Cover & Excerpt
by Sophie Mouette
A séance gone wildly wrong leaves hotelier Angela Georgenes sharing her body with a randy Victorian ghost. Someone’s after a treasure allegedly hidden in the hotel and the ghost wants to tell Angela—but can only communicate when Angela’s on the verge of orgasm.
Talk about awkward.
Angela—and the ghost—are both hot for new handyman Tyler Woodruff, but is he a knight in a shining pickup or the thief? In truth, he is there under false pretenses: he’s a fortune hunter who liberates unappreciated artifacts. Distracted by Angela’s wicked imagination and uninhibited bedroom antics, he doesn’t want to fall in love with her any more than she does with him.
But admitting their true feelings is the only way the ghost can reveal the nature of the treasure—and the real threat.
Genre: Light Paranormal RomancePurchase links: Amazon Kobo Smashwords B&N
Content/Theme(s): Ghosts, Humor, Mystery, Contemporary
Release Date: July 27, 2014
Publisher: Little Kisses Press
Excerpt & More
Angela balanced on the rickety ladder and prayed she wouldn’t fall.
The ladder wasn’t actually rickety. It wasn’t exactly new, and it wasn’t fancy, but it wasn’t old. But it did wobble a teeny bit. And she hated heights, even just ladder heights, and she couldn’t shake the nagging sense that the ladder was about to collapse under her, or topple sideways and land her in a rosebush with a broken arm and a disfiguring gash across her cheek from a thorn.
The chill wind blowing in off the ocean, numbing her fingers, was no help at all.
Still, as she drove the nail cleanly into the wood with a single hammer blow, reinforcing the butter-yellow shingle that had come loose in the recent winds, she couldn’t help but feel a level of contentment, too. Below her, the blustery breeze goosed the hotel’s sign, causing it to swing back and forth on its chains.
It still gave her a thrill of pride every time she saw it, thinking about the hard work she and Kari had put into restoring the place and making it into a swank spa and artists’ retreat. Last year, their first, had been a bated-breath affair, but they’d gotten a good write-up in several magazines—from the LA Times to Poets and Writers—and taken off. Some solid Yelp reviews had boosted the signal. They hadn’t turned much of a profit last year, but they’d broken even, which was stellar for a new small business. Now they were entering their second year, coming off the post-Valentine’s Day lull with weekends, and many of the weeks, booked solid for the first six weeks of the summer.
Which was good and bad, because while the taste of success was thrilling, she and Kari were scrambling to make sure Angelika was ready for the onslaught—on a budget for which “tight” would be a compliment. All those bookings were great, but until the guests actually showed up, the hotel was strapped for ready cash.
With the shingle firmly attached to the house again, she could get off this Ladder of Certain Doom. Her stomach twisted. She had to climb down. She had to move her feet from her relatively safe, stable position.
The face-eating thorns lurked below, waiting for her to slip.
She eased one foot a millimeter off the rung.
“I don’t suppose you need any help up there?”
The voice, deep in timbre and unabashedly male, startled her. Gripping the ladder with both hands, she found the next rung with her seeking toes. Only then did she dare to look down.
Her stomach lurched for a different reason. The man down there was gorgeous.
His dark blond hair was on the long side—a style Angela always appreciated, because it gave a girl more to grab hold of during sex. Blue eyes, as near as she could tell from here, a rough five o’clock shadow, and an easy smile. Possibly even a dimple.
Hot, hot, hot.
She took a deep breath. “Nope, I’m fine. What can I do for you? Looking for a room?”
“Actually, I’m here about the handyman job you advertised.” He graced her with a slow, easy smile. “Although it looks like you’re doing just fine on your own.”
Somehow, he made that sound dirty. If she wasn’t mistaken, those heavy-lidded eyes were appraising her ass.
She used that thought and his voice to distract her, and made it down the ladder without becoming intimate with the rosebush.
He had a very nice voice.
She gave a small, silent prayer when her feet hit the ground, then turned to face Mr. Gorgeous, their potential savior.
She was a tall woman—statuesque, a former lover had said, like the beautiful, imposing marble goddesses her Mediterranean ancestors had left behind—but he was a perfect couple of inches taller.
The potential handyman wore a fitted red T-shirt that had seen more vibrant days, although repeated washings had also softened the cotton so that it molded across his chest, arms, and stomach, revealing muscles more likely gained from healthy outdoor work than from reps in a gym. His faded jeans also clung to his body, not tight enough to reveal his religion, but enough to let the world know his side-dressing preference.
Left, in this case.
Angela resisted the urge to circle him and admire the view from behind. After all, he’d had the opportunity to do that to her already.
In the circular drive she saw a battered blue pickup with a shiny toolbox at the front end of the bed and a ladder across the top that was newer and fancier than hers. Probably less rickety, too.
“Glad you saw our ad,” she said. “You come with references?” Oh, like that didn’t sound like a double entendre.
His mouth twitched, and she had the distinct impression that he’d taken her words the wrong way. Or the right way, depending on how you looked at it.
“I do.” He dug into his back pocket and retrieved a folded piece of paper. How he’d managed to get anything into those tight jeans was nothing short of a miracle. He smoothed out the paper and handed it to her.
“I’m impressed,” she said after skimming the information. An understatement. He didn’t just have work experience—he had training in restoration architecture and architectural history. Made her wonder just a bit why he was looking for work in historic, but isolated, San Sebastian, let alone at the salary she was offering.
But she shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth as long as the references panned out. Especially when the mouth in question made her think wicked thoughts.
“Thank you,” he said.
She looked up from the résumé. He was grinning. She suspected he was grinning because she was all too obviously impressed with more than his credentials.
And yes, there was a dimple. Damn.
She grinned back. She had no qualms about fooling around with employees. If everyone was an adult and in agreement, why not?
But she was getting ahead of herself. She needed a handyman more than she needed a hot, hard screw. At this rate, she’d screw him just to never have to go up that ladder herself ever again.
As if reading her mind, he said, “By the way, you’ve got another shingle loose up there.” He pointed to a scallop-shaped piece of wood several feet higher than the one she’d just fixed, toward the end of the building where the rosebushes were particularly vicious.
“Tell you what,” the gorgeous potential handyman said. “I’ll go ahead and fix that one for you. And I’ll rescue the hammer you left on top of your ladder.”
“I still have to call a couple of your references,” Angela warned.
“No problem. This one’s on the house—so to speak. It’s the least I can do to thank you for the view.”
Angela glanced down, following his gaze. Thanks to the chilly spring wind, her nipples were clearly prominent beneath her silk-and-cotton burgundy Henley top.
He was a cheeky one, all right. Just for that, he could do the job. Maybe she could get him to do her, too. Maybe in exchange for figuring out what had gone all wonky with the plumbing in Bathhouse Three? Because the way he looked at her made her insides clench.
She stuck out her hand. “I’m Angela Georgenes, by the way. Co-owner of Angelika.”
His hand was warm, surrounding hers in a firm grip, and he didn’t let go right away. “Tyler Woodruff.”
He went to get his own ladder, and she reluctantly pulled her gaze away from him, pausing before she went inside, as she always did, to admire the hotel.
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Other titles by Sophie Mouette:
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Be on the lookout for Sophie Mouette's upcoming release: Love in Stitches coming late 2014/early 2015
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