Tainted Love is the first book in the Behind Closed Doors series.

“Tainted Love is a spellbinding, raw, eye-opening novel of the mind. Cawood brings to light a difficult, realistic insight into the mind and rationale of an abused woman. The story is easy to read and hard to put down, in spite of the difficult topic.” – Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers’ Favorite

It’s available from Amazon, and to read for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription

 

 

Chapter One

7th October 1999

Dear Little Brother,

You have to promise me something…

Promise me you won’t tell a soul what you are about to read?

Unless something happens to me, no one needs to know.

My babies, Georgia and Caleb, only need to know what I have told them. I am unhappy. I have been unhappy for a long time. And therefore, I have gone away to heal my heart, my mind, and my spirit. They’ll understand, for me, their younger sisters are part of the healing process, and this is why I have taken the girls with me. I have promised to return, and I will. Somehow I’ll find another way into Georgia and Caleb’s lives. But… I’ll never go back.

I tell myself every day I should be thankful for what I have. Despite my sad situation, I have you, my amazing younger brother. You’ve flourished into an all-state star quarterback and earned a scholarship to one of the best medical schools in the country. I have three wonderful daughters who still see fairy tales and dreams and know how to reach for the sky. The eldest has high grades and a warm heart for children in need. She’s taken herself down the path to follow Daddy into the family profession. The younger ones are a delight. Barely walking, already they have flair for drama, song, and dance. I see stars in their eyes and fame on their horizons.

And my son is… well, he’s frustrating. He can whip a top grade out of the bag without studying. But his priorities lay elsewhere for so many years. Then, one day he came home with college applications, a volunteering job in the community, and a path he’d chosen on his own. I’m not quite sure when it happened, but it was some divine intervention for which I’ll be forever indebted.

We own a five-bedroom house in the Hamptons, with vast gardens where I spend my days tending to roses and uprooting weeds. If I’m not in my gardens, I partake in coffee mornings, which entail little coffee and lots of shopping. I no longer try anything on in the store; I donate it to charity if it doesn’t fit. I have lunch at the tennis club when I no longer play tennis. An injury took me out of the game some years ago.

My husband and I have a regular sitter and spend many evenings at the social clubs of which we’re members. We dine on lavish food, drink the finest wines, and dance past the stroke of midnight. I drive a swift little roadster, top-down, through the summer, and a tough terrain SUV in the winter. I have a lot to be thankful for… including twenty-two years of marriage.

Oh, how I wish I could tell you this was some mid-life crisis! That with my oldest children flying the nest, I felt my life half-empty. I’m sure if you ask Calvin, it’s how he’ll explain our sudden departure from his life. But it’s quite the opposite, in fact.

I know it’s been years since we last spoke, and how angry you were when you left. But there are things I need you to know, little brother, and these things I kept hidden from you all.

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