Longtime bachelor Ron Burley has a rule against messing around with married women in his rural upstate New York town, but sassy, lovely Lavender has convinced him to break it. Their steamy affair sets someone off, but it isn't Lavender's clueless husband—it's Marta, Burley's clingy childhood friend and ex-lover.
Marta knows Burley is on the verge of going broke, so she secretly tries to lure him with a lucrative job offer and some enticing fringe benefits. Although he's sorely tempted, Burley's
afraid to trust Marta due to the sketchy circumstances surrounding their bitter breakup years ago; but this might be his only chance to get back at her for what she did.
Suspicious of her boyfriend's romantic history, Lavender visits a psychic for a tarot card reading in a creepy cabin in the Adirondack woods. Watch your back, the psychic warns her. Burley and Marta aren't the innocent people they're pretending to be. Someone's out for revenge, and this love triangle could turn deadly.
"A cautionary tale with a gut-punch plot. In this steamy, small-town thriller, Regina Buttner takes the reader down a bad road indeed." —Brian Kaufman, author of A Shadow Melody
Jeanie thinks she was to blame for the assault she suffered in college—and she'll do anything to keep her old-school Catholic family from finding out about the resulting pregnancy, as well as what she did to conceal it.
Years have passed since the assault, and Jeanie's husband, Greg, still thinks she's the seemingly innocent girl he married. It's the height of the Seattle dot-com boom, and he's too busy cashing in his stock options to pay attention to his wife. He isn't aware of Jeanie's lingering shame and guilt, and doesn't know she married him in the desperate hope that devoting herself to marriage and motherhood will somehow absolve her from the "sins" in her past.
Their hidden agendas collide when Greg discovers evidence of Jeanie's long-ago pregnancy. As she confesses the details of that drunken night with her married professor, Greg's pristine image of his wife is blown, and his shock quickly deepens into violent fury. Jeanie realizes she needs to leave—but Greg won't let her go. He's up for a big promotion, and he's not about to let her ruin his reputation by walking out on him. He'll resort to blackmail if necessary. Or worse.
"Regina Buttner's captivating debut draws back the curtain of a seemingly perfect marriage to reveal the dark and complex dynamic between a manipulative narcissist and a woman desperate to make amends for her past."
—Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of The Widow and Somebody's Home