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Up until a year ago, I had everything going for me.
A husband, children . . . the best apartment in SOHO.
Everything was great until a business deal went wrong and I was no longer useful.
I lost everything, including custody of my kids.

My father disowned me, just like my sister before me.
Fortunately, one of my brothers took me into his home.
I’m picking up the pieces, learning to handle my grandmother’s bakery…
And dealing with my brother’s best friend.

Henrik Tremblay is grumpy, infuriating, and too handsome for my broken heart.
It’s impossible to avoid him in this small town.
And when my grandmother pushes us to organize the annual love festival. . . I get the feeling only one of us will come out of this alive.

Let the mind games begin.


Claudia Burgoa


Book Series: 

Claudia Burgoa takes us back to Kentbury this week with the story of a grumpy recluse who falls for his best friend’s little sister, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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I always imagined I’d have an elegant brownstone and a jet-setting lifestyle at this point in my life. Not downgraded to a shoebox studio that makes me yearn for my old walk-in closet.

But, hey, I have to look on the bright side . . . at least there’s no laugh track accompanying my antics as I Tetris-ize my wardrobe amongst the furniture. If this were a Meg Ryan rom-com, I’d be blasting Carly Simon while comically struggling to hang photos of happier times. But one thing those movies teach you—your prince can’t be far off.

Oh, no, wait, my prince charming fucked me over seven ways to Sunday and more.

This is what they don’t show in romantic comedies and fairy tales. What happens after the princess kisses the frog, Rapunzel lets down her long hair, and Cinderella marries the prince.

Everyone says there’s a happily ever after, but no one told us that, after the wedding, the prince was fucking the wicked stepsisters—both at the same time. Cinderella was back to cleaning and talking with the animals while the love of her life ignored her.

Rapunzel finds it challenging to adapt to the outside world, and her relationship with her rescuer becomes strained due to her dependency and lack of worldly experience.

Jasmine and Aladdin discover that love doesn’t solve all problems, as they face political and social challenges ruling Agrabah.

After Snow White’s departure, the dwarfs struggle with a sense of loss and aimlessness, having grown attached to her. No one ever thought about the poor guys—the abandonment was raw.

I could go on about the ugliness post-credits—none of it is pretty.

Once upon a time, I thought I found my happily ever after. I moved to a gorgeous apartment in Soho, had two beautiful children and a loving husband.

That was then, and now . . . my studio in Queens is a far cry from my old life, small enough that if I sneeze, my neighbor might complain about me making too much noise. I’m lounging on my bed, which doubles as a sofa and a chair for the dining table, and sometimes it even reminds me how low I’ve fallen.

I glance at the photos of my kids sitting on the nightstand next to my phone charger. “Miss you guys,” I whisper, but the photos don’t whisper back.

Since the divorce, it’s been like I’m living in someone else’s badly written novel. A bad romantic comedy written for a low-budget streaming service. The plot? My husband got upset because my little sister screwed up a business deal. I was no longer useful, and the big twist: he already had a newer model—the cheating bastard.

See, this is how I know fairy tales are a lie—life experience.

I had to leave my beautiful place in Soho. My father bought it for me as a wedding present, and, like an idiot, I signed the deed under Tony’s name because . . . I can’t even remember why I did it.

The point is that the place was mine. I decorated that apartment and made it a home for our family, and just like that, he took it away from me. Now, it’s where he lives with a woman who’s barely legal and pretends to be my children’s new mommy. Anthony DuPont blindsided me with the divorce papers. The prenup agreement worked in his favor since everything was under his name.

This is what happens when you trust him saying, ‘What’s yours is mine, darling.’ Yep, I should’ve caught on when he never said, ‘And what’s mine is yours.’

Everything was his, and I ended up with a microscopic settlement that only allowed me to rent a small studio. He got full custody of the children since I don’t have a job and I’m apparently not a fit mother for my little ones. I only have visitation once every two months—supervised visitations.

Though the last time I tried to see them I was denied. Something about my apartment not being a proper place for a child to visit. I don’t see the problem though. It’s small but clean. Fortunately, my new lawyer said she’ll help me with the custody, but advised me to get a job. Living off of the little money I have in my account isn’t enough.

Ameline gave me hope, and I’m ready to fight. Anthony DuPont might have won a couple of battles, but definitely not the war.

If only dear old daddy would help me. But he blames me for everything that’s happened to him and myself. According to him, it was my fault that McKay, my little sister, messed up the perfect business deal. Then, I didn’t stop Paul from being swayed by little Mac. They moved to Kentbury to . . . I’m guessing it was to protect my grandmother from my father’s schemes.

None of that is my fault, but, of course, Dad wrote me off faster than a bad debt—cue dramatic music. I’m desperate and regret many decisions—like not accepting a job right after I finished college. Marrying the first guy who said, ‘I love you.’ Most of all, giving him everything my father handed me as a way of telling him that we were equals.

So, my unquestioning nature brought me to this point. Someone once said that hard times make you humble. I’m not sure if I have reached that status, but I’m trying hard to do so. Also, I’m pretty desperate and would do anything to dig myself out of this hole.

If I could write a self-help book for the youth, I would tell them to have a career before they get married. Don’t just be somebody’s wife, remember to be your own person. Fall in love with a man who supports your dreams and doesn’t put you down because he’s an insecure narcissist. Most of all, have an escape plan in case the love of your life turns out to be a cheating bastard.

Obviously, I’m jaded, but can anyone blame me?

Tony promised me forever. I trusted him. And, well, we know how my happily ever after ended. It’s a bitter never ever.

The silence in this apartment makes me realize that what I miss the most from my old life are my children—Archibald and Tilly. They used to fill my entire world with laughter. Feels like a lifetime ago since I saw them. Now, it’s just me and my loyal cup of coffee, who never judges and always warms my hands.

This would be a good time to call McKay and see if she can forgive me for being so cold when she decided to save my grandmother’s future and screw our father over. Back then, I didn’t realize that my little sister was doing the right thing. I had my husband and father constantly yelling at me that I had to fix what she was trying to break.

But if I call, will she forgive me? Can she help me find my second chance in life and recover my babies?

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Kentbury Tales - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone duets with interconnected characters)

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