Please welcome author Natasha D. Frazier to my blog. Her book, Shattered Vows, the third in her Love, Lies & Consequences series, came out in January of this year.
Chloe exhaled when she heard his footsteps on the wooden stairwell. She didn’t realize that she’d been holding her breath ever since she felt his hands on her body. I have to stop doing that,she chastised herself. She knew he was feeling rejected. But how did he think he made her feel when that woman showed up at the coffee shop carrying his child?
She pulled on her dress and fidgeted with it until she slid the zipper into position. She slipped into her shoes and turned around in front of the mirror, giving her clothes, makeup and hair a once-over before meeting Rico downstairs.
Rico let out a low whistle as Chloe descended the stairs with her matching camel-colored clutch under her arm.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world to have you on my arm tonight. You look beautiful, sweetie,” Rico complimented as he took her hand when she descended to the last three steps. When she made it to the bottom, he lifted her hand and brushed her wedding band with his fingers before planting a kiss on her hand.
“Thank you.” Chloe blushed a little and returned the compliment. “You look nice, too.” She noticed that he was wearing her favorite cologne as well, but didn’t make mention of it. Rico placed her hand around his arm and escorted her to the car. Their drive to the Improv was filled with chatter from Rico about what they did on previous anniversaries. She didn’t add much to the conversation, only nodded and smiled mostly. She had to admit that those times were nice, but this one was much different. In her mind was the insurmountable obstacle in front of them.
Rico had purchased their tickets online so they walked straight past the ticket booth to the entrance, where they were greeted by a hostess and shown to their VIP table near the stage. Noting the dim lighting, soft R&B music and the newly renovated facility, Chloe remembered their first date at the Improv, where they saw the comedian Arnez J in standup. They laughed until their stomachs and throats were in pain. She was hoping she would get another whiff of that tonight, although she didn’t know who the comedian was going to be. She just knew that she could use a laugh right about now. And not just any laugh, but a magic laugh that would take away all of the pain that she was feeling and trying so hard to push aside. The type of laughter that would somehow wipe the slate clean for the two of them. She was sure there was no such thing, but she was ready for the magic she hoped the night would bring for her.
She ordered a Caesar salad and he ordered buffalo wings to enjoy before the show started. On cue, the show began when the waitress came to take away their empty plates. They were tickled a little by the warm-up acts but nothing like what she was waiting for. However, she was feeling more relaxed and her body didn’t stiffen as it did earlier when Rico pulled her chair closer to his and put his arm around her.
There were still a few residual laughs from the crowd as the host appeared onstage to announce the headliner for the night—Will the Thrill. Chloe didn’t recognize the comedian’s stage name, so she knew she hadn’t heard any of his jokes before. New material. Great.
Will the Thrill jumped straight into his routine after the round of applause subsided. His first joke was about dating and how he wasn’t ready to commit to his girlfriend by getting married.
“C’mon now men. Y’all know how much extra work it is to hide the side woman when you get married. Gotta put all these codes in your phone, use aliases and lie, lie, lie. Even when you get caught, stick to the lie. Ain’t that right my man?” he joked as he gestured toward Rico.
Her anticipation waned at those jokes. In fact, they weren’t funny at all. Bad choice in her mind. What began to tick her off was that Rico was doubled over in laughter . . . clearly, something he shouldn’t have been laughing at given the situation they were in.
“What in the hell is so funny, Rico?” she sneered, leaning to the side to look up at him wiping tears from his eyes.
“What?” Rico asked, clearly confused.
“So cheating is funny?”
“Sweetie, these are just jokes. C’mon now.”
“I’m glad you think ruining our marriage and our lives is funny. I’m getting out of here!” Chloe scooted away from the table, snatched her purse and walked away with Rico following close behind.
“Looks like someone got caught doing what I just said not to do!” the comedian joked to their retreating backs as they exited the room, causing an uproar in the crowd.
Rico grabbed her hand and she spun around. She yanked her hand back and folded her arms across her chest. The look she gave would have killed him if looks could kill. Infidelity was a sore spot with her and definitely not a laughing matter. Rico couldn’t understand why she took it so seriously. Everyone in the room, except her, knew that those were only jokes. There was no reason to get upset over nothing. But to Chloe it wasn’t nothing; it was the reason her life was turned upside down.
Rico gambled with his marriage when he cheated on Chloe. Breaking his vows and risking everything for temporary pleasure, he lost his wife’s respect and trust.
Rico returns to God, searching for a quick fix to win Chloe’s heart back, but his heart is the one that is changed. He is a self-proclaimed changed man, willing to go the extra mile to restore his marriage, but he just may be too late.
Has Chloe given up on him? She has forgiven him before, but this is different. “I’m sorry” isn’t enough when vows have been shattered. With the law and the Word of the Lord on her side, she finally gathers enough courage to walk away.
But then tragedy strikes. Is it enough to make Chloe stay, or will she start a new chapter in her life?
About the Author
Natasha accepted the call to write in 2011. Since then, Natasha has authored three devotional books. Her first book is The Life Your Spirit Craves, a 30-Day devotional and journal that encourages readers to seek, accept and pursue their God-given assignment. Her second book, Not Without You: 365 Days in the Lord’s Presence, encourages readers to make devotion a part of their everyday life by seeking God every day. Not Without You has been nominated for the Henri Award. The Henri Award recognizes excellence in Christian literature. The Life Your Spirit Craves for Mommies is a 52 week devotional for mothers that encourages them to see God at work in their lives through their role as a mother. Both devotionals in The Life Your Spirit Craves series won the Readers’ Choice Award presented at the Christian Literary Awards. Natasha is also the author of the Love, Lies & Consequences Christian-fiction series that focuses on real and relevant issues in today’s society, such as pre-marital sex, adultery, blended families and more! Currently, the series contains three published titles: Love, Lies & Consequences, Through Thick & Thin, and Shattered Vows.
Natasha resides in Missouri City, TX with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations. Natasha and her family are members of Higher Dimension Church in Houston, TX. Natasha is also a member of the Houston Area Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
You can purchase Shattered Vows on Amazon.