As spring slips away from the hotel Penmarrow, excitement builds for an exclusive auction hosted at the hotel, featuring priceless possessions from a Hollywood actress turned lady of the manor, including her famous diamonds. Celebrities and collectors form a crowd that is keeping Maisie and the rest of staff busy, even as Maisie faces a crossroads for her manuscript.
But when the diamonds are stolen and Sidney is accused by the authorities, Maisie’s dilemma as a writer is pushed aside out of fear that his future in Port Hewer is in jeopardy. Desperation to prove that someone else is behind the theft will lead Maisie to uncover a very different secret outside of jewel thieves and village rumors … one that could change her life and her future forever.
Can Maisie deal with the latest secrets exposed — including those that paint Sidney’s past in a questionable light? And as summer’s dawn alters her idyllic life in Cornwall, will Maisie’s feelings for Sidney change as well?
Thank you so much to Els for letting me stop by and share an extract of my latest romance read, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise, book four in my series ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’. The scene below finds the heroine Maisie performing one of her many tasks as an employee at the quaint, historic hotel by the sea—although she finds her thoughts distracted by a romantic dilemma in the midst of it!
Chop, chop, chop. The steady rhythm of the knife through each fruit or vegetable from my pile created a drumbeat in time to the song in my head. Old-time jazz tunes, spinning from an old record of Sidney’s that he sometimes played on his friend Dean’s hi-fi. The songs from the Randhouser ball where I had been disillusioned about my writing future and dizzied by the prospect of an impulsive kiss; the ones from lazy afternoons spent debating the fate of my novel’s characters with Sidney, arguing, musing, and teasing back and forth as we shelled peas in the kitchen or meticulously cleaned Dean’s paintbrushes and pallets in mineral spirits and water.
The bright sunshine through the kitchen window was enticing me towards the outdoors, its picture glass facing the rose garden behind the hotel, its paths rambling towards the umbrella shade of certain old trees to the threshold of the wood beyond the garden boundaries. Unlike the manicured side lawn, which faced the sea like a perfect green square beneath an azure blue sky.
I dumped cupful after cupful of chopped vegetables and fruit into the silver bowl at my elbow, between tears for the onions I chopped. I diced stalks of celery now, losing myself again in water droplets sparkling on paintbrush bristles, and the sound of Sidney’s laugh. Whenever I was remembering moments of happiness, or in need of a comforting thought, it was the recollection of it which came floating to the surface of my mind first, always within easy grasping distance.
How quickly something like that becomes so vital. How quickly a person who was a stranger only six months ago becomes someone who seems integral to everyday life. Fighting the feeling that Sidney was indispensable was becoming as routine to me as waking up each morning or breathing air to stay alive; only it was becoming stronger and more palpable than either of those daily essentials. I was swimming against an emotional current that was going to push me further out to sea. My arms were growing tired, and my mind was blurring the lines between sensible choices and the longing — or maybe it was planning to push me against a rock wall like the steep and jagged ones along the coastline instead.
This idea seems perfectly natural one moment, and silly the next. Sidney didn’t even know that the last name he called me by wasn’t my real one, and that the name he mistook as my pen name was legally mine. Or that I had turned aside from my only chance to salvage my Tucker Mentorship prospects to stay in this place; and I stayed because he had asked me to. I didn’t know where Sidney was born, or where he lived before he moved to Port Hewer. I didn’t know whether he had ever loved anybody else in his life.
How was that for the beginning of a possible love story? It’s not what real-life cases of true and eternal love are made of. Only the ones in books or movies, as most of us sensibly know. But I would have to declare myself an idiot if I claimed any other feeling than that of caring deeply, passionately, and constantly for Sidney Daniels.
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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