Monday, August 1, 2016

#Excerpt: THE CONGRESSMAN'S WIFE by Arie Pavlou and Charlene Keel

Be a Cougar
“Your husband is an inconsiderate ass,” Sybil said over dirty martinis after their drive up the mountain.  “Why do you put up with it?”

“Like I have a choice?”  Eden had just told Sybil about her birthday dinner with the Romano brothers.  “If I left, where would I go?  Mom’s still living in Texas, in a little two-bedroom house, with another woman.  There’s no room for me and the kids.  I guess I could take them to my dad’s—and they can get to know their thirty-year-old step-grandma.”

Sybil laughed.  “It would serve him right if you showed up.”

“Yeah,” Eden agreed.  “But seriously, I can’t do that to the kids.  It would rip their world apart, if I left their father just because I’m . . .” 

She paused, searching for the right word.

“Unhappy?” Sybil supplied.

“Not really,” Eden said.  “It’s just . . . when I’m not angry with Mitchell I’m bored out of my mind.”

“Even with the campaign in full swing?”

“Especially with that,” Eden said.  “It’s nothing I haven’t done before, just on a bigger scale.  I don’t think Mitchell can win and he’s spending so much money.  At this rate, we’ll never get out of debt.”  She blinked back the sudden, hot dart of tears before Sybil could see.  “Still no reason to end a marriage.”

“Maybe when the kids are older.”

Eden finished her martini and signaled the bartender for another.  “In ten more years, Rosie will be sixteen,” she said.  “I’ll be almost forty-five. All the men my age will be looking for a younger woman.”

“So get a younger man.  You need a secret boy toy.  Be a cougar—it’s all the rage.”

A quick image of Kaleb Stavros flashed through Eden’s mind.  “Yeah, right,” she said.

“What about that hot young cook you met at the fundraiser?”


“Whatever.  Did you call him?”

“No point.  Mitchell and his campaign need my full attention, twenty-four-seven.  Any time I have to myself, I plan to sleep.”

“All the more reason you should have a little som’n-som’n on the side,” Sybil said.

“Oh, come on—you know that’s not me.  I may flirt a little here and there, but when it’s time to deliver—I don’t.”

“Well, that’s depressing.”

“Mitchell’s my husband.  I took vows, you know.  For better or worse—”

“Blah, blah, blah,” Sybil interrupted.  “So let’s just forget him, at least for the weekend.  Tonight—starting in twenty minutes—full spa treatment followed by hot chocolate in front of the fire.  Tomorrow we’ll get your silly antiquing done in the morning and your blasted autumn leaves out of the way in the afternoon, and then little Sybil’s going on the prowl.  You can come along and watch.”


All Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel loved for herself alone. The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives.  Her Dell book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera.  Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a YA supernatural trilogy.  Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award.  Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines.  In her spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls, spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.

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Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York.  He has lived and worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five languages.  He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le Cordon Bleu.  Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream.  The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s currently writing a cookbook.

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