Publishing year: 2014
This book follows the event of the first in the series.
This time the novel starts with Stephanie’s account. It is Christmas Eve, so Stephanie decides to travel home in Wisconsin for Christmas. She has a big family, five brothers and sisters and a litter of nephews and nieces. Stephanie is coming to terms with the fact that things are over between her and Robert. I find Stephanie in this part quite mellow. In the previous book she was too pushy and demanding, but somehow she is slightly different. Then it comes as no surprise when she finds out she is pregnant. Since in the previous book she mentioned early on that her period was overdue, I had my suspicions. So she confirms the pregnancy and travels back to Boston. She needs to talk to Robert as the baby now changes things. Even though she was sure that things were over with Robert, she is starting to contemplate the idea of them together raising the baby, and she considers that his children are grown up and don’t need him so much.
Robert appears at her apartment, looking the worse for wear. His friend, Jimmy Moran, who he had a drink with a few days ago has died. Jimmy’s life mirrored Robert’s as he and his wife had separated after his continuous affairs, and the ultimate fact that broke the marriage was when the wife found out that his much younger mistress was pregnant. Robert was outraged by the fact that Angela, Jimmy’s wife, had taken him to the cleaners, and his attitude took Stephanie aback since she thought Jimmy’s wife was entitled to what she was getting. Robert now explains that Jimmy had a heart attack on Christmas Day, and he went to be with him. He phoned his ex-wife and his present partner, but neither of them wanted anything to do with the man, and it pained Robert to think that Jimmy had died alone.
The meeting between Stephanie and Robert don’t end amicably. First, Stephanie realizes Robert is still lying to Kathy when she calls him and he says he is in the office. Because of the circumstances, she understands his reasons. Then when she asks him about the pregnancy, she gets a shock when he says she can’t have the baby, and he can pay for the abortion, and after that they can continue as they were. It is then that the truth is revealed to her. She realizes how selfish and self-centred Robert is, and she gets to understand that Robert really wanted good fun and the business she brought to his company, but when push comes to shove, Stephanie learns the hard way that Robert is not ready to support her. She reacts angrily, calling him names, demanding he give her the key to her apartment, and telling him she won’t see him anymore. I think Robert deserves that and more. I really dislike Robert even though he has a good side too. The next part is from his perspective, and I’m dying to know what happened between him and Kathy after they left Stephanie’s apartment on Christmas Eve.