Nothing Is Lost In Loving

Published: 04/13/2016

ISBN Digital: 9781509206971
ISBN Print: 9781509206964
Page Count: 354
Word Count: 94750
Rating: Sensual

When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which is also the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to stop talking to his ashes, come to terms with her loss, and get her life back on track for her young son’s sake as well as her own. She never expected that posting an ad on Craigslist would send her into the arms of not one but two men, one of whom is her former boss. Now she’s working as an admin for a retired Broadway star, bookkeeping for an erotic video production company, and writing love letters for the mysterious "Oaklander." Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces and the father-in-law she never met shows up on her doorstep. With the guidance of her best friend, Bono, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by.


The voice of Ava, my monster-in-law, plays in surround sound inside my head, blocking out Jack’s scripted speech. She’ll rejoice in my misfortune. I can hear her telling the judge, “Stella is unemployed and unfit to raise her son. Until she gets back on her feet, it’s only logical I take custody of my grandson.” My news will rock her world. Ava has been after me ever since I had Bobby cremated instead of laying him to rest in a Nob Hill family plot.

Focus, Stella, the little voice shouts. There’s enough cash in the bank to last six months, but the economy is still in the toilet. This is not a good time to be unemployed. As if there is ever a good time, I whine inside.

“Stella, did you hear me? Are you okay?” A touch of worry sails through the wires and lands like a thud on the counter.

I hit the mute button to block the dry sob growing behind my breastbone. Breathe, one thousand-one, one thousand-two, one thousand-three, one thousand-four, hold for six counts. I grip the edge of the counter, which keeps me rooted to the kitchen floor and from drowning in the acid panic flooding my veins. Damn. I’m losing my job. Ava will come after Santi again. Damn. Stop! Don’t you dare cry on the phone in front of a man, especially not Jack. Inner Stella swoops in and takes control.

“Stella?” His voice is no longer a whisper.

I unmute the phone. “Yes, I’m here.”

“Is everything okay? Did you hear what I said?”

“Yes, I heard, and I’m fine.” You jerk, what a stupid question. “The news is unexpected, of course. Thanks for the heads-up.” I need to make a graceful exit from the call. I manage to choke back my sob. “I assume our meeting is canceled. There’s probably no point in me coming into the city to talk about the business plan for next year.” Since I’ll be living in a cardboard box under the Bay Bridge, you selfish prick. “Good luck with your new venture. It sounds great.”

“Yes, our meeting is no longer necessary, but Human Resources will probably want to meet with you.”

“I’ll coordinate the details with Grace. Take care.”

“Thank you. I’m sure you’ll land on your feet. Are you okay with this? I can…”

“No, it’s all good. December you said. Is the thirty-first my last day?”

“Yes, end of December, and one month of severance. Stella, are you all right? Your voice sounds…”

“It’s all good. Ciao.”

Just my damn luck, a week before Christmas, and today is the anniversary of Bobby’s death. If this is the first day of the rest of my life, I want a do-over.

“You didn’t make my toast. You look funny, Mommy.” Santi’s brows furrow like he’s trying to see behind my eyes.

“I always look funny. We’re going to have to hurry now.”

“You were on the phone too long.”

“Way too long, honey.” It’s fifteen minutes of my life I want to erase.

Copyright © 2018 The Wild Rose Press, Inc.