Sunday Snippet: When I Come Around by Karen Grey

Posted February 25, 2024 by Jen in Sunday Snippet Tags: ,

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When I Come Around

Author: Karen Grey
Publisher: Home Cooked Books
Release Date: February 29, 2024
Series: Carolina Classics series #4
Genre: Retro Romantic Comedy

Snippet:

book cover of When I Come Around by Karen GreyWHITNEY

The sounds and scents of the hospital are an oddly comforting cocoon. The bed cradles my fragile body. The chilled air and cloud of antiseptics preserve me while I heal. The monitor by my side is a sentry, its gentle but insistent beeping protecting me from intruders.

Until the creak of a chair breaks through the mechanical sounds, and a different smell invades my nostrils. The unmistakable combination of cedar and sandalwood tells me my husband is in the room. Hardy’s choice of cologne, Platinum Égoïste by Chanel, suits him to a tee.

I will the muscles of my face to relax, even as I sense him moving closer to the bedside.

“What did you do, Whitney?” His voice is hushed. So soft I can barely hear the words, they still manage to convey his anger. “You were pregnant with my child, and you didn’t even tell me?”

The bed sinks slightly in his direction, and I have to stifle a gasp. I learned early on to play possum as much as possible with this man, whether he wanted sex or to vent his anger. It doesn’t work here. The heart monitor betrays me, the racing beats broadcasting my terror.

“I know you’re pretending. You think you can fool me, you stupid bitch?”

“Excuse me sir,” a woman calls sharply. “Visiting hours are over for the ICU.”

“I’m her husband,” he says, switching easily to that silky smooth tone of his.

“You could be the president of the United States,” she says, with an authority I wish I could muster. “But you still aren’t allowed in here right now.”

Hardy takes my hand and presses it to the area where his heart would be if he had one. I want to wrench it away, but something churns through me. Not exactly pain. Or maybe it is pain. Suddenly, the sounds in the room dim too. Lights flash beyond my closed lids, people in scrubs rush in, but the air is hazy.

The wave of pain disappears. Is replaced by relief.
And then I’m above it all. Floating.
Just like in a movie. Is it a movie?
A movie set. With a body on the hospital bed below that looks like me.
Damn. I look terrible. Greasy hair and a face in serious need of concealer and blush. I am as pale as a ghost.
Or am I the ghost?
“She was perfectly healthy before this happened.” Hardy’s shout pierces the fog and wraps around my throat. “We are planning to have children. This is total bullsh*t.” 

Alarms from the machines get louder, freeing me to float further away. Maybe it would be better if I just died.

You can endure a thousand paper cuts.
Until suddenly you’re hemorrhaging.

About the Book:

1999 goals: Get a life, get real… and get a room. 

No one ever said I was the brightest bulb on the tree, but a near-death experience finally knocks some sense into my thick head.

Luckily, my jerk of an ex washes his hands of me, but I’m left with so many burnt bridges to re-build. Landing a job on any movie or TV show that’ll have me has to be my #1 priority. Thankfully, my life-long friends still love me enough to help.

When the one I always wished could be more than a friend shows up on my doorstep, however, all my good intentions go right out the window. Before I know it, I’ve convinced him that an out-of-town, friends-with-benefits deal will be the perfect way to get over each other.

Is it another in a long line of bad decisions, or a move that’ll turn things around? One hundred and ten percent, I hope he can handle the truth.

Fans of 90’s TV shows, from Friends to Freaks and Geeks, will love this second chance, friends-to-lovers, retro romance, where a grumpy cinnamon roll hero and a wounded bird heroine vie for a happy-ever-after despite interference from meddling found-family friends.

Note: Content guidance can be found at karengrey.com/contentguidance

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