Erin Monahan reformed her bad girl ways, only to discover the good girl act can’t save her marriage. Now the novelist-turned-perfect-wife is hiding out in a love hotel with a bottle of two buck chuck, devolving into a drinker with a writing problem. Recognizing the slide down the slippery slope of bad-to-worse, she calls for reinforcements. Her college friends organize a weekend reunion in small town Vermont.
Ellen has money. She also has secrets. Maggie wants to leave her marriage to track down the baby she gave up for adoption. Sandy’s sick of men; she’s having a go with her paralegal. Erin doesn't feel so alone in her mid-life confusion.
When Ellen proposes a business venture, a retreat for middle-aged bad girls, Erin thinks she’s crazy. Then Erin meets Roberto, a hot Cuban chef. Soon she decides she doesn’t want the mango to end. Neither does anyone else.
He’d zeroed in on me as soon as he arrived at our table, holding my hand too long after our initial handshake, making serious eye contact. Was that a mango in his black-and-white checked pants pocket or was he happy to see me? I was sufficiently intrigued when invited me back to his lair, so I flip-flopped along, leaving my friends giggling together at the table.
My knees were rubbery because I knew the kitchen tour was foreplay. He stood close behind me while I sniffed around his cave, a small room crowded with oversize stainless steel appliances and long bamboo cutting boards. It was late, his staff camped out in the bar, smoking cigarettes. We were alone. He watched me with burning coal eyes as he showed off his walk-in freezer, the bread warmer, and the view from the back door. The moon was a giant mango, hanging from the black tree of the night sky.
He wrapped a thick arm around me and told me he liked my hair. I’ve got a thing for redheads, he admitted. Short, muscular, hard-chested and raspy-voiced, the guy oozed sex. He smelled like coconut milk, like beach sand and palm hearts. His words scratched over my exposed skin, raising goosebumps underneath my fake tan. He told me that, since I liked his mango shrimp, I should taste his new recipe for mango coconut chutney.
At the simmering pot, Roberto brandished a ladle and dipped it in the pumpkin-colored concoction. I stuck out my tongue. He positioned the huge spoon in the bubbling orange liquid and stirred slowly before stepping back. I knew what we were doing. I knew he was easing far enough away to get a good look at what I wasn’t wearing under my skirt. I bent over the pot and took my time, blowing on the fragrant mixture before taking a tiny sip from the cup of the ladle.
Yum, I said. I agree, yum, Roberto said. I glanced over my shoulder and we both smiled.
Yes, I am bad. So yes, my third mistake and the big bang of the triple whammy, was having sex with Roberto. He of I hardly knew ye. Of course I shouldn’t have fucked him like that. Not on the first night. Good girls never have sex on the first date. And this wasn’t even a date. It was animal sex up against a thick pine tree at the far end of an asphalt parking lot under a dripping orange moon.
It was fantastic. I wanted more.