SOON TO it is in A significant MOTION PICTUREINSTANT #1 international BESTSELLERUSA today bestseller Edgar + ITW Thriller compensation nominee because that Best first Novel“Think: Dexter yet sexier.”—theSkimm“A dark and irresistible debut.”—People“Will shock also the savviest suspense readers.”—Real SimpleDexter meets Mr. And Mrs. Smith in this insanity compulsive debut thriller about a pair whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten also interesting...

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ours love story is simple. Ns met a gorgeous woman. We dropped in love. We had actually kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each various other our best dreams, and our darkest secrets. And also then we acquired bored. We look like a regular couple. We"re her neighbors, the parents of her kid"s friend, the acquaintances friend keep definition to obtain dinner with. We all have actually our tricks to keeping a marriage alive. Ours just happens come be getting away with murder.

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Samantha Downing
currently lives in brand-new Orleans, whereby she is furiously keying away top top her next thrilling standalone. Mine Lovely wife is her first novel.

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MY LOVELY wife by Samantha Downing ***This excerpt is from an advance, uncorrected proof***OneShe is looking at me. Her blue eyes room glassy, castle flicker under to she drink and back up. Ns look in ~ my own drink and can feeling her watching, wondering if I’m as interested as she is. Ns glance over and also smile to show her i am. She smiles back. Many of her lipstick is gone, currently a reddish smear on the pickled in salt of she glass. Ns walk over and also take the seat alongside her.She fluffs her hair. The is unremarkable in both color and also length. Her lips move, she claims hello, and her eyes are brighter. They look backlit.Physically, ns appeal to she the same method I would appeal to many women in this bar. Ns am thirty-nine, in great shape with a complete head the hair and also a deep set of dimples, and my fit fits far better than any type of glove. That’s why she looked at me, why she smiled, why she is happy I have come over to sign up with her. Ns am the male she has actually in mind.I slide mine phone throughout the bar toward her. It screens a message.Hello. My surname is Tobias.She reads it and crinkles her brow, looking earlier and forth in between the phone and also me. I type another message.I to be deaf.Her eyebrows shooting up, she covers her mouth through one hand, and the pink rises on she skin. Embarrassment watch the same on everyone.She shakes her head at me. Sorry, therefore sorry. She did not know.Of course you didn’t. How could you?She smiles. The is not fairly whole.I to be no longer the photo in her head, no longer the male she imagined, but now she isn’t certain what to do.She picks up my phone and varieties back.I’m Petra.A satisfied to satisfy you, Petra. You are Russian?My parents were.I nod and smile. She nods and smiles. I have the right to see her mind churning.She would quite not remain with me. She wants to go find a man who deserve to hear she laugh and does not have actually to kind out his words.At the exact same time, she conscience tells her not to discriminate. Petra go not want to be the shallow woman that refuses a man due to the fact that he is deaf. She doesn’t desire to revolve me under the method so plenty of others have.Or therefore she assumes.Her internal battle is like a three-act pat unfolding before my eyes, and also I know how it ends. At the very least most the the time.She stays.Her very first question is around my hearing, or absence of it. Yes, I have actually been deaf native birth. No, I have never heard anything—not a laugh, no a voice, no a puppy barking or a airplane overhead.Petra offers me a sad face. She does no realize this is patronizing, and also I don’t tell her, since she is trying. Since she stays.She asks if I have the right to read lips. Ns nod. She starts come talk.“When i was twelve, I damaged my foot in two places. Bicycle accident.” her mouth moves in the many exaggerated, grotesque way. “Anyway, I had actually to wear a cast that walk from mine foot all the method up to my thigh.” She stops, color etc a line across her thigh in case I have actually trouble understanding. Ns don’t, however I evaluate the attempt. And the thigh.She continues. “I couldn’t go at every for six weeks. At school, I had actually to use a wheelchair, since the actors was too hefty for crutches.”I smile, fifty percent imagining little Petra through a huge cast. Half imagining whereby this sad story is heading.“I’m no saying I understand what it’s like to live in a wheelchair, or to have any type of permanent disability. Ns just always feel like . . . Well, the feels favor I’ve had actually a tiny taste of what it would be like, you know?”I nod.She smiles with relief, afraid she story can have offended me.I type:You are an extremely sensitive.She shrugs. Beams at the compliment.We have one more drink.I tell her a story that has nothing to perform with gift deaf. I tell her around my childhood pet, a frog called Sherman. He to be a bullfrog who sat top top the biggest rock in the pond and hogged every the flies. I never tried to catch Sherman; i would just watch him, and also sometimes he watched me, too. We favored to sit together, and I started calling him my pet.“What taken place to him?” Petra asks.I shrug.One day the rock was empty. Never saw him again.Petra claims this is sad. Ns tell her it isn’t. Sad would’ve to be finding his dead body and also being compelled to bury him. I never had to perform that. I simply imagined he visited a bigger pond with more flies.She likes this and also tells me so.I execute not tell she everything about Sherman. Because that instance, he had actually a long tongue the darted approximately so fast I might hardly view it, yet I constantly wanted come grab it. I offered to sit through the pond and wonder how negative of a thought that was. How damaging was it to shot and take a frog’s tongue? and would it hurt him? If that died, would it it is in murder? I never ever tried to grab his tongue and also probably couldn’t have actually anyway, but I thought around it. And that do me feel choose I wasn’t a great friend to Sherman.Petra tells me about her cat, Lionel, that is named after she childhood cat, also named Lionel. I tell her that’s funny, but I’m not certain it is. She reflects me pictures. Lionel is a tuxedo cat, through a face divided in between black and white. He is too stark to it is in cute.She continues to talk and shifts to she work. She brand products and also companies, and she claims it’s both the easiest and also the most challenging thing. Difficult in the beginning, due to the fact that it’s so tough to get anyone come remember anything, but as an ext people begin to acknowledge a brand, it becomes easy.“At some point, that doesn’t also matter what we’re selling. The brand becomes more important 보다 the product.” She point out to my phone and also asks if i bought it due to the fact that of the name or because I choose the phone.Both?She smiles. “See. You aren’t also sure.”I guess not.“What do you do?”Accountant.She nods. The is the least amazing profession in the world, however it is solid, stable, and also something a deaf man can conveniently do. Numbers don’t speak through a voice.The bartender come over. That is neat and also clean, college-aged. Petra takes charge of the ordering, and also it is due to the fact that I am deaf. Women always think I must be taken care of. They like to carry out things for me due to the fact that they think ns am weak.Petra secures us two more drinks and also a fresh bowl of snacks, and also she smiles prefer she is proud that herself. It makes me laugh. Silently, but still a laugh.She leans toward me and puts she hand on mine arm. Leaves it there. She has actually forgotten i am no her appropriate man, and our development is currently predictable. It’s no long before we walk to she place. The decision is simpler than it have to be, despite not due to the fact that I find her an especially attractive. It is the choice. She gives me the power to decide, and right currently I to be a male who states yes.Petra lives downtown, close come the bar, in the center of every the huge branding signs. Her ar is no as neat together I’d expected. Over there is clutter everywhere: papers and also clothes and also dishes. It renders me think she loses her secrets a lot.“Lionel is roughly here somewhere. Hiding, probably.”I don’t look for the stark cat.She flits around, dropping her bag in one place and also removing her shoes in another. Two glasses appear, filled v red wine, and also she leader me right into the bedroom. She transforms to confront me, smiling. Petra has become an ext attractive—even her level hair seems to sparkle. It is the alcohol, yes, however it’s also her happiness. I acquire the feeling she has not been this happy in a while, and I’m not sure why. Petra is attractive enough.She presses up versus me, she body warm, her breath wet in wine. She take away the glass the end of mine hand and also puts that down.I carry out not end up drinking that until lot later, as soon as we space in the dark and the only light is from my phone. We kind back and forth, making fun of ourselves and also the reality that we do not understand each other.I ask:Favorite color?Lime green. Ice cream?Bubble gum.Bubble gum? The blue stuff?Yes.Who says that?What’s her favorite?French vanilla. Pizza topping?Ham.We’re done here.Are we?Wait, are we still talking around pizza?We space not talking around pizza.Afterward, she dozes off first. Ns think around leaving, then about staying, and also the idea bounces roughly so long I doze off.When ns wake up, it’s still dark. Ns slip out of the bed without waking Petra. She is resting facedown, one leg askew and also her hair spread out on the pillow. Ns cannot decide if i really like her or not, so i don’t decision at all. I execute not have to.On the nightstand, her earrings. They space made of colored glass, a swirl of blue shades, and also they look like her eyes. After acquiring dressed, i slip the earrings right into my pocket. Ns take them to remind myself no to carry out this again. I virtually believe it will work.I walk towards the front door without looking back.“Are you really deaf?”She claims it out loud, to my back.I listen her since I am no deaf.And I store moving.I pretend i don’t hear her, go right to the door and shut the behind me, then continue until ns am out of she building, down the block, and around the corner. The is only then that i stop and also wonder just how she figured the out. Ns must have slipped.