Here's a snip from the bouquet:
I saw my sex life flash in front of my eyes, Charlie. Do you understand what I’m saying?’ I know I’m almost shouting.
Is that worse, I wonder? To have ditched Charlie in front of all his family and friends, to have left him awkward and alone at the church, or this. To tell him the truth, what I’ve been darkly afraid of all along. My lurid, cherry-red, heart-throbbing dirty secret.
I don’t know how I can promise never to have another lover. Me, who’s always been quick to get bored, and quicker to discard unsatisfactory bedfellows. Who’s been first to try every practise and position, whose whole life is punctuated by sex – exotic and romantic and thrilling and brief and heartbreaking. Yes, I love Charlie, and yes, I love fucking him. But will I really be able to sacrifice every other man in the world – every other possible man?
I think about how Charlie is and try and match it against the invisible future. I know it’s wrong, but I’m trying to measure him. Testing, to see how I love him, how much and how far.
Yes, I love how his eyelids kind of slide down a few degrees, so he’s giving me a snake’s gaze, one that slips over my body in a prelude to his touch. I love how his mouth goes tight. How his fingers travel, how he takes mouthfuls of me.
And this. Yes, I’d forgotten how much I love this.
‘Shut up.’How he is silent. How he pulls me to him and works his way from my wrist to my shoulders. Charlie is gentle. Most of the time.
Excerpt from 'Now or Forever', by Nikki Magennis
Congratulations to Alison and all the authors. I'm packing the book as my honeymoon reading.