I have had the pleasure of reading this book and if you’re a fan of Chrissie Manby then your in for a treat!!! I will openly admit that this is actually the first of her books that I can say I’ve read. I’m glad it was my first. I will also admit that I read this in one sitting. I loved every moment of it and I’m so excited to be able to share this extract with you all!!!
Oh come on. Nobody needs a recipe for that
. . . All right, if you insist.
Take one slice of bread. Cut away any green
bits. Stick it in the Dualit. Remove before the
smoke alarm goes off.
Liz Chandler did not need reminding that it had been
twelve whole months since her husband Ian moved out
of the family home to live with award-winning clean
food and fashion blogger Brittney Blaine. She got that
reminder anyway. She knew she should stop checking
Brittney’s blog first thing in the morning and last thing
at night (and around eight to ten times in between) but
it was as though she was compelled. And now she only
had to type the letter ‘b’ into her iPhone for Safari to
fill in the rest: http://www.brittneysbites.com. Ugh.
At least she had stopped commenting. That was
surely a sign that Liz was coming to terms with the
way things were. At first, Liz had bombarded Brittney’s
blog with messages via the comments section to remind
her and her clueless readers that the life of physical
and spiritual purity Brittney espoused was a sham. No
amount of colonic cleansing could erase the stains on
Brittney’s record as far as the sisterhood was concerned.
She was a husband-stealing trollop and Liz wanted the
world to know it.
Not only had Brittney stolen a husband, she had
broken up a happy family. At the time the affair was
uncovered, Liz and Ian’s daughter Saskia was still not
quite fifteen and they had a six-year-old border terrier
called Ted. What were they supposed to do without
The break-up came completely out of the blue for
poor Liz. On the night it happened, when she saw Ian’s
car pull into the drive at four o’clock, a whole three
hours earlier than usual, she’d briefly allowed herself
to think he’d been planning a wonderful surprise. Their
daughter Saskia was on a sleepover with her best friend
Georgia. It wasn’t often that Ian and Liz had the place
to themselves. As Ian let himself into the house and
Ted the dog rushed to greet him – even though Ian
always pushed the dog away – Liz’s mind was already
racing with the possibilities. A bottle of wine? A take
away? Sex? No, hang on. She hadn’t had her bikini line
done in six months. Sex with the lights off?
Ian hadn’t put his car into the garage.
Maybe they were going out!
Well. Ian certainly was.
‘I’m just going to come out with it,’ he said when
he walked into the kitchen. ‘I’ve met someone else. I
didn’t go looking for it but I found it and I’ve been
struggling with what to do for months but now I finally
‘What?’ Liz managed.
‘Her name is Brittney and I’m leaving you to be with
‘Not the food blogger?’
Ian nodded again.
‘Of Brittney’s Bites.com? But you said . . .’
‘I know what I said, Liz. But that was before I had
the chance to meet her. In person she’s got far more
depth than you can tell from Instagram.’
‘The food blogger?’ Liz was having trouble finding
Liz knew all about Brittney’s Bites. She and Ian had
laughed when they first heard about his boss’s plan to
do a tie-in promotion with Brittney’s website. Ian
worked for a company that provided dentists with
tooth-whitening supplies. They were branching out into
‘at home’ whitening kits. Brittney’s blog was the perfect
place to flog them and as the nearest rep to Brittney’s
hometown of Exeter, Ian was charged with taking the
kit to her and explaining how it worked.
‘She’s already got teeth like Tic Tacs,’ Liz pointed
out as she brought up Brittney’s blog on her phone for
the very first time. ‘Veneers, I might add. They won’t
But Brittney jumped at the chance to do the tie-in
with White Up Your Life. Ian was her ‘liaison’. And
three months after Ian first drove over to Brittney’s
place with her personalised bleaching trays it seemed
they were having one.
‘You described her as looking like a chipmunk’s head
on a lolly stick,’ Liz protested.
‘She’s much better looking in real life,’ said Ian.
‘What about Saskia?’
Ian at least had the grace to look slightly embarrassed
when Liz brought up their daughter, who right then
was having a wonderful time with her friend, oblivious
to the fact that her family was being rent asunder by
her father’s mid-life crisis. For what else but a mid-life
crisis could explain Ian’s decision to throw himself at
a twenty-something who made a living from Snapchat
videos of her lunch?
‘We’ll sort something out. I’ll take her as often as I
can,’ he said.
Liz could already see poor Saskia standing at the
school gates, scanning the horizon for her absent father,
who’d been delayed at the launch of a new dairy-free
‘I’m sorry, Liz. I really am. But we only get one life
and we’ve got to make the most of it. When you fall
in love, you fall in love. You can’t deny the plans of
the universe. The French call it a
coup de foudre.’
He pronounced it a ‘coop de food’.
‘I know it must hurt right now,’ Ian continued, ‘but
we haven’t been happy for a very long time and I think
that by Christmas, you’ll be glad I made this decision
for us both.’
Christmas? Liz saw herself sitting alone in front of
a turkey ready-meal.
Ian tried to put his arm around her in a comforting
sort of way that didn’t work at all. Liz shook him
‘If you’re going, go now,’ she said, mustering every
last bit of courage she had. ‘But don’t blame me if
Saskia doesn’t want to come anywhere near you and
your gluten-free girlfriend in your new bachelor pad.’
Not knowing quite what to do with herself, Liz made
some toast. The ultimate comfort food. She didn’t eat it.
The early months after that awful night were difficult,
to say the least. Saskia was understandably distraught
to hear her dad had moved out. She refused to go to
school for a week, even though she was starting an
especially important year. Meanwhile, Ted the dog
watched the front door for hours on end. When Ian
came to pick up a few forgotten things, both Saskia
and Ted clung to his legs and cried and whined when
he left again.
It was terrible. Liz had to watch their pain and try
to ease it, while pushing her own distress into the
background in order to be able to do so. To add to
that, she had to take the blame for the whole debacle.
‘What did you do to make him go?’ Saskia wailed
at regular intervals. Even Ted seemed sniffy with his
‘I didn’t do anything,’ Liz protested. But inside her
head the reasons came thick and fast. I got too old. I
got too familiar. I knew him much too well.
Liz had seen it happen to plenty of her friends. A
husband approaching middle age, dissatisfied with the
way life’s worked out, seeks a second roll of the dice
with a much younger woman. Not that the familiarity
of the tale helped Liz to absolve herself of too much
blame. She was world class when it came to self-chastisement.
She asked herself ten times a day what she
might have done differently. Lost weight? Dressed more
sexily? Stopped asking when he was planning to repaint
the hallway he’d wrecked by insisting his mountain bike
‘Don’t blame yourself,’ Liz’s girlfriends all told her
but she couldn’t help it. Not when Saskia and Ted were
both so very unhappy. Liz’s pain at Ian’s betrayal was
nothing compared to the anger she felt on their behalf.
If Liz couldn’t protect them from sadness, who could?
One year on, Brittney reported on the anniversary of
her stealing Ian away from his family on her blog.
‘Darling Readers, blessings be upon you today! What
a glorious day it is and it’s only eight o’clock. When I
woke up at seven this morning to do my chants and
my asanas, my Darling BF had already left for work.
But not without remembering what a special day it is
for us both. Here’s what I found on the kitchen table!’
There followed a photograph of a stumpy-stemmed
rose in a bud vase and a card with a puppy on the
‘I can’t show you the secret message Darling BF wrote
inside my card – this is a family blog (winky emoticon)
– but I can tell you that it reaffirmed our goddess-made
connection. I love my Darling BF every day of the year
but tonight, on the anniversary of the night he moved
in and we made our relationship official, I am going
to make sure he really knows it. My gluten-free nut
roast is definitely on the menu! How will you honour
your connection to the people you love today?’
By having you killed?
was what Liz wanted to type into
the comments box. She resisted the urge and went into work.
This book is funny, the characters are wonderful and it’s a whole lot of fun!!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!