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In the Distance There Is Light - Deluxe Edition (SIGNED HARDCOVER)

In the Distance There Is Light - Deluxe Edition (SIGNED HARDCOVER)

After her partner dies in a terrible accident, Sophie thinks she’ll never recover.

But when her sorrow leads her to Dolores, who understands the depth of her grief, Sophie is shocked to find herself wondering: is it too soon to love again?

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Book specifications

Pages : 292
ISBN : 9789464339109
Weight : 590
Dimensions : 229 x 22 x 152 mm

Full description

Two women lose the man they love. All they have left is each other.

Sophie’s life is turned upside down when her partner, Ian, dies in a tragic accident. The only one who can understand her devastation is Ian’s stepmother, Dolores.

Together, they try to make sense of their loss and rebuild their shattered lives. While their shared grief brings them closer, it also takes their relationship in an unexpected direction.

Where does sorrow end and romance begin? Or has Ian’s death blurred the lines too much?

If you love deeply emotional lesbian romance with a twinge of controversy, don’t miss this intense but hopeful novel by chart-topper Harper Bliss.

This Deluxe Edition includes the sequel novella The Light Between Us.

Themes and tropes

  • Forbidden romance
  • Age gap
  • Dealing with loss

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1

As they lower his casket into the ground, a part of me still believes this isn’t real. That he’ll push the lid off with those strong arms of his, pop out, and proclaim this was all just a really bad prank. I glance at the coffin as it settles into this grave dug especially for Ian, my Ian, and it suddenly seems to go so fast. Then, just like that, the casket is out of sight.

To my right, Jeremy can’t hold back a loud sniffle. To my left, Dolores, Ian’s mother, doesn’t make a sound. I stand there, waiting for the punchline to this awful, strung-out joke.

“That’s enough now, Ian,” I want to say. “You’ve made your point. We’re all more than ready for some relief.”

Then Dolores’ hand slips into mine, her fingers curl around mine in a desperate grip, and I stop believing in miracles. This is real. I’ll never see Ian again. Dolores will never see her son again. During my thirty years on this planet, I’ve only been to the funerals of people I vaguely cared about. Distant aunts and relatives I never got to know. I’d always thought the first big one, the first one to tear me apart at least a little bit, would be my grandfather’s. But I’m burying my boyfriend instead. Well, my partner, I guess. Boyfriend sounds so juvenile, so inadequate for what he was to me. When I told him, in jest, on my twenty-eighth birthday, that I was now of a respectable marrying age, he took me aside and, in all earnestness, proclaimed that he’d given the subject of marriage a lot of thought but that he couldn’t do that to Dolores. She’d never had the chance to wed Angela, Ian’s other mother, while Angela was still alive—the change in legislation had come too late for them. Dolores, whose only child has just been lowered into a grave, and who is clutching at my hand with increasing desperation now—because who else is left for her to hold on to?—never struck me as the marrying kind. Perhaps that’s because I’ve always only known her as a widow. Angela had already died before I met Ian. I’ve never seen her with anyone else.

“It’s not so easy at her age,” Ian used to say when I questioned him about this. “Especially when you’ve been with someone for such a long time.”

Because I refuse to feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for Dolores the most. First Angela, now Ian.

“She was ten years older than me and smoked like a chimney,” Dolores once said, while heavily under the influence of a bottle of Merlot. “Growing old together was never really in the cards for us.”

How different this is.

I give her hand a good hard squeeze back. Of all the people gathered here today, and there are many, I feel as though I can only compare grief with Dolores. Who else here—the artists Dolores knows, my extended family with whom I’m not close, my best friend Jeremy who lives every day like it’s his last—can possibly know the depths of despair Ian’s sudden death has caused? He was my soulmate. The sweetest boy I’d ever come across. The love of my life. And now he’s gone.

Oh, shit. He’s really gone. He’s not going to miraculously rise from the dead. The punchline is the cruelest one ever, because there is none. I will never witness his smile again, will never hear him fake a British accent because when he was ten, he’d spent a summer in Oxford once with his dad, and he’ll never again breeze into our apartment after work, always loud, always making sure I knew he was home, and joke, “What’s for dinner, wife?”

I lost him. Dolores lost him. Our friends lost him. Even his ex has turned up for the funeral. We’ve all lost him. The world is now without Ian Holloway. My world will never be the same again. And it’s as though only now the shock, the woolen cocoon my feelings have been wrapped in since I got that phone call, is beginning to wear off, and the pain that’s been lying in wait is starting to burrow a way through my flesh, quickly reaching my heart. In a panic, I look around. Ian. Where is he? The man who came into my life just at the right time. Who buffed up my self-esteem when it was at its lowest. The guy who, when I was about to spiral into one of my bouts of wallowing self-pity, would give me a sufficiently hard look and tell me to pull myself together—the only person who ever knew how to snap me out of that particular kind of funk. A person so seemingly uncomplicated, he managed to uncomplicate me along with him. 

As I stand here, I curse myself for not pushing Ian harder to get married, because now I don’t even have a ring, or a piece of paper that binds me to him after his death. I’m just a woman, a girl with no claims to make. I might as well be no one.

I turn to Dolores and collapse into her arms. I don’t consider that she’s probably not strong enough to catch me, and that my own parents are here, probably eager to put me back together, but not even on a day like this can I shake off the indifference that has crept into my heart when it comes to them. Dolores and Ian had become my family. As of now, it’ll just be me and Dolores. She throws her arms around me, pats my hair with her hand, and breaks down with me.

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