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The last thing that Gillian Metcalf remembers before she passes out is being aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach , California , where she witnessed a dog disappearing as if it were a phantom. Now she’s aboard the riverboat, Ida Belle, traveling down the muddy Mississippi . It is 1870, where men carry guns and throw knives. It is a time where reputations mean everything. Before she can determine how she’s miraculously stepped from one world into another, she is being forced to marry Zachary Creighton. Trouble follows the man and it looks like she’s along for the ride.
As she attempts to understand why she was sent back to 1870, she struggles to come to terms with her own desires that tempt her to surrender to a man she barely knows.
Zachary Creighton, a gambler with one goal: to win back Creighton Manor. Marriage was not part of this plan. To keep peace with his reluctant bride, he makes a bargain with her.. He needs someone to tutor his nephew Tyler, and she needs a roof over her head until they can annul their sham of a marriage.
Never did he expect his bride to be embraced into the family fold by his grandmother, Lotti. However, the biggest surprise of all is that he finds himself falling for her charms..
When the reason for Gillian’s appearance into Zachary’s world is finally revealed, their love for each other will be tested. Gillian will have to make a difficult decision before she can find happiness. The stakes are high, but Zachary will risk it all to win Gillian’s heart.
Gillian grabbed her head as she came out of her drugged-like sleep. The veins at her temples pounded in time with her heartbeat. She forced her eyes open and stared at the ceiling. For a moment, she couldn’t understand why the ceiling didn’t resemble the smooth plaster one in her bedroom, or why she felt like she was swaying back and forth, when she knew she hadn’t moved. Turning her head to the right of her, her vision latched onto a hairy arm dangling over, what she assumed was the edge of her bed. Why was Jerry in her bed and why was she lying on the floor? She frowned. Hadn’t she broken up with Jerry? For one awful, horrible moment, she thought maybe she had really gone through with the wedding after all. She rubbed her eyes as her muddled thoughts began to organize. Then she remembered: Her conversation with Samantha, the Queen Mary, and then the vanishing mutt. “I passed out. I dreamt the dog led me …” It was a dream, wasn’t it? Where was she? She sat up abruptly, more confused than ever. Again, she felt the swaying. If she didn’t know better, she’d think the ship was afloat, but that was impossible since the Queen Mary lacked the capability of going out to sea.
The person on the bed stirred, bringing her attention back to him. She crawled to her feet. She looked down at the man's face, which was turned toward her in slumber. Gillian swallowed with some difficulty as her gaze locked onto the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. He had jet-black hair, a strong chiseled face with a slight cleft in his chin. He looked like he hadn’t shaved for a few days, making him look a little scruffy, but this did nothing to sway her opinion. Her eyes took in the rest of him. Long limbed, his feet hung over the edge of the bed. He wore faded red colored … she supposed they were long johns. She frowned. Strange attire, but she had to say he filled them out rather nicely. But, who was he? How in the world did she end up in a room with him? She didn’t condone casual flings. She glanced down at herself relieved she still wore what she had on last night. Perhaps this meant nothing happened. Maybe they were simply two fools who had too much to drink. She scratched her head. She only remembered the one cocktail. And where was Samantha?
She needed to go back to her room and now, before the guy woke up. She had no intentions of making this awkward situation even worse.
She grabbed her purse off the floor and tiptoed toward the door. She glanced back to see if the man stirred. She tripped and cursed as she stumbled and fell to the floor with a thud. At the same moment, she felt something whiz by her ear, slamming into the door above her head. She slid her gaze up, her eyes widened in alarm when she saw the end of a knife sticking out of the wood. The gorgeous man had tried to kill her! She whipped around to see him jump out of the bed. She picked up the boot she had tripped over and threw it. A perfect shot, the boot slammed into the side of his head. She scrambled to her feet and lunged for the door. The doorknob didn’t budge. It appeared to be locked from the inside and she needed a key to open it.
This couldn’t be happening.
She whirled around to face her attacker, praying the boot had somehow miraculously knocked him out. Her shoulders sagged when she found him standing there. His shockingly blue eyes narrowed, pinning her down. She swallowed the lump in the back of her throat.
Zachary’s mouth dropped open and he stared at the woman before him. If it hadn’t been for the boot slamming against his skull, he might have thought he dreamt up this alluringly beautiful image before him. Her hair was long and deep auburn, almost the color of autumn leaves with all its gold, brown, and orange blending to perfection. She had it pulled high above her head with some kind of bow that constricted it from falling down. His gaze lingered over her face, mesmerized by her clear sun-kissed skin with just a hint of freckles sprinkled across her nose. Features of an angel, but her attire would tempt a saint to do wicked things. His eyes rested on her dark garment, which hugged her in all the right places. He felt his body respond to every luscious curve revealed to him.
Where did this intriguing woman come from and how did she happen to be in his room? He’d locked the door before he went to bed last night, and he must still have the key in his possession, or else the woman would have fled by now. “Who are you?”
“Who am I?” she sputtered. “Who are you?”
She was a defiant little chit. Under other circumstances he would have admired her spunk. He crossed his arms against his chest. “Since this is my room and I hold the key to your freedom, I suggest—”
The woman let out a deafening scream and charged toward him. “Hell and damnation.” Before he could react, she grabbed his arm and flipped him, slamming him to the floor in one fluid move. His six foot, one hundred and eighty pound frame lay there like a rag doll. He stared up at the ceiling with what he knew could only be a stunned expression plastered to his face. How in the world did this little slip of a woman flip him over her shoulder?
“It really worked! The self-defense class really paid off.” The woman spoke, her voice laced with amazement over her accomplishment.
He rolled his head toward her. “Who are you?”
Rating: 5 Stars
Gillian Metcalf has been troubled for years by the same reoccurring dream which has grown more persistent as her wedding day approaches. These passionate visions are insistent that her true soul mate exists, whether in the here and now or in a past life, and he is out there, waiting for her. What’s frustrating her most, Gillian doesn't know who her soul mate is, his features are always hazy, his touch is familiarly tender, but the words he expresses are foreign to her. As soon as she hears this endearment, “Gra Mo Chroi“, Gillian will know for certain she has found her true mate, unfortunately it’s not the man she is soon to marry.
Gillian could no longer deny the sense of importance emanating from these dreams and decided to cancel her marriage to Jerry, an all around perfect guy. Wanting time to reflect on what she had done, Gillian kept her honeymoon reservations aboard the Queen Mary, a ship renowned for its ethereal phenomenon and invited her best friend, Samantha to join her. In route to the pier, where the Queen Mary is permanently docked, Gillian nearly ran over a dog, darting out in front of her SUV. She noticed it’s the same dog, Molly, which has appeared to her several times before and always seems to want her to follow. But why or was she truly going crazy?
The events that follow mystify and astonish Gillian, but it’s not the misunderstanding with her reservations or the fact that she was offered a haunted room and compensated with a ghostly tour package that caught her attention. It was what she discovered in her room among the artifacts of the Ida Belle, a picture of a familiar dog, taken in the 1800’s. She had no time to ponder, at that moment she came face to face with the mysterious dog in question and before she knew it she passed out. When she woke, Gillian was no longer aboard the Queen Mary, but afloat onboard the Ida Belle and in an unfamiliar room with a strange, but gorgeous man asleep in the bed.
Years after his father lost the family estate in a gambling event, Zachary Creighton has become obsessed with winning Creighton Manor back from the man who now owns it, Cyrus Locke. But fate will soon turn his life’s strategy upside down when a beautiful and practically naked woman appears in his room. After being forced to marry each other, their lives have forever changed. Will Gillian come to terms with her true emotions, even if it means not finding her true soul mate? Or will time reclaim Gillian before she realizes what she truly wants? Will Zachary be able to put aside his obsession and accept what he feels deep within his heart? And is the mysterious dog somehow connected to them?
Creighton Manor is an incredibly heartwarming and fantastic love story that has been magically brought to life by the rich and vibrant words of Karen Michelle Nutt. Yet again, Karen Michelle Nutt has envisioned a spectacular tale that will charm any reader, captivating them with the multiple twists and turns within the story line. The unspoken passion between Gillian and Zachary will leave the reader breathlessly anticipating the end, devouring each and every page. I most definitely will recommend Creighton Manor to anyone who has a love for reading.
Amy J Ramsey
Ramsey Reviews - www.trinagon.blogspot.com
TCM Reviews/Midwestern Reviews
ALL BOOKS REVIEWS
“I found this to be an interesting and imaginative story, well written and researched for the time and setting. The characters were fleshed and believable. The metaphysical, mystery and romance angles of this story are well conceived; an enjoyable read.”
Bob Medak, All Books Reviews
Coffee Time Romance
Rating: 4 Cups
Gillian Metcalf cancels her wedding two days prior to the event. She keeps the Queen Mary honeymoon trip and brings her good friend, Samantha, along.
Zachary Creighton needs respect and unblemished reputation to win back the Creighton Manor. He had no idea part of the deal would include a marriage,
Gillian confesses to Samantha that no matter how much she loved Jerry; she was not in love with him. Still Samantha hates that Gillian gave up a great man like Jerry. Once on the ship, the girls hear the ship is haunted. Gillian continues to have dreams of a man speaking in a foreign language. After falling asleep, she awakes in a different room with a man. As a gambler, Zachary realizes gambling is a dangerous business. Since his father lost the manor, Zachary wants to win it back. He is surprised to find Gillian in his room, and even more shocked to learn he must marry her. When they are not fighting their hostility toward each other, their hearts are trying to pull them closer together. Could this really be the woman to bring Zach back to life?
There is never a dull moment in Creighton Manor. Gillian and Zach are a wonderful match. They are robust and know how to bring excitement to the pages. The storyline flows at a great pace. It is apparent; Gillian and Zach are meant for each other, even though they do not immediately act upon their situation. I enjoyed the premise of the story and found it quite entertaining. Karen Michelle Nutt tells a story that kept me guessing if Gillian and Zach were going to make it as an item. It was nail-biting wondering if Gillian would return to the present. The emotions were in full bloom in this page-turning read.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
Night Owl Romance
Night Owl Romance: Reviewer Top Pick
Present Time--Gillian was onboard a ship when she sees this dog and it wants her to follow it. She does and ends up in 1870 aboard another ship! She ends up in a room with famous gambler Zachary Creighton. Zachary throws a knife at her and it hits the door. Gillian flips him to the floor and people rush in and catch them in a scandalous situation so they end up married to each. This is the start of a stimulating relationship for both of them.
Ms. Nutt has penned a wonderful romantic time travel story that will have you flipping the pages. The characters have personalities that sing off the pages. Readers will have a great time reading this book.
GHOST WRITER REVIEWS
Gillian Metcalf is aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, The next thing she knows she’s aboard the riverboat, Ida Belle, traveling down the Mississippi River. She is stunned, how and why has she transported from her into another time. Thus begins a grand adventure. To save her honor she is forced to marry Zachary Creighton, a gambler with only one goal, to win back Creighton Manor. Marriage is not part of this plan. Since this is pretense marriage, and needing a place to stay until she can determine the reason for her appearance in 1870, Gillian agrees to live in Zachary’s house and tutor his orphaned nephew Tyler. Immediately Gillian senses something familiar about Tyler but just can’t decide what it is. After a time she realizes that she is falling for Zachary. Is this the reason she has been brought to this time? What about Tyler? And, what does the dog Molly have to do with it?
I really liked this story. The author takes a well know theme, adds a few twists and turns and creates a well written tale. I especially like the movement between time periods. For lovers of good fiction, this is love story and an adventure story and a time travel story all rolled into one filled with very good dialogue and characterization. Well done.
BITTEN BY BOOKS
Gillian Metcalf has just made the smartest or dumbest decision of her life: canceling her wedding to Dr. Jerry Avery two days before the ceremony. Jerry is the kind of man any woman would be proud to call husband: kind, caring, intelligent, funny and a doctor. But he is not the man of Gillian’s dreams, the man that comes to her in dreams, holding her tenderly and saying “Gra mo chroi”.
Gillian’s best friend, Samantha, thinks Gillian has totally lost her mind but agrees to go away with her for a few days and stay on the fabled Queen Mary. They are both amused to discover that they have been given the “haunted” stateroom. Gillian stops being amused when, while unpacking, she spots a small, odd looking dog watching her. She has seen the dog for several days in the strangest places: her 4th grade class room where she teaches, outside her home and even running out in front of her car on the way to the Queen Mary. The dog clearly has a mission that involves Gillian. The dog watches her attentively and barks, almost demanding that Gillian follow her, and then casually walks THROUGH the door! Gillian opens the door, steps through, and finds herself in a strange, moving room with an incredibly handsome man sound asleep on a bed.
Zachery Creighton is worn out from a long poker game. A professional gambler by trade, he is trying to amass enough money to buy his family’s estate, Creighton Manor, lost his by wastrel father. The real pleasure comes from winning money from Cyrus Locke, the man who won the manor in a high-stakes game with Zachery’s father. A sudden noise wakes him up, and he is startled to discover a strange (and strangely dressed) woman in his room. An ensuing struggle brings others rushing to his room, and before things are through, he is forced to marry the stranger to save his reputation and honor. And the woman, Gillian, discovers she has traveled back in time to the 1870s and is in Mississippi. Both Zachery and Gillian must search for answers and make peace with their individual obsessions – Zachery’s desire to own Creighton Manor once again and Gillian’s desire to find the man of her dreams. And what of the ghost dog, Molly?
Creighton Manor is a wonderful blend of improbabilities that weave together seamlessly. The two characters are delightfully muddled about what they feel and what they think they should be feeling. Real life problems intrude in such a way that the issue of being out of place in time becomes a minor annoyance for Gillian. Misunderstandings abound because of pride, and confusion surrounds the pair. This smart, intriguing novel is an enjoyable read, chock full of surprises.
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