“Rich, warm, and complex, Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl is a story for anyone who’s ever lost her way, a story about being found again, about what it means to believe you deserve to love and be loved.”
– Serena Bell, USA Today Bestselling Author of Head Over Heels
Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Length: 318 pages
Subgenre: Romantic Women’s Fiction
As sisters, they tell each other all their secrets…except one.
With divorce and infidelity hanging from nearly every branch of her family tree, Katherine Fuller sees no point in marriage. Boyfriends? Sure. Sex? Of course. Wedding vows? No, thanks. Still, when her younger sister Amy gets engaged, Katherine gathers all the enthusiasm she can. She won’t let Amy down. She’s done enough of that for a lifetime.
As the sisters embark on wedding plans, Katherine’s college love resurfaces. It nearly killed Katherine to part from sexy Irish musician Eamon more than a decade ago, but falling under his spell a second time forces her to confront everything she hid from him. The secrets surrounding her mother’s death are still fresh and raw in her mind, but one has haunted her more than the others. She can’t bear to tell anyone, especially not Amy. It could ruin far more than a wedding. It could destroy a sister’s love forever.
E X C E R P T :
575 words—phone conversation with Eamon after Amy’s engagement party
Katherine and Irish musician Eamon had a super-steamy relationship 11 years ago. Now he’s back in her life, but out on the road, leaving them to talk on the phone every day. This is the night of Katherine’s sister Amy’s engagement party, an event Katherine has been dreading.
“How did the party go?” Eamon asked. “You don’t sound drunk, so it must’ve been at least tolerable.”
“It was okay. Everyone was really nice, but I definitely did not feel comfortable. Their whole family is like pod people. They’re all so happy and normal.”
“Why does that make them pod people?”
“I don’t know. Because that’s nothing at all like my family? And there’s no family dirt, which I find a little impossible to believe.”
“You went digging for dirt at your sister’s engagement party?”
“Hey. You’re the one who told me not to drink too much. I had to entertain myself somehow.”
He unleashed the laugh I find most disarming. In my head, I could see his off-kilter smile. “There’s always dirt somewhere. Trust me.”
“That’s what I was thinking.”
It got quiet on the other end of the line and I wondered what he was thinking about or whether he was maybe tired. I would’ve given anything for him to be waiting for me at home right now, rather than thousands of miles away. I couldn’t escape the loneliness of that fact.
“Katherine, can I ask you something?”
“Of course. Anything.”
“What exactly is it about that situation that makes you so deeply uncomfortable? Your sister getting married. I know it’s not just that you feel like you’re losing her. There’s something more to it, isn’t there?”
It felt like my heart was doing a bad impression of an old clock, ticking away at an unreliable pace. There was so much about this for me to unpack, probably because I’d devoted so much of my life to keeping it hidden. “My parents didn’t have a great marriage and they did a lot of things to hurt each other. It’s hard as a kid to witness that. It definitely sours your opinion of the institution.”
“Am I being unreasonable?”
“No. You’re not. I just think that’s not the only way to look at it. Some people might go through that and decide that they can do better. Maybe that’s the way your sister feels.”
Was he right? Had Amy taken things one way while I’d run with it in the opposite direction? She’d definitely seemed comfortable at the party, acclimated to the idea that marriage was this normal thing normal people did, and that she was a member of that group. Maybe I needed to accept that just because I saw her one way, and I saw myself the same way, perhaps I’d been completely wrong. After all, she had been younger than me. She’d witnessed less than I had. And of course, she hadn’t been the catalyst for the ultimate bad. She hadn’t set the demise of her own family in motion. Amy didn’t have to live with that.
“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I need to stop looking at it like that.” I knew then that I needed to get my attitude straight. Amy deserved better than a maid of honor who was being a complete pain in the ass.
“I could be wrong.”
“Nope. It’s a great suggestion. You make me a better person, you know. You always have.”
“Do you really think that?”
I thought back to the way I’d been with him the first time, so full of sunny optimism, not at all the way I was right now, but I could admit it was a place I wanted to get back to. “I do, Eamon. I really do.”
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R :
Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. An early preoccupation with rock ‘n’ roll led her to spend her 20s working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. When her kids came along, she traded late nights for early mornings, writing contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Karen was a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year and Gold Seal of Excellence, and the 2018 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.