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Married Ladies [On hold for now]

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What happens after you find your Happily Ever After? That’s what we’re about to find out! Why is one of the men suddenly visiting sex clubs without his wife? How do couples navigate financial troubles? Is it possible to forgive your partner for cheating on you? And how do you handle your totally out of control teenage son? This book is a part of the “Sweet Caroline series”. The books in this series can be read as standalones usually, but not this book. Head to my “Guide to book by Goddess Hedone” on my profile to find out more about the series!

Romance / Erotica
Goddess Hedone
4.9 12 reviews
Age Rating:

PART ONE: ANNABEL & ASTON -- #1 Is this the beginning of the end?

This book is a part of the “Sweet Caroline series”. The books in this series can be read as standalones usually, but not this book. Head to my “Guide to book by Goddess Hedone” on my profile to find out more about the series!

What happens after you find your Happily Ever After? That’s what we’re about to find out! Why is one of the men suddenly visiting sex clubs without his wife? How do couples navigate financial troubles? Is it possible to forgive your partner for cheating on you? And how do you handle your totally out of control teenage son?

This book is not about finding that special someone. Everyone already found their significant other, and now it’s time to find out if happily ever after truly exists. Or will some of our favorite couples end in divorce? Or worse? After all, with older age come health issues…

Once a month, all the women from the “first generation” get together for their book club, plus a few male honorary members. Instead of actually reading books, they drink wine and vent about their partners, their kids, and the hardships in their lives. They laugh, cry, and most of all: support each other through the most difficult times in their lives.

We follow one character for a couple of chapters, and then we make a time jump into the next year, from someone else’s POV. This way, we get to see every single couple, and we’ll cover almost 20 years, seeing a lot of new scenes and some scenes from other books from a totally new perspective.

If you don’t like one of the couples, you only have to read a few chapters from their POV, or you could skip that part altogether if you really hate a character. (Yes, I am looking at the people who hate either Liv or Mila, haha.)

I write all my books as standalones, except for this one. You really need to start at “Sweet Caroline” and then go through all the other books to truly appreciate this novel. If you skipped one or two books, that is totally fine, but you can’t read this as a standalone.

To give you an idea of the timeline: the year when Caroline and Nathan meet in “Sweet Caroline”, that’s what I call year one. “Married Ladies” starts in year 21. That is the year Pierre finishes college, Rose gets pregnant with Lily, Caroline turns 43, Annabel turns 57, and Nathan turns 60. Just to give you guys an idea of where we’re at in the timeline. The book “Marries Ladies” will end in year 39, which is the year Peyton and Ash have kids.

Without further ado… Enjoy Married Ladies!



#1 Is this the beginning of the end?

Annabel’s POV

With a sigh, I pull a wad of tissues out of the pocket of Benjamin’s pants before throwing them in the washing machine. They’re sticky, so I quickly throw them in the trash and wash my hands with a shudder. Since my son is a 15-year-old boy, I don’t want to know why those tissues were sticky. Let’s just pretend he had a runny nose, shall we?

Steffi left a bunch of jewelry in her jeans, so I take each item out and put them in the little box I keep in the laundry room. Aston and I always put everything we find in there, lock it, and wait until the kids complain about not finding something. They can earn back the stuff they leave in their laundry by doing chores. Of course, they think that is totally unfair. Steffi calls it child slavery.

Drama queen.

Just to be sure, I check Aston’s jeans as well. He’s usually really good about making sure all his pockets are empty, but he’s only human. I’m lucky to have a husband who may look like a traditional caveman, but who is all about equality. With my crazy hours as a lawyer with my own firm, he even does more around the house than I do.

It’s the weekend, so I try to do as much as possible on my two days off. He’s in his studio, painting, and the kids are with friends, so I’ve got the house to myself. Perfect. I’ve got the radio on, and I’m doing some chores, like washing everyone’s jeans.

Turns out Aston did leave something in his back pocket this time. I take out the business card, and it falls out of my hand onto the floor. With a sigh, I crouch down, glad it didn’t go all the way underneath the washing machine. I slide it toward me and pick it up, frowning at the logo that I’m pretty sure is a pair of boobs. Classy. Beneath it is the word Please. That’s it. Nothing else.

I turn it over, curious what the hell this is. Someone hitting on him again? Giving him her number? That has happened before. I used to get incredibly insecure when someone at his gym tried to get with him, but I’ve learned to cope with it. He’s hot, there’s no denying that, so he’s bound to get female attention. Fact is he doesn’t even bother hiding it from me when a woman slips me her number. If he was cheating on me, he would probably try a lot harder to hide it from me, right?

I used to think that Aston would never cheat on me, but lately… I don’t know. Things have been a bit off between us.

I gasp when I see what’s on the other side of the card. There’s a phone number there, and a website, but it’s not a girl trying to get with my husband.

I’m holding the business card of a sex club in my hand.

Why the hell is this in Aston’s jeans?

“Anna? Babe?”

I startle at his voice, stuffing the card in my pocket before raising up from the floor. A year ago, I would have just asked him what the card is all about, but now… I can’t.

Because I’m scared of what the answer might be.

What if he is cheating? What would I do? I used to be very clear on this: I’d leave him. Now, after being with him for twenty years, I’m not so sure I would. I love him. There’s no one quite like Aston. I don’t know what the hell I’d do without him.

Maybe I don’t want to know. At least not untilI figure out what I’d do if my worst fear would come true.

“Babe?” Aston peeks around the corner of the laundry room, smiling when he sees me. “What are you doing?”

“Erm… laundry, obviously.” My tone is snappy, but I can’t help it. I’m freaking out.

He laughs. “Right. Sorry. Do we have any orange juice?”

“Yeah, in the fridge.”

“I looked in the fridge, but I can’t find it.”

Men, am I right?

I fake a smile and take a moment to turn on the washing machine before following him downstairs. It takes me all of five seconds to find the orange juice, of course.

“Now I feel stupid,” he grunts, grabbing the bottle from me and putting it to his lips.

“Don’t drink from the bottle,” I sigh, grabbing a glass for him.

He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m already done. Just needed some natural sugars before going back to painting.”

I lean against the counter, not sure what to do or say. The business card of Please is burning a hole in my pocket, and I know I need to ask him about it, but the words won’t come out.

“You look tense,” he says, moving in to kiss me.

Without wanting to, I melt into him. He’s always had that effect on me, and he still does.

“That’s better,” he murmurs, squeezing my ass. “I know you had a rough week. You should relax, babe. I’ll take care of the rest of the chores later. Don’t you have your book club anyway?”

“Yeah, I have to leave in an hour.” I hesitate, feeling really anxious about what I’m about to say next. “The kids aren’t home, and I’ve got an hour to spare… So…”

That’s been code for ‘Want to fuck?’ for as long as I can remember. Aston doesn’t do code, he just grabs me and carries me wherever he wants to fuck me, but I’m not always that brave. Normally, when I tell him the kids aren’t home, he will have me naked in five seconds flat. Or… well, he used to. The past year has been a little weird. Slowly but surely, things have changed between us. Sex is less frequent, less hot, and when I try to initiate, he sometimes turns me down. That never happened before this year. Never. What’s even worse is that he doesn’t initiate all that often either, which means that sometimes, we go a full week without sex.

A full week.

That may be normal for some people, but it’s not for us. In fact, I think it’s been nine days already. Jesus. Aside from the weeks after I gave birth to our kids, we never go without for longer than a few days.

Maybe he really is cheating on me.

Or… or he doesn’t find me attractive anymore?

That could be it. I’m turning 57 this year, and he’s ten years younger than I am. And a million times more attractive.

“An hour?” he asks, and for a second I swear I see heat flare in his eyes. But then it fizzles out, and he smiles. “Perfect. You can take a long hot bath, relax a little. I’ll bring you a glass of wine, okay? You should unwind after such a long week.”

“Okay.” I fake a smile. “Thanks.”

I do as I’m told, because a part of me hopes that once he sees me lying in the bathtub, naked, that he’ll change his mind and get in with me. It’s happened before. We’ve had some wicked hot sex in that bathroom…

It doesn’t happen, sadly. He brings me my wine, but he barely even looks at my body. Am I really that disgusting? He apparently can’t even stand the sight of me anymore.

Instead of relaxing, I end up crying for almost the full hour, downing my wine and sitting in the lukewarm water, trying to get a hold of myself. This breakdown has been a long time coming. I kept telling myself I was imagining things. We were just busy with our jobs and the kids. Maybe he was tired. Maybe I was misreading things.

I don’t think I was, though. He just doesn’t see me that way anymore. Maybe he’s thinking of looking elsewhere, like… in a sex club. Maybe he’s already going there.

That doesn’t sound like my Aston, but I can’t shake the suspicion that something bad is going on. It’s not just that we’ve been having less sex, or that he turns me down a lot, or that he didn’t even check me out just now, even though I’m stark naked. It’s more than that. He turns down the lights in our bedroom when we have sex these days. Where is the man that used to tell me I was too beautiful to be fucked in the dark? He rarely ever tries anything outside of the bedroom anymore, which is beyond weird. He used to grab my ass or a boob whenever he could, wherever, no matter how inappropriate. And now the business card of a sex club…

This can’t be good.

Is this the beginning of the end?


Normally, book club is one of my favorite days of the month. Today, I’m simply not in the mood. I keep fiddling with the business card, even taking it out of my pocket a few times. I’m obsessing, but I can’t help myself.

“Annabel?” Francesca asks me softly, putting a hand on my arm. “Are you okay?”

“What? Yeah, I’m fine.” I quickly put the card back in my pocket. “Why?”

“Dylan said your name about fifteen times, but you didn’t seem to hear him.”

I look up to see Dylan Dyer smiling at me, waving his hands in the air. “Are you ignoring me?” he asks teasingly.

“Just tired,” I lie. “Just… just leave me be for now. I’m in a bad mood. I’m sorry.” I get up and walk into the kitchen, needing a breather.

Normally, I love book club. I think we only actually read a book the first two times, and then we gave up and just drank wine and talked for hours. It’s ladies only, but we make an exception for Dylan and Thomas. Dylan is married to a man, and he always jokes he’s an honorary woman, and Thomas tagged along with his wife Tracy so often and seemed to enjoy hanging out with us more than she did, so we told him he was welcome to join us whenever he wanted to. Nowadays, he shows up more often than she does.

Not all of us always show up, because we all have busy lives, but I think we all make it to at least eight or ten ‘book clubs’ a year. We have one once a month, and each month someone else hosts. Today we’re at my sister Chloe’s house. It’s just me, Chloe, Brittany, Shaughna, Dylan, Thomas, and Francesca today. Not everyone in the group is a big fan of my sister, so I think that might be why not everyone showed up. I can’t blame them, she’s a real piece of work, but I love her anyway.

When Abby or Shaughna host, way more people show up. When it’s Caroline’s turn, not everyone can make the three hour drive, but her friends who live closer often join us, so it’s a full house each time. I think the only time when literally everyone shows up is when Olivia is hosting. It’s always at night, after her bakery closes, and she always goes all out, making lots of cupcakes just for us. No one can resist her baked goods. Unsurprisingly, everyone’s partners suddenly spontaneously decide to pick them up when we’re having book club at Liv’s, trying to steal some treats for themselves.

“Hey,” Shaughna’s voice sounds behind me, and I turn to see her joining me in the kitchen, pouring herself another glass of wine. “You seem rattled. Everything alright?”

I hesitate, not sure if this is something I should open up about. I don’t want to be one of those women who complains about her husband to others, or who shares intimate details with her friends, but I really do need to talk to someone.

“Spit it out,” Shaughna urges. “You know this is a judgment-free zone. Book club is not about books. It’s about having major meltdowns and getting drunk. You know that, Anna.”

I can’t help but laugh. “Yeah, I know.”

My sister-in-law is very different from me, but we get along great. She’s been with Aston’s half-brother Dshawn for even longer than I’ve been with Aston, and they’re great together. Shaughna is also one of Aston’s closest friends, so maybe she could take some of my worries away.

“Aston and I… We’re not really… He doesn’t…” I take a sip of my wine, stalling.

“Ah, does Aston also have a crazy low libido in March and April?” she asks knowingly. “Yeah, Dshawn goes through that too. It’s tough. I’ve been masturbating like crazy.”

Say what now?

“In… what… why?”

She frowns. “Oh, is that not what you meant? It’s the anniversary of Terryl and Asia’s death in a couple weeks, right? The fourth one. Dshawn always gets really down, and he doesn’t really want to talk about it. It really affects his libido. But come May, he’s all over me again, so I know I just have to suck it up and be there for him.”

“Erm, yeah, no, that’s not what’s going on.” I’m sure of that. “This has been erm… going on for… a year.”

“A year?” Shaughna asks, her eyes wide. “You haven’t been sleeping with Aston for 365 days?”

“No, no, I mean, we still… But not as often. I don’t… Do you think…?” I hate that I am about to ask her this, but I need to know. “Do you think he might be cheating on me?”

Shaughna almost spits out her wine. “Aston? Cheating on you? Are you fucking crazy? Of course not. He’d sooner chew off his own arm and fuck himself up the ass with it than cheat on you.”

I can’t help but laugh at that disturbing visual, but then I sober up again when I remember why I’m suspecting something is off. “Look, I don’t want to go into details, but things have been off. Maybe he doesn’t find me attractive anymore, I don’t know, but I found…” I take the card out of my pocket and hand it to her. “...this.”

Shaughna looks at it, frowning. “Huh. Weird.” Before I can stop her, she’s already walking back into the living room, throwing the business card at Thomas.


“Anna found this,” she tells him. “That’s that new sex club, right?”

Thomas looks at the card, nodding. “Yeah, I’ve been there a couple of times. Are you and Aston thinking of spicing things up?” He winks at me. “If you want to make sure you won’t run into me and Tracy, let me know. I bet you would find that awkward, right? I don’t really mind, but I don’t want to kill your mojo.”

The idea alone of going to a place like that and running into Thomas and his wife… Ew. No way.

“He hasn’t mentioned it to me,” I confess. “I found it in his jeans when I was doing laundry. I think maybe…”

“She thinks he’s cheating on her,” Shaughna says, rolling her eyes.

Brittany – who is married to Aston’s other half-brother Jaxon, making her my sister-in-law as well – laughs so hard she almost falls off her chair. She’s a little drunk, I think. “Aston? Cheating? Annabel, are you insane?”

Chloe grabs the card from Thomas. “I didn’t think Cooper would ever cheat on me, but he did. So don’t act like it’s impossible. This is hardly proof, though, so anything is possible at this point. Are there other reasons why you think he might be cheating, Bella?”

I swore I wasn’t going to cry, but there I go. I angrily wipe at my eyes, trying to push the tears back in, but of course that doesn’t work.

“Oh Anna…” Francesca puts her arm around me, squeezing me tightly.

“More wine,” Shaughna decides, motioning at Dylan to get up and grab the bottle. “Tell us everything.

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