Friday, 11 December 2015

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review ~ What Happens After by Portia Moore

Book Description:

It was never supposed to happen. 'We' never should have happened.

He and I... Our constantly crossing paths changed the unthinkable to the inevitable.

It was magical, exhilarating, and life defining... despicable, and it ruined everything.
It destroyed me.

It destroyed us.

He and I is what happened before.
And everything else is what happened after…

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“Good morning.”

I look up and see Will step into the kitchen from the pantry. He looks a mess. He looks how I feel. I try to speak, but no words come out of my mouth.

“I-I made breakfast. I tried to make it healthy. You’ve been talking a lot about that lately, and I’ve listened,” he says, his blue eyes encapsulated by puffy eyelids. His hair is completely disheveled, as if he’s run his hands through it a thousand times. His five o’clock shadow is pronounced and his dimples absent because his lips are pressed so firmly together.

This is the first time I’ve looked at him since I found out. The first time I’ve ever looked at the man I married and felt anything but love, hope, and strength. It’s funny how a few hours have changed everything for us.

Seeing him makes my emotions crash against each other. Each second I stand here, I become more enraged. How could he do something so stupid, so selfish, and so… unforgivable? And he stands here like nothing has happened, as if we’re going to eat breakfast together and everything will be okay?! Nothing will be okay. I realize this as I stand in my kitchen in front of him, the same place he and his whore ate with me and sat with our family.

“I can’t believe you did this to us.” The words are automatic, as if triggered by his presence. They hurt to speak but hurt even more to hold in.


His voice breaks as he tries to approach me, but I step back and push my arms out to let him know to stay back.

“Please, just let me explain,” he begs. His voice sounds pained, and my heart aches for him—for me

“I can’t. I can’t. I don’t want to hear it, and there’s nothing that you can explain. Anything you say will only make things worse!” I’m frantic. It’s a lie; I want to know everything, but I don’t think I can survive hearing it.

“Gwen, you’re my best friend,” he says with tears in his eyes.

I have to turn away. I grab a chair to keep my balance. To see him like this hurts, but I can’t hurt for him. He didn’t hurt for me. I don’t even know if he hurts for me now. I’m sure he hurts for himself.

“I never meant to hurt you. I know how that sounds, but if I could take it back―”

“You did hurt me! Worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, and you cannot take it back.” My voice is loud and unrecognizable.

His gaze isn’t on me but set on the floor instead.

“In our home, William. How could you? With Lisa of all people!” I’m close to screaming at the top of my lungs.

“There’s no excuse for what I did,” he whispers.

His words make me want to throw something. To see him broken… I haven’t seen him like this since I was sick. A chill shoots down my spine.

“Were you seeing her when I was sick?” I ask cautiously. I don’t know if I can take hearing the answer. His eyes widen, and he approaches me; I retreat again.

“No. I stopped before I found out you lost our child,” he promises.

The pain of that memory shoots through me. I know he thinks what he said should give me some consolation, but it doesn’t. It tears open a wound I’ve tried to forget, a wound that has become purulent. “You stopped out of pity. You stopped out of a sense of duty, guilt, and a mournful promise but not out of love. Do you love her?”

He shakes his head. “It’s always been you, Gwen—”

My eyes narrow on his. “Except when you were screwing her.”

He looks defeated, as though he’s given up and realized there’s absolutely nothing he can say to fix this. I feel as though my soul is beginning to crumble. I can’t talk to him about this. I can’t think about this.

“I need you to leave.”

“Gwen, please. I’ll give you time. I owe you that, but we can get past this.” His voice deepens with each word to the more familiar, authoritative tone I’m used to from him instead of the sad, broken one.

“How dare you!” I scream. “You have a daughter, William! A daughter! How can we get past that? Tell me?!”

He covers his face. “I didn’t know.” He attempts to touch me again, and I swat him away.

“You didn’t know? You think that makes it better?” My whole body shakes as I shed angry tears.

Tears are falling down his face now too. He gets on his knees and grabs my waist. “What can I do? Tell me—what can I do? I’ll do anything. Please!”

I try to get out of his grasp, but he holds me tighter.

“We can get through this. I promise you we can,” he cries against my stomach.

I realize getting him to let me go will be futile unless I hit him on the head with one of the table utensils, so I gently grasp his face and make him look up at me. “We don’t have to do anything, and you don’t get to decide that. You decided to ruin us—everything we had, our family, our history, you decided that. I get to decide whether I can even consider the possibility of looking at you without seeing you as the person who hurt me more than anyone in my entire life.

“You have no idea how this feels, how badly I hurt. You can’t, because if you got it, if you understood, you would leave me alone. You’d know how much it hurts me to see you, to hear your voice as I look around our home and think about how you desecrated and disrespected the place where we built our family. And the very worst part of it all is that I was completely oblivious. I thought we were fine, that we were okay. I’ve been happy!”

           “I’ve been happy too! I haven’t been involved with Lisa in years!” he shouts, and hearing him say her name makes my stomach churn.

I cover my face, trying to catch my breath.

           “Is everything okay?” my son’s wife, Lauren, says from behind me.

           “William was just leaving.”

His face falls, his expression crushed. “We have to talk about this.”

           “I need you to go now! Right now, William.” My screeching makes even me flinch.

He glances behind me at Lauren, then he nods. “If that’s what you want.”

He wipes the tears from his face. I’ve only seen William cry once in his life besides today, and that was when his mother passed away. Now I have to squelch the instinct to go to him and hug him and tell him everything will be okay. A task made easier as my urge to lash out at him consumes me.

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“I don’t feel alive anymore. I’m dead.”

This will be a tough read for some and if you are not a fan of cheating then this is definitely not the book for you. However, for someone likes me that can read almost anything I dived in and was prepared for an angst fest.

“Animosity is a weapon, and it’s not used against the person you can’t forgive – it’s used against yourself.”

The way that this story was delivered was not what I was expecting, from the synopsis I thought that we were going to be dealing with the fall out, however, the majority of this book is set in the past where we are treated to all the nasties in all their glory but also how Gwen and William met in the very beginning.

Some may say that this was karma but for me I truly believed that Gwen and William were soulmates. Sometimes you just know when you have met the love of your life and I truly believed in William and Gwen’s love in the very beginning. While how they met was not the best scenario and what they did I do not condone in any shape or form you cannot help when or who you fall in love with and with these two it was definitely mutual.

Gwen and William were so well suited, they complemented each other in every way and their relationship was perfect…maybe too perfect. Gwen had her insecurities but with the love that she and William shared they had moved past them and seemingly had the perfect little family. As their son had now moved away and had a family of his own it was now just William and Gwen, however William’s past was about to come and bite them on the bum. This is What Happens After…your indiscretions catch up with you…this is What Happens After…your world is completely destroyed…this is What Happens After.

I did have a few issues with this book, maybe this is just my personal preference but…I am all for forgiveness but for me, this all seemed a bit quick. I would have liked to have seen William have to fight a lot more, at the end of the day he got his cake and ate it all. I appreciate that it had happened way back in the past, but due to the parts of this story that we had in William’s point of view there were feelings involved and that did not sit well with me at all. I can understand the “mid-life crisis” that was alluded to but when it comes down to feelings and not just sex, it hurts…and William killed me in this book.

“Last night I promised myself I’d stop loving him. Today I woke up and saw him and knew I’d lied. I’m tired of lying to myself.”

I loved William and Gwen together, I believed in them and I championed their relationship from the very beginning, so when he betrayed Gwen, I felt betrayed and having it spelled out in front of your eyes actually made me feel a bit sick. It is fine knowing that it happened but I would have preferred not to have been privy to the actual shenanigans. Some things are better left fade to black. 

However, it is testament to Portia Moore’s writing that I did become so emotionally invested in this story. I went through a plethora of emotions and shed many tears and that is no mean feat. Yes, the majority of these tears were for Gwen in the shape of many guises but Portia Moore really brought these characters to life and you could not help but empathise.

“Because along with this hatred I have, as tangible as it is, I still feel love, and that hurts more than anything.”

I enjoyed this story and while I didn't agree with it, condone it or like the outcome of it, it played at my heart strings, tugged them and tugged them. Some say karma, but I say soul mates, but Gwen was strong and resilient and forgiving when she needed it most and at the end of the day for WHO needed it most. While a lot of people will have issues at the end of day I can see it happening and actually do know someone that has been through this exact same thing and their marriage is still going strong…it is life…it does happen.

“I forgive you.”

About the Author:

I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey, Dorothy, Marilyn, Elizabeth.

I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…
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