When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.
Rose Maguire: is in a relationship with Cian Grahame
There’s a freckle about two inches under my left breast that Cian loves. I’m not sure I even paid attention to it before he told me how cute he thought it was. Before he circled his finger around it as we lay in bed together before leaning across to kiss it, so tenderly that I could only hold my breath.
‘Even your imperfections make you more perfect,’ he had whispered, and my heart had soared. I was falling in love with him. Properly in love. Not just lust, or desire or those feelings that aren’t real that just rush in at the start of something to make people obsessed with each other. This was something more. Love that I’d read about, where you feel invincible; as if you have met the other half of yourself that you didn’t quite know was missing.
I knew that I ached when we weren’t together – although he sent me flowers to work, called me at lunchtime, sent romantic text messages telling me he couldn’t wait to be with me again. When I went home he would come and make me dinner – and he finally let me start reading what he had been working on.
It was so different to what I normally read – but it was good. He was good. He had talent to burn. I wanted to tell everyone about him – about his writing – but God, he was so shy about it. So secretive. It had to be just right he said. I felt so privileged that he let me read it.
But more than that, Cian wanted me to keep him company while he wrote round the clock. I was his muse, he said. Imagine that. Me? A muse! It made me feel unique and special, even if sometimes it seemed that a muse’s role was not to talk much but supply cups of coffee and Custard Creams when needed.
Of course I got to be there when the doubt started to creep in too – doubt, it seems, having a habit of creeping in with writers quite frequently at 3am when I was trying to sleep. But I loved him enough not to mind waking to soothe him, to calm him with a kiss. To tell him how good he was. It made me feel special, and he would hold me tighter and tell me he didn’t know how he ever wrote without me, how he felt as if he was on the cusp of his life finally coming together, both personally and professionally. He was getting all he ever wanted – and taking me with him.
There was a hotshot agent interested in representing Cian and this book so the stakes were high on him getting this just right. It was incredible pressure to work under. Not like my job where I went in, sorted out people’s teeth, and went home again. I didn’t have to think about my job morning, noon and night. Cian said the book was always with him. Always. I’d laughed, asked him if it was with him even when we were, you know …
He looked at me very intently and I felt that familiar curl in the pit of the stomach – the one that made me want to forget the run of myself and have noisy, messy sex with him right there and then.
‘It’s always with me,’ he had said and then he’d kissed me so passionately, with such an intensity it almost took my breath away.
If he became a little distracted from time to time I reminded myself it was, as he called it, just part of the creative process. I remembered how it came and went – how when things were going well for him he became almost euphoric with the joy from it and I encouraged those good times and was suitably sympathetic when he had a bad day.
Chosen as LMFM's #LateLunchBookclub you can hear myself and Gerry Kelly chatting all about Her Name Was Rose HERE (at 31.54m).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Allan is from Northern Ireland and is the bestselling author of eight books. A mother of two, she spent 18 years as a journalist with the Derry Journal working on high profile cases. She has previously sold over 100,000 copies of her women’s fiction and lives in Derry with her family. You can follow Claire on twitter @ClaireAllan and facebook Claire Allan Author
Her Name Was Rose is published on 28th June 2018 by Avon and is available in PB from all good booksellers. Also available in ebook fomat.