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The Replacement Wife

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 nuances and 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 a great guy and all. But he’s still hung up on his ex-wife. Let’s just say I know more about her than he does about me.”

Camille suppressed a sigh. Clearly, the message figuratively chiseled in stone over 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 a minimum 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 and love 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, in fact; 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 and state-of-the-art sound system, was a Rat Pack–worthy bachelor pad in desperate need of a do-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 suppressed another sigh and absently pushed a hand through her hair, momentarily taken aback, as always, 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 several awful home perms and one truly tragic salon job that had left her looking like a cross between Orphan Annie and Lucille Ball), and which, after she’d lost it all to chemo, had grown back curly: her consolation prize, courtesy of the Man Upstairs.

She smiled into the phone. “Not to worry. It wasn’t a good fit, that’s all. We’ll keep trying.”

“You still think he’s out there?” Kat asked in a small voice. A reporter for a local TV news station, she was known for her fearlessness and hard-charging investigative style, but here she was just another single woman pushing forty who’d caught the brass ring but not the gold.

The “he” in question was someone tall, handsome, kind, family-minded, with a good sense of humor who earned a high six-figure income. “He” drove a luxury car, owned not leased, and lived on a high floor in an upscale neighborhood, preferably in the 212 area code. “He” was physically fit, as agile on the tennis court as in the boardroom. “He” was able to secure prime tables at the best restaurants, knew the difference between gnocchi and gnudi and could knowledgeably discuss wines with sommeliers. “He” was an experienced lover who knew how to pleasure a woman. And, last but not least, “he” would never, under any circumstances, cheat on “her.”

Camille’s high-powered female clients wanted in their personal lives what they strove for in the workplace: the position to which they felt entitled, with all the attendant perks and benefits.

So much for simple kindness and a great smile.

Camille hadn’t had a wish list when she met Edward. While these days, she might liken herself to a fairy godmother who waved her magic wand to spin white satin out of Calvin Klein executive threads, back then she’d been too inexperienced to know what she did now, at forty-two. As a teenager, she’d devoured paperback novels that featured corseted bosoms and bronzed, bulging pecs on the cover. Other than that, she hadn’t had a clue what to look for in a man. She’d merely gotten lucky with Edward. She hoped the same for Kat that she did all her clients: that they wouldn’t be so blinded by their expectations they’d fail to see what was in front of them.

“Absolutely,” she replied.

“You don’t think I’m being too picky?” “You’re entitled.”

Camille didn’t believe in settling. The right man was out there. And Kat had a lot to offer. Looks-wise, she was an eleven on a scale of ten, with a glamorous and highly visible career. The trouble with her was she had so much on the ball, the ball had just kept rolling. She’d come of age having men fall at her feet and had happily partaken of all that fallen fruit. But as she’d grown older, the pickings had grown thinner. By the time she was in her mid-thirties, most men her age were either taken or had more baggage than the cargo hold of a 747. “I’m not looking to play Florence Nightingale to the walking wounded,” she’d stated bluntly in their first interview.

“Aye-aye, Captain,” Kat said now. “But if he’s still a no-show by the time I turn forty, I’m officially declaring him MIA.” She had a sense of humor about it, at least, which put her in good stead.

Camille hung up feeling more spurred on than discouraged. She was reminded of why she’d chosen this profession. It was the Rubik’s cube of romance: challenging, yes, but also deeply satisfying when you got all the little colored boxes to line up. Mostly, it was a matter of applying her expertise --- a matchmaker was combination headhunter, den mother, makeover artist, and shrink --- in finding someone who either fit a client’s requirements or fulfilled some subconscious need. But she also had to know when to go with her gut. And judging by the number of successful matches she had made --- more than three hundred to date --- she figured she must be doing something right.

She thought back to her most recent triumph. At first glance, Alice Veehoffer and Andy Stein appeared to have nothing in common other than that their first names both started with an A. Alice was a chemist who spent her days cozying up to test tubes, Andy a customer relations expert whose job relied on the personal touch. The ideal Sunday for Alice was wandering on her own through a museum or curling up with a good book at home, and for Andy hanging out with his pals or bicycling in Central Park. Their first date had been an unmitigated disaster, with Andy doing most of the talking, and Alice, as she put it, relegated to the role of “crash-test dummy.” But Camille had had a gut feeling, and she’d prevailed on them to give it another go.

The second time was the charm. Andy took Alice to a showing of The African Queen at the Lincoln Center Theater, and afterward they chuckled over the unlikely pairing of Rose and Charlie and how it mirrored their own. Which, in turn, led to a discussion of things they did have in common. They’d both minored in Russian in college, were passionate foodies, and loved to travel. Alice described a recent trip to Saint Petersburg; Andy regaled her with tales of his junior year abroad in Florence. They talked for hours --- about everything from Russian literature to their careers and what more they wanted out of life --- while nibbling on salumi and sipping Prosecco at Bar Boulud.

Five months later, they were standing under the chuppah, saying their vows. At the reception afterward, Andy raised his glass in a toast to Camille, saying with heartfelt gratitude, “Cupid may be a lousy shot, but you scored a bull’s-eye.”

She was nothing if not persistent. It was the same persistence that had kept her going when she’d been at death’s door the previous year. A year that, to quote the good Queen Elizabeth, had been her own personal annus horribilis. First there was the shock of diagnosis. Radiation and chemo followed, then with the cancer continuing its relentless Sherman’s March, a stem cell transplant, which left her battling everything from mouth sores to a blood infection. Even after she was released from the hospital, she was dog- tired most days and prone to nausea and fevers. Nevertheless, she dragged herself to work whenever humanly possible. And when all her hair fell out, she bought a high-priced wig from a shop in Borough Park, Brooklyn, that specialized in sheytls --- the first goy ever to cross the threshold, from the look on the Hassidic shopkeeper’s face. Most importantly, she adhered to her cardinal rule: Never let on. Her clients didn’t need to feel sorry for her while fretting about their own uncertain futures.

“Dara, get Stephen Resler on the line,” she called to her assistant.

Dara sat at the only other desk in the agency’s tiny office on the twenty-ninth floor of the Hearst Tower, at West 57th Street and Eighth Avenue. Most of the agency’s business took place outside the office, so a large, fancy suite would have been wasted. Meetings with clients were conducted in restaurants or coffee shops, or if the client was from out of town, Camille traveled to meet with them (at their expense). As a result, the office had taken on the look of a college dorm room. On Dara’s desk sat a framed photo of the all-girl rock band for which she’d been bass guitarist back in the day; next to it, an outsize martini glass from some promotional event. On the table against the wall an iPad dock shared space with an espresso maker, and the loveseat where they took their proverbial coffee breaks held a plush parrot, a souvenir from a recent trip to Key West, and a needlepoint pillow with the slogan Kiss a frog … you might get lucky.

“He’s in a meeting,” Dara informed her after she’d placed the call. “His secretary wants to know if it’s urgent.”

Urgent? Of course it was urgent, Camille thought. If she’d learned anything from the past year, it was that life was short. And Mr. Once-Burned wasn’t getting any younger. He was paying her good money to find him a wife, but so far he’d sabotaged three dates with three separate women. Reports from the front had a disturbingly similar ring: The evening would start out promisingly enough, then a couple of drinks in, as it was getting cozy, talk would turn to that of his ex-wife. He wasn’t even aware of it half the time and was always remorseful afterward. On the plus side, he didn’t get defensive when she pointed out the error of his ways, and unlike his brethren, the Wall Street honchos for whom image was everything, he wasn’t hung up on looks. He was more interested in whether a woman’s heart was in the right place than in her bra size.

“I’m not looking for perfection,” he’d informed Camille over lunch at Patsy’s, at their first meeting. “I’m not the guy who wants Angelina Jolie but who isn’t willing to take an good look in the mirror. I don’t delude myself into thinking I’m Brad Pitt. That said, I think I have a lot to offer.”

“That you do,” she agreed wholeheartedly.

Stephen Resler was an inch or two shorter than most women wanted in a prospective husband, with close-cropped hair that was thinning on top, but he made up for it with an abundance of charm, smarts, and sheer physicality. He’d grown up on the mean streets of the South Bronx having to defend himself with his fists, and despite his Ivy League education and years as a Wall Street mover and shaker, he still looked the part: sturdy as a truncheon, with a gaze that could cut through steel and a muscularity that didn’t come from power lifting at the gym.

He had some rough edges --- evident in his expansive hand gestures and tendency to drop his r’s; not to mention his references to family members who were cops and firemen --- but what might be a turnoff for some would be a refreshing change of pace for others: There was certainly nothing metrosexual about Stephen. “I just have one question,” she said. It was the same question she posed to all prospective clients who were licking their wounds after a divorce. “Are you sure you’re ready to give this a go? Because I get the feeling you’re still not over your ex.”

Stephen gave a rueful smile. “What can I say? Yeah, I still think about Charlene. Probably more than I should. But that’s gotta count for something, right? Shows I’m a caring guy.”

“For this to work, you first have to get someone to care about you,” she said in a firm voice. “And that, I can assure you, isn’t going to happen if she feels she’s in competition with your ex.”

He put his hand to his heart. “I’ll be on my best behavior. I promise,” he vowed.

Famous last words, she thought now, a bead of exasperation rising despite her attempt to squelch it. “No. Have him call me back,” she told Dara. The come-to-Jesus with Stephen Resler could wait.

Dara hung up, returning her attention to her computer screen, where the contact info for Stephen Resler was highlighted. “Should I file him under Lost Cause or Hope Springs Eternal?”

Camille sighed. “He just needs some fine-tuning, is all,” she said.

“More like a kick in the ass,” joked Dara.

“Now, now.” Camille cast her a mildly reproachful look. Were Stephen Resler to manage her stock portfolio, she would expect to see results. He should expect nothing less from her.

Dara shook her head in wonderment. “You never quit, do you?”

Dara was the living embodiment of Rule Number One: You didn’t have to be beautiful. She had the kind of looks that could be described as either homely or interesting, and yet because she had the confidence of a head turner and dressed the part --- today’s outfit a slim skirt that hugged her bony hips, vintage rayon top, and death- defying heels --- she never lacked for male attention. With her nonsurgically altered nose, blunt-cut hair the color of the Sumatran coffee she consumed by the gallon, wide-set green eyes accentuated by eyeliner, and the gap between her front teeth that had defied orthodontics, she reminded Camille of the young Barbra Streisand.

Camille flashed her a grin. “Nope. Don’t know the meaning of the word.”

She picked up the phone and punched in another number. She still hadn’t heard back from Lauren Shapiro about last night’s date with David Cohen. Not a good sign. Could something have happened to nip their romance in the bud? If so, Camille couldn’t think what it might be. The museum curator and bookish Columbia professor had hit it off on their first date, he as smitten with her as she with him. Not only that, they were perfect for each other in every way, both in their mid-thirties with similar interests and backgrounds, and both eager to start a family.

Though not necessarily with each other, it now appeared.

“We had sex!” Lauren moaned.

“That bad, huh?”

“No! It was fantastic!”

Camille smiled. “Okaaaaay. So, what seems to be the problem?”

“It’s too soon! He probably thinks I jump into bed with every guy I go out with.”

“I doubt that. But what if he does? That’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Camille reminded her that most men wanted a woman who was uninhibited. In her eleven years as a matchmaker, she had yet to have a female client rejected for being too sexual. Usually, it was the opposite.

Lauren was beyond reason, though. She hadn’t heard from David since, and it had left her fretting. She sounded on the verge of tears. “The thing is, I really like him. I think he might be the One.”

“How do you know he doesn’t feel the same way?” “He hasn’t called!”

Camille glanced at her watch. It had been less than twenty-four hours, too soon to panic. “I’ll see what I can find out.” She spoke in low, soothing tones. “In the meantime, try not to worry. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explan --- ” She was interrupted by a all-waiting beep at the other end.

“Omigod. That’s him!” Lauren exclaimed breathlessly. “Gotta go.”


Camille was smiling as she hung up.

Minutes later, she was in the ladies’ room freshening up for her next appointment, with a writer who was interviewing her for an article for More magazine. She applied a fresh coat of gloss over her lipstick, then paused in front of the mirror, staring at her reflection as if at an old acquaintance whom she’d randomly bumped into. These days, it was always a bit of a shock whenever she looked in the mirror. In place of her bald head was thick hair that fell in loose, coppery curls to her shoulders. Skin once stretched over too-prominent bones now showed a fine tracing of lines around the eyes and mouth. No one would recognize her as one of the gaunt-faced, pink-ribbon-wearing ladies from her survivors’ group. Her blue eyes had regained their sparkle, as had her ring finger, where the gold band Edward had placed on it nearly twenty years ago, more recently relegated to her jewelry drawer after it kept slipping off, had resumed its rightful place.

Thank God for Edward. The wives in her group had fallen into two categories: those who’d been emotionally, and in some cases literally, abandoned by their spouses, and those like her whose husbands had been a rock throughout. Although the marriage had had its bumpy spots before she became ill, she had never felt so grateful for Edward as when she’d been bald as an egg, showing more bones than flesh. Nestled in his arms, she was a featherless baby bird that might otherwise be trampled. “You’re strong,” he’d whispered in her ear. “You’ll get through this.”

And so she had. Though even with her cancer in remission and her strength regained, she still felt fragile in some respects. There were nights she lay in bed unable to sleep, the old fear stirring like some restless ghost; waking hours when she felt its cold breath on the back of her neck. She didn’t tell her husband about those fears. Hadn’t she put him through enough already?

She returned to find Dara perusing the menu faxed over by the caterer, for next month’s meet-and-greet. The agency hosted one the first Friday of every month, open to all those on their mailing list, which typically meant anywhere from seventy-five to a hundred guests. The buffet supper was an added expense but worth every penny. In Camille’s line of work, presentation was everything. Good food and decent wine, low lighting and music conducive to romance kept it from being just another crackers-and- cheese event. Guests were inspired to dress up rather than wear what they’d worn to work that day. Everyone looked their best and shone their brightest.

“Your two o’clock called to confirm,” Dara reported without glancing up. Camille consulted her watch. Just enough of time to get to the Mandarin Oriental, three blocks away, where she was to meet the writer who was interviewing her. “Oh, and don’t forget your three-thirty doctor’s appointment.” Dara had a mind like a motherboard when it came to keeping track of appointments.

Camille gave a short, mirthless laugh. “As if.” Today was the day she was to learn the results of her most recent PET scan, a moment of truth that loomed over her each time like the sword of Damocles. She put on her Burberry raincoat and grabbed her umbrella --- it had been drizzling on and off all week, April showers that showed no sign of giving way to May flowers anytime soon --- and if she couldn’t arm herself against potential bad news, at least, she could stay dry.

[space break]

If Camille hadn’t known better, she’d have taken Yvonne Vickers for a prospective client. The writer looked to be in her late thirties, with the body fat percentage of an Olympic athlete and blond hair boasting natural-looking highlights affordable only by someone with a six-figure income. The kind of woman who understood it was more about looking good in a T-shirt and jeans than in designer labels. Who, if she was looking for a husband (she wasn’t wearing a ring, so presumably she was unmarried), would see it an enhancement, not the antidote to lonely spinsterhood.

“What do you say to those who view matchmaking as somewhat of a throwback?” Yvonne smiled as she lobbed the question at Camille, tape recorder whirring on the table between them.

“We’re not all like Yentl in Fiddler on the Roof.” Camille gave a dry chuckle. It was a common misconception. But in fact, she was the furthest thing from the stereotypical Jewish shadchen. She wasn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she was anything but antiquated. Old-world matchmakers put a premium on modesty and virtue, and she was all about style, flair, and the loosening of inhibitions. “We’ve come a long way since the days of the village matchmaker. My clients are professional men and women who know what they want. They decide when and who they’ll marry. And believe me, the majority of them don’t have any trouble finding dates on their own.”

Yvonne eyed her quizzically. “Not to sound rude or anything, but why do they need you in that case?”

“They’re busy with their careers and don’t have the time to keep testing new waters,” Camille explained. “Or in some cases, they’ve struck out a few times and don’t trust their own instincts.”

Yvonne arched an eyebrow. “But isn’t that just a high-brow form of pimping?”

Another misconception, this one not so benign. Camille struggled to hide her impatience. “My clients are looking for a life partner, not someone to have sex with,” she replied evenly. “It’s a simple matter of expediency. What might take them years, I can accomplish in weeks or months.”

The writer looked vaguely disappointed at not being able to get a rise out of her, but quickly moved to the next question. “So, Ms. Harte, what makes for a good match, in your experience?”

“Similar backgrounds and values mostly. That, and common interests.” Camille paused before going on. How to put it delicately? “I also have to keep in mind certain, um, physical preferences.”

Yvonne rolled her eyes, momentarily dropping her professional stance. “You’re telling me. The guys I’ve gone out with? Most were overage frat boys obsessed with big tits,” she confided.

Camille, aware of the whirring tape recorder, didn’t comment except to say, “I can’t deny looks are at the top of the wish list for most of my clients, and that’s true of women as well. Though I’ve found they’re more willing to overlook … flaws if the rest of the package is to their liking.”

“You mean if the guy’s filthy rich?” The blonde gave a cynical laugh.

“Well, yes, there’s that.” No use denying it. “But money isn’t everything.” I certainly didn’t marry for money. Edward was a struggling med student at the time. Rail- thin and badly need of a haircut, with the pallor of someone who spent his days with his nose buried in books. What had drawn her to him initially, besides how handsome he was under all that hair, was his intelligence. “Mainly what women want is someone who’s smart and nice and has a sense of humor.”

“And who’s good in bed,” Yvonne supplied with a knowing laugh. Camille smiled and sipped her Perrier. The blonde’s eyes dropped to Camille’s left hand. “You’re married, I take it.”

“Coming up on twenty years.” Camille’s face relaxed in her first heartfelt smile of the day.

“How did you and your husband meet?”

“A suicide hotline, if you can believe it.” She laughed at the look of astonishment on Yvonne’s face --- the story never lost its shock value. “Don’t worry, neither of us is suicidal,” she hastened to add. “I was concerned about a friend of mine, and Edward was the one who took the call.”

“How romantic,” observed Yvonne, her tone wry.

“It goes to show, you never know where you might find your soul mate.”

Yvonne dropped her gaze, leaning forward to adjust the volume control on the tape recorder. She consulted her notes before moving on to another topic. “I understand you were a marriage counselor before you became a matchmaker. Why the career switch, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“It’s a long story,” Camille said. “The short version is, I got tired of being around unhappy couples all day long.” There had been days when she used to drag home from work bruised from the verbal battles she refereed. “Now, instead, I get to play Cupid. It’s way more satisfying.”

Camille thought she saw a wistful look flit across the blonde’s face as she commented, “You must go to a lot of weddings.”

Camille smiled. “You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But I don’t get invited to them all.”

“Really? Why not?”

“Not everyone wants it known they required the services of a matchmaker.” Camille gave a sanguine shrug. “I don’t take it personally. As long as the story has a happy ending, that’s all that matters.”

“So you believe in happy endings?”

Camille thought of her husband and children, fourteen-year-old Kyra and eight- year-old Zach. Despite the past year’s ordeal, she was luckier than most. Not many forty- two-year-old women could say they had it all and mean it: a loving family, a fulfilling career. Her health, too, though it seemed she couldn’t entirely count on that. “Yes,” she answered unhesitatingly. “I truly believe there’s someone for everyone. Some people just need a little help finding that special someone.”

Yvonne smiled and sat back, crossing her slender legs and settling her notebook on one knee. “Which is where you come in.”


“How do they find you?”

“By referral mostly. But a lot of it is just chatting people up.” Camille was naturally friendly --- when she was a child, her mother was constantly scolding for talking to strangers --- whether it was fellow guests at a social function, other ladies in department store dressing rooms or public restrooms, or seatmates on planes. Once, on the shuttle from La Guardia to Boston, she struck up a conversation with an attractive, older man.

By the time the plane touched down, she’d learned his wife of forty years had died four years prior and he was finally ready to start dating again. She gave him her business card, and six months later she was dancing at his wedding.

After she’d told the story, Camille glanced at her watch. A quarter to three. She’d have to leave now if she was to get to the doctor’s in time. Her stomach twisted. Never mind the results of the last two PET scans had showed no recurrence of her cancer, she was never able to face that moment of truth without a sense of dread. She rose, signaling the interview was at an end.

“Call if you have any more questions,” she said, shaking the blonde’s hand.

“Thanks for your time. I’ll let you know when the article comes out. Oh, one more thing,” she said as Camille was turning to go. Camille caught the note of hesitation in her voice and thought, Here it comes.

“Yes?” she said pleasantly.

Yvonne was blushing to the roots of her highlighted hair, looking more like a schoolgirl than a grown woman. “Just out of curiosity. Do you, um, have anyone you think might be right for me?”

[space break]

Camille’s hematologist-oncologist greeted her with the usual cheery hello, immediately putting her at ease. “Camille, you’re the only woman I know who manages to look fresh as a daisy even when it’s pouring rain outside.”

The same could be said of Regina Hawkins, MD. However frazzled or harried, she always looked as if she’d stepped out of an ad for Oil of Olay. Her tawny skin glowed like burnished sandalwood. Her black hair, pulled back in a bun, was as smooth as if naturally straight. Only her alert brown eyes hinted at what lay beneath the smooth exterior. They seemed to impart a challenge of some kind, as if she were mentally laying

down the gauntlet. Cancer, you may think you’ve got this patient beat, but I’m one badass doctor you’re not going to want to mess with.

“It comes from being on intimate terms with my car service,” replied Camille with a laugh.

“How’s the shoulder?”

“Still a little sore. I’m sure it’s nothing. You know us Type As, we tend to overdo it at the gym. It’s probably just a pulled muscle.” Camille massaged her right shoulder, wincing slightly.

Her doctor nodded slowly, offering no comment. “Why don’t we step into my office?”

Camille tensed up again. Her fate awaited her. What would it be, the door with the lady behind it or the one with the tiger? The discomfort of the test itself, lying perfectly still for an hour inside the scanner while the radionuclide that had been injected into bloodstream did its work, seemed a minor inconvenience compared to the gut-churning anxiety of waiting for the results. Then, she’d imagined her body a traveler en route to an undisclosed destination. Now she’d arrived.

Regina’s office was more homey than officelike, with its handsome furnishings and beautiful old Berber rug over polished floorboards, its walls covered in cream wallpaper flecked with pale blue, which made her think of vanilla ice cream topped with sprinkles, and hung with watercolors painted by Regina’s husband, a well-known artist. She headed for the cozy seating arrangement where she and her doctor had sat on numerous prior occasions, discussing test results and treatment options while sipping tea. Even on a rainy day, the room was filled with light, and if the view out the mullioned windows was of hospital across the street where she’d spent so many bleak hours, she was heartened by signs of spring: new grass and rows of tulips and daffodils, which fluttered in the breeze like bright-colored pennants heralding a grand opening.

Regina sat down across from her and pulled a set of computer-generated prints from a manila envelope that bore the return address of the radiology lab. Wordlessly, she spread them out on the table in front of Camille, like a fortune-teller laying out Tarot cards. Camille stared at them. Over the past year, she’d become as adept as a medical professional at reading test results, so she knew instantly what she was looking at. Time slowed to a standstill. She felt a vein at the base of her neck start to throb. At last, she lifted her head and looked her hematologist-oncologist in the eye.

“Does this mean what I think it means?”

The Replacement Wife
by by Eileen Goudge

  • paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road E-riginal
  • ISBN-10: 1453258140
  • ISBN-13: 9781453258149