The Better Man is the first book in the Chicago Sisters Series, which introduces us to the three Everhart sisters, Lucy, Kendall, and Emma. All three sisters live in the Lincoln Park area, and even though the story has a big city backdrop, the focus is still on family and community. These sisters always have one another’s backs, even though they couldn’t be any different. Funny how siblings can be raised in the same family but develop such separate identities! Lucy is the strong-willed, fanatical health-nut who takes up any cause she deems worthy. Middle-child Kendall is the shy artist, whose loyalty knows no bounds. Emma is the confident baby of the family who believes she has her entire life mapped out. The Better Man features Kendall and her son, Simon. Book Two, The Best Laid Plans, is Emma’s story and scheduled to come out in March 2015. Lucy’s story is told in the third book, with the working title, The Better Fight, and should be out at the end of 2015.
Here’s a little excerpt of the three sisters in action:
“And I am now, officially, the meanest mommy. Ever.”
Lucy put a hand on her sister’s head. “Oh boy. Just remember every mom has felt like that at one point in time. I know I crowned Mom the meanest when I was little. She was a repeat winner of the title for years.”
Kendall let out a breathy laugh. “I remember you being much meaner to her than she ever was to you.”
“Of course I was. I’m meaner than everyone,” Lucy said, unashamed.
“I still love you, though.” Kendall got up and grabbed a large bowl off the top of the refrigerator. From the pantry, she pulled out three bags of Halloween candy and tossed them on the kitchen table.
“You really shouldn’t give out candy. I could have brought over a whole bushel of organic apples.”
“We are not going to be that house.”
The two sisters opened and emptied the bags into the bowl. Lucy offered to help with dinner. Kendall had bought the ingredients for chili and no one chopped vegetables better than Lucy. Kendall set her up on the cutting board with an onion and some peppers.
“It’s better that you rip the Max Band-Aid off now rather than later,” Lucy said while they cooked. “Simon will get over it. So will you. It’s always better to be the one who walked away instead of the one left behind.”
“Which one were you again?” Kendall asked, recognizing that Lucy’s guard was down.
“Ha-ha. Iíve been both. At the same time,” she added. “Now, stop making this about me.”
“You love when things are about you,” Emma said, joining the conversation. Dressed in her nursing scrubs and a purple witch’s hat on her head, she sat down at the table next to Lucy with a bag of cheese puffs.
Kendall held a hand over her heart. “Maybe knock next time and give a girl some warning. Isn’t it against your nurse’s training to give people heart attacks?”
“And isn’t it against your nurse’s training to put processed poison into your body?” Lucy added. She snatched the cheese puffs out of her sister’s hands and walked them over to the garbage.
“Hey!” Emma sprung to her feet. “I was eating those! I haven’t eaten all day.”
“Another reason you shouldn’t eat them. Your body needs fuel, not intestine-destroying acids.”
“Uh-oh, who’s eating junk food in front of Lucy?” Kendall’s mom popped her head into the kitchen. “Girls, don’t fight over food.” She took the bag away from Lucy and handed it back to Emma, who scrunched up her face and pursed her lips at her sister.
“It’s your body,” Lucy relented. “Sorry for trying to protect it.”
Their dad followed behind their mom and gave Lucy a hug. “You’re a good big sister, but never throw away someone’s cheese puffs.”
“I’m coming over tomorrow and helping Mom throw away all your junk food. We’re putting you on a diet.”
“What?” He looked at his wife for confirmation.