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Slightly Delayed and Somewhat Haphazard
By Amber Laura
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & eBook, 284 Pages
November 16th 2023


Miranda Monroe’s world just imploded. Not only did she just get dumped by her long-time boyfriend, but she got dumped in the most humiliatingly painful way imaginable. Very suddenly single, homeless, and heartbroken, she runs to the only person she knows will always be there for her.

Sam Church. Her best friend (and the man she’d once secretly been madly in love with).

Which is how she finds herself, emotionally spent and financially crippled, somehow agreeing to his outrageous offer: that she move into his guest bedroom. Temporarily, of course. Just until she gets back on her feet.

There’s only one problem. In the midst of mending her shattered heart, in the process of trying to find herself again (just who is Miranda Monroe?), her thoughts keep getting distracted, wandering in the most confusing and forbidden of ways…just down the hall from her.

Which is ludicrous. The most commitment-phobic person she’s ever met, Sam is off-limits to Miranda for all kinds of reasons. But mostly, because he’s her best friend—and she loves him too much to lose him. So why, suddenly, can’t she seem to stop fantasizing about him? Why can’t she stop hoping for something more?

Slightly Delayed and Somewhat Haphazard is a best-friends-to-lovers romantic comedy underscored with notes of healing fiction and the echoing sentiments of an adult coming-of-age novel.

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The story was outlandish.

At turns, both unbelievable and absurdly awful.

All the same, the story was true.

Leaning forward in her chair, her body braced as if for impact, Miranda Monroe watched as her words sank in. She canvassed the face before her. The high cheekbones tautening, those green eyes narrowing, clouding with confusion, with disbelief as they stared so questioningly back at her.

Waiting, Miranda carefully studied the face of Sam Church.

Her best friend and emotional benefactor. Her anchor.

He looked… gobsmacked, she decided. That was only to be expected. She turned her attention to the cocktail glass in front of her next; it was bleeding with condensation. Absently, Miranda stirred the quickly melting ice—but it was a lost cause. Especially since she had no intention of actually drinking her drink.

Probably should have been an odd choice, then, for her to end up at The Oasis Bar and Grill.

“That doesn’t—what are you talking about?”

Miranda smirked fatalistically as she peeked back up at Sam. “You know, I think those may have been my first words as well.”

“Noel got married.” His voice was incredulous.

“Mm. Yes. To Kourtney.”

“In New Hampshire?” He repeated.

“While on a business trip,” Miranda reminded him through numbed lips. All the same, the ache in her stomach intensified, restricted her breathing as she forced herself to relive the horror of those words again.

“Apparently,” she added, for good measure, “it seems that for the first time in his life, Noel decided to make an exceptionally grand gesture.”

Marry one woman while still dating (while still living with) another woman.

“Are you—are you okay?” A stupid question, to be sure, but Miranda couldn’t blame Sam for asking it. It was a hard situation for knowing what to say.


It was supposed to be her.

Miranda was supposed to be the one marrying Noel. (Granted, he hadn’t technically asked but it had been an unspoken though long-expected part of their future.) Four years; that’s how long they’d been together. Pictures of them dotted the walls and shelves of their apartment—a perfectly happy couple smiling back at the camera. Furniture they’d agonized over and purchased together filled every nook and cranny of the place—marking it theirs and theirs alone.

And then, in one instant, an instant in which she’d had no say, they simply, they simply weren’t dating anymore. She was left alone. He was left with someone else’s ring on his finger.

Tears misted Miranda’s eyes. A few slipped past her lids, inking down her face. She brushed them away impatiently, sniffed the rest back in place.

He’d never let on. Never let on that he’d fallen in love with his co-worker. Miranda’s teeth ground together as a picture of Kourtney floated before her eyes. Long, willowy frame; stylishly arranged dark hair always draped just so over her shoulder; large oval eyes with an open, honest face. The snake.

Miranda had liked Kourtney. She’d welcomed her into their home. Into their social circle. Stupid fool that she was, she’d thought nothing of her and Noel’s inside jokes or shared smiles. She’d chalked it up to professional camaraderie. Frankly, she’d enjoyed not having to listen to his lengthy stories about this client or that one—she’d enjoyed the reprieve from acronyms and talk of policies and procedures she knew nothing about. She’d been happy to let them carry on without her.

She just hadn’t realized then what that meant.

(This excerpt is an abridged version of what appears in the book.)

About the Author

7 Fun Facts about Amber Laura:

1. If there’s creamer, I’m drinking coffee. And when I edit, there’s always creamer.

2. I do my best daydreaming on long car rides.

3. Some of my favorite stories came as follow-up answers to the question: “What if…?”

4. I’m the mother of a darling (if slightly overweight), 16-year-old cat. She’s kind of my mascot.

5. One of my favorite parts of writing is inventing new places—or traveling to spaces where I’ve not actually been. It’s magical and never disappointing.

6. Writing may be a solitary process, but then the characters always keep me company.

7. I’ve never quite figured out if I like to write by plot or the seat of my pants.

8. (Because I write, I don’t math.) When a scene isn’t coming together on a piece of writing, or a string of dialogue is falling flat, I like to close my eyes and picture the whole thing as though it were being acted out on a movie screen—and forty minutes later, I usually wake up!

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