Today’s guest is Lily, who comes from the pages of Watercolours in the Rain by Jo Lambert. Lily is keen to show us her letter to Max, so here it is.
This is the hardest letter I have ever had to write. You’re the first person I’ve ever cared about although after what I’ve done I doubt you’ll see it that way.
When my husband left me, my survival instinct kicked in. With a four year old child to support I smartened up, got myself some training and suddenly there I was, working as a temp at Warner Webb one of the city’s most prestigious estate agents. And you, Max Warner, decided to give me a chance by offering me a permanent job. Of course early on I knew the opportunity you’d given me wasn’t totally out of the goodness of your heart. I felt a connection as soon as we met; something which might have developed given the chance. But everything changed on that fateful evening you invited me to join you and Nick for dinner to meet the new owner of Lynbrook Manor. I never thought I see Talun Hanson again. The scruffy good looking gypsy was now heir to a Norfolk farming dynasty. He’d even changed his name to Hawkeswood. That evening sitting around the table with all of you, I kept glancing at him, envious of all that wealth. He seemed pleased to see me and asked me out to dinner. I quickly got the measure of him. Kind, soft, gullible even. And so I hit on a plan. Something, given the one night we had together five years ago, was plausible. I told him he was Josh’s father and through an old boyfriend even managed to fix the DNA test. And he bought it! I couldn’t believe my luck. We moved to Norfolk with him and for a few months I lived the dream. I should have known things would eventually catch up with me.
Oh Max, what can I say? Despite everything, you were still there for me. You stood bail and took me home with you. I know you were trying to help but with the charges stacked against me I simply couldn’t face prison. I had to escape and the only way I could do that was to use you. The kindest, sweetest man in the entire world. I saw how you were bringing money home, locking it in your safe. You were hiding money from Davina weren’t you? Afraid that slick divorce lawyer she’s hired would have the shirt off your back. You didn’t see me watching you but old habits die hard and I soon had the safe code memorised. Pauli had contacts. Ones I knew could provide the paperwork I needed for a new identity. So now I’ve gone to a place where I can I can start a new life and put the past behind me. I have no qualms about leaving Josh. No doubt he’ll have a much better life without a lousy mother like me. But I do have regrets about what I’ve done to you. If I could have found another way, made different choices believe me I would have. You’re the first person I’ve ever had a conscience about but in the end, as always, I’ve had to put my needs first. It’s the way I am; the way I’ll always be.
Lily has now returned to her place in Watercolours in the Rain. Just as well, I think, as I don’t think she and I would have got on well!
About Watercolours in the Rain
What happens to the future when past and present collide?
JESS: Six years ago Jess’s relationship with Talún Hansen was torn apart by one night of deception. He disappeared from Lynbrook village and she headed for university vowing never to let anyone break her heart again. Currently teaching in Oxford, Jess returns from holiday to an unexpected phone call and life changing news which eventually sees her returning home.
Talún: Six years on Talún Hawkeswood, as he is now known, is heir to his grandfather’s Norfolk farming empire. When he hears of trouble in the village due to Lynbrook Hall being put up for sale, going back is the last thing on his mind. But staying away is not an option either, not when someone he owes so much to is about to lose their home and their livelihood.
LILY: Splitting with her husband after her son Josh’s birth, Lily now works as part of an estate agency sales team. She has always held onto her dream of finding a wealthy husband and a life of self-indulgence. When the sale of an important property brings her face to face with Talún, she realises despite the risks involved, the night they spent together six years ago could be the key to making those dreams come true.
As Jess, Talún and Lily return to Lynbrook and the truth about what happened that summer is gradually revealed, Talún finds himself in an impossible situation. Still in love with Jess he is tied into a trade off with Lily: his name and the lifestyle she craves in exchange for his son. And when a child is involved there is only one choice he can make…
About Jo Lambert
Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert grew up with a love of books and a vivid imagination. She is author of seven novels, all romantic fiction, and is currently working on her eighth. When she’s not writing she reviews and produces a weekly blog.
Jo is married and now lives in Somerset with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She loves travel, red wine, rock music and has a passion for dark chocolate…