If You Must Know by Jamie Beck

If You Must Know

If You Must Know by Jamie Beck (Potomac Point #1)
English | 2020 | Contemporary | ePUB | 2.9 MB

Life turns upside down for two sisters in Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck’s emotional novel about how secrets and differences can break—or bind—a family.

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.

There ought to be a warning anytime you wake up on a day that will forever change your life. Some harbinger—like a robin, lightning bolt, or black cat—so you don’t find yourself blindsided. This morning’s brilliant sunshine hadn’t exactly screamed, “Beware, today you’ll discover that the most destructive lies are the ones you tell yourself.”

If anything, the clear blue sky promised a perfect spring day. And so, blissfully ignorant, I stopped at Sugar Momma’s on my way home from my routine three-mile walk along Chesapeake Bay. Normally I’d never order a peanut butter–chocolate chunk cookie the size of a dessert plate and a decaffeinated salted-caramel latte with extra whipped cream before nine o’clock in the morning. I’d promised Lyle I’d be good, for the baby’s sake. But my husband had been away on business all week. While I wouldn’t recommend that anyone lie to a spouse, in this case, I figured what Lyle didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.

Honestly, I deserved this little—or not so little—cheat. The pressure of putting together his new company’s first real estate development deal was turning my mostly charming husband into a male version of Martha Stewart on steroids. So much so that I almost wished he’d return to his former job: at Chesapeake Properties he’d been a successful commercial broker with less stress.

Lately most of my attempts to alleviate his anxiety had backfired. Thank God I had my mom as a sounding board when his moods blew cold. The day after our last argument three weeks ago, Lyle had come home with a small gift—his standard means of making amends—a silver pinkie ring. Not to complain about his generosity, but I couldn’t recall a single “I’m sorry” since we’d met. I’d prefer an apology to a makeup present, but we ended up in the same place either way.

I broke off a section of the still-warm cookie and took a nibble, and my eyelids drooped from cocoa-infused ecstasy. “Oh my goodness, Hannah. This is delicious.”

Everything about her and her bakeshop intrigued me, making it my favorite discovery since moving into our new house back in December. The turquoise, gold, and red decor mimicked the bold colors she draped across her generous figure. Crimson lips framed her larger-than-life smile, which made her look younger than the fifty or so years I guessed she was. And she gathered all her blonde-and-pink braids into a single ponytail that was as thick as a fire hose.

I didn’t know Hannah as well as I would’ve liked. We spoke only here, where her animated personality filled the shop with upbeat energy. When I’d sensed her keeping me in the “patron” box, I gave up my attempts at friendship. Yet I often wondered about her life. Pictured her in a busy home kitchen, testing recipes. Imagined her knitting her handmade shawls and vests. Most of all, I questioned what kind of partner could handle all her vivacity.

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