One Good Affair

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-08-04
  • Publisher: Bantam
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With her gift for surprising emotional honesty ("Publishers Weekly"), Stimson's internationally bestselling novel tells the story of six lovers, two affairs, and what happens when the secrets start to unravel.

Author Biography

Tess Stimson frequently contributes to newspapers and women's magazines. Born in England, she graduated from Oxford before working as a television news producer. She now lives in Florida and Vermont with her family, and is currently at work on her next novel, The Cradle Snatcher, which Bantam Dell will publish in 2010.


Chapter One


I've often wondered if adultery runs in the genes, like blue eyes or buck teeth. Am I unfaithful because it's written in my DNA?

The idea appeals to the scientist in me: We're all the sum of our genetic bar codes, no more, no less. See, yes, there it is, nestling between my red hair and my tendency toward the pear-shaped (hips, life, take your pick)—there, infidelity, clear as day. Biological proof that I can no more stay faithful than shrink a shoe size, however hard I try.

William stirs next to me. He reaches for my breast, and my nipple peaks instantly beneath his touch. His cock jabs my hip, already hard again. I smile. After eight years, we don't have sex that often, but when we do, we get our money's worth.

He rolls onto his back and pulls me onto him; I wince slightly as he enters me. He isn't to know I had sex with Jackson—twice—last night.

As he thrusts upward, I cling to the brass headboard for support, my breasts shivering tantalizingly above his mouth. His lips fasten on my nipple and there's a zigzagging pulse between my legs. I tighten my grip. William is the more selfish lover; I've learned to take my pleasure from him without asking. Jackson is far more thoughtful: always seeking out new ways to please me, holding himself in check until I've come, sometimes three or four times.

I shunt Jackson out of my head. Contrary to popular myth, women can be good at adultery. All they have to do is learn to think like a man.

My clit rubs against William's pelvis, and the familiar heat builds. His teeth graze my breast; swift, greedy bites. I reach between his legs, skittering my fingernails along the inside of his thighs and across his balls. He bucks inside me, hitting my G-spot, and I stiffen, savoring the moment at the crest of the roller coaster. Then my orgasm breaks over me in sweeping, almost painful, waves.
With one hand, I find the tiny sensitive spot between his balls and asshole, pressing just enough to send him wild. With the other, I reach for my beeping phone.

Only two people would text me this late at night. Jackson or—

"Shit!" I tumble off him, groping for my clothes.

He slams his head against the pillow. "Christ. I thought you weren't on call tonight."

"Emergency." I hook up my bra, and scrabble under the bed for my knickers. "I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Couldn't it have waited until after I came?"

I give up on the knickers, and pull on my gray pencil skirt before sliding my feet into a pair of skyscraper scarlet heels. I can only find a single topaz earring; I hate losing one of a pair.

Buttoning up my white silk shirt, I lean forward and drop a kiss on his sandpaper cheek. He smells of my sex. "Happy Valentine's Day."

William scowls. "You owe me."

"Get in line."

Fifteen minutes later, I ease my toes from the to-die-in stilettos as the elevator grinds its way up to the obstetric floor. There must be another butter-wouldn't-melt little genome tucked away on that adulterous double-_helix to explain my uncontrollable fetish for pretty shoes. How else to justify the purchase of lust-have red Ginas in a size 6 (the only pair left—and no, they haven't "stretched with wear" as the commission-only salesgirl promised) when I've been a size 7 all my adult life?

My mother was always perfectly shod. Even when the French bailiffs evicted us from our little appartement on the Rue du Temple because my father had stopped paying the rent, her footwear (if not her reputation) was beyond reproach. We might starve as a result, but she could no more resist a new pair of polka-dot peep-toe slingbacks than she could him.  She brought her only daughter up in her likeness.

The elevator doors open and I hobble toward the delivery suit

Excerpted from One Good Affair by Tess Stimson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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