Did you ever listen to friend talk about the one who got away? That perfect guy who broke her heart but was so stinkin’ nice about it. They were so in love. They were amazing together! Life was so happy, right up until he dumped her. Or maybe, like me, you’ve been that person, left there on the curb (or rock in my case, long story), scratching your head and wondering what went wrong.
That’s Jenny, one of the sisters in If You Only Knew, my new book. For a few happy years, she was married to Owen Takahashi, The Perfect Man, a pediatric plastic surgeon who spends his days reconstructing little faces, correcting birth defects, healing wounds. Jenny, a wedding dress designer, can’t help feeling a little shallow by comparison. But their marriage is perfect, sort of, right up until Dr. Perfect dumps her. Even so, at the beginning of the book, Jenny finds herself back in her former apartment at a baby shower for his wife, Ana-Sofia, wondering how the heck she got to this point.
I loved how Jenny’s perspective on Owen shifts. First of all, she finally puts a little distance between herself and the new family. Secondly, she almost immediately starts falling for Leo Killian, a scruffy piano teacher who lives in the apartment beneath hers.
And thirdly, she starts to wonder about perfection when her sister confides that her own marriage is in trouble. Rachel, who seemed to nail the whole happily-ever-after thing by marrying Adam and staying home with their triplet daughters. But now Adam might be cheating, and if he is, what will Rachel do? To leave him is to deprive the girls of a father under the same roof, and to give up on the happy family she’s worked so hard to create. Her own parents seemed to have a perfect marriage…Doesn’t hers deserve a second chance? Doesn’t Adam? Or is it impossible to recover from some things?
I guess one of the themes of the book is that perfection is overrated. The guy I dated before meeting my husband…he was pretty perfect, I thought at the time. He was nice, smart, funny, attractive, etc. But there was something missing. I can’t say what it was, but despite surface appearances, we just weren’t right for each other. I’m so glad not to be married to him, I say sincerely and without bitterness, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. We wished each other the best and moved on. And I’m so happy with my Irish firefighter! He’s not perfect, not by a long shot. But we’re pretty perfect for each other.
I hope you’ll love If You Only Knew! If you order it before September 2, 2015, a chunk of the proceeds will benefit Fisher House Foundation, which provides a home away from home for military families when a loved one is in the hospital. So many of our veterans have conditions that require long-term or continuing care; I hope you’ll support this great organization just by buying a book you’ll really enjoy.
Thank you so much, gang!