Bad breakups (I’ll pause and give you time to both reminisce and groan). We’ve all had them. I once ate an entire Caramel Pecan French Silk Supreme Pie in one sitting, and I was even the one who did the dumping! No matter whether you are the dumpee or dumper, filled with righteous indignation or hurt beyond belief, it is hard.
Crazy as it sounds, I wrote an entire book (Back to Us, Book 3 in the Shore Secrets trilogy, available now!) about high school sweethearts who broke up—horribly—and then somehow managed to go back to being friends. Of course there is more to it than that. Secretly, they both still loved each other and lo and behold, Ward tricks Piper into trying to date him again ten years later.
But the point is, break-ups suck. I created a Spotify playlist of songs dealing with break-ups from musicals. Not just because I’m a musical theatre geek (which I most definitely am!), but because, in theory, people break into song because there is too much emotion to hold in – like when your heart is broken. Please bop over and check it out.
The first song (by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim) sums up Piper and Ward’s relationship perfectly:
I’d love for you to share your break-up songs with me below. I can always use them in the next book! Here’s a peek at how Piper dealt with it:
“The last time Ward and I broke up, I ate a steady diet of nothing but butter pecan ice cream and tortilla chips for three days. My television never turned off and my butt didn’t leave the couch. That’s how you wallow. This?” Piper waved a hand at the pristine nature surrounding them. Stupid colorful trees with their picture perfect autumn-hued leaves. Sun sparkling on the lake like a field of blue diamonds. “I need a whole other day to wallow over how much I’m not wallowing right now.”
Ella gave her a sympathetic look. Tugged on the end of Piper’s cream scarf. Kept a hold of it, turned around and speedwalked backwards, pulling Piper along. “You were nineteen last time. Did you gain any weight after that three day ice cream splurge?”
Giving the scarf a final flap, Ella bounced back into step with the other two. “If you did it today, we’d have to go buy you new pants.”
“For the inevitable mushrooming of your currently perfect ass.” Casey goosed her and then darted away with a laugh.
“And as much as we love shopping, break ups are sad enough. You shouldn’t be punished by gaining weight on top of it.”
Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he’s taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.
Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward’s shadow, but she’s come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family’s winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn’t—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She’ll need to date him for one month.
Ward hopes a month is all it’ll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he’s changed, his love for her hasn’t. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can’t afford not to reject Piper’s offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.