When Louise is dumped by Mike on their twentieth wedding anniversary, she faces the daunting task of picking up the pieces of her life. She can either choose to persevere in her adopted hometown of London, bolstered by dear friends and the fashion business she loves, or return to her native Sweden alone. Can she find happiness with an old flame in a city she avoided for two decades? Or will her ex’s violent, criminal past haunt her forever? As Mike becomes increasingly unhinged, the choices Louise makes could prove fatal. Will she ever be able to say goodbye to the past and start afresh? Full of suspense and drama, We Never Said Goodbye explores the secrets and scandals we hide from loved ones, the enduring scars of abuse and the exhilarating feeling of falling in love again after heartbreak. With a dark and tangled ‘Scandi’ mood, this novel is ideal for fans of drama, romance and Scandi-inspired suspense novels.
If that isn't enough to whet you appetite then continue reading for an extract:
Steve picked up on the third ring. “Kershaw & Matthews Limousine Service.”
“It’s me, Louise. Is Mike still at work?” Deep inside, Louise knew something was wrong. Mike had never let her down on their wedding anniversary until now. But Steve’s response made her gasp.
“Mike’s not come in to work since last week.” There was an edge to his voice. “I don’t understand . . . Mike told me you’ve a lot of clients to look after. You’re seriously telling me he’s not been around for a week?” Louise’s heart was beating frantically inside her chest.
“I assumed he’d told you,” Steve replied in his usual direct manner.
“I don’t get it . . . I’m sorry I called and disrupted you.”
“That’s okay. Mike’s probably got something up his sleeve! Happy anniversary, darling.”
Switching off her mobile, Louise let out another sigh. Mike knows today’s a special day. I’ll give him more time to return home.
Recalling all the times he’d surprised her over the years in the most spectacular ways, she was on her way downstairs when her mobile rang. Mike’s name was displayed on the screen.
Louise held her breath for a moment, a sense of foreboding overwhelming her as she picked up. “Mike! Where are you? I’m imagining all kinds of things! How long before you return home?”
“We need to talk. There’s something I have to tell you.” Mike sounded distant, as if they were strangers, not husband and wife. Not at all what she’d expected of him, today of all days.
“Can’t it wait until you’re home? Where are you? I talked to Steve. He told me you’ve not showed up at work since last week.”
Louise’s mouth turned dry with fear.
“It’s over. I’m not returning to you. Don’t bother to try and change my mind. I’ll pick up my belongings later.” Mike’s voice was deathly cold.
It was as if they’d never known each other, much less shared a life.
Feeling faint, Louise whispered, “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’ve never been more serious than I am now,” Mike replied. “We’re through, Louise.”
The following weeks passed by in a haze. Trine and Jasper took turns to watch over Louise. They’d persuaded her it was best that she stayed with them and Jasper convinced her he ought to pick up some of her belongings at the house. Neither Trine nor Louise had remembered to pack anything but a few pieces of clothing, a toothbrush and a pair of shoes. But ever since she arrived, Louise had confined herself to the guestroom and refused to get out of bed, except to shower.
Trine and Jasper had never seen her so distraught. Mike was a callous coward to end their marriage without warning over the phone! As much as they’d attempted to tempt her with food she normally liked, Louise barely touched it, causing her to lose at least a stone.
Watching her husband walk out the front door of their big and bustling home, Trine thought, I hope Mike’s not taken Louise’s belongings, I’d not put it past him to stoop even lower than he already did! If she ever saw him again, Trine would only be too pleased to wring his neck for all the pain and distress he’d subjected on her friend.
Her sentiment was confirmed when Jasper returned later that day, an angry expression in his normally kind blue eyes.
“You were right all along. Mike’s picked up his things and helped himself to Louise’s old paintings and furniture – the ones she inherited after her parents died! How will we tell her? It’ll destroy her when she finds out.”
Holding hands, the couple steered themselves to confront Louise with the news that Mike had already picked up his belongings.
She looked so frail and upset, as if on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Trine spoke first. She’d finished talking when to their surprise, Louise simply bowed her head, as if she’d already figured it out for herself.
“I wish he was dead!” she cried. “At least then I’d be able to bury him and put what happened behind me.” Inwardly Louise wanted to cut him out of her life in the same way as he did with her. If only she knew the reason behind it! She’d spent a big part of her life with a man whom she loved and trusted. Yet all of it turned out to be a complete lie. Mike abandoned her without so much as an explanation, leaving her crushed to the core of her soul. All she could think of was how he sounded when he called that day. She repeated their conversation to herself so many times that all she wanted was to cry and sleep, wishing she could slip into oblivion and not wake up.
Later that week, Trine and Jasper’s teenage son, Zack, went upstairs to check if she was alright, having already tried in vain to persuade her to join them downstairs in the kitchen for dinner. By then she’d lost so much weight they feared for her health. At fifteen, Zack was very mature for his age and viewed Louise as part of the family.
Hearing him shout, “I can’t wake her up!” Trine and Jasper ran upstairs and found Louise lying in bed, seemingly fast asleep. On the bedside table lay an empty bottle of sleeping pills neither of them recalled seeing before.
We Never Said Goodbye by Heléne Fermont is out 6th April (Fridhem, £9.99)
Many thanks to Alice at Midas PR for inviting me to join in with the blog tour, please check out the other stops for more reviews, extracts and interviews!