An Unexpected Guest
AN UNEXPECTED GUEST
By Elizabeth Black
Release Date: November 23, 2009
Length: 202 pages
Publisher: Fanny Press
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Heat Level: Scorching
Price: $14.95 (Paperback)
Price: $9.95 (Kindle)
What People Are Saying About An Unexpected Guest:
An Unexpected Guest by Elizabeth Black is an interesting romance with a paranormal twist that will have you guessing at the outcome all the way through. Annie is a young woman who has reached a point in her life in which she is tired of doing what others expect her to do. She is ready to start living and playing by her own rules. She is the type of character that many women can relate to for this reason. [...] I really enjoyed An Unexpected Guest and definitely look forward to reading it again. It is an entertaining book for people who enjoy the paranormal romance genre. I love books that keep the reader guessing and unable to figure the plot out too early. This book falls in that category. Just when you think you have everything figured out and know how the story is going to end, something happens that leads you in another direction." - Two Lips Reviews - Four Lips
Annie's life is in crisis, and it's time for her to change things. She is determined to be controlled no longer by her arrogant boyfriend and overbearing mother: for the first time in her life, she is going to follow her dreams and do something she truly wants for herself. Her dreams lead her to a picturesque Bed and Breakfast by the ocean that is rumored to be haunted. As she throws fear to the wind and opens up to life's new possibilities she meets Jason, whose long blonde hair and cheeky attitude she cannot resist.
As she scanned the room, she caught the eye of a man leaning against the wall near a window. He looked at her with an amused expression on his face. Sunlight poured into the room around him, creating the illusion that he stood in a halo. Was this the man who had stared at her from the widow’s walk? There was a resemblance. Annie was sure this was the same man. In the soft light of the dining room, she had a much better look at him. He must have been at least a decade older than she.
The golden man brought a flute of champagne to his lips, his eyes not once leaving hers as he sipped. It was clear from his smile that he had been watching Annie for some time. She was amazed that she had not noticed him immediately. She had always been attracted to men with his kind of boyish good looks. Many a woman would sell her soul to have a long blond mane like his—he wore it in a ponytail tied with a black ribbon.
The man’s smooth face featured a square jaw and high cheekbones. He nicely filled out his long-sleeved white shirt. Clearly a horseman, he wore tan riding pants, and black boots fit snugly over his muscular legs. He had the bearing of a man who was comfortable in his own skin and satisfied with his life. His grin was so broad that it creased the corners of the brightest blue eyes Annie had ever seen.
Frank was looking out the window. She was grateful that he did not notice the man staring at her because Frank could be jealous, especially if the man was very handsome, as this one was. Annie was surprised that Frank remained oblivious even when the man made a point of staring at her and nodding his approval of her looks.
There was something familiar about the man. Did she know him? Where could they have met? She would have remembered someone with a scrumptious body like his. His legs looked like they could wrap themselves around much more than a thoroughbred. She wished she could see his backside—she wanted to untie that ribbon and run her hands through his hair. She knew it would feel soft between her fingers. Those eyes were memorable. She felt her cheeks flush as he looked at her, unbuttoning her blouse with his eyes. He raised his champagne glass to her again and, with a smile that deepened his dimples, winked.
He’s laughing at me! Who does he think he is? Feeling heat rise in her cheeks, she turned away.
“I wonder what’s on the menu?” Annie asked.
“Lunch or dinner? The food is good here.”
“As long as they don’t serve tuna casserole. That’s very ’70s.”
Ruth walked into the room carrying a bundle of papers. Annie looked at her and then glanced back into the dining room. The gorgeous man with the ponytail was no longer leaning next to the window. She scanned the room but could not see him anywhere. It was as if he had vanished into thin air. She wondered if she would see him again over the weekend. She hoped so.
Judging from Ruth’s smile, she had not heard Annie’s last comment. Annie breathed a sigh of relief. She didn’t want to get off on bad footing before they had even had a chance to chat.
“The coffee is brewing now. It’ll be ready in a couple of minutes,” Ruth said. “Here is the blueprint for the house, and I threw in a couple of Chamber of Commerce brochures about the town. I’m sure you’d like to visit the shops downtown. Have you ever been to Norwich before?”
“Yes, two years ago. I came here for vacation. I like the area very much. That’s one reason I wanted to look at the house.”
Ruth set the paperwork on the coffee table. “How about a tour?”
“I’d be delighted,” said Annie. Frank nodded. Good, thought Annie. He was not going to be rude in front of Ruth and give Annie a problem.
“This is my parlor, with the man-eating couch. And through here is the dining room.” Annie and Frank followed Ruth into the room. “It seats forty-five, and we serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the public. Of course breakfast for guests of the bed and breakfast is included in their room payment.”
“What do you serve?” Annie asked. She thought of the delicious banana macadamia nut pancakes she enjoyed at Trish’s home when she was a child. She knew that Ruth would serve something similarly scrumptious.
“For breakfast, a variety of cereals, scrambled eggs, sausage, and homemade muffins. I have my own special recipe for banana and pecan pancakes, which are always popular.”
Wow, banana and pecan! I could substitute macadamia nuts, and it would be just like revisiting my childhood!
Could this be a sign? Annie could be superstitious for the silliest reasons, and inflating the importance of a plate of pancakes was an example. Annie’s mood lifted even more.
“Those pancakes sound wonderful. I love pancakes.”
“I’ll make sure I give you the recipe. They are very tasty. While we don’t have a set menu for lunch and dinner, we serve entrées like mint lamb chops and roasted chicken breasts. I let our cook Andrea decide what she’s in the mood for. Fresh local vegetables. Our seafood dishes include swordfish and trout. We also serve several hors d’oeuvres, including steamed mussels and brie with fresh French bread. Soups include clam chowder and corn chowder.”
“That sounds wonderful. I love seafood.”
“You can’t live next to the ocean and not serve seafood. I believe it’s a requirement, and Len and I love it.”
“What kinds of desserts do you serve?”
“We have a wide variety, including crème broulée, chocolate mousse, fruit parfaits, and chocolate torte. Andrea has a sweet tooth, and she loves chocolate. She is such a good dessert chef that sometimes clientele come here only for dessert and wine. Lunch is from 11 until 2. Dinner starts at 5. The kitchen closes at 10 pm and the restaurant itself closes at 11 pm. The bar is open all day. Andrea has been with us for eight years. She’s an excellent cook who prefers the French regional style. She is interested in staying on after Len and I leave, so you won’t have to look for a cook.”
“I’d be happy to have her. The food sounds delicious.”
“Oh, it is. Her cooking is fabulous.”
“Ruth, you have to tell her about the ghosts.”
Ruth’s smile touched her eyes. A genuine smile. “Now, Frank, you don’t want to go scaring her before she’s even seen the rooms.”
“I’d like to know about the ghosts. Not that I believe in them.”
“You might change your mind once you’ve spent a few nights here. Our ghosts are friendly.”
“Tell me about them. My curiosity is piqued.”
“The original owner, Miss Abigail Blackburn, haunts the house. It’s said that she wanders around, checking on the guests to make sure they are comfortable. The house was used as a makeshift hospital during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some guests have seen ghosts of those who died of the flu here.”
“That sounds spooky! If I run into a ghost, I will definitely let you know.”
“I hope you do. I keep a journal of guest stories about our hauntings. I would be happy to add yours.”
Imagine, staying in a bed and breakfast that had its own ghosts! Would she see a disembodied head floating along the corridors in the dead of night? What if a ghost appeared at the foot of her bed, staring at her? If that happened, she’d probably be too frightened to move. She’d sit awake in her room with all the lights on until daybreak.
How exciting! She had never been in a haunted house before.