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“Steamy love scenes, emotionally-charged drama, and a family-driven story, make this the perfect story for any romance reader; especially those who have read Book One, Sisters in Love.“
— Diane Donovan, Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
About Sisters in Bloom
Kaylie Snow has always been the fun, flirty, pretty sister. Now, her burgeoning baby bump, hormone infused emotions, and faltering singing career are sending her into an unexpected identity crisis. Watching her older sister Danica glide through a major career change and a new relationship with the grace of a ballerina, Kaylie’s insecurities rise to the forefront—and her relationship, with fiancé Chaz Crew, is caught in the crossfire.
Chaz Crew has everything he’s ever wanted: a lovely fiancé, a baby on the way, and soon, the film festival he owns will host its biggest event ever. When he’s called away to woo the festival’s largest sponsor—and the lover he’s never admitted to having—secrets from his past turn his new life upside down.
With her baby shower around the corner, and her fiancé’s big event looming, the pressure is on for Kaylie to pull herself together—and for Chaz to right his wrongs. In a few short weeks, the couple who had it all figured out will learn things about life and love that may change their minds—and their hearts.
Sisters in Bloom is a testament to the bond of sisters, the strength of women, and the pains and delights that accompany motherhood. A book for every mother, sister, and daughter, Sisters in Bloom will resonate with readers who love to explore family dramas.
Kaylie Snow didn’t just have to tinkle, she had to pee. If she wasn’t out of bed in two minutes, she’d very likely not make it to the bathroom, and then she’d have to explain to her fiancé why the carpet was wet. She pulled the sheet over her naked, burgeoning belly, and sat up, watching Chaz’s chest rise and fall with each peaceful breath. She stifled the urge to lean over and kiss his barely parted lips. He’d been working so hard; he really did deserve to sleep in. The morning light streamed through the curtains reminding her of the morning after they’d first met. Surely, her bladder could wait one small minute while she savored those memories. She’d had far too many margaritas celebrating her best friend Camille’s impending wedding, and Chaz had been only mildly tipsy when they left Bar None together and headed to his place. She remembered thinking that she wanted to run her hands through his wavy blond hair, which set off his ocean-blue eyes like jewels. And she’d desperately wanted to kiss him, just as she did now.
She’d waited a long time for that first kiss. They talked until five in the morning, when—tucked perfectly into the curve of his arm, her head against his muscular chest—they’d fallen asleep on the couch in his living room. When she awoke, the sun was warming the room, and his unkissed lips slightly parted as he slept. She could feel their connection as if it was another person in the room, and she’d known in her heart that she’d found the man she’d one day marry. She reached over now and ran her finger over the prickles of whiskers that lined the chiseled edge of his jaw.
He rolled onto his side, snuggling deeper into the pillow, and shifted just enough to jiggle her bladder. She winced, pressing the heel of her hand on the mattress to push herself to her feet—not an easy task at thirty-five weeks pregnant. As she raised herself off the bed, she felt Chaz’s hand fold into her own.
“Come back,” he whispered.
Kaylie turned, holding the sheet across her heavy breasts. “I have to pee,” she whispered.
“Then come back.” He squeezed her hand gently, and then let her go.
After Kaylie went to the bathroom, she washed her hands and inspected herself in the mirror. Naked Buddha. She turned sideways. Beached whale. She turned to the rear and looked over her shoulder. Oh, God, that’s even worse. What had she been thinking last night, believing each of Chaz’s compliments about how gorgeous she looked? The evening before came tumbling back to her. The phone call from the Denver nightclub, the one she’d sung in for the last two years. Just another in a long line of lost singing gigs that she’d hoped to secure, for after the baby was born. She was a good singer! Audiences loved her and she’d never missed a single gig. She’d always dreamt of being offered a record deal; now, it seemed as if her pregnancy changed everything, like she had a tattoo on her forehead that read, Don’t hire me. I’ll have a baby soon and it’ll make me unreliable. She’d cried for twenty minutes, blaming herself, the baby, and even Chaz. Later, she realized she hadn’t really meant a word of it, she’d just been overwhelmed. Chaz had stuck right beside her, calm and empathetic, and she’d fallen for every one of his lines about how sexy and beautiful she looked, and how wonderful of a mother she’d be. He’d reeled her right into his loving, secure arms, and whisked those worries away.
Look at me. That’s it! No more sleeping naked. She ran her hands along the pockets of flesh that had somehow gathered above her waist. Jesus, I have love handles? She’d been a size five since she was a teenager. How could she have love handles? Babies grew in the uterus, not above the hipbones. What the hell is this all about? She patted her blond hair into submission—sort of—brushed her teeth, and then grabbed one of Chaz’s T-shirts from his dresser drawer before returning to bed.
Kaylie lay on her back, her legs bent at the knees. She restrained herself from feeling the love handles that now seemed to silently taunt her. Just knowing they were there was making her cranky. She felt her chest tighten, and clenched her fingers around the edges of Chaz’s shirt.
Chaz curled into her, his knees tucked under hers, and his arm across her narrow hips, below her enormous belly. He rested his head on her shoulder, and she listened to his breathing, each breath calming her nerves a little bit more. She felt so safe when she was with Chaz. No wonder she hadn’t put on clothes last night. She believed anything that came out of his mouth.
“Wanna think about names?” he whispered.
“We agreed not to.” When Kaylie first learned she was pregnant, they’d decided not to find out the gender of the baby. There were so few real surprises in life that they wanted the birth of their baby to be one of those moments that really grabbed them by their hearts in a way that nothing else ever could. For that reason, and with her doctor’s permission, she’d only had one sonogram. She wasn’t a high-risk pregnancy, and she was so young that her doctor saw no reason to have more; Kaylie had been relieved. The idea of lying on the table with her baby on that screen—close enough to reach out and touch—would have been too hard to turn away from.
Kaylie was also adamant about not trying out names before it was born. She’d never understood how a child could have a name before the parents had met it. What if a Charles was really a Michael? It would be hard to change the name to fit the personality or looks of a baby if they’d been calling it Charles for nine months.
She and Chaz were so much alike. They agreed on almost everything, and Kaylie had dated enough men to know just how lucky she was. She closed her eyes, thinking about the things she had to do today. She was meeting her older sister, Danica, and her mother, who she hadn’t seen in—gosh—a year? Had it really been that long? Guilt settled in around her. Her mother was once such a big part of her life, but ever since she found out that her mother had stayed with her father after learning of his affair, she no longer saw her mother in the same light. The strong woman she thought she knew seemed weak and almost pathetic. Now that Kaylie was going to be a mother, she found herself thinking of her mother more often, but she had no idea how to handle the anger and disappointment she felt toward her. Once again, she tucked away these uncomfortable thoughts about her mother. They were too difficult to deal with right then. She had other pressing issues that she could not ignore.
Her nerves tightened against the incessant nag in the back of her mind, the one that reminded her that it had been months since her last singing gig. The one that reminded her that her sister Danica would never let her career just fade away, unless that’s what she wanted. Kaylie felt powerless to change the path of her failing career, and determined, fearless Kaylie had never felt powerless in her entire life.
Chaz moved his hand slowly across her pelvis, then traced gentle circles on the underside of her belly. “Gracie?”
“We’re not doing this,” she said, smiling despite her desire to chew on her worry for just another minute or two. She brushed his bangs from his forehead.
He scooted up beside her and whispered in her ear, “Jezabel? Bambi?”
Kaylie Snow hasn’t spoken to her mother in a year. She’s angry that her mother put up with her father’s infidelities and lived a lie for so many years. She’s happy to be carrying the child of the man she loves, but she has doubts about what being a mother will do—has already done—to her singing career. And Chaz has a couple of secrets that he knows he has to talk to Kaylie about, but he can never seem to find the right time.
Danica Snow seems to have moved beyond that stage in her acceptance of their parents’ divorce, but then, she does have a fear of commitment. Blake is the perfect man for her. She loves and trusts him. But there’s still a lingering doubt that keeps her from agreeing to move in with him. She wants to reconcile Kaylie with their mother, but she herself hasn’t done much to keep in touch with Dad.
This is a poignant story of two sisters who still struggle with the aftermath of a family that was broken for years before they learned of it. Although they react in very different ways, they both find the past interfering in their own relationships, and both must find their own way of dealing with these fears and insecurities.
Dysfunctional marriages where the parents stay together until their children are grown are not at all uncommon, and Sisters in Bloom makes me think it’s better to cut ties and live honestly than to stay together “for the children’s sake.” Such decisions are never easy, however, and I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all answer.
What do you think?
About the Author
Melissa Foster is an award-winning, International bestselling author. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
The Women’s Nest (my social network for women)
World Literary Café: Where readers and author unite!
“Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal”-— Bestselling Author Jennie Shortridge
“What sets Melissa Foster apart are her compelling characters who you care about… desperately. This is psychological suspense at its most chilling. I dare you to read the first chapter and not be hooked.” —International bestseller, M.J. Rose