This week's Wednesday Wonders features
Almost as Much
the third book in The Cherished Memories series
by Linda Ellen
About Almost As Much:
The long awaited final installment of the series that began with the 2014 Lyra Independent Fiction Contest Romance Category Winner, Once in a While.
It’s now 1955...
Vic and Louise Matthews are living his Bold Venture and raising their family. Together with Louise’s son Tommy and their own two boys, along with Louise’s mother, Lilly, they have settled into a comfortable life.
With Vic working seven days a week to make his dream a success, they have realized Almost as Much happiness as they had hoped for, but Louise unexpectedly finds herself becoming frustrated and dissatisfied. As problems between them grow, each one steadfastly searches for answers. Finally, in desperation, Louise makes a decision that sets in motion an event that will change the dynamic of their lives forever.
Follow this hard-working couple as they weather accidents, robberies, and misunderstandings – as well as joys, triumphs, and answered prayers.
Will that magnificent love that began on a dark rainy night in 1937 truly prevail? And will the event that Louise longs for become a reality?
Heartfelt, delightful, riveting, and at times comical, Almost as Much is an inspirational tale awash in historical references, while thoroughly portraying the reality of a family striving to live the American dream in Louisville in the 1950’s.
You may purchase Almost as Much on Amazon. CLICK HERE.
You may purchase Almost as Much on Amazon. CLICK HERE.
The shower was still running, steam building up in the bathroom in spite of the door being open. Louise stepped in leaving the door ajar a few inches for ventilation. She couldn’t see any movement behind the curtain and the thought crossed her mind that her husband was hiding, purposely trying to avoid having a confrontation. She knew he realized she was aggravated at him. Slowly moving up, she put out a hand and moved the curtain just enough to peer through the steam, her face set with a frown...
What she saw gave her heart a twinge. Her husband...her hard-working man...was standing with his back to the streaming hot water, allowing it to beat down on his neck and left shoulder. So much so that the skin was bright red from the heat. Thinking of her teenaged son already in bed and exhausted from his day at the station, for a crazy moment, she wondered if Vic had managed to fall sleep on his feet. His hair was plastered to his head, and his face wore a grimace. Then, slowly rotating his arm, she watched as he shifted to allow the water to beat down on the other shoulder.
After a few moments, as if he felt her gaze, his eyes opened and met hers as he blinked water from his lashes. Then his lips turned up in a tiny smile. “Sorry I was late gettin’ home...”
Louise smiled softly and shook her head. The remnants of her anger from earlier had fled the moment she had seen the extent of his exhaustion.
“That’s okay.” After a few beats, she added, “Want me to wash your back?”
He let out a groan. “That’d be heaven.”
She closed that end of the curtain and reached up for the washcloth he had stashed over the curtain rod, taking a moment to make it good and soapy. Then opening the curtain again, she pushed it back a bit. “Come here...turn around,” she murmured over the sound of the water hitting the floor of the tub. He obligingly came forward, turning and bracing his hands on the shower wall, and letting out a soft moan as she began soaping and massaging his back and shoulders. When she was finished, she scrubbed his elbows and the backs of his arms free from ground-in grime.
Memories seeped in of the many times she had scrubbed his back during their early days. They were so much in love back then... With a soft sigh, she handed him the washcloth. Leaving the bathroom, she shut the door and slipped behind the curtain into their sleeping area.
Slowly removing her party dress and jewelry, she allowed her mind to wander over first one subject and then another. She wondered why she felt so restless of late. Was it because the boys, her babies, were getting so big? Both of them would be away from her in school soon and not with her and not under her protection every day. Thoughts of her friends having babies crossed her mind and for a moment, she wondered why she hadn’t gotten with child again after Jimmy – it wasn’t as if they had begun taking precautions again, because they hadn’t. She paused in contemplation, wondering if having another child would make her feel fulfilled. Then, for the first time in a long time, thoughts of the baby she had lost on the banks of the Ohio so many years ago crossed her mind. The memories of pain, loss, and the accompanying conflicting emotions, had been buried so deep, they seldom surfaced...
Placing her hands up to her cheeks, she stared at her reflection in the bureau mirror. Oh, what is my problem? Was it that she and Vic didn’t seem as close as they used to be? They had been so happy for so many years. It wasn’t that she didn’t love him or that she felt he didn’t love her...I know he does. It was just that they never had time to spend together anymore...like they were two boats floating down opposite sides of the Ohio, but in the same direction.
Louise heard the shower stop and several minutes later heard him brushing his teeth as she stood running her brush through her hair, allowing her mind continuing to flit from one subject to another.
Not long after, Vic slipped through the curtain. Putting down her brush, she gathered her things to ready herself for bed, before she turned, emotions warring within. Wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, he stood gazing across the bed at her, his expression carefully neutral, as if bracing himself for a tirade.
All day, she had been planning on having it out with him over a great many things, but now...all the wind seemed to have left her sails. She could see the fatigue lines around his eyes and the guarded air of his posture.
With a sigh, she averted her eyes and slipped out past the other side of the curtain, pausing for a moment to gaze back over her shoulder before making her way to the bathroom. He hadn’t moved, except to follow her movements with his eyes. After a moment, he shifted his focus onto the light blue sheets invitingly turned down.
When she joined him in their bed twenty minutes later, he was sound asleep.
For her, however, sleep was a long time coming.
About Linda Ellen:
Linda Ellen is an historical romance writer who's making her debut with Depression Era romance, rich with history, love, heartache, and real life.
Linda was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she resides with her husband and youngest son.
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