The Congressman’s Wife
by Charlene Keel GENRE: Contemporary Romance
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.
Kaleb had been standing close enough to hear it all—not that he’d intended to eavesdrop. He only wanted to try and give her some kind of signal—to beg, if necessary—to get a moment alone with her. When he heard her husband’s caustic words, Kaleb wanted to punch him. He wanted to take Eden’s hand and lead her out of there, away from the complete jackass her husband seemed to be.
Instead, he followed her into the room where coats were checked for the evening. The maid who’d taken them was nowhere about, and Eden was digging through the racks when Kaleb walked in. She looked up, surprised.
“We need to talk about it,” he said.
“About what?” She found her wrap and Mitchell’s Brooks Brothers overcoat, draped them over one arm and turned to face him.
“About this thing between us.”
“That’s not very original.”
“I feel it and I know you feel it.”
“Look, I’m very flattered,” she began but he cut her off.
“We don’t have much time.” He moved closer, aching to touch her. “Your husband will come looking for you any minute. Just tell me when and where I can see you again. Alone.”
“You can’t,” she said. “My husband is running for congress. It’s . . . it would be impossible.”
“No,” he insisted. “I don’t know why we met or how we’re going to pull this off but I do know one thing.” He was speaking so softly now that she had to move closer to hear him.
“What?” she asked, her lips just inches from his own. They were of equal height and he could see how well, how perfectly, they would fit together.
“I won’t give up. I want to make love to you.”
“At least once?” she countered.
He moved closer still. “Once will never be enough for us. You know that, too.”
She sighed, lightly, and her sweet breath lingered on his cheek for a moment before she moved away and broke the spell.
“My husband is waiting for me,” she said. “You’re a little crazy, you know? You need to forget about this. I’m married. I have kids. I don’t have time for an affair.”
“Have lunch with me.”
“Just let me talk to you. Give me two hours—maybe over the weekend. Then if you never want to hear from me again, that’ll be it. I swear.”
She didn’t say anything for a moment, as if she was considering it. “As intriguing as that sounds, I’m afraid it’s impossible. I’m going to the season opening at the Village Resort up in Hunter this weekend, with my best friend.”
“Your husband going too?” Kaleb persisted.
“No. He has a previous engagement. Not that it’s any of your business.”
He opened his mouth to answer but Mitchell’s voice rang out in the foyer. “Edie—let’s go. Where are you?”
She flashed Kaleb a warning look and called out softly, “Coming, Mitchell.” Then she left, quickly, before her husband could see Kaleb standing in the shadows.
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.
For more information:
Website: CharleneKeel.net - http://www.charlenekeel.net/
Follow Charlene on Twitter - https://twitter.com/CharleneKeel
Charlene Keel on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/charlene.keel.1
Blog: Red Sky Book Blog - https://redskybookblog.wordpress.com/category/charlene-keel/
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.
For more information:
Arie Pavlou on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/arie.pavlou
What is the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to you?
Arie: Moving to Paris after high school and living there for a few years opened my life to many continuing interesting things, including knife-throwing contests with other student chefs at Le Cordon Bleu.
Also, finally getting my first book done. The story had been in my head for a few years but my work as a chef and my interest in exploring off-the-beaten-track destinations kept me too busy to get much writing done. I’d never thought of myself as an author—just a storyteller with no idea how to put it all in motion. Then I met Char.
Charlene: Working with Arie has been fascinating. He’s a great storyteller and he’s funny. He has a snappy comeback for, or witty observation about, almost any subject.
But the most amazing thing would be having Ricardo Montalban protect one of my screenplays. As a publicist for Columbia Pictures Television some years ago, one of my assigned shows was Fantasy Island. It was easy. Everyone wanted to interview Ricardo, who was the nicest, most sincere person I ever met in the entertainment industry.
When I showed executive producer Arthur Rowe a couple of my books, he asked me to try a script for Fantasy Island. Eager to break into TV, I was ecstatic. The first episode I did was about a woman who’d read Wuthering Heights and wanted to meet Heathcliff. Arthur liked it and that led to more assignments.
Early in my career I learned one shocking fact. When you write an episode of anything for TV, the producers want to rewrite as much of it as they can. That’s because if they can change at least a third of it, they can share credit and residuals.
When I did the Candy Kisses episode, producer Don Ingalls could find only one line to change. I was appalled. It was Ricardo’s line and it was completely out of character, something Mr. Roarke would never say. As the lowly screenwriter there was nothing I could do.
But as the publicist I was allowed to be on set for the filming of my episode which, in itself, was a thrill. I was trying to take comfort in that when Ricardo came to me and said, “Miss Keel, thank you for writing such a beautiful script for us.”
After thanking him for the compliment I expressed my concern about the line change. “How did you write it?” he asked. I told him, and he said, “That’s perfect. Don’t worry. I’ll go to the producers and tell them to change it back.”
And he did. And they did. Arthur Rowe told me later, over a celebratory lunch, that it was probably the only script in television history that made it to air as the writer wrote it, without a single word changed. That was pretty cool.
To see the Candy Kisses episode of Fantasy Island (and my screen credit, go to): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QcWyk_v044