The sequel novel to the best-selling UK series A WEDDING IN CORNWALL brings new surprises, romance, humor, and wedding bells, to readers who fell in love with the first stories.
Busy mother of two Julianne Rose has extended her talents beyond the manor house, opening her own event planning agency with the help of no-nonsense best friend Kitty. Balancing the chaos of daily life with their respective careers in their beloved Cornish village means Julianne can rarely snatch a romantic moment with handsome husband Matt. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any more chaotic, a sudden arrival at Cliffs House lands Julianne in the most unusual event of her career.
The reappearance of Percy or ‘the old earl’ after years of adventures abroad has temporarily shocked Lord William and Lady Amanda and set the entire village abuzz with gossip. Grizzled, spry, and delightfully eccentric, he’s returned with a most unusual set of traveling companions: an archaeological team digging in a spot whispered to have ties with the legendary Camelot. But it’s Percy’s ties with a certain charming woman among its team that has everyone taken by surprise, along with the news of their soon-to-be nuptials.
Tasked with planning the big day, Julianne and Kitty spring at this opportunity despite its rushed timeline and their own woes regarding the renovation of their future event space. But as the big day rolls closer for the earl and his bride-to-be – with cakes and wedding flowers competing with pottery shards and an ancient warrior chieftain’s grave for attention — are there still surprising revelations to come?
Adding to the excitement is the return of former Cliffs House maid Gemma, whose posh new life as a novelist may not be all it seems … and Dinah visits in a flurry of festive baking for a holiday competition on everyone’s favorite baking show. Kitty’s life is in a tizz regarding both family and secrets … and Julianne’s happy marriage is challenged by an unwelcome sexy-and-persistent suitor among the summer visitors.
Filled with old friends, new adventures, and heartwarming Cornish charm, RETURN TO CORNWALL is an all-new, full-length novel—the first one ever to feature the characters from the original series!
Thank you to Els for letting me drop by and share an extract from my new romance read Return to Cornwall! It reunites the characters from my best-selling series ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’, with the same quaint Cornish village as its setting. In the scene below, event planner Julianne and three of her friends are visiting a Cornish archaeological site rumored to have ties with the legend of King Arthur.
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” grumbled Dinah. “I’ve two houses to bake, not to mention all the piping practice for my chalet’s roof.”
“You used to tell the girls at the manor that fresh air’s good for the brain,” said Kitty, as we hiked up the path lined on either side with caution tape and signs politely ordering unauthorized persons not to invade.
“That was to get them out to the garden to save me the trouble,” grunted Dinah.
“You’ll be sharper with the piping tip afterwards. And if you don’t have a bit of sun, you’ll look like a vampire on telly.” Kitty hiked ahead of us, her old sneakers having better traction than my heavy walking boots. Dinah, puffing for breath, fell behind me, where Lady Amanda brought up the rear, taking photos of the mini city of white tents and trailers belonging to the archaeology team.
I thought that last argument was probably Kitty’s most effective. Dinah was beginning to feel self conscious as the date for the program’s taping drew nearer — I noticed her flyaway wings of hair were now tamed with hair pins, and she tasted her gingerbread with only small bites.
‘Camelot’ was a train ride north of Ceffylgwyn, and not a romantic spot like Tintagel by the sea, but an obtrusive spot in a large farm meadow, with a wood to one side and nothing of interest on the others, except the horizon and a few big stones that I gathered had once marked a hallowed spot before the infamous farming incident.
“Doesn’t look like much, does it?” Dinah vocalized my thoughts as she traipsed ahead again with a second wind. “How they ever determined there was buried treasure in this spot I haven’t the faintest.”
According to the news stories I had read online, it was largely because of academic papers published by Doctor Pierce-Bishop and others like her, whose research and field surveys had determined that a site of importance lay beneath the ruins of an old 13th-century manor and its preceding church, both of which had been destroyed over the years.
“They used LIDAR,” I said. “And geography scans of different kinds that detect disturbed soil.”
“Ground-penetrating radar.” I had read up on the ‘tech’ behind the site’s ‘discovery’ also. That is, Matt had, and I listened while reading my book’s theories about King Tut’s burial mask. “They found walls underneath the ground, besides the remains of ones near the wood that predate the site’s recorded history.” I sucked in a quick breath as we neared the crest of the dig site, trying to catch up to Kitty’s pace.
“Percy said oral legends are responsible,” said Lady Amanda. “He told us that old photos of the stone markers, old stories passed down, proved that the space adjacent to the ruins was a hallowed spot. At least that’s what Doctor Pierce-Bishop argued in her paper back in … let’s see … nineteen seventy-something?”
I knew that the professor had been passionate about Cornwall all her life, but she didn’t seem old enough to be sharing archaeological theories in the seventies, unless she was some sort of history prodigy. Maybe it was her mentor’s paper, the one who had been obsessed with the same chapter of history.
I could spot Kitty’s striped, hooded summer shirt in the small crowd of volunteers clustered outside one of the dig’s cordoned-off zones. Elaine found her there and was chatting to her, the archaeologist with her dark hair pinned back under a floppy gardening hat, her worn togs accented by a tool belt around her waist, not equipped with hammers and spanners but with spades, fine-point picks, and a brush.
“Welcome to Camelot,” she greeted us, ushering us underneath another strip of caution tape. “The real-life counterpart, that is.”
“Bit presumptuous, isn’t it?” said Dinah. “At dinner, you said it was hardly the real thing.”
The professor laughed. “For any spot other than this one, I’d be kicking at such a title. But for the sake of the university, at least, I have to let this one go. I’ll show you the place myself before you’re in the thick of the dig, so let’s walk on towards the old retaining wall the first team excavated.”
“A guided tour just for us?” I said. Did the head archaeologist have time to usher a group of visiting nobodies around these grounds? I didn’t think so, but I thought this was also probably about Percy more than anybody he’d invited.
“Come on. The quickest way to learn in the field is on your feet,” she said. “I’ll show you the most impressive bits we’ve uncovered while we’ve been here the past few days as well.”
Thank you, Laura Briggs and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.
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