This Is Not The End…

…though it may seem to be. There will be one more book to follow. Yes, another full-size book. And possibly my favourite.

Eternal was at times a lot of fun to write and then at times so awful. I put sections off. I almost finished the next book before I returned to do the things that must be done.

I enjoy writing wives on their own. Separated from their spouse. Experiencing a re-centring. Also seeing them as an individual, seeing how their minds work when they are challenged. Kate in Italy, Jess in Clearwater. Now Nia.

I won’t say too much more about the book because some of you may read this post before you read it. I would suggest staying out of the comments below! I’ll be discussing…

93 thoughts on “This Is Not The End…

  1. Having just got home, I checked and its available on Amazon. Having read it, I am heartbroken right now. On Valentine's Day no less!The nuclear bomb detonated, and as I feared the fall out was disastrous. For Geoff, I think it's made all the worse by the other revelations in this book. His Nia confesses to him that she loves another man. Does she really? I can't really say; who can really say what love means. I think she does love both Rocco and Dino in a way; but I do believe her when she says she wants to be with Geoff above all else. But more on that later.Nia also tells him she can't really go back to their old lives; that she's dark and needs to keep being that way, but that she needs him to save her. And I do believe he is the only one that can do that for her. Dino and Rocco can't; Rocco doesn't really understand her, and while I think Dino now does, he doesn't want to blow up his life for her (rightly so in my mind). She needs Geoff to keep her careening off the edge. Now that he's gone (maybe), we'll see what happens.On to the Dragionieri brothers. I didn't expect to like Dino as much as I did here, even despite the revelation at the end. He's a good guy through it, and like I said I think he now understands Nia and Geoff's relationship. And unlike his brother, he's not willing to leave his wife and blow up his life for Nia. Rocco is living in his own fantasy world. He won't be enough for Nia, and I suspect his “love” for her is not truly a real or lasting kind. They would be terrible together as a couple in the long run; Nia realizes that but he just wants what he wants in the moment and doesn't really see the big picture.So what happens in the final book…I don't know. Honestly, I'm not sure how Geoff can ever repair his relationship with Nia now. He knows everything; she cheated on him, Odie may not be his, she told him she loves another man, another two men maybe. If it was me, I couldn't reconcile all that and stay with her. He has to focus on Odie, and she is still, and will always be, his daughter. I'm not sure he could do that and stay with Nia; that lie will always be between them now. But since we have another chapter, we'll see what happens.I'm much more optimistic that Geoff can recover from this than Nia. I'm trying very hard to feel sympathy for her, but at the moment I have very little. And at this moment I could see her really going downhill without Geoff, and Dino and Rocco can't save her, in my opinion at least.That's all for now, more later as I see other's comments and fully process what I just read.

  2. So much of what JL said is just spot on. The pondering of “who can love her, truly?” When he asks, what does she truly love about Rocco, of Dino, and maybe even Geoff? Love with each of them is of different breeds. Arguably the middle ground of Rocco and Geoff (Dino) is the one who is most willing to let her go of the other two. That is until Geoff had his revelation at the end. I agree that I am just not sure how the two of them can recover from this one. To have this open relationship carry on like it had and have it be Geoff's own realization that led him to understand where Odie came from, really has to make it hard. Still, it needs to be said that Nia chose Geoff to be Odie's father, maybe because she truly believed her to be his daughter, but everyone on that boat doubted that fact. The fact that Nia wants Geoff to be her father has to mean something, especially when she had her doubts about who her father might be genetically. I agree that Geoff should focus his energy on his daughter, like he always has, and always will.I had a dark epiphany in reading this, maybe Odie's story about the prince, the princess, and the Ogre is about Geoff and her, not Geoff and Nia. Nia is a powerhouse. She has the unbelievable capacity to make three men love her, because she has a big enough heart to be able to show them that she can return it. It's buried though under soot though, I agree that three major revelations are her love for Rocco, her passionate admission to herself and to Geoff that she is a bad person, and that she has not been herself when she is with Geoff.What I am confused about and would like others' takes as I think about it more. Does Nia truly want to be shared? She looks him in the eyes and says she just needs him to tell her that he doesn't want her to be with other men and that would be the end of it, to which he relents and lets her do what she wants, which is be with Dino and Rocco. So in that sense, you might get the impression that she really might just want to do what's best for a relationship, but when Rocco (this Alpha Dominant figure) gets possessive, Nia snaps at him that he only wants her the way he thinks of her. She doesn't want to be just his. Maybe she's still thinking it over, but i she truly wanted one man capable of giving her everything she wanted, he fits the bill, or at least she has said as much about him. I might be nitpicking, because I think she really just wants love, and has the bandwidth to love and be loved by more than one person, if they can handle her. Maybe no one can.I am exhausted. Barely slept last night, glad today was a slow day for where my head has been at, and super glad for two major distractions to take my mind off my 'Newest Arrivals' search queries. That said, this was an unbelievably explosive part. One that my hurt and tired head will also need to process more, not just for the sake of avoiding saying something stupid, which I've done here before, but out of respect for how much thought went into this part. Everyone grew in dimensions that I was not prepared for, and I fucking loved that. I just don't know what it means to me yet.Anyone else think the most powerfully destructive words that Nia can ever utter might be “I don't feel you?”

  3. @Edwin – Just one other comment. There goes Nia again, being selfish, leaving Geoff behind to tend to their daughter for a full week even though her daughter might have experienced the single most intense thing in her life. When Odie needs to be picked up from her first day at school, where's her mother?I know these have explanations, but when you take her actions (or inactions) in this part, along with what she's done in the past … Seriously, step up, Mom!

  4. Just wanted to add a few things on reflection. I thought the writing here was excellent; even if I can't say I “enjoyed” reading this chapter (at least the end), I appreciate the craft that went into it. And you shouldn't always “enjoy” reading; sometimes really powerful writing makes you feel other emotions, sometimes it makes you feel like crap. Kind of where I was at the end of this. But it doesn't take away from the writing, which was wonderful. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.As to Nia and her love for 3 different men, it just feels like to me that each give her something very specific, but none of them can give her everything she needs. Geoff gives her unconditional love (well he did) and support, he's her rock, her perfect partner, the perfect man to raise Odie. But he can't feed her dark urges, at least not by himself. I do think part of the excitement in Nia giving herself over to those urges is Geoff's acceptance of that and his own turn on by it. Without that, I don't think she would have risked it; also why I think she tells him she would end it if he wanted (and why I believe she would). Geoff is the most important of the 3 to her, the one that she probably can't live without. But that doesn't mean he's enough for her, at least not now.Rocco feeds those dark urges, and he can protect her in a way that Geoff cannot. I think she's fallen for him because she's the only one it seems who could bring out his tender side, his devoted side. That can be an incredibly powerful thing, to know that you are the only person who can impact someone in a certain way. But she knows Rocco doesn't really understand her; that while he can fulfill some of those dark urges, he can't fulfill all of them.Dino is more difficult to pin down; I like ToBe's idea of Dino kind of being the middle ground between the different kinds of devotion she gets from Geoff and Rocco. He's her first love, and he probably always would have a special place in her heart. And I think that's where it kind of is for her; I think her feelings for him are the lowest of the three. He's a comfortable blanket in a way, a remembrance of a simpler time in her life. But her relationship with him has led to her greatest devastation.So I'll be interested to see what happens. My guess is she will try to win Geoff back and be unsuccessful (at least in the beginning)….then what? Does she try to be with Rocco, or with both Rocco and Dino? I suspect so, but I don't see how that makes her happy. I think for a fleeting moment, she had her happiness with all 3, only to see it slip through her fingers. Maybe it would have completed her; but would those 3 ever been able to live with it in the long run? Rocco…definitely not. Geoff and Dino…I suspect they might have been. But we'll likely never find out now.One other question, as I forget if it was fully spelled out. Was Dino and Nia's affair 7 years ago a one-time thing, or did it last for a period of time?

  5. Hmmmm… A lot of interesting comments from people whose opinions I have really grown to respect.My take was a bit different however…. I found myself thinking (during the marathon threesome scene, probably one of the longest I've ever read) that I was finally going to see a really happy ending from KT. Not normal by any sense of the imagination, but I'll take what I can get. Even Rocco seemed to be finally getting over his possessiveness. Then, even before I reached the turning point, I realized that KT still had one book in this series, so there had to be one more thing to make everything go off the rails (remember the same thing happening at this point in LHW1?). Anyway, sure enough, like a 2×4 between the eyes, KT did it again.Now, I was happy that Geoff finally stood up to Rocco (in his own way, at the end of the threesome scene), and almost began to at least get to a neutral respect level for Dino, well maybe a bit more positive than that).Almost felt sorry for Nia, even though I couldn't imagine how I could ever deal with someone like her like Geoff did. Actually, with everything else going on, it seemed that Geoff overreacted at the end. However, given how he reacted, I was surprised with his assurances to Odie that she would be coming back home soon.Probably will have more thoughts in a day or two, but for now feel free to cross-examine all of you (and of course KT, if she isn't laughing so hard it hurts 🙂

  6. I agree with you on the idea of thinking we were seeing a kind of happy ending, only to get the rug pulled out from under us, KT style. Perhaps that's why it made me felt like it did at the end.Why I don't think Geoff overreacted: his entire life was predicated on the fact that above all else, Nia was his, and that their family was his, and that everything they did, they did it together. But Nia had cheated on him and then deceived him, and it may have resulted in Odie not being his. I can see how that sends Geoff spinning and devastated. Suddenly, Nia isn't his anymore, and neither is Odie in a way. Maybe he's asking himself if Nia was manipulating him the whole time, getting him into her kinks because she wanted to pursue them, not because she wanted to share it with him. For me, it alters his perception of their entire relationship in a way that is nearly impossible to deal with in that moment.In the end, he just wants to get Odie away from everything, at least for a while. I don't think he's permanently trying to take her away from Nia; when he says they'll see her soon he means it. But I don't think he can face her, face that right now, so he ran, and took the only thing that means anything to him at the moment.

  7. OK. Devoured it as soon as I got off work. Going to read it again tomorrow. Slower. To savor it…. just… shit that hurt… the pain. I know that pain. Oh my god…

  8. The book has not indicated in any way that Nia and Dino came together more than one solitary time. Nia's own internal discourse indicates that it was one time.

  9. ok. How can I explain this? Last night after reading Eternal I was so overcome with memories and emotions I just couldn't even conceive of how to write a message. And when I did write it came out sounding not quite how I wanted. I'm not getting off on the pain here. I'm not explaining this right.This is difficult. Please bear with me.Let me start with the book. As usual, awesome writing. The descriptions of the locations gives me a sense of being there. I can almost smell the lake air, feel the gentle rocking of the boat.That extended threesome scene was quite possible the most erotic and intense read I've ever had. So much feeling from Geoff and Nia.That ending… Geoff is doing the only thing he can do. Everything from Nia, so far as he can tell has been a lie. Now he no longer has her but has, at least partially, lost Odie. He won't stop being her father. Part of me hopes that there is a DNA test proving Geoff is dad. Even a faked one. Because like he said, he'll always wonder and doubt… And be broken. I know.I started reading this series at the urging of a friend that has known me since high school. 30 years or so. She knew my then fiancee. She knows what I'd been through. She called me last night after she'd read this book and begged me to stop reading. She knew. Nia is my L. I am Geoff. Our personalities. Our passions. Or at least how we used to be. Before. She knew when she first read Cherry Blossoms that I would recognize these characters. There was no cuckold involved, but they are still us. My friend is worried for me. I'm ok though.I can't do details. 25 years later and it still hurts too much. I am Geoff. I know exactly how he is feeling right now. Still, he's lucky. His girls both survive.I am devastated for Geoff right now.But not all is lost. I saw something in Dino. Man did he step up. Looks like someone learned from their past. He genuinely gets Geoff I think. And feels for him. How is he going to feel knowing that he had a part in completely breaking him?Nia… so I was expecting this to be honest. Because I know her. I was just hoping she'd pull her head out of her ass. She doesn't get it. She doesn't love Geoff. She loves the idea of Geoff. If she loved him she'd never ever have lied to him like she has throughout the series. Maybe that's my own experiences coloring things, I don't know. But if she loved him she would have fought tooth and nail to keep him from destruction. And Odie… yeah selfish Nia…I hope there is some lifting up in the next book.KT, I think I can go more in depth in private if you want to hear my story. Believe me when I say it's far worse than what you might think. I just can't bring myself to put it all into words here in public. And please know, in my remembering there are also good memories surfacing. It's kind of cathartic really.

  10. Geoff's big reaction on the boat, to me, was primarily the way it was revealed. The biggest factor being (and maybe one I should have emphasized more) that he realized they all knew. All three of them knew and that made him humiliated. He was the butt of a joke in a way.If it had been revealed to him quietly in the kitchen of his home, just him and Nia alone, I feel like he would have been much stronger.Instead he'd just participated in something grisly, saw his wife, her face damaged due to her indiscretion, naked and violated, Dino's arm around her, saying Geoff was a good father FOR Odie, Nia patting Dino's hand and saying, Yes, isn't he.

  11. Ok… selfish Nia is right. But it's more than that now, isn't it? The train wreck happened. And still all she thinks about is herself. We see the ugliness of Rocco and she still clings to him because of what he can to do her not for her. I've all but given up on Nia. As I explain below, I know her. Geoff reminds her of what he does and is willing to do for her and she still spits on him with stupid selfish lies…

  12. Definitely e-mail me. You don't have to divulge anything at all but I'd like to hear from you. I'm not smart or anything, have little wisdom, I write these books with no experience of my own. I want to write these books but I want them to be good and I want them to be remembered by the people that read them. When I write these characters I try and imagine that pain, I hate that there are people out there in the world that have experienced it.I thought I had your e-mail but I see that I don't, so send me one first…

  13. KT– I agree totally with E.M., a totally awesome book. Again, while I was reading it, I was thinking about whether you “nailed the ending” the way it was going until I realized it wasn't. The pool shark left me with no possible shot on the table.That being said (twice now), I have had some time to process the book beyond my initial thoughts. I found some things a bit humorous from the big picture… Geoff getting upset about Nia having sex years ago that “might” have resulted in Odie not being his biological daughter, while not getting upset about a threesome where she cuckolds all three men (using a loose definition), two of which she would have previously considered alpha males (again using a loose definition, Dino fits the definition best at this point of the story under my definition). Anyway, I found that somewhat hilarious.I must admit (with shame), that I missed that Geoff's rage was somewhat driven by the specific situation, and would have likely reacted less strongly if presented in a more private situation by Nia. I don't see how I didn't immediately make that connection (maybe the torrid threesome melted my frontal cortex).Not sure that Nia would have ever told Geoff in private, it would have taken a lot more openness than she is capable of. However, she is really in pain now, and very vulnerable to further advances by Rocco, if he reverts how he was acting earlier in the book. Or, perhaps Dino's evolution will lead her towards him, but he would be a tougher nut for her to crack, so to speak, given his transformation into a respectable, real, alpha character. We will have to wait for KT's next “reveal” to see how she deals with all of this chaos.

  14. Edwin – I feel for you. That you had to experience something in this story that can remind you of that time, is saddening. I didn't want to reply to your first comparison to your life because I wasn't sure what to say. It seems like you've still remained a good, thoughtful person on the other side of whatever experience you had. Which is very commendable. I want to dive back into the story in this reply based on what you said above, and I hope you don't take it as me trivializing your past by doing so, but I do enjoy your thoughts and am glad you can still enjoy (for lack of a better word) this story enough to share them with us.I'll say this about Nia, I am concluding now that I think she is a coward. Reasons that I've mentioned before, she doesn't take responsibility for any of her actions. She says Geoff started them down the sharing path, when she has been co-conspirator to this mutual fantasy building all along. She has lied to or otherwise withheld information from Geoff until she can't take it anymore or is forced to by circumstance, rather than biting the bullet and talking it out at a time that is respectable. At least during the time of this story, she has made Geoff do all the heavy lifting with parenting Odie while she's off on her adventure towards 'independence'.New to the list is she might be leading three men on. I think the cards are mostly laid out for Geoff (in a mostly convenient fashion for Nia), Dino seems to know the score, but Rocco doesn't want to share. Nia knows that about Rocco, and yet she sits there alone in his arms talking about how much she cares about him and loves him, exactly the way he wants, and she knows he wants. Rocco might make it seem as if he ultimately just wants to help Nia get her feet back on the ground while everything blows over, as a friend, but she knows the healthy thing to do in this situation is to do this at a hotel or a friend's place. Who cares if they find out she has been sleeping around on Geoff, if your goal is to work things out? She even admits she should have been home the whole time she was on Rocco's boat. By choosing to go down the path she's gone she is complicating things much more. She knows she can't give Rocco everything he wants right now, and yet she curls up next to him at night.She might feel love for all these men, but none of them are totally comfortable with what she wants from them. The compromising that's taken place thus far is not really official from anyone's perspective, and at least with Geoff, not built upon foundations of complete transparency and honesty. That'll always lead to broken hearts and will likely do so again.

  15. @ToBe- “I'll say this about Nia, I am concluding now that I think she is a coward.”- yes. Geoff might seem week and cowardly but his whole motivation was he wanted his love satisfied. Had he known the truth, the whole truth, I don't know that he'd have pushed her. But then had he known he might not have still been with her. But her fear permeates every decision to withhold from Geoff. Fear of hurting him. Fear of losing her best friend… but tell me if I'm wrong… she seems more concerned with his friendship than his love.

  16. Just my opinion, but I think Nia loves Geoff. I think we've seen plenty of evidence she loves him and the life they built, the family they have…and the sex life they have together. Doesn't mean she's been perfect, but I don't think its just Geoff's friendship she's scared of losing.Yes, a part of it is that he's her best friend, but also he's the only one of the three who truly gets her and what she wants. He loves her dark side (well he did until that awful realization), the other two don't. In many ways, he was the perfect man for her.As to Odie, he might be fearing that, but I doubt Nia or even Dino would ever dream of taking Odie away from Geoff. I think his bigger fear is that Odie would pull away from him as she got older and it turned out Dino was her father; wouldn't it be natural for her to want to get to know her biological father better? Even if she didn't mean it to, that would take her away from Geoff in his mind.That is what I think he couldn't handle, and why he doesn't want to do a DNA test. Like others, though, I do hope Nia's belief is correct and that Geoff is her real father, and that we find that out before the end.

  17. The “Losing His Wife 2” SoundtrackThese are songs that have reminded me of or were ruined by LHW2. I included songs mentioned in the book and by Guhrka!‘Don’t Worry Baby’ – Beach Boys‘Sweetest Kill’ – Broken Social Scene‘Bad Moon Rising’ – CCR – thanks Guhrka!‘Bye Bye Love’ – Everly Brothers‘Somebody that I Used to Know’ – GotyeNia’s Anthem – ‘In for the Kill’ – La RouxMuch of Sanctity through Temporal – ‘No Quarter’ – Led Zeppelin‘All of Me’ – John LegendGeoff’s Anthem – ‘Starlight’ – MuseWhat I think of Nia these days – ‘Queen’ – Perfume Genius

  18. @JL23 -“As to Odie, he might be fearing that, but I doubt Nia or even Dino would ever dream of taking Odie away from Geoff.”-I tend to agree. However, if I'm interpreting what I read correctly, Geoff is not in his right mind right now. His breaking all the mirrors in the house, leaving the house a mess, spiriting Odie away, suggests to me that he's so humiliated that he can't stand the sight of himself. If he feels that badly about himself he wonders what other people must think of him. Rocco certainly distains him. And Nia just said she loves Rocco. Rocco would have no problem making sure Nia took Odie from Geoff. It isn't rational at all. Of course I could be waaaaaay off base.

  19. It's hard to say what Nia really wants out of her relationship with Geoff anymore! I think she does really love him. She calls him her best friend a lot, but also her best lover, and her husband. She has uses every abstract label there is about Geoff. To me that signifies a person that is her everything. Which is something she has also called him.But she says she doesn't really even know what love means. What does it mean to her if she loves three men? Suddenly Nia is polyamorous? when Edwin says things like “she loves the idea of Geoff” it makes me wonder. How can she lie to someone she trusts so much?I hope more is said in this last part on why she chose Geoff over Dino, because I think it's still unclear. They care about each other so much, why did she tear that relationship down? Was he that volatile to hit her? Dino and Nia talk about how Geoff is “good for her” like she needed his light in her life, but that just comes across so condescending and trite. How Nia describes or thinks about their relationship does seem to come across as so in the clouds instead of in the flesh. It's going to be interesting to see how Dino reacts to the truth that Nia lied about making him feel bad about her miscarriage.I think Dino came to terms with Nia and Geoff being together and Odie being her father by the last scene before Geoff's realization. Rocco I could see either way about Odie. He basically said he would try to bring Odie along and would do anything for her, and in the same breath conceding Maria all of his children (like a douche bag). That said, he seemed shocked and maybe impressed by the strength Geoff showed at the end of 'Eternal,' that maybe he wouldn't go after Odie. Though that could be wrong considering how seconds the moment I'm thinking of he was ready to punch him for showing slight physical aggression towards Nia, like HE'S the asshole, I don't know if he thinks any more highly of Geoff.

  20. Rocco really only thinks highly of Rocco, I think. He even puts down his brother when talking to Nia. So I don't think he cares one second about Odie or who her father really is. He wouldn't do anything to try to damage Geoff's relationship with her, unless he thought that was what Nia wanted.I do agree that Dino had made his peace with Geoff being Odie's father by the end, which somewhat ironically led to his comment that got Geoff to put all the pieces together.

  21. EM.I too have been through the mill with this subject. The book that brought it to my heart was “reluctant cuckold” by David McManus. 2 years ago when I read that I was emotionally devistated and couldn't sleep for several nights. I understand what you are feeling in that sense. If I can do anything to help please let me know.

  22. KT. This is an exceptionally fine book. Just wonderfully written. Obviously the pain I feel right now is due to your writing skills. With that said I am not emotionally controlled enough to respond to the story yet. Maybe in a few days. This is absolutely difficult the way you set us up to have the floor drop out from under us. That was a wicked thing to do. It was masterful in that we knew it was coming but it still got us anyway. It's like the end of a horror movie when you KNOW the 'monster' is going to jump out and yet when it does you still jump and scream. Very very well done.Now my one comment. Someone did say this above. Nia is just selfish. She ran from Geoff and didn't tell him where she was for days. When he came, after all the crap about him being the one, she stayed and made love with all,three of them. And then, let it come out about Odie knowing what it would do to Geoff. I think she unconsciously wanted to devastate Geoff and doesn't really care about Odie. She only cares about herself and what she wants. She has shrugged Odie off several times before, she did it again when she ran, and now she has done it by not grabbing Geoff before he left of at least run after him and made it to Odie before Geoff had a chance to leave with her. Her actions speak much louder than her words.

  23. @Bradley – I'm good. Like I told KT, I'm getting good flashbacks too.@ToBe and JL I agree with both of you. My focus is… what is Geoff's state of mind? I'm just thinking of things from his point of view.

  24. I agree about KT's writing dropping the hammer on us after making us feel like that terrible thing that we know is coming maybe won't happen. Great story writing everytime!Nia is selfish, but i dont think she ever wants it out that Odie might not be his. It was Geoff that finally realizes it as Dino and Nia share a moment. I still think Nia was irresponsibly keeping that a secret from Geoff, not trying to drop that bombshell at that the time.It begs the question though, what is with that moment between Nia and Dino before Geoff figures it out? I took it to be Dino, who think he's the father, coming to terms about Geoff being best for Odie and being happy for Nia, while Nia sees that and agrees that Geoff is a good father. Was she agreeing that Geoff is a good biological father or just the right parent/guardian for her? She still clings to the drawing and now her appearance, and says she'll do a DNA test to prove it so I think she still wants to believe he is the biological parent. How Nia looks at Dino at that moment though is a bit mysterious.

  25. ToBe…as I said above I do think that was Dino's way of admitting to Nia (and himself) that Geoff is the right person to be Odie's father. As for Nia, I do think she fully believes Geoff is the biological father. She may be just trying to desperately convince herself (and everyone else) of that, by clinging to the idea that since Odie can draw well she must be Geoff's. But I do think in her mind she feels that is 100% true.As to the moment between Nia and Dino…I just think Nia is reacting to what we see as well. I think she realizes its Dino letting go of whatever claim he felt over Odele, and her thanking him for that. In that moment, she probably feels the secret is safe, as the only person who probably would reveal it now will likely take it to his grave. Obviously, it didn't turn out that way.

  26. Your question left me thinking… does Nia truly want to be shared? She asked for rules, she fought it at first but saw how it turned Geoff on, in the Eternal even she gives an out. In starting to wonder the same thing. I'm thinking she wants a firmer hand.

  27. I can see why Nia has become a lightning rod for criticism, but I honestly think that she has a diagnosable personality disorder. The way she capriciously shifted the primary object of her “love” during the menage-a-trois is evidence of this. Nia is unable to love the way an emotionally healthy person can. Instead, she uses men to provide her with whatever constitutes her need(s) of the moment, though I don't believe she does so with malicious intent. She simply isn't emotionally mature enough to make an adult commitment to one partner. Geoff is emotionally healthier than his wife, but he's no paragon of psychiatric normality either. He clearly has self-esteem issues and nurses a lot of bitterness about the bum hand life has dealt him, his success as an illustrator notwithstanding. Given Nia's emotional condition, she needs a man who can keep a firm hand on the tiller and confine her libertine behavior within safely prescribed limits. An alcoholic needs similar mentorship and support, often provided by AA and their 12-step program. To me, Geoff and Nia are basically decent people, but terribly flawed. If they could have maintained a friendship, I think they would have been great for each other, providing mutual support as they exorcise their demons. Neither Dragonieri brother is a good long-term match for Nia, but they define the type of man she's attracted to – strong, confident, and with an edge of danger. This combination of traits makes her feel the safest. It would be great if she could meet a sub-alpha male, one on the dividing line between alpha and beta. Such a man could offer her the best aspects of both. Unfortunately, this type of male is exceedingly rare.If Geoff and Nia could resurrect their friendship, if not their marriage, and if he could maintain his status as Odele's father, a tragic ending could be averted. Dino seems like a decent man at his core, so I don't think it's far-fetched for him to step aside and not blow apart apart a whole family unit. That would be happy, but not realistic, IMHO. I know from direct experience that it's very difficult for a man to extinguish his love for that special woman and replace it with purely Platonic feelings. Also, the trauma of effectively losing his wife and child would be too severe for even a well-adjusted person to overcome. I'll be interested in seeing how the debris settles after this 'implosion.' The possibilities are legion.

  28. I don't think Nia is a monster or anything. She very obviously cares. A lot. Or she'd not be so distraught at the end as Geoff is leaving, trying desperately to hold onto him. It's sort of a mirror image of what Geoff has endured emotionally throughout the series. Now we get to see Nia's quality. Does she go after Geoff? Does she reaffirm his fatherhood of Odie? Does she let him go? As you say so many possibilities. With as close to the edge as she was at the beginning of the book, did he reaffirm HER enough to give her the strength to do what he has done over and over? And, too, will Geoff let her? Where Nia was on the razor's edge before, Geoff is on a monofilament wire now.I also agree on Geoff's self esteem but I'm not sure about the bitterness.I really don't see this ending in anything other than the tragedy the title promises.

  29. This will be in 2 parts.Part 1.I am going to concur with JL23 in that I am absolutely heartbroken. I so want to like Nia but it is impossible with her total lack of self-control and selfishness. I think she might have the right thoughts but in everything she does she puts herself first. Personality disorder or not she is just not a nice person who really cares enough about others to not hurt them over and over.She ran from Geoff and said some really really nasty things to him after Marias visit. I can forgive that but she ran to the absolute worst person and then hid from Geoff and Odie knowing what they would be going through. She even made love to Rocco. That is not a caring loving wife.Then when Geoff showed up, acting all concerned that he wasn’t coming, she hung around and didn’t leave with him immediately. Instead she made love with him but then allowed Dino to join in. Yes, Geoff should have grabbed her and left and he sure as hell shouldn’t have let Dino touch her. They should have been left alone. I will also give Dino a strike for intruding on the marriage that he doesn’t want to break up at a very very crucial time. Stupid on his part but even worse on Nia.Then allowing Geoff to leave and not immediately going after hi, after the big reveal was very very telling about her love for him and her desire to keep both him and Odie. A mother would have fought tooth and nail to keep her family together especially if she believes Geoff to be the father.Rocco. Wow. She absolutely, know way should have let Rocco anywhere near her and Geoff at that time. She saw Geoff’s discomfort but did it anyway. Selfish bitch is the best word I can use for that. Rocco has all but announce to her that he wants her and will destroy her marriage to get her. He did everything he could to do that at that point and was about to spill the beans about Odie. As a matter of fact he actually did spill the beans but such in a way that he can’t truly be blamed for it. Rocco got exactly what he wanted. Geoff destroyed and out of the way so he can move in on Nia. He doesn’t care about Odie or his kids at all. That is clear. He really doesn’t care about Nia either. He is definitely the most selfish of all of the group. He is also the most dangerous. He will kill Nia if she ends up with him. Geoff knowing that Nia did cocaine with Rocco, if she stays with him, will be the end of her relationship with Odie. I think even Dino would support that knowing how good of a father Geoff is. It is his daughter and he will want what is best for her and he certainly can’t have it come out that she is his without destroying his marriage which he actually does seem to care about even if he can’t keep it in his pants for Nia.

  30. This will be in 2 parts.Part 2.Rocco is a piece of trash. The worst kind of human on the planet. He is just a user and abuser and takes what he wants. I suspect that he will take Nia and use her until she is no more and absolutely destroy her.Geoff definitely has a weakness but he is starting to stand up for himself and gain confidence. He put a stop to the humiliation and would have accepted a beating from Rocco to try to stop him when it came to that. He was not going to back down. He is too much in love with Nia that he can’t seem to do what is best for her. The best thing for her right now is that the Dragionieri brothers need to be out of her life. Rocco should never be allowed in her life ever again. Dino maybe once he and Nia put their life back together if that is possible. He is strong enough of a man, that when Nia reassures him of her love for him, he will be able to handle Nia having sex with Dino because she needs more than Geoff can give her. He just won’t be able to handle her making love with him. This could be the ultimate in hot wifing experience instead of a cuckolding experience.The only person that can keep Geoff alive right now is going to be Odie. His life is so rocked that he doesn’t have much to live for. He has lost the absolute love of his life and best friend and maybe even his daughter. His desire to fight for her will be where he draws his strength from.JL23 mentioned that he doesn’t feel sympathy for Nia. I am1005 on board for that even though I want to like her. She can complete Geoff if she pulls her head out of her butt. However, he said that he sees her going downhill without Geoff and Rocco and Dino can’t save her. I think it is worse than that. Rocco will be the one that pushes her off the cliff. It is Rocco who will absolutely destroy her. She has no future with Dino. I think Dino loves his family and wife and would never leave them for Nia. He is smart enough to know that what they have will not sustain a long term relationship. Funny how I now see him as the most mature and decent of all of the people in this story even with his obvious flawsI can only hope that Nia can somehow reach Geoff before it is too late. They have to be together otherwise neither of the will survive. Geoff has started to realize the strength he needs to have for Nia and I think he can bring it to the table. The question is going to be is it too late for them.

  31. Ed, unfortunately I agree with you about the ending. As far as Nia being a monster. I perhaps will agree with you but I despise her as if she is a monster. Yes, she obviously must care or she wouldn't be as distraught as she was. But she didn't care enough to not leave for, what 6 days, without contacting Geoff or Odie to tell them she was OK. She didn't care enough to not allow Dino anywhere near her on the boat? She didn't care enough to not go to Rocco on the boat. She didn't care enough to not screw Rocco befor letting Geoff know where she was and OK.The problem is she is just so danged shelf absorbed into herself she just can't stop herself from hurting the people who are truly good to her, good for her, and love her. I don't think she wants to but she just can't see what she is doing before she does it. That is because of her narcissism and selfishness. A monster? No. But certainly not a nice and good person.

  32. PS. I don't think there can be just a friendship. Geoff's friendship was always based upon the love he had for her. Nia is dangeorously close to destroying that, if not already, because she has destroyed the man Geoff is.

  33. ToBe. I agree that Dino knows Geoff to be the best father for Odie. I think the other thing is that Dino knows that he cannot be with Nia in a long term relationship. It just wouldnt work and he doesn't want to destroy the family he has and loves. He cannot be the father of Odie and have that happen.

  34. Guhrka,I personally think that Rocco would have revealed. He needs to destroy Geoff and in Nia's mind also. He has spent the last days on the boat trying to do so so I think he has no qualms about destroying Geoff. He knows that him finding out about Odie will destroy him which is almost has. And Ithink you are also right about Rocco knowing he has a bteer shot at her when she is in extreme pain and vulnerable.I also wonder about the cocaine. Was he trying to get her hooked so that she was dependent on him for that? Was there ever anything in her past that suggested she would do drugs? That is an odd detail to throw in that must have some great meaning somewhere in this story.

  35. PS–thank you for the review! Made me freak out a little because Rope is a favourite of mine. I've watched it three times. Weird thing is I referenced it in my head while I wrote segments of this book. Pretty, pretty freaky…

  36. Evolution of a Cuckold -I realize that for the better part of four parts, I’ve been spending most of my mental energy articulating Nia’s story, for myself. I suppose it’s because she’s a hot, deeply flawed person who is the center of three men’s sexual attention and my own. Plus her actions are the most important to driving the narrative forward, and have had the most emotional impact. It’s also because I was perhaps too afraid of putting too much of myself into Geoff’s character in order to guard from feeling his hurt as if it were my own. I think I speak for everyone here that the man they identify with more than anyone is Geoff, who seems to be mostly normal. Better to emotionally distance myself from someone relatable going through trauma.He is a habitual giver, regardless of his own needs or feelings. From day one of their relationship, Geoff put up with Nia’s sex interests. He never asked why he needs to hear this, or what about his feelings for her, he just listened. Gave her what she needed by helping her talk or cry out her problems. The kind of man he knows how to be, prepared and selfless. Sure he feels good about being in her company, and he hoped an opportunity that led to their first night together would fall in his lap, but damn if that is not one hell of a long-game he’s got. With a child in his life now, he brings that nurturance to bear to “his” offspring, quotations are inevitable at this point but I think she is his no matter what anyone says, as JL says.PS has spoken about this in his ‘Kaleidoscope’ review, that Geoff is in a tough spot. Being a normal guy dating someone who is above his class, punching up as it were. His giving persona has been a shield for young adult Nia. His budding children’s storywriter career allowed him to provide for his family, show them a caring, somewhat quiet life. Nia, who is a wild child at heart, definitely did a 180 settling into her life with Geoff, but Geoff and Nia both knew that what she was doing at a young age couldn’t be sustained. She needed to settle down, and the best man for that kind of life is Geoff.Emotion is a hell of a drug, and the dull feeling of normality starts to oppress. I’m not sure how long Nia and Geoff had been talking about adding a second income to the family before the events in ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ but doing the same thing everyday with anyone, never really leaving the house, would naturally lead to Nia’s step to independence, regardless of the need for money. Donna is getting married, a woman from her past, a reminder of her wild days, Geoff will of course start thinking about her past before she even leaves the house. Then she comes home, reveals she’s bumped in to the mother of all old flames and she shaved before she left and boy does that shake a man out of his revery.In his state of unprecedented arousal that he remembers from so long ago, she admits she stepped out on the relationship, but damn if this isn’t the best sex he’s had in … ever? He gives in to the feeling of jealousy, sexualizes it and that becomes his sexual obsession. It becomes a Pavlovian experience, whenever the Dragonieri name falls out of her mouth, knowing what she thinks of them, he can’t stop remembering how hot he feels, living so mild-mannered and how much it brings out his A-game. For Nia’s part, she can’t stop making the thought of Dragonieri’s with her feel increasingly real, more and more immediate, until finally she’s doing it with Dino while he stares in shock.

  37. WORD ASSAULTBut he is a giving man, he equates having the brothers there as his ultimate gift to her, remembering what she likes, knowing that he will feel the strongest about it because it’s them as the gift, and ignoring his painful thoughts screaming in the back of his mind that it’s wrong. She hasn’t really given him too much of a reason (since he can look over her cheating on him) to think it would go wrong. His worst fear is her leaving him, and even at the point we are in the story, she makes efforts (as pathetic as they may feel right now) to let him know she loves him and won’t leave his side.I agree with Edwin that Geoff should have listened to Nia when she told him that letting the brothers back into her life was a bad idea, but it wasn’t insane. Nia chose Geoff over the field. Maybe letting Rocco rough her up would fine, rolling around in the cot with Dino isn’t the end of the world, because they didn’t have sex and besides, she knows what Dino is capable of. Again she comes home to him, not Dino, not Rocco. We’re all married, let’s have some fun, get our rocks off and go home and draw a bath, I’ll take care of you. It saves Geoff the trouble of vetting her lovers on Craigslist or Tinder, knowing damn well he won’t feel the same way if it’s a stranger, just like Nia won’t.The biggest problem for Geoff, ironically enough, he doesn’t have a good enough imagination when it came to this. What he watches with Nia is something that he will only develop a level of comprehension as an observer. His wildest dreams weren’t wild enough going into this, he thinks there is no way a sexual experience with these Renaissance men could produce feelings strongly enough for her to leave him. He couldn’t conceive of that possibility, because he doesn’t know what’s possible. Then he sees the bruises, then he sees the sex organ, then he sees the unknowable sex she has with Rocco through a screen with an excitement from her he never knew existed. It culminates in a wake up call that he did not have the time to encapsulate, before the reality check rolls up on his motorcycle and carries his woman upstairs, lips locked. It’s what you wanted, right?It’s also important for him to take responsibility for his lack of imagination when it comes to Nia. How could he not see that she was potentially going to continue to hurt him again, when it took some totally inconvenient moments for her to tell Geoff the truths of her past. Nia might be different in many respects, because a relationship of ten years with any person effects who you are, but she is still a sucker for dominant strong men, and too ashamed to admit that fact or what she did in the past to feel them again. A feeling that, he knows now, may never go away.Does anyone think it was a bad idea for Nia to take her job with Rocco? Leaving hindsight aside, which is probably impossible now, could she have taken this job with no issue, or were the events that transpired afterwards inevitable with that decision? Guhrka mentioned a post way back in ‘Montreal’ that Nia was partially motivated to get out of the house mostly because it would be near another Dragonieri, and I (perhaps naively) thought it wasn’t a bad idea because they wanted to do this together and she didn’t have the job experience that would make for a very successful job hunt at her age, plus love and trust, blah, blah.

  38. My thoughts on your view on Nia. I can't agree more, she doesn't appreciate what love means, enough to realize how she expresses it with those she think she feels it with, especially. That's probably due in part to her past that we still don't know about. Did anyone else interpret Nia's disoriented state waking up next to Rocco after her nightmare as a brief flashback to perhaps a dark moment where she was vulnerable to another masculine presence she feared? Or is it simply a mattet of years waking up next to a Geoff-sized man and being surprised by the uniqueness of a different mass next to her in his stead?I still try to look at this from Nia's perspective as much as I feel like she's letting me down. This is a unique situation isn't it? Three men that might do anything to please her, and each in their own unique and addictive ways. This with the support (witting or otherwise) of the truest love of her life. He did need to do more to understand why she feels like she needs what she does, that was Geoff's biggest failing, not just as a lover but perhaps as her friend, assuming her problems are derived from deeper pain, which I hope we finally learn in the finale.Another great review PS!

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