||Harlequin Love Inspired
||May 24, 2011
A woman searching for a place to settle down inherits a run down Bed & Breakfast and the commitment-shy, sourly handyman that goes with the house.
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Somewhere to belong....
Finally ready to settle down, Abby Bancroft has just inherited a place to put down roots. But her hopes for a successful bed-and breakfast are placed on hold when she learns that her grandparents’ run-down inn is in serious need of TLC. So is Cole Preston, the handsome contractor who offers to help make her dream a reality. His past mistakes won’t let him consider settling in the close knit town. Yet as he and Abby work together to repair the house, they also begin to mend each other’s hearts. And they just may find that consulting their hearts is what creating a home is all about.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."—Luke 6:37
"This is it?" Wide-eyed and a little confused, Abby Bancroft stared out the passenger side window of the Ford Escort parked in front of the large Victorian house. Her stomach churned as her gaze flipped between the obviously outdated brochure in her cold hand and the three-story wooden structure to her right in need of a new paint job and some other cosmetic work. If the outside reflected the inside, her vision of reopening the Bancroft Bed-and-Breakfast by the Founder's Day Festival the first weekend in May died a quick and painful death.
Disappointment pooled around her shoulders and matched the dismal early March skies. Puffy gray clouds threatened more snow in the sleepy town of Dynamite Creek in northern Arizona. The bare limbs of the tree standing guard by the long porch running along the front of the house looked more inviting than the empty windows that stared back at her. She should have guessed the house would be as welcoming as the people who once lived inside.
"Yep. This is it. We're here." Delia Wentworth, the receptionist from her late grandmother's attorney's office unbuckled her seat belt and opened the driver's side door. Frigid air blew through the interior, making Abby shiver inside her inadequate jacket and miss the warm Southern California weather. Here wasn't exactly the picture perfect place she'd expected to find as she sat frozen inside the car.
"It's really a great house. It just needs a little TLC," Delia responded enthusiastically before leaving the car.
"A little?" Abby's skepticism showed in her voice. She knew nothing about general construction, but she had eyes, unless something in her brain had gone haywire in the long drive between Los Angeles and Dynamite Creek. Maybe she needed a pair of rose-colored glasses like Delia wore because Abby didn't quite see the old Victorian in the same way.
Pulling her collar around her neck, Abby grabbed her purse, exited the car and walked to where the young woman stood. Abby held up the brochure and compared it with the house. Then she flipped the piece of paper over. The photo credit was from 1987. Figures. Over the years, beautiful and welcoming had morphed into dismal and uninviting. The yellow paint had faded over time and had begun to peel in several places and some of the porch railing sagged. And that was just what she could see.
A gust of wind frosted her legs and whipped a loose strand of hair into her eyes. Abby should have waited until May to collect her inheritance, but the letter from the attorney's office hadn't really given her much choice and she wasn't fool enough to walk away from a place she could finally call home. If she found a way to fit into Dynamite Creek.
Romantic Times Book Reviews
HOME SWEET HOME (4) by Kim Watters: Abby Bancroft plans to live in Dynamite Creek, Ariz., and run the B&B she inherited from her grandparents, but it’s in great need of repairs. She unwillingly accepts help from Cole Preston, a contractor who wants to atone for past mistakes. It’s an uphill struggle, complicated by the need to have the inn ready for guests in two months, Abby’s lack of funds and their undeniable attraction to each other, especially since Cole is a wanderer and Abby wants a permanent home. A heartwarming story of opposites who are not so different where love is concerned. Includes interesting secondary characters whose stories will hopefully be forthcoming.
Reviewed By: Susan Mobley
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