amazon woman, or his new ‘mail order bride’ dating site hobby, no matter how much he has convinced himself that he and Claire belong together.
DAZED & DIVORCED is Book 1 in the Rom-Com on the Edge series. All books are standalone novels, but read in order for maximum fun!
Jed clears his throat and says, “So, Claire are you here in pursuit of marriage and a family?”
Even though I have now met several of his type tonight, I remain astounded at their existence. Is there one normal man worthy of a real date? Not just here, but anywhere?
I once again look at the daunting line of potential suitors still slated to come my way and sigh. “I’m not really sure how to answer that. I’m just trying to meet people since my divorce.”
Jed winces, and is probably already praying for this sullied woman…
“But you surely want children?”
I lean back in my seat, finally relaxing my posture. This is unbelievable. The last thing I expected was to discuss my darkest problems at fucking speed dating!
But since Jed’s not even in the neighborhood of a possibility, I fold my arms and say, “I would have loved them, but I can’t have them.”
I expect him to apologize for bringing up a touchy subject, or to express his condolences. Or to tell me that God must have a different plan for me, and that I should come on his mission trip to a malaria-infested jungle to find my calling.
Instead, he places his hands on the table in front of him and grows very serious. “Claire, we must pray that the Lord will bring you children.”
I smile nervously now. “No, prayer won’t help me. I had a hysterectomy.”
He jumps back as our shift change is loudly announced by Mary.
As he stands up, he says, “I see. Well, since you have allowed the devil’s work to be done to your body, I don’t know that you can be—”
A tall, attractive man appears beside psycho Pastor Jed, who obviously has abortion and hysterectomy confused, and says, “Okay, buddy. Nice speech. Let’s move it along. I need to meet this beautiful blonde.”
Jed moves on in disgust and the somewhat hot new guy sits down, and I immediately start laughing. It starts as a smirk but I can’t hold it in.
“And what’s so funny, Miss…Claire?”
His ability to read my nametag on my chest without fear is a good sign, but it’s his name that’s got me in stitches.
He now seems to get the joke and says, “Yes, it is rather humorous that my name is Christian and I’m the least holy one in the bunch tonight. Are there some nutters here or what?”
“I’ll say, but let’s not waste time on them. Were you invited here by one of the church ladies?”
He nods his head in the direction of my seat neighbor. I wonder how they know each other, but I don’t want to waste time on useless chatter with the one normal guy here.
“Me, too.” I am suddenly at a loss for words as I take in my new speed date’s dark hair and eyes. I can also peek at his firm chest from here, and his forearms and hands are strong and remind me of Ron’s…ugh…why am I thinking about Ron at a time like this?
“Hey, Claire, I have an idea.” He lowers his voice and continues, “Between you and me, I’m not seeing any good pickings in either direction you or I are headed tonight.”
We both look in the direction of the singles we haven’t met, and I have to agree that it looks dismal.
I turn back towards Christian and say, “What were you thinking?”
I am already feeling a little light-headed with excitement and I haven’t even had a drink. That’s a good sign—and Rebecca keeps telling me how I need to loosen up and take chances.
“I propose we get the hell out of here.” He eyes the door to the parking lot and our freedom.
“Really? Just get up and run out the door?”
I thought he was going to say let’s go outside of their rules and exchange information now, or plan to meet later in the week. Something spontaneous and romantic. But I guess running out of speed dating hand-in-hand with a handsome stranger is pretty romantic—it feels like a movie scene.
I steal one more quick glance down the row to my left at the men coming up next, and I catch the eye of the guy from the parking lot. I’m not looking forward to him telling me about a church sponsored lotion snorting rehab he can recommend, so I look Christian dead in the eye and say, “Okay, but you lead.”
Before anyone even looks up from their own captivating partners, Christian has grabbed my hand and we are in the parking lot, laughing our asses off. I also notice he has a nice one.
“That was sensational. I can’t believe you agreed.”
His smile is huge and I am overjoyed just seeing someone happy because of something I did. I haven’t had much of that lately.
I wipe my eyes in case my happy tears have smudged my makeup, and say, “I am trying to work on my sense of adventure.”
We are still standing in the parking lot, and I’m kind of surprised that none of the church ladies have followed us out here to admonish us for breaking the rules. However, it’s more likely that a round of applause and prayers of thanksgiving have erupted due to the departure of the two heathens.
Really, I do consider myself to be a believer…I’m not sure exactly what I believe, but I’ve never been made to feel like a terrible person before at any church function. Those people are complete whack jobs.
Christian runs his fingers through his thick hair and points to his car. “I’m over there. Do you want to follow me and get a drink first?”
I look in the general direction of his vehicle, and think a moment before saying, “First?”
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About The Author
Carol Maloney Scott, author of the Rom-Com on the Edge series, is a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. She is a lover of donuts, and a hater of mornings. Recently unearthing a childhood passion for writing, she can once again be seen carrying around a notebook and staring into space. Her stories are witty, fresh and real, just like life.
Join her on “The Edge” for giveaways, cover reveals, excerpts, contests and members-only content at carolmaloneyscott.com/, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32764745-dazed-divorced