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I’ve got the backbone of a worm,” Lacey Lancaster muttered as she let herself into her apartment. She tossed her mail onto an end table and glared at Cleo. “I didn’t say a word to Mr. Sullivan, not a single word.”
Cleo, her Abyssinian cat, affectionately wove her golden-brown body between Lacey’s ankles. Her long tail coiled around Lacey’s calf like a feather boa, soft, sleek, and soothing.
“I had the perfect opportunity to ask for a raise and did I do it?” Lacey demanded, kicking her feet so that her shoes sailed in opposite directions. “Oh, no, I let it pass by. And do you know why?”
Cleo apparently didn’t. Lacey took off her bright green vinyl raincoat, opened the closet door, and shoved it inside. “Because I’m a coward, that’s why.”
Walking into the kitchen, she opened the refrigerator and stuck her head inside, rooting out some sorry looking leftovers, two boxes of take-out Chinese, and the tulip bulbs she’d meant to plant in her balcony flower box last October.
“I’m starved.” She opened the vegetable bin and took out a limp stalk of celery. “You know my problem, don’t you?”
Cleo meowed and wove her way between Lacey’s ankles once more.
“Oh, sorry. You’re probably hungry too.” Lacey reached inside the cupboard and pulled out a can of gourmet cat food. To her surprise, Cleo didn’t show the least bit of interest. Instead, she raised her tail and stuck her rear end in the air.
“What’s going on with you? Trust me, Cleo, this isn’t the time to go all weird on me. I need to talk.” Taking her celery stick with her, she moved into the living room and fell onto the love seat.
“I work and slave and put in all kinds of overtime without pay, I might add—and for what? Mr. Sullivan doesn’t appreciate me. Yet it’s my decorating ideas he uses. The worst part is, he doesn’t even bother to give me the credit.” She chomped off the end of the celery and chewed with a vengeance. The stalk teetered from the attack and
then slowly curved downward.
Lacey studied the celery. “This might as well be my backbone,” she muttered. Unable to sit still any longer, she paced her compact living room. “I haven’t had a raise in the whole year I’ve worked for him, and in that time I’ve taken on much more responsibility and completed
projects Mr. Sullivan couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Good grief, if it weren’t for me, Mr. Sullivan wouldn’t know what was going on in his own business.” By this time she was breathless and irate. “I do more work than he does, and he’s the owner, for heaven’s sake!”
Clearly Cleo agreed, because she let out a low, wailing moan. Lacey had never owned a cat before, but after a devastating divorce she’d needed someone. Or some thing. The thing had turned out to be Cleo.
She’d first spotted Cleo in a pet-shop window, looking forlorn. Cleo’s brother and sister had been sold two weeks earlier, and Cleo was all alone. Abandoned, the half-grown kitten gazed, dejected and miserable, onto the world that passed her by.
Copyright © 1994, 2011 by Debbie Macomber.
As Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair opens, Lacey is still smarting over her cheating ex, she’s tired of her demanding boss and she’s had enough of friends pushing her to date again…which is why she has zero patience for Jack Walker, the hunk next door who keeps flirting with her even though she knows he already has a girlfriend. A girlfriend, she might add, with whom he’s always arguing. It’s no wonder that when Jack’s alley cat gets her Abyssinian pregnant, Lacey is furious. Jack promises to pay all vet fees, and his kindness—plus a litter of adorable kittens—help soften Lacey’s heart. It looks like this could be a true family affair and Lacey thinks she may have been wrong about Jack…but does she have the heart to trust again?
Hardcover Book : 112 pages
Publisher: William Morrow & Co., Inc. ( January 04, 2011 )
Item #: 13-214325
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.25inches
Product Weight: 7.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
The inside dust jacket description of the book spoiled it for me. It gave too many details and would have been better if everything wasn't mentioned. Half the fun of reading a book (or short story) in this case, is discovering the truth of what the reader assumes (like Sarah being Jack's sister) I wish that wasn't given away on the dust jacket description, it ruined all the fun of making the discovery as you read farther into the book. But otherwise I liked the book...its nice to read a quick short story every now and then - I checked the description so I knew it was going to be a short ahead of time.
I am just coming back to respond to some of the other reviews that people have made about this book. Just because it was a very short book, & overpriced, doesn't make the author a bad one. If, like all of these people have commented on, say they love her books, then GET OVER THIS ONE & MOVE ON TO MORE OF HER OTHER BOOKS. I ONLY PD. $10.99 FOR IT & I LOVED IT. IF YOU WERE READING IT CORRECTLY, IT JUST WASN'T ABOUT 2 CATS. THERE'S MORE TO THE STORY THAN THAT. And one more thing, so what if it's a short book. I am very sure that you people have read short books b 4 & enjoyed them. thnx again debbie & doubleday
I JUST FINISHED READING THIS BOOK. I REALLY ENJOYED IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END. MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE I HAVE ANIMALS AND COULD ASSOCIATE W/ IT IN THAT WAY. DEBBIE MACOMBER HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN IN READING ANY OF HER BOOKS. KEEP UP THE GREAT STORY TELLING DEBBIE. I AM VERY GLAD I BOUGHT THIS BOOK. NOW I THINK I AM GOING TO START READING THE BOOKS OF 204 ROSEWOOD LANE, 1022 EVERGREEN PL., ETC BECAUSE I HAVE ALL OF THOSE, TOO. THANKS FOR GREAT READING MATERIAL DEBBIE. LOVE YA.
Total waste of money.
It read like a children's book.