Read the Excerpt: The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane

TheReplacementWifeExcerptThe adults watched Nathan set the plate on the very edge of the counter, just far in enough not to immediately fall. Then he was off. Made a beeline for the tablet, grabbed it, and hummed his way into the small television room off the kitchen.

Josh laughed as he followed the scene then his smile fell as he turned back to the table. “Speaking of tomorrow . . .”

“Were we?” Harris asked in his usual joking manner as he continued eating his dinner.

“I want to explain why I can’t come over and—”

“It’s fine,” Elisa rushed out. Better than fine. Whatever his conflict was it saved her hours of panicked pacing as she tried to think of a way out of the visit. “Nathan can go one night without seeing you.”

Something about the way she said the phrase made Harris glance at her.

Josh plowed ahead. “I have a date.”

The scrambling fight for the right words stopped in Elisa’s brain. She went from a mental frenzy of wanting Josh out of her house to blank. And it wasn’t just her. Harris’s stunned expression mirrored the confusion running through her.

After more than the usual amount of hesitation, Harris slowly lowered his fork to his plate. Nothing else moved. “A date? Really?”

The breath had punched out of her but now it was back along with a full dose of rage. “What?”

“Is the idea of a woman agreeing to go out with me that shocking?” Josh said, clearly amused by the joint stunned reaction.

“Well, with the . . .” Harris shot her another quick glance before looking at Josh again. “It’s just a surprise.”

Screw that. This was not a time to verbally tiptoe, so Elisa didn’t. “You can’t.”

“Of course I can,” Josh said.

She tried to remain calm. Not blurt out accusations or question him. She didn’t have the evidence for that yet. But . . . come on. “Okay, but should you?”

“I know it seems sudden, but we’ve been going out for a while. I kept it quiet until I was sure the relationship was going somewhere. I’d like you to meet her now.” Josh leaned back in his chair. “I was thinking maybe this weekend.”

Elisa preferred never. “Not possible.”

She’d spent two days trying to wrap her mind around the idea the man she thought she knew, someone she viewed as family, who meant everything to Harris and Nathan, lacked a heart, a soul . . . a conscience. Now he was trying to shove her into the position of accepting his twisted life choices.

Josh frowned at her. “Is next week better?”

She was trying to hold it together, but he had to be kidding.

“What’s going on?” Josh’s frown deepened. “Why are you both looking at me with such weird expressions?”

Elisa shoved her chair back, ignored the way the legs dragged against the hardwood floor, making that annoying screeching sound, and stood up. “We’re not meeting her.”

Harris reached toward her but didn’t actually touch her. “Elisa.”

“Why not?” Josh asked at the same time.

He had the nerve to sound surprised, as if this whole discussion wasn’t obscene. As if what he suggested wasn’t shocking and horrible. “You’ve been dating this person—”


Elisa didn’t want to know this new woman. Not even her name.

Before she could explain that—shout and scream it at Josh—Harris jumped in. “I think the point is the timing.”

No. Wrong. “Not just that, but it doesn’t help.”

Josh’s gaze traveled from Elisa to Harris, not showing one ounce of understanding. “What are you two talking about?”

She really wanted to punch him. “What about your missing fiancée?”

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