My Almost Ex
by Piper Rayne
Book 2 in The Greene's Series
In the middle of a crowded bar in our small Alaskan town, my estranged wife snuggles up to me as if we’re still a happy couple.
Don’t get me wrong, we were a happy couple—before she walked out on me a year ago. We were the high school sweethearts everyone thought were destined to be together forever. We thought so too, which is why we married shortly after graduation.
We had a good marriage. Until she left me without any real explanation.
Now, she’s back—and this is the real kicker—she has amnesia and thinks I’m still her husband. Technically I am, although the divorce papers are sitting at the lawyer’s office.
She’s desperate to remember her life in Sunrise Bay but I only want to find out why she left me. Once we conjure that memory up, it’s sayonara because there’s no second chances here. But as you probably already figured out, things didn’t go quite as I planned.
Ohhhh I'm so happy we didn't have to wait for Adam and Lucy's story!
After reading My Beautiful Neighbor, and the encounters with a depressed and heartbroken Adam, I needed him to have a happily ever after.
Piper Rayne wrote this book beautifully. Adam - and us - have been wondering since the first book why Lucy left him. The dynamic of Lucy having amnesia from an accident keeps that tension going throughout the book. I don't think that tension is something they could have maintained any other way. After all, if Lucy had never had amnesia, and she chose to keep the reason why she left to herself, I wouldn't have liked her as much as I did. I would have ended up resenting her.
I guess I should say I like the new Lucy. I don't know if I would have liked old Lucy, despite Adam's thoughts on her personality.
I'm wondering, for those of you who have read My Almost Ex, did you figure out why Lucy left before she found out?
I predicted something pretty close to the reason she left.
Do I agree with her reason for leaving?
No. I understand it, but it was still terrible. I really fell for Adam's character. His loyalty. His deep love. He is a romantic, and I'm such a sucker for that in a male character. So it was hard to know the reason why he was in such agony was something that they could have figured out together.
And yes, I get the reasons why she didn't want to tell him.
Still sucks though.
That being said, endometriosis sucks. While I am one of the lucky ones with endometriosis that didn't have issues getting pregnant, I do deal with a lot of issues because of it. It's painful. It is nice to see some representation for the disease.
I devoured this book. I loved it. My only problem was the questions left at the end. Like, where was Lucy and what was she doing for those months before she showed up at her parents house?
Not providing that answer makes sense, considering Lucy herself doesn't remember. No one knows. And while it's annoying not to know, I also appreciate that Piper Rayne didn't have her most of her memories return. I won't pretend I've read a lot of romances with a character that has amnesia, but I suspect that usually they magically get their memories back at the end ... and that just feels too cookie cutter for me.
My Almost Ex might be my favorite of the series. The future books has quite the bar set.
Dori: “I spilled my coffee!”
a woman yells. The car door opens, and I take my cell phone out of the side of my leggings, prepared to call the police. My thumb hovers over the nine. My fear relaxes when Ethel, Adam’s grandmother, climbs out of the Cadillac. Not only is it nice to see her, but it’s nice to know who she is as soon as I do.
Dori: “It’s all over me!”
Ethel: “Relax, I’ll get you another one.”
Ethel shakes her head.
Dori: “My car or my clothes?”
Ethel: “Shh, you old bat, my granddaughter’s returned to town.” Ethel: “Lucy! Get out of the street!”
Ethel screams. I look over at her and snap out of it, dashing to the side of the road. But I’m not on the trail, and I fall down into a ditch that’s all muddy from the recent snowmelt. The semi passes by with a whoosh and I lie back, not wanting to get up out of sheer embarrassment. The two old women peer over the edge of the road at me.
Dori: “Do you not remember that semis can squish you like a pancake?” Adam: "I’ve had the year from hell without your daughter in my life. I don’t want to share that with you, but I will so you’ll stop assuming this is my fault. She walked out on me. I didn’t cheat on her, I didn’t hit her, I didn’t lie to her. There was no reason for her to leave me, but she did. Now she’s back in town, not even remembering why she decided to walk out on our marriage. If you want to let all those memories stay hidden, for her never to become the Lucy we all love, then shame on you, Susan.” Adam: “I’ll tell Rylan you said hello,”
I say to her retreating back. She stops and turns around.
Callista: “I didn’t tell you to do that.”
Adam: “I thought you guys were friends?”
Her forehead wrinkles.
Callista: “I am not friends with Rylan Greene.”
I hold up my hands and chuckle.
Adam: “Okay then, I won’t mention even seeing you.”
Callista: “Good.” Lucy: “Well, I figured we could go as characters from Grease.”
Toby: “Isn’t that a movie? I thought the theme was Broadway?”
Cora: “And to think people say you’re a dumb jock.”
Cora rolled her eyes.
Cora: “It was a Broadway play first.”
Toby: “Thank you for the useless tidbit of information.”
Toby narrowed his eyes.
Cora: “Well, you should expand your knowledge to other things besides a pigskin ball that flies through the air.”
Adam snaked his hand around my waist and tugged me closer. I loved that he wasn’t embarrassed to show people how much he loved me. Everyone in town thought we were young and blinded by hormones, but what I felt for Adam wasn’t puppy love.
Adam: “What is she talking about?”
he whispered and sneaked in another kiss right below my ear.
Lucy: “If you don’t stop, we’re going to get detention for being handsy.”
Adam: “They’re not going to chance the game.”
Sadly, he wasn’t wrong.
Lucy: “I want to be Frenchy.”
Toby: “You’re going to drop out and go to beauty school?”
Cora: “Whoa, look whose light bulb just turned on!”
Cora gave him a saccharine smile.
Toby: “Tell me, Shefield, what’s a bootleg play?”
Cora: “Right after you tell me the chemical formula for glucose?”
Adam: “Forget them, who is Frenchy?” Fran: “We were trying to get Lucy’s attention,”
Jed: “Hey, ladies, maybe her memory is affecting her hearing,”
Jed says good-naturedly. One woman laughs.
Fran: “Jed Greene!”
Jed: “I’m kidding. You’ll have to catch her another time. I have a meeting with her.”
Fran: “What kind of business do you have with Lucy?”
Jed: “You know how we name beers after residents? She’s picking her flavor and we’re going to name it Minderaser.”
They all laugh, and I roll my eyes. Adam comes in, takes the shot glass from my lips, and tugs on my hand.
Adam: “Let’s go.”
Lucy: “What? Why? I’m talking with Jed.”
Jed leans against the wall by the door with his arms crossed and a smug smile.
Adam: “Getting drunk at ten in the morning isn’t going to bring back your damn memory,”
Jed: “No, but it was helping her forget the present. Sometimes people need that too,”
Jed says, waving at me as Adam leads me down the hallway and out the back door. Adam: “Come on. You want to try to remember something, I’m taking you somewhere.”
She doesn’t get in the truck, so I go around and open the door, waving my hand for her to climb on up.
Adam: “You’ll see.”
Lucy: “How do I know you aren’t going to throw me off a cliff?”
Adam: “What are you talking about?”
I scowl at her.
Lucy: “Well, you’re angry and you want to divorce me. Maybe you’ve decided to get rid of me. I’m sure I come with some life insurance money.”
Adam: “You’ve been with your mom for too damn long. Get in the truck.” Adam: “Is everyone forgetting she walked out on me?”
Hank: “Did you or did you not take vows that said in sickness and in health? Did you or did you not tell her you would help her?" Nikki: “Stop asking what was and think about what is. Who cares what your favorite color was? What color is your favorite now? You always did put way too much pressure on yourself.” Hank held out his arm.
Hank: “I know you wish it was your father walking you down the aisle, but I want you to know how honored I am to give you to my son. Marla and I are both ecstatic that you’ve chosen Adam to be your husband.”
Lucy: “Thank you,”
I said and tried not to cry before I reached Adam.
Hank: “Laurie would have loved you. I like to think she’s smiling down on us today.”
He nodded a few times as though he was fighting his own tears.
Hank: “Let’s make you an official part of the family, shall we?” My chest tightens at the idea of her leaving again.
Adam: “I told you I’d help you.”
Lucy: “But it’s killing you. You think I don’t see that? The tortured look on your face, the pain in your eyes. One minute we’ll be having fun and it’s like no time has passed, and the next you turn cold because you remember what I did.”
Adam: “It’s not because of what you did.”
I stand, unable to sit if she wants to have this conversation.
Lucy: “Then what is it?”
She stands but doesn’t follow me. I turn back to her.
Adam: “You killed me! You crushed me! You wanna know what I did while you were away? I sat depressed by myself unless I was at work. I was miserable, a shell of my former self. I was stuck in the what-ifs and what-did-I-dos, trying to figure out how you could just leave me like that. I almost fell off the fucking mountain I was climbing because I was distracted and had no sleep. That was my wake-up call that I had to do something to get you out of my head. And just when I was getting there, you come strolling back into town with no memory of destroying us.”
Lucy: “I’m sorry.”
She sniffles and I can tell she’s trying her best not to cry. I clench my fists at my sides.
Adam: “Stop saying you’re fucking sorry!”
Lucy: “Well I am! I want to find out so maybe we can move on from it. I want to scream at the old me and say ‘how could you have done this to the man you love.’ I’m angry too, but do you know how hard it is for me to live with knowing I was the one who ruined us? Knowing that if we can’t move forward, I’m the one to blame for my entire life imploding?” Adam: “I feel like I’m stuck on a tightrope a hundred feet up in the air with a lion on one end and an alligator on the other. There’s no escaping the pain, I just have to decide if I want to die by being shredded alive or swallowed whole. Because the thought of putting my heart out there again is just as excruciating as letting you slip out of my grasp again.”
She places her hand on my chest and steps closer until I smell the scent of her shampoo.
Lucy: “I’m scared too. What if I’m not the girl you fell in love with? I know I’m different. I see it in people’s expressions when I don’t do what they expect me to. Maybe I’m not the Lucy you love anymore.”
Adam: “What if your memory comes back and you decide I’m not what you want? That we did marry too young and you want to leave and go live your life?”
Lucy: “Or what if you can’t stand my annoying new traits or are unable to deal with the fact I won’t ever remember everything? There’re a million what-ifs. I wish there wasn’t, but we can’t ignore them.” Adam: "You’ve always been mine, Lucy Greene. I’ve fought for you my entire life and I’m not giving up on us yet.”
Her hand covers mine and she squeezes. Then I get to do what I’ve wanted to since she returned. I bend my neck and place my lips on hers. Home at fucking last. Again I’m reminded of all the stages of Adam I’ve been with. The first time I touched his dick, he almost came immediately. I laugh as I remember and ruin the moment between us.
Adam: “Why are you laughing while touching my dick?”
Even with his question, he’s reaching behind my back and unclasping my bra.
Lucy: “I was thinking about the first time I touched you.”
Adam: “Seriously? Right now you’re having a memory?”
He groans, sliding the straps of my bra down my shoulders.
Lucy: “I can’t control it.”
Adam: “You could’ve pretended not to remember when I was a three-pump chump.”
His gaze dips to my breasts and he sighs, licking his lips.
Adam: “I’m remembering the first time I sucked on those. Prepare yourself because I’m going to make up for lost time.” He inches in the smallest bit.
Adam: “Are you okay?”
Lucy: “I’m not a virgin, remember? You were there.” Earl: “Do you think she’s going to model naked?”
He puts his pencil back in the holder.
Earl: “They trick me every time. It’s the only reason I come.”
He shakes his head and crosses his arms like the kids from Lucy’s class. Fun night. I should make sure Lucy plans another.
Grandma points at him.
Ethel: “You said you were going to participate.”
Dori: “Yeah. You took a spot from someone else.”
He rolls his eyes at me and picks up his pencil again. Leslie talks about the progression of the trees going from smaller to larger.
Earl: “Progression? Hell, all I see is regression these days. My damn dick is shrinking by the minute.”
Earl nods at me when I stare at him in disbelief. My gaze falls to my lap as though he’s got to be talking smack.
Earl: “Just wait until your balls drop to your ankles.”
He elbows me.
Adam: “You sure there’s no alcohol allowed tonight?”
I scour the area.
Dori: “No, remember when Martha fell over and broke her hip? Now we all have to suffer because of her ‘little problem.’”
Dori uses air quotes. If we do this again, I’m smuggling in a flask.
Adam: “Poor Martha,”
Dori: “She walks three miles a day now. That new hip gave her new life,”
Earl: “And rehab,”
Earl leans over and whispers in my ear.
Lucy: “How’s everyone doing?”
Lucy comes by, putting her hand on my shoulder and kissing my cheek. When she stands straight, Dori and Grandma have hearts in their eyes. Okay, I might too.
Adam: “I’d like you to find me some alcohol, and Earl would like to lodge a complaint that the instructor isn’t stripping,”
Earl: “I’m a man. I haven’t seen real live titties in years.”
My body shivers—and not in a good way. After Ivy walks away, I say,
Adam: “I’m pretty sure Ivy saw that I’m hiding something, and I don’t think she’ll care if I eat some cookies.”
She waves me off with a smile.
Ethel: “They’re different when the families aren’t here.”
Adam: “Okay, that’s cryptic and scary. Maybe clarify that? You’re safe here, right?”
Ethel: “Oh yeah, they’re nice. Plus, we’re not feeble. Half of us have canes. We’d revolt if they weren’t. Now I gotta smuggle these to Lucy before we start up again.” Stella: "So tell me what’s going on. I’m almost positive the call I received this morning isn’t accurate.”
She sits at the computer and presumably pulls up my new patient file.
Lucy: “I don’t even want to ask what you heard.”
Stella: “That you’re bleeding, and you just recently got back together with one of Ethel’s grandsons and she’s worried he may have hurt you while you were having sex.”
My mouth drops open.
Stella: “The game of telephone with Dori and Ethel is a dangerous one, I assure you.” Adam: “Do you want to leave me?”
Lucy: “I want you to have the life you’ve always wanted. The one you deserve.”
Adam: “You’re what I want, Luce. You. That’s all.” Tears burst out of me.
Lucy: “How do you know our love is strong enough to endure all this?”
Adam: “Because it is.”
His voice lowers and he rounds the bed.
Adam: “Because my life without you wasn’t a life. And now that I have you back, I’m not going to lose you.”
Lucy: “No, you’re going to lose the life you dreamed of,”
Adam: “I have you. And if we really want kids, we’ll figure out a way to make it happen. I have no doubt we’ll get through this. Somehow. Someway. We might have a few scrapes and bruises, but you’ll always have my arms to run to. You said this is a partnership, so I’ll keep you up when you’re down and vice versa, but running isn’t an option.” Presley: “Congrats to Lucy. At least she’s getting a dog.”
Presley turns a cold look on Cade.
Cade: “We’re busy. We both run businesses. We have no time for a puppy,”
Presley: “Fine, I’ll be in the truck waiting. Next time don’t bring me.”
Presley huffs and stomps off toward the truck.
Cade: “Goddamn you, Cam.”
Cade runs a hand through his hair.
Cade: “Give it back to me.”
Cam: “Two grand please.”
Cam holds out his hand.
Cade: “Fuck off. I’ll be sending you the bill when it eats my fucking couch.”
Cade grabs the dog Presley had and stomps over to his truck. Presley’s eyes are already widening in happiness.
Cam: “No refunds and no returns,”
Cam shouts. Mandi: “Where’s Nikki? I want details on the Vegas trip.”
Adam: “You don’t want details on our trip?”
Posey: “Why would we wanna hear how many orgasms you gave each other? The rest of us aren’t in serious relationships.”